15 user 8 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. Commander Data
Richard Allen Richard Allen ... Tamarian First Officer
Colm Meaney ... Chief Miles O'Brien
Paul Winfield ... Captain Dathon
Ashley Judd ... Ensign Robin Lefler
Majel Barrett ... Enterprise Computer (voice)


The Enterprise approaches the uninhabited Eladrel 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 Darmac, which holds the key to its metaphorical 'code', and thus to the whole situation. Written by KGF Vissers

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis



Official Sites:

Official site



Release Date:

28 September 1991 (USA) See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Paramount Television See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:




Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


Paul Winfield and LeVar Burton share a second serendipity, with the "Roots" made-for-TV specials: Winfield played Dr. Horace Huguley in an episode of "Roots: The Next Generations", while Burton endeared all as Kunta Kinte in the original. See more »


When the Enterprise fires phasers at the Tamarian vessel, the phasers are being fired from the opening where photon torpedoes are launched, and not from the phaser banks on the saucer section. This mistake was fixed for the Blu-Ray release. 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'.
See more »


Referenced in Star Trek: The Next Generation: The Game (1991) See more »


Star Trek: The Next Generation End Credits
Composed by Jerry Goldsmith and Alexander Courage
See more »

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User Reviews

Going Against the Grain
14 November 2018 | by iratherbeSee all my reviews

A frustrating episode within an intriguing concept that just doesn't do it for me. Vastly overrated by much the ST: TNG fan base IMHO.

Just because we like to utter a a few fun yet inane lines such as "Shaka, when the walls fell" or "Darmok & Jalad at Tanagra" over & over does not a great episode make.

I prefer Paul Winfield in 'City Confidential.'

Mediocre at best.

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