On Finishing TNG, Some Trek Thoughts

Trekker Treat!

Finished Star Trek: The Next Generation this evening. We watched all of the original series, the animated series (the first time for most of us), some movies, then all of TNG (with other TOS movies where appropriate, and one season of DS9 thrown in, before we decided to not keep alternating series). We took a big break somewhere around Season 6 of TNG, but recently got back into he swing of things.

And there’s lots to enjoy about TNG. Season 1 is a bit of an oddity, seemed a lot more theatrical Trying for wide open spaces on limited stages, and more in the way of grand gestures and speeches. A bit like Shakespeare, if Shakespeare had come up with the Ferengi.

But the actors gained rapport with each other, and clearly still enjoy each others’ company. And the writers got into a stride, and seemed willing to try out some quite varied concepts.

The seventh season of TNG was the last. There’s a bunch of good in it, but some bad also.

Just some observations:

Dark Page, where Troi’s mom goes a bit nuts over a secret she’s unwilling to reveal: Not that interesting as a kid, but turned out to be a very well-done episode.

Attached, where Picard and Crusher are captured and mentally linked: reacting to what they hear of each others’ thoughts was well-played. In particular, the breakfast.

Parallels, where Worf goes through a bunch of alternate universes, hoping each time that his next leap will be the leap home: well thought-out, good idea bringing some guests back for alternate universes, and subtle hints with uniforms and set decoration that things aren’t quite the same, very well thought out.

The Pegasus, where Riker’s old CO shows up and makes trouble: I like Picard’s string-pulling to find out what’s going on.

Sub Rosa: I never really liked this one, and I’m still not fond of it. The planet looks pretty from space, and seeing Vader’s tombstone close to McFly’s…

Lower Decks was really good.

Masks was very odd. I am kind of reminded of that episode of Blake’s 7 (sorry, I don’t remember the name), I think people got controlled by aliens and it all turned to interpretive dance (while I hope to watch all of Blake’s 7 sometime, I’m really not looking forward to that one).

Journey’s End: not the best of the season, it marks the start of the Demilitarized Zone arc, where a border is decided between the Federation and the Cardassians, and some Federation civilians are caught on the wrong side of it, leading to the Maquis, settlers who forcibly resist the change.

Bloodlines I didn’t think was bad, and Emergence is pretty weird, but in the run-up to the end of the season and thus the show as a whole, they feel a bit out of place.

Preemptive Strike shows the early Maquis, continuing the thread from Journey’s End in a really good story. This would tie in to Deep Space Nine’s two-parter from close to the same time, “The Maquis”. The story would continue there for a while longer, also being threaded into Voyager’s concept.

Right after that is TNG’s finale: All Good Things. Taking us between the present, Picard’s retirement years, and to what happened shortly before the events of TNG’s pilot, this is arguably the best Trek series finale.

Next up is starting DS9 Season 2. In my memory as before DS9 really picked up the pace, looking through the episode list, there’s a whole bunch of episodes I’m looking forward to seeing again.