Season 1 is underrated, and better than season 7

Discussion in 'Star Trek: The Next Generation' started by desfem79, Dec 30, 2013.

  1. desfem79

    desfem79 Lieutenant Commander

    Dec 29, 2013
    Season 1 had some real stinkers, but some I enjoyed were The Arsenal of Freedom, Hide and Q, Skin of Evil, The Neutral Zone, Heart of Glory and Datalore.

    I think the pilot ep was also amongst the best in Trek (IMHO that is Emissary overall).

    So why is season 1 maligned, since I don't really get it. It's as good as season 2, and season 7 (despite some classics and good eps) was shitty for the most part. I think Berman and co. were had too much on their plate (TNG, DS9, Voyager pre-production and Generations). :lol:
  2. Lance

    Lance Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    May 9, 2012
    The Enterprise's Restroom
    While I'm not sure that season one was really 'better' than season 7, I do think that season 7 was a weaker season overall than several that preceeded it. I agree that the various competing attentions of the franchise (supervising DS9's second season, launching Voyager, preparing The Next Generation for a transition to its motion picture debut) had something of a net effect on all aspects of the franchise, but particularly for the outgoing TNG. There was some degree of 'fatigue' that crept into the series, I feel.

    Perhaps due to it being new, with a fresh energy and no competing interests to distract the attentions of the producers, season 1 had a general thrust that certainly wasn't fatigued. It was never "boring". :D It also benefitted in my view (for better or worse) from it being in something of an embryonic stage of its development, where they were still establishing the rules of how this TNG worked and what its relationship was to this wonderful thing called 'Star Trek'. So, every new encounter was a blank page, an open book. It was a series more inclined to take genuine risks than later TNG too I think. It was willing to really push the boat 'out there' and try stuff, and as a consequence of that it fell on its sword a few times. But the foundations of TNG's later success were borne out of that. Season 1 was a trial by fire to see if they survived... but it was also crucial world building, which carried through season 2 and allowed them to hit the ground running in season 3. The rest is history. :)
  3. Nebusj

    Nebusj Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Jan 27, 2005
    I'll agree that season one is underrated, although given that its current rating is ``marginally better than having a genetically-engineered swarm of liquid metal rats reenact the thirty-years war in your bedroom'' that's not a high standard.

    Season One feels like it had a lot of work gone in to making the background smarter and sharper, and then screwed it up in the execution, unfortunately. My favorite example is that the original concept for Data was, apparently, that he was to be an android which was as similar to human beings as could possibly exist while being not human. That's a great concept, the sort of thing you can build serious philosophy study around, but, what we got out of it was that Data can get drunk and have sex and then let's forget that and go with the crazy inventor/evil twin origin story instead.
  4. Lance

    Lance Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    May 9, 2012
    The Enterprise's Restroom
    ^ I think "Measure of a Man" paid lip service to that conception of the character, and was an excellent pay-off to the philosophical possibilities. But it was a year later, and the show sadly needed to 'mature' enough to reach the stage where they could tackle it.

    That's really how I see season 1. It was a crucial component in why TNG got better as it went on. It's like the teething stage for a child. TNG needed to "grow out of it", but it needed season 1 to show the way forward by example of what didn't work as much as what did. :)
  5. desfem79

    desfem79 Lieutenant Commander

    Dec 29, 2013
    I liked the portrayal of Data, and i felt it gave most if not all characters a good grounding.
  6. JirinPanthosa

    JirinPanthosa Vice Admiral Admiral

    Nov 20, 2012
    Season 7 had some stinkers but it also had some great episodes, whereas season 1 only had a handful of pretty good ones among the stinkers. Season 1 was trying to be a campy rehash of TOS, whereas season 7 had the benefit of thoroughly established characters.
  7. desfem79

    desfem79 Lieutenant Commander

    Dec 29, 2013
    I guess one thing I enjoyed was the almost 50s-esque classic sci-fi feel. Skin of Evil and We'll Always Have Paris lend to that IMO.
  8. MikeH92467

    MikeH92467 Admiral Admiral

    Dec 31, 2001
    Boise, ID
    I think season 7 had more of a safety net than season 1. The characters were developed and the show's "look" was right. When the season 1 stuff missed *cough Code of Honor* oy...there was nothing to soften the landing. In retrspect, even a show like "Home Soil", which doesn't make anyone's list of great shows has some positive qualities as they managed to find a way to make use of Data. The best episodes really do stand out.
  9. BillJ

    BillJ Fleet Admiral Admiral

    I rank seasons one and two of TNG as my favorites of the Berman-era series.
  10. MakeshiftPython

    MakeshiftPython Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    Oct 10, 2013
    Season 7 had "All Good Things...", which automatically makes it better than the first season.
  11. Harvey

    Harvey Admiral Admiral

    Oct 8, 2005
    Los Angeles, California
    Season seven is a marked downturn from season six -- but it has a number of highlights:

    "Lower Decks"
    "The Pegasus"
    "Preemptive Strike"
    "All Good Things"

    It also has quite a few episodes which I personally enjoy quite a bit, even if they're not as well-regarded:

    "Thine Own Self"
    "Journey's End"
    "Dark Page"

    For season one, I don't think I'd list a single episode as a true highlight. I would pick out a few episodes which I enjoy quite a bit, but as a season it's well-beyond being simply uneven -- overall, it's bad.
  12. desfem79

    desfem79 Lieutenant Commander

    Dec 29, 2013
    I liked Genesis, Firstborn, Dark Page, Journey's End and Masks (if only for Brent Spiner's acting), though it was funny to see Data invent the microscope on that planet and demonstrate molecular theory lol..

    I dunno, to me seasons 1 and 7 are equal but then it's subjective like all other things.
  13. Hober Mallow

    Hober Mallow Commodore Commodore

    I wouldn't say the quality of the stories in season one was any better than those of season seven, but season one at least fresh, exciting, and full of possibilities; whereas season seven felt like a show tired of itself.
  14. jimbotron

    jimbotron Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    Nov 27, 2012
    Bay Area, CA
    I really enjoy season 1, despite Wesley saving the day all the time and the 20th century bashing. Much of it is brash, and rough around the edges. Could you imagine Remmick's head exploding in any other season? The music is the best of the series, IMO. The show really ended on a hot streak, starting with Coming of Age. Take out the truly horrible episodes (Code of Honor, Justice, Haven, Angel One) and it's a decent group of episodes, certainly better than seasons 1-2 of Enterprise or half of Voyager.

    Season 7 was too stale and comfortable, and occasionally embarrassing. There are maybe three really good episodes that season (Pegasus, Lower Decks, AGT....hmm all RDM), which is about a dozen fewer than seasons 3-6. Plus there's good Brannon Braga, and bad Brannon Braga. Season 7 had mostly the latter. Parallels was OK, but even by then Braga was leaning too heavily on space/time contrivances.

    I think RDM and Braga having to work double duty on season 7 and Generations broke up the strong writing team, which led to a bunch of random and uninteresting episodes that season.
  15. 2takesfrakes

    2takesfrakes Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Oct 13, 2013
    California, USA
    Artistically, I really enjoy the First Season more than any of the others, except maybe the Second. It's so highly stylized and some of the camera work (unfortunately, not alot) really looked epic - almost movie quality. TNG was new and it had the benefit of being new. The uncertainty of the cast of how to play their roles, the uncertainty of how they were going to evolve ... all of that is onscreen. Nobody's ego has gotten so big, yet. And, naturally, everybody in the cast is at their youngest, so they're all looking their best. Marina Siritis looks so amazing in FARPOINT STATION that I'm truly shocked that they didn't keep her that way. The Next Generation's First Season, especially, is a great experiment to watch unfold ... I like seeing the show take its chances!
  16. YellowSubmarine

    YellowSubmarine Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Aug 17, 2010
    Season 1 is filled with so many episodes that were painful for me to watch.

    Every Star Trek series carries something magical and unearthly about it, which is what usually made it so exciting, even the mundane episodes were nice to see. But with the jewels of this season, the outworldliness of the setting mixed with the unpleasant stories made me actually experience some really strong negative sensations. Took me to a lot of places I didn't like. And it didn't help I was under 10 watching them.

    I admit that makes Season 1 interesting in its own way, but I rarely come back to it. I only ever rewatch the last episode, but that's a guilty pleasure of mine – it's no good, and it's certainly worse than the story of the binars, and Lore, and most of all Conspiracy.

    Thinking about it, it would have been really nice if Conspiracy was somehow about the Borg, Q stories were done without alien holodecks (like All Good Things was) and if a Q story didn't open the season. The ideas to explore drug addiction, vastly different cultures, and stuff appeal to me much, but suffered very badly from the writing and execution. It is natural for a first season struggling to get bold ideas right, but it's easy for me to complain about it in hindsight. :)

    It seems so easy to say, "meh, the guys from The Neutral Zone shouldn't have been straightly copied from stereotypes", but whoever was writing it was probably focusing on the awesomeness of the idea of bringing unsuspecting present humans into the future, while bringing back the Romulans. There's no way that could go wrong now, could it? A woman fainting after seeing a Klingon and a Klingon banging his head in the door like an utter moron might have seemed like a stroke of genius at that time.

    tl;dr - as long as I don't have to watch Code of Honor again, S1 is quite fine for what it was. But better than S7 is pushing it, even if S7 wasn't the greatest thing ever.
  17. robau

    robau Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

    Apr 19, 2012
    The first season was dripping in idealism and I love it for that.
  18. Richard Baker

    Richard Baker Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    Nov 11, 2008
    Warrior, AL
    Season One for me was hard to watch- everyone was stopping and making speeches, establishing their unique character and settling into the role.
    'Encounter at Farpoint' was the worst- EVERYBODY had such a unique and complicated history I remember thinking "My God- does anybody on that ship just have a normal life and joined up with Starfleet??"
  19. The Old Mixer

    The Old Mixer I am the modman, goo goo goo joob Moderator

    Feb 4, 2002
    Sitting in a nutmeg garden waiting for the sun
    It's been a long time since I've watched Season 7 (on my plate in the foreseeable future), but going on memory, I prefer the show that had become comfortable with itself to the embarrassing awkwardness of Season 1.
  20. Greg Cox

    Greg Cox Admiral Premium Member

    May 12, 2004
    Oxford, PA
    TNG didn't really get good until "Measure of a Man."