The Original TiT’s TNG Season 1 review

(A couple of) people suggested I “blog” about my TNG Season 1 experience. So, here are the musings of a mere novice TiT on what was undeniably a rollercoaster ride of an introduction to Star Trek…

cast_s1

The first thing that struck me was how dated it seemed, I just didn’t realise it was made in 1987, almost 30 years ago! It’s nearly as old as me 😉 So right from the start I knew I had to make allowances for things such as the fashion, style and SFX (and something I had to continuously remind myself of throughout!). I actually really liked the totally 80s soundtrack – I could tell instantly what sort of episode was going to follow – it’s a shame the music guy later got the sack (or so I’m told?).

Kicking off a new show with an episode like Encounter at Farpoint was somewhat of a bold choice I think? Despite it being a bit corny, it’s quite a heavy going two-hour initiation isn’t it? I mean, right from the off you realise that there are going to be a lot of “deeper meanings” and “take home messages” – there’s a lot to take in. It’s not going to be a no-brainer show that you can just relax in to, you have to keep your wits about you and pay attention right from the beginning?! (Give me the Real Housewives any day!) And I had no idea that John de Lancie’s “Q” was in the show right from the get-go?! A BIG, somewhat confusing character to throw in to a pilot/reboot episode?

EAF was also very Shakespearean – I wonder how much of an influence Sir Patrick Stewart had on his script, considering he was already a well-versed thespian before being cast as Picard, thanks to a lengthy stint with the RSC?

I did find the dual plotlines of some of the earlier episodes a bit confusing (it doesn’t take much!), one would always seem to dominate the other, and then they would hurriedly both be tied up in the last 5 minutes? In fact, I think Lonely Among Us was the first episode I really enjoyed – it seemed to have just the right amount of drama and humour. Don’t get me wrong, overall I liked EAF, but I have to admit to feeling a little exhausted by the end of it? (#shameonme) I did like the nod to TOS with the inclusion of DeForest Kelly – a reference not lost on this TiT! And I *LOVED* the giant space jellyfish, they were my absolutely favourite (they’re my Twitter header and everything!). I was disappointed to be informed that they don’t appear again 🙁

Back in the day, I wonder if EAF left the audience undecided as to whether to tune in to the next episode? I know the episodes were filmed out of sync (re: Tasha Yar “waving goodbye” in Symbiosis, which in fact aired before Skin of Evil, her ‘final’ episode), do you think the order was set in stone, or do you think they were able to giggle them about a bit to find the best fit? I guess a certain amount is set, to enable on-going story arcs, but I just remember thinking that The Naked Now (aka the “The Porn Episode”) was possibly a good choice of follow-up to Encounter at Farpoint – a bit of light hearted-relief after the humanity-damning premiere? Coincidence?

heisfromsouthamerica

The Season definitely gets better as it goes along – although there are some absolute stinkers (Code of Honor, Justice (sorry Sam!), Angel One). My favourite episodes were The Big Goodbye and Datalore. I actually really liked all the “holodeck” episodes, they were a welcome break from all the “strange new worlds” storylines. I enjoyed all the character building episodes, where we learnt more about the individual “main” crew members (such as The Battle, Haven, Datalore and Heart of Glory) and how some of their paths had crossed before…

For me, unfortunately, the acting at the start seemed a bit stiff and overdone? In particular Sir Patrick Stewart (surprisingly), Marina Sirtis and Denise Crosby. I think Stewart possibly went a little over the top with playing the “Captain”, and maybe realised he’d better lighten up a bit in later episodes, they wanted people to like the guy after all. I guess debuts are always difficult and it must take a while for you to gel with your character and castmates? I think Jonathan Frakes was very natural (albeit insanely smug and annoying) from the start? And Wil Weaton too, who by Coming of Age had become somewhat of a guilty pleasure!! (Although all that ‘Wesley saves the day’ malarkey was taking the p*ss?!)

But, Brent Spiner, can I just say… totally and absolutely 100% nailed it from the very beginning! Fantastic casting and such a good character to watch. He always leaves me wanting more (and no, not in rude way #NaughtyTiT)! I actually tried to compose a list of my favourite #ClassicData moments for this blog, but it was just too hard to narrow them down, it ended looking more like Brent Spiner’s script for the entire Season! One word though… indubitably 😉

There is one moment in particular that stuck out for me in Season 1. In The Neutral Zone, Picard says to the obnoxious unfrozen passenger: “A lot has changed in the past 300 years. People are no longer obsessed with the accumulation of ‘things’. We have eliminated hunger, want, the need for possessions, we’ve grown out of our infancy.” This to me sums up Gene Roddenberry’s vision for the future – a world not torn apart by greed and religious conflict. Sadly, you only have to pick up a newspaper, or switch on the TV, to realise that we are a long way from achieving such enlightenment. I can only hope that one day we will see the error of our ways, and Gene’s dream become a reality, because I sure as hell know which world I would rather live in!

So, did Season 1 leave me hungry for more? Honestly? Not exactly. But I am reliably informed that it does get better, you just have to make it through the first 2-3 seasons! What I have loved is the comradery that I have felt since embarking on this journey. Although it takes (quite a bit longer) live-tweeting along the way, I absolutely love it! The feedback I get from you guys is amazing – you’re always highlighting important bits that I should pay attention to ‘just in case’ they’re revisited later, and pointing me in the right direction of new things to enhance my learning experience (GIFs, etc). It wouldn’t have been the same without you, and I cannot wait to see what the future holds for these characters, because I know with you all with me, it’ll be one fun ride!

farpoint2_217
When will I see you again?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *