New Mission Log: Star Trek TNG’s The Last Outpost


The Enterprise is chasing a Ferengi vessel. What is a Ferengi? Exactly. Small and scheming or big and bad? Find out when John and Ken put Star Trek: The Next Generation’s “The Last Outpost” in the Mission Log.

Mission Log 100 – “The last Outpost” (Star Trek: TNG Season 1, Episode 4)

The USS Enterprise-D is in pursuit of a Ferengi vessel suspected of stealing a Federation-owned T-9 energy converter from Gamma Tauri IV. No surprise there. But, it would have been back when this episode first aired in October, 1987, since it was the first time we met the scheming Ferengi race that Harry Kim was warned about at the Academy. When the Enterprise and its Ferengi friends get trapped in a planet draining both ships of their energy, we really get to see what these big-lobed creatures are made of.

While this episode isn’t winning any Episode of the Year awards, it is notable as Armin Shimmerman’s Star Trek debut!






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Now which culture does this remind you of in real life?

(if at all)

Our culture?

It’s one of my favorite early TNG episodes, but I’d prefer the Ferengi to be more dark and dangerous, and most of all, more cunning. The idea of ruthless, savage merchants who would trick you into a deal and then eat you when you fail to fulfill it, that was intriguing. But they end up being a bunch of silly, less-than-clever bat-dwarves who think they can get away with blatantly transparent lies.

As I recall, they primarily traded in shekels…

I think most the alien cultures on Star Trek were based on some type of actual modern actual “culture”. Klingons were… Russians? Romulans were East German? Or Chinese?

When the Ferengi were first introduced they were meant to be the new TNG bad guys. However, it failed. And by the second season they were demoted to comic relief. Then came the profit and rules and obsession with wealth. It was like someone said “How can we take a bunch of Jew jokes and stereotypes and thinly veil them and turn it into an alien!? By the end of TNG and into Ds9 it got worse. Dont get me wrong, I think the Feregi were fun and developed into a full fledged species like the Klingons, but it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out who they were making fun of with the short stature, big noses, money grubbing and trade guild stuff.

(yes, I said Jew.. so sue me. It is NOT racist to point out a stereotype so cease the flame wars before they start please)

Don’t forget–when first mentioned, they were said to EAT their enemies!

@4 Is that meant to be funny?

#4 – Captain Matt – That seems like a pretty blatant Anti-Semitic comment. I hope you didn’t mean it that way.

How did this show make it out of the first season? I can see why TNG caught so much flak from fans.

At this point, I was really worried.
Not only did Trek seem to retain its love of styrofoam rocks, but it had only offered endearments for a few of the characters. I think we all like Geordi and Picard immediately, and maybe Data. Hated my namesake. Yes, Jonathan found his feet eventually and he really is a good actor, but in these early eps… yikes! Yar was 1-D. Troi was even more annoying than Wesley. Crusher hadn’t really registered yet.

I am so grateful TNG got the time it needed, but at this point in time it really looked like so many other failed do-overs.

Ferengi as shown here? Bwahahahahaahaaaa!

I really liked this episode… good intro to a classic race…

I liked the way they were zoomed-in on the display, and expressed disgust for human appearance… and their energy whips were cool too! =)

and the way they pronounced it: “Hue-Mon”… ;-)

Pretty terrible and embarrassing, but credit to the writers/producers for quickly realizing that the Ferengi wouldn’t do as Starfleet’s primary strategic adversary for the series, and substituting the Romulans. So much of the fun in Trek is having cool alien antagonists you can at least partially identify with–the Ferengi definitely weren’t it.

I’m very much enjoying the mission logs, btw. I’m listening to the current ones while catching up on the TOS (and TAS) ones.

I tend to give points for entertainment value more easily than John and Ken seem to. For instance, I enjoy Catspaw, even though I can pick it apart pretty easily. I like Miri, although I understand their nits picked about the “another Earth” angle going nowhere… and certainly the valid point that Kirk is leering at a 12-year-old girl. I tend to care less about the slow eps, including The Empath, The Mark of Gideon, and That Which Survives.

Question: Is The Computer the same “gal” who is in the current iPhone commercials? The one who says, “I can’t do that.”

Leering at a 12 year old girl?

Was Miri suppose to have been

portrayed as being that young?

I’m confused…will someone set

me straight or better yet provide

a video clip of his leering? Thanks!

14 – Puberty is a “death sentence” on Miri’s world. She is nascent… 12, if she’s like a human, maybe 13 but no more. Kim Darby would have been 18 or 19 when she filmed that ep. Shat was 35, while Kirk is approximately 33.

Any way you cut it, it’s creepy. And yes, Shat’s turning on the charm.
So… eeeeoooow.

8. The idea that the Ferengi began (and continued as?) as anti-Semitic caricatures ain’t new…

The Ferengi weep rent supposed to be Jewish stereotypes. They were supposed to represent 20th Century Americans (of all races etc). Watch the extras on the DS9 DVDs.

Oops… ” weren’t supposed to be”.

Certainly not my favorite episode. I too was concerned about TNG by this point. I was encouraged by the end of the first season with “Conspiracy” in particular. I am glad Paramount gave TNG the time it needed to develop into a great show though. By season 3 it really was firing on all thrusters.

I didn’t think this was a terrible episode. I was curious about who the Ferengi were after reading articles at the time that they would be the new villain and hearing about them in “Encounter at Farpoint.” But obviously it didn’t turn out quite like they planned. I do think the writers made the right call with them down the line. Star Trek represented many facets of humanity today, and the Ferengi represent the ultra-capitalists, a group not really represented by any previous species. Deep Space Nine especially did a good job fleshing out the Ferengi and gave them more depth.

Canadian ST fans: The TNG doc ” William Shatner Presents: Chaos on the Bridge”, airs tonight at 9 p.m. ET/MT on HBO Canada.


I’m Jewish, and it never occurred to me that the Ferengi were supposed to be representative of any Jewish stereotype. As portrayed on “the Last Outpost” they were merely annoying and stupid. The good uber-capitalist stuff came much later.

It’s a lousy episode, but I did enjoy the holographic display in the briefing room sequence and was sorry they never used it again.