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Friday, May 9, 2014

TV Talk - Star Trek: The Next Generation

Picard: Q, what are you doing?
Q: Oh nothing, mone capitane. Just reading the unabridged book of your life. Just know that you'll get a nice jacket in a few years!

It’s been said that this show is one of the best sci-fi television shows of all time. Is that true? Well, I’m talking about it, so I’m guessing it must be true. So, Star Trek: The Next Generation… where do I begin? I guess I can begin at the beginning and I’m not talking about Genesis 1:1 either.

I never watched TNG when it first aired since we just didn’t have that station. I had already known of Star Trek through the TOS movies. When Movie Gallery first opened in town, they had a few episodes of TNG’s first season on VHS. I think some of them were “Hide and Q,” “Where No One Has Gone Before,” and “Justice.” There are also a couple of random episodes on some tapes my uncle had. When we finally got cable, I remember that the FOX station out of Huntsville (how we got that station I’ll never know) would run episodes of TNG weekly for a while. This station was also how I got into Star Trek: Deep Space Nine and another show called Earth: Final Conflict.

I pretty much saw the whole series when Spike TV aired them back in the 2000’s. I’ll pretty much watch an episode if it’s just on especially these days. It seems like some station is always showing it. Heck, BBC America even is showing it! I wonder how Doctor Who fans think about that. Anyway, it was either an episode from this show or one of the others that made me a fan of SFDebris, an Internet reviewer. For this, I decided to look at episodes that I haven’t seen in a long while on Netflix. So, is it one of the best shows ever? Find out below.

Pros
Yes, poker survives into the 24th century.
  • Good Stories – One thing this show excelled at was telling good sci-fi stories. It essentially followed the same format TOS followed with the Enterprise-D exploring space and running into problems that need solving. Where the show would deviate from TOS would be that it actually had a bit of continuity. You would have recurring characters as well as some ongoing storylines. This didn’t go as far here unlike later shows did, but this is where it started. My favorite seasons are probably the 3rd and 4th seasons.
  • Good Characters – The show had a nice ensemble cast. We get to see most of them grow over the seven seasons. My favorites from the main cast were Picard, Data, Worf, and Geordi.  The show also had some nice recurring characters that I particularly liked. Some of them were Q, Chief O’Brien, Guinan, and (at times) Barclay. I also liked the banter and connections between the crew.
  • Great Acting – The acting on this was pretty good as a whole. Patrick Stewart added at lot to his role as well as every one else.
  • The Music – The music in the first three seasons was pretty good. It was done by Ron Jones. Even when there were episodes that weren’t that good, the music was still good. After he was fired in the fourth season (shakes head), he was replaced by Dennis McCarthy. While McCarthy’s music was less noticeable, he still was a good composer. He also did stuff for DS9 and Voyager. The show also used the main theme song from The Motion Picture as its theme and it’s still good.
  • There’s probably more, but I can’t think of anything else. Just watch the show.

Cons
Wesley, I don't hate you, but there are times where you just don't it for me.

Yes, there are some things to TNG that aren’t really good. Luckily, it’s only a handful of things.
  • Weak Early Seasons – The first two seasons to TNG are pretty weak when compared to the rest of the show. I guess it took a while for the show to find its bearings. For a while (especially in the first season), the episodes felt more like TOS. The problem is that what worked in the 60’s probably won’t work in the 80’s. There was also the need to get Wesley involved with everything. Now, I don’t hate the character like others do, but he was little too much in that first season. The second season is a little better but not by much. Still, you had some good episodes in those two seasons like “Conspiracy”, “Q Who”, “Measure of a Man”, and “010000010”.
  • Some bland/annoying characters – There were characters on the show that were either bland or kind of annoying. I didn’t hate anyone out of the main cast, but there were some that were “meh.” Doctor Crusher and Wesley fit that bill. Troi was on that list, but I liked her more as the show went on. Then, you had some annoying characters. Laxanna Troi and Barclay (at times) fit that bill. While I’ve done my re-watch, I’ve steered clear of the Laxanna episodes. I've also known that Riker can be a bit of a tool at times too.
  • Overall, there aren’t many issues with the show. You will occasionally have a sub-par episode, but a lot of popular shows are like that.

Favorite Episodes
Lastly, here are my some of favorite episodes from the show.
  • Best of Both Worlds – The Borg invade the Alpha Quadrant.
  • All Good Things…- The series finale and a good one at that!
  • Sarek – Spock’s father comes to the Enterprise.
  • Measure of a Man – Data gets put on trial.
  • Chain of Command – While Picard is on a secret mission, another captain takes control of the Enterprise.
  • Q Who? – The first appearance of the Borg.
  • Conspiracy – It’s one of the only good episodes from the first season
  • Yesterday’s Enterprise – Wibbly-wobbly, Timey-Wimey.
  • Reunification –Picard and Data head to Romulan space to find Spock.
  • The Wounded – It’s the first appearance of the Cardassians.
  • Brothers – Data meets his maker and his brother again.
  • Family – Picard heads back to France while on leave.
  • The Drumhead – When a spy is found, a lot of folk start to get questioned.
  • Parallels – Worf gets sent to parallel universe. Think “Sliders in Space.”
  • Lower Decks – This centers on a group of younger officers.

Well, that’s all I have for today. I definitely recommend the show to anyone. If you’re planning on doing a complete watch of the show, just know that the first two seasons aren’t great. Still, there are some gems in there if you can find them. Peace, God Bless, and know that “I am not a merry man!”

1 comment:

  1. I agree with many of your points! TNG is a pretty great show, but it does have a few faults. I agree that it is definitely worth checking out!

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