Gimme That Star Trek Ep.25: TNG Full Reviews Part 1

Siskoid goes way overboard again and reviews half of Star Trek: The Next Generation, with guests pitching in with additional material. From Encounter at Farpoint to Devil's Due, buckle in and engage!

Listen to Episode 25 below!

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"Star Trek Theme" by Alexander Courage, with the Irredeemable Shagg on vocals. End theme: "Deep Space Nine Theme" by Dennis McCarthy.

Contributions by: Ryan Daly, Mark Baker-Wright, Shagg Matthews, Gene Hendricks, Andy Kapellusch, Carlos Mucha, Derek William Crabbe, Rob Kelly, Adam Ackerman, Fred Melanson, Ryan Blake, Xum Yukinori, Nathaniel Wayne, Kurt Onstad, Allen W. Wright. Mike Peacock, and David Ace Guttierez.

Bonus clips from: "Gene Roddenberry Star Trek: The Next Generation Pre Air Interview"; "Star Trek: The Next Generation", starring Patrick Stewart, DeForest Kelley, Denise Crosby, Brent Spiner, Marina Sirtis, Stanley Kamel, Douglas Warhit, Majel Barrett, Gary Armagnac, Karen Montgomery, Carolyn McCormick, Clayton Rohner, Gates MacFadden, Wil Weaton, Robert Schenkkan, Michael Dorn, Jonathan Frakes, Diana Muldaur, William Campbell, William Morgan Sheppard, Whoopi Goldberg, Noble Willingham, Christopher Collins, Barrie Ingham, Rosalyn Landor, Susan Gibney, John de Lancie, Craig Richard Nelson, Jennifer Hetrick, Dwight Schultz, LeVar Burton, Jeremy Kemp, Chad Allen, Suzie Plakson, and Colm Meany; Siri; and Doctor Who's "The Five Doctors", starring Paul Jerricho.

And thanks for leaving a comment!

35 responses to “Gimme That Star Trek Ep.25: TNG Full Reviews Part 1

      1. I think Jerry Goldsmith didn’t like how the way they spliced Alexander Courage’s final frontier theme onto his. I know he did a pass at it for one of the later movies (Star Trek V?) for a more smooth transition.

        Enjoying the podcast so far, but a bizarre free pass for “Code of Hono(u)r”. For me that’s a “what the hell were they thinking” alien culture of the George Lucas Phantom Menace school.

        1. Allen, if all I gave you is the same opinions everyone has about each episode, it wouldn’t be that much fun, right? Carlos proved someone can even love The Outrageous Okona! (And I’ve seen a pretty darn good defense of Shades of Gray as well.)

      1. The story, as I understand it, was that Gene Roddenberry wanted this theme used, on the grounds that the connection to TMP would help cement TNG as authentic “Star Trek.”

        With that logic, I’m just glad they DIDN’T use the theme to TOS!

    1. Last indefinitely, combined with the changes to how the main drives work, being able to recharge the dilithium now. So, given the prevalence of wormholes and anomalies or catastrop

      1. Sorry, phone finger keeps slipping. Anyhow, failures of the warp drive, it could become a generation ship or colony ship at any time. Having a core of a functional society onboard is a good thing for those scenarios.

        1. Then why isn’t every ship a generational ship? I might buy it if it were strictly a long-range exploration vessel. But it’s the flagship, getting military and diplomatic duty as well.

          1. The idea that the Enterprise is the flagship has never made any kind of sense. (Where are it’s escorts? A couple of destroyers at bare minimum would have been tactically useful dozens of times? And how does it make any sense to keep the flagship at the periphery, doubling the response time to any crisis? For that matter, even non-crisis flagship duties should keep it too busy to do any exploring at all. And letting would the Admiralty really let Riker and Picard stop them from putting their next choice for XO on the flagship? Up or out, Starfleet. (Should be a lot more career advancement and officer turnover on any ship, but doubly on the flagship.))

          2. It obeys the rules of television (just like the bridge crew makes up all the away teams). It must be every kind of ship so they can tell any kind of story. Buy the premise, buy the bit.

  1. Thanks, Siskoid, for undertaking this mammoth task of reviewing the first half of TNG (which according to the late great Toronto CityTV — “your Federation station” — announcer Mark Dailey is pronounced Ting! – almost like a typewriter sound) . Great show!

    I’m surprised to learn that the common wisdom is that TNG (Ting!) only became good in the fourth season. Everyone I knew thought it reached a high point when episodes like Yesterday’s Enterprise, The Offspring, Sins of the Father aired back to back. And there were even more great late season three episodes to follow.

  2. Wow, great overview of the first half of the series. I’ll be honest, when I see a rerun with the old “neckless” uniforms, I usually flip the channel off of TNG. I was not really a fan of the first two seasons (particularly the first). Thankfully I slowly started to warm up to it, so I was there when the season 3 cliffhanger blew my mind. 🙂

    You’ve shown there is a lot to like despite the bumpy start, and I appreciate pointing out all the connective tissue for the greater things to come later! Fantastic job Siskoid (and crew)!


  3. Working my way through this and I am loving it. I am listening to it on my way to and from work so it really helps pass the time. Once this is done I need to listen to the TOS review.

    Listening to your review did point out some things that I didn’t notice especially the fact the the ENTERPRISE phasers were not used until episode ARSENAL OF FREEDOM.

    Can’t wait to hear the rest and look forward to part 2.

    Great work.


  4. With how the 20th century was viewed in TNG, I think it makes since for there to be a little bit of “disdain” Depending it could be looked at as the most violent century in the Star Trek timeline on earth. The 20th century has WWI (40 million casualties 4+years), WWII(60 million casualties 6years), and the Eugenics war (30+million casualties taking place in the ’90’s maybe 4years), not to mention the events of the Cold War in the Star Trek universe. And of course the events of the 20th century led up to the decades of WWIII (600 million casualties 27years). So really I think it’s kinda understandable how we are looked at from the point of view of the TNG era people.

  5. This was what the doctor (Beverly Crusher, for me) ordered. I have a young friend hooked on TNG and rewatching it now, but I didn’t see the point. While I loved watching all seasons and episodes when they first came out, this extensive review has made me want to rewatch the series’s all over again from a fresh perspective on hindsight.

    By the way, I also subscribe to that exact same Guinan Nexus theory.

  6. Most shocking revelation: Gates McFadden… wore a wig throughout the series?!? That gorgeous, luscious red hair was fake??? Memories of teenage years and young adulthood… shattered. So depressed now.

  7. Holy cow, what an episode, almost as long as the summer sampler! Thank you for taking us on the TNG marathon. I haven’t watched the show since the original airings so this took me back. I was always more into TOS and DS9 but this reminded me of how much I liked these characters. You inspired me to go back and watch- I am 3 episodes into a season 3 binge ( first season i watched and my favorite!) I am reconsidering my trek heirarchy – I appreciate this crew more than ever. Thanks to you and the rest of the network for all you do

  8. Really, really late comment here! This episode was the perfect length for my drive to Baltimore last weekend. And what an episode! TNG is my favorite Trek series, and this was a perfectly fair review of those seasons. Thanks, Siskoid!

  9. Listening through your reviews, looking over my own notes, I was surprised how little I disagreed with. I was glad to hear your take on “Manhut”, because I’ve seen many people who like Lwaxana Troi. I don’t even like that the other characters tolerate her. She’s a sex pest. And someone being an ambassador, a figure of authority, should not be something that lets them get away with otherwise inexcusable behavior.

    I think the following episode was the first one I had a divergent take on.

    S03E01 “Evolution”. Where Wesley, in conjunction with the rest of the crew, potentially created another Borg. By giving the rapidly developing machines their own planet, and then leaving them to it.

    They’ve portrayed the Prime Directive as something that says they shouldn’t help a civilization who, through no fault of their own, is about to go extinct. So for them to help out a new species that almost killed the entire crew, seems to go in a wildly different direction. If caution is the guiding principle of the Prime Directive.

    S03E16 “The Offspring”. It’s a good episode, but Admiral Haftel comes across as an anti-android bigot for nearly all of it. I didn’t trust that it would be safe to leave Data alone with him.

    S04E05 “Remember Me”. I tend to not like the episodes that overly focus on one character, especially if they’re in their own little fantasy world. So maybe I wouldn’t have liked this episode anyway.

    But I think the rewatch value is damaged by the premise. Which is that Wesley was allowed to perform a warp field experiment on a starship, without first evacuating it of all non-essential personnel. None of it should’ve happened.

    S04E07 “Reunion”. I have mixed feelings about this one. K’Ehleyr’s role and Picard’s own Klingon subplot were good.

    But there’s a complete failure with regards to ship security. There are suspected murderers on-board, and they’re unable to keep track of them.

    They also fail to attempt to revive the non-incurably poisoned, non-exploded Klingons, who could’ve been transported directly to sickbay. Too much trauma to the internal organs, not enough time for stasis? No, they wrote that in the script, but they didn’t make me believe it.

    Did the Klingons insist that Duras should receive no care?

    Finally, there are no real consequences for Worf. There’s a “reprimand”, big whoop. You could demote him, and then there would at least be an on-screen reminder of what happened.

    Or Worf could’ve filled out the proper Starfleet forms, before he ragefully avenged a murder according his people’s custom.

    S04E08 “Future Imperfect”. I don’t see much rewatch value in this solo-character episode, either. It’s basically “all just a dream”.

    S04E09 “Final Mission”. If I lived in the Star Trek multiverse, I’d be a lot more wary of travel by shuttle than transporter.

    S04E12 “The Wounded”. Yes, where were that other crew? If they existed, they were complicit.

    It made no sense to me that Picard would let Maxwell go back to his ship, just to protect his honor. As if that’s something you should worry about when dealing with warfare, and the potential killing of innocents.

    The way the episode turns out has me question what the writers wanted the message to be. Go renegade and shoot people, because there’s a chance you might hit someone who deserves it? Or that loyalty means a crew should obey illegal orders?

    Maybe it should’ve been a two-parter, so that they didn’t have to rush to the conclusion. It’s fine worldbuilding for the Cardassians, but I find the morality from “our” perspective iffy.

    S04E13 “Devil’s Due”. Awfully fortuitous, indeed. What if she wasn’t bluffing, would that make it right for her to enslave an entire planet?

    If a people has made a deal where they sell their children, and/or children’s children, and so on, into slavery, is Starfleet simply going to pack up and leave?

    Even if the people who have been enslaved ask for help? You could say yes, because that’s basically what happened in the episode “Symbiosis”. But as a season one episode, there’s no reason for that to stick, if Starfleet and the Federation are supposed to be the good guys.

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