TNG at 35!

Discussion in 'Star Trek: The Next Generation' started by WarpFactorZ, Sep 28, 2022.

  1. WarpFactorZ

    WarpFactorZ Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Feb 10, 2013
    Configuring the Ontarian Manifold
    On September 28th, 1987, a new show called Star Trek: The Next Generation premiered! I remember all the excitement and anticipation in the weeks and months prior, waiting to once again get weekly doses of new Trek adventures. Tell your story -- where you were, what you thought, etc...
    FanST, Tuesday, WarpTenLizard and 3 others like this.
  2. shapeshifter

    shapeshifter Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Nov 16, 2007
    Land of Illusion
    Memberberry chemicals activated! I member every moment of damn near that entire day. :beer: That level of excitement has rarely been matched since.

    Last edited: Sep 28, 2022
  3. JesterFace

    JesterFace Fleet Captain Commodore

    Jun 1, 2014
    Suomi Finland
    At that time I was about 5 years old, I have no exact memory on that particular day. ;)

    When the mid 90s came, that's when the first exposure to STNG happened.
  4. Qonundrum

    Qonundrum Vice Admiral Admiral

    Well, I was in my teens and not needing Depends... unlike in 35 years' time from now, potentially... hope not, but anyhooze, I remember the school handing out TNG book covers, even before the show first aired. I think this was in AV Club, if not home room... probably the former cuz I'm a nerdy geek if not a geeky nerd... Wasn't sure which complaint was more worthy - in that we're taking book covers for something we've never seen and if someone sees it do we then take off the covers before getting beaten up... or because it seemed weird that the school would hand them out at all. Yeah, it had to have been AV club...

    The AV club was held in the library, which was three stories tall and had glass flooring around the middle - not unlike the warp core's decks/rails except there's no prop of flashing lights in the middle. It was pretty cool, but it's suffice to say that the library section of the school was NOT renovated before this series came about. That would be potentially embarrassing if it were...

    What's sad is that I remember more from season 3 than 1 or 2 right now. Only that season 1 looked great, if little else. Was "Justice" so awful that I have memory blocks?

    "An annnnnnnndroiiiid... on Staaaaaaaaaar Trek The Next Generation!" Perfect announcing voice, even if the over-enunciation was a trifle over the top, it didn't not work and still seemed exciting... Loved the clear glass logo turning into chrome. Unless that's neodymium because the show did have a magnetic effect on viewers...
  5. Doug Otte

    Doug Otte Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    Jan 6, 2003
    I had already heard Richard Arnold announce the show at a con in 1986. I then read about it in the Fan Club magazine throughout the year. I also read the review in the Washington Post the week before I saw the premiere. They loved it, and particularly noted the "lush" production values.

    Then it premiered at 7pm on Saturday on WDCA 20. I remember sitting in my little efficiency on Connecticut Avenue, soaking it in from my glorious 26" Toshiba TV! I don't know if it was that night, or a later episode, but I was very upset that a friend had the nerve to try to call me while it aired. Of course I ignored the phone!
    WarpTenLizard likes this.
  6. Herbert

    Herbert Commodore Commodore

    Apr 20, 2017
    I remember watching at least part of Encounter at Farpoint when it was broadcast and not liking it very much. Having only one ST reference up to that point (Kirk, Spock, McCoy, etc) I found it hard to engage (no pun intended) in Next Gen but it grew on me. These days I find the last two seasons and a bunch of season 5 to be, frankly, not very good because of the types of boring pointless drama-type stories they chose to tell instead of keeping the exploration of space in the forefront. Despite saying that, TNG is still my second favorite ST, next to TOS
    Last edited: Sep 30, 2022
    Qonundrum likes this.
  7. Ragitsu

    Ragitsu Commodore Commodore

    Nov 1, 2021
    I wish I could have been present when history was being made.
    WarpTenLizard and Qonundrum like this.
  8. tomalak301

    tomalak301 Fleet Admiral Admiral

    Mar 2, 2003
    San Jose, CA
    I was 3 years old when TNG Premiered. I think I started watching in Season 4, so I didn't watch it when it originally aired. Still, the longevity of the series is impressive, so Happy 35 years to The Next Generation.
  9. Commander Troi

    Commander Troi Geek Grrl Moderator

    Jul 22, 2021
    Phoenix AZ
    Man, this makes me feel ancient!

    I was in college, but still living at home. My parents and I and all my friends were SO excited! I don't remember much specifically about seeing it though.
  10. Qonundrum

    Qonundrum Vice Admiral Admiral

    Here's a fun one, considering everything else Roddenberry was wanting, I'm amazed they indulged this:

    IMHO, Roddenberry really was right. It was a good innovation of mixing the old cliche trope of "Godlike critter observes humans" with something fresh (an elongated trial, which doesn't end with incense and peppermints, but a near-victory, if not stalemate.) It's a great reminder that sci-fi has always borrowed, and the best makers it feel like "their own" if they add enough into it that makes it fresh again, or to the point that fans consciously notice the origins and say "This came from there and was done better then" while ignoring the new story in its own terms.

    At least he didn't get what he wanted in terms of another actor as Captain (Stewart was a casting coup), or - worse - Troi with the sort of additional cliched B-movie features* that we later did see briefly in "Star Trek V" and Fontana was absolutely right in her list of reasons and demonstrations in interviews, etc...

    Would a 2-hour peanut butter and jellyfish sandwich really be satisfying? Not on its own... let's just say that they put the "Q" in "Quintessential" and that's what boosted the pilot and, per the article, gave it a more solid frame of reference.

    * no pun intended on that, but a couple reasons did flash out at me when proofreading before posting
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  11. Qonundrum

    Qonundrum Vice Admiral Admiral

    It was the late-80s. A time when people wore shirts with the then-current year emblazoned in a large typeface on their chests as if they couldn't figure it out any other way, or looked like R-rated caricatures fresh off a street corner. Or the occasional "70s plaid meets 80s day-glo neon" for a real win... And all that was during high school... I wonder how much has changed since; fashion was, and still is, an odd beastie. Apart from all that hairspray... peyyyyew, on some days it really stunk in class...

    At the time, it was lukewarm... and it was BIG since the articles mentioning "you can't remake Star Trek" were right in that it was a big statement at the time, especially with the Kirk movies being in full swing. Indeed, as much as I'm not fond of STIV TVH, its popularity is what cemented the premiere for TNG to be made. Granted, as the years went by I had my horsey blinkers on since TNG was feeling "serious" and the Kirk movies were increasingly "jokey" and in way insulting to the characters. IV had the "fish out of water" trope as a fallback, but V and VI did not and too many of their jokes do the franchise a disservice. IMHO, YMMV.
    WarpTenLizard likes this.
  12. dg1379

    dg1379 Commander Red Shirt

    Dec 5, 2001
    I was 7 when this premiered. I remember catching it just as the Enterprise was separating for it's battle (well, surrender, I guess) with Q. I was hooked and watched every episode to the end! Can't believe it's been 35 years.
  13. JesterFace

    JesterFace Fleet Captain Commodore

    Jun 1, 2014
    Suomi Finland
    Having Q there and the trial makes 'Encounter at Farpoint' much more that just "let's find out what's going on with the spacesquid".
    Also, the trial didn't end there, on some level it's a part of every episode.
    Like Q said, "Seven years ago I said we'd be watching you and we have been".
    I guess it gives the entire series more meaning.

    Maybe you shouldn't have sprayed it so much? ;)
  14. Mutai Sho-Rin

    Mutai Sho-Rin Crusty Old Bastard Moderator

    Jul 31, 2001
    Orange, CA USA
    I was 41 (and still no Depends) and refused to watch. The “Next Generation” title simply turned me off. A friend finally convinced me to watch “Just one episode” with him so I did, just to make him happy. It was “Measure of a Man” and the rest is history.
    Legate Duhmar, FanST, Tuesday and 5 others like this.
  15. Qonundrum

    Qonundrum Vice Admiral Admiral

    One our of big space jellyfish feels like season 1 fodder, if not season-3 TOS given the jellyfish being in love and otherwise acting out in many human ways (jealousy, rage, sadness, revenge, wuvey duvey tendril holding, omgz), but there's not enough content for the movie-length premiere. Not even Groppler Zorn's hair could compensate.

    I don't recall who demanded the premiere be movie-length instead of a single episode installment, but they were right. Trek was big enough... and Q added what was needed.

    That much more relish, for sure. Q just didn't make for bookends, he was part of the point and soul of the series.

    I never used the stuff back then, unfortunately...
    JesterFace likes this.
  16. Oddish

    Oddish Admiral Admiral

    Sep 7, 2020
    Kanto, Poké-World
    I was 16, and my first memory of TNG is seeing Patrick Stewart and thinking in disbelief: "THAT'S the new captain?!"

    Obviously, he did grow on me over time.
  17. JesterFace

    JesterFace Fleet Captain Commodore

    Jun 1, 2014
    Suomi Finland
    Was it just luck the one episode you watched and got hooked was a great one?
    Did your friend know in advance what episode he would recommend for you to watch?
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  18. flandry84

    flandry84 Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    Jun 24, 2007
    Sunshine cottage,Lollipop lane,Latveria
    This side of the Atlantic the shows came out on video tape ever before they were broadcast on (terrestrial) tv.
    So I remember volunteering to babysit my aunt’s kids (she had a VCR).Opening an account at the local video store and renting out the tapes one after the other for a couple of weeks in a row.:eek:

    Yep,I’m aware of just how baffling this post will be to younger people on here.:shrug:
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  19. JesterFace

    JesterFace Fleet Captain Commodore

    Jun 1, 2014
    Suomi Finland
    It appears I'm not that young, I know what people used before CDs and DVDs because I used them too.
    But hey, if one goes straight for the best picture and sound quality, where's the amazement moment when you notice, "heeyyyy, the picture, the sound, amazing". The improvement, woah.
  20. Vger23

    Vger23 Vice Admiral Admiral

    Apr 19, 2014
    Enterprise bowling alley
    I remember vividly the lead-up to the premiere, with those awesome “In 4 days, the 24th century arrives…” commercials. I had a core group of friends (7th grade) who really loved the original show and the four TOS movies, so we were very excited for this.

    The local station premiered “Encounter at Farpoint” on a Thursday night from 7-9pm. I was there, in the family room, watching with my dad. I loved it. I remember so much about that experience:

    1. I remember reading the special “close- up” article in TV Guide and mis-pronouncing Picard’s name much the same way Q does in Tapestry (my Dad corrected me and my mom was giggling)
    2. I remember the extended preview that preceded the episode, giving a basic overview of the plot. It felt like a huge event.
    3. The TMP theme as the credits rolled (actor names only, no character names)…totally psyched!
    4. That first look at the Enterprise as she slowly descended from the top of the screen to a beautiful pan over the gorgeously detailed (and heavily windowed) saucer. I remember thinking that the model effects were motion picture quality.
    5. I was skeptical that Data would just be a Spock retread…but every scene he was in he made me smile.
    6. Picard comes off as such a hard ass in this episode. He’s sort of purposefully cold to Riker, which I found an interesting development (that never really went anywhere).
    7. I remember immediately having a “hero crush” on Riker.
    8. I thought Yar was really annoying…just to much. The character got better as time went on, and unfortunately she left as I was really starting to warm to her.
    9. The appearance of an Excelsior-class USS Hood made me geek out.
    10. Groppler Zorn was amusingly quotable “Enterprise!! Enterprise, help us PLEAAASEEE! What SHOULD WE DOOO?”
    11. Admiral McCoy was an amazing moment. Still is, no matter how many times I’ve seen it.
    12. The saucer separation was a big deal back then. As a young fan, I had heard that the original Enterprise was planned to have the capability…but to see it realized on screen here was pretty awesome.
    13. I distinctly remember being giddy that the sound effect for the photon torpedoes was a combo of the TOS and TMP effects (nerd alert!)
    14. The holodeck was a really cool concept. I recall thinking it was like the Rec Deck from The Practical Joker.
    15. Wesley Crusher didn’t bother me too much, but I really didn’t warm to Beverly Crusher at all.

    Overall, I remember really liking the pilot. It was a good intro into a new Star Trek world. The production design was cool, I liked most of the characters, and the visual effects were honestly pretty amazing for the time. It was a really exciting time to be a Star Trek fan!