ST:TNG 5.02 Darmok ~ Star Trek: The Next Generation Re-Watch

Picard is taken to a planet with the hopes that it won't end as Shaka, when the walls fell in 5.02 Darmok.

Images Source: TrekCore

Star Trek: The Next Generation Re-Watch continues with ...

Season 5, Episode 2

  • The Enterprise is assigned to connect with The Children of Tama with whom the Federation has yet to have a meaningful connection with and have been described as 'incomprehensible'. The Tamarians transport Picard and their captain to a planet to try and forge a connection, even though they can not understand each other, but eventually it is discovered that their language is spoken purely in metaphor.
    Character Focus:
    • Picard is a focus here, being taken away from the ship and left on the planet with Captain Dathon and no idea how to communicate with each other.
    • The Tamarians (also known as The Children of Tama), and specifically Captain Dathon who is specifically .
    • We also get the power team of Troi and Data working together to figure out how the Tamarians are communicating.
    What I remembered about this episode:
    • I remember being absolutely blown away by the concept of this one. I think it's kind of a frustrating one on first watch because so much time goes by before you start to see the metaphor-as-language, but it's absolutely beautiful to rewatch.
    What I noticed now, that I didn't notice then:
    • Okay, so I didn't notice this myself, but through research Captain Dathon is played by Paul Winfield who was in Star Trek: The Wrath of Khan (the captain of Chekov's ship) as well the police Lieutenant in The Terminator. What a challenge it must have been for him in the role, I wonder what he thought when he first got the script.
    • I think I *always* like the episodes where Data and Troi work together. I wonder why?
    • It seems odd that Data notes that The Tamarians have no self-identity, yet they have names.
    What feels different now, than then:
    • I think one of the reason I really connect to this one is that I think not understanding someone isn't a horrible thing, and how it's kind of exciting to figure it out. Also, you can tell a lot about what someone is trying to convey through emphasis and tone, even if you can't get the specifics.
    What remained the same:
    • I love this episode. I love it! I love the language, and the ritualistic nature of the Tamarians and the idea of risking everything to make contact and connect with other people.
    • Holy smokes, is that a new jacket on Picard? I guess now we have one more way to mark Season 5 and beyond: leather & suede jackets! I wonder if he's the only one that gets one.

    Images Source: TrekCore

    What I see differently:
    • I totally forgot the Tamarian captain dies, and the tragedy of Picard being moments away of being to save him but The Enterprise tired to transported him off the planet.
    • I love how the tables are turned in this one, how it's The Federation that has to be the ones that don't really understand what's going on and have to work to be the learner in the relationship.
    • It was driving me bananas that the crew often worked on the idea that it was some kind of conflict and a test, Worf was very persistent but I guess that is the focus he will tend to have.
    • Did I spot Ashely Judd in Engineering?
    Great Quotes:
    • "But are they truly incomprehensible? In my experience, communication is a matter of patience, imagination. I would like to believe that these are qualities that we have in sufficient measure." - Picard
    • "Darmok and Jalad, at Tanagra" - Captain Dathon
    • "Shaka, when the walls fell." - Captain Dathon
    • "Temba, his arms wide" - Captain Dathon
    Left off at:
    The Enterprise figures out a way to get through the Tamarians scattering field and beam Picard up, although that begins a shoot out between the two ships Picard saves the day by speaking Tamarian to relay he and Captain Dathon became friends but that Dathon passed away.

    Images Source: TrekCore


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