Episode: 1.09 The Battle (11-16-87)
Redshirt Status: 0/1
This episode we get three things: Picard backstory, more of Ferangi customs/history, and Riker in his less happy duties as first officer.
The Ferengi contact the Enterprise, wishing to start communications towards a friendly interaction between the two communities. To that effect, Daimon Bok has offered to return the ship USS Stargazer, a constellation class starship that was one of Picard’s former commands.
Most of the crew find this…odd. They want to trust the Ferengi, but years of problems between the two species have left a lot of suspicion. However, its not just the crew that is feeling suspicious in this episode, it is also Bok’s crew. They don’t understand why there is no profit, something very important to the Ferengi.
Turns out, they were all right. Daimon Bok has a grudge to furfill. Picard was attacked by a group of Ferengi about 9-10 years before. He was badly damaged but managed to pull off the ‘Picard Maneuver’ and destroy the Ferengi vessel. Bok’s son was the Daimon on that ship. He has spent the last decade planning revenge. In the end it is by using a device that transmits thoughts into someone’s mind, or draws out memories.
In this case, Bok decides to make Picard relive his time on the Stargazer, giving him massive headaches. Eventually he goes fully into the delusion, relieving the past only instead of the Ferengi vessel attacking him, he attacks the Enterprise thinking they are one in the same.
Eventually Riker gets through to him, and Bok’s first officer takes control from him and no one ends up dying, but its pretty close.
This episode is good at giving us some good Picard story to learn about him as a character. This was a defining moment in his life. It also shows that even having only been their captain for a matter of months, Picard has gotten their respect and their conviction that he is a good man.
Riker also does well in this episode, as it shows him what he can to support his captain. I feel it shows he’d be a good captain once he gets the position, something that Starfleet eventually agrees given the amount of times he’s offered such a post. Picard has some things to teach him, but he’s got the basics.
I don’t think however its good at showing the Ferengi at their best. Perhaps that is because they are still considering the Ferengi as a villain.
- Written by Herbert Wright on the story by Larry Forrester
- Directed by Rob Bowman
- The bridge of the Stargazer was a repurposed bridge from the films, and was previously used for the battle bridge in the pilot (which I don’t think we see ever again)
- Patrick Stewart does amazing.
- Introduces the Picard Maneuver.
- Over the course of the first season there are some statements that sound so pretentious it makes me want to scream. The idea that headaches were so rare anymore has always bugged me. It must have come across badly to writers too, because they don’t seem to keep that particular idea continuing. TNG gets less pretentious as time goes by I think.