To Go Boldly


#1

Let’s just talk about Star Trek forever

  • Justin Lin is heading the new movie (+)
  • Alex Kurtzman is heading the new series (-)
  • There’s enough old Trek to not bother with either

The missus and I are working our way through Max Tempkin’s truncated TNG guide, though I suspect it’s skipping some Good Shit. The Worf episodes (“Sins of the Father” and “Redemption”) are like miniature Game of Thrones seasons less grim but more relativistic. I enjoy how Picard is frustratingly righteous when faced with opportunities for deescalation.

I do not enjoy the bizarre writing-in and writing-out of Denise Crosby.

It’s a comfort to me that Star Trek is widely available and perfectly serialized for the length of cooking and eating dinner. I don’t really hold much hope for the new series, but hold out hope that Justin Lin has the chops to make a thoughtful movie about space exploration. Tokyo Drift is a thoughtful movie about cars and social dynamics in a very loose way and Better Luck Tomorrow is a thoughtful movie about teenage anomie.

What are y’all’s favorite Trek aspects? Who wants to wear a foam muscle suit uniform every day?


#2

TNG is wonderful as a 90s public television show, any loyalty I can claim to other trek is mostly me putting it on.


#3

Yes! My parents restricted my TV access to PBS as long as they could, so my kid show diet was Arthur, Mr. Rogers reruns, Zaboomafoo, etc.

TNG just feels so wholesome you could show it to Lyndon Johnson’s specter under the pretense that the US CPB is enriching man’s spirit just fine. Each episode is a discrete nugget of Great Society idealism (albeit in a weird future hegemony where San Francisco is the center of the universe).


#4

DS9 had a better context in which to tell stories, but I couldn’t stand Avery Brook’s captain. Just obnoxiously wavering your voice is not an interesting or convincing way of showing emotion. It was cool to start seeing some more of the underbelly of the galaxy and to see what was outside of the scrubbed and polished purview of Starfleet. Garak was definitely the best character on that show.

VOY was good in-joke fodder, but not really in a good way. It was a huge slog at some points. The Kazon were a lame enemy. A lot of the borg episodes were overly preachy. That said there were some high-points: I likes the alterna-crew episodes (or at least the last one), the doctor fleshed out the computers-as-aliens side-theme a little more, and the year in hell run actually felt pretty tense even knowing how it ended.


#5

I like the kirk movies, never bothered with much else. next generation all the beige carpet and suede and how quiet it is except for the constant hum of the ship and a sharp rise in music when it’s about to cut to a commerical, and the pre-remastered video look of it all combined into something really off putting to me.


#6

We’re definitely eyeing DS9 as our next series to sample.

I’ve seen more of Voyager than any other series because it was a staple on split-custody weekends with my brother. I feel like its weakness is in squandering the context of unfamiliarity for ginning up reasons for Federation ships to show up. I remember a highlight for me was an episode in which the alien is a mostly invisible energy being (common as antagonists on TNG) but not hostile.


#7

The only Star Trek series I’ve honestly spent a lot of time with, if even casually, is TNG because it gets broadcasted so much here in the US. For a good while if you ever turned to Spike TV in the middle of the day you’d find endless reruns of TNG playing, and BBC America has now taken up that role. It’s an oddly calm and collected show even at its most dramatic thanks to its reserved direction and limited budget. It’s a great show to leave on the TV in the background.

I’ve heard DS9 is good but I’m always surprised to hear that Enterprise was very good as well. I had assumed it was mostly a dumb show of typical UPN quality but my lasting impression of it has been colored by the Sci-Fi channel commercial I would always see later on. I never realized it was actually a Star Trek show until many years after the fact when my friend (and several people on SB IRC) swore to me it was worth watching.


#8

My wife and I have been slowly watching all the series in order. We’re down to just Enterprise but I really needed a break from Star Trek after Voyager. Ugh. I think I am looking forward to watching it soon though. If nothing else to watch a show that doesn’t look terrible. There was some kinda bug in Netflix’s playback that Voyager was all interlaced when watching on a console which probably didn’t help me like it more.


#9

Deep Space 9 is the best one, by far. Watch it, km is half wrong about Avery Brooks (Far Beyond the Stars is the best episode of any star trek series ever and I use it to introduce people to DS9 even though it’s firmly embedded in the serialized plot by that point it still works well stand-alone). DS9 after the first season actually manages to strike that balance between serialized elements and stand-alone episodes that so few shows manage (Babylon 5 was interesting retrospectively but it has aged very poorly and features very poor writing and acting compared to DS9)

Enterprise is not good. It’s fourth season would have made an ok season 1, because it abandoned all the stupid trash ideas that the previous producers had and actually was a show acting as a prequel to the other Star Treks. The fatal flaw of the show is definitely that none of the characters rose above being one sentence descriptions. Like, we’re talking Star-Wars-prequel levels of shallow character writing. The risible, ham-fisted attempts at ‘sexiness’ didn’t help. If you do decide to watch the show, maybe start with season 3 at the earliest.


#10

@parker we found II-IV on disc as a lame (as in marketing, not the movies) “Kirk and Spock trilogy” cash-in from when XI was new. IV is neat because they have to solve a problem without shooting things or tricking people. (I’m sure this is in no way a novel opinion.)

@Tulpa good to hear about DS9. In college I met a dude who tried to sell it as Finally, War and that soured my impression of it as a neat spin-off with a weirdly antisemitic alien race.

Whenever Enterprise comes up we just bellow, “It’s been a looong time…” so no worries there. Plus I just watched that promo @Drem linked.


#11

Cross-referencing this episode list with the full one, I would add the following episodes:

S02E13: Time Squared

S03E04: Who Watches the Watchers
S03E21: Hollow Pursuits (The first Barclay episode, I have a soft spot for all of his episodes)
S03E23: Sarek

S04E05: Remember Me (it has a terrible final act and too much Wesley, but it’s likely the only good Beverly Crusher episode TNG ever had)
S04E08: Future Imperfect
S04E14: Clues
S04E15: First Contact (HOW IS THIS EPISODE MISSING FROM THE LIST, it’s one of the standouts of the generally very good season 4)
S04E16: Galaxy’s Child (not a great episode, but highlights my own private narrative that Geordi LaForge is an under-socialized creep whose only friend is a robot)
S04E19: The Nth Degree (Barclay and one of the most Roddenberry-esque of good TNG plots)
S04E24: The Mind’s Eye

S05E07: Unification Part 1 (Spock’s two parter on TNG)
S05E08: Unification Part 2
S05E09: A Matter of Time
S05E14: Conundrum
S05E15: Power Play

S06E04: Relics
S06E05: Schisms
S06E06: True Q
S06E14: Face of the Enemy (only good Troi-centric episode)
S06E16: Birthright Part 1
S06E17: Birthright Part 2
S06E18: Starship Mine (Die Hard in Space)
S06E19: Lessons
S06E24: Second Chances

S07E06: Phantasms
S07E12: Pegasus


#12

Rad. I hope you die well!


#13

whoa, is remember me not on someone’s TNG list? that’s nuts.

all of S6 is generally fantastic, yeah


#14

Can reaffirm that DS9 is the best star trek, other than the Kirk movies but those are an entirely different thing I guess. I have never been able to stand too much TNG because the whole thing just looks like a psychedelic cosby sweater, Voyager is terrible, and obviously the original series is still incredibly watchable. I ended up kind of liking Enterprise but still agree that it is only better than Voyager, and then only the 3rd/4th seasons are really worth watching at all.

I also don’t understand how anyone can think that Voyager doesn’t look horrible.

Watching the best episodes in the back half of DS9 really makes me pine for a Netflix original series-style take on Star Trek, and I’m almost terrified by how horrible what we actually get could end up. Still have hope though.


#15

Remember Me, Future Imperfect, and Clues were all novel and surprising takes on subjective reality as a plot device! Only weak part was Remember Me ending with Dr. Crusher coming through a Poltergeist portal. Thanks again, Tulpa.

Thinking about TNG talk on the Mass Effect cast and generally appreciate the “boring happy family” vibe. Clues opening on Picard’s monologue about the crew being tense because they hadn’t had sufficient time to devote to self-improvement painting and hydroponic gardening was a great vision of a world with lowered economic stakes. I don’t think I’d mind the beige if I was serving under Stern Bob Ross.


#16

Who Watches The Watchers gets an always pass for having Ray Wise and some uncharacteristically good/attention-grabbing music for a TNG episode


#17

Wow, @Tulpa you weren’t kidding about the Geordi creep factor. Dr. Brahms should have got his ass fired. I guess she just decided to let him have his weird ASMR holodeck program of her likeness in exchange for engine efficiency improvements.

First Contact should replace Darmok on the list we’re using. The tension and resolution feel much more tangible (or, less arbitrary) and we laughed out loud at the nurse Riker Rikered. A+


#18

Darmok is actually my fav TNG episode, because the concept and execution of how cultural languages actually are and the possibility of connecting through storytelling both fill me with joy. It is definitely not a tense episode but it is a very pre-00s optimistic


#19

i am rewatching parts of TNG because of this thread

it feels wrong to me to have an episode guide without Conspiracy. it might not be good, but it’s my favorite black sheep

@Tulpa what did you think of embassytown, assuming you read it? it could be labeled darmok fanfic but i liked it a lot


#20

i think The Offspring might be my personal favorite tng episode, even as disney as it is