36 – The Dauphin

Grade: D+

The Dauphin (1989) on IMDb


The Enterprise is required to transport a young woman named Salia and her governess to another planet, where she will bring an end to a decades-long civil war. Much to her dismay, her governess doesn’t like all the attention she is receiving from Wesley Crusher.


Immediately after the great episode “Measure of a Man”, we get this galactic mess. The writing is just terrible, and the dialogue is awful. At one point in the episode, Salia tells Wesley: “Your language has no word for the position I’ll hold” – what the heck? And can she not even describe it?

Another example is the scene with Riker and Guinan in Ten-Forward. I realize it’s played for laughs, but it’s just awful. Much worse than anything we had to endure in the Star Wars prequels.

The special effects in this episode are absolutely terrible. None of the alien monsters look even the least bit realistic. Maybe there just wasn’t much of a budget for this episode, who knows. All I know is that it looks very cheap, and it makes it difficult to take the episode very seriously.

If there’s one highpoint in this episode, it’s at the end when Wesley is talking with Guinan. After he tells her that he’ll never feel the same way about anyone again, Guinan agrees, much to his surprise. But then she wisely states that every time he’ll fall in love with someone, he’ll never love anyone else the same way again, since it’s always different. Guinan usually has the best lines of any episode that she ever appears in. She’s a great addition to this series.

I get really tired of saying this, but I really wish one of the many love interests in Star Trek would actually work out somehow. But I’ve seen too many near misses that you just know this isn’t going to happen here either. It would have been really nice to have seen this relationship actually go somewhere. Of course, I could say the same thing for literally dozens (or perhaps hundreds) of episodes.

Of Note

M├Ądchen Amick is in this episode, but only for a couple of minutes.

Also, this isn’t the first time we’ve seen shape-shifting aliens in this series. In fact, the first time was in the very first episode of the Original Series, called the Man Trap. It’s a bit odd that nobody on this Enterprise seems to know anything about shape-shifting aliens. Didn’t they watch the Original Series?