Saturday, March 16, 2019


TNG Season 1 Episode 8
Air Date: November 9th, 1987


The Enterprise discovers a new planet where the people called the Edo are in peace and everything they do is about pleasure. They decide it is a perfect opportunity for shore leave. The initial landing party included Wesley Crusher who while playing with local teenagers stumbled on a garden, a capital offense on the planet. With Wesley sentenced to death, Picard is at odds on what to do, save Wesley or follow the prime directive.

Meanwhile in space, they detect a ship that is only partially in our reality. They are able to communicate with it and find out that these beings look after the Edo below. This puts a technological restriction on the Enterprise who has to convince the aliens that Wesley should be let go. Eventually the ship agrees and lets the away team beam back to the Enterprise.


One of the first episodes of TNG that really deals with the prime directive, though in a flawed way. In future episodes it is clear that if a civilization is pre-warp, the Federation cannot make first contact. The more generic part of the directive is that no citizen of the Federation may influence the natural development of a population. In this case, the people on the planet are definitely not a pre-warp society.

Ignoring that, the dilemma that Picard faces is real. The prime directive does not allow him to stop legal proceedings and by transporting Wesley to the Enterprise, while saving his life will have consequences (though I don't think we ever see said consequences). But in the end it is the right choice.

The Edo are very Original Series kind of characters. They all wore next to nothing, always gazed at others longingly. Their greeting is a sensual embrace which was a little awkward. They had a neat rule that the only way to get from place to place was to run.


"Data, don't babble." - Picard
"Babble, sir? I'm not aware that I ever babble, sir. It may be that from time to time I have considerable information to communicate, and you may question the way in which I organize it." - Data
"Please, organize it into brief answers to my questions." - Picard

"Sharing an orbit with God is no small experience." - Troi

"I don't know how to communicate this, or even if it is possible to do so... but the question of justice has concerned me greatly of late. And so I say to any creature who may be listening: There can be no justice, so long as laws are absolute. Life itself is an exercise in exceptions." - Picard
"The Edo want to execute my son. I will not allow that to happen, Jean-Luc!" - Doctor Crusher
"Most interesting, sir. The emotion of motherhood is, compared to all others felt by human." - Data
"SHUT UP!" - Doctor Crusher
"You were right, sir. I do tend to babble." - Data

"When has justice ever been as simple as a rule book?" - Riker
"Seems the Edo Lord agrees with you, Number One." - Picard

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