25 user 10 critic
Picard must learn to communicate with a race that speaks in metaphor under a difficult set of circumstances.


Winrich Kolbe


Gene Roddenberry (created by), Joe Menosky (teleplay by) | 2 more credits »




Episode cast overview:
Patrick Stewart ... Capt. Jean-Luc Picard
Jonathan Frakes ... Cmdr. William Riker
LeVar Burton ... Lt. Cmdr. Geordi La Forge
Michael Dorn ... Lt. Worf
Gates McFadden ... Dr. Beverly Crusher
Marina Sirtis ... Counselor Deanna Troi
Brent Spiner ... Lt. Cmdr. Data
Richard Allen Richard Allen ... Tamarian First Officer
Colm Meaney ... Chief Miles O'Brien
Paul Winfield ... Capt. Dathon
Ashley Judd ... Ensign Robin Lefler
Majel Barrett ... Enterprise Computer (voice)


The Enterprise approaches the uninhabited El-Adrel solar system, near the territory of the enigmatic, presumably pacific race known as the Children of Tamar, which is now establishing contact. Picard expected fairly easy diplomacy, but the Tamarians first have a row at their side, then transport Picard and their own captain Dathon down to the nearest planet surface, which they make impenetrable behind a particle shield, to pit them for a duel, which Picard is unwilling to engage. Both the captain and his crew on the bridge desperately study the Tamarian language, which they find to be unusually focused on mythical narrative, notably the epic of Darmok, which holds the key to its metaphorical 'code', and thus to the whole situation. Written by KGF Vissers

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TV-PG | See all certifications »

Did You Know?


The type 6 shuttlecraft makes its first appearance in this episode. See more »


As Picard shivers in the cold, watching the sleeping Captain Dathon by the campfire, a strong wind can be heard whistling and howling in the background, yet the trees, bushes, etc., all remain perfectly still. See more »


[first lines]
Captain Jean-Luc Picard: Captain's log, stardate 45047.2 - The Enterprise is en route to the uninhabited El-Adrel system. Its location is near the territory occupied by an enigmatic race known as "The Children of Tama."
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Star Trek: The Next Generation Main Title
Composed by Jerry Goldsmith and Alexander Courage
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User Reviews

In metaphor
25 January 2019 | by bkoganbingSee all my reviews

Paul Winfield guest starred in this TNG episode as an alien captain who is stranded on a planet with Patrick Stewart. The two try desperately to communicate with each other.

A lot of thought went into this episode and it touches on communication something we take for granted. No doubt StarFleet's universal translator was one of the great breakthroughs in history facilitating communications with other races.

What do you do if a race never developed a written language and advanced with an oral tradition? This particular alien race speaks in metaphors that pertain to its history, but who else can possibly understand it.

It's the dilemma of Jean-Luc Picard and the alien Dathan who Paul Winfield plays. A misinterpretation could mean war. It has in our history any number of times.

One of my favorite TNG episodes, Stewart and Winfield are nothing short of brilliant here.

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Release Date:

28 September 1991 (USA) See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Paramount Television See more »
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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:




Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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