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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“James Cromwell was good as Cochran.”

He’ll always be “Stretch Cunningham” to me.

Alice Krige was Paul’s mother in Dune, too (the TV show, not the movie… although, come to think of it, Patrick Stewart was Gurney Hallack in the movie).

“Are there many super-geniuses that are also huge drunks, I wonder?”

Wile E. Coyote, I think.

"April 4th, 2063.”

My 99th birthday. I can hardly wait!

“This was definitely my favorite of the ‘Next Generation’ movies. “

Agreed.

STAR TREK: INSURRECTION: I consider the ST:TNG movies to be a trilogy, starting with First Contact. Generations was kind of its own thing, AFAIAC, neither wholly Star Trek nor Next Gen. Rather, it serves to cap off both the original series of movies as well as the ST:TNG TV series and to pass the baton. First Contact represents a new beginning, just as ST:TMP did (and Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan as well). It’s odd that the seven year voyage of the Enterprise-D was chronicled in seven TV seasons (plus a movie), but the seven year voyage of the Enterprise-E was chronicled in only three adventures. Then again, there was a large gap between ST:TMP and ST:II as well as between ST: VI and ST:G.

Speaking of Star Trek: The Motion Picture and Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan:

I think it was a bad decision to redesign the uniforms to those washed-out white ones in ST:TMP.

All-white uniforms aren't really practical to work in all day.

I also think that the uniform change for the second movie (Khan) was better, but everyone looked stiff and uncomfortable. It would have worked better as a ceremonial uniform. I also missed the different colors for different disciplines, which returned (as trimming instead of full shirts) in Next Generation and its spin-offs.

STAR TREK: NEMESIS: My least favorite of the TNG movies. For one thing, I have a hard time buying that Shinzon is Picard’s clone. Being the most recent of the movies (the original universe ones, anyway), I have seen it less frequently than any of the others. I had forgotten that Data is killed and replaced by B-4. Regarding that, in the official comic book prequel to the new series of movies, Data is captain of the Enterprise before Spock goes to the past. (I don’t know if being “official” makes that canon or not; probably not.) In Generations, Data’s emotion chip was fused to his neural net; in First Contact, he could shut it off; in Insurrection he “left it behind”; and in Nemesis he apparently no longer uses it.

I am pleased to see that Riker and Troi have finally gotten married. (Also that he will soon get his own command.) It was good, continuity-wise, to see Wesley, even though he didn’t get any lines. I find it hard to believe that Captain Janeway was promoted to admiral over Picard.

I can hardly wait until the new Picard tv series!

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