First Contact (Star Trek: The Next Generation)

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This article is about the Star Trek: The Next Generation episode. For the feature film, see Star Trek: First Contact.
"First Contact"
Star Trek: The Next Generation episode
Episode no. Season 4
Episode 15
Directed by Cliff Bole
Teleplay by Dennis Russell Bailey
David Bischoff
Joe Menosky
Ronald D. Moore
Michael Piller
Story by Marc Scott Zicree
Featured music Ron Jones
Production code 189
Original air date February 18, 1991 (1991-02-18)
Guest actors
Episode chronology
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"Clues"
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"Galaxy's Child"
List of Star Trek: The Next Generation episodes

"First Contact" is the 15th episode of the fourth season (and the 89th episode overall) of the science fiction television series Star Trek: The Next Generation.

During an away mission to observe a pre-warp civilization, Commander Riker is injured and brought to a hospital, where the locals quickly realize he's not from their world. Despite the attempted intervention of the planet's sympathetic science minister, Picard and Troi's efforts to retrieve the first officer are stymied by the government's concern about the social crisis that a widespread revelation of Riker's presence could trigger.

Plot[edit]

The humanoid race of Malcor III is preparing to develop warp drive technology. Science Minister Mirasta Yale, lead researcher on their warp experiments, is suddenly visited by Picard and Deanna Troi. They calm her and explain that they come in peace. They have come to make first contact, but they have had to move ahead of schedule because Riker, disguised as a Malcorian to gather information on Malcorian society, is missing. After touring the USS Enterprise, Mirasta agrees to help and arranges a private meeting with Chancellor Durken. After the meeting, Picard returns with Durken to the Enterprise and explains the benefits of joining the Federation. Durken remains concerned and requests time to consider it.

Meanwhile, Riker has been detained by security forces in a hospital, where he is barely conscious following an accident. The hospital administrator tells Riker that he suspects Riker is an extraterrestrial, and that he will not be allowed to leave. Riker is aided in his escape by a nurse who expresses her wish to "make love with an alien". Riker accepts her offer, but the escape attempt fails when the guards catch and beat him, worsening his condition. Riker's presence at the hospital is reported to Security Minister Krola, who accuses Durken of hiding the truth about the "alien" presence. The Chancellor expresses his concerns to Picard about the Federation's covert intrusion, but he is still considering a relationship with the Federation. Krola, fearing a hostile invasion by the Federation, endangers Riker's health by reviving him prematurely so he may be interrogated. He tries to frame Riker as a murderer by shooting himself with Riker's phaser. The Enterprise crew, able to locate Riker with Mirasta's help, bring both Riker and Krola back to the ship; they discover that Riker's phaser was only set to stun, and Krola was in no real danger.

After Krola is returned to the planet, Durken tells Picard that he feels Malcor is not ready for first contact. He fears his people are not mature enough to handle the startling announcement that they are not alone in the universe. He requests that the Enterprise leave the planet, though they may be able to return at a later time. With Mirasta's warp project cancelled, she asks Picard if she can join his crew, and Picard agrees.

Reception[edit]

The episode ranked eighth in Entertainment Weekly '​s list of top 10 Star Trek: The Next Generation episodes.[1]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "'Star Trek: The Next Generation': The Top 10 Episodes". EW.com. 2007-09-20. Retrieved 2012-07-10. 

External links[edit]