Viewing posts tagged TNG Season 7
Longtime Vaka Rangi readers may remember that I have a small tradition of making episode guide/reading list posts whenever I finish covering Big Eras of the project. The hypothetical situation is that someone who is new to the show and yet for some reason *doesn't* want to marathon binge-watch it as is the standard way of consuming TV these days could theoretically be interested in my recommendations for the best stories so as to emphasize the cream of the crop while avoiding filler and missteps. Each entry has a link to my essay on the story for those who might want to revisit them.
I first did something like this when, following a joke Kevin Burns made to me about Futurama, I was challenged to find "20 Good Episodes" of the Original Star Trek. TOS fans will likely be annoyed as there's probably more episodes from that show one could recommend (and I *still* would have chosen different episodes after publishing Vaka Rangi Volume 1), but I wanted to limit myself to 20 following the conceit of the game so I was far harsher in my choices than I might otherwise have been. I didn't do ...
It was a large room, filled with people. At the centre, a large horizontal bench over which presided the members of the judiciary: A human man, who looked to be in his early forties, and a Vulcan woman who looked youthful but could have been older than the ages of everyone in the house combined. The pair cast their gaze across the room to the wall on the far side, where a group of people were seated in a row, looking up with a mixture of anxiousness and confusion. “Read out the names of the accused”, someone said.
Captain Jean-Luc Picard
Commander Benjamin Sisko
Chief Petty Officer Miles O'Brien
Lieutenant Commander Data
Lieutenant Commander Geordi La Forge
Commander Jadzia Dax
Lieutenant Natasha Yar
Major Kira Nerys
“The revolutionary court is now in session.”
It was sometime in the first half of 1994. I was going grocery shopping with my mother at the local market ...
In some ways, it's almost too simple. The parallels and analogies are so easy to draw I almost feel embarrassed pointing them out. It's too obvious. The symbolism is handled with incredible deftness and finesse within the story, of course, I'd just feel like I'd be pointing out the obvious by mentioning it. The episode basically analyses and critiques itself, which is in a sense deeply fitting. Perhaps that's the idea.
“Emergence” is Star Trek: The Next Generation
. It is the show doing the best it can at attaining the best version of itself. Is it the greatest episode in the series? I could argue that. There are other productions that are materially better texts, but that's neither important nor interesting. There is no episode that embodies the potential of Star Trek: The Next Generation
better than “Emergence”. It's the very best of the series gathered together in one place for critical assessment and bittersweet introspection. “Emergence” is unabashedly the Star Trek: The Next Generation
that I, personally, remember. It is the one story in the entire seven year television journey I can point to ...
In the last book when I wrote about “The Survivors”, I mentioned that as far as I was personally concerned, the most notable thing about it was that it was a Star Trek: The Next Generation
episode I somehow never managed to see in 25+ years and thus knew next to nothing about. It's a strange thing to have a fresh experience with a show you know this well. Back in the days of the TNN reruns, “Bloodlines” was that episode for me. Even moreso, in fact: At the time, I had no idea this episode even existed, in spite of owning a fair few reference guides and episode lists. It was like watching a brand new, never-before-seen episode of my favourite show for the first time in seven years, and was definitely an experience I savoured.
At the time I was pretty warmly receptive to “Bloodlines”: There was nothing I found explicitly objectionable and I more or less had an enjoyable evening with it. Over the years though it has faded from memory somewhat, partly due to my hazy 1980s-90s memory combing with my hazy 2000s memory conflating it with ...
It's over. This is the moment Star Trek: The Next Generation
officially ends. And it ends in the most ignominious manner imaginable: Assassinated on stage in front of its audience to make room for its presumptive younger sibling and overeager heir apparent.
No, not Star Trek: Deep Space Nine
. I've always maintained Star Trek: The Next Generation
and Star Trek: Deep Space Nine
are effectively the same show (or should be read that way), the only difference being what part of the universe the camera lens shines on at any given moment. And never has this basic, yet frequently overlooked, truism been more clear than now, because when Star Trek: The Next Generation
goes down, Star Trek: Deep Space Nine
goes down with it. Where one leads, the other will follow, bound inexorably together by the ties of fate and kinship. And while yes, something *called* Star Trek: Deep Space Nine
continues for another five years after this moment, it's fundamentally a very, very different creature from what we've been watching since January of 1993. The shared universe that we've been witnessing unfold has suddenly and violently ...
|I didn't want to use this picture. Thought it was too obvious. But there are very few high quality images from this part of the series.|
A brief rant: Why isn't this
episode called “Bloodlines” and the next
one called “Firstborn”? “Bloodlines” to me connotes family ties, lineages and heritage, which is precisely what this story is about. Next week's episode is a drama about firstborn sons, or perceived firstborn sons, with DaiMon Bok coming back (oh yeah Spoiler Alert DaiMon Bok comes back. Remember him? That makes two of us) to try and exact revenge on Captain Picard yet again because he's still tortured by the death of his son. I legit thought this episode was called “Bloodlines” and got incredibly confused when I was trying to figure out which episode I was writing about.
Anyway, the should-have-been-called-“Bloodlines” isn't about any of that, although it does feature a firstborn son. Namely Worf's, that is, Alexander. A personal highlight of the TNN years for me, it's the best Alexander story ...
Well, it could be worse. A lot
I've been looking forward to revisiting “Genesis” since I first started this project. Of all the episodes of Star Trek I remember, this is the one that has the absolute widest gulf between popular opinion and my own recollections. Fan consensus on this story is that it's about as bad as it can possibly get-The only episode that seems to regularly beat it out for the title of Worst Star Trek: The Next Generation
Episode Ever Made is, deservedly, “Code of Honor”. It's at least regarded as one of the nadirs of the series, and of the franchise as a whole. But I remember being utterly mesmerized by this one back in the day-It's another story whose imagery has haunted me ever since, and I remember immediately taking to it for its grotesque surrealism and dark, foreboding atmosphere. Prior to this rewatch I'd actually only ever seen this episode once, way back when it aired in 1994: I'd always avoided watching it again because I wanted to save it for a time when I could give it a ...
It's always an event when I return to a story that left such an indelible impression on me it literally shaped my own visions. And there are few episodes of Star Trek: The Next Generation
, or of anything, that are as deeply ingrained in my imagination as “Eye of the Beholder”.
I count up to the double digits, at most, the moments in media that were so primally formative they completely changed my life. Many of them are from Star Trek: The Next Generation
, and at least five of them are from this season. We've seen two of them already and there's another two to go, but “Eye of the Beholder” may well be the most momentous and personally meaningful. The degree to which the imagery and iconography of this episode have haunted me all my life, and haunted really is the only truly fitting term, is almost completely unparalleled. Why this episode stuck with me to the unbelievably powerful degree that it did, to the point rewatching it actually gave me chills due to how familiar it felt (even though, prior to this rewatch, I'd only seen ...