With all this excitement over Chris Pine and his outstanding bone structure and soft eyes, we have forgotten about the OTHER Star Treks out there. Yes, Captain Kirk is awesome in all incarnations, but I’d like to look at the next chapter in this nostalgic franchise.
Star Trek: Next Generation is the series I remember best from my childhood. When it ended, my family moved on to Star Trek Voyager, but nothing could replace Jean-Luc Picard, Worf, Data or my ‘number one,’ Riker.
I recently received season one of Next Gen for Christmas from none other than my sister. She had been building it up as the most incredible present ever given in the history of mankind! Her claim was completely justified with my unwrapping of the gift. We began immediately.
There are certain stipulations when it comes to ‘power watching.’ We honed our skills years earlier during our X-Files stint, knocking off the entire series like it was nothing. What we learned is that you fast forward through opening and ending credits, you make sure you have all necessities within an arm’s reach of the couch, and be certain there’s someone else in the house (not invested in the power watching) that can bring you food and beverages. Bathroom breaks are done either in between eps (episodes) or during a disc change.
The pilot of Next Gen is so disappointing that we actually didn’t finish it. It introduces all the important characters, and gives a tour of the ship through Commander Riker’s eyes, as he is brand new to the crew as Picard’s number one. The antagonist of this particular ep is the illusive and nefarious Q, who is also the most obnoxious of antagonists in the line up. His mind games are boring, and most of the ep is devoted to our beloved crew standing before a futuristic court, headed by Q, defending past wrongs of the human species. Blah blah blah set lazers to kill already!
We moved on at warp speed to ep two, The Naked Now, which proved to be much more exciting! The crew catches an odd virus that eliminates their inhibitions and causes them to act like a bunch of drunken high school kids at a pep rally. Interesting relationships are revealed, along with delightful character development.
Our spirits were lightened, and we continued on into “Space…the final frontier,” and participated in the “voyages of the starship Enterprise,” with great delight. Q showed up again, which was a drag, but the appearance of the romulans (my favorite Trek species) well made up for it!
The witty banter between Picard and Riker is deliciously quotable, and Worf won our hearts with his struggle to oppress his violent nature. We watched Dr. Beverly Crusher and Picard develop something more than friendship, and we cheered the young Wesley Crusher on as he pursues a life on a starship.
Counselor Troi is basically useless, but her relationship with Riker was a plot point we weren’t willing to give up. And, as far as we’re concerned, the lovable Data and Geordi can spout coordinates and facts at us all day long!
One upset was the killing off of Lieutenant Natasha Yar. We grew to love her sass and spunk. The courage she developed by hiding from the rape gangs in the colony she grew up in made her a strong and hardened leader. She is ruthlessly killed by a big black oily blob near the end of the season, and we must admit that we cried a little during the funeral scene.
While Star Trek: Next Generation season one starts off slow, it quickly picks up pace and continues with the themes and atmosphere of the original series. There is humor right along side important questions of human nature.
We greatly anticipate ‘engaging’ in season two, and are hoping our father will ‘beam’ off to the closest Best Buy to ‘make it so.’ He is responsible for our love of the show, so it only makes sense that he should finance this revisiting.
I urge you all to branch out and give Next Generation (or even Voyager and Deep Space Nine) a try. If they got Chris Pine for Kirk, I can only wait with quivering anticipation to see whom they wrangle into playing my main man, Riker. Hopefully it’s Ian Somerhalder.