Real World article
(written from a Production point of view)

Captain Picard engages in a deadly contest of wills with an ambitious Starfleet captain!

The Captains' Honor is a Pocket TNG novel – #8 in the numbered series – written by David and Daniel Dvorkin. Published by Pocket Books, it was first released in September 1989.


From the book jacket
A series of vicious attacks by the M'Dok Empire has devastated the planet Tenara – bringing the USS Enterprise-D and another starship, the Centurion, to the planet's aid. The Centurion captain is Lucius Sejanus – a powerful, magnetic man who favors taking a far stronger stance against the M'Dok than Captain Picard. And as the conflict escalates, Sejanus's instincts seem to be correct… for it appears only extreme measures can stop the murderous raids on Tenara.
Now the people of Tenara must decide which path they will follow – the way of peace, or the road to war. But unknown to any, one of the Centurion officers has made that decision for them – and plans to provoke a full-scale war between the Federation and the M'Dok Empire!

Excerpts of copyrighted sources are included for review purposes only, without any intention of infringement.

Background information

  • The novel is set shortly after the Star Trek: The Next Generation episode "Skin of Evil". Given that Captain Lucius Aelius Sejanus had previously encountered Romulans, it is also probable this story takes place after "The Neutral Zone", and is therefore in calendar year 2365.
  • The vessel Centurion depicted in the novel is crewed by Romans from the same planet seen in "Bread and Circuses" – named here as Magna Roma. Set a hundred years later, the Romans have now achieved Federation membership, and are entrusted with a Federation vessel with warp drive.
  • The M'Dok are carnivorous felinoids, defeated and demilitarized by the Federation in war two hundred years earlier – identical to how the Kzinti were introduced.
  • The historical Sejanus, after whom the USS Centurion's captain in this novel is named, was played by Patrick Stewart in the 1976 BBC series I, Claudius. Stewart's performance inspired author David Dvorkin, who deliberately modeled Captain Sejanus after it (the text noting the similarity between Picard and Sejanus). (Voyages of Imagination, pp. 165-166)
  • David Dvorkin noted that the novel's editor rewrote significant portions of the book, which he and his son (and co-author) Daniel only discovered after publication. (Voyages of Imagination, pp. 165-166)
  • The Titan Books UK reprint of this novel carried the title The Captains' Honour, using the British English spelling.


Canon characters listed below are linked to the main article about them. Non-canon characters are not linked, but those that recurred, appearing or being mentioned in more than one story, are defined further in Pocket TNG characters.

Regular and recurring

Picard, Jean-Luc 
Natasha Yar


Sejanus, Lucius Aelius 
Captain, USS Centurion.
Gaius Aldus 
Centurion first officer.
Appius Cornelius 
Centurion security chief, confronted by Lt. Worf in the storyline.
Jenny De Luz
Ensign, Enterprise security officer, from the Federation colony of Meramar
Hjalmar Foch


USS Centurion 
Federation starship.
USS Farragut
M'Dok Empire
Magna Roma
Federation colony with similar martial values to Magna Roma


External links

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Numbered novels
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