I have to admit that I was excited to be watching Star Trek: The Next Generation. I’d been a long-time fan of Patrick Stewart (who isn’t, right?) and knew most of the major characters through cultural osmosis, but had no idea how they would interact with the universe they were in. I also knew that this was likely the last time I could plead ignorance when someone made a Star Trek reference I’d rather ignore.
Let me just say that I watched the pilot on Netflix, which has the SD versions and not Amazon Prime which has the HD version. I don’t know that it would’ve made much of a difference but going forward I’ll be using Amazon to watch.
The first thing that struck me was how the show looked. I’m not sure what I was expecting but it seemed like it was put together on a tiny budget. Not that it’s necessarily a bad thing. I’ve been a Red Dwarf fan since the beginning and that show looked like it was made for less than your average 30-second television commercial. I was just shocked by how dodgy the whole thing appeared. I understand that this was before the golden age of television that The Sopranos ushered in, but boy did the show look bad.
The situation wasn’t helped when Q showed up. I assumed that he was being presented as some sort of super villain – he did appear to be all powerful after all. But, take a look at the guy:
Q did go on to freeze the guy in the middle of the picture above and that was a decent move for a villain, even a villain in such a dainty hat. Unfortunately it just wasn’t the most awe-inspiring introduction that I’ve seen. We also got to see him dressed as a GI and then some type of armor that made him look like he was the personification of an oven mitt.
From reading Max Temkin’s guide I knew that the pilot wasn’t considered to be particularly great so I knew that it was just a matter of powering through and getting to the great episodes.
I managed to get through the 90 minute or so double episode but it was a little bit of a struggle. The part that saw the Enterprise become two distinct ships was a neat idea it served its purpose of introducing a large cast of characters but it felt like it dragged quite a bit. It picked up a little once Riker was introduced and I enjoyed the overall story arc of the episode – the human race being put on trial by an omnipotent power, albeit one with a very strange fashion sense. But I have to admit that had I not made a commitment to take this ride, along with the promise of wonderful episodes to come I may very well have turned the show off after 20 minutes.
The other big thing that I came away from the episode with was how strange Commander Troi’s uniform was.
I’ve no idea why she was in a skirt, and why it was so short (okay, I’ve got some idea) but it was more than a little distracting. It looked like it could’ve been a t-shirt she was given by a male crew member after an unexpected sleepover. It can’t have been fun to wear either. Every scene that had her sitting seemed like a wardrobe malfunction waiting to happen.
I wonder if she’s going to find some pants in future episodes.
Next up is a big jump to Season 1, Episode 23 – Skin of Evil
Screencaps from TrekCore.com