Gimme That Star Trek Ep.35: TNG Full Review Part 2

Siskoid goes way overboard again and reviews half of Star Trek: The Next Generation, with guests pitching in with additional material. From Clues to Nemesis, buckle in and engage!

Listen to Episode 35 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: Mike Gillis, Stan Peal, Paul Wildenberger, Ken Holtzhouser, Chris Franklin, Jonathan and Maggie Shaeffer-Hames, David Toney, Xum Yukinori, Andrew Leyland, and Kurt Onstad.

Bonus clips from: "Star Trek: The Next Generation", starring John de Lancie, Patrick Stewart, Whoopi Goldberg, Bebe Neuwirth , LeVar Burton, Brent Spiner, Dwight Schultz, Michael Dorn, Marina Sirtis, Gates MacFadden, Michele Scarabelli, Timothy Carhart, Paul Winfield, Michelle Forbes, Ellen Geer, Ashley Judd, Leonard Nimoy, Matt Frewer, Joshua Harris, Jonathan Frakes, Robert Duncan McNeill, Brian Bonsall, Famke Janssen, Jonathan Del Arco, Jerry Hardin, Michael Aron, Colm Meaney, James Doohan, David Birkin, Ronny Cox, Jennifer Gatti, David Spielberg, Salome Jens, Barbara Williams, Amick Byram, Fionnula Flanagan, Dan Gauthier, Bruce Beatty, Wil Wheaton, and James Sloyan; "Star Trek: Generations" by David Carson, starring Brent Spiner, music by Dennis McCarthy; "Star Trek: First Contact" by Jonathan Frakes, starring Patrick Stewart, Marina Sirtis and Jonathan Frakes; "STar Trek: Insurrection" by Jonathan Frakes, starring Patrick Stewart; and "Star Trek: Nemesis" by Stuart Baird, starring Patrick Stewart.

And thanks for leaving a comment!

12 responses to “Gimme That Star Trek Ep.35: TNG Full Review Part 2

  1. What a Herculean achievement!

    I mean me, for listening to this ENTIRE EPISODE in one day!

    I remember watching ST:TNG’s final season as it aired. I never forgave the show for what it did to Ensign Ro, one of my favorite characters. Luckily, the final episode is so very good.

    Highly entertaining, Siskoid.

  2. Congratulations on another tour de force review episode. I haven’t watched TNG in ages, so this was a great stroll (or, perhaps, forced march) down memory lane. I was actually surprised by how many of these episodes I was able to remember, as you covered them. In particular, I found that “Darmok” stood as the most memorable episode, from these seasons, in my mind.

  3. A colossal undertaking Siskoid. It took me several work days of stopping and starting to make it through all 4 hours, but I enjoyed every minute, and kept wanting to get back to it when I was “interrupted” by actual work.
    You have made me want to go back and rewatch all the “high” rated episodes, and I really am itching to rewatch First Contact again. What a great movie!


  4. what a task! I don’t recall a mention of the baddie from Generations. Lots of problems with that one, I can see that. Kirk deserved a better send off.

    I don’t know if you’ve ever heard this, but Jeri Ryan’s on record as sayinG Insurrection was written with a part for her (she turned it down) and eliminated one of the TNG characters to make room for her. I would bet it was Geordi or Bev.

  5. I would listen to a snippet here and there, while trying to keep up with the other podcasts I listen to. But then I had my big car trip day, and knew what I’d play the whole time. Which helped my trip immensely, so thank you for the entertainment.

    Stellar job, Siskoid! I don’t know when I’d have time, but you’ve given me that hankering to rewatch my favorite TNG’s from those seasons, and too many to mention. Thank you for rekindling my feelings for the show.

  6. Oh, man, your review of “Thine Own Self” just got my goat.
    You were good to point out Riker’s favoritism in “Lower Decks”, but you missed it in this one. Deanna should never have gotten the pass there. She had missed the point the whole time she was taking the test, the very type of choice she had to make in “Disaster” but was also unwilling to.
    It is obvious that in a true command life and death situation, she could not decide that a crewman should sacrifice themselves . She had no trouble doing it in the simulation retest, as that was the problem she had to solve.
    Riker gave her a hint, the kind of hint that showed her how to get through the simulation. He should not have let her take the test again or allowed the results of that re-test.
    I will say that I enjoyed this episode and will probably listen to it several times as the amount of info here is incredible. I use to be able to give a synopsis of each episode if you gave me the episode title. I think I am going to get there again, thanks to you. Crap!

    1. You’re not wrong about that.

      And I know what you mean about filling your head with trivia. I used to be able (and still am to a point) to do the same, or flip to a channel, look at 5 seconds of Trek, anywhere in the episode, and tell you its title. Or name even inconsequential planets, and aliens, and what have you. It was kind of a party trick. I eventually had to trade the storage space in my brain for Doctor Who related matters, but I can still do some of it.

  7. “Note that we never see away teams being filmed elsewhere. That never happens on Star Trek. Except when needed.”

    They showed us that they’ve mastered 20th century camera technology. But they use it only sparingly to move the plot forward. They don’t have access to, or talk about footage, when it could easily resolve the plot. This, in combination with the computer that can instantly track and backtrack people’s movements on the ship, means there are a lot of mysteries that shouldn’t be mysteries.

    Let’s say that I could’ve commented on the security aspect for many of the remaining episodes, and leave it at that.

    S04E21 “The Drumhead”. I recognize that this is a good episode.

    But I enjoyed “The Measure of a Man” a lot more. Because that was about an android, and the nature of life and what it means to be a sentient individual. It wasn’t a plain old witch hunt.

    S04E24 “The Mind’s Eye”. Disagreed on the visor. I don’t think it gets in the way of understanding La Forge. It’s part of his character. Of course, if he didn’t have it, maybe they could’ve filled that blank space in his character sheet with something that would be more appealing, to some.

    S04E25 “In Theory”. I like Data. I don’t like that they keep trying to make him conform, as if his way of doing things can’t be the right way, if it’s not what the typical human would do.

    Data, Barclay, Seven of Nine, they could all do with a little more respect for who they are as individuals. They might even able to do their job better that way, not having to fit in a certain mold.

    S04E26 S05E01 “Redemption”. One thing I was wondering about for this story, is how did the Federation’s fight with the Borg impact it?

    Like how much of their fleet did Starfleet lose, or how quickly and easily can they rebuild, vs. the Klingons and Romulans, if they still dominate the stage?

    S05E06 “The Game”. Here was a perfect opportunity for the visor to play a part, but it didn’t.

    S05E09 “A Matter of Time”. My take on this, is that it’s up to time travelers to preserve the timeline. The people they meet don’t have to care or cooperate. So it would be best to not interact with them at all.

    And Picard should already know to not trust time travelers.

    S05E10 “New Ground”. La Forge lives in a utopia, so I don’t think he needs to worry about his job. I’m sure he has plenty of other opportunities.

    But yes, ridiculous through and through. They discover an interplanetary WMD. How is that brushed over? Although I’ll say one thing in defense of Alexander. There shouldn’t be a shortage of toys, when you have replicators.

    S05E16 “Ethics”. As I mentioned re:Bedside Manner, I think this is a low for Dr. Crusher. She wants to dictate the terms for Worf, and withholds information about a procedure that she has a personal objection to. Although almost all the characters fail to involve Worf.

    S05E17 “The Outcast”. I don’t think they would’ve had to change much, for this to be a good episode. Which makes it more disappointing that they failed to make a case for either sexuality or gender rights.

    S05E20 “Cost of Living”. I still agree with your take on ambassador Troi. Suddenly, she’s a strong character, and brings some sense to her daughter’s attempt at family counseling.

    S05E21 “The Perfect Mate”. It’s a mostly good episode, aside of a certain aspect.

    Regarding Data as chaperone, what about all the women of the crew?

    S05E25 “The Inner Light”. I like this solo-character episode, because it’s more than a fantasy, more than a trip to the holodeck.

    More than a reflection of who Picard was before this experience.

    S05E26 S06E01 “Time’s Arrow”. I feel like quoting Homer. The Simpson.

    «Oh, c’mon Marge. It’s not fair to compare us to an American household.»

    Yes, it’s of a different nature than the previous two season binders. But I liked it. It’s a neat little Doctor Who story in a Star Trek setting. Which is the best kind of Doctor Who.

    S06E03 “Man of the People”. There are many Star Trek stories where having the one specific diplomat is critical.

    Conversely, the Captains have First Officers, and there are other Captains who could take their place, given enough notice. With worlds at stake, how about not leaving it all to a single, corruptible, mortal individual?

    S06E09 “The Quality of Life”. On a similar note, why the rush? In our time, we spend years working out the kinks for prototype research devices. Time should only be less critical, in a post-scarcity society, and with billions of people who are looking for something to do with their free time.

    S06E15 “Tapestry”. Captain Picard is removed from history, and nothing has changed. By the looks of things, Riker is as attached to Captain Holloway as he was to Picard. Everything Picard has ever done, has instead been done by someone else.

    So what is the message? Stand out in a crowd, throw the first punch, and you can become a figure of authority who can boss people around. But ultimately, nothing will be accomplished by you taking a seat someone else could’ve had.

    And if you’re one of most people, most workers, if you dutifully perform your duties, is it your own fault that your employer never pays you any mind or gives you a promotion? Maybe Starfleet needs a union.

    S07E10 “Inheritance”. Where’s Picard’s speech about the duty to the truth?

    S07E13 “Homeward”. “Moving on to the stupidest application of the Prime Directive ever”. Aye.

    S07E17 “Masks”. I wasn’t that into Darmok, but I’d recommend it above this one.

    What is the purpose of transforming the first object you run into, into a jumbled mess of your mythology? If they were trying to preserve a record of themselves, and if they can so easily understand Starfleet (and Soong) technology, they could come on a little less strong.

    S07E19 “Genesis”. This is outright the worst episode of TNG. It’s pure nonsense. It’s not sci-fi, it’s not based on anything previously established, and it’s completely free of consequences.

    S07E20 “Journey’s End”. The episode that sets up the Maquis.

    It seems to intentionally allow the future terrorists justification, by having the Federation make a totalitarian move, handing entire planets to another civilization. Then tell the people who live there to beat it, without having asked for their input. Or apparently, without involving politicians and other public representatives. Why is Starfleet the face of these decisions?

    And why does every few hundred people need their own planet?

    S07E25 E26 “All Good Things”. It might be better to end here, skip the movies, and have a very satisfactory ending to TNG.

    “Star Trek Generations”. Yes, the exit from the Nexus. As if Picard’s greatest wish was to have another tussle with Soran. Rather than something like saving his family from dying in a fire. And saving everyone else.

    I was being a little hyperbolic in my take on “Tapestry”. But this movie really does make Picard look shallow and self-centered.

    “Star Trek: First Contact”. If only this was the beginning. They didn’t need to have both casts in the same movie. The handover already happened in episode 1. Although I liked the idea of the Nexus.

    “Star Trek: Insurrection”. The three other movies have maybe an episode’s worth of good content in them. I enjoyed Data’s subplot, and I like to see people stand up to corruption.

    But I could’ve done without the multiple sessions of face stretching, the nebula fight (even if that’s a Star Trek trope), and them leaving the ship when they could’ve held their ground in orbit.

    Exposed on the surface, they should all be dead.

    “Star Trek Nemesis”. Data deserved better.

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