Review: Star Trek: TNG ‘Encounter At Farpoint’ (Blu-ray) | TrekMovie.com
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Review: Star Trek: TNG ‘Encounter At Farpoint’ (Blu-ray) July 26, 2012

by Jeff Bond , Filed under: Trek Franchise , trackback

The first season of Star Trek: The Next Generation was just released on Blu-ray. TrekMovie has already reviewed the full set but (like we did with the remastered original Star Trek series), today we begin our reviews of the individual episodes from the series, starting with the two-part pilot "Encounter at Farpoint."    

 

 

REVIEW: "Encounter at Farpoint" from Star Trek: TNG S1 Blu-ray
by Jeff Bond

The Trek Remastered quest continues, what is it—six years later? And it’s kind of a miracle. You might think that redoing visual effects from scratch (the approach taken for the original Star Trek Remastered project) is a bigger challenge than what’s being done with Star Trek – The Next Generation in its upgrading from original broadcast quality to HD, but you’d be wrong—the physical process of tracking down elements (sometimes as many as a dozen or so per shot depending on how many spaceships are in the frame) and recompositing everything is pretty staggering, and CBS/Paramount is spending a mint to do this. It’s something I don’t think any of us thought would happen this soon, and it’s kind of a gift.

It’s also, of course, an opportunity to look back at these shows all over again, so you’ll have to put up with my (and others’) sometimes jaundiced perspective on TNG. I came to the series as an adult Trekkie, someone that had been watching TOS since I was 10 years old—so naturally I not only compared the new show to the old one, I also picked up on the pretty obvious lifts of ideas from the original series that haunted TNG during its first season. Watching the show’s first two years was an exercise in frustration—it clearly showed promise, but compared to the first year of TOS, TNG’s stories and characters lacked focus, the show seemed to meander from scene to scene, and particularly in the handling of Wil Wheaton’s Wesley Crusher character, there often seemed to be some confusion as to whether the show was being written and produced for adults or for younger viewers. But it was new Star Trek, so we all continued to watch—and by year three the show got remarkably better.


A new Star Trek show with a new ship and a new crew sets out in "Encounter at Farpoint"

“Encounter at Farpoint” was written by Dorothy Fontana and Gene Roddenberry, and executive produced by Robert H. Justman—so its Trek bona fides can’t really be questioned. However by 1987, Roddenberry had evolved into something more like a futurist than a dramatic television series producer, and his ideas sometimes were at odds with the goal of creating the drama and conflict that should ideally draw audiences in.

The basic story of “Farpoint” involves a mystery regarding a newly constructed starbase on the planet Deneb IV—something that would probably have eaten up a standard hour of television. Supposedly late in the game Roddenberry added the idea of a god-like alien being interrupting the Enterprise D’s mission and putting humanity on trial—a rather standard trope from the original series.


Away team beaming down in "Encounter at Farpoint"

I remember watching the premiere of the series and being embarrassed by what really seemed like a lame rehash of the Trelane character from TOS’s “The Squire of Gothos.” Of course Q (John DeLancie) would eventually become one of the show’s most popular recurring characters, and DeLancie does start to make the role his own by the end of the episode. But the borrowing and rehashing of old ideas was endemic to the show. Data (Brent Spiner) was a retread not only of Spock, but of Roddenberry’s rejected pilot The Questor Tapes; Riker and Troi were retreads of Decker and Ilia from Star Trek – The Motion Picture (who in turn were holdovers from Roddenberry’s Star Trek: Phase II series project), and Marinis Sirtis’s character would have been a retread of tough Latina Vasquez from Aliens until Denise Crosby was cast in the security officer role that became Tasha Yar, and Sirtis became touchy-feely Counselor Troi.


Picard and Q face off in "Encounter at Farpoint"

Most TV shows succeed or fail on their casting, and TNG’s casting strengths are evident immediately in “Farpoint.” Patrick Stewart (who had been suggested by Bob Justman for the role while Roddenberry wanted Stephen Macht, a younger, more virile actor) is immediately authoritative and interesting as Jean-Luc Picard, Brent Spiner shows the mix of innocence and humor that would make him ultimately rival Leonard Nimoy’s Spock in popularity, Michael Dorn (despite his early, slightly ridiculous-looking makeup) immediately turns a minor role into a star turn with his grumpy attitude (which reminds me of acting teacher—and former Trek actor—Jeff Corey’s advice to look at what everyone else in the cast is doing and do something completely different), and Jonathan Frakes shows some charismatic charm as Riker. I’d almost forgotten that Colm Meaney is there right at the beginning in another nothing role that would eventually break through and earn him big stories on TNG and a role on DS9.


Blu-ray image: Brent Spiner as Data from "Encounter at Farpoint"

The female actors are not so fortunate. Sirtis eventually found a level for her “I sense great (fill in the emotion)” character that was less annoying, but in “Farpoint” she’s pretty unbearable, and Denise Crosby is saddled with a number of hyperemotional moments that are way outside her range as an actor. Sometimes switching actors’ roles works, but in this case Sirtis was always more convincing in later episodes when Troi got possessed or driven crazy and turned into a monster—she’s much better at the dark side than she is at sweetness and light, and she probably would have been a more convincing security officer than Crosby, who never seemed effective in any circumstance on the show. Gates McFadden’s Beverly Crusher has a few scenes with Picard that suggest dramatic depth, but they are ultimately only suggestions. Despite the much ballyhooed “romance” between Picard and Crusher, Crusher was always a tremendous missed opportunity, basically defined as a mother and caregiver with little in the way of defining personality traits.


Marina Sirtis as Troi in "Encounter at Farpoint"  

Technically, “Farpoint” is an exciting relaunch for the Trek concept, and the HD makeover shows the program as much slicker technically than it seemed at the time. Andy Probert’s Enterprise D has more than its share of detractors but I always loved it as a daring reimagining of the starship, and ILM’s visual effects set a new standard for the franchise. The recompositing upgrades from the original video composites are sharp and show off fantastic detail—the difference between the original, muddy Farpoint jellyfish creatures—one of which the dodgy Bandi race has imprisoned to construct their starbase—is like night and day, turning what originally looked like cheap TV effects to something that’s more like theatrical quality.


Blu-ray image: The USS Enterprise-D "Encounter at Farpoint"

For the most part, we’re looking at what the original effects were intended to look like (unlike the CG makeovers for the TOS Remastered project), but there are some very effective fixes done too. The timing for one shot of the Enterprise fleeing from Q’s pursuing energy ball has been tweaked to much more seamlessly portray the scale and velocity of the chase, and a late-in-the-game shot of the Enterprise beaming energy down to the captured jellyfish creature has been totally redone so that the beam is coming from the Enterprise phaser banks instead of the captain’s yacht where it issued from in the original shot. All of the effects show much more texture and detail and should help to rehabilitate TNG’s reputation for unconvincing video effects early in its run.

farpoint_beam_fix_small
CBS fixed the energy beam for "Encounter at Farpoint"

For the most part, the show’s makeup and costuming holds up very well under the HD (TNG was shot on film, and DP Edward Brown no doubt worked under the assumption that his shots would have all the detail of a regular shot-on-film network TV show), although the look of the lighting goes from overly bright and flat (mostly on the bridge) to so dark you almost can’t make out details (for Picard’s first meeting with Riker in his ready room and some scenes in catacombs below the Bandi city). Director Corey Allen plays around with camera angles to create some unusual shots, but there’s still a stagey look to the show compared to the fluid camerawork and vivid cinematography of the original series—TNG wouldn’t find a strong visual look until Marvin Rush came onboard to shoot the show in season three.


The USS Enterprise-D with two space life-forms in "Encounter at Farpoint"

As a story, “Encounter at Farpoint” moves forward in fits and starts—moments of jeopardy and urgency stand weirdly alongside scenes of people just hanging out on the ship, engaging in conversation. TOS did this too—Kirk always had time for a cocktail with McCoy in the middle of an emergency—but the show’s music, editing and performances always managed to maintain some kind of background tension, and that’s missing here, leaving scenes like Picard’s visit to Crusher in sickbay seeming like it belongs in another episode. But Stewart at least always manages to make it seem like there’s something else boiling under the surface—it’s safe to say this show probably would have gotten nowhere without him. All in all, “Encounter at Farpoint” demonstrated the scope, the mix of ideas and intriguing characters that would eventually gel into an excellent television series—it’s a successful audition, but viewers would have to wait for the full payoff.


"Encounter at Farpoint" Old vs. New

Available Now  – price drop to $59.99

The six-disc TNG Season 1 set includes HD remasters (in 1080p and 7.1 DTS audio) of all 26 episodes, plus brand new special features You can order the set at discounted prices: Amazon has lowered their price to $59.99 to match Best Buy. Walmart is selling it for $78.86 

Amazon – USA Walmart – USA BestBuy – USA
Star Trek: The Next Generation – Season One
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$78.86
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Star Trek: The Next Generation – Season One
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$59.99
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The set is also available for pre-order at Amazon sites around the world.

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Comments

1. James Cannon - Runcorn Trekkie UK - July 26, 2012

Can’t decide if I want it now or wait a few year till they bring they box set out …

2. Florian Bogner - July 26, 2012

are those audio issues real? i read that the right (?) audio channel bleeds into the center.

3. Pointing Out The Obvious - July 26, 2012

@#1 This is CBS we’re talking about. box sets for Voyager, DS9 and Enterprise are STILL selling at 70 dollar price points at most places, waiting a year won’t change the price.

4. Sam - July 26, 2012

The issues are presumed real. I won’t know how real until mine arrives here in a couple days, however my enthusiasm has already dropped because of it. Hopefully CBS fixes this soon and issues a recall.

5. Anthony Thompson - July 26, 2012

Great review, Jeff. Perceptive and very candid. Looking forward to your ongoing reviews.

6. James Cannon - Runcorn Trekkie UK - July 26, 2012

@3

The TOS BluRay set in uk is around £100-£120. The individual bluray sets are selling for around £45-£50.

I hear though the packaging on the full set is quite poor though.

Great review though Jeff.

7. spock - July 26, 2012

The issues are real, CBS / Paramount is investigating. Go to the digital bits for updates. 7 episodes are affected, along with the new docs.

8. spock - July 26, 2012

Okay, just a quick update re: CBS’s Star Trek: The Next Generation – Season One Blu-ray set. There is a confirmed audio issue that affects 7 episodes in the set – Encounter at Farpoint, Hide and Q, The Big Goodbye, Datalore, 11001001 and Too Short a Season. (Naturally, none of the episodes I watched prior to my review!) The impact is that in the DTS 7.1 mixes for these episodes, character dialogue that should normally be in the center channel is also mixed into the front left and right channels. The other episodes are unaffected. However, there’s a secondary audio issue being reported as well in which the PCM audio for some of the extra features on Disc One and Disc Six plays out of sync on at least some models of Blu-ray player. CBS has begun investigating both issues. As soon as we get some kind of official word from them as to what they find to be the cause and how they’re going to fix the problems, we’ll let you all know.

Back in a couple hours with the rest of the day’s news…

Bill Hunt, Editor
The Digital Bits
billhunt@thedigitalbits.com

9. Bob - July 26, 2012

I’m now on the fence about buying this because of the audio issues.
I hate to deal with sending discs back (of required) and waiting for replacements to arrive.

I may just wait until the fixed set comes on the market.

10. Bob Tompkins - July 26, 2012

The dialogue was stiff and stilted, the acting swung wildly from wooden to hysterics.
No one had a clue as to who their character really was. Riker was wooden, Picard was straight from Shakespeare, Tasha was hysterical, Wesley was Will Robinson on Valium, Troi was archly overemotional as compared to her later layered performances, Data was pretty emotional for a being without emotions, Worf was achingly stupid and over-reactive, even for a Klingon- Beverly was the only one who was reasonable in the bunch-
This wasn’t just the pilot, it was the entire first season, although it did improve toward the final episodes.
I watched and waited and hoped, but it would be well into the third season before I was rewarded for my patience, with the second season pretty much lost to the strike.
It’s not a coincidence that this turnabout 3rd season was about the time frame that Gene Roddenberry was forced by his failing health to make his withdrawal from the series.
If you can find it, “Gene Roddenberry: The Myth and the Man Behind Star Trek” by Joel Engel is a very good candid picture of the rise and decline of The Great Bird of the Galaxy from ‘The Cage” to his death.
Leonard Maizlish, a name mentioned in the documentary several times became Roddenberry’s hatchet man at the end, responsible for the loss of David Gerrold and D C Fontana’s burnouts.
Roddenberry’s final years was not a pretty thing to read and it is amazing that Star Trek: The Next Generation survived at all.
It survived for two reasons.
It wasn’t because Paramount was enthusiastic about it. The ratings were showing a steady decline through the second season and the third season was a bit of a miracle renewal.
Patience of fans like me and Rick Berman. We owe Berman much more thanks than we do vitriol for his last few years.
I can’t wait for his autobiography. I suspect he has a helluva story to tell.

11. Emperor Mike of the Empire - July 26, 2012

When Tng came on I had high hipes that it would be at least as half as good as TOS. First Season was ok. Had some great Eps and some ok ones. Season 2 got a little better but when season 3 came. TNG came into it’s own. I like many fans could not wait till next weeks Ep and it was a new golden time for Star Trek. Now with all of this on Blu-Rey it’s like it was then. a new Golden age of Tng.

12. kmart - July 26, 2012

Berman may have made the trains run on time, but creatively I always found him to be an utter disaster. You don’t need to look further than the way shutters dropped on TNG scores, or his dismissive attitude about folks like Melinda Snodgrass, to see that he is about as far afield from a creative producer (a la Gene Coon) as imaginable. And with only a few glorious and semi-glorious exceptions, I find TNG to be as far afield from TOS (as in, far FAR astern) as SPACE RANGERS was from FIREFLY.

A book from Berman would have to be called SPIN CONTROL: The ONLY Frontier. Why pay to read a press release?

13. Anthony Thompson - July 26, 2012

12. kmart

“…the way shutters dropped on TNG scores” WHAT???

14. Capt Krunch - July 26, 2012

very much looking forward to it, unfortunately they can’t fix the horrible acting from season 1. If the audio issues can help the dialogue and Sir Patrick’s overacting inflection as if he were on stage at The Globe, then make it so.. Really can’t wait for season 3..thats when it really got GOOD!

15. Uberbot - July 26, 2012

Maurice Hurley and Tracy Torme were the Gene Coons of TNG…they are the unsung heroes!!! Without Hurley, we would not have had the Borg!

16. Sebastian S. - July 26, 2012

I was about 20 or so when ST-TNG premiered; I remember even buying a special Sony ‘gold’ VHS tape to record it on. At standard play, no less…

It very much disappointed on so many levels. Felt like Saturday morning kid-vid than the heir apparent to “Wrath of Khan.” And for the next two years, I hung on like an abused spouse waiting for the drinking to stop. Eventually, around year three, the show finally took off; the writing was sharper, the characters were better defined and it finally seemed to get a handle on what kind of a show it was going to be (and as Bond points out, even Marvin Rush’s cinematography looked a lot more polished as well). The digital video FX in those first few years always had a weird, cheesy “Land of the Lost” look to me that never quite sat right for some reason. Those improved a bit as well.

As for the Bluray? I appreciate the super clean image and the almost 3D depth, but the image looks a bit too dark to me. Like someone screwed around with the brightness control. Oh well. As much as I loved TNG (from season 3 onward, anyway) I could never justify buying the first two seasons anyway, no matter how good or cinematic they look. I’d probably watch them once to see the improvements and that’d be that….

Great review by Jeff Bond (who I also saw at Comic Con at the 1982 Retrospective panel; that was a blast!). Keep up the great work on Geek magazine. I’m a reader for life as long as it continues publication (after it’s all-too-long absence).

Great work, Mr. Bond (I feel like I should’ve been petting a Persian cat when I wrote that )….

17. Dave R - July 26, 2012

TOS was simple stories about complex ideas.
TNG was complex stories about simple ideas.

Rick Berman was a great technical producer but lacked any type of creativity or ideas. The fact that TNG is a very safe/bland/boring show rests squarely on his shoulders.

Great review, BTW, Jeff!

18. Sebastian S. - July 26, 2012

# 17

Agreed.
I have been (and always shall be) more of a TOS/DS9 fan as well. ;-)

There are only a handful of episodes of TNG that really hold up for me these days (“Best of Both Worlds”, “Inner Light” “Relics” and “Yesterday’s Enterprise” are still favorites of mine). I own seasons 3 and 6 on DVD and I rarely watch them anymore, to be honest. But at the time, with very little in the way of scifi programming on TV? It was (for a long time) the only act in town…

I have to admit, the (2003-09) Battlestar Galactica, with its gritty, visceral realism and movie-look REALLY spoiled me for the true potential of the space opera subgenre. ST-TNG by comparison (fair or not) seems overly staid and a bit too ‘sanitized-for-your-protection’ these days….

19. Sneering Supercomputer - July 26, 2012

13. Anthony- “shutters dropping on TNG score”… I think he’s referring to the lackluster bland “wallpaper” scores that began to be the norm on TNG starting with season 3-ish? Rick Berman didn’t want the music to be too distracting.

20. sean - July 26, 2012

The reason everyone remembers season 3 so fondly is that it basically hit it out of the park with every episode. Honestly, I cannot think of a bad season 3 episode. A few didn’t quite nail their concepts as good as they could have (A Higher Ground, for example) but they were all great entertainment. Season 2 would be remembered more fondly if not for poor Diana Muldaur, who unfortunately was not written well and just did not gel with the other cast members. She was McCoy 2.0, right down to her distaste for the transporter. They even tried to setup a similar antagonism between her and Data, but it came off as mean & nasty. It was a relief to see Crusher back at the beginning of season 3. It was also the season the writers finally decided to take Wesley seriously as a character.

21. Norbert - July 26, 2012

The overly bright picture on the bridge is the crucial argument NOT to buy this BD-box.
As a fan I await a perfectly made refit to HD resolution and not such a partly baked, carelessly developed Season Box!

22. RetroWarbird - July 26, 2012

I came into TNG late enough into the game, being a mere lad at the time, but nobody’s got to explain to me what it was to hang on for two-plus seasons hoping things would really hit their stride. After all, Enterprise was a fairly recent experience for all of us.

The difference is, even 20 years old I find Seasons 1 and 2 of TNG eminently watchable. Despite the glaring flaws, seeds are planted, and the charisma of the better actors is infectious, and you see their gravitas and levels of fun begin to affect their co-stars. (Whereas, I’ve actually tried to retroactively start up Season 1 of Enterprise … I can’t even sit through an episode if it doesn’t have Jeffrey Combs in it. I feel bad, because it’s Trek and I’ve seen every other thing ever and even love the cheesiest episodes of Voyager, but c’est la vie.)

23. MattR - July 26, 2012

#16. I think that’s just from the screen-capping method. It looks bright and vibrant when I watch it on my TV

24. RetroWarbird - July 26, 2012

20 – Gotta admit, I’m actually in the probably small camp that prefers Pulaski over Crusher. I felt like her basically bad attitude was something needed on that show, and kind of made her moments with Worf sweeter as well. Every crew needs a stubborn, bullheaded individual to shake up character interactions. That’s why DS9 was great; half the principle cast were stubborn and bullheaded.

25. Simon - July 26, 2012

@18 – STAR TREK is about hope and optimism, not the endless depressing despair and hopelessness of nuBSG. You can’t compare the two.

@12 and 17 – you still can’t admit Berman saved TREK. It kills you to think that without him that we would not have had shows like DS9 either. He was creative enough to hire people like Ron Moore and Michael Piller and put them in charge of writing. He steered the franchise away from the depths from Season Two.

So stop with the outright lies.

26. BRF - July 26, 2012

Great review. Thanks.

27. Curious Cadet - July 26, 2012

@24

I agree.

Crusher was fine, but you really needed the curmudgeon character, to criticize, and/or question everyone else. Only the doctor could do this because of the command structure. Not only was McCoy a friend, but like in MASH, the doctors kind of exist outside of the command structure yet have the weight of an officer … Unlike Guinan, who was basically a civilian. And I liked her hybrid pant/skirt outfit.

I always find it interesting that TOS could exist with just the three main characters — Spock, Bones & McCoy. They had perfect balance. But TNG literally needed all 8 (nine if you count Wesley) to create the same effect. Take any one away and a significant voice was missing …

28. Uberbot - July 26, 2012

Bergman did some good — that’s true!! But he also made some bone headed creative decisions (like the musical score fiasco) and some of the worst Trek ever — TNG seasons 5-7, most of Voyager, Enterprise seasons 1 & 2, ST Insurrection and ST: Nemesis.

Seriously, I’d put his worst right down there with Spocks Brain (only not as entertaining). Bergman made a LOT of pretty boring Trek.

I think DS9 actually got better when he loosed his grip on it to make Voyager!

He did a lot of good and kept the torch burning for Trek (until Nemesis, that is). That, I can’t take away from him.

29. Uberbot - July 26, 2012

Berman…not “Bergman”…

30. Sebastian S. - July 26, 2012

# 25

Simon~

In my post, I readily admitted it was an unfair comparison.
I just preferred the more realistic, flawed people that populated the Galactica, rather than the perfect icons of marble that roamed the always clean corridors of the 1701-D, that’s all…

A personal preference. ;-)

# 23 MattR

Good point; I hadn’t considered that…. ;-)

31. sean - July 26, 2012

#24, 27

I agree such a character was needed, but that’s not what Pulaski was. She was just a female Dr McCoy with the exact same mannerisms, the same personality traits, etc. If it hadn’t been so blatant and they’d tried to define her character as something new, it might have worked. Odo, Kira, etc. were strong characters in their own right, so the stubborn attitude worked.

32. Factchecker - July 26, 2012

@2 – The Blu-Ray.com review seemed to have nothing but good things to say about the audio: http://www.blu-ray.com/movies/Star-Trek-The-Next-Generation-Season-1-Blu-ray/30939/

33. Factchecker - July 26, 2012

The final analysis at Blu-Ray.com reads as follows: “This is everything the series’ audio presentation should be, and then some.”

34. Quinton Quellington III - July 26, 2012

Q is fantastic aaaaaall the way back in ep 1, well done Sir Q! =D

35. Quinton Quellington III - July 26, 2012

@35 – Good sir it is worth just to see how beautiful these look after 25 years, plus there are a few diamonds in the rough as it were, with ‘11001001’, ‘Code of Honor’ and ‘Conspiracy’. Even the worst look somewhat improved with this glossy makeover. Just has my mouth watering for more aka ‘Best of Both Worlds’ in 1080p goodness!!

36. V Ger Ger - July 26, 2012

Won’t be buying it until the audio issues are resolved…ugh…don’t they have quality control at CBS video?! How would that even ship out in that condition?

37. Quinton Quellington III - July 26, 2012

Hmmmm somehow 35 has changed to 36! Haha oh what a kerfuffle!

38. Jeffrey S. Nelson - July 26, 2012

Who cares if the Farpoint creature is blurry or not? Mediocre first season doesn’t interest me in the slightest.

39. V Ger Ger - July 26, 2012

#35 — Will you buy these again when they are available as 2080p “super high-res glasses free 3D goodness”? ;-)

I’m sure Paramount/CBS thinks you will! HAHAHA!!!

“But honey!! This version is different!!! You can actually see the GLUE that holds the latex prosthetics to Michael Dorn’s FACE in this version and the musical score sounds like it is being played by an orchestra in your living room!!!”

LOL!!!

40. Jeff O'Connor - July 26, 2012

@33

Nevertheless, the audio problems are real. That a plethora of websites haven’t done their full fact-checking (forgive me) doesn’t change that.

Despite that, I’ve purchased the first season in strong hopes that my sale helps to ensure that Paramount not only concludes this lofty investment with seven releases, but above that, continues forward with DS9 and Voyager. DS9 is “officially on their radar” now, but fan support of TNG will determine the likelihood of it actually happening.

41. Jeff O'Connor - July 26, 2012

@39

There’s a difference between double-dipping (which many of us aren’t even doing) and, like… quadruple-dipping, or whatever it is you’re insinuating. There’s also a difference between wanting to be able to see the characters when the original piece gets blurry as hell, and having to continually settle for a televised audiobook.

Of course, your suggestion holds merit. If you can make it so, I may boldly go.

42. Quinton Quellington III - July 26, 2012

@39 – Since it’s TNG…I probably would, although by that point I’d get the holo deck version! Hehe

43. Danpaine - July 26, 2012

Any word of the remasters making it to Netflix or Amazon Prime? That’s the only way I’ll see them, and even then, probably not Season One.

I’m done purchasing seasons of Star Trek. They lost me in the 90’s when I spent $100,000 or so on videotapes, which are now in a landfill somewhere. Money well spent.

44. Quinton Quellington III - July 26, 2012

Oh and BTW I originally responded to Jeffrey S. Nelson, which WAS 35, then changed to 36 then settled with 38! Oh good old comment glitch! = D

45. Genesis - July 26, 2012

There could have been so much potential for this show had Berman not been the guy post-Roddenberry…

I really have to ask, how the heck did Gene get handed a shot at ANOTHER $$$$$ series after he’d basically been fired from meddling with Star Trek films?? He must have had some really good pals in Hollywood at the time. I would have thought Paramount would have wanted Harve Bennett to slide over to reignite Star Trek for TV, after all, he was producing SUCCESSFUL Trek films at the time and was coming off the biggest success ever for Star Trek with the 4th film…

Don’t get me wrong, he created a great playground for this show back in 1966, but over time, he never proved he knew how to deliver dramatic, exciting Star Trek over time. Other creative people did, along with other writers. It’s become obvious to me over time, Gene prevented a lot of great stories from being written due to his strict rules for how characters can act.

Imagine if Next Gen was able to have had some of the conflicts Ds9 got away with?? As far as Rick Berman, dear lord, he squandered 3 out of 4 movies that could have been epic… Instead he played it safe… Generations is practically unwatchable now, and I’ll be honest, for as good as First Contact was received, I still think it’s only about 70% well done. And Insurrection/Nemesis speak for themselves, garbage in terms of big screen features. Berman should have had his creative team come up with some sort of 3 film story arc, that culminated in something truly epic and enduring for the Next Gen cast, but it NEVER happened, and sadly never will now. I think it’s quite obvious just watching Patrick Stewert in these blu-ray interviews, he’s starting to look about as old as his “All good things” elder Picard.. It just wouldn’t be believable throwing a 70 year old Picard up on the big screen. Heck, even Frakes is showing his age as well.

So much potential, so much wasted in my opinion with that crew/cast. Thank Roddenberry and Berman for wasting the possibilities.

46. Nelson - July 26, 2012

What CBS is likely going to do regarding the audio problem is when they fix it and press new discs, you just need to ask for them and they will send them to you. Probably wont ask for the bad ones in return.

47. Danpaine - July 26, 2012

I still think the one plan to make the episode “Yesterday’s Enterprise” into what became Generations would have been fantastic, with Kirk and the gang coming back in time through the rift to meet Picard and the gang and fight Klingons…

Talk about missed opportunities. That would’ve brought the house down, done right.

48. ME!! - July 26, 2012

Excellent and dead-on assessment of the first episode and the first season (and second) as a whole.

49. kmart - July 26, 2012

25,
Berman is the one who was doing the lying (or at least outright misrepresentation.) Like how he represented the klingon blood issue on TUC (a show he had next to zero to do with) as being ratings-related, which is utter horseshit.

50. Simon - July 26, 2012

@#49 – [citation please]

In any case, TREKL VI kept its “PG” rating because the blood was pink. Red blood would have gotten at the very least a “PG-13″ and possibly an “R”. That’s the way it is with the MPAA. You can shoot down an army in “The Mummy” but as Stephen Sommers said in his commentary: little to no blood can be shown. Same thing with LOTR: black Orc blood ok. Red blood is a no-no.

And you’re denying he hired Piller & Moore?

So who’s doing the BS-ing now?

51. sean - July 26, 2012

#49

Huh? Nicholas Meyer said the blood had to be purple to avoid an R rating.

52. Craiger - July 26, 2012

Too bad they didn’t use that 16×9 filter in 1987, I forgot the name of it. Imagine TNG in widescreen with the new effects.

53. Magic_Al - July 26, 2012

In case people want to review some of Rick Berman’s answers to some of the criticisms.

http://www.startrek.com/article/rick-berman-answers-your-questions-part-1
http://www.startrek.com/article/rick-berman-answers-your-questions-part-2

These seem to have been edited since they were originally posted. I recall they used to quote the full fan questions, including my diatribe on the music issue which was selected. It’s just as well that’s gone, I regret the way I asked it, although I still feel Berman’s desire for music to not “call attention to itself” had too strong of an effect. I think music is important enough that the composer should be able to have as strong a point of view expressed as the director and the director of photography have.

54. Azrael - July 26, 2012

You know, its funny, I am not a pro-Berman guy but I liked Voyager more than DS9 (yeah yeah I know I am in the minority). I will admit that a big part of why is the absolute absence of Section 31 on Voyager. I also liked the sequential storytelling, and like DS9, and Enterprise, Voyager got better when Berman brought in someone else to work on the show. I still think Berman should not have had control of the franchise for nearly as long as he did, if at all.

55. Craiger - July 26, 2012

Didn’t Berman have a nickname, something like, play it safe Berman?

56. Bucky - July 26, 2012

Y’know, I’ve seen seeing repeats of TOS remastered lately (on, uh, a standard def channel) but they’re broadcast in “widescreen”, even though the remastered TOS eps were in “fullscreen”. I’m assuming that, eventually, when TNG gets entirely redone they’ll send them out to stations in “widescreen” and the blu rays will be presented in their original aspect ratio.

57. kmart - July 26, 2012

45,

I believe the history of TREK back on the tube was that Par asked Nimoy and he wasn’t interested, and Bennet was doing the movies, so then they went with Greg and/or Sam STrangis, and they came up with a PoS space cadet story, so then Par was SO desperate they HAD to go back to GR and TNG (after filtering DGerrold’s input) was the result.

Some of this is covered in the Reeves-Stevens TNG book, and other stuff is i think in the Pioneer press unauthorized books.

What you said about FC and squandered potential makes me flash on what the ILM guys had to say about Paramount on that film. They kept asking ILM for more versions of every shot, and they kept having more and more clouds taken away from the earth shots so you could see the land masses beneath. Which is really REALLY funny, since postnuke earth should have been a giant nuclear winter (or autumn) cloud over earth, but instead the whole planet is so uncovered you’d think it was on its was to transforming Earth into Arrakis or something equally silly.

I’ve always thought FC totally squandered the bleak chilling horror of postapocalyptic earth, without which the phoenix rising from the ashes lacks the necessary contrast (sort of like ROBOCOP – as Verhoeven said, if you don’t crucify Murphy in an excruciating manner, then the resurrection doesn’t register as strongly.) A shuttlecraft flight over the devastated earth would have been a great visual and opportunity for Goldsmith to deliver a Brian May Road Warrior kind of mournful score that carried REAL weight.

As is, you get more of a devastated Earth feel from a single crummy shot in B5 (San Diego, I think) than you get in FC. Wasted opportunities.

And … I’m outta here.

58. Jonboc - July 26, 2012

Rose colored glasses and a full glass of nostalgia might make TNG worth watching again, but I doubt it. Truth be told, it was riddled with behind the scenes tension…at least at first, when Gene’s lawyer was rewriting everything, and,in the end, when compared to other series, or even it’s namesake, the show simply wasn’t very good. A few times, like Inner Light and Yesterday’s Enterprise, the series rose to the occasion to show it WAS capable of producing exciting, imaginative Trek…sadly it was more adept at producing boring, mediocrity usually surrounding some new way to re-wire the deflector dish/sensor array to save the day in the last 5 minutes of the show. Had the show not had the Star Trek moniker attached and had aired on network television, it wouldn’t have lasted 12 weeks.

59. Simon - July 26, 2012

#57 – World War III was *not* supposed to be an all-out nuclear war. Seeing as the world population of mid-21st century earth would have been 8-10 billion people and “only” 600 million died (horrible as that figure is, it’s still less than 10% of the world’s population). You can’t expect to see a devastated Earth from orbit…and one suffering a nuclear winter at that.

You can’t expect to see shots of them touring the devastation either: Paramount was always tight fisted with the budget. Originally ILM wanted a dozen different new ship types battling the Borg cube: the budget whittled that down to 4. Digital technology was still fairly new in 1996, so CG landscapes were still extremely expensive.

60. John in Canada, eh? - July 26, 2012

If anyone in Canada is looking to bolster their DVD collections, I just saw all the seasons of DS9, Voyager, and Enterprise at Costco for $28.99 each. I was tempted to pick up “Enterprise”, but I figure it’ll get the high-def treatment at some point.

61. Chris Roberts - July 27, 2012

60. If anything, Voyager and Enterprise would be the worthwhile ones getting on DVD. Going by the rate it’ll take to get through TNG (with DS9 at its heels) I expect we’ll be another into another decade before ENT in particular, receives high-def treatment.

62. g - July 27, 2012

First Contact was a decent Trek movie but I always felt it was too soft in some spots, and considering they were facing a terrifying enemy, that detracted from the Borg’s menacing presence..

The other thing that stood out was, as if the Borg’s only going to send one cube ship to Earth..You’d send 10 to override every fleet force imaginable… It’s too bad there was never a Borg war film, that captured the same tense moments Best of Both Worlds did..Could have been epic..

63. Jeyl - July 27, 2012

I loved how for a first episode of a new series that it features a bona fide clip show that does nothing but show us scenes we saw little more than 10 minutes ago. And to make the scene even more padded out, Riker has to slowly turn his chair around and comment “He calls that a little adventure”. We are going to make that two-hour pilot length dang it!

64. T'Cal - July 27, 2012

I’m going to get these but I’m waiting until the audio problems are resolved.

65. Genesis - July 27, 2012

I was watching Hide N Q last night, and now that you’re able to see Next Gen in film quality like the original series, it’s much easier for me to see the connection and similarities to original series episodes, in season 1 of Next Gen..

Also, I read somewhere Berman said Maurice Hurley had a bone to pick with Gates Mcfadden for not being a good actress, and fired her from the show after season 1.. Well, I mean, does anyone REALLY think she was a good actress?? I don’t. I know people didn’t like old bones Pulaski, but she was a SOLID actress in that part, and believable to me as a crotchety old doctor…Perhaps the third plan, to have had Whoopi play the ships doctor, would have worked even better in that department.

66. Anthony Thompson - July 27, 2012

51. sean

It looks as though kmart ducked out – haha. It’s tough being proven wrong! : D

67. Magic_Al - July 27, 2012

^61. ENT was made in HD and is available in HD from various streaming video sites and when it’s shown in reruns on an HD channel.

68. Unfair Negative TNG Commentary - July 27, 2012

When TNG premiered, I, along with millions of others were anticipating the return of Trek to regular tv. With the success of the TOS movies firmly established, it was only ‘logical’ to have Trek go back to its tv roots.

Reading many of the negative comments, which I believe are from younger (30s and younger) bloggers, I have to strongly remind folks that audiences then were different and less sophisticated then audiences today. Today, you’ve got 25 years of post TNG entertainment and venues, the internet, youtube, instant and on demand entertainment access. So when I read comments about the shows vfx being ‘cheesy’ sounds stupid as you’re comparing contemporaneous production work with something that’s a quarter of a century old. Ridiculous.

TNG was a trailblazer in a way because it was a syndicated show. Not being shackled by network censoring, the Producers had more creative freedom that they would have less from had it been network made. Ratings wise, it was close to or at #1 being the highest rated first-run syndicated dramatic show on tv for most of its run. Remember the last episode in Season 1 that hinted at an alien invasion, of the Federation, and Picard and Riker phaser Lt Remick to not only have his upper body cavity explode but reveal a parasitic alien puppeting the poor guy. That was shocking to see on regular tv. You think you’d see that on NBC, CBS or ABC back then? Of course, not.

Given the above, reading comments about how bad the effects look from today’s perspective is making a irresponsible and ludicrous statement. Back in 1987, to have ILM do many of the shots, which they did well, was a great choice, which along with its production value was a viewer treat in that we got movie-level quality on a show for free almost every week. Back then, stereo was just coming along which brought alive many shows dramatic and live. The younger bloggers dismiss such things now because these things are now the norm.

Story wise, sure, some episodes were better than others. Again, back in its day, there was nothing else out there that compared to TNG. The show was new and its only fair to say that any new show is going to have kinks in it that needed to be worked out. I, among millions of others, were, um, ‘engaged’ enough to watch every week for the seven seasons that the show was on the air.

I remember rigging my digital 8mm stereo receiver to record the show, hook up the surround sound receiver to watch the show..well, experience the show. The experience was like watching a mini-movie every week, for free. Of course, I’d tape it live, pause for commercials to eliminate them and watch again on 8mm digital. What digital had as an advantage over VHS back in the day was a perfect freeze frame with no video artifacts.

Paramount’s Entertainment Tonight, a successful syndicated show in its own right, would feature many Star Trek bits, which I recorded, too. Its too bad the BluRay bits don’t include some of this as behind-the-scenes footage. There was much coverage on the TNG premier and how they did the FX, with various cast and crew interviews.

While I realize the negative show comments are not indicative of any kind of majority, its just annoying to read time and time, again. The younger blogger is entitled to his/her opinion, but be sensible enough to preface your negativity by indicating you view the older shows in a contemporary way. This also goes with the constant Berman bashing. I’m tired of reading about how Berman ruined the show blah blah blah. My response to that is simple. With Roddenberry in decline mentally and physically, if it weren’t for Rick Berman to take the reins of Trek, who could have changed Trek to what some of you believe should have been dark with conflict, there would be no continuingTrek.
Give the man credit for honoring Gene Roddenberry and his vision of the future and keeping TNG the way it was. Besides, Berman got his chance to break free of some of the Roddenberry restriction on conflict with DS9.

The TOS movies at the time, successful as they were, would probably never have gone back to television. Shatner and Nimoy commanded too much money and clout and were probably too old, to humble themselves to return to the rigors of weekly tv production. Looking back at the Roddenberry interviews, it was because of their power (Shatner and Nimoys..and eventually Kelley’s salary demand for V), that he created TNG with seven characters so there wouldn’t be the big 3 that TOS had.

69. ados - July 27, 2012

68…that post should win a Wherlitzer Prize…

70. Adam Cohen - July 27, 2012

Post 68- Thank you. A true fan’s testament to and memories of a show that has accomplished so much. I’ll always love TOS more but that doesn’t detract in any way from what TNG accomplished. TNG never aspired to replace what Shatner, Nimoy & Co. created, but to add to it meant that the Human Adventure was a larger idea. Roddenberry’s legacy was established by TOS but it was redeemed by TNG.

71. opcode - July 27, 2012

Funny that I find TNG unbearable from season 3 on, with all the technobabble. It stopped being a series about humanist philosophy and became pseudo-science soup opera bs. Seasons 1 and 2 are ok though, even if far from great.

72. Michael Hall - July 27, 2012

I’m guessing you meant to insert a comma there. . . but in any case, no. The “two reasons” TNG went on to survive, and even prosper (dominating the cultural landscape at the time to a level never seen before or since in any version of Trek; it makes the financial success of the Abrams film seem like a fleeting one-off accomplishment by comparison) are named Michael Piller and Ronald Moore. Nothing else even begins to explain the abrupt turnaround for a project that even hopeful diehards like myself were coming to regard as little more than a failed footnote to the original series.

I attended Piller’s funeral in 2005 as a way to show my appreciation. Ron Moore was also there, and while I wanted nothing more than to tell him what an awesome job I thought he was doing with Galactica, I refrained, because it was Piller’s day, and Star Trek’s.

73. Michael Hall - July 27, 2012

Sorry, I’d meant to quote from this post:

“It survived for two reasons. . .Patience of fans like me and Rick Berman.”

74. Andy Patterson - July 27, 2012

Good review. I could have written this one. Although not as skillfully. I like the description of Troi as ” “I sense great (fill in the emotion)” character”. Funny. He did seize on many of my thoughts on the show. As Bond says, I kept watching it and waiting for it to get better. In my case, I kept waiting for it to be the show I wanted it to be. I never felt it was the natural progression of what Trek would have been from TOS years. I’m more the Robert Meyer Burnett character from Free Enterprise. It wasn’t my Star Trek.

75. Curious Cadet - July 27, 2012

@ 68

What is this criticism of the “younger blogger”? (and assuming this is in regard to Jeff Bond’s review … Just how old do you think Jeff is?)

While I completely respect your opinion, how old were you when TNG first aired?

To me, I read your post as a nostalgic experience as remembered through rose-colored glasses. A little revisionist history based on your fond memories of the time, which makes even more sense if you were a kid at the time.

I was an adult when TNG first aired. And I clearly remember how I and my friends gathered around the tube and watched the pilot with great anticipation. When it was over we were all underwhelmed. And we were all particularly dissapointed with the visual effects work. Now to be fair, most of that was the result of the vfx compositing happening entirely in video, and then being broadcast in less than 430 lines of resolution. Clearly the model work was first rate thanks to these restorations. But budget and time constraints necessarily limit what could be done, and some of the sequences demonstrate this. The new replacement CGI effects are a major improvement. It’s just too bad it couldn’t have looked like this originally, as I’m sure it would have changed our impressions at the time.

We all stuck with the first season because we were all Star Trek fans, but if we happened to miss an episode it wasn’t a big deal. The series definitely got better with time, which is true of many TV series. And the effects seemed to improve in the later seasons as well. But the first season in particular really did look cheesy all the way through. The disparity in quality was made all the worse by going to a good sci-fi movie the night before watching an episode. TNG wanted to look like it had motion picture quality effects, but fell far short — forget how it compares to movie effects today, it didn’t even compare to movie effects of the time. But for TV it was certainly the best thing going. In many ways, and I’ve heard this many times since the TOS remaster, even the original limited effects of TOS we’re somehow more satisfying.

76. star trackie - July 27, 2012

I was an adult in 1987…and a huge Trek fan. TNG was one disspoining hour after another. It was soapy, talky and a huge bore 95% of the time. Where was the imagination of original SF writers? Hell, Fontana and Gerrold bailed because of all the inner office BS. Then the show found a “groove” with Berman at the helm and it soared, pretentiously where everyone had gone before. It was, for all practical purposes, conflict free…which is a great vision but boring as hell television. It replaced good science fiction with heavy handed techno-babble, action/adventure angle of TOS was all but abandoned, and the stirring musical vibes of TOS, in both television and on film, was forbidden. How it ever became so revered is beyond me. It resides in the Star Trek universe, but is not even close in resembling it’s namesake…which is probably why so many new “trek” fans came onboard. It’s a different animal, one which could become extinct for all I care. JJ has Trek backon Trek, again…thankfully. It’s not surprising so many 24th century fans dont like it. And vice versa.

77. captain_neill - July 27, 2012

Any more word about the audio issues?

78. Captain Realistic - July 27, 2012

Rick Berman did save Trek back then, no doubt about it. But sometimes, when a company is steering off course, you need someone who is able to change the direction, get it back on course, and quietly step out, happens all the time in the corporate world.

Rick Berman should have made the changes he did, set the course, hired who he needed to hire, and dipped out. If that happened, he would be a god to Trek fans. Sadly, he stayed on too long and micromanaged the shows into cookie cutter serials….. sad.

79. Jack - July 27, 2012

“By 1987, Roddenberry had evolved into something more like a futurist than a dramatic television series producer, and his ideas sometimes were at odds with the goal of creating the drama and conflict that should ideally draw audiences in.”

Couldn’t have put it better. It’s easy to overlook that the best Trek wasn’t only because of Roddenberry.

68. I was in high school in 1987 — and I thought, then, that TNG was terrible for the first two seasons. I gave it allowances for being on TV and not a feature film. but still. It was tough to watch without cringing because you knew that these people all had to know how to make a better show. It got watchable by the end of Season 3, but it was still often generally a little disappointing (you’d give them an ‘A’ for earnestness and for the camaraderie of the actors/characters). There was greatness — usually due to Stewart, but, yeah, it took time.

The visual effects were better than anything else on TV at the time, that I can recall — but even then they were definitely disappointing compared to the Trek films. The miniatures looked like miniatures. Especially because such a big deal was made about them being done by ILM that first season (it got big play on Entertainment Tonight).

Some of the special effects (the pyrotechnic bursts when people were shot at) reminded me of universal shows like Buck Rogers — I always wondered why the didn’t just entirely animate phaser shots like they did on TNG and the movies. A lot of it was less about the effects themselves but the execution – in phaser fights, characters really slowly ducked out of the way of the beam. Whatever, it’s quibbling — but it was really clunky compared to what had been done in Trek movies for years and years at that point.

Am I the only one who thought McFadden’s acting was better before she left than after? I don’t know if it was the acting or the way the character was written and directed. The character sort of became a hairdo without personality, especially during the first season or two after she returned. If the full story of all that hasn’t been told, well, I’d like to hear it.

80. kmart - July 27, 2012

66,

No I didn’t. I left a couple of long detailed posts last night, one addressing in part the meyer stuff, but I see this morning that one of them has been removed in its entirety (the one that in addition to address specific concerns by Simon and others, was also comparing some on this thread to the trekbbs posters.)

But if that is the sort of censosrship here, then it proves the point of what was removed. that the whole LIBERTY VALLANCE print the legend/not the truth aspect seems to hold sway over all.

So much for integrity. I’d suggest the apparently deballed mods here be ashamed of themselves, but that would require some sense of ethics, which apparently fall prey to expediency or the roar of the dulled massmind. If history repeats, I’d guess this post will also get yanked, so I’m writing this more for a sense of ‘best effort’ than to set a record straight, since any attempt at accuracy in journalism here is apparently ‘as welcome as a fart in an airlock,’ as David Gerrold once wrote.

81. Vultan - July 27, 2012

#76

I like TOS as much as I like TNG, and that’s quite a lot as it turns out. Oh, and I’m one of those new “trek” fans that TNG brought aboard.

I thought Abrams’ Trek was so-so. Too light and superficial for my tastes, but I appreciate the fact it introduced Trek to a new generation of fans (just as TNG once did for this young whipper-snapper once upon a time).

82. kmart - July 27, 2012

Hey, as soon as I typed the above, the post in question came back up again.

which makes my previous post now need to be addressed to post 67, not 66.

curiouser and curiouser.

83. Vultan - July 27, 2012

Correction: that should read: “just as TNG did for this young whipper-snapper once upon a time.”

Darn typos.

84. Just Sayin' - July 27, 2012

TNG sucked. There…I said it. Know I will take a lot of hits on this one…but the “attempt” to capture the same chemistry that was established in TOS was futile. The characters in TNG were just not as good, simply put. Picard was boring. Data’s constant head jerks and attempts at being human got old after the first show. A COUNSELOR ON THE BRIDGE??? REALLY? A doctor who needed a date…a Klingon with an identity crisis and a first officer with a good head of hair but bad acting skills and an over-developed testosterone level all just made a bad combination. Oh, and lets not forget the bartender which served absolutely no purpose except to give a person a part who really wanted to be on Star Trek. Let’s be honest…it took several cast members of TNG to attempt to reclaim the chemistry of 3 people on TOS…Kirk, Spock and McCoy. Sorry folks, you just cannot top the original. OK…let the bashing begin.

85. Genesis - July 27, 2012

I hate to say it (and yet I just went out and bought season 1 blu of Next Gen), but Just Sayin’s assessment is pretty spot on….

I’ll always remember one of my good friends who hadn’t been a Trek fan at all, but really enjoying the original series episodes, along with the original movies.. Why? For one, the actors chemistry, and two, it wasn’t so politically correct… It was off the wall fun at times. Next Gen just had this painfully wooden aura about it, and the only time the show succeeded was when it stuck to serious drama, i.e. Yesterdays Enterprise, or Best of Both Worlds… Replacing Doctor Mccoy/Deforest Kelley with Gates Mcfadden?!?! Really??? There’s one major drawback of Next Gen..

One of the main reasons Next Gen lasted was more or less by 1991, fans of Trek in general KNEW they had to embrace what was on at that point because the old crew was put into mothballs after Trek 6..

Deep Space Nine was a good show because it had solid actors all around, and not as much politically correct crap laced in every episode.. It had personality because of this, something Next Gen lacked altogether.

Another reason why the Next Gen crew never had a mind-bending film of their own, was for the same reasons their personality lacked in the TV series: Bad acting. I also find it hilarious Denise Crosby left the show to pursue “better roles” and yet she was probably the worst actor on the show in the 1st season (McFadden a close second)…

This will sound bold but Stephen Macht, and Billy Campbell would have added a lot more zeal to that series early on.. Macht definitely gives off more of a tough guy persona, something Stewert seemed to really lack. Roddenberry’s concerns over Stewart being believable were actually quite warranted..

86. Uberbot - July 27, 2012

I don’t know which TNG some of you watched but I can name quite a few great year 1 and 2 episodes!!

Heart of Glory, Conspiracy, Datalore, Contagion, Q-Who?, Where Silence Has Lease…those are just a few of the great episodes!

I’d put seasons 1 and 2 of TNG up against any of the other series (excluding TOS) any day!!

For me, TNG didn’t start to get boring until year 4 but even then there were nuggets here and there.

I think there’s still a lot of bitter TOS fans who never gave up their resentment of a new Trek series without the original cast! But people, there was no way the TOS cast would have been willing or able to do another series — even in 1987!!

Time waits for no man — and that includes you bitter old TOS fans! I grew up with TOS and prefer that too but time moves on…

87. Red Dead Ryan - July 27, 2012

Alright, why the hell was my post deleted? I didn’t say anything remotely offensive!

Apparently we have to be politically correct here.

88. Just Sayin' - July 27, 2012

@ 85…Well said…could not agree with you more.

@86…I agree, time moves on. I would have been ok with a TNG series as long as it was comprised of: 1. Well written characters. 2. Good acting 3. Moving stories

I believe folks did their best to recapture the magic of TOS, but it just was not there…at all.

TOS still managed to make for the most part 79 excellent episodes (one or two not too great) with a crap budget and great writers. The great ideas and writing was lost during TNG.

Having said that, I do believe JJ Abrams and his crew have done a good job of re-igniting the flame. Trek has needed this breath of fresh air for too long and now it has it.

89. Vultan - July 27, 2012

I find it odd some people would expect an ’80s/’90s show to have the same kind of chemistry and tone as a ’60s show. Completely different eras we’re talking about here, and naturally the shows would reflect their respective times. So if you dislike TNG, fine, but don’t try to tell me it was poorly written and badly acted across the board—as if it never improved beyond the first season!

And believe it or not, as blasphemous as it may sound to some, but TOS had its share of stinkers as well. But I like ‘em both, warts and all.

Oh, and DS9 rocks, plain and simple.

90. Bugs Nixon - July 27, 2012

My copy arrived today, been watching it. Its beautiful. The one thing I really appreciate is that the box doesnt over do it – nice and compact. Well done CBS. I cant wait for the rest.

91. Genesis - July 27, 2012

I think that bothers me most is we had almost ten years, from 1994-2002 of missed opportunities in the feature film department for solid, and epic Trek stories to hit the big screen, and minus FC, which I didn’t necessarily think was GREAT, but decent, we got stinkers… And it was because of those failed attempts at Trek features, the franchise almost died because of it…

Nemesis is an unwatchable film, and the attempts at humor in it are FORCED at best, almost awkward to say the least… Not sure what planet Rick Berman is on defending that film.. It got beat by Maid in Manhattan the same weekend and that was no accident, it’s cause it sucked! I remember being so excited to see a new Trek feature, I was at tech school in Biloxi, Mississippi, where I had to actually go in uniform to the theater off base to see films. I walked out wondering what the hell happened. I was let down, bored, and just as underwhelmed as you can get for a Trek feature.

Rewind to 1998, you follow up a very decent First Contact film with an overly “talky”, and painfully slow in some parts Insurrection. Even Frakes and Sirtis admit on the commentary the story just didn’t WORK, and cited the slow scenes and pacing as well. Missed opportunity.

By that point, DS9 should have gotten their OWN film, as a try out in place of what Next Gen was turning out..

92. Uberbot - July 27, 2012

Much agreed, #91!!

Well, count me as one who just always thought the TNG films were unnecessary!!! Unless they were making a Borg war film (as a previous poster mentioned) or a movie with the Dominion — something epic — the TNG films were just not necessary after 7 seasons on TV.

And, I agree — First Contact was the best of the bunch — but that’s not saying much!!

93. MJ - July 27, 2012

Anyone keep seeing this “Forge of Empires” advertisement sidebar on Trekmovie.com lately? It is hilarious, because the king they show looks nearly just like the Burger King guy from the recent years of commercials for Burger King. LOL

94. David - July 27, 2012

I’m currently on disk four and have came across a few episodes with really odd audio, very tinny and mechanical sounding character dialogue. I’m only playing it through my TV speakers so I would have thought this kind of error would have been found before being shipped.

95. Michael Hall - July 27, 2012

” It’s easy to overlook that the best Trek wasn’t only because of Roddenberry.”

That’s pretty funny, because it’s an (obvious, never denied by Roddenberry) point that’s been driven home, with monotonous regulary, by multiple posters in multiple threads over the years on this very site. Roddenberry was a talentless hack who didn’t deserve the credit he hogged, having stolen it all from Shakespeare/Forbidden Planet/Gene Coon/GerroldFontanaJustmanSolow/The Cast, etc. Not only is this pretty simplistic historically (the man did manage to win WGA and Hugo awards for scripts that he personally wrote), but is a curious way to refer to a man who, for all his faults and faillabilities, did in fact create this franchise so many have taken pleasure and inspiration from. Seems to reflect quite a lack of gratitude, actually; but then, that’s just me.

96. MJ - July 27, 2012

@95 “Roddenberry was a talentless hack …”

Jesus Hall, you have set a new high-level for you sarcasm and acerbic statements with this remark.

He wasn’t a saint, and he wasn’t a storytelling genius either, but he was the leader of the greatest sf tv show in history, who risked his career to take a gutsy move to give us Trek, and he deserves our respect. Furthermore, his son, who reads all of the posts on this sites doesn’t deserve to have to read you crappy derogatory remarks about him.

You are out of line with these remarks. And how is it that you seem to fawn all over James Cawley like you’ve got a man-crush on him, but can’t even show some simple basics respect to the late GR and his legacy? That is fracked up, dude!

97. Michael Hall - July 27, 2012

“One of the main reasons Next Gen lasted was more or less by 1991, fans of Trek in general KNEW they had to embrace what was on at that point because the old crew was put into mothballs after Trek 6.. “

Sorry, but that’s nonsense on multiple levels. To believe it you’d have to buy the notion that TNG was popular because the people who watched it did so only because they were willing to “settle” for a poor substitute to TOS in order to get their Trek fix. That may apply to many of the readers on this site (myself included), but not to the majority of TNG’s audience, which at its peak was simply huge. The show was a popular, mainstream success, watched every week by tens of millions of people who otherwise couldn’t have cared less about SF or TOS or fandom in general, and who gave the series finale “All Good Things” one of the highest ratings in TV history for such an event. No other entry in the Trek franchise has had anything like that sort of sustained popularity (though each of the spinoffs briefly flirted with it), or had such an impact on pop culture during its run (TOS’ famously came many years later). You can certainly argue whether TNG deserved such success, but that it was uniquely successful on its own terms is undeniable. Otherwise, Paramount wouldn’t be making this investment, and we wouldn’t be having this discussion.

98. Joe - July 27, 2012

I think the beauty of Star Trek (as a whole), is that there are so many flavors there in the different series and different actors and different episodes– that there is plenty there for everybody to hate and love.

Just reading the comments here, a LOT that I love about Star Trek is being hammered in one comment and praised in the next… and vice-versa.

Probably best not to be so absolute in our judgements about it one way or the other “This sucked”, “Got better here”, etc. They’re all just opinions.

All this said– I can not *wait* to tear into Season 1 tonight !

99. Michael Hall - July 27, 2012

MJ,

Please go back and re-read. I know you don’t care much for me and my opinions, but I think it’s pretty obvious I was going after Roddenberry’s critics and not the man himself. Sheesh.

100. MJ - July 27, 2012

@99. Ah, whoops! Sorry, read your first line and went ballistic. Guilty as charged. Sorry.

101. weyoun_9 - July 27, 2012

As someone who did NOT grow up with TOS…I must admit it is a bit amusing to see so many people who still carry so much venom for TNG primarily because it isn’t the ’60s Star Trek.

1) If the TOS crew went back to the small screen in 1987…their age would have both limited the storytelling and kept new viewers from trying it out.

2) While I can absolutely respect the period from which TOS comes from, a lot of the acting style, set design, and dialogue made it pretty hard for me to take seriously when I gave it a shot as an adult. The remastered effects can’t fix that. For me…that crew didn’t find their rhythm until TWOK.

3) Having grown up on TNG I am as protective of it as many here are of TOS, so I understand the impulse to feel threatened by new stuff…and disappointed that it’s not like what you loved…but different and terrible are not the same.

Oh, and I’m 34…the 24th Century is my Trek of choice. Counselors and all. :)

102. Michael Hall - July 27, 2012

#100–

No problem. Just don’t be so quick to shoot from the hip next time, okay? (And I’ll work on taking my own advice.)

#101–

Agreed. I think I realized for the first time that the worm had truly turned when, during an episode of “Beavis & Butt-head” (a favorite of Patrick Stewart’s, btw) the moronic duo donned a pair of virtual-reality glasses that allowed them to see themselves as all manner of pop-cultural icons, including . . . Picard and Riker. It was only then I understood that in the eyes of many who had not been born when I was ignoring my homework to watch those TOS re-runs during the Seventies, TNG was what you were talking about when you mentioned Star Trek. Even as someone who had come around to appreciating the show on its own merits, that was a strange moment of satori, believe me.

And merits it did have, make no mistake. For all the talk of blandness and political correctness, the simple fact is that when TNG was on its game it was as good as anything else on television. It proved that with episodes like “The Measure of a Man,” “The Inner Light,” “Yesterday’s Enterprise,” “Chain of Command,” and a number of others. And while I might wish that the ratio of keepers to clunkers was better, the same could obviously be said of TOS. It’s even possible that TNG’s batting average was slightly better, overall.

That said, I’ll always prefer TOS. It’s grittier, edgier, optimistic rather than utopian, and just plain more colorful, stylish and (as Rick Berman admitted on at least one occasion) more fun. But I’ll admit that’s a generational preference, and doesn’t take away from the good work the TNG cast and crew managed to do during those seven years. It’s a legacy they have every right to be proud of.

103. Genesis - July 27, 2012

97. Good points… I never looked at it from that perspective.. It was at an all-time high when it was cancelled to be moved to the big screen, and that was result of the studio getting GREEDY since the old crew had been retired..

However, it’s too bad Nimoy and Shat hadn’t begged a little more for one more film of their own in between 1991-1994, that would have allowed Next Gen’s writers to get a more polished script ready for their feature film debut..

104. StevenPDX - July 27, 2012

I think one aspect that made TNG so cool was their acknowledgement of what happened in prior episodes. They would make reference to other adventures and places and characters. That was groundbreaking for episodic TB back then and it rocked.

For my part, I just loved the show when it first came on. I remember a group of us would get together, order pizza, and watch each episode. There were season finale parties and we bought some of the cool Trek memerobilia. The effects were cool, the characters were fun, and there was way more to cheer about than to groan at. For some of us hardcore fans, it was great to have Trek back on TV and to have something that felt distinctly different than TOS.

I took my 13 year old to the Fathom Events showing on Monday. Though she’s awash in social media, YouTube, and movies with spectacular special effects, she said the episodes were great. Twenty-five years later, they still hold up for me, too.

105. Genesis - July 27, 2012

So 1000101 seems to be the most jacked up audio wise.. the center/right audio stuff is apparent so far throughout the first 10 mins and counting of the episode.. This is pretty disappointing there was no QC on something like this b4 these were shipped…

Lastly, has anyone noticed on some shots it definitively looks like film quality and other it’s almost as if they spliced in up-converted shots instead? Makes me wonder if that was there way to ensure this project wouldn’t hit a complete snag. Some shots look flat compared to others.

Maybe that woman who played Minuette could have played a better version of Doctor Crusher lol.. Gates Mcfadden is a terrible actress!!

106. Genesis - July 27, 2012

An easy fix to the audio issues is change it to just 5.1 audio and I noticed it cleared up the tinny/awkward audio on episode 100101.. If that keeps working, I could care less about replacement discs.. I mean come on people, we used to watch this show in barely stereo back in the day, even getting it in 5.1 is stellar enough for me:)

107. sean - July 27, 2012

TNG was incredibly popular with the public at large, outside of fandom. That’s something that some hardliners just can’t seem to accept. 20 million people tuning in folks. That’s nothing to sneeze at..When TNG was on the air (and all the way thru First Contact) Trek was cover material for nearly every entertainment magazine out there. When people talked Trek in the late 80s through the mid-90s, they were talking about TNG. Especially after the major fumble that was Final Frontier.

You didn’t personally care for it? That’s fine, everyone has different tastes. But that doesn’t change the fact that TNG solidified Trek’s position in modern popular culture.

108. Jonboc - July 27, 2012

101. “I must admit it is a bit amusing to see so many people who still carry so much venom for TNG primarily because it isn’t the ’60s Star Trek.”

It has nothing to do with TNG not literally being Shatner and Nimoy’s Trek. It has everything to do with a sequel by Gene Roddenberry, called Star Trek, resembling everything else BUT Star Trek. It’s the formula and blueprint set by the original series that was abandoned.

Retained, was the technical end of the show and the setting. Gone was the adventure, the action, the science fiction, the memorable music, the fun. But considering Gene helmed the most dry, talky, sterile, flat movie of the franchise, it really is no surprise that he continued his attempts to distance himself from the original series with TNG.

I dislike TNG not so much because of what it is, but because of what it isn’t. I like apple pie. I love my grandmother’s apple pie. Tell me I’m getting my grandmother’s apple pie, but give me a fried pie from the corner convenience store that’s filled with oranges instead, and I’m not going to be very happy about it. People grew up with TNG, they love it, I get that. I grew up with Gilligan’s Island. Love it….but I’m well aware it wasn’t as funny as it was stupid. You can celebrate TNG all you want, but it doesn’t change the fact that the majority of the body of work was nothing even CLOSE to the quality of the Inner Light. 95% of the episodes were not even CLOSE to bringing the imagination and suspense of Yesterday’s Enterprise. The quality, worthy of the title of Star Trek, out of hundreds of hours of episodes…7 seasons worth…rarely raised it’s prosthetic adorned head…and when it did, sadly it was the exception rather than the rule. I loved the original series. Love the formula in Trek. loved it in westerns…loved it in the film, Master & Commander. Loved it in Galaxy Quest even! Loved it in JJ’s Trek. Had TNG adapted the formula, I would have loved it too.

109. Jonboc - July 27, 2012

# 107 “You didn’t personally care for it? That’s fine, everyone has different tastes. But that doesn’t change the fact that TNG solidified Trek’s position in modern popular culture. ”

Wow. You obviously didn’t live through the 70’s. Trek was solidified in modern pop culture long before TNG was even an idea.

110. Red Dead Ryan - July 27, 2012

#89.

Well said, Vultan.

#107.

Yup!

111. Michael Hall - July 27, 2012

Jonboc,

From what I gathered from postings of yours I’ve read through the years, my impression was that the real thing you disliked so much about TNG was its utopian (what you would consider socialist) background postulated for earth and the federation: no rich or poor; replicators to provide every material need imaginable; little room for real character conflict. By contrast, TOS’ universe was (overall) optimistic, but free-wheeling to the extent that even a couple of Ayn Rand devotees like Sondra Marshak and Myrna Culbreath could find reflections of their heroine’s philosophy in it., and write books about it.

By all means, correct me if I’m wrong. But as to the subject of quality and consistency, since I mentioned in my own posting that I thought TNG’s overall batting average was possibly better than TOS’ (while both shows should have been better), let me ask you this: how many TOS eps measure up to “City on the Edge of Forever,” “The Menagerie,” or “The Doomsday Machine”? I’d agree that the first season of TOS still sets the standard, with a fair number of oustanding shows, lots of good ones and only one real clunker (“The Alternative Factor”), but the second was something of a drop-off in quality, with a handful of stellar shows, some good ones, and quite a few ranging from mediocre to downright bad. Nothing need be said here about the third. Given that record, I don’t think TNG’s producers need make any apologies at all about holding up their end of Trek’s legacy. (The Supreme Court, on the other hand. . .)

112. Genesis - July 27, 2012

Yeah that makes sense.. Gene so wanted to do something “original” with The Motion Picture, we ended up w something that felt NOTHING like the old TV show… and even after that failure and getting fired from having control over the feature films, he went the same route with Next Gen to an extent..

Harve Bennett, Nick Meyer, Leonard Nimoy, hell even Shatner himself, all had a better idea of what Trek was and why it worked when written correctly versus its creator.. Thankfully Roddenberry laid the groundwork, but the people mentioned above just made it better..

113. Azrael - July 27, 2012

@108. See myself I find that 60 percent or so of TOS don’t come up to the quality of Datalore, much less any of the later seasons, I mean come on people waving butter knives around don’t convince me they are a danger (happened multiple times on TOS), and they don’t add any excitement to the episode at all IMO. You are as entitled to your opinion as I am of course, but I feel you are being overly critical of TNG.

114. sean - July 27, 2012

#109

I did, and am aware of the position TOS holds in pop culture. But the reality is that time passed, and by the time TNG was hitting the sweet spot in season 3, when the public at large thought of Trek, they were thinking of TNG. I’d wager most 20-40 somethings nowadays grew up on TNG, not TOS. When they think of Trek they think of Picard & Data, not Kirk and Spock.

It’s not a pissing contest, and I’m not arguing that one is better than the other. Both had merits and TOS will always have the advantage of having been first. But TNG was incredibly popular, and reached to non-fans in a way TOS never did.

115. captain_neill - July 27, 2012

Aparently there is an update on sound issue, read on The Digital Bits that CBS has investigated the 7.1 audio issue and is now in process of correcting it and should hear ofical word soon.

116. Michael Hall - July 27, 2012

Too bad about the audio issues I’ve read regarding “1000101.” As slight of an episode as it is compared to what came later, for my money it’s still by far the best-realized show of the first season–much better, IMO, than the similarly-themed (and vastly overpraised) “The Big Goodbye”–with some genuinely spectacular visual effects, a fairly interesting new alien race, a typically energetic score by Ron Jones, and even some fun and witty banter about Riker’s obsession with jazz (“Don’t give up your day job”) which I share. Maurice Hurley will probably be best remembered for inventing the Borg, but I think that script is the best thing he ever wrote for TNG.

117. Vultan - July 27, 2012

#108

TNG was at its worse when it tried to copy the colorful, kinetic TOS “formula.” Remember “The Naked Now”? Not Trek’s finest hour, was it? And a direct remake of “The Naked Time.” And the same could be said for most of the first season.

I’m just glad TPTB stuck with TNG long enough until it found its own path. Same goes for DS9. And Abram’s Trek to a certain degree. (Voyager and Enterprise are another story). But the fact this “formula” as you call it has been able to adapt and find new audience after new audience over the past forty-something years is a testament to how brilliant an idea it was originally. Blueprints? Formulas? Eh, leave ‘em to the soap operas and cop shows.

“Let’s see what’s out there.”

118. Vultan - July 27, 2012

Correction: Abrams’

119. Jonboc - July 27, 2012

Michael Hall,

I would agree that the absence of character conflict, for whatever reason, was a constant burr under my saddle. I like it when Kirk snaps at McCoy because he doesn’t have time for any BS. And I like it even more when he apologizes for it later. It makes him human. The idea that mankind would evolve to the state that Roddenberry dreamed of, in the 100 year time span between Kirk and Picard is just patently ridiculous..and yes, it also makes for quite a dull hour of television. Yes, they had replicators in Kirk’s time, no material wants…but there was conflict…lots of it. Man was still man. Perfection was strived for…but the presentation was honest, never afraid to show us the obvious; that perfection is rarely achieved. TNG’s world reminded me of the boring surface dwellers of George Pal’s The Time Machine, when I would have preferred they remind me of Rod Taylor’s adventurous time traveler…it’s just, simply, more interesting and fun.

I agree that the first season of TOS set the gold standard, (for ALL Trek series, not just the original’s 2nd and 3rd seasons) with the exception of the horribly convaluted Alternative Factor. And the second season, arguably, did slide some in quality…but the majority of episodes were still incredibly entertaining. The third season…yeah…we all know the story there. Though still, there were some very watchable and entertaining episodes…the quality was sliding. But even the worst of the worst…Spock’s Brain, can be watched and can be fun, with many great exchanges between the primary players. Conversely, when TNG is bad…like the horrific entry Sub Rosa…it’s just plain painful. Theres not enough chemistry and likability present in the actors to pull off a “save”..

And it’s in that ever important chemistry and likability, that JJ Abram’s pulled off the impossible with Trek 09. returning to that ever important formula and blueprint for Trek, created in 1966. The very blueprint that TNG and it’s subsequent spin-offs decided to re-write over the next 20 years…to ultimately, disastrous results. ( my apologies for the novella, but you asked.. ;)

120. Michael Hall - July 27, 2012

Jonboc,

Yes, I asked. :-) And you may be surprised to know that I actually agree with much of what you wrote.

I agree that the first season TOS set the gold standard for quality not just of TOS, but for all the subsequent series. (In fact, that’s what I meant, but apparently didn’t make very clear.)

I agree with you, and many of the show’s writers and producers who went through that horrible revolving door during those first two tumultuous (and largely mediocre) seasons, that Roddenberry’s policy of no character conflict was a great hindrance to worthwhile storytelling. Where we differ is my belief that Michael Piller, unlike his predecessors, was actually able to operate very successfully within that formula by pushing its limits thematically, making the question of what really constitutes a utopia one of TNG’s more fascinating subtexts. It didn’t always work–the show that featured Paul Sorvino as a scientist bucking Picard’s inflexible interpretation of the Prime Directive was just absurd–but at least the show was always trying, and took its ideas seriously.

As for “chemistry” and “likability” and some of the other things you mention–well, those are in the eye of the beholder, and not much worth arguing about. I do agree with you, and J.J. Abrams, that after four spinoffs, a cartoon, and 11 feature films that it was time to take the franchise back to basics, to return to the color and dash and derring-do that made TOS so memorable and fun. I also agree that Trek ’09 featured a talented, likable cast that (with a couple of exceptions) were worthy successors to the actors who originated those roles so many years ago. Sadly, where we part company is on everything else. For my money, the film had little of TOS’ seriousness of purpose that coexisted so well along with the fun: no sense of the wonders of space travel or its potential effect on human society; none of its fascination with scientific ideas (other than badass weaponry) or literacy, with little time left over from bar fights and love triangles to ponder the only really important question Trek ever bothered to ask: what makes us human? Amazingly, the Supreme Court, in all their collective cinematic uber-coolness, chose to jettison all that and keep the go-go boots. Well, it did result in a product that in some ways looked and felt more like TOS than the successor series did; I’ll grant you that, but it was all surface gloss with no substance behind it. The day I went it was obvious the audience was having a great time, but no doubt as you felt with TNG, all I could think was, “This isn’t MY Star Trek.”

121. Jonboc - July 27, 2012

Michael Hall,
Well, to be fair, TOS did have 79 hours to shape and nurture that wonderful balance. Although, admittedly, the very first episode filmed, Corbomite Manuever… amazingly, presented a crew that, for this audience member, appeared to have been serving on the ship together for years! A true testament to the actors involved and natural chemistry at hand, that they could come off so convincingly in the first hour ever filmed!

JJ just needs 33 more movies to log the same amount of time, just give him a chance! ;)

122. Genesis - July 27, 2012

Has anyone noticed on some shots on the blu-ray, they look more like the failed “upconverted HD” attempts the production team showed on one of the documentaries? Maybe I’m too damned observant for my own good but have this feeling that maybe they had no choice but to splice in elements of SD upconverted to HD since maybe they didn’t want to admit all the film elements couldn’t be found?

Tell me if anyone notices this.. Just seems like some of the scenes POP like real film, but others seem upconverted and flatter to my eyes.

Gonna be interesting to see if anyone else notices this..

123. Michael Hall - July 27, 2012

Agreed about “Corbomite”–an episode that the producers of Voyager should have been forced to watch at gunpoint, if necessary, if only to show them what a show about a ship alone on the edge of the known and the possible should have looked like. (Your example of MASTER AND COMMANDER, a film I also regard highly as one of the best Trek’s never made, wasn’t bad either.)

And yes, I fully expect to give Abrams and the Supreme Court another chance, even if I’m not first in line this time out. They’ll have had me at “Star Trek,” damn them all to hell. :-)

124. RetroWarbird - July 27, 2012

I’m not sure what I’d rate as the “Best Episode of Season 1″. I’m a big-time comic book reader, so I’m tempted to say stuff that gets all cosmic like “Where No One Has Gone Before” strikes a real chord with me, but the limits of it being a TV show (rather than a comic) kind of strip the potential from those concepts.

When it comes down to it, the episode I feel like has the highest stakes, the best interactions, some of the coolest crazy cosmic sci-fi, while simultaneously feeling like it could’ve been a story told back during TOS, is probably “We’ll Always Have Paris”. Picard’s old flame could’ve been a standard Kirk concept, and logical Data fixing the time leak could’ve been logical Spock. The actual sci-fi was reminiscent of Guardian of Forever (time ripples are emanating from such-and-such) and The Alternative Factor (crazy scientist has ripped a hole in spacetime!). The doctor had a mysterious patient which could’ve been an easy McCoy angle. And yet somehow, despite being a story that could’ve been told in the 1960s, it worked to establish the whole dynamic of Picard, uses other characters well, and helps build the Enterprise-D family.

Plus it didn’t over-rely on nostalgia, like the Klingon and Romulan episodes. I firmly believe that the Klingon Ongoing Saga of the TNG era shows is the strongest storyline within Trek canon, but I’m also slightly annoyed by how they basically switched the Klingons and the Romulans as far as motivations in the TNG-era. (Originally Klingons were kind of deceptive cheats and were pretty dishonorable, and Romulans were kind of the ones with the code of honor.)

“Encounter At Farpoint” has a lot going for it though.

125. Justin Olson - July 27, 2012

@ 122 Genesis:

You may be noticing several anamorphically lensed shots throughout season one (and in later seasons) that were intended for panning and scanning in post.

It was a way for them to do a composite shot requiring a pan without using a motion-control camera. The camera is locked down (doesn’t move) and the shot is filmed in 2.35:1 Panavision… then the 1.33:1 TV frame is digitally panned left or right inside of the wide 2.35:1 frame.

126. Jobeleca - July 27, 2012

As a FYI: I’ve had multiple episodes with rather tinny sound, I discovered the problem was being caused by the 7.1 sound, when I changed to regular sound the problem went away.

127. Jobeleca - July 27, 2012

#24, I’m with you there. Crusher is a nice general practice doctor, but Pulaski is who I would want as a real doctor if the shit hit the fan.

128. Matthew - July 27, 2012

I, like many here, am literally shocked at the comments bashing TNG (a site devoted to fans of Star Trek, no less); you’d think this was a Star Trek hating board.

Someone else said this, but I’ll echo their sentiments: Season 2 and 3 of TOS, with a few exceptions, are largely unwatchable. They, along with TAS, are the episodes that get re-watched the least.

To each his own, I suppose…

129. Matthew - July 27, 2012

“re-watched the least” by me, I mean. I do enjoy all of Star Trek…but just can’t relate to TOS. It’s not because of the graphics, but maybe it is a generational thing.

130. Bob Tompkins - July 28, 2012

Regarding previous discussions of the Neilsen ratings for TNG. had it been on a network during the 7th season and eligible to be rated, it would have been the number 4 show that season; the final episode would have been # 2 the week that it ran, behind Seinfeld by .2 ratings point and ahead of #3 Home Improvement.
Star Trek TNG would have been stellar on a network and unlike other series was profitable for every episode in the week that it ran, unlike regular network series that see no profit until syndication..

131. Bob Tompkins - July 28, 2012

The only episode of TNG I found utterly unwatchable was ‘Justice’ —until now. Definite nippleage and side boob in a couple of scenes.

132. Mike - July 28, 2012

Solution for audio issues

(1) While watching episode, press popup menu button, then choose setup.

(2) Change the selection from English DTS HD MA to English. (this will give you the English 2 channel original mix)

(3) Now you’ll be watching the episodes exactly as the directors intended instead of some fake created 7.1 surround experience.

133. TomBot3000 - July 28, 2012

I believe a lot of the friction that comes from ST:TOS vs ST:TNG is simply imprinting. I’ve met people who love TNG, who think of TOS as simply silly, and vice versa.
The reality is that they both were products of their time and the respective creative teams, with the one caveat, that TOS is the original iteration, and always will have the honor of that.
My childhood imagination was fired by TOS re-runs and because of that, TNG had my loyal attention when it debuted in my late teens, early 20’s. But because of it’s overall blandness, I always had a hard time really remembering it well.
It definitely found it’s voice, but it just never could quite stir up the same fire as TOS in me.
I have never owned any TNG, or truthfully any TOS videos… For the longest time we had new series coming down the pipeline, and I didn’t really need TOS videos to “remember” them; a James Blish book would suffice.
The ReMastered TOS project was a fun was to revisit the old episodes; the results were a mixed bag- the new CG was mostly very good, but the new compositions and some creative decisions just paled to the originals in impact. Again, some of that is just the intial imprinting on myself of the originals- I wouldn’t define it as nostalgic, just cohesive.
I’m not one for physical media these days, or even digital… Even contrary to some of my own ideals, I am simply happy to rewatch the original Star Trek TOS online, commercials and original effects do not bother me so much.
I’d much like to watch TNG re-mastered that way too; I think I’d be more likely to check it out, but I also understand how that’s unlikely to happen- at least at this time.
As an aside, I find it personally amusing that I agreed with much of what JonBoc said, until he got to JJ’s effort, then he totally lost me. Michael Hall basically voiced my feelings about that, though.
Today, I think, I almost wish that they’d just gone for a straight re-boot, instead of the pained workaround; it really would have lent itself to a looser interpetation.
I think despite the actors ages, that a proper ST:TNG movie might still be viable, but the trick would be a killer story that transcends formulas that that series of movies got trapped in. The problem, not counting NewTrek’s centerstage position, is that TNG(like DS9) pretty much wrapped up themselves perfectly on television, so as I said, it’d have to one hell of a story.
~Cheers, Live Long & Prosper.

134. DeShonn Steinblatt - July 28, 2012

Feel sorry for those that preordered. Can’t decide if I’ll bother with season one, even if they do fix the sound.

135. pg - July 28, 2012

The best Next Gen film was sadly in season 3 of the TV series: Yesterday’s Enterprise.. I can’t believe nobody had the foresight to say “umm guys, why don’t we just hang onto this one, it’s movie material..”…

Maybe even tweaked it so that it was set during Trek 6 for the original crew, and if they didn’t go back into the rift, Earth would be destroyed,.. possibilites were endless… you could have had old crew enter the next gen timeline during a borg war, or something to that effect… Wasted wasted opportunity..

136. BeatleJWOL - July 28, 2012

@132

Downside: the tracks are not in lossless PCM stereo, they’re still in the old Dolby Digital Stereo format.

The other thing I recall from the DVDs is that I could tell no difference between the 5.1 mix, and the 2.0 mix run through a Dolby Prologic II decoder (which creates information for center and rear channels from the front left and right channels). Perhaps the new 7.1 mix is the same way…

137. TNG Negativity II : The Wrath :) - July 28, 2012

If you are of my age, then maybe you and the other ones who espouse the negativity are just jaded individuals. I, too, was a young adult when TNG first premiered. Your negativity to the first season of TNG is understood. I understand your friends, too, were disappointed. Just out of curiosity, what shows were you watching back in those days? Besides TNG, Steven Spielberg’s ‘Amazing Stories’ series, which had a two season guarantee, there wasn’t much tv out there that were really decent genre programs. I am not saying that the show did not have storyline problems and, yes, a few were similar to ones done on TOS. At the time, I was just grateful to look forward to watching some decent tv programming weekly that utilized my stereo sound system that wasn’t just Johnny Carson’s audience laughing in stereo. New Star Trek every week in a different setting was welcome in my living room and MILLIONS of others every week.

My post is hardly just nostalgic and not revisionist history. The historical fact is, like I stated in the post, the show was the highest rated syndicated, first run dramatic show for almost its entire seven year run. That is hardly revisionist. I remember gleaning through Variety’s weekly tv ratings section to see how well the show would do and the only other shows vying for the top spots at the time were Oprah and Wheel of Fortune. If it was anywhere near the disappointment you and the others negatively commenting about the show’s lack of success, then Paramount would have pulled production at the 100 episode point. It didn’t happen.

Presentation is important. If you watched the show like I did, in stereo, with speakers surrounding the four corners of your viewing room, the show was like watching a mini movie every week. Granted, the show did not go Dolby Surround until..I’m thinking ’90 after the 2-parter Borg episode, but there were still some very cool sound fx to go with the visuals. My 27” Toshiba tv had to do for the screen, but it was enough. If you did not have a proper ‘set up’, it is possible you are missing out on how the show was back in the day….even taking into account your criticisms warranted or not.

Of the Season 1 episodes that had decent stereo production was 1101010101 ..the one with the Binars. Ok. Those little kid creatures were off putting, but the holodeck scenes and the jazz music, we get to know Riker’s character a little more and his trombone playing skills. The Visual FX were pretty good for tv, even though there were a few recomposites of scenes from Star Trek III with the Enterprise and spacedock. Overall, not a bad episode at all.

If memory serves me correctly, ILM was hired to do a library of effect shots that would be recycled and could be recomposited with new shots as the storyline dictated. You could see this partly in the first episode. Different Enterprise shots, warp jumps. I thought the warp jump when the Enterprise tries to escape from Q was cool and original, when the ship banks right and accelerates into warp. Where have you seen a shot like that before prior to then? I think your dismissal of their work is ridiculous. Your own statement of watching a ‘movie’ and comparing it to TNG is not fair. As such, your own argument defies sound ‘logic.’ Movie productions generally have larger budgets and time for those grand effects you and I love. TNG’s tv budget, though expensive and large for its time, still had limitations. A case in point, look at the Enterprise E herself and compare it to Doug Trumbull’s movie Enterprise. No comparison that the movie Enterprise is far superior in detail and craftsmanship. Why complain that the tv series looked cheap in comparison to a movie back in those days? Its like comparing a steak ordered at Smith & Wollensky and one at Ponderosa. No comparison. None.

“Encounter at Farpoint” was a decent premier episode. Q’s force field had an interesting look to it and accompanying stereo effect that was original and quite cool. The Enterprise looked huge and different and the warp jump was new, though not my favorite. The Motion Picture’s warp jump remains my favorite of all of them, along with the ship, herself. The storyline about this alien entity held hostage while possessing transformative powers was a decent Star Trek story. Even non-genre fans and, at least one critic, Washington Posts Tom Shales agreed when he wrote in his review despite its initial flaws, there was nothing else like it on tv.

Looking at Roddenberry has created in Star Trek about creating this universe of ‘no conflict’ among its characters, to me…in my middle age, makes sense. Look at all the negativity in our society today. Even in the movies. The trend now is to go dark..look at Batman. The movie makes gazillions and seems popular with fans but also look at some of the negative impact. The crazy guy in CO taking on a Batman character’s persona and its bad deeds cannot be ignored for the tragedy that has happened.

To undercut the succeeding negative criticism of my post and the previous paragraph, I will say this….when was the last time there was some crazy guy or gal, who massacred people who was influenced by Star Trek? Uh huh. Right. None. We need more positive and inspiring shows like Star Trek that shows that utopia future where everyone can get along and can live together in peace.

138. TNG Negativity II : The Wrath :) +1 - July 28, 2012

Oops. The prior post should have had a @75 before it.

139. pg - July 28, 2012

I’ve been kind of harsh on this show… I forget that when my parents were getting a divorce, it was Next Gen that thankfully came on my little black and white TV every single week and allowed me a proper “escape” for an hour a night. Regardless if some of the episodes were cheesy or too utopian, I think that’s sort of the point of Star Trek, right? Or at least was initially, the hope for a bright and safer future…

Does anyone thing Maurice Hurley’s influence on the show was a good turning point in season 1 and 2 for it? I realize he got fired by season 3 but I thought he did a good job in getting some more entertaining episodes churned out like Heart of Glory, Q-Who, Conspiracy, etc..

140. ALK - July 28, 2012

I can add a bit of description to the Encounter at Farpoint audio issues with DTS-HD. The center channel is correct, as is the left channel. The right channel is incorrect with what seems to be a mix of the original right channel *plus* the center channel mixed in. This moves all of the dialog to the right side of the room, including “Space, the final frontier”.

It’s hard to watch the actors in the center of the room with the voices coming from the right side. How could this have been missed in QA? It just takes a pair of ears to tell it’s wrong.

The plus side is that the effects channels seem correct (so far) and the LFE seems well balanced. It’s a good mix, it’s just the mastering that was poor (very poor).

141. Frank169 - July 31, 2012

@ 123 I think TOS “Balance of Terror” is in essence the Trek counterpart of “Master and Commander”.

I grew up with TOS and didn’t like the first two seasons of TNG. But the series got exponentially better with an abundance of excellent and bold story ideas that were literally lying on the street but TNG picked them up. And they truly went boldly where NO ONE had gone before.

The conclusion of “Best of Both Worlds” came completely unexpected and who would have believed they would allow Thomas Riker to carry on a parallel existence in “Second Chances”? The writers often screwed with expectations of the audiences and that element of surprise was one of the renowned trademarks of TNG.
“Surprise me, entertain me, be creative!” – TNG definitely did

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