Wednesday, April 17, 2019

The Ensigns of Command

TNG Season 3 Episode 2
Air Date: October 2nd, 1989


The Sheliak whom the Federation have a peace treaty with demand that the people of Tau Cygni V be evacuated in 5 days as part of the treaty. The Federation has no record of a colony on that planet so they send the Enterprise to invesigate. The Tau Cygni system is in a belt that emits radiation that is deadly to Humans, so they can only send Data down in a shuttlecraft. Once Data arrives he discovers a human colony of over 15000 people.

The colony had crashed on Tau Cygni V 92 years before and they had found a way to adapt to the radiation. The leader of the colony Gosheven tells Data that they won't leave and will defend their home. Data tries to plead with them and even scare them. But in the end, he had to use his phaser to destroy their aqueduct to show that the Sheliak can destroy them from orbit if they wanted to.

But even with the colonist willing to leave, Picard had to read through the 500 page peace treaty to find the loophole that would give them more time to evacuate. He finally found a clause that allowed him to have a mediator in a dispute and he chose a race that was in hibernation giving him the time he needed.


In this episode Data befriends a woman from the colony. She herself has some robots of primitive design but still functional. She takes a liking to Data and gives him his first kiss. Data can't reciprocate the emotion but does learn from the occasion.


"Excessive honesty can be disastrous" - Picard

"Gentlemen, we're giving you an assignment. The one thing we don't want to hear is that it's impossible. I need the transporters to function, despite the hyperonic radiation." - Picard
"Yeah, but that's imp, Yes, sir." - La Forge

"He wants the impossible." - Wesley
"That's the short definition of captain." - La Forge

"Sir, if I do not succeed, how violent is the Sheliak reaction likely to be?" - Data
"The treaty is the only thing that prevented them from eradicating the colony the moment they discovered it." - Riker
"Ah." - Data
"Ah is right, Data." - Riker

"Captain - we can do it. We can modify the transporters." - La Forge
"Excellent." - Picard
"It'll take fifteen years and a research team of a hundred." - La Forge
"Mr. La Forge, I believe we will postpone." - Picard

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