The Original TiT’s Season 3 TNG Review: Pt 1

Another Season down and I still haven’t learned my lesson! Instead of mentally trying to build a Season review in my head as I watch, and maybe even sensibly jotting a couple of notes down along the way, I still find myself having done neither of these things, and once again face the challenge of trying to remember what’s happened throughout the whole of Season 3! #badTiT

I thought I’d share my thought process with you, as it struck me as being quite funny? Well, you can tell I’m a die-hard Friends fan anyway?! This is how it began…

Episodes

  1. Evolution – Wesley’s nanites get loose – they communicate through Data
  2. The Ensigns of Command – Data takes control on-planet
  3. The Survivors – great “on planet” episode
  4. Who Watches the Watchers – the one where Troi and Riker are disguised as aliens that look a bit like Vulcan/Romulans?!
  5. The Bonding – the one with the creepy little boy – good Worf episode
  6. Booby Trap – the one where Geordi falls for the hologram
  7. The Enemy – Geordi and a Romulan are stranded on a planet together
  8. The Price – the one where Troi gets her rocks off
  9. The Vengeance Factor – two warring tribes?
  10. The Defector – the one with the Romulan defector – duh!
  11. The Hunted –
  12. The High Ground – Crusher is taken captive!
  13. Deja Q – Q EPISODE!!!
  14. A Matter of Perspective – the one where Riker’s in trouble – valuable life lesson here!
  15. Yesterday’s Enterprise – my fav!! Tasha’s back!!
  16. The Offspring – OMG! – the one with Data’s daughter
  17. Sins of the Father – Worf loses… something?!
  18. Allegiance – the one where Picard is kidnapped
  19. Captain’s Holiday – THE Risa episode
  20. Tin Man – got distracted (bored?)
  21. Hollow Pursuits – introducing BARCLAY!
  22. The Most Toys – Data is trophy-hunted L
  23. Sarek – the one with Spock’s Daddy!
  24. Menage a Troi – the return of Lwaxana Troi
  25. Transfigurations – the one where Crusher falls for the alien!
  26. The Best of Both Worlds Part I – Say. No. More.

From this I can deduce: –

  • I didn’t really rate “The Hunted” (no notes?).
  • I appear to remember the romances of the season better than anything else.
  • I got very excited about “Deja Q”.
  • My favourite episode of the Season was “Yesterday’s Enterprise”, and
  • That I possibly still don’t understand what happened in “Sins of the Father”?

So, there you have it, Season 3 review… DONE!

Only kidding!! I know you guys would appreciate a little more than that, so here goes…

(N.B. Forgive me, as I may have already touched on a couple of these points in my recent guest spot on TrekkieGirls, but I only realised afterwards, I gave away some of my best stuff!)

They really, really upped the ante with Season 3. I mean, It. Was. A-MAY-ZING! Start to finish. No real stonkers. It feels to me, that the show really “found its feet” in this season, with fantastic individual storylines and the building of some epic storyarcs, the characters are becoming more and more believable and real to me with every episode. I do wonder if this had anything to do with this letter (courtesy of the Mission Log Podcast) that Sir Patrick Stewart wrote to Gene Roddenberry a quarter of the way through Season 2? I can’t remember who shared this with me, but thank you SO much, it totally mirrors how I was feeling both during and post-Season 2, as I’m sure were many Trekkies/Trekkers experiencing it in “realtime” all those years ago? The letter really gave me an insight in to what was going on ‘behind the scenes’ and goes some length to explain why Season 3 totally kicks Season 2’s butt?! (That, and the writer’s strike during Season 2 I’m sure.)

It’s great to know that Stewart himself felt that a #Prusher relationship did exist: “I spent hours in front of the camera last season assuming – and acting – that it did…B. Crusher’s departure left a huge hole in the on-screen life of Picard” – did they/we know at this point that she’d be back for Season 3?

#Prusher

More than anything else, it sounds as though Stewart was (understandably) getting a little bored with the character? Almost as though he’d been promised something that hadn’t actually materialised? Well, I think Roddenberry certainly took on board what he said and actioned it, in my opinion, to perfection in Season 3. I feel Stewart was certainly given much more creative freedom in episodes like “Allegiance”, and his performance in “Sarek” was practically Oscar worthy?! Even “Captain’s Holiday” – in all of these episodes he introduced previously unseen sides of “Capt. P” (LOL!), very, very well. And by the time we reach “The Best of Both Worlds”, well, what more can I say…

Happy Picard

Sadly, I’m still not sure at this point that we have seen Picard really enjoying “the privileges that go with his rank and vessel – also the eccentricities permitted” – this sounds a little more like Riker to me?! ;p But I do love the thought that he could/would have been a modern Olympic pentathlete!

Capt P Fencing

Anyway, I digress… Everything about Season 3 feels new, from the uniforms to the opening credits, everything hollers “we mean business this Season”! Gates McFadden is back where she belongs, no more Pulaski, and everything is right with the world again.

ThatsnotmyTNGDr

With all the loving – I have taken to calling it “The Season of Love” – Season 3 definitely has a TOS vibe to it? (Not that I’ve seen that many episodes, but know of its (Kirk’s) reputation!) And OMG, one of my favourite bits of the Season? Worf giving Geordi advice on picking up girls! Absolute CLASSIC!!

Love Collage

Although I am wondering just how many more episodes they can squeeze out of the whole “falling in love with a holodeck character” thing, I did like the episode “Booby Trap” – for the extremely fun evening of #TNGrevisited naughtiness that ensued. So many double entendre?! #naughtyTiT #naughtyTiTties

I think I may have said this in last Season’s review, but Guinan is increasingly becoming one of my favourite characters?! I find her so intriguing – I love that we’re seeing more of her, learning more about her past in episodes like “Evolution”, and of her relationship/friendship with the Captain. The fact that Picard, an incredibly rational and logical man, trust’s her so implicitly in “Yesterday’s Enterprise”, above anybody/everybody else, is fascinating to me. However, it’s also great to see her interacting with other members of the crew – from the advice she gave Geordi in “Booby Trap”, to pep talk she gave to Riker in the Best of Both Worlds Pt II (okay, yes I know, technically Season 4, but for the purpose of this blog, I shall keep Pts I & II together) – the potential to further explore this character is limitless?

Guinan

As Sir Pat Stew so eloquently put it in the aforementioned letter to Gene: “Please let us not use up Whoopi’s quota without examining it” – here, here!! As such, I am really routing for @GuinanTheSeries – this HAS to be made!!!

On the subject of guest appearances… I loved “The A-Team” growing up, and seeing the fantastic Dwight Schultz playing the genius yet somewhat troubled Reginald Barclay in “Hollow Pursuits” was brilliant! Such a great introduction to a character that I am really hoping we’ll see again – I LOVE him and can’t wait to learn more about him!! I particularly enjoyed all the mini-Riker bashing?! Terrible I know, but so much fun!!

Speaking of whom, although “A Matter of Perspective” was a bit of a cringe “Riker” episode, I stand by my “note” earlier that this one held a great life lesson – there is always more than one side to a story! I do love you really Riker…

Smiling Riker

That’s probably why “The Price” really wasn’t my cup of tea – I’m very much #TeamTroi&Riker (for which reason I particularly enjoyed “Menage A Troi”). I guess maybe I don’t understand Betazoids, but she just seemed very… easy? Although it was great to finally see THIS scene in context…

THE gym scene

On the topic of episodes I wasn’t really keen on – the kid in “The Bonding” totally freaked me out…

Creepy Kid

…BUT (as always) a great Worf-centred episode! (Taking a sneaky peek forward to Season 4 – it’s great to see this ‘paternal’ side to Worf?) “Sins of the Father” was an epic episode, however I really think I need to re-watch this one to fully understand the gravitas of what happened there?

Of course, I am still totally and utterly in love with Data – for whom this Season has been amazing!! “The Offspring” had me crying like an actual baby! And I love the fact that even Data gets in on the amorousness that is Season 3, with all the kissing in “The Ensigns of Command” – another cracking episode BTW?! Then there is “The Most Toys”: did he fire the phaser? Who knows. But the mere fact that we all question that of an Android, proves just how great an actor Brent Spiner really is. It reminds me of something that he said at DST3 – that he “could feel the audience through the TV projecting their emotions on to him”. I personally think he is selling himself short here. What he did with Data, the subtle nuances that he added to the character, well deserved an Oscar! (Jeez, I’m giving away a lot of them in this review huh?)

Data (The Most Toys)

“Yesterday’s Enterprise” was a fantastic episode! Definitely in my top 3!! Such a clever plot and it was so great to see Denise Crosby back as Tasha Yar?! I love that it was left open, to possibly see her again in the future! #TiTwithherfingerscrossed

Saying that, “Deja Q” was also a FAB episode – always great to see John De Lancie back on my TV screen – this one literally had me LOLing! When Guinan stabbed Q with a fork? OMFG!! “The Captain is merely concerned with your ability to successfully interact with his little trained minions” #bestlineEVER – that was an actual Tweet of mine during this episode! And Data laughing…

Laughing Data

I know I said this in my Season 2 review, but I really do enjoy episodes like (personally, my most eagerly anticipated) “Captain’s Holiday”, “Menage A Troi” and “The Survivors” – seeing the cast in a more casual, relaxed setting. And wowsers! What a thought-provoking end to latter? Never saw that one coming?! A story of love and loss; and a demonstration of the sheer power of grief. Kevin Uxbridge really reminded me of a perhaps somewhat older and wiser Q?

To that end, the moral bar is kept very high in Season 3, with the crew constantly facing dilemma’s in episodes like “Who Watchers The Watchers”, “The Hunted” and “Transfigurations”. The Prime Directive is tested, time and time again. That’s the thing I’m really loving about TNG – it’s kind of timeless? Not in a fashion or style kind of way, because we all know that Season 1 seems horribly dated now, but in the way it tackles issues that are just as relevant today as they were twenty years ago when the Series first aired. I watched “The Most Toys” around about the time Cecil the Lion was mercilessly trophy hunted, so I could definitely draw parallels there. Or take the episode “The Higher Ground” for example – “in a world where children kill children” – confronts the issue of terrorism. I think I’m right in saying this episode wasn’t aired at first because of the very real threat from IRA terrorists at the time? It seems the world still hasn’t learned… #prayforpeace

I’ve seen Sir Patrick Stewart’s been in the press just recently, and I think he sums it up rather well. He says that he wished Politicians watched more Star Trek and followed his characters’ example: –

“Unlike my predecessor, Captain James T. Kirk, Jean-Luc Picard believed first and foremost in negotiation. He was a diplomat before he was a warrior. Talk, talk, talk and keep on talking. That would be a great message for the world to absorb… People don’t have to die to achieve a satisfactory solution to anything.” (Source: The Independent, Friday 14th August 2015)

Wise words there, wise words indeed.

I am starting to worry for one of my fave characters – Wesley – though? It feels that maybe they were starting to run out of ideas for him? And knowing that he does in fact leave TNG at some point (GASP!! I know, spoilers!!) I’m getting the feeling that that’s not too far away in the future of #TNGrevisited? Still, at least it’s nice to know that a quarter of the way through Season 2, Patrick Stewart was “a fan of” Wil Wheaton’s, whatever happened after that I am yet to fully understand…

Oh! Another little thing…something that I know urks Phil from The Engage Podcast (HUGE congrats on getting hitched BTW!) is the fact that this brand-spanking-new Starship seems to have so many “technical issues”. If the holodeck’s not up the creek (“Elementary Dear Data”/“Hollow Pursuits”), than the transporter’s melting things (“Evolution”) … #suspiciousTiT. Seems a little jinxed if you ask me? I think I’d be requesting a transfer…(JK!)

Snagglepuss

Which, last but by no means least, brings me to “The Best of Both Worlds” Pts I AND II… O.M.G. I literally held my breath through at least half, and was somewhat speechless when it was all over. (Anyone that knows me, will know that this doesn’t happen very often!) However, having eventually regained my composure, there is just so much to say, and as this Season review is already several pages long, I have decided to dedicate an entirely separate blog post to TBOBW. Watch this space for TheOriginalTiT’s Season 3 review “part deux” winging it’s way to you very soon…

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