Wednesday, July 11, 2012

ST: TNG -- 25 Years Later

This coming September 28 marks the silver anniversary of the debut of Star Trek: The Next Generation, aka ST: TNG or simply TNG. Yeah, I know I'm jumping the gun here posting about this on July 11, but I got an email that reminded me of the anniversary.  I was like, "Holy crap, that was twenty-five years ago?"  Yes, it was.

Wow, time flies. Yes, people say that alot but it's true, mainly when you don't pay attention to something. Otherwise when you do, time seems to drag. That's a matter of human perception, but that is for another post. Anyway, back to the Next Generation which I hated at first.  Yes, I did.  I was an Original Series uber fan.  We call it now "The Original Series" because of the Next Generation, but for fans like me there was only one Star Trek. TNG was an interloper, an imposter leeching off the name of Sci-Fi royalty, no, Sci-Fi Scripture.

I watched every episode that first season, 26 in all and thought it pretty much sucked. It was crap. The special effects were nice, the best on TV at the time, but Star Trek wasn't about special effects.  It was about the big picture, the interaction of people you care about, and overall adventure. The characters were bland, there was no chemistry between the characters, and many seemed like knockoffs of the original (i.e. Riker for Kirk, Data for Spock).  It seems like the series creators thought it was crap too and made some changes, like late in the season killing off the annoying Tasha Yar (and they even gave her a lame death--jeesh, these wannabe Star Trek hacks can't even kill off a major character correctly). 

Anyway, things picked up in the second season and finally in the third season when we were introduced to The Borg as main villians the series hit it's stride.  So, yeah, I became a fan then.  Captain Picard grew on me, as did the Klingon Worf, who had the best story arcs in the whole series.  In fact, the series turned the corner when they abandoned the silly notion of kumbaya in space.  They needed conflict! And boy was there conflict throughout the third to seventh and final season.  It started with Picard's kidnapping by The Borg, through a Klingon civil war, and various other dilemma.  You cared about the characters because of who they are and what they endured.  That was the essence of Star Trek.

The series finale, "All Good Things," was one of the best Star Trek episodes ever, of any series.  In fact, it was better than any of the four TNG movies, which all should've been better than they were if they had better writing and better planning.  When it was over I was a full fledged TNG fan.  No, it was not the Original Series and it wasn't meant to be.  Yet it was worthy to stand along side it. Happy Silver Anniversary.

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