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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 July 14 2011, 01:27 PM   #1
Austin 3:16
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I hate to say it but seasons 1 and 2 seemed to show more imagination..

..than seasons 3-7!

Now, were seasons 3-7 better as far as the writing went? By far. No denying that.

But there was some really imaginative and "out there" stuff that were in those first two seasons that seasons 3-7 seemed to not have as much of.

Anyone know where I'm coming from here?
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Old July 14 2011, 01:32 PM   #2
indolover
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Re: I hate to say it but seasons 1 and 2 seemed to show more imaginati

I think the early seasons had more science fictiony (so to speak) episodes involved, so I agree in a sense.

There were not many episodes in the later seasons such as "Time Squared" or "Where Silence Has Lease".
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Old July 14 2011, 01:40 PM   #3
Austin 3:16
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Re: I hate to say it but seasons 1 and 2 seemed to show more imaginati

indolover wrote: View Post
I think the early seasons had more science fictiony (so to speak) episodes involved, so I agree in a sense.

There were not many episodes in the later seasons such as "Time Squared" or "Where Silence Has Lease".
Exactly! I am watching all of the TNG episodes again on Netflix (in order and starting from the very first episode), and am up to season two now. I hadn't seen a lot of these episodes from season 1 and 2 in forever, and was amazed at the creativity these episodes had even if most of them weren't all that great. I guess a lot of that was from the mind of Gene Roddenberry (since he wasn't really involved when season 3 started). Gene may not have been a great writer but damn did he think of some really cool stuff!
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Old July 14 2011, 01:43 PM   #4
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Re: I hate to say it but seasons 1 and 2 seemed to show more imaginati

I think there's a lot of truth to this. Season 3-5 show better show execution, but humanoids dominate the landscape. New Civilizations as opposed to New life forms. I think this is something that Star Trek has lost since the second season of TNG (where most episodes came from Phase II). Those episodes don't do as well, but it's more creative.
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Old July 14 2011, 02:09 PM   #5
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Re: I hate to say it but seasons 1 and 2 seemed to show more imaginati

I'm almost through a run of seasons 1 and 2 so far and have enjoyed most of the eps immensely! There are some fun comedy eps, sci-fi, drama, a little of everything and it's been mostly great enjoyment with an experimentation (admittedly not always successful) not seen as much in the later seasons.
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Old July 14 2011, 02:48 PM   #6
BillJ
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Re: I hate to say it but seasons 1 and 2 seemed to show more imaginati

Agreed. Seasons one and two are by far my favorites.
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Old July 14 2011, 03:53 PM   #7
sonak
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Re: I hate to say it but seasons 1 and 2 seemed to show more imaginati

I can sort of agree with this. The first two seasons are much more unpolished and inconsistent, with a much higher ratio of lousy to good episodes, but they tended to be much more sci-fi oriented and well, just plain more exciting.


starting from season 3, the writing became better, more polished and mature, but the stories became more focused on politics, soap-opera stuff, etc. The Trek universe became a little safer, a little more comfortable.

The episodes were better but some of the sense of wonder was gone.

I'll still take seasons 3-6 over 1-2, though.
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Old July 14 2011, 04:04 PM   #8
SchwEnt
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Re: I hate to say it but seasons 1 and 2 seemed to show more imaginati

I agree, this observation is true. I think it might be partly due to the natural progression of the series.

Early seasons, they didn't have a strong grasp of the characters yet or their relationships and stories. Still figuring it all out. So the eps featured stronger elements of ideas and science fictiony stuff.

Later when the characters and their relationships were well established and the actors were stronger in their roles, then we got a lot more eps just about Data or Worf and not so many Big Idea stories.

Even worse, the dreaded A/B plot stuff when the eps were mainly about Worf and Alexander having dinner and oh yeah... some anomaly is threatening the galaxy, too. Or the eps when Luaxanna is getting on everyone's nerves, while in the background an interstellar war might be going on.

I kinda liked the earlier years, when the stories and ideas were big and the character bits added to the main plot (like TOS).

Of course DS9 was very heavily a character-driven series, but it was so very well done and was the focus of the series anyway, so that's different.
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Old July 14 2011, 05:54 PM   #9
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Re: I hate to say it but seasons 1 and 2 seemed to show more imaginati

I always saw seasons 1 to 3 as the Twilight Zone, seasons 4 to 7 as LA Law in Space. But seasons 1 to 3 definitely had some very poor episodes and seasons 4 to 7 definitely produced some great ones.

But give me the Twilight Zone any day of the week.
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Old July 14 2011, 08:35 PM   #10
Anwar
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Re: I hate to say it but seasons 1 and 2 seemed to show more imaginati

SchwEnt wrote: View Post
I kinda liked the earlier years, when the stories and ideas were big and the character bits added to the main plot (like TOS).

Of course DS9 was very heavily a character-driven series, but it was so very well done and was the focus of the series anyway, so that's different.
When you have a big ensemble cast like TNG/DS9, A/B plots are the best way to go. TOS only had three central characters, so major plots for the entire episodes worked better. And even TOS had their A/B plots sometimes.
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Old July 14 2011, 09:50 PM   #11
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Re: I hate to say it but seasons 1 and 2 seemed to show more imaginati

I agree, Seasons 1 and 2 where more 'science-fictiony' and 'out there' but not always executed well, Season 3 and Season 4 are the peak for me and then its downhill in 5-7 when Berman starts to dominate proceedings (sonic wallpaper and the rest) and tones everything down to a much more mundane feel.

The stories in Seasons 5-7 are on the whole very good, but the way they are executed in later seasons feels like they are fed into Bermans mundane machine and simply made in the most efficient, cost effective way whilst staying within a Berman controlled comfort zone and trying nothing new in terms of direction/editing/musical score. Berman made it much more bland particularly when compared to seasons 1-2!
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Old July 14 2011, 10:21 PM   #12
Anwar
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Re: I hate to say it but seasons 1 and 2 seemed to show more imaginati

Kind of funny how Berman gets blamed for all that, when Mike Piller and Jeri Taylor had just as much a say in things as him for all that time...
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Old July 14 2011, 10:24 PM   #13
Flake
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Re: I hate to say it but seasons 1 and 2 seemed to show more imaginati

Anwar wrote: View Post
Kind of funny how Berman gets blamed for all that, when Mike Piller and Jeri Taylor had just as much a say in things as him for all that time...
Perhaps they should get some of the blame but ultimately the man in charge was Berman and the stuff that has come out over the years points the finger at him.

I would think Jeri Taylor is indeed partly responsible for the shift from Sci-Fi to mundane soap opera as she focused more on the characters, so perhaps something like Worf & Alexander can be attributed to her.
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Old July 14 2011, 11:19 PM   #14
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Re: I hate to say it but seasons 1 and 2 seemed to show more imaginati

Well, Rick Berman is totally responsible for the use of "sonic wallpaper" in lieu of thematic music beginning in seasons 3-4 of Star Trek: The Next Generation. He's said as much in interviews, and has been rather unrepentant about it. It makes me wonder why Enterprise suddenly shifted towards more thematic scoring -- perhaps that was Braga's influence, or a Network note?

In terms of the direction, photography, and editing not being very dynamic, I think most of that was (unfortunately) already in place beginning with the very first episode, "Encounter with Farpoint," and would continue without much change until Enterprise, although Star Trek: Deep Space Nine at least had the benefit of a darker look that led to more dynamic lighting than was ever used on Star Trek: The Next Generation or Star Trek: Voyager.
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Old July 15 2011, 12:38 AM   #15
SchwEnt
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Re: I hate to say it but seasons 1 and 2 seemed to show more imaginati

Anwar wrote: View Post
SchwEnt wrote: View Post
I kinda liked the earlier years, when the stories and ideas were big and the character bits added to the main plot (like TOS).

Of course DS9 was very heavily a character-driven series, but it was so very well done and was the focus of the series anyway, so that's different.
When you have a big ensemble cast like TNG/DS9, A/B plots are the best way to go. TOS only had three central characters, so major plots for the entire episodes worked better. And even TOS had their A/B plots sometimes.

Oh I can deal with the A/B plot style in any series.
What I got tired of is having the Big Idea or Mission or Science Fiction Concept take a considerable backseat to the antics of Alexander or Riker's Amorous Alien Encounters and so on.

I'd like to see the Space Exploration story be a focus rather than the crew's quirky interactions. Sometimes. You know, just switch the A/B stories once in a while.
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