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Star Trek: The Next Generation

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Since 3 episodes have now been released on Blu-ray, and season one will be released this year, I think it's good to have a thread about this fine series.

I received my Star Trek: The Next Generation - The Next Level only this morning and have watched the series pilot, Encounter at Farpoint.

First of all, I have to say that this blu-ray looks rather spectacular. The early seasons of TNG always had that rather soft, fuzzy look to them, and since I only ever saw this pilot on VHS it's like seeing this for the first time. The image is crisp, sharp and detailed, the colors are vibrant. The Enterprise D looks breathtaking in 1080p. Save the revamped Enterprise from Star Trek TMP this is the most majestic Enterprise there has ever been.
The other special effects are actually pretty good, considering the era and the fact that it's for TV.
Some of the set design of Far point looks a bit cheesy, but all the Enterprise sets still work, and the bridge looks great. (I never noticed the Battle bridge resembled the bridge from TOS so much in it's lay out.)
Also great that they did not attempt to convert this to 16:9. Ir looks great in the original format in which is was shot.

The only dynamic criticism my nerd brain had was that they should have used CGI to replace Colm Meany, or atleast get him into the right color uniform. ;)

Now, the episode. It's actually not as bad as I remembered. It helps if you know that all that is wrong with this pilot will eventually fade away and TNG becomes brilliant.
The story, by Rodenberry and TOS veteran D.C. Fontana is very old school Trek, it's concepts reek of the 60's. If this script would have been filmed in the 60's it might have been ok. But even in 1987 this must have seemed cheesy, melodramatic and frankly unoriginal.

A lot of things do work though. Q may be a re-do of characters like Trelane, but John DeLancie is deliciously diabolical. And his trail against humanity is actually the most interesting part of the story.

The acting is not very good. It's typical pilot-acting when the actors haven't really grasped yet what either the show or their characters are about.
Frakes is decent, so is Spiner, but Sirtis and McFadden are awful. Westley isn't actually as annoying as he is in the rest of season one. Dorn makes little impact despite the fact that he's playing a "f*ckin' Klingon on the bridge of the Enterprise".

The most important element is Patrick Stewart. In 1987 there was only one true captain of the Enterprise, even though at the time he was an Admiral, and wore a toupet.
Creating a character and casting an actor who is in many way the exact opposite of William Shatner's swashbuckling, devil may care heartthrob Kirk is most likely what helped get TNG through the difficult first season and on to glory. Patrick Stewart in this pilot does not yet display the subtlety that his Picard would gain later. But many aspects of the character are already there. The stern, authoritative exterior, the brilliant voice, the sense of humour. Picard does come of a bit of an ass hole at first. Certainly in his first dealings with Riker. And having him surrender to Q somehow feels wrong.
Stewart and DeLancie make this pilot!

Oh and Deforest Kelly, who plays the ageing McCoy under a layer of crappy latex (Kelly is always great when he gets to exaggerate his southern accent).

The music by Dennis McCarthy is very different in tone to what would become the norm for the series. Especially in the first half it's very cheesy and rather chintzy. A small 1980's TV orchestra trying to sound like a full symphony orchestra, with crappy 1980's synths to make it a little more dated.
Thankfully also that would improve.

There's a lot of things wrong with this pilot, but there's also a lot that is right. And it feels like Star Trek. More so then the 2009 film did.

Captain Jean-Luc Picard: Some problem, Riker?
Commander William T. Riker: Just hoping this isn't the usual way our missions will go, sir.
Captain Jean-Luc Picard: Oh, no, Number One. I'm sure most will be much more interesting. - Let's see what's out there. Engage!

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Great post! I would love to watch the show someday in Blu-ray. Until now I saw the whole show once in TV (alone) and 2 times on DVD (together with my wife). And I must admit it's great that she is loving the show too. :)

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Sins Of The Father.

Strange that this one was chosen. It's a good episode, but not extraordinary.

It does have the Über cool shot of Worf bitch-slapping Duras!

Not very effects heavy. The matte painting of the Klingon capital looks neat. The star-field looks a but crude in some shots.

13 seconds of this ep could not be found in HD, so standard definition is used instead. I had ni idea which scene it was, but noticed the difference straight away.

also. in HD is is more noticeable then usual that several of the Klingons have gnarly, brownish upper teeth, but normal human under teeth ;)

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TNG was my favorite show as a kid, and I plan on buying the Blu-ray season sets when they're released. Sure, there's a lot of cheese in some of those earlier episodes, but they certainly bring back great memories.

Two in particular I remember well, from the first season:

My favorite character was Yar, and hearing that Denise Crosby wanted off the show so early was a disappointment. But I never thought that I'd end up in tears, as I did at the end of "Skin of Evil." What an intense episode.

"Conspiracy" - Just a truly disgusting, disturbing episode. I loved it, and was pretty freaked out when I first watched.

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The Inner Light

Simply perfect!

The concept is nothing new. The premise is similar to that ofthe TOS season 3 episode the Paradise Syndrome.

But in that one Kirk suffers from memory loss, and is made to believe he is part of a tribe of alien native Americans.

Picard suffers no amnesia, but slowly, over the course of several years goes from being our intrepid Captain Jean Luc Picard to Kamin, a man married to a lovely and patient wife, unlike Picard a man with a family, unlike Picard. Still the personality of the man is the same. Intelligent, curious, dignified, gentle.

Patrick Stewart gives arguably his best performance in this episode. as often it is the little details. His awkwardness in his earliest scenes with Eline, a women who claims to be his wife and wants him to lie in their bed. His eventual acceptance that he is not this man Picard.

The moment when he eventually regains conscientiousness on the brigde, having lived another life in just 25 minutes, the way he regards Riker and Chrusher, and finally his last scene alone in his room, clutching the only tangible memory of a civilisation that has gone for 1000 years.

Of the rest of the cast Margot Rose is very strong as Eline, Kamin's wife of many years. It remains one of my pet peeves that she was not cast in star Trek Generations to play Picards wife in his fantasy in The Nexus. It would have made sense and be a wonderful nod to this fine episode.

The Resikan flute theme composed by Jay Chattaway has become a fan favourite, Trekkies have used it for their weddings. the 30th Anniversary CD has a beautiful fully orchestral suite of this theme that I will play right after finishing this review. The rest of the music is fairly standard stuff.

transfer is good, but there's a lot of film grain in the scenes taking place at Kataan.

One of Star Trek's very finest 45 minutes.

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This will always be my favorite show. I look back at TNG's prime very fondly. Indeed, it was the prime of all Star Trek. TNG in syndication, TNG movies coming out, new series' DS9 and then Voyager. It was clearly the best time to be a Trekkie.

I want to see the HD versions.

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What can you do. They don't leave anything alone these days. Everything must be changed. I'm not sure if they're replacing models with CGI here, but that would be bullshit if it were the case.

I wonder if they'll digitally erase the camel toe from the Troi/Dr. Crusher workout scene.

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Are all the Trekkies here aware that there will be another Star Trek: TNG theatrical event to celebrate the release of the second season on Blu-ray?

http://www.startrek.com/article/tng-season-2-blu-ray-theater-event-set-for-nov-29

This time, the episodes to be shown are Q Who? and the extended (by 13 minutes!!!) cut of The Measure of a Man. Finally, two episodes worth watching on the big screen.

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The special effects are all screwed up on the Season 2 blu ray release because Paramount is rushing the remastering to get every season done by the end of 2014:

http://www.darkhoriz...nor-controversy

Ya I read about that. A lot of people aren't too pleased to with how rushed Season 2 was.

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We went to the theatrical showing of Q Who & The Measure of a Man (extended cut). No problems there as it looked super, but that's too bad about the rest.

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And I will be there. . . .

I'm watching the series again with my younger son (on DVD—no high-def yet). The first two seasons were as I remember them: mostly way too corny for their own good, but with flashes and hints of the brilliance yet to come. "The Measure of a Man" (which I had a chance to see in the theater recently, but had to pass up) was the first episode that made me sit up and realize what the show was going to evolve into. It still ranks among the best of all time . . . as does "Yesterday's Enterprise," the one we watched the other night and which left me with serious goosebump trauma afterwards. (That one has the best opening teaser of any episode of any Star Trek ever aired.)

- Uni

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It would be weird for them to sit on the Yesterday's Enterprise idea for 5 years though once they had it

EDIT: Erm, my post was in reply to Joey's post, which had a lot of cool information, and he's not removed it for some reason?

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I felt it was a blu ray post since it's only available on the new blu ray.

here is what I said basically

the producers wanted to kill Riker off in season 6 to be replaced with Thomas, they said it would open up new directions, perhaps.

Yesterday's Enterprise originally featured the Guardian of Forever and Sarek of vulcan.

the producers stated they wished they'd have saved it as the Generations film.

Speaking of Generations, the producers took nearly a year writing it but were saddened by it's failure especially in comparison to All Good Things which took 3 weeks to write and was a far better two hours.

Worf was at one point supposed to tell Picard to surrender in Yesterday's enterprise but the producers felt that would be a light moment in a dark part of the episode.

the writers of Yesterdays enterprise really enjoyed killing everyone in the main cast.

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so much better than Generations which has moments, but too few of them.

Absolutely. You'd think, after producing at least four years of cinema-quality television, that they could've come up with something more interesting and significant—and that the death of a certain character would be a little more dramatic than that.

All Good Things is very enjoyable

Still one of the best shows they ever did. (They could've made THAT the first TNG film, and it would've been awesome.)

- Uni

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All Good Things was the perfect way to end the series because it brought the Q and Farpoint Station story full circle. I'm not sure if it would have worked as a movie because how would they have ended the series? But Generations, looking back, was a big disappointment.

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All Good Things is great. And the closing scene...wonderful.

I'm not sure if it would have worked as a movie because how would they have ended the series?

This is the fatal flaw to the movie angle, because that last scene was so perfect, so brilliant, the series couldn't have done without it . . . and yet no one would've accepted that as a closing scene for a major motion picture.

- Uni

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How the hell have I been watching Star Trek: The Next Generation for over 20 years, and I never noticed the crazy ass way Riker gets into and out of chairs????

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