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To Boldly do the Biggest Reverse Shark Jump That no Series Has Done Before.

  • Oct 28, 2009
The second live action Star Trek shows was undeniably a show that some people really had to warm up to when it first came on.  The cast was a little offbeat, the episodes were largly retreads of old 60's episodes or were even used with discarded scripts and of the first season, I can count the number of good episodes on one hand.  That's not cool.  Patrick Stewart allegedally lived out of his suitcase during this time.

The second season picked up a bit with characters in more defined roles and a better run of episodes but it wasn't until the third season that this show took off and when it did it became the series that helped push Star Trek into the stratusphere into it's 7 year run which after it ended in mid 94 was Treks peak until it's reboot 15 years later.  Thats an important feat.

The show focuses on seasoned diplomat and Starship commander Jean Luc Picard and his newest assignment is Captain of the Federations newest flagship, the Enterprise D.  His goal of exploration and diplomacy as well as continuing what all Enterprises in the past have done, seeking out new life forms and races, establishing friendly relationships with aliens cultures and helping keep the peace throughout the Federation.  It's crew consists of William Riker the headstrong XO, Data a powerful and seemlingly unique android (filling the Spock role of curious observation of humanity and it's frailties despite being a superior being) Natasha Yar a sultry and strong security chief from a criminal world, Geordi LaForge a blind man who is assisted with a powerful visor which transmits images into his brain, Troi an exotic alien telepath who has had a past love affair with Riker, Worf a Klingon who went from being a costumed extra with the message that yesterdays enemies are tommorrows friends and turned into one of Trek's biggest characters ever.  Beverly Crusher, the lovely ships Doctor who has a past tie to Jean Luc and her son Wesley who is a child prodigy (and arguabbly biggest annoyance on the ship since he manages to save the day on countless occasions despite the Enterprise crew made up of Starfleet's best and brightest.)

The show midway through it's run suffered the death of Gene Roddenberry the executive producer,  and Star Trek's creator only to have Rick Berman step in.  The change was controversal to say the least since Rick's M/O involved as much time travel and bringing characters from other Star Trek shows on board to interact with the crew as he could, not to metion bringing more conflict into the show with more hostile aliens but to be fair, the later seasons are better then the earliar ones so it kind of evened out in a weird way.

The one thing that bugs me is all the "tech talk."  Every piece of technology on the ship can be transformed, rewired or modified in some way shape or form to do whatever the crew needs it to do.  Take for instance a photon torpedo, you just stick a sensor in it and it could be a remote sensor apart from the ship.  Is the radio broken?  Set up a subspace field generator through the deflector dish and imprint the signature of the ship onto an asteroid to let nearby ships know where you are!  DUH!  Imagine if your car is broken down on the side of the road.  Say's it's water pump just burst, if you took a spare gas can from your trunk and used the nozzle as a spare hose assembly and hook it up through the oil filter....Yeah, you already know thats a bunch of BS and sadly after this all the series had problems solved in this manner.  Since we don't understand the technology, and it's all loose, it can do whatever the plot requires of it and makes you think for a moment why all purpose tools all shaped like cubes aren't used instead of the tricorders, phasers and hyposprays.  Ironically enough it's the wordy episodes like that, that are usually the worst.

Theres a number of infamous and great episodes though.  Any episode with Q an omnipitant alien entity is great.  "Yesterdays' Enterprise" Has an older Enterprise traveling from the past and damages currant day events to a degree that Starfleet is fighting a hopeless war with the Klingons.  "The Inner Light" has Picard getting scanned by a probe and lives a whole lifetime as another man.  "Remember Me" has Beverly being trapped in an identical but strangely diminishing alternate reality.  "The Best of Both Worlds" is an infamous two parter showcasing the dreaded Borg enemy and require Picards knowledge of the Federation to succeed in their mission of assimilating Earth.  "Reunion" has Worf's old girlfriend return as she attempts to preserve peace between the Klingon Empire of the verge of Civil War.  Worf was never better then in this episode.  The finale episode "All Good Things..." is the best finale to a tv series I have ever seen, it's that good.

Star Trek TNG got followed by the equally awesome but different Deep Space Nine but sadly it was downhill for the franchise afterword.  For a show that no one at first believed in and had some shaky footing for a few years.  Star Trek The Next Generation really showcased some awesome episodes and sci fi action and adventure.  I sometimes waver on this one and DS9 as my favorite Trek series and I'm still undecided at this point.  I'd almost go with DS9 since DS9 never really had any bad seasons but The Next Generation had some really great moments in the traditional Star Trek setting.  One thing I still don't know is....Who is the better Captian, Kirk or Picard?
To Boldly do the Biggest Reverse Shark Jump That no Series Has Done Before.

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October 28, 2009
Great Review!  Your question at the end about Kirk and Picard is always a hrad one.  They each had their own set of values and morales.  I would have to say that Kirk is still my favorite captain... 
October 28, 2009
Yeah, Kirk or Picard on any given day can be my favorite, I lean more Picard but TNG has fewer and lesser movies too but has many more episodes. Thank you.
More Star Trek: The Next Generation reviews
Quick Tip by . May 16, 2010
The 2ed series is considered by many the best of the lot with Capt Picard on his missions of diplomacy. High drama and memorable episodes.
Quick Tip by . November 07, 2009
Second live action Star Trek series, took a season to take off, but once it did was the defining Star Trek show to many. Great episodes.
About the reviewer
John Nelson ()
Ranked #8
Born in Wausau Wisconsin. Move at an early age to Ventura California and lived for 8 years. Growing up in a big city landscape didn't prepare me for my next move: Archbold Ohio with a population of … more
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Featuring a bigger and better USS Enterprise, this series is set 78 years afer the original series - in the 24th century. Instead of Captain Kirk, a less volatile and more mature Captain Jean Luc Picard heads the crew of various humans and alien creatures in their adventures in the final frontier.
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