Darmok was an episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation that aired in 1991. It featured Captain Jean-Luc Picard meeting an alien whose language consisted of metaphors and references. Joel Mintz considered it to be a "total classic". (PROSE: Return of the Living Dad)
Behind the scenes
Darmok was referenced in the novel Return of the Living Dad by Russell T Davies. The basic sysnopsis of a hero trapped on a planet with an alien who can only speak in metaphors and references was an inspiration for Russell T Davies' episode Midnight:
"I've seen lots of Star Trek: The Next Generation, I think it's a lovely show – but there's one episode, the billing for which is so fascinating I've actively avoided ever seeing it. I love the idea so much, I'd rather think about it. Forever. The episode is called 'Darmok,' and the synopsis simply says that Captain Picard is trapped on a planet with an alien who can only talk in metaphors. Wow. That sounds brilliant. How does that work? What happens? How does it end? I've got no idea – not seen it! But it keeps resonating with me.
In 2008, I wrote a Doctor Who episode called 'Midnight.' Is it like 'Darmok'? I don't know. But stripped down to its essentials, it's a story about a hero, an alien, and words. That's practically the same billing. Maybe the two shows are profoundly different, but I know for a fact that all those years of wondering about 'Darmok' led me to that script."
- SFX (200) p. 140