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Greg Kirkman
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Posted: 19 September 2017 at 11:33pm | IP Logged | 1 post reply

By the way, a few years back, I was given DC's original, six-issue TNG comic-miniseries as a gift. The series was released to coincide with the airing of the show's first season, so there's no better time for me to finally read it. 

The crew hangs out with a bunch of alien Grinches in issue # 2, which also features an energy being that resembles Santa Claus. Because the story takes place at Christmas.
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Christopher Frost
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Posted: 20 September 2017 at 10:16am | IP Logged | 2 post reply

"Dorn's contract for DS9 required that it not detract from his participation in TNG movies.  I don't think they offered any explanation at all for why he was on the Enterprise in Insurrection. "

It's been a while since I've watched it but if memory serves, they made a joke about it in the film. At the start of the film as Picard& crew were preparing for the diplomatic function they were hosting, they came across Worf on the ship and basically said something like "What are you doing here?" but the conversation was cut off before he could reply, thus saving the writers having to come up with why he would  be there if the war with the Dominion was still going on and he was on the front lines at DS9.

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Tyler Kloster
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Posted: 20 September 2017 at 10:34am | IP Logged | 3 post reply

"Where No One Has Gone Before" is pretty much the only good episode out of the first 10...not a good ratio. And it's only "good", far from great.

I remember I was one of the people who received a letter from the actor who played Chief Engineer Argyle in that episode---never knew how he got my name and address as a Star Trek fan. He was soliciting input on his performance after that, hoping to eventually get a more regular position on the show. I never responded.

From what I recall, Paramount found out and was furious. Argyle only got one more appearance on the show and was never seen again.
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Joe Boster
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Posted: 20 September 2017 at 12:13pm | IP Logged | 4 post reply

No One... was pretty good. I mostly watched it rather than worked on business stuff on the computer. Really the most Grating part is Wesley the Wonder-child. From nuisance to acting ensign in 5 shows. The only thing worse of course is the way they got rid of him. 

Also I accidently watched an episode of on Netflix rather than Amazon Prime. SO blurry it hurts. Like watching it on a vcr. So happy this is HD on Amazon! 

Also Watching DS9 season 4. Michael Dorn is such a wonderful addition to that cast. He looks good back in Red. Never much cared for Worf before. But he really fits on DS9. 
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Greg Kirkman
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Posted: 20 September 2017 at 8:53pm | IP Logged | 5 post reply

"Justice". 


So, John D.F. Black took his name off this one, due to extensive rewriting. Considering the subject matter (a planet of scantily-clad, amorous, late-80s-pornstar-looking people and their machine-God), I wouldn't be surprised if Roddenberry's fingerprints are all over this thing.

This is basically a late-80s porno mixed with "The Apple" and "Bem". A few interesting ideas are introduced, but they're not done...er...justice. At the end, Picard basically says, "Yeah, no, you're not killing the kid", and then leaves. We get the beginning of what would be a Picard Speech, but it doesn't quite land in any sort of meaningful way. 

However, we are starting to also get into Michael Dorn's wonderful flair for humor, as well, as Worf is slowly escaping from being essentially a background player. 


This is another episode where very little actually happens, which is a common problem with early TNG. That whole "no conflict" thing is very much in evidence, and not in a good way. A lot could have been made of the inherent drama of Wesley being set for execution, particularly in terms of Picard struggling with his ethical dilemma vs. Dr. Crusher pleading for her son's life. There's a little of that, here, but it's not developed enough.
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Greg Kirkman
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Posted: 22 September 2017 at 12:13am | IP Logged | 6 post reply

"The Battle".


A solid episode, if unremarkable. Most notable for giving us a bit of Picard's backstory...and for introducing Wesley's rainbow-striped shirt.

Interesting story behind the Stargazer: At the time of the TNG pilot, the set-dressers had placed a kitbashed, four-nacelled starship model in Picard's ready room to represent his previous command. By the time of this episode, it had been decided that the movie-era Enterprise model would be reused as the Stargazer. To that end, the familiar set-dressing model in the ready room set was replaced with an AMT Enterprise model (painted silver) for this episode and the next. The Stargazer was also described as being Constitution class in dialogue.

However, the decision was made after filming to NOT reuse the movie-era Enterprise model (perhaps to keep that design unique to Kirk and the TOS movies), and the producers realized that a design already existed for Picard's ship. So, a new FX model was built based on the kitbashed model which had previously been sitting in the ready room set. And, if you watch the episode carefully, you can see that "Constitution" was overdubbed with the very similar "Constellation". I like the Stargazer design quite a bit, and feel it fits in pretty well with the movie-era ships.

Not a whole lot else to say, except that this is probably one of the more not-terrible episodes of the initial batch. "Meh", but not terrible.
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Joe Boster
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Posted: 22 September 2017 at 10:53am | IP Logged | 7 post reply

"Justice" only saw 1/2  th episode becuase of customers. Scrificicing a whole colony for one Super-Genus seems like what the prime directive was meant to prevent. The set dressing guys and girls felt really forced.
Maybe they can revisit as the Stars  series Star Trek: Spartacus. 

 Worf is the stand out character. Really the probkem with jordi moving to engineering will be all the technobabble that will result from needing to give him lines. Too many people on the bridge! It's really a shame about Denise Crosby, such a waste. 
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Greg Kirkman
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Posted: 23 September 2017 at 12:42am | IP Logged | 8 post reply

"Hide and Q".

Well, this one has a mix of good moments and ideas (mostly the stuff with Picard and Q facing off) with some really dumb stuff. It almost feels like a bad third season episode of TOS, at times. John de Lancie is a joy to watch, as usual. On the flipside, this episode really highlights just how wasted Denise Crosby was, and how badly written Tasha often was. It's painful to watch, as she sort-kinda tries to make a pass at Picard while in Q's "penalty box".

The climax of the episode is just a mess. It starts to feel more and more like Riker and Picard had secretly worked out a plan to make it look like Riker is being tempted by Q's power...but then we see that he REALLY was. He REALLY was smug and arrogant, and called Picard "Jean-Luc", and tried to force his friends' deepest desires upon them against their wishes. This episode makes Riker look pretty darn bad, and more than a little naive. Riker's shallow characterization makes this feel more like a Saturday morning cartoon than STAR TREK.

Considering where the character will later go, once the show actually becomes good, it's almost inconceivable to imagine the Riker of later seasons falling into Q's trap, as he does here. Terrible writing!
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Rob Ocelot
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Posted: 23 September 2017 at 7:44am | IP Logged | 9 post reply

My only comment about "Hide and Q" is....

"Some sort of.... animal things"

GREAT detailed analysis there, Geordi.  Definitely earned his bridge crew bonus pay that day. :-P
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Greg Kirkman
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Posted: 23 September 2017 at 9:32am | IP Logged | 10 post reply

It should be noted that Worf is the one who came up with the "animal things" description. Geordi just repeated the phrase in his report to Picard. 
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Greg Kirkman
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Posted: 24 September 2017 at 11:55pm | IP Logged | 11 post reply

"Haven".


...aka "Betazoid 'Amok Time'".


A pretty "meh" episode, with a few interesting ideas that never quite come together in a satisfying way. Some good character moments.

Always fun to see Majel Barrett-Roddenberry hamming it up as Troi's mom, too. Her appearance in TNG seems fitting, since Gene Roddenberry snuck her into TOS (back when she was just his mistress) not once, but twice.
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Greg Kirkman
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Posted: 25 September 2017 at 11:45pm | IP Logged | 12 post reply

"The Big Good-Bye".


Well, now. Here we have what may very well be the first genuinely good episode of TNG (and one which also won a Peabody Award). There's definitely a lot of fun and life in this one, and Picard has finally broken out of the role of the stern old man, as we get to see him really be passionate and excited about something, for a change. This is the first episode where Patrick Stewart's charm and sense of humor have really come to the fore, and it's great to see.

More importantly, this is also the first holodeck-themed episode of TNG, and the first holodeck-malfunction episode. It's made rather clear (during Picard's super-excited, pre-briefing report to his senior staff) that the lifelike simulations we all now know the holodeck to produce are NEW, and are the result of a recent upgrade to the system. Previously on TNG, we'd only seen a simulated forest, a simulated planet surface, and an Akido sparring partner for Yar. The complex recreations of buildings, vehicles, and people (who can interact with the crew during a simulation) are all treated as a new aspect of holographic technology.

It's quite a thing to see all of these holodeck tropes appear for the very first time, and before they'd been used to death. It's also clear that the rules haven't quite been worked out, yet. Wesley says that forcing the malfunctioning program to end could cause everyone on the holodeck to vanish, including, presumably, Picard and the others. Also, two holographic characters actually leave the holodeck and make it into the corridor, only to slowly disappear, rather than immediately ceasing to exist upon reaching the doorway leading out of the holodeck. This is also the first time when holographic characters learn that they ARE holographic characters, and it certainly won't be the last.

This episode is a nice change of pace, and sorta-kinda feels like the TNG version of those TOS episodes which reused Nazi/Roman/gangster costumes and props to save money. It's a fun and clever one-off, but the problem is that the writers would very quickly become dependent on "trapped on the holodeck" stories as a narrative crutch, or as an excuse to do Western-themed episodes and the like. That shouldn't really count against this one, though.


Getting back to Wesley, this episode definitely offers evidence that he was basically Roddenberry's pet Mary Sue character, as he's brought in to help solve the problem, due to his extensive studies of the holodeck system. 

Finally, the "B" story of this episode revolves around diplomatic relations with an insectoid race whose voices sorta sound like the Tholians. Unfortunately, we don't get to see them, due to the show's budgetary limitations. Too bad!
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