Author Topic: I completed a full run through of the first 3 Treks  (Read 515 times)

Offline Glom

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I completed a full run through of the first 3 Treks
« on: February 16, 2022, 03:41:08 PM »
How do they hold up?

I am very familiar with these shows from watching them a lot as a kid but I also did the weird thing of kind of outgrowing them. So twenty/thirty years later, I approached them without any great reverence. I also was doing jigsaw puzzles a lot while watching them.

First I did TNG. I never thought of the first season as the godless abomination everyone else does and I still don't. But I definitely saw the problems a bit more. For one thing, oh yeah, Wesley is that bad. There was a string of around a half dozen episodes where the wunderkind was the key to saving the day. I also noticed the technobabble that Voyager gets it in the neck for really emerging in the last couple of seasons. But I also felt there are so many unsung gems. 'The Survivors', 'Hollow Pursuits', 'Remember Me', 'Half a Life', 'Cause and Effect', 'The Next Phase'. I even liked the goofy season 7 stuff (except the cringy 'Sub Rosa'). I would it holds up pretty well, though Geordi turns out to be a bit of a creeper in 'Galaxy's Child'.

Next on to TOS. 'The Cage' still holds up but so does a lot of stuff. There is a fair bit of values dissonance with gender politics of course (a woman is of course going to leave the service after she marries, duh). It was interesting to note how much Kirk's reputation as a poon hound is not actually deserved. He's had a few girlfriends, but they weren't the conquests of a dude bro. And his seduction of the alien woman of the week was usually just Kirk using sexuality as a weapon to overcome a captor, not something motivated by his own lust. Expecting some of the values dissonance and camp, I would say this holds up very well.

Then I just finished DS9 and this was the one that held up the least. To be honest, world building in Star Trek has never been great. Everything, including iconic aspects like the Federation, Vulcans, Klingons, is poorly thought through. But DS9 was much more dependent on the depth of world building than the other shows so it really suffers more, even though it does try to build things up more. In a show that is telling stories about great power politics, having the captain make decisions that the president of the Federation or the Federation council should be making really shows the flaws in the Starfleet centric approach of the writers. It gets to the point where it inadvertently depicts the Federation as a military dictatorship. Why is the ceremony to admit Bajor into the Federation attended by Starfleet admirals and not the president? Why is Richard Bashir, a civilian, being sentenced for his non-Starfleet crime by an admiral? Why does Starfleet medical possess the only historic medical records of Odo? Episode after episode had these world building problems. Still, Marc Alaimo, Jeffrey Combs and Andrew Robinson are all fantastic in every scene they're in. When the show was good, it was great. I still put 'Duet' as the greatest thing the franchise has ever produced with 'In the Pale Moonlight' not far behind and the arc at the beginning of season 6, outside of the Alexander bit, was fantastic. But the less said about the pagh wraiths the better.

Offline Bryanpoprobson

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Re: I completed a full run through of the first 3 Treks
« Reply #1 on: February 16, 2022, 05:24:18 PM »
I’ve just completed a binge of Voyager, which improves markedly after the Kes character was disposed of. Some notable episodes, Equinox, Year of Hell pts 1 & 2, but there are more than a few lemons in there.
Overall TNG stands up well, much as I like TOS, some of it does make me cringe now. TNG does contain my favourite episode, Darmok.
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Offline molesworth

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Re: I completed a full run through of the first 3 Treks
« Reply #2 on: February 17, 2022, 09:01:58 AM »
Luckily in the UK we have a couple of TV channels that pretty much repeat all the various Trek series non-stop (plus Stargate, Time Tunnel and similar shows).  I do dip in occasionally for a watch when there's nothing else on, or if I spot a particularly good episode.

To be honest, the best Trek series I've seen recently has been "Lower Decks" on Amazon.  Admittedly it's a comedy, but it captures more of the real "Trek aesthetic" than Voyager or DS9 IMO - and lets not even mention Discovery...
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Offline Allan F

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Re: I completed a full run through of the first 3 Treks
« Reply #3 on: February 20, 2022, 08:07:34 AM »
The TNG "Q" thing just don't make sense. An intergalactic omnipotent riddler? That one could have been omitted and improve the show.

You should watch "Enterprise" - its first 3 seasons were Ok.

I made it halfway through the first episode of "Discovery" twice and "Lower Decks" once, but . . . .

And the Jar Jar Abrams version of Trek is also not for me.

Haven't had time to watch much else lately, the world situation has given me opportunities at work, so I have spent what amounts to an extra man-year at work the last two years.
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Offline jfb

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Re: I completed a full run through of the first 3 Treks
« Reply #4 on: March 03, 2022, 10:50:13 AM »
TNG got better once Roddenberry was no longer directly involved.  Ironically he was the biggest problem with the first couple of seasons.

Sadly, I think TNG/DS9 were the high point of the franchise.  VOY was ... problematic, with leads who were either inanimate blocks of wood (Chakotay, Harry) or super-extra-freaking-annoying (Neelix, B'Elanna, EMH).  Ditching Jennifer Lien for Jeri Ryan in a catsuit was sexist, calculating, and horrible, but Seven of Nine turned out to be a better (or at least more interesting) character than Kes. 

ENT was extremely problematic with the whole Temporal Cold War nonsense and their need to canonize changes in makeup budgets (freaking augment virus).  Prequel series are mistakes in concept, full stop, which brings us to DISCO, and ... yeah.  I tried.  I really, really tried, but Michael's ... Michael-ness just got intolerable for me.  I love Saru, I enjoyed their take on the Klingons, but it's not enough to make up for all the other problems.  Trek's never been that big on professionalism in their characters, but even on that scale Michael pushes it too far.  I got midway through the third season and just gave up. 

I enjoyed Picard.  Yes, it had a few problems, but was still light-years better than the other new series.  Would rather it had been a one-and-done, but money's hard to say no to.  Enjoyed that it finally put some flesh on the Romulans. 

I've watched one episode of LD and noped out immediately.  Humor in Trek used to be driven by putting intelligent, highly competent people in ridiculous situations (tribbles, Iotian gangsters, goddesses of empathy, that sort of thing), not having socially awkward dipshits unable to do their jobs. 

Offline bknight

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Re: I completed a full run through of the first 3 Treks
« Reply #5 on: March 06, 2022, 01:49:16 PM »
I quit after TNG.  Just too much milking.
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