I now blog over at The Eyre Guide! This blog is an archive of my past posts.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Star Trek TNG Season 1 - Top 3 Favorite Episodes

Posted by Charlene // Tags: , ,
It's time to talk about The Next Generation!  I started this series still a little biased for the TOS crew, so let me get a few things off my chest.  First, I wish Captain Picard would put Riker in his place!  Riker's tut-tutting every time Picard wants to beam down is a little overbearing!  I get the reasoning, but he is the Captain!  And there is quite a bit of focus on Riker, which I guess is because he's young and handsome?  He totally is, but it is interesting that the first officer doesn't quite feel like second fiddle to the Captain.  The character of Spock was somehow perfect at not pulling focus from the Captain (just the right amount of deferment and respect) but never fading into the background.  It's just a little adjustment for me with Riker.

And am I alone in thinking the romantic relationships in this are really frustrating?  What the heck is Riker doing that he's interested in Troi, pulls a sad face when she's engaged, and then is making out with some other girl every other episode.  Riker you need to stop.  The Picard/Dr. Crusher feels are a little more palatable, but I feel like it's silly that they can't be together just because he's the Captain.  Can't he do his job and have a wife?  I'm sure that will be fixed in time ... right??  And one more thing - Q is the worst!!! I just couldn't stand his smugness and his character and I wanted to throw things when I saw he had another episode!

Things that I did like though - the crew is varied and there are lots of potential there with all those personalities.  And they all have such unique aspects as well which gives the group such different dynamics.  Data is kind of my favorite character right now so I look forward to seeing more of him.  McCoy's cameo and the little nods to TOS made me very happy as well!

I didn't really enjoy this as much as TOS, so I decided to pick only three favorite episodes for this post.  That might change in later seasons, as I'm really hoping I will love this series as much as the original. With so many characters in this, there was a lot of time spent on the drama in their dynamics and character development, and less on the adventures I think.  So hopefully with the characters firmly established in season 1, the next seasons will be much more adventure-focused!

3. Datalore

I've already admitted my soft spot for Data, so an episode with 'evil' Data was bound to make it in my top 3 list!  Even though I was hoping they would do something different and NOT have Data's copy be evil, I was really impressed by the episode in general.  Especially in the resolution because Wesley, after being so marginalized by the crew, was right and he was able to help Data.  It was also great to learn more about Data's past - though I find it odd that he is the only one of his kind, it seems like the Federation would have looked more into how Data was created and try to replicate it.

2. Skin of Evil

In an attempt to rescue a downed ship pod, the crew come across a creature with no traditional life readings, yet it is intelligent and dangerous.  And also super gross.  I was mesmerized by the creature in this - how much was practical effects, and what did they use as all that black goo?  Interesting.  Also interesting that it's like a Hyde version of whatever alien race left it on that planet.  I liked how Picard handled the thing, and how he was firm and cautious unlike Lt. Yar who met with a very unexpected fate in this episode!  Even though the eulogy/farewell speech in the end was a little too long, I thought her words and the attitude towards death were pretty profound, so I think this was a great episode overall.

1. Conspiracy

Ok, this was far and away the best episode of the season for me!  It was creepy and sinister with some pretty shocking moments and super creepy visuals!  A small group of Starfleet Captains are afraid something is infiltrating the higher ranks of Starfleet, and while they have mostly circumstantial evidence, it is when the Enterprise comes across the debris of the USS Horatio does Captain Picard start to do something about it.  The parasites are really unnerving, especially because they can take over the host and the host looks and acts so naturally.  When they no longer care about keeping the secret is when things really start getting crazy in this episode.  An old man is throwing people around, they are eating meal worms for dinner (yuck) and the scene when one of the officers lets the parasite crawl into his mouth was so gross!  But this episode has such a great story, and it's even kind of scary so I think it fully deserves my first place pick!

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  1. It's so crazy - I remember all these episodes but I thought they were all in season 2. I didn't remember the series progressing that quickly.

    The whole series really picks up in season 3. 1 and 2 are good but 3 is when it starts to get really, really good.

    I remember, though, some of the reactions to Riker and the different attitude between the Captain and First Officer were totally spot on. Gene Roddenberry was addressing an audience that had only known TOS series and so they had expectations of those roles that he'd chosen to adjust and he had to sort of bring his audience along with that change. That's why Riker is sort of like Kirk - he's enough of that roguish character to (hopefully) satisfy the audience expectation but it's balanced by a more even handed captain. I never really watched TOS as a kid so TNG was my first real exposure to Star Trek so I never really thought about those differences. Which just makes it so interesting to hear the perspective of someone who is coming directly off TOS into TNG :)

    I hope you keep posting about the seasons as you go - I can't wait to read your thoughts.

  2. Oh that is good to know - I am almost to the end of Season 2 now, and though it is much better than season 1, I still do prefer TOS. I just might be a TOS girl though. :) I am a bit disappointed that Picard isn't as daring as Kirk actually, but he does make up for it by being really smart about how he approaches things. So I understand why they made Riker take on some of those characteristics. And there was something very unique about the Kirk/Spock combo and I don't really expect them to just rehash it in TNG. So I'm sure I will grow to love their dynamic! Actually I just saw the first TNG film (I had the opportunity to watch it and did, even though I don't really want to watch out of order) but I really enjoyed it! And I look forward to really understanding the camaraderie of the crew!

    I am planning to post on every season, thank you for looking forward to them! I haven't yet turned my friends into hardcore Trekkies, so this is my only outlet so far! :)

  3. The first couple of seasons of TNG are rough, but they get better! And yes, Riker is a total player... thankfully he'll get over that eventually... like in the movies... ha.

    I'm so glad you don't love Q just because after we watched the TNG pilot my husband was like, "Oh, you'll come to love Q!" And after saying all of Star Trek I can say NO! I don't! But to be fair, I actually gained a lot of respect for John deLancie, and while the character does become more palatable, I'm still not a big fan of his character.

    Lastly, Data is completely my favorite in TNG. I can't remember which season it's in, but I love when he recites a poem he wrote called, "Ode to Spot." Just good, classic Data. :)

  4. Oh good, I am glad I have you guys to encourage me to go forward! And I guess I can put up with playboy Riker for a few more seasons if he gets... married maybe in the films?? (Don't tell me, but ooh I hope so!)

    Thank you. I see a lot of love for Q and I just don't understand it. I literally don't want to see him anymore ever. But I did just listen to a podcast interview with John de Lancie and he seem like a really nice guy so I should hold on to that as I know he turns up again. (Just saw the first Borg episode the other day - now I just want Q to face off with Guinan! And for Q to lose!)

    Actually I just saw Star Trek Generations (even though I didn't want to watch out of order) and I saw Data with Spot - they are so cute together, I'm really looking forward to the poem and seeing how Data came to have Spot in the first place!