Series: The Next Generation
Air Date: September 28, 1987
Written by: D.C. Fontana & Gene Roddenberry
Directed by: Corey Allen
Captain Jean-Luc Picard takes the brand new Enterprise-D on her maiden voyage to check out Farpoint Station and is interrupted by Q.
The newly commissioned USS Enterprise NCC-1701-D is all ready to seek out new life and new civilizations on their first mission: to uncover the mystery of the Farpoint station and try to get its builders to make more of them throughout Federation space. Besides that, they have to pick up some guy without a beard, the doctor and her kid. Turns out, though, that they're being followed. It doesn't take long for a Q-net to trap them and then Q randomly pops onto the bridge in medieval garb and accuses the human race of venturing out into the galaxy too far and being barbaric. Yet he is the one dropping in unannounced!
After Picard and the crew show enough confused faces Q changes into a World War II uniform to get his point across that humanity has had some horrible wars and doesn't deserve to have nice things. When they still don't get it, Q changes into a soldier uniform from the 2030's when soldiers were controlled with drugs and apparently wore mattresses. All this to demonstrate when humanity has done in the past, so Picard makes the argument that humanity has gotten better and not to pass judgement based on the past. So, Q takes the judgement cue and flashes off to queue up a 2030's courtroom.
|This is what our fine men and women in uniform have to look forward to.|
Meanwhile, on Farpoint station, some guy who doesn't have a beard, but calls himself Riker anyway, is snooping around and asks this Zorn guy what's going on. Zorn dodges his questions by offering him apples that suddenly appear there. And when Riker leaves, Zorn yells at... no one?... not to make apples suddenly appear like that and to behave. Picard shows up eventually and they connect back with the saucer section like it's no big deal. Riker and the Crushers [which, incidentally, is my new band name] beam on board, Riker takes a good look around the bridge and then this guy shows up:
|I'm just an old... oooooold, old, old country doctor.|
Well, it doesn't take long for an alien ship to appear out of nowhere and start shooting at the city of the people who supposedly built Farpoint. The Enterprise starts trying to defend itself when Q shows up again and Worf tries to shoot the viewscreen. Q comes inside and says they're totally missing what's going on and because of it, they're bound to fail the test and be sentenced to death. But Picard's all like "No! We're advanced! I swear!" and then Riker proves it by suggesting that maybe there's a being down there that can make matter from energy.
|A squidly being!|
As an introduction to The Next Generation, this episode is not too terrible. It introduces the characters well, introduces the main antagonist, Q, very well, and it sets up the idea that this is a whole new Enterprise with stories that promise to run into each other through character lines instead of being self-contained like in The Original Series. They run into a couple of snags with the misuse of the saucer separation and the lack of any beards, but overall... I'm just glad Trek is back!
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