Last May I started a re-watch of all of Star Trek The Next Generation starting at the beginning with the pilot episode and working my way thru. My goal at that time was to document my journey on You Tube. Check out this update from August for more info on that part of the journey.
Shortly after I wrote that “update” blog entry I basically abandoned the project. I watched all of Seasons 1 & 2. I was way behind on recording the YouTube videos at that point and I just lost steam on the whole thing. But now I’m picking it back up. I’m not sure that I’ll make more You-Tube videos, but I certainly want to blog about my re-watch.
I really don’t want to go thru this journey alone! I want to watch the show with friends (either in person or via skype) so I have a sounding board to discuss the show.
So like I said, even though I stopped blogging (and video blogging) I did keep watching & taking notes. So here are some quick thoughts on the rest of Season 1:
Season 1 (Continued)
“Hide and Q”
- I think this is the first time the writers tip their hats to the fact that Patrick Stewart is a classically trained Shakespearean actor. Also I love that Shakespeare has survived into the 24th century. I mean, we’ve been reading and performing this man’s words for 500 years, it stands to reason that we’d still be reading in another 300 years.
- We see a glimpse of Wesley as an adult– but they didn’t quite get this right. They cast a kind of hunky model/actor and Wil Wheaton didn’t really grow up to look like that. Don’t get me wrong- he’s still super cute. 🙂
- Worf almost has sex on the bridge. We can’t ignore that.
- We see Riker watching “TV” in his quarters. Well, kind of– he’s watching a hologram of 2 women playing harps. Is this some kind of 24th century porn?
- Welcome aboard, Lwaxana Troi!!! This is one of my favorite characters. Sadly, she’s kind of a bitch in this episode. I’m glad they figure her out later.
“The Big Goodbye”
- This is 1st Dixon Hill episode and it’s on my list of the top 10 Picard episodes. We learn that he enjoys reading a good pulp detective novel!
- They all have that weird “we don’t remember the 20th century” disease again. Phrases like “City Block” “Automobiles” are very confusing to our heroes. Again, the writers drop this later- thank God.
- Again– why is Wesley Crusher in charge of saving Picard? It’s like he’s a magical boy!
- They tease a possible Beverly/Jean Luc romance– this is another season 1 problem. Not that it goes away entirely later– but when she comes back in season 3 it’s like she hit a reset button on her emotions, right?
- Love the introduction of Lore– any chance to let Brent Spiner stretch is acting muscles a bit. 🙂
- This episode has Roddenberry written all over it! They visit a planet where THE WOMEN ARE IN CHARGE! “Whaaaa??” I feel like this episode would never work on television today- but in the 80’s (the 9 to 5 era) it was a valid topic. The writers go a step farther by making the women the sexist, egotistical, lying, hypocritical bigots.
- I’m sad they made Jonathan Franks wear that outfit. Dont’ get me wrong- he’s a handsome man but that was NOT flattering !
- Minuet is supposed to be AMAZING– and maybe in 1988 she was. But now we look back at her thru time and she doesn’t compare to the complexity of holographic characters like The Doctor from Voyager.
- This episode taught me that computer use a binary language of 1’s and 0’s. Thanks, Star Trek!
“Too Short a Season”
- Can we talk about these Admiral uniforms? I mean… really, what were they thinking?
- The highlight of this episode to me is Marsha Hunt’s performance as Anne. Every second she’s on the screen you can tell that she’s old hollywood– a real pro.
“When the Bough Breaks”
- The writers decided to face the problem of having kids on board a starship head on– with a kidnapping! What turned out was a thought provoking episode. These kids aren’t held for ransom but rather given the chance to develop their natural skills- like art or music- to the point of being a master in their field. The only problem is they must do it in the isolation of a hidden planet– cut off from the rest of the galaxy. So what’s more important, the fulfillment of your self potential or a life surrounded by family and an unlimited number of potential friends (i.e. being a part of society). I side with the kids– what’s the use of being a master musician if you’re all alone with your weirdo kidnappers?
- A TNG take on the TOS episode “Devil in the Dark”. If you ask me (and I guess you did if you’re reading this) the original is better.
- Director Mandel is clearly a James Bond Villain! lol
“Coming of Age”
- An odd transitional story– basically it serves to introduce Quinn & Remmick who we’ll see again in Conspiracy. Oh, and they tease the idea of taking Wesley off the show and sending him to the Academy. But he says!
“Heart of Glory”
- The #1 thing I took away from this episode (other than they still haven’t figured out how to write Klingons) is the Klingon death yell!! Why didn’t we see that in Star Trek VI??
“The Arsenal of Freedom”
- I LOVED this episode as a kid because it’s exciting and was fun to play in the back yard. Watching it as an adult I still like it- as far as season 1 episodes go.
- Featuring guest stars known for Star Trek II– Judson Scott as Sobi & Merritt Butrick as T’Jon!
- This episode suffers from what I call “bonk bonk on the head syndrome”. They really hit us over the head with the anti drug message– almost as if they had to do a PSA to make the network happy.
- This is also the episode where you can see Tasha Yar waving goodbye in the background! The cargo bay was last scene Denise Crosby filmed before she left the show.
“Skin of Evil”
- “Lt. Yar is down”. Those words still send chills thru me. I remember when I was a kid and watched this episode for the first time I cried all thru her funeral scene,
- The Tasha Yar Problem: It’s been said that they knew someone wouldn’t finish the 1st season but why Tasha? Why didn’t they convince Denise to stay?? Her character had so much potential! They just really wrote her poorly. You know, today she’d be more like Starbuck from the BSG reboot.
- On the bright side, it’s nice to see a death finally mean something. I mean, how many times did Scotty die or Bones and they were just magically brought back to life by an alien? Also, the writers basically “red shirted” a main character. It really brought more weight to the episode than if Ensign No Name had died.
“We’ll Always Have Paris”
- When I was a kid I had no idea this episode title was referencing Casablanca. So when I would hear it used pop culture I just assumed they were making a Star Trek reference. lol
- Here is an episode that I don’t think has held up very well. I remember loving it originally- but now it seems over the top and stiff.
- Of course the special effects are outdated by today’s standards but at the time the death of the main alien in the end gave me nightmares!
“The Neutral Zone”
- It’s like they wanted to bring a few members of the studio audience into the show! All kidding aside, not a terrible episode about how human culture has evolved in the Trek timeline from the 20th century to the 24th. Although I feel like these people should have mentioned the eugenics wars, right?