Encounter at Farpoint


Encounter at Farpoint

Meet the Enterprise and her crew for the first time. Again. For the first time. This is NCC 1701-D with Captain Picard, First Officer Riker and – you get the idea: New ship, new crew. All of that and Q, too! What new things will we encounter? Find out when we put Encounter at Farpoint in the Mission Log.

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  • Bruce Aguilar

    There’s much to like in this first episode but it can really drag at times. Each time I revisit it I remember how new it all was when I first saw it. Data, the saucer separation, Tasha, Q, the holodeck, attitudes and philosophy. My mind was blown! This episode is what made me fall in love with Trek.

  • Tegan Bigone

    Paying reparations implies that we, who have to pay the reparations to people who were not wronged, are guilty for the crimes of committed by others in the past.

  • Tegan Bigone

    “Let us examine the old Vulcan adage, ‘The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few.’ I propose that that maxim is the most dangerous and misguided belief that I have ever heard. Who decides the needs of the many are more important than the needs of the few? And more importantly, who gave them the right to decide that in the first place? Am I suggesting that the needs of the one outweigh the needs of the many? I’m suggesting that history proves it! It’s FILLED with groups who’ve “DECIDED” that their needs were more important than others! The result? Slavery! Genocide!”
    -Nichelle Nichols, Star Trek: Of Gods and Men

    • Michael Richmond

      Remember that Kirk notes toward the end of Star Trek 3 that sometimes the good of the few or the one outweigh the good of the many. I think Star Trek’s position is that of a relativist. http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/relativism/
      If Kirk had been an absolutist there is no way he would have ever violated the prime directive and I think we would have been poorer for it from both a philosophical standpoint and an entertainment one.

    • James W. Maertens

      Agreed. That’s the problem with democracy too. Majority rule. Maybe fair, but not always. I think Spock’s philosophy comes from his culture in which authority is highly centralized and aristocratic (apparently). They get to decide but they have altruistically used logic to determine the “needs” for the many. I mean, are their poor, exploited Vulcan people? It would have been nice to explore. And the other thing is that in Farpoint, it is the needs of the One (the station-creature) that outweights the needs (or wants) of the many. The philosophy here is a little too cut and dried.

      • Lauralee von Husen Albert

        In a democracy we also have to be aware of and minimize tyranny of the majority, in other words, look out for the little guy too.

  • so interesting to see this episode again after so many years… I really wish they had let McCoy wear something similar to the Wrath of Khan uniforms. Much more distinguished. I will never understand why they switched the colors of command red and engineering gold. Also, how much better S1 and S2 could have been w the uniforms from S3. simple yet much more professional looking. and geez, get them for the whole ship!!! hahaha, lol. mini skirts…darn shame they only showed the saucer separation twice!?!?!? in 7 years…what a waste…

  • This episode does not stand up to the test of time in my opinion because we know they could have done better. Just using terminology from the Star Trek movies, keeping the uniforms more believable and less corny music and dialogue should have been much easier! “Detector circuit?” The choice of Data’s rank was a big mistake. He went through the Academy and served on other ships and is still so naive? The VHS recap of Q’s intro for Riker to watch screams “nonsense” !! The premise that a shape/energy shifting massive creature would be beholden to insect tiny humanoids makes no sense when that administrator guy is tortured in the catacombs of the ship itself?? The ridiculous lack of enlisted ranks and titles sets the tone for this series long oversight. The lack of a Chief Engineer? Music like from the movies w less brassy flourishes would be less campy. Uniforms that were more practical for space travel. The Mad Max court scene. Ugh. No court scene at all. Best to judge in a desert w fake rocks like TOS. What I take away from all Trek despite Gene Roddenberry’s hope is sadly we may one day fight less among ourselves, but we will still fight. If we find alien races out in space sadly I think we all know that we will fight them too. I hope we just don’t make things worse and worse.

    • James W. Maertens

      It was interesting to listen to John and Ken say how this was the Star Trek they first knew. TOS was what I grew up on and I remember hating the movies and TNG because they were so aesthetically different. I still love Mid-Mod. I could have done without the ubiquitous fistfights in TOS but by comparison, TNG seemed dull and bland. I am more interested in it now but at the time I just thought — ugh! Especially Picard. When I heard the previews and hints, I thought Oh! Cool! Jean-Luc Picard will be like Jacques Cousteau, this great explorer and we might actually get some interesting real science and attention to natural ecosystems. But alas, it was obvious quickly that real science and Nature were not concerns of the show. I also felt that these were characters who I coud not relate to as I did Kirk and Bones, and even Spock. Data looked to me just like an attempt to imitate Spock and he isn’t anything close to the complexity of a Vulcan. Especially odd, that lack of robots and androids throughout the show’s iterations. Not even Other cultures have robots and androids, except in Andromeda…
      It’s true, these are not your dad’s omnipotent pure energy beings…

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  • James W. Maertens

    I concur about the change in uniforms and the attempt to use Navy organization without enlisted personnel. The use of “rank” in Star Trek was confusing in TOS but becomes just weird. I agree that there is no reason to promote an android to Lt. Cmdr. without any command experience. In TOS, there were “enlisted” crewmen but they were never the focus of a story. In most WWII films it is the enlisted men/women who are the most interesting. In any case, the purpose of officers is to lead, and if there is nobody to lead, who needs all those officers. The ranks become meaningless and they might as well have invented other words entirely. This also relates to the “Needs of the Many” issue. In a command structure, a Captain might have the safety of his crew as a primary concern, but not if the mission demands risk. In many cases, the One decides what everybody else needs, and that Oneness of authority gets passed right up the scale. It is too bad that the model of Trek was not old WWII movies instead of Westerns, where you have loner-heroes fighting with their fists and pistols in an essentially lawless “wild west”. Too bad G.R. didn’t put a little more of “The Lieutenant” in Trek. Perhaps it would have been too hard to get through to the networks and studio execs?

  • Lauralee von Husen Albert

    As the episode was closing, I was struck by what a great pilot this was. We got a solid introduction to the new crew and the new Enterprise. They packed so much into this episode with the crew’s interactions with each other and all the fancy new capabilities of the ship. It was completely different from TOS where you just join this crew on their mission, already in progress. It was hilarious how stiff everyone is, but it makes perfect sense as they are just meeting for the first time and must solely rely on Starfleet Protocols as they build relationships with their new crewmates.

    I wonder if the “playback” scene with Riker was a nod to the Menagerie, which, of course, was a repurposed original pilot of Star Trek. However, this playback was for Riker, the first officer who then next goes into the Captain’s ready-room to be grilled about his decisions regarding the safety of his Captain. In the Menagerie, we see another First Officer risk life and career for his former Captain. In the end, all Commanding Officers need a strong 2nd-in-Command who will above all else be loyal to them, including calling them out when they are making bad decisions, they are the only one who can. Commanding Officers become Gods of their little universe, so right off the bat, we’re shown this new Captain comes with a lot of integrity and strength to be able to ask his First Officer to not let him make an ass of himself.

    Picard’s testing of Riker’s intellect, personality and technical skills is needed not only to reassure the Captain that his ship and crew are in good hands when he find’s himself away or incapacitated, but the smooth saucer section and battle bridge connection also showed the crew that this guy knows what he’s doing as evidenced by their impressed glances.

    We got so many good character intros, we see that our familiar calculating robot Spock has been replaced with an actual calculating robot ha ha, but as we will learn throughout the series, where Spock often tried to deny his human half, Data admires humans, emulates humans and wishes he could be a real boy. We get a doctor with a son who will live on this ship along with a crew full of families who will live on this ship, so we already know that although this is the Enterprise, it’s not our parents’ Enterprise. We are prepped and ready for the entirely different story lines that having kids and families on board implicates. Picard must face a new leadership challenge as he is now responsible for not only members of the Federation that have dutifully obligated themselves to service, but must also consider that there are hundreds of “civilians” on board, spouses and children and ay ay ay. Again, we experience right from the start that his priorities are locked in when his ship is faced with peril, he immediately separates the saucer section in an attempt to get the “families” to safety while he and his officers face the danger.

    The more I think about it, the more I’m really impressed by the caliber of this pilot episode, it just had everything in it that we as Star Trek fans look forward to….great characters, progressive thinking, a god-like being judging the worth of humans, sci-fi mystery and a high-speed space chase.

    Very excited to get TNG! and still enjoying the podcast 🙂

  • Low Mileage Pit Woofie

    When this was being aired, I was in the US Air Force, having just completed basic training and having just been stationed at Lowry AFB in Colorado for additional training. I had no TV in my room, and had to scout around the various dorms to find a place with a communal TV that wasn’t being used to watch ALF, MacGyver or something sporty. I remember sitting there eating tater tots and thinking how awesome it was. Star Trek was back! There was even McCoy there to reassure us!
    Watching it now, some of the flaws stick out: how angry and earnest Yar was in defending Starfleet; how obvious Troi was in saying things like, “He’s completely frozen!” about someone who was, well, completely frozen; how the chair carrying Q-as-Postatomic-Judge rocked as it “floated” into the courtroom; how-
    You know what? It doesn’t matter. You gotta start somewhere, and rarely flawlessly.

  • GoodKirk

    Having grown up with and now rewatched all of TOS checking out each of them with the Mission Log podcast and loving them. I am now going to try TNG Mainly so I can follow what Ken and John say about them.
    Sorry from the Pilot here though I like the tribute to the trial scene in The classic old film A Matter of Life and Death, I just find TNG so ugly compared to the aesthetic of TOS still will give it a try