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Robbie Parry
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Location: United Kingdom
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Posted: 11 September 2017 at 3:35pm | IP Logged | 1 post reply

The point of this topic, and let's hope I can word this properly, is NOT to discuss memories of TNG episodes (TNG is 30 this year!), but to discuss feelings about TNG/Trek in general - back before/whilst the show aired.

Let me explain what I mean: this was the first televised (live-action) Trek since TOS. At that period in time, we'd be viewing TOS repeats and TOS movies. This would have been the first live-action, TV series Trek since TOS. How did you feel at the time? Remember, we're not discussing episodes or characters, but general feelings about the show/Trek.

Here are my memories...

Firstly, this was a different era. No Google, no websites, no social media, etc. The only source of news for me were magazines such as "Starlog" and "Starburst". We really did not have access to the same information. Back then, you looked forward to "Starlog" being posted through your door as they may show you a glimpse of TNG via photos - or mention the episodes via articles.

It also felt weird knowing there'd be an entirely new Trek cast. In 1986, the only Trek any of us knew were the films, TOS and the animated series. And comics, too (which stuck to the film's canon). To hear news of a non-Kirk/non-TOS series was rather surreal back in 1986, I tell ya.

It must be so different for someone now who is aged, say, 20-30. To them, TREK means countless incarnations - and Abrams' version. Yet to those of us around in 1986, TREK was simply Kirk, Spock, etc. I was quite excited back then, but it took some getting used to - knowing that there was going to be a series set 70+ years after Kirk's time, with an entirely new crew.

Here's one more memory: tapes. Again, today people are spoilt with streaming and the like. RIVERDALE appeared on Netflix UK within about a week of its US debut. I didn't get to see "Encounter at Farpoint" until the VHS release - in 1990. Imagine asking a viewer now to wait THREE YEARS to see the pilot episode of a show. Imagine if Netflix said to viewers, "We'll be showing the pilot episode of this show in three years' time." People would erupt! 

Yet us UK viewers had to wait. Whilst US TV was getting part 1 of "The Best Of Both Worlds" (Season 3), which aired in June of 1990, I was buying the VHS tape for "Encounter At Farpoint". How times have changed in this world of instant gratification, eh?

Over to you.
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Brian Rhodes
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Posted: 11 September 2017 at 4:43pm | IP Logged | 2 post reply

I thought of TNG as "fake Trek", at first. No interest, whatsoever. Didn't watch the first couple of seasons in first run.

Fellow Trek fans kept telling me how good it was, so I decided to finally check it out. I think it might have been the beginning of Season 4 with a re-cap of the Season 3 cliffhanger shown before. I didn't start watch every week right off the bat, but it wouldn't be long. Fortunately, being a syndicated show from the start, the channels carrying it locally were already showing daily repeats. I got caught up pretty fast and was eventually watching first run episodes every week.

TNG became "my" Star Trek. It was happening "now"...new episodes to look forward to. I liked the look of the new Enterprise (not an improvement on the original, but again..."mine"...). I liked the characters. It became "appointment" TV (something we have less and less of, now...)

Looking at both in the rearview mirror, TOS is still the superior show. But man, I miss looking forward to new TNG episodes...


Edited by Brian Rhodes on 11 September 2017 at 4:44pm
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Ray Brady
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Posted: 11 September 2017 at 8:45pm | IP Logged | 3 post reply

My discovery of TNG happened pretty much exactly the same as my discovery of the X-Files. I tuned into an episode during the first season, thought it was dreadful, and dropped it.

I then gave both shows a second chance when they were in their third seasons, and was astonished at how much better they had gotten. I was quickly hooked, and stuck with both to the bitter end.

For the record, my first exposure to TNG was "Angel One". My first episode of the X-Files was "3". In both cases, I feel justified in taking a long break after those experiences.
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John Byrne
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Joined: 11 May 2005
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Posted: 11 September 2017 at 9:34pm | IP Logged | 4 post reply

TNG was a huge disappointment for me. STAR TREK is coming back!! Oh, wait, no it isn't.
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Bill Collins
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Posted: 12 September 2017 at 12:28am | IP Logged | 5 post reply

Initially it was a huge disappointment,lets be honest
the first two seasons were average at best.Like Robbie
i got my info from magazine`s such as TV Zone which
did episode guides,so that when it picked up in season
3 i was actually looking forward to episodes were the
synopsis intrigued me.I recall that Encounter At
Farpoint was available to rent from the video
shop,then we actually got weekly episodes on BBC2 at
6pm on Wednesdays.It wasn`t until Sky got hold of it
around 1993/4 and began Monday to Friday 5pm showings
of old episodes and a new episode on a Sunday night
that it clicked with me.On the plus side,i think we
avoided the gap between the Locutus of Borg
cliffhanger!
One thing that strikes me about Farpoint,they had men
wearing skirts in it,being very `progressive` then
conveniently forgot for the rest of Next
Gen,DS9,Voyager etc!
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Andrew Saxon
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Posted: 12 September 2017 at 2:23am | IP Logged | 6 post reply

I was part of the UK convention scene back then and because of that had connections who were sending me video-tapes (converted to PAL), so I wasn't much behind the US airings. However, my initial excitement soon turned to disappointment when the tapes arrived. The was not the second coming of Trek I had dreamed of.

I seemed alone in my disappointment though, as UK conventions became all about TNG while my Star Trek - the REAL Star Trek - started to be regarded as a joke. The sort of misguided knocking of Kirk and his crew that non-fans used to do was now being done by the 'fans' themselves. I told my friends in the US to stop sending tapes and I myself stopped attending Star Trek conventions. All of that left a bad taste in my mouth that I have never quite been able to lose.
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Robbie Parry
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Posted: 12 September 2017 at 4:21pm | IP Logged | 7 post reply

Great posts, everyone. It's nice to hear memories associated with the time the show aired rather than specific memories of episodes.

As I said in another topic once, one bizarre memory I have (1990-1992) is how Marvel UK actually reprinted DC Comics' TNG title for us Brits. Marvel UK always reprinted, well, Marvel US tales (and licensed stuff such as THE REAL GHOSTBUSTERS) whereas DC farmed out its UK licence to various publishers - but we had Marvel UK reprinting its biggest competitors' title.

It felt odd.
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Neil Lindholm
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Posted: 12 September 2017 at 4:54pm | IP Logged | 8 post reply

When I was young, my family was never big on TV so we still had a 17" black and white TV until 1992. I didn't get to watch TNG in colour until I went to University in 1989 and saw it in the dorms. Didn't even know the colours of the uniforms until around Season 3. 
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Neil Lindholm
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Posted: 12 September 2017 at 4:55pm | IP Logged | 9 post reply

Just to add, I never saw a colour episode of TOS until 1992 either. Most of them I watched on my little 12" B&W TV in my bedroom. 
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