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