Star Trek: The Next Generation
Episode: 101
Season: 5
First aired in: 1991
Stardate: 45047.2

Picard is forced into a dangerous encounter with the captain of an alien starship. Because previous attempts at communicating with the alien race have failed, the aliens decide to take matters into their own hands by putting the two captains in a situation where they will have to work together to survive. The alien captain is killed, but the attempt is otherwise successful, as Picard finally understands how to communicate with them.


The alien race communicates using only allegorical references. For example:

Sokath, his eyes uncovered = a moment of understanding; an epiphany
Shaka, when the walls fell = failure
Kiteo, his eyes closed = "You don't get it"
Darmok and Jalad at Tanagra = uniting against a common enemy

These are very loose translations; visit the related links for more detailed info.

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IMHO one of the five best Star Trek episodes of all time. Very few every capture Gene Roddenberry's original vision the way that this episode does. It is about finding a way to look beyond our way of thinking in order to see another's perspective. In this case, Picard must put himself in the shoes of the alien, in order to understand his language. I have rarely seen an episode so well written and so powerful in the end. If you want to see the best that Star Trek has to offer, this episode is a must.

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