Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch (oh god no)

Started by Lemming, May 11, 2021, 02:05:41 PM

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Lemming

Quote from: daf on September 07, 2021, 01:23:41 PM
• Guinan & Picard : shagging confirmed!!

That stood out to me as well! "Beyond friendship... beyond family." Mysterious. Unless it really is just a typically euphemistic, Guinan-y way of saying "shag".

Makes me wish again that they'd have just gone all-out and replaced Troi with Guinan, making her the ship's counsellor, but I suppose there'd be major logistics issues in getting a big-name actor like Whoopi Goldberg to be able to do a weekly TV show at the time, so there'd just be long stretches of episodes where the ship's counsellor/captain's best """friend""" is inexplicably absent.

Malcy

Was it not confirmed in Shatner's Chaos On The Bridge or a DVD extra? I'm fairly sure I've seen it discussed by cast/crew.

Das Reboot

Quote from: Mobbd on September 07, 2021, 09:29:24 AM
Thanks for the de-facto introduction to Ex Astris Scientia. What an adorable and utterly devoted fan site. I fucking love it. Already starting to dig deep. Seriously, this is awesome.

I second this. That was my day taken care of.

MojoJojo

Quote from: Lemming on September 07, 2021, 12:31:36 AM
S04E01 - The Best of Both Worlds Part 2
Not sure if it's the episode's fault or my own lack of listening comprehension, but I couldn't tell you what the fuck is going on during the big scene where the SAUCER SEP happens. Why do the Borg ignore the saucer? Why do they let the shuttle through? They have no problem blowing up other Starfleet vessels on sight, including three which are all simultaneously destroyed on the way to Earth, so why do they give the Enterprise such an easy ride?

Picard knew Shelby's plan was to have a skeleton crew on the saucer section and use it as a distraction. It's not really explained in the episode though, and you have to remember Shelby's brief mention from several months earlier.

So the borg ignore the distraction, but it launches a shuttle under the cover of anti matter fireworks, so the borg can't see it. And once they're through the Em force field they're too close or something.

I dunno, I think it hangs together about as well as most TV Sci fi does I.e. Don't think about it too much. Could probably have used a line about Shelby's plan to use the saucer as a distraction.

Das Reboot

Quote from: MojoJojo on September 07, 2021, 08:16:35 PM
Could probably have used a line about Shelby's plan to use the saucer as a distraction.

That is not so subtly hinted at - someone, pretty sure it's Shelby, questions Riker's decision to go for a saucer sep because that plan will have been passed on the Borg, and he says he's "counting on it".

For me BoBW 1&2 are top drawer TNG and peak Borg as an existential threat. Like kalowski said, they seemed unstoppable. A whole new tier of baddie who are far superior to Klingons and Romulans etc.

The resolution is perhaps a little disappointing, but it gives us one of the best "TTFN dickheads!" shots of the whole show.


Lemming

S04E02 - Family

With the Enterprise docked at Earth, Picard takes time to visit his vineyard, while Worf's parents come to visit him on board the ship.

- Worf doesn't want to see his parents because to do so would be crushingly DISHONOURABLE. Picard's picking out some of his naffest shirts to visit the Picard Family Vineyard. Troi refuses to leave him alone and insists that he's all fucked in the head because of what happened with the Borg. Riker is now a Commander again, by the way, having inexplicably lost his Captain rank.

-
QuoteWORF: My mother is never on time. It is so human of her.
O'BRIEN: Well, you know women.
Yep, women are famed for taking ages to use the transporter, apparently. We learn that O'Brien's dad came aboard once and "chased one of the nurses around a bio-bed". Uh?

- Worf's parents are hilariously Russian. It appears that the reason Worf's mum took so long getting here is that she was doing her hair up to look exactly like Yubaba from Spirited Away. She also has a big flowy skirt just like Troi's!

- Picard meets his nephew, and learns that "son of a bitch" is still an insult in the 24th century. Really going for it in the 1950s gender stuff in this episode! He meets his sister in law, Marie, who has a Troi-like skirt of her own, completing the set.

- Earth in the future, rather than the cool cyberpunk deal you might expect, is actually unimaginably dull and represented by a vineyard (more or less the only thing I liked about Star Trek: Picard was the depiction of Earth with holo-screens and neon lights all over the shop). Picard goes to see his brother Robert, with whom he has a tumultuous relationship.

- Bev plot time. She's decided to have a fun time by looking through her dead husband's items. She finds a flash drive:
QuoteTROI: What's that?
BEV: It's for Wesley, from Jack. I'd forgotten it. Maybe I was just trying to forget it.
TROI: Why?
BEV: Jack recorded a holographic message to Wesley just after he was born. It was a gift for when he grew up.
It's been like 17 years since Wes was born!!

- Dinner time at the chateau. The dinner is mentally and physically agonising because Robert is a dick and Picard mostly tries to ride it out by playing with and eating a baguette. Robert HATES TECH and HATES STARSHIPS. The next scene has a guy say to Picard "you always reach for the future, and your brother for the past," to make sure you get it.

- Picard is invited to work on a project where they're trying to raise the ocean floor to create a new continent on Earth, which will be great for all kinds of reasons, apparently. Picard namedrops the planet from Pen Pals!

- Worf tells his parents to chill out because they're bringing MEASURELESS DISHONOR onto him. They get upset, and then Guinan appears out of fucking nowhere right next to them to stick her nose in as usual. She assures them that Worf is ace.

- Marie goes prancing off to the kitchen in her pink dress to get wine while the BIG SWINGING DICK MEN talk business. Picard agrees to become an Ocean Man and leave Shitfleet. Meanwhile, Worf tells his parents he's glad they came. HONOUR swells throughout the room.

- Robert taunts Picard for getting grabbed by the Borg, and then follows Picard around going on about how much of an arsehole he is. Picard punches him in the face and a mud-wrestling match commences. After they kick the shit out of each other a bit, it turns out punching your family members is actually great way to handle things, because they both laugh it up - for about five seconds, then Picard weeps about how he couldn't singlehandedly stop the Borg.

- Robert and Picard are now BEST MATES. We finally get back to the Bev plot, as Wesley enters the holodeck to see a horrific homo-image of DEAD DAD.

The actors playing Worf's parents are great, especially his mother who does a kind of demented wide-eyed grin at everything in sight. But all the plots here feel kind of shallow to me - Worf's slightly embarrassed to have his parents on board, and then decides that he's not after all, leading to much rejoicing. Not much to get into there. Wesley only comes in right at the end with the holo-message, which might be the most effective part of the episode. The stuff in the vineyard honestly just bores me to tears. The depiction of Earth is overwhelmingly dull and comically dated (and not even dated to the 1990s!), Marie and Nephew are non-entities, and Robert is just kind of an arsehole - although it was apparently all in the service of coaxing Picard into hitting him. Maybe the writers are going for an experience that I can't relate to - I do have a brother, but I quite like him and I can't remember ever solving one of my own emotional problems by physically assaulting him.

What's more though is that this is essentially the last part of The Best of Both Worlds, because we see how being Borg'd affects Picard. Have to be honest, in Star Trek I'm really not that interested in seeing how the heroes react in the aftermath of episodic adventures. I don't think City on the Edge of Forever would be any better if there was a whole subsequent episode about how sad Kirk is, for example, nor could The Doomsday Machine be any better if we had to spend an additional 45 minutes attending Matt Decker's funeral afterwards.

But even looking at the episode for what it sets out to do, the resolution to Picard's trauma feels very sudden and pretty simplistic. He wants to leave Starfleet to become an Ocean Man because of BORG TRAUMA, Robert says that he hated being Picard's older brother because he feels that it restricted what he was able to do, Picard punches him in the head and throws him to the ground, cries and says that it sucked being Borg'd, and then decides to cancel his new ocean job and go back to the ship. What? I think I get the intention, Robert made him lose his cool and then the Emotions came pouring out, but like... that's it? The Borg experience was so traumatic that he was considering leaving Starfleet, but a ten-second rant of "I WASN'T STRONG ENOUGH" and Robert asking him if he really wants to work on the ocean lab gets him right back on track? I dunno. 4/10


Poirots BigGarlickyCorpse

QuoteThe depiction of Earth is overwhelmingly dull and comically dated
oh god yeah how dare there still be vineyards in the 24th century and why aren't people wearing vacuum-sealed plastic onesies or whatever

Zetetic

From what I can remember, the vineyard shots are some of the most unpleasant uses of Californian terrain in Trek. They're alien enough to France (at least I as think of it) to feel disturbing, but the emphasis on a sense of place sort of half-sells you on the idea that this is what they did to the place after the Eugenics Wars or something.

Zetetic

And it's made worse by not making any attempt to sort of integrate it with Trek-tech-informed vision of the 24th century - ends up seeming a bit like Robert is running a theme park in the US or something.

Cloud

Mmmm for me I always quite liked the idea that with all this tech around, all the novelty would be in The Old Ways, as often depicted in Trek with places voluntarily having old farming lifestyles and small villages etc.

I both chuckle at and disagree with the criticism of Guinan "poking her nose in" everywhere - it's just classic barperson trope as also seen with Quark, to a limited degree Neelix etc.  To me it's more pointing out how redundant Troi is.  Yes people mope about stuff and need emotional support, but is being on a cushy starship so traumatic that it needs a dedicated counsellor as a senior officer?  Personally, no, but her sensing abilities could've been put to better use.

Agree with the criticism of how Picard's BORGIFICATION TRAUMA was handled, for the most part.  Well, considering the objective for TNG was for it to mostly be isolated episodes (which Voyager gets a lot of shit for, unfairly perhaps, but expectations were set after DS9), they did the best they could in one episode.  But in an ideal world it's something that would've visibly affected him and been a long running thread in all future episodes.  The sort of thing Discovery would do, to hand it a compliment.  As it stands, it's basically forgotten about until his sudden shitfit-out-of-nowhere in First Contact.

(Same goes for Inner Light, but we'll get to that criticism when it comes...)

Lemming

Quote from: Poirots BigGarlickyCorpse on September 09, 2021, 12:39:31 AM
oh god yeah how dare there still be vineyards in the 24th century and why aren't people wearing vacuum-sealed plastic onesies or whatever

At least special vacuum-onesies would be something to connect the vineyard to the universe that the show takes place in!

It's not just the visuals though (although they are extraordinarily boring, a matte painting of a couple radio tower things being pretty much all you get), it's the writing too. It doesn't feel like the future, the episode feels culturally like it's just the 20th century - other than the entire eerie vineyard experience, there's O'Brien's jarringly out-of-place and unusual "WOMEN EH" comment to Worf accompanied by the story of how his dad chases nurses around or whatever. There wasn't really any feeling to me that the people and places of this episode sit within the Star Trek universe - like Zetetic said, there's no atttempt to imagine how the existence of TNG-era technology might have impacted the vineyard and Robert and Marie's lives. It's a shame because it feels like a big missed opportunity to visit Earth at last and end up sat in an old country house for half an hour with a grumpy old man who checks the mud-levels on his mud-farm while his wife stands in the kitchen in her pink dress all day. Ultra-dreary.

The only real glimpse we get into how the future operates culturally is that there's people like Robert who hate "technology" ("technology" apparently refers to all technology developed for several hundred years before his birth).  Again it's a shame because one of the big successes of the first couple seasons was how fucking weird everyone is, it often felt like they actually did come from an alien future with different social codes and morals. And the show was much more willing to address the whole "there's no money in the future" angle.

Quote from: Cloud on September 09, 2021, 01:31:20 AM
I both chuckle at and disagree with the criticism of Guinan "poking her nose in" everywhere - it's just classic barperson trope as also seen with Quark, to a limited degree Neelix etc.  To me it's more pointing out how redundant Troi is.  Yes people mope about stuff and need emotional support, but is being on a cushy starship so traumatic that it needs a dedicated counsellor as a senior officer?  Personally, no, but her sensing abilities could've been put to better use.

Not a criticism, I like Guinan a lot! Her tendency to somehow materialise behind people at the exact moment they're having some kind of emotional crisis gives me a laugh every time. She's in a lot more episodes than I remember, she really is rendering Troi redundant lately.

MojoJojo

Quote from: Lemming on September 09, 2021, 12:28:26 AM
S04E02 - Family
What's more though is that this is essentially the last part of The Best of Both Worlds, because we see how being Borg'd affects Picard. Have to be honest, in Star Trek I'm really not that interested in seeing how the heroes react in the aftermath of episodic adventures. I don't think City on the Edge of Forever would be any better if there was a whole subsequent episode about how sad Kirk is, for example, nor could The Doomsday Machine be any better if we had to spend an additional 45 minutes attending Matt Decker's funeral afterwards.

I think the issue is it essentially draws attention to the reset button at the end of every episode. It's part of the convention of the episodic tv show that nothing has any lasting affect on anybody. Breaking that rule for one episode is problematic - Picard and the rest of the crew can't be real people who are affected by all the crazy shit that happens around them, because they'd be deeply traumatised emotional wrecks. I mean, how many siblings has Troi had to punch to get over all the mind rapes?

I can see why they went the vineyard route - trying to depict a future earth would be expensive, and quite possible a bit naff looking. So going the other way and making it deliberately old fashioned both in and out of universe is a trick round that. Agree it feels a bit weird though, especially when their talking about makig new continents and stuff.

Mobbd

Nothing to do with the episodes currently under discussion, but I thought you'd all like to see this. I know I did.

From (heh!) Amazing Heroes Swimsuit Special 1991, by Steven Bove.


Endicott

FOUR out of TEN? FOUR? This is an 11+ !!!!! FFS.

daf

075 | "Family"



Mud Brothers

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Highlights :
• Grape-scoffing Bro-mudgeon
• Jack Crusher's big box of crap
• Comrade Worf's Mumski & Dadski
• The Mud-fight Sketch
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Other Bits :
• Tiny posho "Uncle" nephew [is the French accent extinct now?]
• Atlantis Project Macguffin
• Black-balls space-chair #3 : Worf's preening pad
• Picard's awkward tin-can handbag
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Score :

The Culture Bunker

As someone with a distant relationship with his brother (we're very different people and if not for his two sons, I'd probably see him once a year at Christmas at most) I do sort of relate to the conflict between the Picard lads. The fella playing Jean-Luc's brother did a good job of portraying a stance of "I do love you, sort of, but I think you're a right dick".

Endicott

It is, after all, what the episode is about. Mirrored in Worf's family saga. These two quite different families love each other unconditionally but are still able to criticise each other. Robert recognises Picard's problem and also decides he needs a lot of needling to get it out of him. Hence the fighting. Daft but effective.

The sexism angle (O'Brien's comments, etc) could easily be said of the whole of TNG. Certainly up to this point, the series is rife with it. I can't see why this episode in particular is being singled out at this stage. You can make a good argument that it's a reason to consign the whole series to the bin, or you can look past it.

The reset button thing is, from a dramatic perspective at least, one of TNG's weaknesses. The fact that at least once, in this episode, they look at consequences is what makes this episode great, in the top 10 of the series.

Blumf

That whole raising the sea floor job thing was weird. What has Picard got to do with geo-engineering? Sure his crew have done stuff, but Picard himself? His interests are archaeology and pontificating, surely he'd be more likely to join in with some big dig in the ruins of planet Skcollob-9.

Quote from: Lemming on September 09, 2021, 12:28:26 AM
S04E02 - Family
...
We finally get back to the Bev plot, as Wesley enters the holodeck to see a horrific homo-image of DEAD DAD.

Er...

Mobbd

Quote from: Blumf on September 09, 2021, 02:54:56 PM
That whole raising the sea floor job thing was weird. What has Picard got to do with geo-engineering? Sure his crew have done stuff, but Picard himself? His interests are archaeology and pontificating, surely he'd be more likely to join in with some big dig in the ruins of planet Skcollob-9.

I think he was referring to the background events of Pen Pals.

Yes, I hate myself.

Malcy

Quote from: Blumf on September 09, 2021, 02:54:56 PM
That whole raising the sea floor job thing was weird. What has Picard got to do with geo-engineering? Sure his crew have done stuff, but Picard himself? His interests are archaeology and pontificating, surely he'd be more likely to join in with some big dig in the ruins of planet Skcollob-9.

Er...

I always assumed that he had used similar techniques elsewhere on other archeological digs and wanted his input.

Blumf

Quote from: Mobbd on September 09, 2021, 02:59:05 PM
I think he was referring to the background events of Pen Pals.

Yeah, but that wasn't Picard doing any work on it, that was his crew. They'd be better off asking Wesley, or even more relevant, the team members Wes managed in that episode.

MojoJojo

Picard would presumably be taking on a leadership role. That's his transferable skill.

MojoJojo

Quote from: Endicott on September 09, 2021, 02:26:16 PM
The reset button thing is, from a dramatic perspective at least, one of TNG's weaknesses. The fact that at least once, in this episode, they look at consequences is what makes this episode great, in the top 10 of the series.

I don't think you can really call it a weakness, it's just what it is. Like each episode being the same length. The reset button does have some advantages, especially in a world where you don't have everything on demand.

Blumf

Quote from: MojoJojo on September 09, 2021, 04:16:17 PM
Picard would presumably be taking on a leadership role. That's his transferable skill.

Still not a fit for Picard himself though, even if it might work for the project.

beanheadmcginty

The new Picard S2 trailer has just come it. It looks fucking shit. 7 of 9 driving an SUV for fuck's sake.

Mobbd

Quote from: beanheadmcginty on September 09, 2021, 04:41:41 PM
The new Picard S2 trailer has just come it. It looks fucking shit. 7 of 9 driving an SUV for fuck's sake.

Wow, that's significantly worse than even I'd imagined and my expectations were in dog pops territory. Holy shit. That's almost impressive.

Blumf


Malcy

Fitting that the thread is up to BOBW as
Spoiler alert
Shelby made an appearance in this weeks Lower Decks at a Starfleet party and was a captain.
[close]

Family is such a great episode and one that the franchise really should have done more of from time to time. A break from plot of the week and just a quiet reflective character piece.

Lemming

Quote from: Blumf on September 09, 2021, 02:54:56 PM
Er...

Shit. Jesus. Holo-image! Holo-image. Honestly, it's amazing I got as far as I did writing "holo" so many times without that happening.


Me, before sitting down to write any post

Blumf

Quote from: Lemming on September 09, 2021, 07:15:12 PM
Shit. Jesus. Holo-image! Holo-image. Honestly, it's amazing I got as far as I did writing "holo" so many times without that happening.

Could see a whole plot thread where Wes' dad had actually come out and ended the marriage, so Bev makes up a story about him dying and hides that holo-image from Wes. But oh-no, Wesley find the recording and witnesses the homo-image for himself.

Wesley isn't bothered by his gay dad, but is deeply shocked by his Daily Mail reading mum.