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Star Trek: The Next Generation

Season 1 Episode 9

The Battle

Aired Unknown Nov 16, 1987 on CBS
out of 10
User Rating
257 votes

By Users

Episode Summary

Stardate: 41723.9 The Ferengi hand over an old ship which Picard once captained: the U.S.S. Stargazer. However, a mind-altering device that has been planted on board alters Picard's mind to make him think that he is reliving a past battle, and the target is the Enterprise.

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  • A Ferengi captain returns Captain Picard's former command, the USS Stargazer, in an act of friendship, but the Ferengi have other plans.

    "The Battle" is definitely an entertaining episode for sure. I certainly was never bored. However I found this episode to have one too many liabilities to give it a higher rating. The first is the Ferengi. They are very hard to take seriously as a villain. They are also not very interesting characters. Unlike the Romulans they have no sense of appeal to them. I guess that is the point, but they just don't make a good enemy. Second the script is not the best written one I have seen. It was obvious from the beginning that the log entry from Stargazer in which Picard admits firing on and destroying a defenseless ship was false. However Patrick Stewart's strong performance and the scenes between Riker and the Ferengi first officer Kazago do help this episode and make it interesting. I do like "The Battle" quite a bit and have watched it several times, but there are better episode of this series.moreless
  • A Ferengi offers a gift to Picard: the Stargazer, which Picard commanded years earlier. Unknown to Picard, the Ferengi is out for revenge.

    The Battle is a good old fashion Star Trek revenge story (see "The Doomsday Machine", "Obsession", "The Wrath of Khan".) The center of attention is Picard, which gives Patrick Stewart a chance to shine, which of course he does. And director Herbert Wright deserves recognition for how he uniquely chose to shoot the star actor. Sadly, the script does Wesley no favors, turning him into an even more annoying character than before as he makes the trained crew look stupid. The Ferengi, on the other hand, are somewhat redeemed here after their poor introduction in "The Last Outpost". All in all, this one is a well-built first season episode.moreless
  • A Ferengi captain hands over the U.S.S. Stargazer, Picard's former ship, which has been drifting through space. However, the Ferengi captain has revenge on his mind after a battle with Picard years before. One of the best of the season...moreless

    Looking at the other reviews and ratings for "The Battle", I both agree and disagree. Totally agree in that this is a definite upturn in quality, having more of a feel of the polished episodes we would become accustomed to after the first season. I disagree in that surely this episode deserves a better rating that the current (as of March 2011) 7.5.

    This was one of the first TNG episodes that really made me sit up and take notice. After the very dodgy first couple of episodes, there had been steady improvement, but the series definitely still had the wobbles (I would pick out "Where No One Has Gone Before" as the only previous outstanding episode). With "The Battle", you get a decent plot, and really care for what is going on.

    At this stage, the Ferengi were still planned as the show's "big enemy" (taking over from the Klingons in the Original Series). Of course, this never happened, as they were just too comical, but in fairness, the Ferengi we encounter here are more fine-tuned than the unintentionally hilarious ones we saw in the Ferengi's debute episode, "The Last Outpost". Although they would never have what it took to be taken as a serious threat, instead being reworked into the comical, sometimes deceptive money-grabbing role that more suited then, but to be fair, here they feel like much more of a menace than in their first appearance.

    I really like this story, and think it plays out very well. Picard's hallucinogenic commanding of his old ship, beliving the Enterprise to be the enemy, is quite memorable – well, by first season standards at least.

    The in-episode musical score is also very good, mostly consisting of the eerie, mysterious type music that would be used for many mid and later first season instalments.

    There is little I really like about this episode. It probably would have been executed tighter and sharper if tackled in a later season, maybe even becoming a series classic, but, other than Wesley being rather annoying in this one (and once again, he just happens to have key information to save the day), I find very little to dislike about this story.

    Most people might only rank it in the 7s or 8s at most, but personally, I really enjoyed watching "The Battle", and give it a very respectable 9.5.moreless
  • Another Recommended Episode...

    This is another recommended episode. It has the Ferengi in it, but they are much more like the Ferengi are today, instead of the episode on The Last Outpost, where they are very slimy. This episode is about the very first time a Ferengi ship was spotted. Picard thought it was hostile, and destroyed it, using The Picard Manuver. He abandoned ship, and the Ferengi found it and returned it to him. Daimon Bok had a mind controlling device, tricking Picard into thinking that he was still Commanding The Stargazer.

    I liked the way he spoke when he was on the Stargazer. "Do Not Attack Again!! We Are On A Peaceful Mission. We Request That You Idendify Yourselves..." Or however it went. That was a good saying, but at the same time it was really creepy, maybe because he was looking directly at the screen, making you think that he was talking to whoever was watching the episode. It was also the music and the fact that he was being brainwashed by Daimon Bok.moreless
  • Great Picard episode, we get to learn more about him and his past before Enterprise!

    The Enterprise meets with a Ferengi ship that has a gift for Picard: The Stargazer, free of charge! It is given by Bok, who's son was killed by Picard in the Battle of Maxia. But of course one of the items in that ship is a device that gives Picard headaches and illusions of commanding the Stargazer. Pretty soon it gets worse to the point when Picard boards the Stargazer and believes the Enterprise is the unknown Ferengi ship attacking him and so the crew of the Enterprise must find a way to get him out of his trance.

    The Ferengi were improved in this episode, showing to be very menacing and more threatening than in The Last Outpost. And of course we get a little good character development of Picard in this episode, Patrick Stewart gives one of his first great performances which will build up better in the years ahead.

    I give this 4 out of 5 stars. (8.0 on
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

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (9)

    • In the first few minutes of the episode, we see Picard, Riker, and Worf standing on the bridge with their arms behind themselves. Then they cut to Picard and Riker's backs and we see their arms at their sides.

    • When Picard goes to do the "Picard Maneuver" in the Stargazer, Data says that "the ship will seem to disappear," but what really happens is the ship will seem to appear in two places at once.

    • Usually only Picard calls Riker "Number One," but in this episode Dr. Crusher also calls him that.

    • During introductions between the Ferengi and Enterprise crew, Picard introduces Riker and Data. In between, the overhead mike bobs down into view.

    • When Picard beams over to the Stargazer the final time under mind control, DaiMon Bok raises the Stargazer's shields so as to prevent Captain Picard from being beamed out. Later in the same scene, however, DaiMon Bok then beams out so Picard can destroy himself.

    • The approach of a starship on long-range sensors shouldn't initiate, and never has initiated, an intruder alert.

    • Troi states that she senses great deception from the DaiMon of the Ferengi ship, though it was previously established (in "The Last Outpost") and later thoroughly established (everywhere) that Ferengi minds are closed to telepaths (and thus also to empaths).

    • Picard (incorrectly) introduces Data as his second-in-command. Data is the Enterprise's Second Officer, but Riker is the second-in-command.

    • Riker locks a tractor beam on the Stargazer with its shields up, even though it is established TNG-era tractor beams can't do that (see "The Best of Both Worlds" for an example).

  • QUOTES (5)

    • Kazako: As you humans say: I'm all ears!

    • Picard: What is wrong with me?
      Beverly: I wish the hell I knew, Captain. But something unusual has definitely been happening to you.
      Picard: Why do doctors always say the obvious as if it's a revelation?
      Beverly: Why do captains always act like they are immortal?

    • Picard: Let the dead rest, and the past remain the past.

    • Kazada: The android was mentioned. What is its price? We should like to purchase it.
      Picard: He is not for sale. Commander Data is, um... is um...
      Riker: ... is second-hand merchandise. And you wouldn't want him.
      Data: Second-hand, sir? Oh, of course. A human joke.

    • Bok: That vessel is yours, if you wish to have it.
      Rata: At no cost? Ugly, very ugly.

  • NOTES (3)

    • This is the first mention of the "Picard Manuever," which in this case refers to the battle tactic Picard used when the Stargazer was attacked by an unknown vessel; he jumped to high warp, making it appear to the attacking ship that the Stargazer was in two places at once. He was then able to destroy the unknown vessel. The "Picard Manuever" has since come to be known as the term for Patrick Stewart's habit of tugging at his costume when he sat down or stood up.

    • The USS Stargazer was initially supposed to be a Constitution-class starship, allowing the crew to use the movie version of the original Enterprise in the series. This is why a model of a Constitution-class starship can be seen in Picard's ready room in early episodes. However, it was later decided to create a new model for the Stargazer, but by the time they did, a scene on the Stargazer's bridge had already been filmed with Geordi referring to the ship as "Constitution-class." Hence, the term "Constellation-class" was developed, which was similar enough to "Constitution-class" that they could re-dub the scene without reshooting. Also, Picard's Constitution-class model was replaced in later episodes with a model of the Constellation-class Stargazer.

    • The Stargazer bridge is a redress of the Enterprise-D Battle Bridge set, which was originally the Enterprise movie bridge from Star Trek I-IV. The Stargazer turbolift interior was built for the first Star Trek movie. This is its last appearance in the Star Trek universe to date. Picard's Stargazer quarters are a redress of the Enterprise Junior Officer's Quarters, originally built as Kirk and Spock's quarters for Star Trek I and Star Trek II.