Thoughts on Star Trek: TNG

Nov 19, 2019

About a decade ago (!), I posted some thoughts on several episodes of the original Star Trek series, as well as the original movies. Since that time, I've tried a time or two to try and watch Star Trek: The Next Generation, but I could never get past the first few episodes of the first season. Over the past few months, however, my wife and I have been giving it a good college try, and I'm glad that we've stuck it out.

Since I'm going through these episodes for the first time, I thought it might be interesting to share my thoughts as I proceed. I don't know how often I'll post my thoughts as I go, but I'll give it a shot over the coming weeks. I will certainly try to comment on any stand-out episodes we encounter.

Season 1 There's not much to redeem this season, so I'll keep my thoughts on this brief. Both Q-centric episodes were good, and I particularly liked Conspiracy and Heart of Glory. Data has a good backstory episode, and the Dixon Hill holo-deck episode was fun. Everything else was pretty much garbage.

Season 2 Starting off with a real stinker (The Child), I wasn't too optimistic about this season. It, too, is fairly uneven, with lots of forgettable episodes (the clip show being the worst imaginable). However, a few great ones stood out:

  • Loud as a Whisper was a solid episode about a deaf ambassador, played by a deaf actor.
  • A Matter of Honor was great television, wall to wall.
  • The Measure of a Man raised interesting moral questions about what it means to be human.
  • Time Squared was a fun time-travel episode with a neat ending.
  • Q Who was easily the best of the season. It introduces the Borg, was well acted, and had a terrific ending. Perhaps the best episode I've seen so far.

Season 3 We're only a few episodes in to this season as of this writing, but this has already been a solid season. It feels like a completely different show from this point. The sets are higher quality, the story lines are much more serious, and the acting is top notch.

  • The Ensigns of Command was a fun Data-centric episode.
  • The Survivors was super solid; it felt like an X-Files episode. Everything on a planet has been destroyed except a man, his wife, and the patch of ground around their home. Excellent episode.
  • Who Watches the Watchers was pure science fiction candy. Felt like something the one of the science fiction greats would have written.
  • The Bonding was a super deep episode about the loss of family members. Michael Dorn (as Worf) was excellent in this episode, and the cinematography was of note.

All in all, I'm enjoying this run through this old television show.

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