Star Trek: The Next Generation’s pilot episode, Encounter at Farpoint, was a seminal piece of work, ushering in the modern era of Star Trek. It hasn’t exactly aged well, but I’ve grown very fond of it in repeat viewings.
Here are the 21 best random things about Farpoint.
1. Picard’s Introduction
A striking shot with Picard coming out of the darkness, with half his face covered in shadow.
2. Data’s Finger Twirl
And here we have our first look at Data, as he lifts his hands from his console and twirls them about. Why does he do this? Is he cracking his knuckles? Imitating someone cracking his knuckles? I don’t know, but I like it.
3. The Skant Uniform
Mentioning this is a requirement.
4. Saucer Separation Tire Screech
As the separated Enterprise’s stardrive section whizzes by the camera, we hear what’s best described as a “burning rubber” sound effect.
5. Judge Q’s Bumpy Ride
Q’s throne moves on a track and his head jerks and bobs everywhere. When I drive on a bumpy road, I pretend I’m Q.
6. This Person’s Hat
The naked umbrella is a popular fashion choice in the post-apocalypse.
7. Groppler Zorn’s Handshake Fail
Also how he and Riker end their conversation with “good morning.”
8. Farpoint Mall Merchant
Giving creepy stares is bad customer service.
9. Awkward Tasha
Tasha thinks Picard’s finished talking, so she takes a step forward, then realizes he’s not finished, and takes a step back.
10. Riker Watches Encounter at Farpoint
Upon meeting Captain Picard for the first time, Riker is given his first order – to watch Encounter at Farpoint. I have never felt as close to Riker as I do in this scene.
11. Picard’s Mug
It looks like he got it from Target.
12. Admiral McCoy Cameo
You think I’d forget this? Even the Farpoint haters like this scene.
13. Giddy Picard
He’s excited to see how the U.S.S. Hood responded to his “Bon voyage, mon ami” message…almost too excited.
14. Worf Almost Blows a Hole in the Viewscreen
When Q appears on it. Silly Worf!
15. This Vulcan Guy
Shows up three times in the episode because he’s awesome. His son (or mini-Vulcan companion) wildly swings his arms and appears to snap his fingers as he walks because he’s also awesome.
16. Wandering Eyes
This ensign blatantly checks out Riker’s ass after he asks her for directions.
17. Data’s Weird Smile
When he lifts Wesley in the holodeck.
18. Data Sitting Up
He does it in such a robotic way to reinforce the fact he’s an android. Sometimes this is how I get out of bed in the morning.
19. This Shot
Everyone’s here! Well, except the Crushers.
20. The Space Jellyfish are Different Colors
I thought that was a neat little detail not apparent until the episode’s recent remastering.
21. End Credits
The only time in the show’s history where the credits scroll up as in a film (Farpoint was marketed as a television movie). P.S. Babs Subramaniam is a very cool name.