Encounter at Farpoint[1]
Stardate(s) 41153.7 - 41174.2
Star Trek The Next Generation Episode A-01/A-02
Data and Leonard McCoy

Data (Brent Spiner) escorting Leonard McCoy (DeForrest Kelly) during the Admiral's inspection tour.

Production Info
Director Corey Allen
Story by
Screenplay by D.C. Fontana & Gene Roddenberry
Production Code
IMDB Ref tt0094030
Previous Episode Produced
Next Episode Produced
Transmission Info
Season 1
Episode 1
Airdate 26 September 1987
Previous Episode Transmitted NONE
Next Episode Transmitted The Naked Now
Previous Star Trek Generations (23rd Century section)
Next The Naked Now


On the maiden mission of a new Enterprise, the God-like being known as Q challenges the crew to discover the secret of a mysterious base in a truly intelligent & civilized fashion.

Errors and Explanations - Internet Movie DatabaseEdit

Character errorEdit

  1. When Troi explains to Gropler Zorn that she's only half-Betazoid, she justifies herself by pointing out that her father was a Starfleet officer. Does that rule out the possibility of him being Betazoid? Obviously not, for Starfleet is a multi ethnic organization. This could be due to most aliens regarding Starfleet as a human only organisation.
  2. When Q appears on the bridge as a 20th-century US military officer, he is wearing the rank insignia of a Captain, probably in an attempt to portray Picard's rank. However, in the branch it is supposed to depict, Captain is equivalent to a full Lieutenant, since Starfleet uses the Navy's rank system, not the Marines' or Army's. Either Q got confused, or he was testing Picard's knowledge of Earth's military history.[1]


  1. Data apparently has not been programmed to use contractions. Yet he says the word "can't" at least once. In this episode it is established that Data is unable to use contractions, but uses them at least 32 times. See the Character error section on the series entry for a possible explanation
  2. The "Q bubble" is meant to surround the Enterprise, but when the saucer-less Enterprise surrenders, the near edge of the bubble is clearly behind it. Q could have left a small gap in the field for some reason.
  3. Captain Picard is explaining to Data the details of the mission, Cut to Data sitting at the conn pressing buttons, paying attention to that. Cut to bridge fore and Data is looking up with a perplexed look on his face. Perhaps Data is analysing the information he has just received from Picard.
  4. As we see Riker from behind when he enters the holodeck to find Data, there are shadows behind him. When the POV changes and we see Riker entering from within the holodeck, the shadows are in front. Refracted light, perhaps?
  5. Riker tells Data that he checked Data's records. Apparently he didn't read them very well. He doesn't realize that Data's rank is real, not honorary, and that he graduated from Starfleet. Perhaps he wanted to elicit direct confirmation from Data by implying the rank was honorary.[1]

Incorrectly regarded as goofsEdit

  1. During the first scene on the bridge, when Troi senses the Q-being, Picard refers to her as 'Commander'. But later on the planet's surface, Riker tells her, "You have your orders, Lieutenant." Actually, her rank through most of the series is that of a lieutenant commander, and although the usual form of address would be 'Commander', it appears that either appellation can be used for that rank. ' This is likely due to Riker wanting to emphasise his seniority. (See The Best of Both Worlds Part 2 entry for another example)
  2. When the saucer separates, it is shown drifting away, on the view screen it goes a pretty far distance, yet when it changes screens, the saucer is closer to the ship then the view screen image. However, such effects are normal when two images are seen through different optical systems. For example, if the screen was set to a wide field display, then things could appear much further away than they really were.[1]

Nitpicker's GuideEdit

Plot OversightsEdit

  1. Data not knowing the meaning of the word snoop. This could be a ploy by Dr. Soong to make Data seem less of a threat to the colonists than Lore. (See the entry for Datalore)
  2. Picard’s log entry when Q arrives. Picard could have made the log entry, without looking away from Q, during the title and opening credits.
  3. Data being included in the group put on trial. This could be due to his desire to become more human.
  4. O’Brien not being put on trial. He was not on the Main Bridge when Q first appeared. (In addition, he was probably not considered important enough to stand trial for the crimes of humanity, as shown by Q referring to O'Brien as 'one of the little people' when they met on Deep Space 9).
  5. The fruit bowl full of apples that appears in Zorn's office. The creature could have made this from the soil around the office. (YUCK!)
  6. Riker failing to notice Troi on the security recording. He was probably concentrating on what happened to Lt Torres.
  7. Riker asking the ensign for assistance in locating Data. He may be testing the ensign on her knowledge and ability to relay information, as well as wanting to brief Data in private.
  8. Data’s statement about him graduating with the class of 78. This could be a reference to the term number.

Changed PremisesEdit

  1. Non use of the heel and nod salute in subsequent episodes. Picard could have ordered his crew to discontinue the practice, probably due to it's resemblance to a salute used by the Nazis.
  2. Crusher's change of opinion regarding Command duty between this episode and Descent. She may have developed a liking for command duty after her stint as head of Starfleet Medical.
  3. Data’s display of emotion when pulling Wes out of the stream in the holodeck. This could have been faked in order for him to fit in with Starfleet.
  4. Wes offering to clean up the water spillage. The self-clean system may not being fully operational at this point.
  5. Troi no longer deeply experiencing the emotions of others after this episode. The immense pain projected by the trapped creature could have prompted Troi to undergo extra training, in order to limit her exposure after this mission.

Equipment OdditiesEdit

  1. Picard using the word printouts. This could be a reference to the monitor screens, as part of a ploy to confuse Q.
  2. The Saucer remaining at Warp Speed for so long after separation. The warp field must extend around the saucer section during warp speed separation.
  3. The holodeck wall blurring when Data's rock hits it. Either Data programmed the holodeck to blur the scenery, or the holodeck still has a few kinks in it!
  4. The away team beaming back to the ship while the shields were raised. Picard could have arranged for some of the ventral shields to remain down to allow emergency transport.
  5. Phaser beam coming from the centre of the saucer section. There could be a phaser emitter built into the underside of the captain’s yatch, which located in the centre of the lower half of the saucer. (In the Remastered Blu-ray version of the episode, the shot was altered, with the energy beam now coming from the lower phaser strip.[2])

Continuity and Production ProblemsEdit

  1. Data wiggling his fingers and scratching his armpit. Possibly part of his quest to understand humanity.
  2. Picard and Troi apparently repeating their head movements when the Q force field appears. They could have quickly looked around between the close up and the wide shot.
  3. Disappearance of the two crew members in the hall. They could have ducked into a nearby room.
  4. Zorn's name being spelt out in the window. He may not have wanted a name plate cluttering up his desk.
  5. Yar wearing the “Cosmic Cheerleader” outfit. This is one of the standard uniform options.

Ex Astris ScientiaEdit

  1. Q states that they are in a courtroom of ‘79’. One would suppose that to be from 2079. In Star Trek: First Contact, they visit the moment Humans first meet an extraterrestrial race, this as they say took place in 2063, 16 years before the period stated by Riker as being the ‘post atomic horror’. We were led to believe though that after the first contact incident that Humanity started to make ‘rapid progress’. It can’t have been that rapid if nearly two decades later they remain in oppression and anarchy, and what would appear to be a savage and corrupt police state (judging by the drug sniffing soldiers arbitrarily firing machine guns). Something could have happened to cause the rapid progress of society to partly relapse.
  2. There is a peculiar costume oddity here. Just as everyone is rushing around prior to the saucer separation, there is a man, walking down a corridor, wearing one of those Starfleet miniskirts, the type worn by Troi in this first episode. Is this a 24th century fetish thing!? As stated in item 5 of the Nitpicker's Guide Continuity and Production Problems section, this is one of the standard uniform options.[3]


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 IMDB entry tt0094030
  2. Ex Astris Scienta - Re-mastered STTNG Blu ray episodes
  3. Ex Astris Scienta - Encounter At Farpoint

Season 1
Encounter at Farpoint ; The Naked Now ; Code of Honor ; Haven ; Where No One Has Gone Before ; The Last Outpost ; Lonely Among Us ; Justice ; The Battle ; Hide and Q ; Too Short a Season ; The Big Goodbye ; Datalore ; Angel One ; 11001001 ; Home Soil ; When the Bough Breaks ; Coming of Age ; Heart of Glory ; The Arsenal of Freedom ; Skin of Evil ; Symbiosis ; We'll Always Have Paris ; Conspiracy ; The Neutral Zone
Community content is available under CC-BY-SA unless otherwise noted.