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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 September 16 2012, 11:28 AM   #1
Kooz
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Shades of Grey

Rewtching the series and up to season 2's finale. Is it really a crummy clip show? If you pulled shit like his today, you wouldn't get picked up.

Not to mention the ep is horribly acted, there was no dramatic tension (at no point did anyone think Riker might die), and there were stupid problems, like Geordi getting a sample of the plant which infected Riker and bringing it back held in a pair of pliers rather than a specimen jar, and Riker's flashbacks including scenes on the ship that occurred while he was on the planet.

Wort season finale ever.
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Old September 16 2012, 12:43 PM   #2
M
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Re: Shades of Grey

I honestly don't get the overproportional hatred directed at this episode. I mean, come on guys, give it a break. It's just a freaking clipshow, they're certainly not pretending it's anything more. And as far as clipshows go, this isn't even one of the worst.

I mean, don't get me wrong, I don't love this episode, but at least it has a story spun around the clips. Shows like the new Outer Limits did these kind of episodes as a budget saver each year well into the late 90s, and often they were just clips from previous episodes. This one isn't all that bad, and the clips chosen actually provide a nice look back at the series up to this point.

I can't stress this enough, I really don't want to defend the merits of "Shades of Gray" as an episode. Because let's face it, this really isn't an episode per se. It's just what it is, a money saving measure. Nothing more and nothing less. Which is why I don't get why it always ends up on those worst episode lists. It's not like the writers/producers thought they were presenting you some highbrow quality drama with this one. They were mature enough to acknowledge that this was just a way to save money. Why give them such a hard time over this?
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Old September 16 2012, 02:54 PM   #3
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Re: Shades of Grey

If I remember right, I read somewhere that this was due to a strike from writers or something to that effect?
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Old September 16 2012, 03:35 PM   #4
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Re: Shades of Grey

they were out of money for the season, and Maurice Hurley was leaving the show. It was a pathetic episode, but it's the only time Trek has done something like that.
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Old September 16 2012, 03:49 PM   #5
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Re: Shades of Grey

I don't share all the hatred for this eps. It's not the worst eps of TNG. I'd rather watch this eps over "Masks" or Sub Rosa".

Of course, I watched it on first airing back in the 80s cuz I'm that old. And even then, I didn't think it was that bad at all. Probably cuz I got a sweet spot for season two.

Even going in, I knew it was a clip-show so my expectations weren't that high to start. My problem was that all the clips needed to feature one person (Riker) and they only had two seasons worth of material to use. Pretty sparse. If only they had five or six seasons worth of footage to use.

Clips aside, the rest of the eps was okay. I really liked the planet scenes, well done considering it wasn't on location. The story is nothing horrendous, fairly standard stuff.

At least they came up with a reason to use the flashbacks, needing to revive certain emotions via memories. At least it's *something*. They could have had the crew sitting around a table chatting about "remember when..." THAT would have been cheesy and very bad.

It's pretty much just an okay eps for me. Sure, it's not great. But also not horribly bad, just very average. And I'll take average TNG over bad TNG.
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Old September 16 2012, 03:50 PM   #6
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Re: Shades of Grey

sonak wrote: View Post
they were out of money for the season, and Maurice Hurley was leaving the show. It was a pathetic episode, but it's the only time Trek has done something like that.
Using clips from "The Cage" in "The Menagerie" doesn't count?
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Old September 16 2012, 03:51 PM   #7
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Re: Shades of Grey

Kooz wrote: View Post
Wort season finale ever.
Second worst. Enterprise's "These Are the Voyages" still has top spot of pure sucktacular suckiness.

Both heavily feature Riker. Hmmm....
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Old September 16 2012, 03:52 PM   #8
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Re: Shades of Grey

SchwEnt wrote: View Post
sonak wrote: View Post
they were out of money for the season, and Maurice Hurley was leaving the show. It was a pathetic episode, but it's the only time Trek has done something like that.
Using clips from "The Cage" in "The Menagerie" doesn't count?

"The Cage" was never shown as a separate episode from "the Menagerie" during the original run, so viewers watching the latter weren't getting a clip show.
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Old September 16 2012, 04:11 PM   #9
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Re: Shades of Grey

NCC-1701 wrote: View Post
I honestly don't get the overproportional hatred directed at this episode.
Totally agree. Within the confines of a clip show it's actually quite well done and a perfectly enjoyable episode. I'd take this over something like "Sub Rosa" any-day.
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Old September 16 2012, 04:23 PM   #10
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Re: Shades of Grey

The best Trek clip show was "The Menagerie"
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Old September 17 2012, 02:09 AM   #11
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Re: Shades of Grey

I remember being really worried about it back when it aired, worried that it would be a trend, which it didn't become. So, over time, I've been less critical about it or the idea of TNG succumbing to making a clip show, as it was an isolated occurrence for them

I just look on it like any other of the series' lows, which there were plenty of in every season, Sub Rosa, Imaginary Friend, The Bonding... all equally worthy of avoiding on TNG DVD night
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Old September 17 2012, 04:10 AM   #12
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Re: Shades of Grey

If the clips were of things that we hadn't seen - Riker as a child dealing with the lose of his mum and estrangement from his dad, his previous assignments etc - then SoG would have been excellent.
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Old September 17 2012, 04:17 AM   #13
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Re: Shades of Grey

I'd forgotten about this episode. I only watched it once; the first time it aired. I avoided it every time it was repeated.
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Old September 17 2012, 01:44 PM   #14
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Re: Shades of Grey

Oh, look, more OTT hatred for "Shades of Grey".

Yes - it's a clip show. Newsflash - you Americans seem to like clip shows, as loads of your shows that are broadcast here in the UK have them! e.g. "The Simpsons", "Friends", "Frasier", even the "A-Team" managed one (coincidentally, it's season 2 finale).

So yes, if you don't like clip shows, you're not going to like "Shades of Grey". But, accepting that it IS a clip show (and the reasons they went this route are already well-detailed)... it's not too bad a one. There are some sweet scenes with Riker and Troi, the clips are well-chosen, and - as I've said before - at least it's not a "Riker's leaving and he reminisces about all his great times with the crew"-type story. There is actually a dramatic plot - it's not an astounding one, but it's there, and drives the story forward.

Seriously, OP, you think it's rubbish because at no point "do we think Riker is really going to die"?!?!? Unlike every other episode of TNG, when we are all constantly worried that one of the main cast is going to die at any minute?? Hardly a valid criticism.

Look, it's a mediocre episode (though, as part of season 2, it naturally holds a special place in my heart) but it's NOT ALONE - there are plenty of mediocre TNG episodes. And there are plenty WORSE ones as well - I'd rather watch "Shades of Grey" than, say, "Code Of Honour", "Justice" or "Angel One"...all three truly horrific shows.
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Old September 17 2012, 02:21 PM   #15
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Re: Shades of Grey

SG-1 did a fair few clips shows i.e. "Disclosure" but on the plus side most of them advanced the overall plot themes running through the series.
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