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Season Two

Pen Pals

Production # 141
Iotia:DS93 Rating (/5): * * *
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Aired Week Of: 1 May, 1989
Order in Season 2: 15 Order in TNG: 41
Order for all Star Trek series: 146
Original Stardate: 42695.3
Order in Season 2: 15 Order in TNG: 41
Order for all Star Trek series: 149
(Click to order in association with Amazon.com)

Synopsis - On a geological survey mission, Wesley gets his first command as head of the survey team, and Data violates the Prime Directive by opening communication with a young girl whose planet is dying and whose people don't know about interstellar life.

Pen Pals covers two facets in detail. Firstly it deals with how one should handle a first command; particularly when the people under you are older, and more experienced, to a degree. The second, and more important facet deals with the Prime Directive; how absolute is the letter of the law? The facets are intertwined, not just because Wesley's team is studying Sarjenka's home planet, but also in that Wesley expresses a fear of failure and bad judgement; something which Data does, by maintaining contact with Sarjenka. This is the first time in the Next Generation that we see a horse, granted a holographic one; the second time for Trek (the first time was in the first, unaired, Classic Trek pilot, The Cage and its subsequent reuse in The Menagerie). Pulaski's technique to wipe Sarjenka's memory, is referred back to several times later in Trek, starting with the third season episode, Who Watches The Watchers.


Series' Regulars/Irregulars
Captain Jean-Luc Picard™ - Patrick Stewart
Commander William T. Riker™ - Jonathan Frakes
Lietenant Geordi LaForge™ - Levar Burton
Lietenant Worf™ - Michael Dorn
Counsellor Deanna Troi™ - Marina Sirtis
Lieutenant Commander Data™ - Brent Spiner
Acting Ensign Wesley Crusher™ - Wil Wheaton
Doctor Katherine Pulaski - Diana Muldaur
Transporter Chief O'Brien - Colm Meany

Guest Cast
Ensign Davies - Nicholas Cascone
Sarjenka - Nikki Cox
Hildebrandt - Ann H. Gillespie
Allans - Whitney Rydbeck
Prixis - Uncredited
Crew Woman - Uncredited

Teleplay by:

Melinda M. Snodgrass
Story by: Hannah Louise Shearer
Directed by: Winrich Kolbe

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