I started watching Star Trek: The Next Generation over the weekend. By the time the show premiered in 1987, I had already been anticipating it for at least 10 years, ever since the rumors of a Star Trek II TV series (which eventually became Star Trek: the Motion Picture started. It didn’t grab me right off the bat. Far from it. I kept waiting for that one episode I would recognize from the first time I saw it my all-time favorite. I would wait until the third season until there was even a candidate. As a matter of opinion, ST:TNG didn’t “grow balls” until season four when Captain Piracrd was transformed into Locutus of the Borg.

Those first three seasons still had an effect on me. I was out of college by the time the show began. Little did I know, my future wife was in high at the time watching them, too. I’ve seen most of them several times, but I doubt I’ve watched them at all since the mid-90s. I don’t think Tracy has, either. I know for a fact neither of us has watched them since we’ve been married, and that’s been over 17 years. So now we’re committed to watching them then some 30 years after they first aired (which strikes me as odd because the show had been off the air “only” some 20 years when ST;TNG debuted.) Those first 20 seemed a lot longer to me at the time than the last 30 seems to me now.

One thing I was aware of at the time is the number of fans who complained that ST:TNG was “ripping off” TOS. Some stories bore certain similarities, to be sure, but I didn’t consider them to be rip-offs even then. I do remember that, for most episodes, I could pick an original series episode to be “paired with.” I’ll try to make note of those as I go along.

I initially wasn’t going to start a thread for this project but I changed my mind. I’m not going to do plot synopses, however. I expect anyone following this discussion will either a) watch along with me, or b) be familiar enough with the episodes to follow along on his own. Besides, synopses are readily available online. I will be watching the episodes in broadcast (rather than production) order. I’ll start tomorrow.

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EMERGENCE: The Enterprise is apparently developing sentience. It first takes over the holodeck, then the actions of ship itself begins to reflect the story being played out in the holodeck.

PAIR WITH: “Evolution”

PREEMPTIVE STRIKE: This episode seems more in support of Deep Space Nine’s “The Maquis” rather than a TNG episode in its own right. It features the return of Ro Laren (recently promoted to lieutenant), but she defects to the Maquis. This has not been a good season for Picard’s protégés. First, Sita Jaxa is killed, then Wesley Crusher leaves Starfleet, now Ro Laren defects.

ALL GOOD THINGS: I never thought of it this way before, but ST:TNG’s final episode, with Picard “time-tripping” between three periods of his life (when he first took command seven years ago, the present, and 25 years in the future) bears a striking resemblance to Kurt Vonnegut’s Slaughterhouse Five. I have read the hardcover adaptation of this episode, but I don’t recall whether or not it added any details not included in the screenplay.

In this alternate future: Troi is dead; Riker and Worf have had a falling out; Geordi has natural eyes, is married to a woman named Leah (Brahms?) and has three children; data has a position at Cambridge; Picard and Crusher married, but are now divorced; Beverly commands a medical ship. In the present, Worf and Troi are at last shown to be dating (in reality, for a change), but I’m just as glad nothing ever came of it. Like many fans (and after having read Peter David’s books Imzadi and Imzadi II), the romantic in me always wanted to see Troi and Riker back together in the end.

Both episodes featuring Q, “All Good Things” serves is a “bookend” to “Encounter at Farpoint.” I’ve never watched the two back-to-back, but it occurs to me that, for someone familiar with the show, they would “watch” good (or would it be “well”?) that way. The show got off to a somewhat shaky start, but got better as it began to grow into “its own thing” throughout the third season. It is made clear that the future presented in “All Good Things” is an alternate timeline, but it will be interesting to compare it with the up-coming Picard spin-off which takes place right around the same timeframe.

Oh, maybe you remember there were one or two episodes I was waiting for and I said I’d identify them when I watched them. I watched the whole series and didn’t find them! One of them was an episode which was spoiled by the description in TV Guide. I had planned to get to that episode (whichever it was), describe it, then relate the TVG blurb.

The one I was really waiting for, though (and I thought it was from the seventh season but it must have been from Voyager), featured the discovery of a one-man spaceship that was “bigger on the inside.” I hadn’t seen any Doctor Who until the 2Ks, and it wasn’t until much later in any case that I heard this episode was meant to be a nod to the TARDIS. Does anyone know which episode (and which series) I’m thinking of?

I googled "bigger on the inside concept" and it found this for me:

https://www.denofgeek.com/us/movies/14651/top-10-impossible-spaces-...

One of the first ones listed is the episode you describe. It's from the prequel Enterprise (season 2 episode 16).

Having so far only watched one Doctor Who episode in my life, I hadn't seen this concept until Reed Richards used it when the Fantastic Four moved from the Baxter Building to Four Freedoms Plaza.

Oh, it's from Enterprise!

Thanks for finding that, Richard. That was driving me nuts!

I watched season four of Enterprise not too long ago, but it's been a while since I watched season two. I think I'll watch that episode tonight.

Only 65.

STAR TEK: GENERATIONS: I have seen this movie many times, but I invariably watch it from Captain Kirk’s perspective. That is, I watch it from the beginning up until Captain Kirk disappears from the Enterprise-B, then I skip to the part when Picard first encounters him in the Nexus. I can’t remember the last time I watched what happens between these two scenes. This time I skipped the beginning, picked it up from “78 Years Later,” and watched through to the end. Seeing it this way, especially after having recently finished watching all seven seasons of ST:TNG, was a remarkable experience. I was actually “surprised” when Picard encountered Kirk. Maybe one of these days I’ll watch the entire movie from start to finish.

STAR TREK: FIRST CONTACT: Back in December I watched First Contact as a prelude to re-watching the fourth season of Star Trek: Enterprise and I’m not inclined to watch the movie again so soon. After the demise of the Enterprise-D in Generations, Picard had been given command of the Enterprise-E sometime before this movie begins. Soon, they are swept into conflict with the Borg and drawn back in time to 2063, the year of Earth’s first contact with the Vulcans.

My thoughts about this picture from five years ago:

"

 

  1. More music by Jerry Goldsmith
  2. Picard's nightmare was well-done.
  3. The Enterprise-E was a reasonably good design.
  4. The Borg battle was one of those things that they couldn't have done as well on the small screen.  I liked how when we saw Worf on the Defiant, we heard the old Klingon battle theme. The Borg (a.k.a. "The Cybermen for the 90's" were probably the most interesting critter invented for TNG, at least until Mrs. Columbo started outwitting them every other week.
  5. "To hell with our orders."
  6. James Cromwell was good as Cochran. Are there many super-geniuses that are also huge drunks, I wonder?
  7. I also liked Alfre Woodard as Lily. She worked well with Stewart, I thought.
  8. "Approximatley ten years after the Third World War"  - April 4th, 2063.
  9. "Would you three like to be alone?"
  10. Good to see Robert Picardo as the EMH - one of my favorite characters from Voyager.
  11. I liked Deanna's drunk scene.  "If you'r elooking for my professional opinion as ship's counselor - he's nuts."  Frakes and Sirtis did work well together.
  12. Alice Krige plays the Borg Queen as a sort of creepy sexual predator. It adds a whole weird element to the Borg's constant need to "assimilate" people.
  13. I notice Geordi's got new eyes - a good improvement, I thought.
  14. "You're all astronauts on some kind of star trek."
  15. "Borg - sounds Swedish."
  16. There's Ethan Philips as the holodeck concierge.
  17. So Borg shields can stop phasers, but not holographic bullets?
  18. There's Dwight Schultz as Barclay - I spend half my time sympathizing with him adnd the othe rhalf wanting to slap him.
  19. I like how Cochran freaks out at being hero-worshipped.
  20. "Do you always talk this much?"
  21. "You told him about the statue?"
  22. "Assimilate this!"
  23. I liked the meeting between Cochran and the Vulcans.

 

Overall:  This was definitely my favorite of the "Next Generation" movies. 



Jeff of Earth-J said:

STAR TREK: FIRST CONTACT: Back in December I watched First Contact as a prelude to re-watching the fourth season of Star Trek: Enterprise and I’m not inclined to watch the movie again so soon. After the demise of the Enterprise-D in Generations, Picard had been given command of the Enterprise-E sometime before this movie begins. Soon, they are swept into conflict with the Borg and drawn back in time to 2063, the year of Earth’s first contact with the Vulcans.

The Baron said:

Alice Krige plays the Borg Queen as a sort of creepy sexual predator. It adds a whole weird element to the Borg's constant need to "assimilate" people.

The first time I saw Alice Krige was when she played Eva Galli/Alma Mobley in the movie version of Peter Straub's novel Ghost Story. The title of the novel and the movie presents a problem. I used to subscribe to the magazine Cinefantastique. An article on the movie indicated that they had actually filmed scenes of the terrifying shape-shifting that is the actual focus of the novel. For some reason (possibly the title), the shapeshifting was dumped in favor of ghostly goings-on, which also caused Eva/Alma to be more sympathetic (which she/it definitely was not). This is not an example of "adjusting for a different medium." The book is eminently filmable, especially with today's CGI. Anyone who enjoys good horror fiction is encouraged to read this book, which is occasionally mind-blowing.

There's Dwight Schultz as Barclay - I spend half my time sympathizing with him and the other half wanting to slap him.

He always managed to have this effect on me, too.

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