Monday, April 30, 2012

The Next Generation, Season 7: Phantasms

The Next Generation, Season 7
Airdate: October 18, 1993
157 of 176 produced
157 of 176 aired


Data, while experimenting with his dream program, experiences some disturbing and seemingly inexplicable images. Little does he know that in fact they are being influenced by alien parasites who have stowed away inside the Enterprise's new warp core. The question now becomes whether Data and the crew will discover and deal with these aliens before Data does too much damage in his near-psychotic state.

Look, there just isn't any caption for this besides "Dr. Crusher sucks Commander Riker's head." I'm sorry.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Paying it forward: Television Edition

It's no secret that Star Trek in general and TNG in particular was great, and almost unique, in its nurturing of young talent. They took scripts from fans (Hello, Relics. So glad you're here), taught young writers (Even with season 4, RDM's BSG is still better than most dreck on the air), and let actors cut their directing teeth (Robert Duncan MacNeil and Jonathan Frakes being the obvious apex of that policy). This article over at io9 expounds on a fuller list of people who went to "Star Trek grad school" as the article puts it.

I think they really hit the nail on the head by pointing out that Star Trek teaches you to make good television without cutting narrative corners. It's nice to know Matt and I aren't the only ones to think that. More than anything about Star Trek 2009 and what little I've heard of the forthcoming film, it's the lack of that that really kills me. I've said before in many reviews, I can love an action story as long as the same care for character and plot are brought to it. We'll get more into this in the DS9 reviews, but I appreciate a shift in tone, if only to keep the narrative limber and fresh. But even for DS9's most ardent detractors who feel it strayed too far from either the utopian vision or science fiction stories of previous incarnations, I don't think anyone could argue the show was lazy and half-assed. The show might have been possessed of too much ass at times, but wouldn't you rather watch the genuine, complicated occasional failure of someone who cares about the story they're telling?

I'm relaying the article not only to spread the love for a group of people who have brought a great deal of joy to my life, but to also acknowledge one more time that it's not just the whiz-bang or the CGI that made Star Trek so interesting to me, even as a child. In fact, those are probably lowest on the list of why I love this show. As evidenced by the people who have come out of the franchise, it's safe to say that everyone behind the camera was working their asses off as much as the ones in front of it. If nothing else, that so many people in so many areas of creating a show have gone on to such careers really shows that the craft at work on the show. Nothing was glossed over or taken for granted. Every part of the show was important, and the finished work shows it. 

Lastly, this article makes me wistful, as it reminds me that Star Trek was pretty much the only one doing it, and not even they are anymore. I love the idea that the show would take a chance on an unproven writer or be the spring board for people into other things. It really drives home that the Federation mantra espoused on the show was not lip service. These people seem to care about their work and their profession and seem to feel some obligation to pass on their skills, not hoard them. Like we've said before, one of our favorite parts of the show was watching these skilled, genuinely nice people work together, and if the Alumni Association from "Star Trek grad school" is any indication, that was happening as much on the set of the Enterprise as much as the bridge of the Enterprise.

So're welcome...people who watch television that is not Star Trek.

The Next Generation, Season 7: Gambit, Part II

The Next Generation, Season 7
"Gambit, Part II"
Airdate: October 18, 1993
156 of 176 produced
156 of 176 aired


When last we saw our intrepid heroes, Acting Captain Data was gambling that Riker had a plan in mind in his attempt to use his command codes to disable the Enterprise. Will it pay off? Will Riker and Picard be able to maintain their ruse on the mercenary ship? What is their ultimate goal, and what is their true purpose in hunting down their artifacts?
The Vulcan GameBoy. Now you're playing with POWER!

Monday, April 23, 2012

The Next Generation, Season 7: Gambit, Part 1

The Next Generation, Season 7
"Gambit, Part 1"
Airdate: October 9, 1993
155 of 176 aired
155 of 176 produced


The crew of the Enterprise is investigating the disappearance of Captain Picard. When they track his movements to a seedy bar on a remote planet, they discover that he has apparently been killed. Unwilling to let the investigation end, Commander Riker pursues leads which bring them into contact with a mercenary ship looking for alien artifacts. After a firefight, Riker finds himself on the mercenary ship, and he is shocked to discover Captain Picard - alive and well, and working or the mercenaries!

This kitten has claws, boys!

Thursday, April 19, 2012

The Next Generation, Season 7: Interface

The Next Generation, Season 7
Airdate: October 4, 1993
154 of 176 aired
154 of 176 produced


Commander LaForge is testing a new remote interface that sends sensory inputs directly to his brain via the impants for his VISOR. The probe will be used to rescue a trapped science vessel, caught low in the atmosphere in the gas giant. Before he can begin, he receives startling news: the USS Hera, commanded by his mother, has gone missing. Attempting to use work to distract himself while he waits for news, he makes a shocking discovery. His mother, apparently alive and well, trapped on the science vessel, asks Geordi for his help in saving her and her ship.

Geordi tries out the new Nintendo Wii controller. Verdict: Real gamers still prefer buttons.

Monday, April 16, 2012

The Next Generation, Season 7: Liaisons

The Next Generation, Season 7
Airdate: September 25, 1993
153 of 176 produced
153 of 176 aired


While Captain Picard undertakes a journey to the Iyaaran homeworld, the senior staff of the Enterprise is tasked with entertaining an Iyaaran delegation aboard ship. Things turn out to be more difficult than expected, though, when the Iyaarans engage in a series of pretenses, including a kidnapping, in order to discover more about various human emotions.

Because you haven't learned about human emotions until you've had a comically oversized novelty beverage.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

The Next Generation, Season 7: Descent Part II

The Next Generation, Season 7
"Descent, Part II"
Airdate: September 20, 1993
152 of 176 produced
152 of 176 aired


Lore has Data held in thrall by the use of Dr. Soong's emotion chip. Lore has been performing gruesome experiments on some of the Borg drones, in an attempt to turn them into purely synthetic creatures. He has ordered Data to continue those experiments on Picard, Troi, and LaForge, now his captives. Riker and Worf mount a rescue effort and encounter an old friend. Meanwhile, on the Enterprise, Acting Captain Crusher has her hands full fending off the latest assault of the Borg ship.
Data is aghast at the poor body double he's been assigned.

Monday, April 9, 2012

TNG Season 6 Recap


Season 6 of TNG warps into Treknobabble's record books, showing a slight drop-off in quality ratings. Have Matthew and Kevin become drunk with blogging power, or do they have a solid rationale for such a result? Click through to see, if you dare...

It's time to start asking the question - have the Borg been watered down too much?

Friday, April 6, 2012

The Next Generation, Season 6: Descent Part I

The Next Generation, Season 6
"Descent Part I"
Airdate: June 21, 1993
151 of 176 produced
151 of 176 aired


When the Enterprise responds to a distress call from the outpost Ohniaka III, the crew is shocked to discover the Borg are its attackers. But these Borg seem different than those of their previous encounters - fast, violent, and emotional. Little do they know that Lore is leading them, and that he has his sights set on the kidnap of his brother, Data.
So a Jew, an Englishman, and a drag queen walk into a bar...

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Live Long and Prosper in 2012...

From Nichelle Nichols' twitter account, in case you haven't seen it:

Monday, April 2, 2012

The Next Generation, Season 6: Timescape

The Next Generation, Season 6
Airdate: June 12, 1993
150 of 176 produced
150 of 176 aired


Returning from a conference, Picard, Troi, LaForge, and Data encounter a strange phenomenon. Time appears to me moving at different rates in different places. Tracing the disturbances to their source, they find the Enterprise frozen in time and apparently in the middle of a battle with a Romulan warbird. Beaming to the Enteprise, what little information they can gather from the frozen crew and ship only seems to raise more questions than it answers. How will the four officers alone be able to save the Enterprise?