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Tyler Kloster
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Posted: 20 September 2017 at 10:34am | IP Logged | 1 post reply

"Where No One Has Gone Before" is pretty much the only good episode out of the first 10...not a good ratio. And it's only "good", far from great.

I remember I was one of the people who received a letter from the actor who played Chief Engineer Argyle in that episode---never knew how he got my name and address as a Star Trek fan. He was soliciting input on his performance after that, hoping to eventually get a more regular position on the show. I never responded.

From what I recall, Paramount found out and was furious. Argyle only got one more appearance on the show and was never seen again.
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Joe Boster
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Posted: 20 September 2017 at 12:13pm | IP Logged | 2 post reply

No One... was pretty good. I mostly watched it rather than worked on business stuff on the computer. Really the most Grating part is Wesley the Wonder-child. From nuisance to acting ensign in 5 shows. The only thing worse of course is the way they got rid of him. 

Also I accidently watched an episode of on Netflix rather than Amazon Prime. SO blurry it hurts. Like watching it on a vcr. So happy this is HD on Amazon! 

Also Watching DS9 season 4. Michael Dorn is such a wonderful addition to that cast. He looks good back in Red. Never much cared for Worf before. But he really fits on DS9. 
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Greg Kirkman
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Posted: 20 September 2017 at 8:53pm | IP Logged | 3 post reply

"Justice". 


So, John D.F. Black took his name off this one, due to extensive rewriting. Considering the subject matter (a planet of scantily-clad, amorous, late-80s-pornstar-looking people and their machine-God), I wouldn't be surprised if Roddenberry's fingerprints are all over this thing.

This is basically a late-80s porno mixed with "The Apple" and "Bem". A few interesting ideas are introduced, but they're not done...er...justice. At the end, Picard basically says, "Yeah, no, you're not killing the kid", and then leaves. We get the beginning of what would be a Picard Speech, but it doesn't quite land in any sort of meaningful way. 

However, we are starting to also get into Michael Dorn's wonderful flair for humor, as well, as Worf is slowly escaping from being essentially a background player. 


This is another episode where very little actually happens, which is a common problem with early TNG. That whole "no conflict" thing is very much in evidence, and not in a good way. A lot could have been made of the inherent drama of Wesley being set for execution, particularly in terms of Picard struggling with his ethical dilemma vs. Dr. Crusher pleading for her son's life. There's a little of that, here, but it's not developed enough.
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Greg Kirkman
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Posted: 22 September 2017 at 12:13am | IP Logged | 4 post reply

"The Battle".


A solid episode, if unremarkable. Most notable for giving us a bit of Picard's backstory...and for introducing Wesley's rainbow-striped shirt.

Interesting story behind the Stargazer: At the time of the TNG pilot, the set-dressers had placed a kitbashed, four-nacelled starship model in Picard's ready room to represent his previous command. By the time of this episode, it had been decided that the movie-era Enterprise model would be reused as the Stargazer. To that end, the familiar set-dressing model in the ready room set was replaced with an AMT Enterprise model (painted silver) for this episode and the next. The Stargazer was also described as being Constitution class in dialogue.

However, the decision was made after filming to NOT reuse the movie-era Enterprise model (perhaps to keep that design unique to Kirk and the TOS movies), and the producers realized that a design already existed for Picard's ship. So, a new FX model was built based on the kitbashed model which had previously been sitting in the ready room set. And, if you watch the episode carefully, you can see that "Constitution" was overdubbed with the very similar "Constellation". I like the Stargazer design quite a bit, and feel it fits in pretty well with the movie-era ships.

Not a whole lot else to say, except that this is probably one of the more not-terrible episodes of the initial batch. "Meh", but not terrible.
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Joe Boster
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Posted: 22 September 2017 at 10:53am | IP Logged | 5 post reply

"Justice" only saw 1/2  th episode becuase of customers. Scrificicing a whole colony for one Super-Genus seems like what the prime directive was meant to prevent. The set dressing guys and girls felt really forced.
Maybe they can revisit as the Stars  series Star Trek: Spartacus. 

 Worf is the stand out character. Really the probkem with jordi moving to engineering will be all the technobabble that will result from needing to give him lines. Too many people on the bridge! It's really a shame about Denise Crosby, such a waste. 
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Greg Kirkman
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Posted: 23 September 2017 at 12:42am | IP Logged | 6 post reply

"Hide and Q".

Well, this one has a mix of good moments and ideas (mostly the stuff with Picard and Q facing off) with some really dumb stuff. It almost feels like a bad third season episode of TOS, at times. John de Lancie is a joy to watch, as usual. On the flipside, this episode really highlights just how wasted Denise Crosby was, and how badly written Tasha often was. It's painful to watch, as she sort-kinda tries to make a pass at Picard while in Q's "penalty box".

The climax of the episode is just a mess. It starts to feel more and more like Riker and Picard had secretly worked out a plan to make it look like Riker is being tempted by Q's power...but then we see that he REALLY was. He REALLY was smug and arrogant, and called Picard "Jean-Luc", and tried to force his friends' deepest desires upon them against their wishes. This episode makes Riker look pretty darn bad, and more than a little naive. Riker's shallow characterization makes this feel more like a Saturday morning cartoon than STAR TREK.

Considering where the character will later go, once the show actually becomes good, it's almost inconceivable to imagine the Riker of later seasons falling into Q's trap, as he does here. Terrible writing!
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Rob Ocelot
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Posted: 23 September 2017 at 7:44am | IP Logged | 7 post reply

My only comment about "Hide and Q" is....

"Some sort of.... animal things"

GREAT detailed analysis there, Geordi.  Definitely earned his bridge crew bonus pay that day. :-P
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Greg Kirkman
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Posted: 23 September 2017 at 9:32am | IP Logged | 8 post reply

It should be noted that Worf is the one who came up with the "animal things" description. Geordi just repeated the phrase in his report to Picard. 
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Greg Kirkman
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Posted: 24 September 2017 at 11:55pm | IP Logged | 9 post reply

"Haven".


...aka "Betazoid 'Amok Time'".


A pretty "meh" episode, with a few interesting ideas that never quite come together in a satisfying way. Some good character moments.

Always fun to see Majel Barrett-Roddenberry hamming it up as Troi's mom, too. Her appearance in TNG seems fitting, since Gene Roddenberry snuck her into TOS (back when she was just his mistress) not once, but twice.
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Greg Kirkman
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Posted: 25 September 2017 at 11:45pm | IP Logged | 10 post reply

"The Big Good-Bye".


Well, now. Here we have what may very well be the first genuinely good episode of TNG (and one which also won a Peabody Award). There's definitely a lot of fun and life in this one, and Picard has finally broken out of the role of the stern old man, as we get to see him really be passionate and excited about something, for a change. This is the first episode where Patrick Stewart's charm and sense of humor have really come to the fore, and it's great to see.

More importantly, this is also the first holodeck-themed episode of TNG, and the first holodeck-malfunction episode. It's made rather clear (during Picard's super-excited, pre-briefing report to his senior staff) that the lifelike simulations we all now know the holodeck to produce are NEW, and are the result of a recent upgrade to the system. Previously on TNG, we'd only seen a simulated forest, a simulated planet surface, and an Akido sparring partner for Yar. The complex recreations of buildings, vehicles, and people (who can interact with the crew during a simulation) are all treated as a new aspect of holographic technology.

It's quite a thing to see all of these holodeck tropes appear for the very first time, and before they'd been used to death. It's also clear that the rules haven't quite been worked out, yet. Wesley says that forcing the malfunctioning program to end could cause everyone on the holodeck to vanish, including, presumably, Picard and the others. Also, two holographic characters actually leave the holodeck and make it into the corridor, only to slowly disappear, rather than immediately ceasing to exist upon reaching the doorway leading out of the holodeck. This is also the first time when holographic characters learn that they ARE holographic characters, and it certainly won't be the last.

This episode is a nice change of pace, and sorta-kinda feels like the TNG version of those TOS episodes which reused Nazi/Roman/gangster costumes and props to save money. It's a fun and clever one-off, but the problem is that the writers would very quickly become dependent on "trapped on the holodeck" stories as a narrative crutch, or as an excuse to do Western-themed episodes and the like. That shouldn't really count against this one, though.


Getting back to Wesley, this episode definitely offers evidence that he was basically Roddenberry's pet Mary Sue character, as he's brought in to help solve the problem, due to his extensive studies of the holodeck system. 

Finally, the "B" story of this episode revolves around diplomatic relations with an insectoid race whose voices sorta sound like the Tholians. Unfortunately, we don't get to see them, due to the show's budgetary limitations. Too bad!
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Christopher Frost
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Posted: 26 September 2017 at 7:30am | IP Logged | 11 post reply

"Always fun to see Majel Barrett-Roddenberry hamming it up as Troi's mom, too. Her appearance in TNG seems fitting, since Gene Roddenberry snuck her into TOS (back when she was just his mistress) not once, but twice."

Technically three times since Majel also provided the voice of the ships computer on TOS (and every following series except Discovery).

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Greg Kirkman
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Posted: 26 September 2017 at 12:25pm | IP Logged | 12 post reply

Honest Trailer:

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Greg Kirkman
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Posted: 26 September 2017 at 11:46pm | IP Logged | 13 post reply

"Datalore".

A real mix of good and bad in this one. On the one hand, we get an origin for Data, a wonderful set of performances from Brent Spiner, and an intriguing concept in the Crystalline Entity (which isn't fully explored, unfortunately). 

On the flipside, the music score is really, really 80s, and the episode devolves into a standard "evil twin" story. There's a definite Saturday morning cartoon vibe, in that the crew look like total idiots with their bungling of all the obvious clues that Data is being impersonated by Lore. However, while this is not a great episode, it did lay the foundation for a number of great episodes, at least.

Meanwhile, Wesley continues to serve as a very Mary Sue-ish character, manning the Ops station on the Bridge, and being sent to Data's quarters to check on "Lore" during a potential crisis, when Lore is already under a certain level of suspicion. Wesley unrealistically keeps getting jobs that should go to qualified engineers (and now security personnel), so it's no surprise that a good chunk of fandom grew to dislike him.

Can you even imagine Jim Kirk letting a non-Starfleet teenager regularly man the helm of his ship? 
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Greg Kirkman
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Posted: 27 September 2017 at 11:01pm | IP Logged | 14 post reply

"Angel One".


Man, this friggin' episode. I shudder at the thought at how it would be received in today's political climate. Or how it would be produced.

As the story goes, Roddenberry played a big role in reshaping the script into what it became by injecting the sexual stuff, and the undercurrent that a matriarchal society wouldn't work. The story originally started out as more of a standard matriarchal "What If?" story (not too unlike TAS' "The Lorelai Signal"), with Yar taking command of the away team after Riker is set to be executed for offending the planet's leader. 

This is just painfully embarrassing, and sexist on many levels. I feel bad for Jonathan Frakes, in particular. That outfit...

On the flipside, we get TNG's first mention of the Romulans, which also served as a frustrating tease of what would surely have been a much better episode.
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Greg Kirkman
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Posted: 29 September 2017 at 1:24am | IP Logged | 15 post reply

"11001001".

Oh, hey, another good episode! This one moves by at a rapid clip, and features several nice character bits and moments. The reuse of gorgeous stock model footage of Spacedock from STAR TREK III (with the Enterprise-D composited in place of the original) helps give a sense of scope to the episode.

The Bynars are are an interesting concept for an alien race, and I'm a bit surprised that they've never appeared again.

Also nice to see Gene Dynarski--who you may remember as Ben Childress in "Mudd's Women"--as the Starbase commander. We've also finally got Majel Barrett-Roddenberry doing the voice of the ship's computer, now, which is certainly a unifying element of the various spin-off series.
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Greg Kirkman
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Posted: 30 September 2017 at 1:02am | IP Logged | 16 post reply

"Too Short a Season".

Another not-good episode, with a rather talky and ho-hum hostage-rescue plot. Clayton Rohner's old man acting is rather painful to watch, but his performance becomes more appealing as the episode goes on, and his character gets younger. The whole de-aging thing feels more like a gimmick than anything else, and it's not milked for much, thematically.

We also have the return of Michael Pataki to STAR TREK, which is nice to see. He'd previously played Korax in "The Trouble With Tribbles", two decades earlier.

The reveal of this episode--that Jameson supplied weapons to both sides in the conflict (sort of a riff on Kirk's actions in "A Private Little War)--feels like a plot point which deserved more exploration, and a better story around it. Picard's reaction to Jameson's confession gives it some gravitas, but it sort of falls by the wayside, which is unfortunate. 
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Shaun Barry
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Posted: 30 September 2017 at 9:40am | IP Logged | 17 post reply


I think they should show that TNG Honest Trailer at every TREK convention from now on, until the end of time!!!



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Greg Kirkman
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Posted: 02 October 2017 at 1:37am | IP Logged | 18 post reply

"When The Bough Breaks".


A very "meh" episode, and one that almost feels like it could have been a third season TOS episode. Some interesting ideas, but very little in the way of actual drama or excitement. More forgettable than bad.
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Greg Kirkman
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Posted: 03 October 2017 at 1:07am | IP Logged | 19 post reply

"Home Soil".


This is basically a TNG reworking of "The Devil in The Dark", and, while it has some interesting ideas and good moments, it never quite comes together in a particularly satisfying or dramatic way. Which is a common problem for early TNG. 

This is also the first episode where I've made note of all the technobabble being flung around by the characters. This episode, more than most of the other early stories, feels very like what TNG would later become, in terms of its structure (a murder mystery dependent on scientific investigation of a strange phenomenon). 
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Greg Kirkman
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Posted: 04 October 2017 at 1:18am | IP Logged | 20 post reply

"Coming of Age".

An unusual episode, in that the "A" and "B" stories are totally unconnected, expect that both are rather superficial and ham-fisted. Some good character moments, though. Also, I believe this episode represents the very first time in televised STAR TREK where a subplot is established that will extend into a future episode: the supposed conspiracy that Admiral Quinn is so concerned about. 

We also have Quinn offering Picard the rank of Admiral, just over halfway through the first season of TNG! Sure, his motives aren't so much about Picard's merit or qualifications, but that's still a rather big deal. By this point in TOS' first season, Kirk had arguably dealt with far greater problems than Picard had. So far--onscreen, at least--, Picard hasn't really done all that much to distinguish himself as a leader, diplomat, etc. 

Wesley's application to Starfleet Academy at least attempts to give the character some sense of growth and potential, as opposed to his eternally remaining the whiz kid who gets to fly the ship without an actual commission. Sure, that's still what he is, at this point, but we now get the sense that he'll eventually be going off to the Academy to continue shaping his talents. Which is exactly what'll happen, in future seasons (to the delight of Wesley-haters).

And, in case anyone had forgotten that we're still in the 1980s, we have bit parts played by Wyatt Knight (best known as Tommy Turner in the  PORKY'S trilogy) and Estee Chandler (who played Todd Howard's girlfriend in TEEN WOLF TOO).
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Rob Ocelot
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Posted: 04 October 2017 at 9:40pm | IP Logged | 21 post reply

re: "Home Soil"

I'm probably not the first person to twist the "ugly bags of mostly water" line into the creature's description of some of Troi's erm.... enhanced attributes.
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Greg Kirkman
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Posted: 05 October 2017 at 1:33am | IP Logged | 22 post reply

"Heart of Glory".

Not exactly a great episode, but ai enjoyed it quite a bit. This is the first time TNG has really dealt with the Klingons, and it has definitely laid groundwork for what is to come. It's also the first real showcase for Worf, and provides his origin story and a sense of his motivations. Up until now, he'd been a tertiary character at best, and a glorified extra at worst. You can see him being used more and more, up to this point, as the creators started making use of Michael Dorn's considerable gravitas and charisma.

Remember, at this point, all there was to go with regarding the Klingons was TOS and the first four movies. And, TNG had revealed nothing about where the Klingons were at, during this time period. Worf's presence on the Enterprise-D was a statement unto itself--peace between the Federation (US) and Klingon Empire (USSR), but there had yet to be any explanation of the how and why of it. This episode starts laying down the foundation of the honor/warrior-based Klingon society of the TNG era (itself a kinder, gentler extrapolation of the stuff established in STAR TREK III), and also establishes Worf's entire character, essentially. Having been raised by humans, he yearns to maintain the heart of a pure Klingon warrior, while also still respecting the rules and duties of his Starfleet career. Sort of a riff on Spock going hardcore-Vulcan in his attitudes and behavior in order to compensate for being half-human.

We also get another hint of the Romulan subplot that's been building over the back-half of the season.

Bonus points for the inclusion of Vaughn Armstrong as the leader of the Klingon renegades, since he was one of my favorite actors/characters on ENTERPRISE.
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Shaun Barry
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Posted: 05 October 2017 at 6:32pm | IP Logged | 23 post reply


(At the time, I recall thinking that "Heart of Glory" was the first really great episode of the first season.)

Just re-watched "The Naked Now" today... yikes, even more poor than I'd remembered... but the humor and acting helped keep it from being a complete disaster.  Lousy script, but fun bits sprinkled thorughout.



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Greg Kirkman
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Posted: 05 October 2017 at 8:04pm | IP Logged | 24 post reply

I'd say that "Heart of Glory" isn't a truly great episode, but, yeah, it's a great episode by the low standards of the first season.

And, amazingly, despite the fact that they'd barely gotten the script together by the time shooting began, it probably has the best script of all the episodes produced up to that point.
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Greg Kirkman
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Posted: 06 October 2017 at 12:12am | IP Logged | 25 post reply

"The Arsenal of Freedom".

I enjoyed the heck out of this one. Not a particularly deep episode, but a fun adventure that moves at a good clip, with good parts for all of the characters. It's a lot of fun to see Geordi in command, and one can't help but chuckle at his head-butting with Chief Engineer Logan, considering that Geordi will literally have Logan's job, a few months down the road. On a related note, we also see Worf manning the Tactical station for the first time.

The episode also marks the second and final time (in the series, at least) that the Enterprise-D's saucer separates from the stardrive, and, unlike in the pilot, it's done to good effect, here.

In reading the trivia for this episode, I see that the original intent was to focus on Crusher declaring her feelings for Picard, an idea Roddenbery nixed, since he apparently didn't want too much character development. Despite his having already stepped down as head writer, by this point, the episode was still heavily reworked at the last minute, and that aspect of the storyline was minimized. There are hints of it, but it never quite comes together. I believe it wasn't until "Attached"--literally YEARS later--that the Picard/Crusher flirtation was explored in any serious way.

This episode also contains one of my favorite jokes in the entire series, with a totally straight-faced Riker telling the image of Captain Rice that the ship he comes from is the Lollipop. It's a good ship...
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