Author Topic: Star Trek - The Next Generation  (Read 5724 times)

dr_christian_troy

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Star Trek - The Next Generation
« on: March 02, 2020, 12:50:03 PM »
I've been on-off working through TNG and am currently nearing the end of Season 4. A few observations that I'm sure all fellow Trek fans will have noticed already but anyway:

- Riker is an absolute shagger isn't he? I recently watched the "First Contact" episode where he was disguised as a resident of Malcor (not sure why they're listed as humanoid when they still have to modify Riker's face to blend in) and then Bebe Neuwirth turns up and says "I'll let you go if we have sex" and it's heavily inferred that he goes along with it (and subsequently botches the escape anyway). I never understood why he's always looking to shag everything that moves when it's apparent very early on that he and Troi are inevitably going to hook up, but I guess perhaps they have an understanding of some kind.

- Speaking of Troi, her episodes are a bit varied in terms of quality. There's the episode called The Price which is just incredibly poor. She starts a relationship with a fellow empath and you have these nonsensical scenes of her and Crusher talking bollocks in a gym. Apparently it was written by someone who used to write for The Bold And The Beautiful and by Christ it shows. Even in an episode where she's secondary, like "Night Terrors" - which has some genuinely effective and creepy moments - she's the only one who can still dream and they have her flying about like Superman in a dress.

- I find the Data episodes the most enjoyable - and often the most moving. "The Offspring" and "Brothers" were particularly lovely. It's always a pleasure to see Brent Spiner do his thing.

- Always a pleasure to see Dwight Schultz (aka Not Matt Frewer) turn up too.

- I tried to dip into Deep Space Nine but always felt a bit weird about Sisko hating Picard. I understand why because of his wife being murdered in the midst of a mass genocide but we as the audience know that it wasn't exactly something he signed up for nor had any control over.

- I like the episode "Devil's Due" where Picard calls bullshit on a deeply annoying character who pretends to be some powerful being but is actually a fraud. He basically tells her to fuck off in so many words.

I have other thoughts but have no energy at present. Anyways, who else is a fan? Any particular episodes you love or hate? Any particular characters?

« Last Edit: March 02, 2020, 01:01:03 PM by dr_christian_troy »

Alberon

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Re: Star Trek - The Next Generation
« Reply #1 on: March 02, 2020, 01:03:49 PM »
I’d suggest giving DS9 another go. The Picard-hating doesn’t extend past the first episode and after the traditional ropey first season it starts to improve.

Re: Star Trek - The Next Generation
« Reply #2 on: March 02, 2020, 01:04:21 PM »
The night terrors episode had me slightly shitting it during the floating sequences. I love Troi as a character, but yeah some of her episodes are duffers.

LaForge gets on my tits a bit, and I think the writers deliberately tried to make Wesley Crusher irritating to the point of murder fantasy. Why they did this, I do not know.
Riker are great, anytime Riker has that shit eating grin I can't help but laugh. And yeah I wasn't expecting him to actually shag Bebe Neuwirth, it was odd, that must violate the prime directive surely?

Worf is the main man though, and for good reason. Any episode involving Klingons is gold.

Bev Crusher is a bit boring and she has only had two episodes I can remember; the one where she slips into a time thing and the ship's crew slowly disappears, and the one where she is captured by bastard rebels who are using teleportation technology that is tearing their insides apart. Beyond that, window dressing.

Data is fine but christ I am getting sick to death of his "what is humour?" shite, still waiting for that emotion chip.

Picard is obviously the bees tits and anything he says or does I react to with awe.

My favourite episode so far is 'any episode with Q in it'.

Blumf

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Re: Star Trek - The Next Generation
« Reply #3 on: March 02, 2020, 01:14:44 PM »
(not sure why they're listed as humanoid when they still have to modify Riker's face to blend in)

Humanoid is the body shape, 2 arms + 2 legs + 1 head, not anything specific about what those appendages look like.

Lemming

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Re: Star Trek - The Next Generation
« Reply #4 on: March 02, 2020, 01:38:13 PM »
I fucking hate Riker. In the first couple seasons he's mostly alright but then quickly turns into a complete dumbshit who's capable of doing only four things:

- agreeing with whatever the last thing someone said to him was (bonus points if he confidently presents it as if it was his own idea)
- panicking
- being poisonously jealous of Troi
- shouting or sneering at people he's just met and being nasty to them for no reason

He's so incompetent he shouldn't be anywhere near a Galaxy-class ship. He's barely even First-Officer-on-a-garbage-scow material. As soon as he takes command of the ship in "Rascals", he fucking loses it to a boarding party of THREE FERENGI, during which his one and only command decision is to hopelessly yell "SHIELDS" at Worf while his voice cracks. Fucker. Also just look at how he treats Ro Laren at virtually all times. The first thing she gets when she beams a board is a faceful of bearded dickhead snapping at her.

Data is okay depending on the writer - the "what is humour" shit is insufferable a lot of the time and I always hate episodes that call for him to be played as if he's secretly got emotions/"humanity" but just hides it. The more interesting uses of the character are the ones where people expect him to be Spock-esque, but find out he actually is just an emotionless computer - "Ensigns of Command" (kind of), "In Theory" etc. "Measure of a Man" sucks not just because Riker and Picard both present completely stupid cases which don't prove anything either way, but also because Spiner plays Data as if he's obviously sapient and barely suppressing his anger at Maddox. That's not how he's played in most other episodes and it just serves to further undermine the ambiguity that would have made the episode interesting.

I tried to dip into Deep Space Nine but always felt a bit weird about Sisko hating Picard. I understand why because of his wife being murdered in the midst of a mass genocide but we as the audience know that it wasn't exactly something he signed up for nor had any control over.

Sisko isn't meant to come across as being totally reasonable a lot of the time. Especially in the earlier seasons (my favourite ones), he's pretty moody and easily exasperated and comes across like he can't be bothered running the station or dealing with Bajoran NONSENSE, though he still maintains enough professionalism and command presence to avoid coming across as a whiny baby. DS9 is really worth watching, at least the first five or so seasons.

dr_christian_troy

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Re: Star Trek - The Next Generation
« Reply #5 on: March 02, 2020, 01:41:58 PM »
Humanoid is the body shape, 2 arms + 2 legs + 1 head, not anything specific about what those appendages look like.

Fair enough. These guys had fused fingers which made me wonder about their genitals though. Even Riker says to Bebe something along the lines of "this might not work because our parts are different" but proceeds anyway.

dr_christian_troy

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Re: Star Trek - The Next Generation
« Reply #6 on: March 02, 2020, 01:52:46 PM »
Riker are great, anytime Riker has that shit eating grin I can't help but laugh. And yeah I wasn't expecting him to actually shag Bebe Neuwirth, it was odd, that must violate the prime directive surely?

Bebe seems to playing it for laughs, but it would have been better if Kelsey Grammer turned up as a cuckolded alien and then Riker punches him in the mouth.

Worf is the main man though, and for good reason. Any episode involving Klingons is gold.

My favourite episode so far is 'any episode with Q in it'.

I just watched "Q-Pid" which I enjoyed very much. Worf dressed as Will Scarlett looking deeply unhappy and saying "I'M NOT A FUCKING MERRY MAN" made me do a laugh.

dr_christian_troy

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Re: Star Trek - The Next Generation
« Reply #7 on: March 02, 2020, 02:25:04 PM »
I also appreciate the gradual exhaustion of knowing that an episode about Troi's mum is imminent. Whereas in earlier episodes she would pop up in the cold opening as a surprise and the response would be "Oh God", there's an episode in Season 4 where a bloke from MASH has to go and kill himself because it's tradition and within seconds of the opening Picard basically says "Troi's mum's here" so you know whether to skip it or not. The MASH chap is a good actor though and Michelle Forbes pops up as his daughter before she came back full time in another role later on.


dr_christian_troy

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Re: Star Trek - The Next Generation
« Reply #8 on: March 02, 2020, 02:32:10 PM »
Also, the episode where Picard is forced to go on holiday and instantly gets harassed by that Ferengi twat is farcical. Then he meets Vash and it all goes a bit Indiana Jones for about 10 seconds.

Re: Star Trek - The Next Generation
« Reply #9 on: March 02, 2020, 02:34:53 PM »
Yeah that was a crap one for me. As of reaching season 4 I have jut started to half watch a lot of them so am taking a break, to come back to it and get more enthused.

Re: Star Trek - The Next Generation
« Reply #10 on: March 02, 2020, 03:31:05 PM »
Isn't a "cold opening" where a show/movie opens in media res, i.e. in the middle of a scene? The bits at the start of episodes are called "pre-credits sequences" or "teasers". So in theory (although I'm not sure if TNG ever did it), you could have a non-cold-opening teaser, then the credits, then a cold opening to the episode proper.

Or has the naming changed recently? If it has, I have to admit I probably wouldn't be aware of it.

TNG is ace, by the way. Even the terrible first season.

Re: Star Trek - The Next Generation
« Reply #11 on: March 02, 2020, 04:40:02 PM »
I’d suggest giving DS9 another go. The Picard-hating doesn’t extend past the first episode and after the traditional ropey first season it starts to improve.

This. I don't want to spoil anything, but once you discover what's truly going on beyond the wormhole then it gets great. Series 3-6 are utterly fantastic, with the best overarching story ever done in trek, that never feels overbearing and still presents great episodic stories within its frame.

As for TNG, it's hit and miss story wise but has in Picard, Data & Worf, 3 of the best characters in TV history. There's nothing better than Picard sorting everyone's shit out with a great speech. Pity they didn't keep that character for the new show. But that's a discussion for a different thread.

Re: Star Trek - The Next Generation
« Reply #12 on: March 02, 2020, 04:45:57 PM »
I fucking hate Riker. In the first couple seasons he's mostly alright but then quickly turns into a complete dumbshit who's capable of doing only four things:

- agreeing with whatever the last thing someone said to him was (bonus points if he confidently presents it as if it was his own idea)
- panicking
- being poisonously jealous of Troi
- shouting or sneering at people he's just met and being nasty to them for no reason

He's so incompetent he shouldn't be anywhere near a Galaxy-class ship. He's barely even First-Officer-on-a-garbage-scow material.

Pretty sure every discussion of him by Picard with superiors is him being a genius chessmaster type who always gets the upper hand, poker master as well, and he should have had his own command ages ago. It's only his lack of ambition that holds him back. God knows.

He is shit at the trombone, though.

Lemming

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Re: Star Trek - The Next Generation
« Reply #13 on: March 02, 2020, 04:56:58 PM »
Pretty sure every discussion of him by Picard with superiors is him being a genius chessmaster type who always gets the upper hand, poker master as well, and he should have had his own command ages ago. It's only his lack of ambition that holds him back. God knows.

Yeah! It's so absurd because Picard's descriptions of him just don't match up with the character we see on-screen. He also argues with that one admiral guy that Riker's "joviality" is what makes the crew respect him so much - the crew don't seem to respect him (other than Wes, who is a loser), and "jovial" is the last word I'd use to describe the moody power-tripping prick.

I wonder if Picard secretly asked for Riker as part of a kind of social experiment. Picard's really into the whole Federation ethos of "everyone has something to contribute, all people can stand together" and all that. Maybe he hand-selected the most sub-standard, irritable, and all-around crap officer in all of Starfleet Academy and requested him as his First Officer, just to prove a point.

In fact, to prove this point further - any time we see a variant of Riker in which he's not coddled by Picard, we see a much better officer. Thomas Riker, the transporter duplicate who never met Picard, is assertive and driven (especially when he resurfaces in DS9). The Riker in the "Yesterday's Enterprise" universe (where a massive war presumably prevents Picard from mollycoddling him the whole time) is much more professional and controlled.

This is my completely legitimate fan theory.

Re: Star Trek - The Next Generation
« Reply #14 on: March 02, 2020, 04:57:51 PM »
rattled through the whole thing in 1994 when sky showed an episode every day, fucking loved it

didn't try the further star trek shows, am i missing out?

Lemming

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Re: Star Trek - The Next Generation
« Reply #15 on: March 02, 2020, 04:59:22 PM »
didn't try the further star trek shows, am i missing out?

DS9 and Voyager are both well worth watching. Both have dodgy opening seasons but from around season three onwards, they're both great. DS9 goes mental in the last two seasons and personally I think it goes to absolute shit but that seems to be contentious.

Re: Star Trek - The Next Generation
« Reply #16 on: March 02, 2020, 05:09:23 PM »
DS9 goes mental in the last two seasons and personally I think it goes to absolute shit but that seems to be contentious.

Disagree on 6, but 7 is a comedown.

Re: Star Trek - The Next Generation
« Reply #17 on: March 02, 2020, 05:32:58 PM »
Sorry, I hate to be the person that says "the thing you like isn't very good", but I just didn't get on with Voy, and I was super into Trek at the time it started. It was a real comedown after TNG and DS9. Towards the end of TNG, they were running out of ideas (I didn't realise it at the time, but it's obvious now). DS9 avoided this, due to its unique setting, and then by going in a different direction (I don't like it that much, but that's personal taste; I have to admit it's a great show).

Voyager had an interesting premise, but then just tried to be TNG, but had much blander characters. The Doctor was the only good character, and Neelix was the worst ever Trek character (even more annoying than Wesley in TNG and Rom in a "comedy" Ferenghi DS9 episode).

And it had the problem that the well of good TNG was already empty. There are episodes that are straight retreads of TNG episodes. I'm sure it did have some great episodes in its run, but I gave up very quickly due to it being incredibly dull, and the setup totally unconvincing (it just didn't make any difference that they were a lone ship on the other side of the galaxy). From time to time I checked in, and it was awful (IMO). Attempts to sex it up were overrated (7 of 9) or totally stupid (the Borg Queen and general treatment of the Borg).

Just IMO of course.

If you want to get me back, diss TNG. I usually cry when that happens.

Famous Mortimer

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Re: Star Trek - The Next Generation
« Reply #18 on: March 02, 2020, 05:56:04 PM »
I rewatched TNG a few years back, and it was better than I remember it. I didn't hate Crusher as much as I did when I was a kid (although he definitely had an air of the Mary Sue about him from time to time), and loved the way it just told a story in an hour and fucked off. Picard is one of the greatest characters in TV history, as well. Plus, I don't hate Riker as much as some in this thread - the episode where he was so horny he nearly boned that member of the asexual species was a highlight.

Endicott

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Re: Star Trek - The Next Generation
« Reply #19 on: March 02, 2020, 06:00:18 PM »
DS9 is the last truly great trek show.

I dislike Voyager intensely, but I'd probably have been more predisposed to give it some leeway if it hadn't squandered its premise so quickly. The very first episode started with a great setup of Maquis rebels forced to get on with their Federation enemies - all stuck on a star ship marooned 50 odd years travel from home. This had enormous potential for dramatic conflict, however they threw the whole idea away immediately by making the Maquis acquiesce and simply all become part of the Voyager crew. Literally shooting at one another one moment and then working together as if nothing had happened by the start of episode 2.

To be fair I suppose, some people liked the result. I stuck it out for about 5 seasons, because at the time it was all there was.

Re: Star Trek - The Next Generation
« Reply #20 on: March 02, 2020, 06:01:21 PM »
I loved the time twistery/alternate reality one in TNG, like that one where they are stuck in a loop, or when Worf notices things have changed. The tiny glimpse of knackered Riker in the Borg overrun universe is ace.

And I love Michelle Forbes as Ro Laren. Shame she didn't transfer to DS9 as was originally intended.

And I too cannot watch any ep featuring Troi's Mum.

Blumf

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Re: Star Trek - The Next Generation
« Reply #21 on: March 02, 2020, 06:02:55 PM »
Sorry, I hate to be the person that says "the thing you like isn't very good", but I just didn't get on with Voy

VOY isn't perfect by any means, but it does have a few solid things in it's favour. The Doctor, as mentioned, but I'd also rate 7 of 9 with some great character work. And with Janeway, Torres, 7, and Kes, I think it can safely claim to be the most feminine take on Trek, somewhat making up for the god-awful sexual politics of TOS.

The setting was rather squandered, with the Maquis gang folding into Star Fleet ways far too easily. Could have had Janeway and Chakotay at loggerheads a lot more, instead of him just putting on a uniform and fading into the background.

The stories are a mixed bag. A lot of honkers, but also some interesting ideas. Hell of a lot of body horror, looking back at it.

Endicott

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Re: Star Trek - The Next Generation
« Reply #22 on: March 02, 2020, 06:03:35 PM »
Sorry, I hate to be the person that says "the thing you like isn't very good",

ha ha I don't.

Quote
Voyager had an interesting premise, but then just tried to be TNG, but had much blander characters. The Doctor was the only good character, and Neelix was the worst ever Trek character (even more annoying than Wesley in TNG and Rom in a "comedy" Ferenghi DS9 episode).

The EMH, maybe Seven, maybe B'elanna Torres, although I'm reaching now. Otherwise good points well made.

Re: Star Trek - The Next Generation
« Reply #23 on: March 02, 2020, 06:03:43 PM »
I have a lot of warm memories of TNG, as it used to be on Sky One at 5pm every weekday, so perfect to watch post-school instead of, you know, studying for exams.

The most telling thing about Riker is that when his transporter clone is brought on board, his instant reaction is negative. The man clearly hates his own guts, probably because he knows he's useless at anything beyond copping off. And even then he endangers everyone, when he scored with the lass who got him hooked on the video game headset thing. I wouldn't be surprised if one day he wipes out all of humanity through some kind of alien HIV/Coronavirus type thing.

DS9 was the last Trek I did enjoy, particularly the annual "make O'Brien suffer" episodes and anytime Garak turned up.

Lemming

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Re: Star Trek - The Next Generation
« Reply #24 on: March 02, 2020, 06:08:15 PM »
Troi's mother is alright - she's completely unbearable but that's the point. It's a great portrayal by Majel Barrett, she makes you really hate Lwxwana but plays her with just enough nuance that you can kind of feel sorry for her at times.

And it had the problem that the well of good TNG was already empty. There are episodes that are straight retreads of TNG episodes. I'm sure it did have some great episodes in its run, but I gave up very quickly due to it being incredibly dull, and the setup totally unconvincing (it just didn't make any difference that they were a lone ship on the other side of the galaxy). From time to time I checked in, and it was awful (IMO). Attempts to sex it up were overrated (7 of 9) or totally stupid (the Borg Queen and general treatment of the Borg).

Just IMO of course.

If you want to get me back, diss TNG. I usually cry when that happens.

I don't think Voyager is as similar to TNG as people say. It follows the same formula and feels like it takes place in the same universe but it's much more prepared to do pulpy and surreal episodes, or outright metafiction. They also just take a lot of risks that TNG would never have taken - there's an episode where literally 90% of screentime doesn't take place on Voyager or feature any of the crew, and is instead about one of Janeway's ancestors (played by Mulgrew) in the year 2000. It's worth watching from season three onwards, most of the odd characterisation and proper shit episodes are in the first two seasons. Maybe in the wake of Picard and Discovery you'll find yourself more receptive to something that's definitively Star Trek - I've been going back to select episodes from all the pre-Discovery series except Enterprise and the contrast after sitting through Romulan ninja elves is stark.

It's also the only show to ever do anything interesting with the Borg. I thought they were pretty dull in TNG outside of "I, Borg", but Voyager has a lot of episodes dealing with ex-Borg people, deassimilation, people who disconnected from the Borg but got permanently mindfucked in the process, stuff like that.

Also Seven isn't overrated! I think she's by far the best Spock-clone since Spock himself, easily beating Data and Odo who I thought were both frequently annoying and not used consistently well (remember when Odo lost his shapeshifting abilities for about 30 seconds?).

Chakotay is also a great character when you realise he's a useless middle-manager. He's absolutely useless at everything and all he ever does is insert himself into other people's business and give utterly useless feedback to Janeway. He's like a benevolent Riker. A crucial part of the enjoyment of Voyager is watching Robert Beltran gradually get more and more lazy and listless with his performance as the series goes on, until he's just botching every single line - sort of like Alexander Siddig did in DS9 but over seven long drawn-out years instead of a couple seasons.

Sin Agog

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Re: Star Trek - The Next Generation
« Reply #25 on: March 02, 2020, 06:19:44 PM »
Riker are great, anytime Riker has that shit eating grin I can't help but laugh. And yeah I wasn't expecting him to actually shag Bebe Neuwirth, it was odd, that must violate the prime directive surely?

It only breaks the prime directive if you're a memorable lay.

Sin Agog

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Re: Star Trek - The Next Generation
« Reply #26 on: March 02, 2020, 06:22:37 PM »
I doubt they're fan favourites, but Lwxwana turning into a cat in heat around Odo actually transpired to be one of the more touching relationships.  You can see the attraction: he'd be like a sentient chill-out zone to her overworked emotions.  I see so many bubbly women with surly Matthau-like men and I imagine they must hold a similar appeal to them.

Endicott

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Re: Star Trek - The Next Generation
« Reply #27 on: March 02, 2020, 06:54:49 PM »
Years ago when I bought the TNG boxed sets I didn't bother with S1 and S2 because I knew I'd never watch them. They're no worse than the worst of TOS but they don't have the nostalgic appeal to me that TOS does. Looking back now I think I'd quite like a version of Measure of a Man, and perhaps Skin of Evil. Maybe that Conspiracy one. Ah fuck me they're all on Netflix anyway.

S3 was when it started getting consistent. I was thinking about Family S4E2, Picard's recuperation episode after the Borg, the one that Roddenberry hated and that everyone else thought close to the best the series could offer. Loved Worf's parents in that, and also loved that they didn't need any proper adventure or other subplot to intrude on Picard's grief.

Have you got to Drumhead yet bgmts? That should wake you up.

Re: Star Trek - The Next Generation
« Reply #28 on: March 02, 2020, 07:00:11 PM »
Drumhead is next episode after this one, Qpid, which I may watch with tea tonight. Excited now, fuck.

Blumf

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Re: Star Trek - The Next Generation
« Reply #29 on: March 02, 2020, 07:03:11 PM »
Now normally, I hate Mirror Universe stories, and am thankful that TNG never went there. Buuut, a couple of years back there was a TNG Mirror Universe comic that completely nailed it!

A paranoid Barclay, violent loon Yar, Data more interested in augmenting himself, Troi a sadistic vamp, and ruling over them all a quiet scheming Picard, free from morals, focused solely on ambition.

https://comicpunch.net/reader/Star-Trek-TNG-Mirror-Broken/Star-Trek-TNG-Mirror-Broken-(2017)-0

Art work is a bit meh (lot of 'broken' necks as the artists struggles to match up source pictures to the action), but so very worth it for evil Picard.