Monday, January 13, 2020


Star Trek TNG
Stardate 42695.3
Writers: Melinda M. Snodgrass

Its Starfleets first and foremost rule - a principle of noninterference with Federation races and cultures, a rule born from painful historical experience. Apparently Starfleet is very serious about the Prime Directive and doesn't like it being violated.

 So while the USS Enterprise NCC 1701-D checks out catastrophic volcanic geothermal activity in the Selcundi Drema System, guess who's fooling around with the hailing frequencies and its not Uhura aka Nichelle Nichols!!

Nope fraid not. Its our friendly android, Lieutenant Commander Data aka Brent Spiner! so what could possibly be going down while he's extending the ship's sensor range?  a female voice from space speaks.... Is anybody out there? Her name is Sarjenka. All DATA had to do was keep quiet.... instead he says YES! Now, Captain Picard has problems.

 Lets face it, Picard isn't over the moon when he realises - Data has ignored the Prime Directive. It's broken man! Now what are we gonna do? Its game over man - haha ok not quite. The female voice, Sarjenka talks to her penpal Data over the Enterprise-D comm panel and Picard listens fuming

Help can be given if asked for which shoulda coulda maybe, really, didn't happen. Its interesting because here's an android not supposed to be swayed by emotion... yet Data kept the "Penpal" communication going for 6 weeks! why? Then you've got Picard who says "Data I want you to sever all contact with Drema 4."

"Data. Data, where are you? Why won't you answer? Are you angry me? Please, please, I'm so afraid. Data, Data, where are you?"
PICARD: "Wait. Oh, Data. Your whisper from the dark has now become a plea. We cannot turn our backs."

Could you have flicked the hailing frequency off?
Was Data right or wrong to break the Prime Directive?
Picard acted on overt emotionalism, exactly the type of thing the Prime Directive is designed to prevent.
Is Picard emotionally out of control in Pen Pals?

Live Long and prosper, Trekkers


  1. Some rules are made to be broken. And emotionalism is not always a bad thing.

  2. Human rules are made to be broken a but voice from space is always a bad thing.

  3. I love this episode. It's so common to dismiss the first two seasons of Next Gen, but they did some really interesting stories.

  4. If they followed the Prime Directive, they would have lost out on some interesting stories.

  5. Breaking the Prime Directive breaks barriers.

  6. Sort of an interesting contrast to "Measure of a Man."


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