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Go Back   The Trek BBS > Star Trek TV Series > The Next Generation

The Next Generation All Good Things come to an end...but not here.

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Old May 10 2013, 08:09 AM   #1
neilisyours
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Just watched Season 1 for the first time.

I'm 35 years-old, a lifelong fan of sci-fi and fantasy, a technophile and an avid futurist, yet I never watched TNG until now. I just finished the first season, and I LOVED it.

Of course, throughout my life I was exposed to the characters, and generally thought I knew "what it was about." I think I avoided watching it because my older sister loved it, and it was always "her thing" to me.

Now I'm breaking out season two, and I'm marveling at the fact that I have the ENTIRE rest of the series ahead of me, not to mention voyager, deep space 9, and whatever the one is that has scott bakula.

I think about how badly I would love to watch some of my favorite things "for the first time" again, and I'm trying to savor the experience of watching this show, and do it right!

Question: (I was very tempted to write "Query:" -- I guess I just did.) Do you guys recommend I watch anything out of order, or that I consume any supplemental material as I go through the series? Or should I continue like this, just watching each episode until I've finished them all, then go back and read all about them, etc.?

I guess what I'm asking is: If you could do it all over again, how would you do it?
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Old May 10 2013, 11:16 AM   #2
sadsquid
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Re: Just watched Season 1 for the first time.

Just watch them all in order. And enjoy how much the series improves in the next couple of seasons!

Also, I'd definitely recommend watching DS9 too, after you've finished TNG. Although I'd give a slight edge to TNG because of the main cast (and a bit of nostalgia, I admit), DS9 has amazing writing, awesome recurring characters and really expands the Trek universe.
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Old May 10 2013, 06:46 PM   #3
Lumos Ziyal
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Re: Just watched Season 1 for the first time.

I agree, just go through them in order. And enjoy! TNG was the first Trek series I watched and is still my favorite.
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Old May 10 2013, 06:53 PM   #4
R. Star
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Re: Just watched Season 1 for the first time.

Really? The general consensus is that season 1 was TNG's worst season. That said, if you enjoyed that, just wait until you see what's to come! And I'll concur with everyone else, watching them in order is generally best. Though TNG isn't -that- serialized, so if you really wanted to skip around you wouldn't spoil yourself too much.

TNG's what made me fall in love with Star Trek, but I'll second the recommendation to watch DS9 once you're done with TNG. Well it gets slightly confusing as seasons 6-7 of TNG overlap with seasons 1-2 of DS9 and they'll occasionally cross paths and plots.
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Old May 10 2013, 07:01 PM   #5
Third Nacelle
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Re: Just watched Season 1 for the first time.

TNG was my first Trek as well, and while DS9 is now my favorite, TNG will always hold a very special place in my heart.

There are some episodes you might want to skip on a second viewing, but if it's your first time around, I recommend you just go through them in order.

If you really want to nerd out, watch TNG, DS9, and VOY in chronological order. Here's a (mostly accurate) listing.
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Old May 10 2013, 07:24 PM   #6
Angel4576
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Re: Just watched Season 1 for the first time.

If it were me, watching it for the first time, I wouldn't watch any of the supplementary material. Watch the episodes in order and experience it how others would have experienced it back in the day, albeit without the summer hiatuses and pre-emptions!

Despite having favourite series, and not being a particular fan of the later shows (Voyager, Enterprise), we always watch everything in a rewatch. TOS > TNG > DS9 > Voyager > Enterprise > Movies. Even the worst series still have some great episodes.

Anyway, enjoy, you're in for a treat.
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Old May 10 2013, 08:02 PM   #7
Third Nacelle
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Re: Just watched Season 1 for the first time.

In this age of Netflix, I think we overlook how important those summer hiatuses (hiati?), and waiting a week for a new episode were. I watched TNG, DS9, and VOY as they aired, and waiting for a new episode made each one of them into an important event - allowed me to really absorb each outing. I don't know that I could have appreciated them in the same way if my first viewing of each was a marathon.

But if the OP can, more power to him/her
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Old May 10 2013, 08:12 PM   #8
R. Star
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Re: Just watched Season 1 for the first time.

That's a good resource. Thanks for posting that!
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Old May 10 2013, 09:38 PM   #9
GameOn
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Re: Just watched Season 1 for the first time.

Season 6-7 of TNG ran concurrently with season 1-2 of DS9 but you're probably better off just watching TNG all the way through first. The 6th season episode "Birthright" crosses over with DS9 so could check out the first episode of DS9 before that. You should probably watch movie "Generations" after finishing TNG but before watching season 4 of DS9.
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Old May 10 2013, 10:06 PM   #10
CaptainStoner
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Re: Just watched Season 1 for the first time.

Glad you liked s1. It takes a beating online mainly because the production and characterization does gel further in. But for many TOS people, s1 TNG is the only one palatable.
The show does evolve over time. So your perspective will be quite interesting to observe in the coming months.
My recommendation, Ensign, is to watch it in 5.1 sound if you can, TNG was the first show to use it. Minor enchancement there but worth it IMO.
And if you are watching the DVD release, to me it looks better on older TV's than on a high def screen at 480p. That's a hassle but if you've got one in the basement, it might be worth a comparison, given the amount of material ahead of you.
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Old May 10 2013, 11:37 PM   #11
Holdfast
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Re: Just watched Season 1 for the first time.

Watch them in order.

I love all seasons of TNG and a large majority of episodes in each one, but there is a somewhat different tone between seasons 1 and 2, and then a distinctively different one again between those two and the rest. I also find the last season a bit different again, though not consistently so.

I guess what I'm saying is that loving S1 isn't a guarantee that you'll love the rest of TNG, but if you take each season on its own merits I think they're all pretty great in their own ways. Given how you describe yourself (technophile, futurist, etc), I'm pretty confident that you'll enjoy it all! The TNG movies are more mixed; I find both Generations & First Contact excellent (again, in different ways) and the other two pretty dire, but ymmv.

I'm amazed you got this far without ever watching TNG but as someone who's rewatched the eps many times, I think Picard best expresses what I feel about your prospect of being able to watch the whole thing for the first time:

"I envy you... taking these first steps into a new frontier."

(DS9 is also an entertaining series, but it's very different from TNG, especially in its later seasons. VOY is a very mixed bag with a few great episodes and quite a lot of mediocre ones, but it's not awful. ENT I never really got into at all; it just never engaged me. By the way, I'm assuming that you have seen the original Star Trek series. If you haven't, and you like S1 TNG, you will certainly like TOS too.)
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Old May 11 2013, 03:52 AM   #12
Lance
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Re: Just watched Season 1 for the first time.

I'd definitely recommend watching them in order too. There's a progression (and evolution) in TNG that really needs to be appreciated in context. I suppose you could say that about any vintage series, but I think watching episodes out of order/skipping ahead to later seasons would result in a lot of the more subtle changes being missed.
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Old May 11 2013, 06:57 AM   #13
neilisyours
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Re: Just watched Season 1 for the first time.

Thanks so much, guys, for all of the input. I'm going to keep plugging away, in order.

I may just "nerd out" halfway: and start to alternate TNG and DS9 when I get to season 6 in attempt to watch them in air date order, like the fans would have seen them live. My wife is in the TV biz, and having watched her work on five seasons of shows, I've learned a little about how things work season-to-season, and enough to know that there's more going on behind the scenes when a character suddenly dies, etc. So I think I'll appreciate watching them in the order they were released to the world.

I didn't mind the production values in S1 at all, even though things were clearly hokey at times. I work in the theater, and I feel like I've found an immediate feeling of warmth or familiarity with the characters, and the simple sets, etc. I love Patrick Stewart, being a Shakespeare fan, and so it's just candy to watch him in this show. I grew up on Reading Rainbow, and Lavar Burton just kind of tickles me. Growing up I had a cassette that had Brent Spiner reading a story on it, and I must have listened to it a hundred times. So these actors each have a sort of familiarity to me.

It's exciting; I'm two episodes into S2, and eager for more. Funny to see Whoopi Goldberg and Colm Meaney just pop up out of nowhere. That's how ignorant I am to Star Trek: I was not expecting them at all.

I'm loving it!
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Old May 11 2013, 12:16 PM   #14
Chensams
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Re: Just watched Season 1 for the first time.

Great! And yes, watch them in order. I just rematched seasons one and two (haven't watched them in over a decade). I was really surprised how the production values increased from one to two. I always remembered season three as being the real launching point for TNG but season two really started the quality increase.
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Old May 11 2013, 02:59 PM   #15
Lumos Ziyal
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Re: Just watched Season 1 for the first time.

Third Nacelle wrote: View Post
In this age of Netflix, I think we overlook how important those summer hiatuses (hiati?), and waiting a week for a new episode were. I watched TNG, DS9, and VOY as they aired, and waiting for a new episode made each one of them into an important event - allowed me to really absorb each outing. I don't know that I could have appreciated them in the same way if my first viewing of each was a marathon.

But if the OP can, more power to him/her
There was a certain excitement to waiting for each episode to be aired. But I have to admit, I love Netflix or DVD marathons. I've done that with Downton Abbey even more than w/ Trek, because each DA series is so short. I devour each new series in a couple days and then eventually go back and watch them more carefully and slowly.

neilisyours wrote: View Post
I didn't mind the production values in S1 at all, even though things were clearly hokey at times. I work in the theater, and I feel like I've found an immediate feeling of warmth or familiarity with the characters, and the simple sets, etc. I love Patrick Stewart, being a Shakespeare fan, and so it's just candy to watch him in this show. I grew up on Reading Rainbow, and Lavar Burton just kind of tickles me. Growing up I had a cassette that had Brent Spiner reading a story on it, and I must have listened to it a hundred times. So these actors each have a sort of familiarity to me.

It's exciting; I'm two episodes into S2, and eager for more. Funny to see Whoopi Goldberg and Colm Meaney just pop up out of nowhere. That's how ignorant I am to Star Trek: I was not expecting them at all.

I'm loving it!
And I'm enjoying reading about how delighted you are with it!
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