How would you introduce a science-fiction newbie to TNG?

Discussion in 'Star Trek: The Next Generation' started by Ragitsu, Nov 23, 2021.

  1. Ragitsu

    Ragitsu Commander Red Shirt

    Nov 1, 2021
    Good evening.

    Do you begin with Season 1 ("Warts and all.")? Do you instead opt for a Season 2 beginning? Do you pick a peculiar episode that really sells The Next Generation...and then kick off with Season 1?

    Finally, do you caution them on those early bumps in the road or do you allow them to form their own impressions absent your opinion(s)?
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  2. M.A.C.O.

    M.A.C.O. Commodore Commodore

    Sep 13, 2011
    Is your intention to have them watch the bulk of the 178 episodes of TNG?

    If not, just pick the best episodes and see how they respond. TNG does have several arcs that occurred across the various seasons.
  3. galleywest

    galleywest I'll get you, and your little dog too! Premium Member

    Dec 20, 2004
    I would agree with this. There are also plenty of stand alone episodes--Data's Day would be a good one for this purpose, or something fun like Ship in a Bottle.
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  4. Oddish

    Oddish Rear Admiral Commodore

    Sep 7, 2020
    Depends on what sort of thing they're into. Because TNG is so episodic, you can really enter at nearly any point. A few episodes reference others ("Family", "The Drumhead") though. Others might require knowledge of the characters (to appreciate "Clues", you have to know Data fairly well).

    My go-to tactic would be to start big: show them the "Best of Both Worlds" two-parter.
  5. 2of1million

    2of1million Captain Captain

    Jan 16, 2002
    I would show Q-Who before Best of Both Worlds since it introduces the Borg.
  6. M.A.C.O.

    M.A.C.O. Commodore Commodore

    Sep 13, 2011
    Here is my list:

    The Borg Saga:
    S2x16 - Q Who
    S3x26 - Best of Both Worlds Part 1
    S4x1 - Best of Both Worlds Part 2
    S4x2 - Family
    S5x23 - I, Borg
    Film - First Contact

    The Worf/Klingon/Romulan Saga:
    S2x20 - The Emissary
    S3x7 - The Enemy
    S3x10 - The Defector
    S3x15 - Yesterday's Enterprise
    S3x17 - Sins Of The Father
    S4x7 - Reunion
    S4x24 - The Mind's Eye
    S4x26 - Redemption Part 1
    S5x1 - Redemption Part 2
    S5x7&8 - Unification
    S6x16&17 - Birthright

    Unique Episodes
    S2x9 - Measure of a Man
    S3x16 - The Offspring
    S4x11 - Data's Day
    S4x12 - The Wounded
    S5x18 - Cause and Effect
    S5x19 - The First Duty
    S5x25 - The Inner Light
    S6x10&11 - Chain of Command
    S6x14 - Face of the Enemy
    S6x21 - Frame of Mind
    S7x11 - Parallels
    S7x12 - Pegasus
    S7x25&26 - All Good Things
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  7. Orphalesion

    Orphalesion Commodore Commodore

    Oct 19, 2014
    You begin with Code of Honour, of course, then you move on to Angel One and finish it all of with Justice!
    (Joking of course)

    I would select some episodes that might fit their interests. Then I'd explain that season 1 is crap on wheels, but might be the sort of stuff you can make fun of while watching.
  8. somebuddyX

    somebuddyX Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    Nov 14, 2014
    For an adult who you think will stick with it start at Season 3 episode 1. Then maybe alternate back to earlier episodes.
    For a kid, I'd probably say something fun like "Cause and Effect".
    I started watching it in Season 5, because that's when my interest in Star Trek began and that was just what happened to be airing. I didn't worry about continuity. I'm pretty sure I watched "I, Borg" before I watched "Best of Both Worlds" and I watched that before I watched "Q-Who?".
    I would hesitate to start anyone on Season 1 and 2 unless you hated that person. There are some gems there but come on, a lot of that stuff is horrendous.
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  9. Jayson1

    Jayson1 Admiral Admiral

    Mar 21, 2017
    First Contact the movie. You then follow that up with Best of Both Worlds and Family. Then the Q and Barclay episodes. Then Measure of a Man, Yesterday's Enterprise, Cause and Effect. Then Chain of Command part 1 and 2. All Good Things.
  10. Ragitsu

    Ragitsu Commander Red Shirt

    Nov 1, 2021
    "If you can handle Code of Honor, you can handle anything."

    Alternatively: Code of Angel's Justice.
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  11. Mojochi

    Mojochi Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Aug 18, 2007
    Depends on their tastes I suppose. If I wanted to introduce them in a way as to be somewhat chronological, I might hit them with some season 1 or 2 stuff like The Arsenal of Freedom, or A Matter of Honor

    You know, maybe do all the episodes that matter, A Matter of Honor, A Matter of Perspective, & A Matter of Time. Makes me wonder why they never did a replicator/transporter malfunction episode called A Matter of Matter
  12. dupersuper

    dupersuper Commodore Commodore

    Jul 24, 2020
    I'd just go in order; maybe a few better episodes to start if they're wary of the show.
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  13. Oddish

    Oddish Rear Admiral Commodore

    Sep 7, 2020
    A little Sub Rosa for dessert, maybe. Show how much better the show got in seven years with a nice tasty dose of alien lantern ghost nookie.
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  14. Ragitsu

    Ragitsu Commander Red Shirt

    Nov 1, 2021
    Oddly enough, I believe that Sub Rosa is starting to grow on me.
  15. M'rk son of Mogh

    M'rk son of Mogh Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Jun 18, 2001
    Ontario, Canada
    I got my friend hooked with "The Offspring". She eventually started from the beginning and watched it all after a few other random later season episodes.
  16. STEPhon IT

    STEPhon IT Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Jan 27, 2010
    Sunny California
    TNG Season 1 is not that bad, and Patrick Stewart opens the door to this version of Star Trek. Does it have stinkers? OF COURSE but not every series 1st season hits homeruns every inning. It is what it is but I think you get a nice foundation of these characters and they evolve quite well IMO.
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  17. Qonundrum

    Qonundrum Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    In 1987, the world was replete with Trek fans. 15 million people tuned into this "world premiere" episode. Without the same context in which TNG was borne in, especially if said sci-fi newbie hasn't seen or bathed in TOS in the way most of those 15 million had at the time... heck, chances are that if the show was picked up by one of the big three networks it wouldn't have lasted a full season...

    Also, a show that had no concrete ideas to start with doesn't need to be seen so stringently too. DS9 is arguably the only exception.

    No matter how obstinate and/or obstreperous one may be, fight back and explain why this is a show that bucks the rule of "must see every episode in order". First off, fans are more likely able to know if a show really needs such treatment or not - and to hopefully explain, not matter how high level and/or clunkily, the issues with the production teams were and how the show got better - then circle back to older ones. If they don't believe you, one can go any number of directions. Just be grateful "Code of Honor" wasn't the premiere episode. But if they really want this routine, show them "Encounter at Farpoint" and then reiterate with some more anecdotes and tangents.

    Unless you think the person would really enjoy "The Naked Now" and "Code of Honor" - both have interesting set pieces, but as entire stories they're messes. Indeed, if such a person is unaware of TOS, then one is really daring to be shoving "The Naked Now" in their face.

    Heck, I'd be inclined to start with season 2 and say that if they like the show by the time they're in mid-season 3, then go back to show season 1. By then you can say "that story where they equate a walking toaster to a living organism with cod 'LA Law style drama' opted to refer to this one scene in this one appallingly bad story and probably because someone dared them to give that horrid scene an improvised legacy, so let's watch it - don't worry if I step out, I'm getting you a tranquilizer juuuuuuuuuust in case."

    That said, I just looked up. @STEPhon IT is right. The cast, especially Stewart, made most episodes watchable no matter how bad.

    But it's not 1987 any longer. A sampling of random highlights and almost-highlights and even a middling entry might not hurt to show where this show can go. I'd still avoid the known stinkers until later and just say "most of fandom hates these, some may like individual scenes or moments but still agree that the stories are bad, but make up your own mind".
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  18. Qonundrum

    Qonundrum Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Not even on 01 April would I be so bold to put out that combination of episodes...!
  19. Mojochi

    Mojochi Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Aug 18, 2007
    I do think that though the show is lendable to out of sequence viewing, if you do want to introduce them properly, you probably want to show some of the beginnings first IMHO

    Pick whatever you think they'll consider the best of season 1 & 2 to start off with, then you can take a deeper dive
  20. Hobbit

    Hobbit Ensign Newbie

    Apr 10, 2019
    I would absolutely avoid showing them any S1 episode. I'd probably show them something like Measure of a Man, and then recommend that they avoid certain episodes during their full viewing of the show.