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Star Trek TNG - Season 3 - Episode 02

Star Trek TNG - 3x02 - The Ensigns of Command

Originally Aired: 1989-10-2

Data attempts to save a human colony. [DVD]

My Rating - 5

Fan Rating Average - 5.03

Rate episode?

Rating: 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
# Votes: 46 5 8 4 24 29 53 32 37 10 9

- Why did Picard order Riker to make a helm adjustment? No helm officers today?
- In the scenes after Data destroyed the aqueduct, it was functioning perfectly with no damage.


Remarkable Scenes
- The string scene at the beginning.
- Entering Picard: "Are we progressing Mr. LaForge?" Geordi among several failed attempts: "Not like you'd expect, sir." Picard: "Splendid! Splendid! Carry on!" Picard exits.
- Data using reverse psychology.
- Data's attack on the colonists.
- Picard's behavior at the end of the Shelliac negotiations.
- LaForge at the end of the episode regarding the transporter.

My Review
The Sheliac race is a great idea. I only wish we could learn more about them. The colonists on the planet were a bit stereotypical. A malevolent conservative short sighted leader and an offsetting liberal character. The areas the episode is found wanting are made up for in the performances of LaForge, Data, and Picard and the ending was especially humorous and satisfying.

The following are comments submitted by my readers.

  • From DSOmo on 2007-07-06 at 11:24am:
    - At times the Enterprise is so distant that it takes a considerable amount of time to get a message to another ship or planet. For instance, in "The Battle" it took a day to get a message to Starfleet headquarters. Most of the time the Enterprise can communicate instantly. In this episode, Picard wants to talk with the Sheliak home world, Worf says, "Their home world is quite distant. This will take some time." Presumably, Worf comments on the delay because it will take a while for the communications request to reach the Sheliak home world. Yet when Worf finally makes contact, Picard has a dialogue with the Sheliak. There is no delay for transmission time! In other words, Picard would speak a sentence and have to wait while the sentence traveled to the Sheliak. Then the Sheliak would reply, and the reply would travel back.
    - Data pilots Shuttle Craft "05" to the planet. In this episode, the name of the shuttle is Onizuka. However, in the episode "Times Squared," Shuttle Craft "05" was named El-Baz.
  • From paidmailer on 2009-09-24 at 2:32pm:
    I love this episode's Shelliac story. This is the kind of stuff I would like to see more. The colonist scenes were boring, but the whole diplomacy trouble picard found himself in was excellent.
  • From thaibites on 2010-09-24 at 10:28pm:
    Again, we have an episode that focuses on people's feelings more than it does on sci-fi. Does Oprah Winfrey write these episodes? More Sheliac and less human interaction and feelings, please!
  • From John on 2010-12-26 at 12:44am:
    You have to love Data when he basically gets up and says "Quit the BS and pack your bags. I'm done effing around with you people."
  • From CAlexander on 2011-03-29 at 4:52pm:
    I generally liked this episode. It was basically two mini-episodes, each with a fun conclusion. My one reservation is that everyone takes a while to see the obvious. As soon as the colonists start to talk about fighting back, my first reaction was, "How?" But it takes Data forever to mention the obvious point that everyone will be obliterated from orbit and there won't be any fighting back! And the usually cunning Picard is rather slow to realize that the Sheliac won't listen to anything not backed by the treaty.
  • From Damien Bradley on 2015-01-20 at 2:38am:
    I've always liked this episode. Great character development for data, and great buildup to the scene where he uses the phaser. This time around, the scene at the end between Picard and the Sheliak had me giggling like a little kid! "You enjoyed that!" "You're damn right."

    One of my favorite things about this episode was how they didn't handwave/treknobabble away the problem of the transporters not working through the radiation (if it were that easy, it wouldn't be a problem!). No, they really couldn't do it--and they knew that the technological limitations would take years of research to get around. That is a little more realistic!

    Too bad we don't get to see more of O'Brien playing the cello in this series or DS9. Maybe he stopped playing in favor of married life and darts?
  • From Alan on 2020-05-06 at 9:05am:
    Just rewatched the episode . Just noticed that the metal sculpture in Ardys apartment , looks a lot like the battle droids from the Star Wars prequels. Maybe George Lucas was doing some secret Star Trek viewing to get some inspiration.. 🖖😉

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