28th Oct2009

Hey Star Trek! watchoo mean WORST EVER!?

by jerad.formby

Yeah TNG 1 rocks and we ain't afraid to say it hey star trek

There are a few constants amongst Star Trek fans –commonly held and celebrated beliefs that seem to unite one and all. Spock’s Brain is the worst episode ever is one of them. Another belief might be that the Borg is the best villain ever. To make this an even ‘three,’ it’s common knowledge that if one is channel flipping and they catch TNG and Riker doesn’t have a beard –the episode is likely no good.

With Halloween right around the corner, I thought it might be good to do something scary with Hey Star Trek! I thought maybe the freakiest thing I could do is let you all know that season one of Next Generation is fantastic!

why is the first season of tng ignored or laughed at

We love Star Trek over here and we will not be citing it’s cheesiness. We will not be celebrating how “lame” it is. To do so would force us to look at the rest of TNG –the supposed better stuff with the same terrible eye.

The new characters designed for this Star Trek show were in some ways developed to be the opposite of their Captain Kirk counterparts. Another rule in the show’s construction was that there would be a certain distance from what had come before. If there was an opportunity to reverse a concept from the original Star Trek, it was taken.

What’s fascinating to us about the show’s conception is that as much as they wanted to be a different show, they were doing Star Trek exactly right. One cannot deny that the first season of TNG embraced and rocked out the concept of new frontiers. It’s the presentation that must bother so many people.

As these characters met the unknown, they were still meeting each other and we were constantly being reminded of that. Perhaps it annoyed us to much to hear Yar re-state her position so much or to have Picard remind us of Starfleet’s goals all the time. Well, we say so what?

If the first season feels too mechanical for you, you’re missing out on some dynamic, challenging Trek. The fact that the Next Generation was untried, proving itself, and inventing itself all the time is a good thing!

People get their hate on for TNG Angel One

The characters would remind each other about Starfleet laws and each reacted to new mysteries with a now forgotten, wide-eyed sense of wonder. Watch this season now and embrace the total sincerity with which Picard observes the lifeform from Velara III, watch Riker bluff the hologram in “The Arsenal of Freedom”, or check out Worf’s fascinating contributions as a “junior officer.”

season one worf is great

Speaking of Worf, it seems a fair wager that the episode “Heart of Glory” is embraced from the first season. We do not take issue with this, but point at that episode as a shining example of how this first, bold season of Star Trek worked to challenge itself from week to week.

Another episode that gets a pass is “Conspiracy.” However, “Conspiracy” is a heck of a lot more fun when you watch the preceding “Coming of Age.” That episode sets up for the “code 47” Picard will get later and also gives unique insight into the Starfleet Academy application process.

This season is jam-packed with a new vision working its but off to define itself in broad, interesting strokes. It doesn’t deserve your mockery or your shrugs. It’s very good Star Trek, perhaps even purer because it doesn’t invite nearly as much soap opera as the later seasons.

tng one has imagery all day long

At a glance, there are a number of amazing things they accomplish this season. Picard is tempted to become a dual lifeform in Lonely Among us. A technologically superior race is found to exist in multiple dimensions at once in Justice. The Naked Now did so much to endear us to the new people and gave us a much needed sexual shot in the arm.

This season is only ever embraced as “cheesy” or people only love the silliness.

I wonder what Tasha Yar has to say to that. This season was her only shot at being taken as seriously as her colleagues would be in the future. Many a fan expresses annoyance with Tasha’s very existence, but she was a fine character with a very promising future. She was never played as if it were her “last season.”

Tasha gave the Next Generation a much needed dose of actual humanity. She was a character with a projected strength that quelled with a deeper vulnerability. She is the character who cried in front of Picard. She was the first character who might be found laughing at something absurd.

This element is ignored by all fans of the show in favor of “Worf getting his rightful spot.” I’ll take that ‘what if’ and give Denise Crosby a TNG career where she never wears a stupid Romulan wig. I’ll suppose to you that she would have evolved into the female counterpoint to Riker’s humor. She would have found a place as Picard’s surrogate daughter –an interesting challenge to the idea that Picard has often wished for a child of his own.

Tasha Yar was never a problem

And what would that have meant for Worf? Well, truthfully, Worf would have continued to rock just like he did before. He would have maintained the area he dominated –Next Gen’s wild card. He bounced around from job to job, position to position, learning everything he could and challenging what was ahead with a decidedly Klingon philosophy. There is no reason he couldn’t have still had his sweeping Klingon arcs –he just would be wearing red instead!

Maybe he would have started his command track earlier or maybe once Geordi went to engineering, Worf could have been the true helmsman of the Enterprise –a position that never materialized.

All of these ideas are simple extrapolations from the very promising first season of the Next Generation. A season made up of raw energy, untempered experimentation, and continuous challenges. This is a season of Star Trek that would like you to give another chance and believe us, you won’t be disappointed.

tasha and data and jerad and his alter ego

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  • Ryan

    I’ve tried rewatching it. It still blew. There were a lot of good ideas in the first season but weren’t very well executed. There also seemed like a couple of things that they either decided to forget about or explain another way in later seasons. Season two started to improve and refine the show into something more watchable and entertaining… Aside from the screaming Troy episodes. 😉

    Season 1 is good only because it gave us everything after. I doubt if they started a new show with that caliber of writing, it would survive as long as Enterprise did.

  • http://davidmichaelross.com Dave Ross

    In the Season 1 collage there, what’s the name of the episode in the upper-left with the three datas? We just watched Season 1 again and I don’t remember seeing it. I think we might have missed an episode!

  • jerad.formby

    @Dave Ross

    The three Datas come from “We’ll Always Have Paris.” That’s the one where we find out Jean Luc got one on one time with Michelle Phillips from the Mamas and the Papas.

  • Steve

    I never really had a problem with season 1 for most of the reasons you name. It’s season 2, hampered by the writer’s strike and the neither-here-nor-there Katherine Pulaski that kind of grates on my nerves. It’s all over the place. While it gave us what is certainly one of ST’s alltime best episodes (“Measure of a Man”), it also gave us the episode that beats out “Spock’s Brain” as alltime worst episode, “Shades of Gray”. *Horrrk* I’ll even take space hippies or Warp 10 Parismanders over that Qu’vatlh.

  • Ryan

    I kind of like Pulaski. I think her biggest problem was she was replacing someone better looking with a less nagging voice. If the writing was exactly the same and she was replaced by a hot 24 year old with perky boobs there would have been no complaints whatsoever and Crusher would not have been back for season 3.

  • Jim Nave

    Yeah.. I dont get what the problem with season 1 is. Sure, Picard is a bit rough around the edges, but that is what makes us love him all the more by Season 7 when we realize how far we’ve come. Anyway, I like Season 1 of Voyager as well, so go figure.

  • Jim Nave

    yes… Perky boobs > mullet. 😉

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  • Clay

    I couldn’t agree with you more, Jerad. In fact, if the new powers that be sse the same possibilities with Tasha the rest of us saw, perhaps she will live and presume such a rocking arc during a TNG reboot.

  • Clay

    Also to keep in mind is that it’s a well known fact that Denise Crosby and Marina Sirtis were at first being looked at for opposite rolls. Can you imagine Troi being written out first season and Tasha living?

  • Annonymous

    I agree with you about Tasha… And did we consider how pointlessly she died?!?! If you’re gonna kill her off, at least do it with some pizz-zaz… I mean seriously, killed by a goo monster (Armun, but I like calling him goo monster) walking over to a ship… I mean they could have had an epic battle scene. But I agree with you about all her possibilities, I mean Geordi had an interest in HER. Remeber the Season 1 episode where they all got the “drunk” virus. Who did Geordi seek out? Her. Who did Geordi want to see when he was granted sight by the Q Riker? Her… But Yeah. I hated Skin of Evil, her funeral was so sad… There wasn’t even a reason for her death. Other shows, someone dies to start something important. Like if you’ve seen the Avengers, Coulson had to die to start the Avengers. A reasonably fair death. Tasha’s did nothing other than make me really p-oed… Okay Done my rant, Peace Out! And may you boldy go where no man (or woman) has gone before…

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