Ah, the Ferengi. Back again for more and this time they get some very welcome development. Without delay, originally airing on November 16,1987, this is The Battle.
Stardate 41723.9 The Battle
The Enterprise is requested to rendezvous by a Ferengi ship to ‘discuss’ something of importance. The Ferengi, DaiMon Bok reveals that he is in possession of a ship from Picard’s past, The USS Stargazer. The Ferengi surprisingly offer the ship as a gift of peace, but the gift comes with some unexpected strings attached.
The Ferengi initially make the Enterprise wait with a message of ‘Stand By, Enterprise’. Picard develops a headache, which is odd because, according to Dr. Crusher, he shouldn’t have one.
Wesley boosts the sensors, much to Data’s dismay for some reason, but notices that an old Constellation-class Starship is approaching. Seriously, Data gets really pissed at that point even saying, “We will discuss this later” to Wesley. (it’s really an out-of-place moment for Data, he gets really mad but for no apparent reason) Oh boy, Wesley is on the androids bad side now.
The Ferengi arrive and reveal that the ship is none other than the USS Stargazer, and is presented as a gift to the ‘hero’ of the Battle of Maxia. It turns out that this was Picard’s old ship and he lost it in a battle with an ‘unknown’ ship that attacked them. That ‘unknown’ ship was a Ferengi vessel. Surprise!
It turns out that the Ferengi have rigged the old ship to cause Picard to hallucinate and believe he is back in the past on his old ship. In giving the ship to Picard, Daimon Bok sets a trap to once in for all, destroy the former Captain of the ship that was responsible for the death of Bok’s son at Maxia.
When Picard gets all possessed by the mind device thingy, he, of course, attacks the Enterprise. He uses the famed Picard Maneuver and of course Riker and Data find a way to defeat it so maybe they will have the Anti-Picard Maneuver in the Starfleet Academy books now.
Is this a ‘Good’ Episode:
Absolutely. This is one that gives some serious back story to Picard and really builds on his character. It also allows for further development of the Ferengi in showing their desire for Profit is part of their cultural identity.
From this episode, we get to find out about a key event in Picard’s life that changed made him who he is today. As Captain of the Stargazer, he had to make some choices that ultimately led to the death of his crewmen and the loss of his ship. It seems that Picard has never been able to escape death as this is also the ship that Jack Crusher (Beverly’s late Husband and Wesley’s Father) served on at the time of his death. Jack Crusher died well before the events of this particular battle, but having already dealt with this kind of loss, I have to wonder if Picard was in the right frame of mind when dealing with the unidentified Ferengi ship. That being said, he did go rather irate and intense when he believed he was back aboard the Stargazer. So maybe he needed a good counselor?
One really cool moment is when they discuss the ‘Picard Maneuver’, a method, named after Jean-Luc, in which the helmsman can make the ship appear in two places at once using the warp drive. This maneuver becomes legendary and is even taught at Starfleet Academy.
The series is finally catching it’s stride and it is clearly heading toward great things. Can it stay the course? Only time will tell…
Gleanings and Cool Bits:
I still really dont get why Data was so upset about Wesley boosting the sensors and it had zero followup at all. Was he trying to be a ‘father figure’ or was he doing something with the sensors that Wesley messed up by boosting them? We’ll never know as the never discussed this later. Such a strange moment.
The Picard Maneuver will also be what fans called the action Patrick Stewart made when he pulled down on his shirt to keep his uniform straight after getting the two piece uniforms in later seasons.
This is the first appearance of one of Wesley’s iconic sweaters, the hideously amazing rainbow top!!!
We get a glimpse of Picard’s old crew in one of his hallucinations.
DaiMon Bok returns in a later episode for more revenge.
8 episodes in and Riker has yet to grow a beard.
Thanks for reading the Retro TV Review. I look forward to discussing the rest of the series with you, one episode at a time, every Monday, Wednesday and Friday!
Next Review: Hide and Q
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Late To The Game 01/17/18
Special Thanks to Memory Alpha as they are one of the best sources for details on Star Trek information available. Although I have a pretty deep knowledge on the subject, they have proven invaluable as a regular resource.
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