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The Enterprise-D is out on its maiden voyage to Deneb IV to pick up Commander William Riker when suddenly she encounters a giant space net of some description, and a being that calls himself a "Q". After a reflex action results in the freezing of a Gold Shirt, Q decides to challenge the crew: If they can prove that mankind has put aside their military "nonsense", he'll let them go.
The challenge involves them solving the mystery of Farpoint Station, an outpost on Deneb IV that has been the site of some absolutely bizarre goings-on, mostly in the guise of apples that appear from nowhere and fabric that suddenly changes texture. Of course, all is not as it seems, and the head of Farpoint Station, Groppler Zorn, has a lot to answer for.
- The Cameo: DeForest Kelly as 137-year-old Admiral McCoy
- Early Installment Weirdness: Lots. It's obvious the actors and the writers hadn't quite found the characters yet.
- Humanity on Trial
- Starfish Aliens
- Sufficiently Advanced Aliens: Q
- Values Dissonance: Dr. McCoy's use of "boy" to refer to Lieutenant Commander Data is... disconcerting given the Unfortunate Implications of that word in American history, combined with Data's own civil rights struggles later in the series.