Opinion circa 1987: TNG is NOT Star Trek

Discussion in 'Star Trek: The Next Generation' started by Thomas Elliot, Mar 3, 2020.

  1. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

    Mar 15, 2001
    It was meant to show that Starfleet was a more peaceful organization in that era, mature enough to recognize that sometimes it's better to yield than to fight. Also to contrast Picard to Kirk by making him less of a soldier and more of a scholar and diplomat. His surrender wasn't weakness, it was the sensible recognition that they couldn't possibly defeat Q by fighting or running, but only by buying time to learn about their opponent and either reason with him or outsmart him.
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  2. Vger23

    Vger23 Vice Admiral Admiral

    Apr 19, 2014
    Enterprise bowling alley
    Agreed. I thought it served an important dramatic and tone-setting purpose
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  3. Admiral Archer

    Admiral Archer Commander Red Shirt

    Dec 28, 2009
    I was seriously hoping someone would either A: Write a fictional review of the first few TNG season 1 episodes from the point of view of a diehard trekkie from 1987, or B: Share an existing review of the first few TNG season 1 episodes from the point of view of a diehard trekkie from 1987.

    I just want to see how the arguments against TNG compared to the ones against Discovery/Picard.
  4. JLBTucker

    JLBTucker Commander Red Shirt

    Jan 2, 2020
    To be fair season 1 TNG was crap by any measure
  5. JLBTucker

    JLBTucker Commander Red Shirt

    Jan 2, 2020
    And have to say i have never said DSC and PIC are "not star trek" I just think its "not good" and wouldn't blame people in 87 who didn't like TNG becuse the first season was god awful. Aslo TBF after re watching TNG again, somethings dont really work and things i liked when i first saw it I dont like now
  6. Mojochi

    Mojochi Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Aug 18, 2007
    The fact is, there's never been a Star Trek series that didn't have naysayers, turmoil, or issues, including the first, as its 3rd season often draws contempt as well. It, TAS & Enterprise all had their runs cut short. TNG almost never made it, & the cast were certain it would be quickly cancelled, not to mention is was a reworking of the Phase II concept that fell apart altogether. Some of the TOS movies were met with rebuke, as were most TNG ones & some of the Abrams batch as well, & now Star Trek series don't even get televised anymore.

    The property has been in weird statuses over its entire life, & I've long given up any notion that there's anyone with a right to say what is or isn't Star Trek. Even Roddenberry himself couldn't claim true authorship of the franchise entirety. It's an IP, & subject to that governance

    This title should have met an ignominious demise a dozen times over, yet it prevails, & here we are, past a half century still playing it out, for good or ill.

    That said, I personally haven't been all that entertained with Discovery or Picard. As silly or inconsequential as they've been to me, the Abrams movies entertained me more. It's got nothing to do with whether it should be considered Star Trek. It's just that it doesn't work for me as a production in general, but I wouldn't tell you it's not Star Trek. It's got the name right there.

    What I'll tell you is it's not the Star Trek I most love, & the percentage that is, isn't even that predominant anymore lol
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  7. Annatar

    Annatar Commander Red Shirt

    Feb 27, 2020
    I have seen alleged newspaper clippings deriding TNG but they were very small, very early op-eds. If there was any resistance, it died quickly or at least evaporated after S2. And I think TOS fans could just go 'well there's gonna be more movies', VI came out in TNG's S4...though how VII came about, that might had peeved off more than a few people.
  8. garakvsneelix

    garakvsneelix Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

    Feb 2, 2020
    Of course, I understand, why someone could watch TNG after TOS and claim, that it is "no Star Trek anymore". However, for me, they solved this problem with the setting: TNG plays in a different century than TOS and so, many possible fractures could be explained with the fact, that you would possibly observe similiar differences between the 1850s and e. g. the 1960s/70s. As lazy as this excuse seems to be, it's one excuse more than DSC could give.
  9. Ar-Pharazon

    Ar-Pharazon Admiral Premium Member

    May 19, 2005
    Far North Chicago Suburbs
    "I sense great despair and painnnn!"
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  10. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

    Mar 15, 2001
    Like I said, for those of us who grew up with the mostly awful SFTV in the '70s and '80s, first-season TNG was actually refreshingly good by comparison. I loved it at the time and didn't see its flaws until years later in retrospect, in comparison with the genuinely good SFTV we started to get in the late '80s and the '90s. And we got that improvement largely because of TNG paving the way.

    I don't think that applies to TAS. At the time, it was pretty typical for Saturday morning animated shows to get no more than a short second season, if that. Hardly any '70s Filmation shows got more than two seasons -- just Fat Albert, Shazam, Tarzan, and the Archie franchise (though that was several successive one-season series, much like how Hanna-Barbera approached its long-running shows such as Scooby-Doo).

    Phase II didn't "fall apart" -- rather, Paramount's plan to create a fourth network fell apart, so that Phase II had to be reworked into a movie instead. Heck, Phase II was the only aspect of that network plan that survived and came to fruition in any form.

    Streaming television is still television.

    This I agree with. It's always met with criticism and resistance; indeed, the original series had a mixed reception in its day. But it's had extraordinary longevity compared to other mass-media SF franchises in the US, and I doubt it's going to cease to exist anytime soon, no matter how many more criticisms it has to weather.
  11. Skipper

    Skipper Commodore Commodore

    Jul 28, 2016
    Once I read something similar from a veeeeeeeeeery old BBS (or it was a newsgroup?!?), but I don't remember it very well...
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  12. Qonundrum

    Qonundrum Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    May 18, 2017
    The clinic located by the Q Continuum
    Or even before VOY, or aimed at VOY too. Looking back, I get a different impression: DS9 was trying to expand the mold without breaking it and VOY was trying to return to the basics of TNG. It's the same with the newer spinoffs as well, and in a variable in terms of time people might like it one day or they might not. For numerous possible reasons. Or be ambivalent to them or love them or hate them. Art is still an individual experience.

    TNG was trying to be a sequel, while some were claiming it was a reboot and trying to detach the 1960s show... the examples I started going into were so complex I could make a full post, despite their tying into another facet of the same theme this thread posits.

    Neither was I, but I was also thinking those snazzy book covers to hide our nerdy math and history books... with a picture of an 80s "look at us we're reliving the 60s too!" style show... would somehow make the owners/users of them somehow less nerdy... so glad the show hit the zeitgeist and non-nerds then decided to beat up on only Doctor Who fans instead...

    Worse, the third episode in he's terrorizing a planet's entire population with photon torpedoes exploding from orbit. Kirk never pulled that type of stunt, and over a situation that didn't need that level of coercion to begin with. (Case in point: "For The Uniform" (DS9) went the extra mile but the reasons for doing so were a lot more significant and reaching to begin with! Makes me wish I saw it on first run...)


    Yeah, I missed the bright and bold colors.

    I missed Sulu. The show was about unity among all races and representation was pretty much the TOS's core bread and butter too.

    A lot of the cast didn't think it'd make a single year. The media was abuzz with "You can't remake Star Trek!" Roddenberry's whims taken to excess are far more prominent in the first half of season one, though we still get glimpses of this in later episodes. Admiral Hansen telling Picard bluntly about "old man's fantasies" about Shelby ranks right up there, but never becomes obtrusive in the way episodes like "Justice" were handled. Even "Measure of a Man" elevated a tawdry escapade into something with some depth and gravitas. That's amazing in of itself.

    But little sci-fi existed at the same time, certainly with the cinematic-worthy special effects that propped it up.

    But decades later and looking back, I see more in the episodes - uneven as they were - that had serious potential, or were even moderately successful. Heck, even as newer TNG came out and the older ones were re-ran, the older ones had more of a life to them whereas seasons 5-7 felt stale (and overtly preachy, which isn't always great even when you agree with it.)

    For me, the pacing hasn't aged at all. It has a nice fluid flow allowing plot and character buildup. A lot of today's shows almost create ADHD by how fast they spit out scenes and umpteen side plots to distract. Ditto for 60s Trek - which is often more just a main plot than side plots. So in a way there can be a slowness - unless the main plot is so gripping and several are...

    I gravitated around Data and Geordi. I could relate to them the most with their techie personalities. I adored Guinan because I like mysterious, cryptic characters. (All of which was more or less ruined in GEN but that's a movie setting the stage for the films ahead of it... but who wanted to know where Guinan came from? Then they answer it, which led to only more and bigger problems - just how far into the Alpha Quadrant were the Borg to be picked up nearby by the only Federation ship in town? For one example of many...)

    I did like Riker's brashness, especially with Ro... he could be a bit much toward Data, though.

    It's rough around the edges, but Spiner, McFadden, Stewart, and Wheaton steal the show. As had Spiner, but he's so good he needs to be said twice. Partly because he's doing a dual role. The direction really sells Lore as well. The ending where they decide to let DATA use a contraction was said to be deliberate, instead of playing it straight. (Ugh, season one for all its high points still sometimes opted to not tie the shoelaces before running that sprint and trips...)

    Yeah, that's the one where Picard throws a tantrum and dishonorably lobs torpedoes into Ligon II's orbit and detonates them.

    I'd still watch it, knowing how much better the show and characters are in all the other episodes. True, it's as racist as "Justice" (the planet of the blond hair-blue eyes) is but some plot points are fascinating. And a plus, Jessie Lawrence Ferguson pretty much carries the episode's watchability as Lutan, regardless of how generic when not unpalatable the script it.

    since STIV was the last Trek movie shown at the time and it was a ha-ha-bonk fest, with STV and to a lesser extent STVI also sending up Kirk and the gang in the preocess, TNG being serious in tone had some people wishing the Kirk movies kept the same level of seriousness. It was serendipity but that might be another reason TNG survived. If it took the same comedy routines, on top of everything else, it may not have survived. Especially as comedic side of Q has always been contentious among fans. Oddly enough, I adore Q too.


    Sorry, just being silly. The mystery is great but seeing Picard question himself, as well as giving Troi something of some value to do, worked for me. It does have some cheesiness to it and I'll agree a couple scenes could be tightened up and padding reduced. But I feel it carries itself enough and with some neat sci-fi ideas. Season 2 has the show spreading its wings more, combined with characters that are finally feeling in-place.
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  13. thribs

    thribs Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Oct 23, 2017
    Really? Felt like Trek to me.
  14. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

    Mar 15, 2001
    There were two refugee ships, and the okudagrams in the movie identified them as being of El-Aurian registry (even though one was aparently called the SS Robert Fox).

    Anyway, I always assumed that the El-Aurians had spent decades migrating across the galaxy and those two ships were simply the ones they used on the last leg of their journey. Refugees' journeys often have many stages; sometimes they never end at all.

    Granted, Crusher said that Soran escaped the Borg aboard the Lakul, but that doesn't add up, because Guinan was on the Lakul too, and we know from "Q Who" that Guinan wasn't there when the Borg destroyed her homeworld.
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  15. suarezguy

    suarezguy Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Jun 9, 2008
    Albuquerque, NM, USA
    I think it's also worth considering that, though the show became more popular and liked, won over some significant part of its naysayers, a lot of the people who didn't like it weren't won over, it remains pretty love-it-or-hate-it-which can be OK, if not better than most viewers being very lukewarm about a show, thinking it's bland and so not having real strong views about it.
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  16. Thomas Elliot

    Thomas Elliot Commander Red Shirt

    Nov 21, 2016
    Bruce Lee was a hero of mine growing up, so Asian male heroes always resonated with me and I also was a fan of Sulu. I wonder if that played another part subconsciously in my 7/8 year old rejection of TNG S1E1?

    I didn't like the idea of Whoopi Goldberg in TNG at first. I didn't hate it, but she was so well-known at the time it was hard not to see the ractor and not the character. Even back then I thought it was cliche, the wise black sage character. As the series progressed though, I really liked what she brought to the table, and the hint of a possible romance between her and Picard was nice. And yes, once they added that mystery to her when Q said something like "Picard, you'd should be wary of her, you don't know her like I do," she immediately got more interesting.
    Was she powerful like Q at some point and now she's just slumming it, pretending to be a bartender to pass time? She also made a better counselor.

    Data kind of filled the Spock role, without being a copy. That kind of changed in the movies, where it's like him and Picard or best buds, and he even has a similar TROK death in Nemesis.
    But yeah, Data was my all time favorite character at the time. And Lore...the dialogue he had and the line delivery that Spiner gave really made him memorable.

    Q got on my nerves back then but I very much like the character now.

    Overall, despite the many criticisms of the first two seasons, as well as my own that I've listed here, that's what makes me like them even more now. A lot of good sci-fi has always made me feel uncomfortable because it usually takes me outside of my comfort zone.
    I hate to harp on this, but Picard being a bald, older guy as the heroic captain for example. Eventually, my own superficial expectations of what a noble hero should look or act like started to evaporate. By the time Picard was responding to Tomalak's ultimatum or defiantly yelling, "THEY'RE AH FOUR LIGHTS!!!" it was like, this guy is a bad ass.
    Or what about how everyone on the Enterprise gets a long? Where are all the cool 80s action film/sitcom wise-cracks? The snappy back and forth arguing? This is too quiet. Later on I appreciated that there was a future where people work together and don't act like assholes, but are actually nice to each other.
    Why are men wearing dresses on the starship? That's stupid. But later on I realize, oh, they're showing how in the future attitudes and fashion changed. It's something even Trek fans laugh at, but I think the idea is kind of cool. I'm glad they did away with it, but it makes those early episodes more quirky and even more SF in a way.

    "Time Squared" is awesome. The pacing is an issue for many, and for good reason, but I really like how in a way, it adds to that sense of doom. I also like how Troi was sticking up for Picard when she still didn't know him as well as she would later, while the doctor was putting Picard's abilities into question.
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  17. Unimatrix Q

    Unimatrix Q Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    Jun 26, 2015

    In this thread you can find links to TNG reviews from 1987.
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  18. Skipper

    Skipper Commodore Commodore

    Jul 28, 2016
    A review of "Yesterday's Enterprise" from rec.arts.startrek!

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  19. Skipper

    Skipper Commodore Commodore

    Jul 28, 2016
    And this is quite interesting...

    coming out of the closet on TNG

    How reliable is this rumor? I seem to remember someone saying they heard it
    from someone at a con. Is this true?

    It would be an unbelievable BAD idea to make an episode revolving around
    someone's homosexuality. I can't believe that it would be as big an issue as
    it is now.

    If someone comes out of the closet, the reaction of the crew would be:

    a) "so?" - meaning that homosexuality is accepted in that era, and no one
    considers it any big deal. Not much of a story there, and no real reason to
    bring it up.

    b) "Aaaaa!!" - meaning that homosexuality got "stamped out" some time
    previously, and no one can cope with it anymore. This, I think, would come off
    enormously offensive to homosexuals, and would be a bad, bad move.

    c) "Take a capsule of Heterocilin and call me tomorrow" - meaning that they
    discovered that homosexuality was a disease that can be cured. Also offensive
    to homosexuals.

    (I don't mean to speak for any homosexuals out there, if there are any - these
    are just my guesses..)

    Can anyone give me a good reason why Star Trek should touch the homosexuality
    issue? The sexuality of the characters in this show is IRRELEVANT to what's
    going on. Even the thing with Data and Yar was just good for a chuckle, and
    if they handle homosexuality like that, they might be in big trouble.


    BTW, look at the union between Sarek and Amanda. Isn't that SODOMY? :)

    Anyway... some issues should be steered clear of on certain television shows,
    and homosexuality is one of them - at least in a futuristic program.


  20. Skipper

    Skipper Commodore Commodore

    Jul 28, 2016
    Now I would be curious what "Christian" thinks about Discovery ...