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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 August 7 2014, 08:35 AM   #16
Kobayshi Maru
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Re: 1st / 2nd season transitions

dstyer wrote: View Post
It has been a while since I've thought of this: There were so many transitions between TNG's 1st and 2nd season -

The bridge went through minor modifications, specifically the Conn and Ops chairs, Picard's armrest interfaces and the panels on the sides

Geordi and Worf got promotions (say what you want, the change in Worf's uniform from red to yellow indicates to me he was not formally placed as head of security/tactical until Season 2).

Riker, Troi and Wes all went through changes in appearance.

Beverly left for Starfleet Medical.

I don't recall that there was ever any real "tales" of explanation of all this happening. I know that other than "The Child" when Pulaski came on, and Geordi was in charge of the plague strains, we didn't even reference anything on screen that I can recall.

Does anyone recall anything about this other than what I've mentioned, either on screen or in print?
Just like on DS9 when they changed their uniform in the middle of the fifth season, there was no explanation given whatsoever. I hear we're supposed to assume that it was because of the movie First Contact. The funny thing is that I didn't notice anything different for about two of three episodes.
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Old August 7 2014, 09:12 AM   #17
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Re: 1st / 2nd season transitions

I seem to recall Beverley's decision to head to and then return from Starfleet Medical being covered in one of the old style TNG books. As I recall there was a mentor involved as her reason for leaving and missing Wesley was the reason for her return but it's been years since I read those books.
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Old August 7 2014, 11:01 AM   #18
2takesfrakes
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Re: 1st / 2nd season transitions

LMFAOschwarz wrote: View Post
2takesfrakes wrote: View Post
One change which I appreciated was Worf's rubber head.
There was one single episode, I forget which, where the temple seams were quite apparent. It only lasted for that one episode, so whether it was just a makeup experiment, vacationing makeup artist, or re-use of a used appliance, who knows?
My guess is that it was simply a matter of time. When you're nearing the end of the day and realize Dorn's appliance is getting unglued, do you send him back to the make-up chair, OR ... do you just keep shooting and hope nobody notices? That's my take on it, anyway. But Worf's head was always an experiment in progress, was it not? His hair was always going through changes that made me wonder sometimes, "is this some kind of an inside joke?" ... it never seemed to settle down.
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Old August 7 2014, 12:28 PM   #19
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Re: 1st / 2nd season transitions

Christopher wrote: View Post
Plenty of shows still made cast and format changes without bothering to explain them in any detail. And sometimes you don't want to dwell on a change, because it's seen as a correction of something that didn't work before and you just want to forget that thing and move forward.
I don't know what you're talking about. We have always been at war with Eastasia.
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Old August 7 2014, 01:58 PM   #20
Christopher
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Re: 1st / 2nd season transitions

Harvey wrote: View Post
While it's certainly true that many shows of the period still made cast and format changes without bothering to explain them, it's worth pointing out that serialized dramas weren't just starting out in 1988. Hill Street Blues had wrapped up the year before, St. Elsewhere was just getting finished with its six year run, and L.A. Law was getting underway with its second and third seasons.

By the standards of these and a few other dramas in the 1980s (all of them, to some extent, critically recognized) Star TreK: The Next Generation was a bit behind the times.
I'd say, rather, that both approaches were in common use side by side. It wasn't like today where all shows were expected to be serialized; serialization was an option that coexisted alongside the more common episodic approach.

And I question the value judgment implied by the phrase "behind the times," as if serialization were a technological advance upon episodic storytelling. The fact is, serialization has always existed in broadcasting, going back to soap operas and children's adventure dramas on radio and Saturday matinee adventure serials in the movies. But at the time, it was mainly associated with more lowbrow or juvenile genres. In the first decade or two of television, the classiest shows were the dramatic anthologies that put on a different self-contained play every week. So in the '50s through the '70s, pure episodic storytelling was considered smarter and more sophisticated than serialization, the opposite of the modern preference. Even shows with continuing characters aspired to be as anthology-like as possible, with formats that let the characters plug themselves into different stories and situations every week (e.g. Star Trek, Mission: Impossible, The Fugitive) and a general avoidance of multi-episode arcs (except for the occasional 2-parter) and references to past episodes. The adoption of soap-style serialization by more sophisticated dramas like Hill Street Blues was merely a shift in approach and perception, not some fundamental innovation. It was a stylistic novelty that did not immediately displace the more episodic style of storytelling.
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Old August 7 2014, 02:54 PM   #21
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Re: 1st / 2nd season transitions

A lot of the serialization vs. episodic formats back then also had to do with syndication sales. Shows in an episodic format sold better in syndicated markets.
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Old August 7 2014, 03:00 PM   #22
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Re: 1st / 2nd season transitions

^Right, and TNG pretty much started the first-run syndicated-drama boom. Although later first-run syndicated shows did get more serialized, like Hercules/Xena. And of course Babylon 5, the show that pioneered the modern season-arc format, was in first-run syndication in its first four seasons.
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Old August 7 2014, 03:37 PM   #23
Lance
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Re: 1st / 2nd season transitions

One of the more subtle differences between seasons one and two was in the conference room: season one does not feature the viewing screens at either end of the room, which would be a standard plot exposition device from season two onwards.

The reason for this was because in season one the conference room was actually a set built in the corner of sickbay whenever needed, then dismantled when not needed. Season two saw it being built as a separate permanent set (they took the opportunity to revamp the design a little in the process).
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Old August 7 2014, 10:25 PM   #24
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Re: 1st / 2nd season transitions

I'm glad they eventually removed the glass from the conference room windows. The glare in the early seasons were eyesores. I don't know why they didn't think to have open space there in the first place. You can't tell there's nothing there.
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Old August 7 2014, 10:44 PM   #25
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Re: 1st / 2nd season transitions

LMFAOschwarz wrote: View Post
I liked how when Geordi would walk onto the bridge, the engineering console would 'power up'. It was one of the few instances of seeing the ship being "90 percent automatic", as stated by Geordi himself in Contagion.
Not entirely true. There were plenty of times when Geordi got to the console where he had to verbally initiate the console's activation. Any time when the system seems to power up on its own it could be because the line just wasn't in the script (but maybe implied to be said if not verbally heard) or maybe Geordi activated it by touching a "button" on the console.

It never seemed to me the console powered up entirely on its own.
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Old August 8 2014, 01:43 AM   #26
Harvey
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Re: 1st / 2nd season transitions

Christopher wrote: View Post
I'd say, rather, that both approaches were in common use side by side. It wasn't like today where all shows were expected to be serialized; serialization was an option that coexisted alongside the more common episodic approach.
I think this is a fair assessment. I was countering your earlier, less nuanced statement that 1988 was "a time when continuity in episodic TV was still in its infancy (at least outside of soap operas)."

I wanted to point out that serialized dramas had begun in earnest at the beginning of the decade. They certainly didn't predominate the television landscape like they do today (and wouldn't, by my estimation, until the late '90s), but they weren't alien to television audiences by that point, either.

The adoption of soap-style serialization by more sophisticated dramas like Hill Street Blues was merely a shift in approach and perception, not some fundamental innovation. It was a stylistic novelty that did not immediately displace the more episodic style of storytelling.
The innovation of Hill Street Blues goes above and beyond simple serialization, I think, although its narrative structure was certainly a big part of the program's influence. Have you seen it?
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Old August 8 2014, 05:06 AM   #27
Christopher
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Re: 1st / 2nd season transitions

^I saw Hill Street Blues in first run, but I haven't seen it since then.
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Old August 8 2014, 05:21 AM   #28
Harvey
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Re: 1st / 2nd season transitions

I wasn't alive during Hill Street's first run, but I marathoned the first three seasons a couple months ago, and thought it holds up very well.
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Old August 8 2014, 03:08 PM   #29
Christopher
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Re: 1st / 2nd season transitions

I think I was just about old enough to be allowed to watch a show that adult (I was 12 when it started), but there was still a lot that went over my head.
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Old August 8 2014, 04:01 PM   #30
Armored Saint
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Re: 1st / 2nd season transitions

Did Twin Peaks really contribute to popularize the serialization format? Heart of Glory first airing happened some hours after my birth, so I watched the Lynch's soap on Netflix in 2013, not in the early 90's. I can't really tell who really broke the "self-contained episode" rules.
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