89 – First Contact

Grade B-

First Contact (1991) on IMDb


Commander Riker is in an alien hospital, after having suffered some serious injuries. It soon becomes obvious that none of the people on this planet have ever seen aliens from other worlds. Somehow, Riker has to return to the Enterprise.


Like “Clues”, it takes a little while before we realize what’s actually happening in this episode. So it’s interesting to watch the story unfold. There are some predictable moments, and one unexpected with Bebe Neuwirth, but overall, it’s a pretty good episode.

I like that it mirrors the UFO stories that we’ve all heard about on Earth since 1947, but there’s more to it than just a re-creation of events in Earth’s history. There is some actual drama and some good character moments in this episode that really make it worth watching. Personally, I love it that the values of the Federation are called into question. They say they’re all about “non-interference,” but it’s all over the place. Every other episode is one that challenges the Prime Directive.

Here, we have a serious discussion between the planet’s Chancellor and Captain Picard. Picard says he won’t influence the planet’s natural development, but it has already happened. How can he say that when they’ve already had Federation observers for several months on this planet? I have nothing against Captain Picard, but I do like seeing episodes like this when people actually hold these characters responsible for the decisions they make that are not in harmony with what they say is important to them.

At the end of this episode, the alien Mirasta Yale remains on the Enterprise, but she’s never heard of again. To this day, I can’t understand why they didn’t have a follow-up episode with her character. She would be like one of us, discovering the entire Star Trek universe at the same time that we are. It’s a missed opportunity.

This is one episode you should see, if you haven’t already.

Of Note

It seems the series tried to save as much money as possible on scenery. This planet looks exactly the same as the planet in “Angel One”, from the very first season of this series. I have the photos to prove it. It’s pretty cheesy, if you ask me.