Star Trek: The Next Generation – All Good Things – Blu-ray review

All Good Things - TNG finale

Along with the 6-disc set of the final season of The Next Generation, CBS has released the critically and fan acclaimed series finale ”All Good Things…” in its original 90-minute TV movie form as it aired in 1994 in a special single-disc release. Read on for more on the special features exclusive to the release.

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The Episode

Wow, “All Good Things…” is 20-years old. It’s still a shining example of what Trek in the mid-90’s could be. It’s quite telling that Brannon Braga and Ron D. Moore excitedly hammered out this loving wrap-up to Next Gen in a matter of days, while with Generations they spent much more time on it, fretting about the motion picture debut of the TNG crew, and it is hardly the unanimous success that “All Good Things…” is.

“All Good Things…” is great TNG-era Trek.  We have a well used temporal anomaly, since it’s really a test from Q we can excuse using yet another temporal anomaly. The franchise would soon overuse temporal anomalies to the point of becoming ludicrous, but in 1994 that hadn’t happened yet. The call backs to “Encounter at Farpoint”, and the plausible version of our crew’s future (given the context of what we had seen in the TV series), all help make this a special episode.

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That Picard is jumping back and forth through time is something our present day crew accepts immediately because they (like the audience) have been serving with him for 7-years and trust him without question. Contrast this to the pre-Season 1 past where no one knows what to make of this new captain who won’t disclose anything and is ordering the crew into Romulan space. In the third timeshift, Picard is in the future and while his former crew certainly supports him, his old age and possible worsening symptoms of a disease he never knew he had lead everyone to second guess the aged captain. In the end of course he is able convince his crew in all three timelines to act to save humanity’s place in the universe.

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The very last scene of the episode is still something that makes me a little misty eyed. Picard finally joining the weekly poker game, finally being comfortable enough with the senior staff to consider them his friends, and dealing the deck of cards, “…the sky’s the limit…” as the camera pulls out above them, and then out to the hull of the ship and finally looking on to the Enterprise going on its continuing mission, is one of the best final scenes of any TV series.

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Video and Audio Quality

CBS Digital has been remastering all of the later seasons, and as usual, the work is generally excellent.

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Bonus Material

NOTE: all of the new bonus material here is exclusive to this single-disc release and is not found on the Season 7 set.

Audio Commentary by Audio Commentary with Ronald D. Moore and Brannon Braga– The two guys behind it all sit down together and delve into details behind the writing and production of the finale.

 

The Unknown Possibilities of Existence: Making “All Good Things” — 26 minutes

This is the new documentary exclusive to the single disc release, it opens with quite a bit of Entertainment Tonight footage from behind the scenes of filming the episode. Braga and Moore relate how they were stretched thin writing both AGT and Generations. Berman says he was busy finalizing Voyager’s pilot and of course overseeing the move to films for TNG. The cast chimes in about how they were all ready for a break after 7 years of the grueling TV schedule.

 

Deleted Scenes – There are about 7 minutes total of trimmed scenes. There’s also a minor subplot about Terrellian plague ships that was cut entirely.

  • In the present day, Data and Geordi speculate on their future selves in engineering while working on the tachyon beam in the present day.
  • Extended pieces of the scene in the present day sickbay with Picard and Crusher discussing Geordi’s eyes regenerating.
  • In a totally cut subplot, in the past Picard banters with the captain of a Terrellian plague ship that’s come to the Devron system to see if the anomaly will cure them.
  • More deleted lines in the past about the Terrellian ships and a reference to Dr. Selar.
  • Future scene using an usual camera angle that looks down from the ceiling at Picard running barefoot through the future dreadnaught-style Enterprise to find Admiral Riker in 10 Forward.

 

Check back soon for our review of Season 7!

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Great final episode and excellent review Matt, -thanks.

LLAP

“Wow, “All Good Things…” is 20-years old. It’s still a shining example of what Trek in the mid-90’s could be. It’s quite telling that Brannon Braga and Ron D. Moore excitedly hammered out this loving wrap-up to Next Gen in a matter of days, while with Generations they spent much more time on it, fretting about the motion picture debut of the TNG crew, and it is hardly the unanimous success that “All Good Things…” is.” I’m so glad you brought this up. This has always been the biggest ironies of these two stories and also proves it doesnt matter how long it takes to write something to be a guarantee of a good story. If the premise is that good you can write it in no time at all. AGT is a very complicated and visionary story that is great Trek and sci fi at the same time. And they wrote it in a few weeks. On the other hand they spent an entire year on Generations and so much of it felt like something they couldve wrote in a few weeks. In fact they both seem like opposite situations. And both by the same two writers. AGT did such a great job of effectively using the entire cast (although its clearly a Picard story) and gave them all a chance to shine while Generations was mostly a Picard and Data show with of course very special guest star Captain Kirk part of the action with the rest mostly… Read more »

“All Good Things…” is exactly how to end the show on a high note.

It’s also one of the few series-enders that is actually good, and actually pays tribute to the show without pandering to the fans or jumping the shark altogether.

Me and my Trek friends threw a party when this aired, relieved that TNG was finally over! Lol

@4. Jonboc

If you didn’t like it, then don’t watch it. Better save your time & watch Baywatch.

@3. Red Dead Ryan

Agreed.

Of course, I wish AGT had been THE movie. But, it doesn’t really set-up more movies, whereas Generations does. On the other hand, AGT is such a beautiful swan song, I wish the swan had died right there… (meant in a nice way.)

Matt Wright wrote:
“Wow, All Good Things… is 20-years old.”

Why did you hyphenate that?

8 Batleth, It’s a very common error; I’ve even seen it in professionally produced magazines and books.

As a copy editor, it tasks me. It tasks me!
——————————————————————————————–

As to the final scene of the poker game, it was somewhat moving, but for my part [mostly] I didn’t enjoy the poker games. IDK, the concept of the entire senior staff sitting down to a poker game every week just bugged me a little, but I guess it was considered better than having them gather for drinks in Ten Forward to shoot the bull. And I must admit, I always enjoyed seeing what a great bluffer Riker was. That sh*t-eating grin of his was so funny.

#5 “@4. Jonboc

If you didn’t like it, then don’t watch it. Better save your time & watch Baywatch.”

Believe me, outside of the 10 or so episodes that were actually worth my time, I wish I had watched Baywatch instead, at least it had Pamela Anderson! TNG was a 7 year long exercise in mediocrity… ultimately just one big boring disappointment…or at least it was for many of those looking for Star Trek beyond the words in the opening titles.

#5

Ahmed, don’t feed the trolls. Your response is just what he’s looking for: attention.

I pop on my DVD copy from the Fan Collective and run that as the first TNG movie. Then I’ll pop on Generations.

10. I loved TNG but I really was almost always a little disappointed. Eventually, it became about hanging out with the crew every week.

Jonboc. You’re a gimmick right? No one can be as stupid as you pretend to be.

I’ll definitely pick this up. Classic television and a fantastic finale.

Everyone here has the right of free speech. Some people don’t like TNG, that’s fine. Jonboc is allowed to express his opinion, whether you like it or not.

For the record, I disagree with Jonboc on TNG, even though it is far from perfect.

Obviously I disagree with Jonboc lol.

But yeah he has a right to say it…but he’s probably in the minority regardless. ;)

But yeah guys, not everyone all like the same Trek, nor is it a requirement we all should. I have met few people that have enjoyed every show or film. Now true TNG and AGT certainly is usually rated on the higher side of most Trekkies list but its still not for everyone. The JJ Abrams films are either the greatest thing to Trek in the last 40 years or they are a piece of excrement depending on who you ask. I’m sure most people its somewhere in the middle like majority of this stuff.

All TNG seasons bought and paid for. Love revisiting this stuff in HD.

DS9, you’re next.

TNG was a great show but it was far from perfect… For its day and age, the SFX were kinda okay, but in retrospect, it didn’t age well… What’s worse is the stories of later seasons, those kinds of “mystery of the week”… It’s fabulous to watch them once or twice but as soon as you can remember the twist, they lose a lot of their initial appeal. Plus there was Season 7 with those infamous “relative of the week” plots: why did they have to introduce the crew’s relatives one episode after another… Troy’s sister, Worf’s brother, Picard’s son, Beverly’s grandma… this was ridiculous soap opera material…

I’m still very fond of the earlier seasons though… At least there were trying to explore some strange new worlds and I love those dreamy, out-of-this-world musical scores of early McCarthy and Ron Jones. Seasons 1-3 were the best. I know, lots of people disagree on that, but I don’t care… The later seasons slowly abandoned the initial utopianism and paved the way for a darker version of Trek which became DS9… I still don’t think this was the right way to go…

In my opinion model still look betten than SFX. But for today the tracking shots aren’t dynamic enough. On the other hand SFX look much more dynamic but artificial. Why don’t they combine models and modern tracking shots?

While TNG had a few good shows the main concept of a ship full of perfect people who never make a mistake was a true detriment. More like a morality play than any kind of drama it was a true departure from what made the original so popular to this day. Having met a few of the actors back in the day it is sad the quality of the storytelling (lack of conflict of just about any sort) did not match their enthusiasm for what Star Trek truly represents.

#14 “Jonboc. You’re a gimmick right? No one can be as stupid as you pretend to be.

I’ll definitely pick this up. Classic television and a fantastic finale.”

You’re certainly welcome to enjoy it, but I took enough of that beating the first time around! Fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice, shame on me! Lol.
But seriously, TNG is not a bad show. It could be painfully boring, but it’s not bad television. It was competently written and produced and well acted. It just wasn’t even remotely close to resembling it’s namesake. It was called Star Trek yet the elements of Star Trek were missing. The action/adventure, the romance, the sexy aliens… humor, imagination, exciting music…all gone. If I love apple pie and you offer me a slice of apple pie and I find out it’s made of raisins and corn meal crust, I’m not going to like it.
TNG and TOS is as clear a case of apples and oranges as you’ll ever see…love apples, don’t care for oranges. Simple as that.

Stop bashing Generations!

It was infinitely superior to Nemesis, and possibly even Insurrection.

“All Good Things” was massively overrated. It wasn’t a very good episode. And it did resemble the bulk of TNG in that the crew didn’t solve anything. It was Q who held Picards hand and told him everything throughout. It was pretty lazy storytelling at best. There were dozens of other episodes that were better. I will never understand the love for AGT. Ever.

The only positive thing about the episode is that I am forced to agree. The final pull out was nice. Reminiscent of the final scene from “Cheers” when Sam told someone coming down the steps, “We’re closed”.

22: Generations deserves to be bashed. It had enormous plot holes that are just way too hard to ignore. On the plus side, we did get to enjoy the destruction of the USS Hilton.
Also, Nemesis was better than most think it to be. Better than Generations and certainly better than that awful Insurrection.

@21. TNG worked because of it’s roots in TOS…but TNG is also exactly what I’d expect life in the Federation to look like after the explorers left and the bureaucrats moved in. To that end, and it’s an important consideration, once the show found it’s legs, it did well…but you are right, it bears little resemblance to TOS. My opinion, for what it’s worth, DS9 was a bit more like the original…

Generations is what you get when you lock some writers in a room with about three pound of pot, with instructions not to come out unto the have a script, and no more herb….

Generations is what happens when you need to time travel but cant use conventional time travel devices and dont have the money to sign all the original actors and build original movie sets.

I grew up in the 70s watching reruns of TOS. Getting the movies was nice but Star Trek’s home is on TV as a weekly series. I was in college when TNG made it debut in syndication and I was overjoyed. The first season was spotty but I saw the potential in the series. For me the episode that solidified TNG as being “real” Star Trek was the brilliant Melinda Snodgrass penned “The Measure of a Man” in Season 2. This episode was a bottle show with no exotic planet sets, bizarre aliens, spectacular VFX with space battles… rather it was just a darn fine story with excellent performances by talented actors. This was the kind of deep ethical dilemma that TNG excelled at exploring over the years. TNG went out on a high note still at the top of their game with All Good Things… It is a shame that the TNG team had to wrap AGT and then immediately start work on Generations. They should have gotten a break to enjoy the success of their 7 years on TV. TNG left us with the legacy of reflecting Roddenberry’s Progressive Secular Humanist vision of humankind’s future as a spacefaring species. DS9 took a turn to a darker place but that was a reflection of the writing staff evolving their vision of the Roddenberry universe. Voyager and Enterprise had their own take on Star Trek that was different from Roddenberry. We have seen how JJ Abrams and his team rebooted… Read more »

Nimoy took a pass on the movie because it was a crappy story, not because it lacked spiffy sets and the rest of the old timers weren’t along for the ride. You can put all the lipstick on the pig you want, it’s still a pig.

Nimoy passed for the same reason Shatner has been reluctant about the modern films – he wanted a juicier role.

I cannot bring myself to say anything negative about TNG, let alone TOS. “All Good Things” was the best way to end the series I can think of and it stands the test of time.

Was wondering if Admiral McCoy was still aboard the Enterprise when Picard has his time shift. Imagine involving De Kelley in the plot. WOW!

Will it be released in Germany too? Like all the other Blu Rays…

Thanks fpr response

What has watching Baywatch got to do with anything? In my case, I often watched both because they were on at different time…:)

Even after all these years I cannot watch the final minute or so of this wonderful episode without crying. I did it when I was 8 and I do it now.

Thank You Matt

I’m sure it is wishful thinking, but can only hope that the success of Interstellar may lead to more use of models, and less CGI. There is a reason the TMP Enterprise looked so fine, imagine if it were built today… :)

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