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Christopher Frost
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Posted: 26 September 2017 at 7:30am | IP Logged | 1 post reply

"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."

Technically three times since Majel also provided the voice of the ships computer on TOS (and every following series except Discovery).

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Greg Kirkman
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Posted: 26 September 2017 at 12:25pm | IP Logged | 2 post reply

Honest Trailer:

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Greg Kirkman
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Posted: 26 September 2017 at 11:46pm | IP Logged | 3 post reply

"Datalore".

A real mix of good and bad in this one. On the one hand, we get an origin for Data, a wonderful set of performances from Brent Spiner, and an intriguing concept in the Crystalline Entity (which isn't fully explored, unfortunately). 

On the flipside, the music score is really, really 80s, and the episode devolves into a standard "evil twin" story. There's a definite Saturday morning cartoon vibe, in that the crew look like total idiots with their bungling of all the obvious clues that Data is being impersonated by Lore. However, while this is not a great episode, it did lay the foundation for a number of great episodes, at least.

Meanwhile, Wesley continues to serve as a very Mary Sue-ish character, manning the Ops station on the Bridge, and being sent to Data's quarters to check on "Lore" during a potential crisis, when Lore is already under a certain level of suspicion. Wesley unrealistically keeps getting jobs that should go to qualified engineers (and now security personnel), so it's no surprise that a good chunk of fandom grew to dislike him.

Can you even imagine Jim Kirk letting a non-Starfleet teenager regularly man the helm of his ship? 
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Greg Kirkman
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Posted: 27 September 2017 at 11:01pm | IP Logged | 4 post reply

"Angel One".


Man, this friggin' episode. I shudder at the thought at how it would be received in today's political climate. Or how it would be produced.

As the story goes, Roddenberry played a big role in reshaping the script into what it became by injecting the sexual stuff, and the undercurrent that a matriarchal society wouldn't work. The story originally started out as more of a standard matriarchal "What If?" story (not too unlike TAS' "The Lorelai Signal"), with Yar taking command of the away team after Riker is set to be executed for offending the planet's leader. 

This is just painfully embarrassing, and sexist on many levels. I feel bad for Jonathan Frakes, in particular. That outfit...

On the flipside, we get TNG's first mention of the Romulans, which also served as a frustrating tease of what would surely have been a much better episode.
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Greg Kirkman
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Posted: 29 September 2017 at 1:24am | IP Logged | 5 post reply

"11001001".

Oh, hey, another good episode! This one moves by at a rapid clip, and features several nice character bits and moments. The reuse of gorgeous stock model footage of Spacedock from STAR TREK III (with the Enterprise-D composited in place of the original) helps give a sense of scope to the episode.

The Bynars are are an interesting concept for an alien race, and I'm a bit surprised that they've never appeared again.

Also nice to see Gene Dynarski--who you may remember as Ben Childress in "Mudd's Women"--as the Starbase commander. We've also finally got Majel Barrett-Roddenberry doing the voice of the ship's computer, now, which is certainly a unifying element of the various spin-off series.
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Greg Kirkman
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Posted: 30 September 2017 at 1:02am | IP Logged | 6 post reply

"Too Short a Season".

Another not-good episode, with a rather talky and ho-hum hostage-rescue plot. Clayton Rohner's old man acting is rather painful to watch, but his performance becomes more appealing as the episode goes on, and his character gets younger. The whole de-aging thing feels more like a gimmick than anything else, and it's not milked for much, thematically.

We also have the return of Michael Pataki to STAR TREK, which is nice to see. He'd previously played Korax in "The Trouble With Tribbles", two decades earlier.

The reveal of this episode--that Jameson supplied weapons to both sides in the conflict (sort of a riff on Kirk's actions in "A Private Little War)--feels like a plot point which deserved more exploration, and a better story around it. Picard's reaction to Jameson's confession gives it some gravitas, but it sort of falls by the wayside, which is unfortunate. 
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Shaun Barry
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Posted: 30 September 2017 at 9:40am | IP Logged | 7 post reply


I think they should show that TNG Honest Trailer at every TREK convention from now on, until the end of time!!!



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Greg Kirkman
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Posted: 02 October 2017 at 1:37am | IP Logged | 8 post reply

"When The Bough Breaks".


A very "meh" episode, and one that almost feels like it could have been a third season TOS episode. Some interesting ideas, but very little in the way of actual drama or excitement. More forgettable than bad.
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Greg Kirkman
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Posted: 03 October 2017 at 1:07am | IP Logged | 9 post reply

"Home Soil".


This is basically a TNG reworking of "The Devil in The Dark", and, while it has some interesting ideas and good moments, it never quite comes together in a particularly satisfying or dramatic way. Which is a common problem for early TNG. 

This is also the first episode where I've made note of all the technobabble being flung around by the characters. This episode, more than most of the other early stories, feels very like what TNG would later become, in terms of its structure (a murder mystery dependent on scientific investigation of a strange phenomenon). 
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Greg Kirkman
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Posted: 04 October 2017 at 1:18am | IP Logged | 10 post reply

"Coming of Age".

An unusual episode, in that the "A" and "B" stories are totally unconnected, expect that both are rather superficial and ham-fisted. Some good character moments, though. Also, I believe this episode represents the very first time in televised STAR TREK where a subplot is established that will extend into a future episode: the supposed conspiracy that Admiral Quinn is so concerned about. 

We also have Quinn offering Picard the rank of Admiral, just over halfway through the first season of TNG! Sure, his motives aren't so much about Picard's merit or qualifications, but that's still a rather big deal. By this point in TOS' first season, Kirk had arguably dealt with far greater problems than Picard had. So far--onscreen, at least--, Picard hasn't really done all that much to distinguish himself as a leader, diplomat, etc. 

Wesley's application to Starfleet Academy at least attempts to give the character some sense of growth and potential, as opposed to his eternally remaining the whiz kid who gets to fly the ship without an actual commission. Sure, that's still what he is, at this point, but we now get the sense that he'll eventually be going off to the Academy to continue shaping his talents. Which is exactly what'll happen, in future seasons (to the delight of Wesley-haters).

And, in case anyone had forgotten that we're still in the 1980s, we have bit parts played by Wyatt Knight (best known as Tommy Turner in the  PORKY'S trilogy) and Estee Chandler (who played Todd Howard's girlfriend in TEEN WOLF TOO).
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Rob Ocelot
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Posted: 04 October 2017 at 9:40pm | IP Logged | 11 post reply

re: "Home Soil"

I'm probably not the first person to twist the "ugly bags of mostly water" line into the creature's description of some of Troi's erm.... enhanced attributes.
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Greg Kirkman
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Posted: 05 October 2017 at 1:33am | IP Logged | 12 post reply

"Heart of Glory".

Not exactly a great episode, but ai enjoyed it quite a bit. This is the first time TNG has really dealt with the Klingons, and it has definitely laid groundwork for what is to come. It's also the first real showcase for Worf, and provides his origin story and a sense of his motivations. Up until now, he'd been a tertiary character at best, and a glorified extra at worst. You can see him being used more and more, up to this point, as the creators started making use of Michael Dorn's considerable gravitas and charisma.

Remember, at this point, all there was to go with regarding the Klingons was TOS and the first four movies. And, TNG had revealed nothing about where the Klingons were at, during this time period. Worf's presence on the Enterprise-D was a statement unto itself--peace between the Federation (US) and Klingon Empire (USSR), but there had yet to be any explanation of the how and why of it. This episode starts laying down the foundation of the honor/warrior-based Klingon society of the TNG era (itself a kinder, gentler extrapolation of the stuff established in STAR TREK III), and also establishes Worf's entire character, essentially. Having been raised by humans, he yearns to maintain the heart of a pure Klingon warrior, while also still respecting the rules and duties of his Starfleet career. Sort of a riff on Spock going hardcore-Vulcan in his attitudes and behavior in order to compensate for being half-human.

We also get another hint of the Romulan subplot that's been building over the back-half of the season.

Bonus points for the inclusion of Vaughn Armstrong as the leader of the Klingon renegades, since he was one of my favorite actors/characters on ENTERPRISE.
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