Friday, March 8, 2013

TNG: Season One Essentials

Wow, it's been quite a while since I've done one of these. I hope I didn't forget how. I'll just jump in and see how it goes. 

1- Encounter at Farpoint
-This is the very first episode of TNG. Like the rest of this season, it's a little clunky in places, but it deserves a good watch. 
-You get the beginning of the Q/Picard relationship that will last until the very end of the series. 
-There's a guest appearance by DeForest Kelley. Yes! 
-Picard says, "Costumes like that..." to Q. Look who's talking, guy. You're wearing pajamas. 
Stand Out Line: Separate the saucer section! 

2- The Big Goodbye
-This is the episode that launched lots and lots of Dixon Hill fanfiction. 
-Picard, Beverly, and Data all play dress-up. 
-The way Picard loosens his tie after returning to the bridge is just perfect. 
Stand Out Line: It was a nice place to visit, Number One, but I wouldn’t want to die there.

3- Symbiosis
-This is a great twisty-turny plot episode. 
-Picard and Beverly have some great stuff here. 
-This is our first real introduction to the Prime Directive and how much it means to Picard.
-This one was actually the last episode Denise Crosby shot. I feel like, in her conversation about drugs with Wesley, this shows. 
Stand Out Line: It's hard to be philosophical when faced with suffering. 

4- Datalore
-If you don't watch this one, you won't understand who that guy that looks just like Data is in some future Essential Episodes I'll be mentioning. 
-The Data/Lore dynamic is great. 
-Data has an off switch. Umm. This is a bad idea. 
-Pro-Tip: If you have an android (or similarly outsider-ish) friend and they suddenly start using contractions--DO NOT TRUST THEM. THEY ARE AN IMPOSTOR. 
Stand Out Line: Shut up, Wesley! 

5- The Neutral Zone
-This episode is worth watching for one reason: ROMULANS! 
-They're back and it's a big deal. Everyone on the bridge "never thought they'd see a Romulan." 
-Basically, there's a crazy shadow enemy going around blowing up bases in the Neutral Zone. No one knows who it is but the Romulans are pretty confident that it isn't the humans because, as the Romulan commander pretty much says, "You guys are dumb." 
-This one is full of intrigue, mystery, and great moments that harken back to classic Trek. 
Stand Out Line: We are back.

Runners Up 

-When I was a kid, I was terrified of this episode. I had nightmares about purple fish fins sticking out of the necks of my family members. 
-Uh... don't let that previous statement dissuade you. I'm sure if you aren't a four-year-old, you'll be totally cool with this one. 
-This is a smart, interesting, well-written episode that I really felt like must've been planned as the season finale. 
This happens and it's totally gross.
I'm not doing a very good job selling you on this episode, huh? 

The Naked Now
-Everyone in this episode goes bonkers when their ship is infested with a virus that causes intoxication-like symptoms.
-We get an otherwise pretty impossible look into the inner lives and feelings of these characters thanks to their sudden loss of inhibition. 
-If you don't watch this episode, you'll never get the Trek inside joke-- "Fully Functional." I mean, unless you google it. Still, it wouldn't be as fun. 

Drunk Data
How can you not watch it? 


  1. Do you watch the episodes by yourself? Do you have people you watch with who know Trek as well (or close) as you? Not sure why the question popped into my head as I was reading your post, but I always wonder. I have rarely watched ST:TNG with anyone (well, anyone who's a big fan, anyway). I just recently watched every one of these episodes- except Symbiosis, for some reason. I may go back to that one tonight. Great overview of these essentials!

    1. Thanks for the read! My husband (who is also a huge Trek fan) watches them with me when he's not at work. I typically discuss them with him when he gets home. I also have two friends (who live across the country) who are making their way through Trek and giving me their thoughts as they go. Symbiosis really is worth the watch. Let me know what you think of it and if you need someone to talk to about the episodes--I'm always right here!

  2. Well I am near the end of my trek-a-thon.. watching the 7th season of voyager.. Starting to worry about starting over... I was thinking I might go with my copy of the 10 seasons of stargate sg1... Still thinking.. what do you think? BTW I am in oregon.. so there's all this rain, which puts me in front of the tv in my recliner.. sometimes I don't make it to the end of an episode.. I wake up for the credits and I think.." I'll have to go back and watch that again", but I 've only done that once--usually I just wait for the next time around. It gives me something to look forward to--an episode that I haven't seen for a couple of years or so..

    I am babbling..I am tired. My clock turned itself forward 2 days early, so I was up and working at 4am. I came home and tried to take a nap, but the hirogens kept me awake.. I'll sleep tonight.. ENOUGH BABBLING!! GOOD NIGHT!!

  3. Well, I'm here to tell you that there's pretty much nothing as good as a Star Trek nap. I used to fall asleep almost every day to the Voyager reruns on Spike TV. If I lie down on the couch, especially while it's raining, and those bridge sounds start up, I'm out like a light. This is why I have to sit in a grown-up office chair at my desk while doing My Year of Star Trek. There's just something so awesome and comforting about falling asleep in fron of Trek. Uhh... I also do the same thing with Monthy Python's Flying Circus and Ghost In The Shell Stand Alone Complex. 10 Seasons of SG1 sounds pretty good to me!

  4. Replies
    1. It's great, right? Such a fun episode. At some point, I'd like to watch it back to back with The Naked Time.

  5. Are you into SG1 too? That would just make you triple awesome. I interviewed an intern candidate once and asked what she was wanted to do after she graduated. She said "be an astrophysicist." Long story short, Sam Carter gets into Space Camp instead.

    1. Ha! I watched SG-1 religiously for the first few seasons then lost my access to cable for a while. I started catching up in reruns while I was in undergrad and working part time but then life got crazy and I lost track again. It's definitely on my list of things to sit down and watch all the way through once I finish My Year Of Star Trek.

  6. I've never watched any Stargate, but I'm curious if anyone's watched Farscape? (loved Farscape)


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