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Captain's Holiday (episode)

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"Captain's Holiday"
TNG, Episode 3x19
Production number: 40273-167
First aired: 2 April 1990
66th of 176 produced in TNG
66th of 176 released in TNG
  {{{nNthReleasedInSeries_Remastered}}}th of 176 released in TNG Remastered  
173rd of 728 released in all
Risa tourist resort
Written By
Ira Steven Behr

Directed By
Chip Chalmers
43745.2 (2366)
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Picard takes a much-needed vacation on Risa, but unwelcome events keep interfering with his rest.



Two aliens, a male and a female, beam to a resort on the surface of Risa. The female queries the resort's computer about the location of Jean-Luc Picard's room, only to be informed that he hasn't arrived yet. When asked when he will arrive the computer states it has no reservation on file under that name. While the male wonders about the situation, the female states: "He will come".

The USS Enterprise-D is returning from a two week mission on Jemaris V where Picard mediated a commercial treaty between two very stubborn participants. Counselor Troi tells Commander Riker how difficult it was to come up with the agreement. Picard arrives on the bridge, orders the ship to Starbase 12, and then goes to his ready room. Picard doesn't show any joy when Riker congratulates him, so Troi suggests to Riker that what the captain really needs is a vacation.

Act One

Doctor Crusher enters Picard's ready room as he is working with a stack of PADDs. She tells him that a crew member is working himself too hard and starts listing the symptoms that this crew member is manifesting. As Picard rubs his neck Crusher mentions that one of the symptoms is muscle spasms, and Picard clues in to what she's doing; she ends up advising him to take a week off. Crusher says she could order Picard to take a vacation, but Picard replies that he knows she won't. He defends himself by saying that during the week-long starship maintenance on Starbase 12 he will make use of all the entertainment facilities available. The doctor is not appeased and tells him instead to go to somewhere nice.

In the turbolift, Riker hints to Picard that he should take a holiday, but Picard brushes him off. Upon arriving on the bridge, Troi mentions that when the Enterprise arrives at Starbase 12 her mother will be present and is looking forward to catching up with Riker and Picard. Picard asks to speak to Riker privately in his ready room, drawing a brief cheer from Troi; and asks if everyone on the ship is conspiring together to get him to go on vacation. Riker concedes but notes that two ensigns on deck 39 may not know about the plan. Picard finally gives in and starts planning to vacation somewhere Riker suggested: Risa. Just before Picard leaves Riker asks him to bring back a local souvenir called a Horga'hn.

Picard beams down to Risa and is immediately kissed by Vash, a woman he's never met. She is eying a Ferengi across the lobby. She claims to have mistaken Picard for someone else and walks off.

Act Two

Picard is reading a book on a deck chair in a public place. A local female valet, Joval, interrupts him asking if she could do something for him. Picard, annoyed, replies she is the fifth woman to ask the very same thing that day and tells her that he wants to be left alone. Joval is baffled by Picard's behavior as he says to be left alone, yet is also showing the Horga'hn. Once Picard understands the symbolic implications of the Horga'hn, Jovan walks away, and Picard is quick to hide the Horga'hn to avoid further hassles.

The same Ferengi from the lobby covertly approaches Picard, telling him it is a big mistake to work with "her" and to ask "her" to return his disk immediately. Picard says that there has to be a mistake because he doesn't know what the Ferengi is talking about. The Ferengi orders Picard to talk about the business with him, and Picard replies that a Ferengi order doesn't count for him. When the Ferengi angrily replies, Picard stands up and states again that he doesn't know this woman or about the disk, and he is on Risa only for vacation. The Ferengi goes away after declaring the disk is his.

As Picard returns on the deck chair, Vash arrives. As Vash talks about his encounter with the Ferengi Picard realizes that she is the woman the Ferengi was referring to, and he leaves looking for tranquility. At this very moment the Ferengi returns. Picard starts to move away towards his room, and Vash stealthily hides a disk inside his pocket.

When Picard returns in his room he finds the two aliens who were waiting him before. They tell him they are Vorgons, and they claim to be a security team from the 27th century.

Act Three

The Vorgons are looking for the Tox Uthat, an artifact built in 27th century that is sought after by criminals and was hidden somewhere nearby in this time. Picard says he knows about the legend, and the Vorgons respond that history in the future indicates that Picard will find the Tox Uthat while he is on the planet. Picard says that he hasn't found the artifact yet, and the Vorgons want to know what will happen if he does. Picard simply states that he knows it belongs in the future, and the Vorgons transport out of his room. Just as the Vorgons leave Picard reaches into his pocket and finds the disk.

Picard arrives at Vash's door while she's cleaning up a huge mess. She says that Sovak, the Ferengi, has taken to rifling through her room looking for the disk every once in a while. Picard shows her the disk and speculates it has something to do with the Tox Uthat. She is surprised, replying that the last thing she needs is a business partner. She tells Picard that she was an assistant to professor Samuel Estragon for the last 5 years. He was a researcher who spent half his life looking for the Tox Uthat. The disk contains new data and maps on the Tox Uthat's position. She admits that the Ferengi also sometimes worked with the professor, and now it is difficult for her to search for the artifact without Sovak noticing. Picard proposes to go after the Tox Uthat, but she wants to come as only she knows how do decode data on the disk. Picard accepts the proposal.

Sovak, brandishing a pistol, stops Picard and Vash just as they're leaving the hotel. Picard asks whether he knows that weapons are not allowed on Risa, but Sovak just demands the disk again and threatens to kill Picard. Sovak reveals that he paid Vash to steal the disk but she betrayed him and used his money to travel to Risa. Vash denies this and stops him saying she'll give him what he wants, and throws her pack at Sovak. While Sovak is off balance Picard steals the pistol and punches him in the face, knocking him out.

Act Four

Vash and Picard enter the cave that Vash says is the place they've been looking for. Halfway into the journey they decide to camp for the night. Vash reveals she hasn't been completely truthful with him, which doesn't come as a surprise to Picard. Sovak indeed paid her for the disk and she used the money to reach Risa. Picard notices how a woman who beats a Ferengi at his own game surely deserves consideration. Vash states that this adventure is more suitable for Picard than the boring vacation he had originally planned. He does admit that he is enjoying this. After talking about how the two met and how they are similar they exchange a kiss. Vash asks if he thinks she is trouble and he replies that she surely is.

The next day Vash and Picard arrive where the Tox Uthat is hidden. Due to the composition of the rock in the cave Vash can't get a good reading on her tricorder. Picard pulls two shovels out of his pack and advises Vash to start digging. As they prepare to begin digging the Vorgons materialize on a ledge above the pit saying they just want to watch Picard discover the Uthat. Vash is furious that Picard didn't tell her about them. Immediately after that Sovak appears with a rifle. He followed Vash and Picard thanks to a half burned copy of the disk found in Vash's room. Sovak orders Picard and Vash to start digging.

Picard and Vash dig a large pit. Eventually Picard throws down his shovel and gives up after it becomes apparent that there is nothing there. Seems to Picard that the professor was wrong with his data, even if he did seem to have incontrovertible evidence. The Vorgons notice that this is very strange and they disappear. Sovak, panicked, hurries to dig himself as Picard and Vash exit the cave.

Upon returning to the resort, Vash tells Picard that she wants to be alone for some time. Picard returns to his room and Riker contacts him. He advises the captain that the Enterprise is in orbit and ready to beam him back. Picard asks him to wait a little while but stand ready to activate Transporter Code 14.

Vash is about to leave when Picard calls to her from a table. She claims to be on her way to say goodbye to Picard. Picard asks where she's hidden the Tox Uthat. Picard tells her that if she really wanted to keep Sovak from finding the cave she would have completely destroyed the disk. He tells her she wanted Sovak to follow them to convince him that the Tox Uthat could not be found. In reality she recovered the Tox Uthat as soon as she arrived on Risa. Vash concedes that this is true, and opens the head of a Horga'hn she's carrying to reveal a large gemstone. As Picard picks it up the Vorgons appear. Vash claims that the professor's notes stated that two Vorgons initially tried to steal the Uthat. Picard asks the Vorgons to prove their identity, and one of them draws a pistol. Vash tries to take the Uthat and the Vorgon stuns her. Picard then tells the Enterprise to initiate code 14 with a two-second delay, then drops the Uthat and runs. The Uthat explodes, and the Vorgons say that Picard's real destiny was to destroy the Uthat; a destiny he has fulfilled. They transport away, and Picard seems to take care of Vash.

Act Five

Picard prepares to leave the planet. Vash says she next plans to explore ruins on Sarthong V, and Picard angrily reminds her what the inhabitants (Sarthongians) do to trespassers. She claims his outburst means that he does care about her, and they share a kiss. Picard says that since the Vorgons now know where and when to look for the Uthat they may have to meet and do this all over again.

Picard, now back in uniform, returns to the Enterprise's bridge and is welcomed back by Riker, who informs him that the repairs have been made and that the ship in now in a splendid condition. Picard tells Riker that they need to have a chat about the Horga'hn. Troi asks him whether he had a good time on Risa. Picard turns, thinks for a moment, smiles slightly and says "uh-huh." Riker grins and says "I knew he had a great time!".

Memorable Quotes

"Have you decided where you are going yet?"
"Yes, I have. Bridge!"

- Riker and Picard, in the turbolift

"Our Captain needs a vacation."

- Troi

"Have I mentioned how 'imaginative' the Risian women are, Captain?"
"Too often, Commander."

- Riker and Troi, discussing Risa with Picard

"The more difficult the task, the sweeter the victory."

- Riker

"A simple handshake would have sufficed."

- Picard, after being kissed by Vash on Risa

"So! The betrayer is herself betrayed!"

- Sovak

"You're becoming quite annoying, Sovak."

- Picard

"Look, I don't mean to appear rude, but I am not seeking jamaharon."
"All right. But you really should try it some time."
"If I 'try it', it will be at a time of my own choosing."

- Picard and Vash

"I prefer to be acquainted with the women that I kiss."

- Picard

"Someone you love."
"I wouldn't go that far."

- Joval and Picard, on his feelings for Riker

"Was it a relaxing trip, Captain?"
(Picard stops and turns to face Troi with a smile.)

- Troi to Picard

Background information

Story and production



  • Ira Steven Behr later wrote the Deep Space Nine episode "Let He Who Is Without Sin...", in which Worf, Jadzia Dax, Quark, Julian Bashir and Leeta visit Risa. The script of the DS9 episode notes that Worf and Dax's room is similar to Picard's here. The script also tells the production staff to "please lose the ceiling fans", that were seen in this episode. [1]
  • This episode marks the second appearance of an Andorian in the series, the first having appeared in "The Offspring", as one of Lal's potential android forms.
  • Technology to stop all nuclear fusion within a star would later be developed by Tolian Soran in Star Trek Generations.
  • Miles O'Brien mentions this incident in the novel Inferno after the universe is destroyed in 2400 as a result of the Bajoran wormhole meeting and consuming a red wormhole created by the Pah-wraiths, citing Picard's encounter with time travellers from the 27th century as a means of proving to his current 'crew'- consisting of Quark, Rom, Odo and Garak- that it is possible for them to change history so that timelines where the universe didn't end in 2400 come into existence.


  • Director Chip Chalmers remarked, "'Captain's Holiday' is one of my favorites because it was the first. This episode was also terrific because Patrick is such a wonderful actor. The other thing for me is that I got a wonderful actress, Jennifer Hetrick, and we had such a good time working on the show...I can look back at that show and smile for a lot of reasons, but certainly the happiest result is that we proved Patrick Stewart is extremely funny." (Captains' Logs: The Unauthorized Complete Trek Voyages, p. 195)

Video and DVD releases

Links and references


Also starring

Guest stars


Uncredited co-stars



22nd century; 27th century; 2361; Achrady VII; Andorians; Antican; Archaeology; astrophysics; Dachlyds; Dano, Kal; Daystrom Institute; deuterium tank; Estragon, Samuel; Ethics, Sophistry and the Alternate Universe; Federation; Gemarians; Gemaris V; holodeck; Horga'hn; hoverball; Icor IX; jamaharon; Joyce, James; Kuda, Ving; Risa; Risians; Sarthong V; Sarthongians; sextant; shore leave; Starbase 12; Starithium; stellar cluster; Tox Uthat; Transporter Code 14; trespassing; Troi, Lwaxana; Ulysses; Vorgons; Zytchin III

Previous episode:
Star Trek: The Next Generation
Season 3
Next episode:
"Tin Man"

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