Star Trek: The Next Generation

Season 1 Episode 2

Encounter At Farpoint (2)

15
Aired Unknown Sep 28, 1987 on CBS
7.9
out of 10
User Rating
320 votes
15

EPISODE REVIEWS
By TV.com Users

Episode Summary

EDIT
Stardate: 41153.7 The new captain of the recently built U.S.S. Enterprise-D, Captain Jean Luc Picard, takes the crew on their first mission: to discover the secret of Farpoint Station. During their journey, they encounter an omnipotent being known as Q, who accuses humanity of barbarism, and places them on trial. Jean-Luc must prove otherwise, or the human race will be annihilated.moreless

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SUBMIT REVIEW
  • On trial by the Q, the new Enterprise and her crew face a test on their first mission that will determine their ultimate fate.

    9.0
    A very satisfying conclusion to the first adventure of the new Starship Enterpsise and its crew. The episode was well written and did a good job of keeping the viewers' interest. There is a major flaw in this episode however. When the alien creature attacks the Bandi homeworld, Groppler Zorn says to Picard that the creature is killing his people. Yet all we see is an empty city being destroyed. There is no trace of any dead or injured Bandi. Also, Picard orders Farpoint Station evacuated before feeding the captured alien creature the power it needs to return to it's mate. However the time from him giving the order to the time the energy beam was delivered was hardly enough time for the station to be evacuated. That aside, the episode did have a very good conclusion that I still enjoy to this day. It wasn't a perfect beginning but it was quite entertaining.moreless
  • The maiden voyage of the starship Enterprise D introduces us to a new crew, which attempts to solve the mystery of Farpoint Station.

    9.0
    The second part of the pilot focuses more on Farpoint than Q, but the story works pretty well and has a sweet ending. This, of course, is mandatory viewing for all Star Trek TNG fans; sure it has some clunkyness and can make us cringe today, but it's the start of it all, and a overall a good start at that. (Well to be accurate, it's the start of it all AGAIN. And TV Trek certainly had some rust to shake off, but part of the joy is seeing that done.) I give it a 10 for historical purposes, an 8 for entertainment, and a 9 overall.moreless
  • Constantly watched over by the mysterious, God-like Q, the newly assembled crew of the Enterprise-D try to uncover the secret that Farpoint Station is hiding. Yes, a little slow and not classic TNG, but it's not THAT bad!...moreless

    9.0
    (...Review continued from Part 1)

    Note that I'm going by the original feature-length version, so specific scenes I refer to may appear in Part 1 and vice versa, in the shuffled two-part version.



    I've covered most of the main points of this Pilot in Part 1, but a few more thoughts...



    John de Lancie is very interesting as Q, in the first of many appearances in both TNG and its various follow-ons.



    The highlight of 'Encounter...' has to be the cameo by DeForest Kelley as the aged McCoy from the Original Series. His scene with Data is wonderful, and his line "I don't see no point on your ears boy, but you sound just like a Vulcan" is one of my all-time favourites from the show, and a lovely tie to the Original Series.



    We also get introduced to the Holodeck. The Holodeck (which had originally been planned for 'The Motion Picture' but was never really realized due to limitations of the time), is a fascinating concept, though I do feel that, particularly in later seasons, the series relied to heavily on it; after all, in the 'Star Trek Universe', the Holodeck is all a computer-generated illusion; I'd far rather see the crew beam down to an interesting new planet.



    The special effects are again of their time, coming only from the very dawn of the true digital effects age (the Enterprise and suchlike are all physical models in this series), but mostly do very well, and surprisingly haven't dated as badly as I thought they might, all things considering.



    A couple of characters I didn't touch upon in my review for Part 1 – I much prefer Troi's look here to her "severe" first season look (though both Troi and Dr. Crusher were often spare wheels in much of the series), and as I do now, as a kid I thought Geordi was really cool (and not just for his funky hairband visor); I've always liked strong black characters on TV.



    The story, though quite slow – both to due introducing the characters, and its general nature – is actually quite interesting and thought out, and things really liven up in this second half.



    All-in-all... 'Encounter at Farpoint' is certainly dated, and slow in places, and the series certainly hasn't fully found it's niche at this point, but even so, I can't help but feel that some have come to knock this Pilot to TNG unduly. It serves its purpose in introducing the characters, and has a decent plot to boot. Definitely not a Top 10 TNG episode, but it's not as bad as many make out, and after all, it did herald a new era of 'Trek'. As with Part 1, I give this half 9/10.moreless
  • Conclusion. It seems the crew has been found guilty of being savages by the “Q”. Picard suggest to “Q” to give the crew a chance to prove itself innocent. The Farpoint station will provide a excellent opportunity to prove humans are highly evolved.moreless

    10
    Conclusion. It seems the crew has been found guilty of being savages by the “Q”. Picard suggest to “Q” to give the crew a chance to prove itself innocent. The Farpoint station will provide a excellent opportunity to prove humans are highly evolved. Commander Riker who is at Farpoint Station beams aboard the “Enterprise”stardrive section. Riker wants to know where the saucer section is. The saucer section with the help of Riker’s help rejoins the rest of the ship. A odd ship bearing no resemblance to any other ship appears. It commences firing on Deneb IV. Is this the end?moreless
  • Q-uantum Of Star Trek (Part II)....

    9.5
    The first of many journeys of the Star Trek: The Next Generation crew and the mystery of the Farpoint Station continues in the second part of "Encounter At Farpoint." The second half of the two-part episode is not filmed as uniquely as the first half but the plot does become far more interesting, so there is some give and take to be seen here. The first encounter between Captain Picard and First Officer Riker is very engaging, there is a particularly entertaining scene between Riker and Data in the holodeck, and the episode's finale is absolutely fantastic. The only real drawback to the episode is Michael Bell's awful performance as the odd Farpoint supervisor Zorn - overall, part II gives a nice wrap up to the episode and a great launching pad for The Next Generation crew.moreless
Patrick Stewart

Patrick Stewart

Captain Jean-Luc Picard

Jonathan Frakes

Jonathan Frakes

Cmdr. William T. Riker

Brent Spiner

Brent Spiner

Lt. Cmdr. Data

Gates McFadden

Gates McFadden

Dr. Beverly Crusher

Marina Sirtis

Marina Sirtis

Counsellor/Lt. Cmdr. Deanna Troi

Denise Crosby

Denise Crosby

Tasha Yar

Michael Bell

Michael Bell

Groppler Zorn

Guest Star

Jimmy Ortega

Jimmy Ortega

Lt. Torres

Guest Star

Carey Hiroyuki

Carey Hiroyuki

Mandarin Bailiff

Guest Star

John de Lancie

John de Lancie

Q

Recurring Role

Colm Meaney

Colm Meaney

Miles O'Brien

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions

FILTER BY TYPE

  • TRIVIA (12)

    • When Riker first meets Data in the holodeck, he tells him that he reviewed his personnel record in preparation of an away mission. But then Riker asks him if his "title" (of Lt. CMDR) is honorary. Data's file would document his graduation from Star Fleet Academy, being commissioned, and every assignment and promotion he received. So if he read the file, he wouldn't have needed to ask Data his rank or status.

    • When Riker and Data are talking in the holodeck, there is a very noticeable dissolve as they pass behind a tree. This is because they were switching from an actual location to a set.

    • When this episode was written, Gene Roddenberry hadn't established a calendar year for the beginning of the series. Data's remark in this episode that he is "class of '78" is proven incorrect later on in the episode "The Neutral Zone," when it is established that the first season was taking place in 2364, and also in Season 2's episode "Measure of a Man," when 2345 is given as Data's graduation year.

    • When Riker and Data are down at Farpoint, Data uses a contraction. It is later established that Data can't use contractions in normal conversation.

    • When the computer instructs Riker to turn right, he turns to the left.

    • Data throws a rock at the holodeck wall/illusion to prove it's not real, and the rock bounces off. How does the holodeck know to do this, rather then dissolve the solid rock it created and project an image of the rock contining onward?

    • Not really a goof in the episode, but a goof in that the writers never followed up on it: After the Bandi threatens to give information to the Ferengi, Picard responds, "Let's hope they find you as tasty as their past associates." It suggests that Ferengi eat sentient beings, but this topic is never mentioned again in any Star Trek episode or movie.

    • When the Alien ship comes onto the screen Picard is standing next to the helm. When we come back from commercial, the ship is in the same spot moving forward, and Picard is giving orders from the chair.

    • When Tasha fires the energy beam to the planet, the Captain had previously said to use the phasers to send the laser beam. However, the beam comes from the center of the bottom of the saucer section, which is not the location of the phaser banks (the phaser banks are located along the semi-circular lines extending around the interior of the saucer section, on the top and the bottom of the ship). This is fixed in the 2012 High Definition Blu Ray release.

    • When Riker orders Troi back aboard Enterprise during the alien bombardment, he calls her "Lieutenant" even though she is a Lt. Commander and the correct term of reference used otherwise in this episode and others is "Commander."

    • When the alien creature approaches, Picard orders shields up but then they manage to beam up the landing party anyway, even though transporters won't work through shields and there's no indication the shields are dropped.

    • When Tasha fires an energy beam to "feed" the Farpoint alien, the ship's nacelle changes color from blue to white.

  • QUOTES (4)

    • Data: The place that the vessel was firing upon was not the Farpoint starbase, but the home of those who constructed... Sorry, sir. I seem to be commenting on everything.
      Riker: Good. Don't stop, my friend.

    • Picard: Would you object to your captain ordering a clearly illegal kidnapping?
      Riker: No objections, sir.

    • Riker: Your file says that you're a...
      Data: Machine. Correct, sir. Does that trouble you?
      Riker: To be honest, yes, a little.
      Data: Understood, sir. Prejudice is very human.

    • Riker: Just hoping this isn't the usual way our missions will go, sir.
      Picard: Oh no, Number One, I'm sure most will be much more interesting. Let's see what's out there. Engage!

  • NOTES (4)

    • Groppler Zorn threatens that if an alliance with the Federation can't be reached, the Bandi may be forced to seek out an alliance with the Ferengi. This was part of the original (unsuccessful) attempt to develop the Ferengi as TNG's main enemy species.

    • With the final shot of the Enterprise's bridge, comes the first and (it seems) only time Tasha wears a Starfleet minidress instead of her usual pantsuit.

    • Counselor Troi seems to be much more affected by emotions in these early episodes, such as when she feels great anger coming from her surroundings and thus becomes angry herself; or when she begins to cry after feeling deep sadness. In later episodes, she can sense emotion from others without having to experience them herself.

    • This is the only two-part episode in which Majel Barrett (who did the voice of the ship's computer on Next Generation, Voyager, Deep Space Nine and most of Star Trek TOS) does not begin part two of the episode by saying "Last time on Star Trek: The Next Generation." Instead, Ernie Anderson--who later voiceover promos for future episodes--says "Last time on 'Encounter at Farpoint'."

  • ALLUSIONS (1)

    • Pinocchio
      Data says he wishes to be human, echoing the famous Disney classic where a puppet longs to be a "real boy," prompting Riker to call him "Pinocchio."

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