Star Trek: The Next Generation

Season 1 Episode 9

The Battle

Aired Unknown Nov 16, 1987 on CBS

Episode Fan Reviews (13)

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out of 10
266 votes
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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...

    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.
  • 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.
  • 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
  • The Ferengi stike back!

    Of course, this is still when TNG was still going to use the Ferengi as main villains. Yet this almsot shows the move away from that. Riker is able to deal with Rata, especially when they find out that Bok is breaking Ferengi law. Also, this gives a lot of Picard's history and shows that he does have regrets. All in all, a good story.
  • An above-average first season episode in which Picard's past catches up with him

    I have fond memories of this episode. It was one of the first episodes of the series that made me sit up and take notice. Although not perfect, it's light years ahead of the stinkers it's sandwiched between. It's a reasonably well-done revenge epic, in which a Ferengi whose son Picard inadvertantly killed in battle returns seeking vengeance.

    It's interesting to see Picard's past re-opened before his very eyes and the Ferengi are more tolerable than in their debut appearance. The mystery is pieced together nicely and Patrick Stewart gets a chance to shine as Picard starts to lose his faculties. Unfortunately, the episode ends horribly abruptly. After having nearly lost his mind, Picard pulls himself together miraculously quickly, just in time to deliver this week's moral-of-the-week (there is never any profit in revenge. Got that, kids?).
  • Not bad if taken in context

    Sure they arent the Borg, but the Ferengi are still a worthwhile distraction for the Enterprise, even if they arent as ferocious as the Klingon, who they were supposed to replace. This epsiode does do them justice if you keep in my that they were never going to achieve what other reviewers expected of them. It shows them in their true light as deceivers and manipulators. They were never warriors and aggressors in conflict.

    In that light this episode is a breeze to watch, taking a very well crafted plot with good setup, middle and conclusion. The main conflict is btween Picard and Damon Bok, but there is also some between the captain and the crew who fear for his wellbeing. Wesley actually provides the clue that unravels the final act. So a + for Wessers!

    Its not a combat episode, but it does a good job of showcasing the Ferengi, not the next Klingons and definite not The Borg. Just the Ferengi.
  • A nice piece of Star Trek: The Next Generation's first season....

    "The Battle" has a very good premise - the Ferengi want revenge against Picard for a battle he fought years and years ago - and is a pretty good first season episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation despite not being all that memorable. The Picard storyline is great (his "Picard maneuver" is just about the only thing you remember about the episode) and Riker gets a couple of great scenes as well. Unfortunately Wesley manages to be just a sprinkle more irritating than usual and DaiMon Bok is just as irritating. These aspects let the episode down, but overall "The Battle" is a nice piece of the first season of Star Trek: The Next Generation: Picard has a very nice storyline and Patrick Stewart gets to do a little more with the character than what he was doing prior to this episode.
  • Wesley's finest hour!

    Okay, we know that season one of Star Trek: The Next Generation is either corny or horny.

    Fortunately, his episode is in the former category and manages to avoid the latter one. That alone is a nice surprise. But I digress. It starts out with Dr. Crusher's boasting that, like the common cold, headaches have been virtually wiped out. (Of course, that's needed to set up the plot...)

    The plot is actually daring for the first season, as other attempts to develop characters were either poorly thought out (e.g. "The Naked Now") or out of character (e.g. "Lonely Among Us", "Heart of Glory"). It revolves around Captain Picard's past with a then-unknown enemy (the Ferengi).

    Perhaps I am a sucker for 'revenge'-themed stories, but this one is (save for the common cold crap) well written, well acted, and well directed. Daimon Bok is a nasty little menace, we all know he's up to something, but is handled fairly well; keeping suspense at a solid pace and not becoming boring at all. Quite an achievement.

    And, yes, this is Wesley's best outing. Yes, he saw his mom's panels and noted the radio wave was identical to the waves he discovered while playing in Engineering. In typical brat-like form, he says "You're welcome" after the "adults" leave, not having thanked him. (Let's see, Picard is under mind control, there's not a second to lose, and while he's still an awkward teenager it comes across fairly crass. It is in-character for Wesley, and maybe true to real life regarding teens, or indeed Dr Crusher's attitude at the episode's start conclusively proves where Wesley got his lack of manners from, but it just doesn't gel. It ought to.)

    This story is a surprising highlight for season 1.

    Oh, Data's technical explanation to Riker about the checksum not matching its timestamp was brilliant. :)
  • One of the best episodes of the 1st season; a vengeful Ferengi uses mind control on Captain Picard.

    I was pleasantly surprised when rewatching this episode because most of its predecessors were below average at best. There's a genuine menace that builds up during the episode as Picard's headaches worsen at the same time as doubts grow about whether he was really a hero at "The Battle." If this had been written and taped a few seasons later it could have been a series classic.

    Unfortunately, this is a 1st season episode and so problems are inevitable. Even with the strong underlying idea the plot is somewhat clunky and even drags in spots.

    Nevertheless, it's worth watching. Two parts I particularly enjoyed:

    1) Picard's description of the battle and "Picard Maneuver", with the bridge crew clearly in awe of his achievements, is a really great sequence -- one of the best of the series up until this point.

    2) Picard's vulnerable moment with Dr. Crusher in his quarters. I think this is one of the first episodes to develop their close, intense friendship.

    I also found Wesley's sequence with Dr. Crusher and Counselor Troi to be entertaining. "Thanks ladies!"
  • The “Enterprise” after having a conference with a Ferengi vessel finds a old constellation style starship. Much to the surprise of Captain Picard, it is the ship known as the “Stargazer”.

    The “Enterprise” after having a conference with a Ferengi vessel finds a old constellation style starship. Much to the surprise of Captain Picard, it is the ship known as the “Stargazer”. The Ferengi vessel leader, Daimon Bok claims to have found the “Stargazer” on the edge of a distant star system.. Daminon Bok gives the “Stargazer” to Picard as a anniversary gift. A Ferengi not interested in selling something. I find that quite odd. Picard has been from suffering headaches. Dr Crusher orders Picard to get some rest. Picard does and then wakes up still having the headaches.
  • The Enterprise meets up with the Ferengi as they offer Picard his old starship "The Stargazer". They attempt to control his mind into thinking he is still in the battle VIA a mind-control device aboard The Stargazer. Picard also encounters a 'headache'

    Pretty good episode, we get to know a little more about the Ferengi... The crew meets up with them as they offer Picard his old ship 'The Stargazer' and they try to trick him into thinking he is in the middle of the battle VIA mind-control device aboard The Stargazer. The crew soon learns that Picard may not have done the right thing in the 'Battle of Maxia' when he destroys a Ferengi ship without notice and when they did not even fire upon him.

    Its also pretty interesting how they never seem to encounter headaches. This would be nice in the future :P I think its kinda funny how Crusher pushes her weight around with Picard when she says "Im the only one on this ship that CAN five you an order". Kind of a funny thing to see since they are in an 'unspoken' relationship...she seems to love to get the upper hand on him whenevere she can. (see the trivia for this episode..Wesley is Picards and Crushers' love child)

    and ofcourse the Ferengi are up to their old shanatigans...revenge.
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