All Good Things…
I finished watching Star Trek: The Next Generation today. I know I’ve been talking a lot about it lately, and it’s because I’ve been making my way through it. I did it kind of weirdly, though. See, back when I started it last year, I started midway through Season 2 because I was pretty sure I had seen all of them up to that point. So I went on from Season 2 through Season 7, and it just got better and better. Well… okay, the 7th season isn’t the best, but I do love the last episode.
I got sad when I realized I was about to watch the last episode of Season 7, “All Good Things…,” because I was going to miss these characters. I had already decided I was going to go back and watch the first episode again (“Encounter at Farpoint“), just to see the full circle. I remembered taping that first episode when it originally aired – my parents allowed it as I had become a pretty big Star Trek fan by then. It was all so … strange, seeing these people do stuff like Kirk, Spock, and McCoy had, but in this weird-looking new ship. Going back to that first episode after watching the whole series was almost as strange. The characters grew so much in their seven seasons. Captain Picard was kind of a jerk starting off, Worf growled a lot, and Data wasn’t really anything. Riker showed flashes of Future-Riker, but not much.
While I watched that first episode, I took a look at descriptions for the rest of the season, and I figured out that there were a lot of them I hadn’t seen. I wanna be the the very best, like no one ever was and catch all the episodes, so I kept going. Let me tell you: it was kind of rough. I knew where the characters ended up, but it was hard seeing them like this! I mean, Geordi wasn’t even the Chief Engineer! (I had completely forgotten that he wasn’t always.) Things started to get better in the second season, and after that, it really got fantastic. I still prefer Original Recipe Trek, but Next Gen got great.
Anyway, tonight I got back around to where I had started, so I’m officially done. I didn’t realize it until I finished the episode and looked at the description for the next one, though, so I wasn’t prepared for it. It hit me again, that sadness. I spent a lot of time with these people, you know? And now they won’t be around any more. I know that’s a ridiculous thing to say about a television show, but it really did hit me like the loss of a friend.
And now, because I’m really into lists these days, here are my thoughts on the main characters (based on the whole series):
Captain Jean-Luc Picard – I think I’m on the Picard side of the the “Kirk or Picard?” debate. Kirk was great and everything, but he was always being either a jerk or really close to a jerk. Picard turned into this wonderful multifaceted character, wise but human. Patrick Stewart did a fantastic job portraying Picard, and in lesser hands I don’t think it would have gone so well.
Commander William T. Riker – He’s the closest thing we have to a Kirk on the Enterprise D. In command (when he’s supposed to be), but happy to be working with Picard as his superior. He’s funny but firm, quick to action, and a good balance for Picard.
Lt. Commander Geordi La Forge – Poor Geordi. He was always the most easily frustrated character, most likely because he was used to being able to figure things out. Engineering never helped his love life, though.
Lieutenant Worf – Second-funniest guy on the ship. You have to feel bad for him, though, too, because nobody ever took his advice. Seeing a Klingon on the Enterprise was a big shock to us Original Trek fans. They were always the ultimate bad guys.
Counselor Deanna Troi – Marina Sirtis is reportedly one of the nicest people ever, but I did not care for this character at all. “Captain, that guy on the screen? The one with the frown and who is yelling? I sense he is angry.” Bah.
Lt. Commander Data – My favorite character. He’s the most Spock-like character, if we’re going to compare to TOS, and Spock was my favorite on that one. He gets the best journey, even if some of the “Data gets possessed/rewritten/rebooted” episodes were not that great.
Doctor Beverly Crusher – The ship’s mom, and the first redhead I ever had a crush on.
Wesley Crusher – Back in the day, I disliked the Wesley character just as much as everyone else. It’s funny, though, watching it now I really liked him. Part of that is because I’ve read Wil Wheaton’s stories on what it was like for him back then, but part of it is just that I liked him this time around. I was honestly bummed when he left the ship.
Lieutenant Tasha Yar – Man, I loved Yar. I thought she was awesome, and I thought it was great how much butt she kicked/wanted to kick. Stupid Tar Monster. She got brought back in a few future episode, to great effect, and I was happy about that.
Guinan – Meh. Not a necessary character, really, but I didn’t dislike her. Probably my favorite of Whoopi Goldberg’s work?
Doctor Pulaski – Not a fan. I know some of you out there really liked her, but I liked Dr. Crusher too much to ever be okay with her getting replaced. The 2nd season is hard for me to watch for this reason, and I was super glad she was gone by Season 3.
After I finished the last episode and realized there weren’t any more, I removed it from my queue and added Deep Space 9. I’ve only seen maybe three episodes of this, so while I sorta know what goes on with it, I really don’t know much. I started watching the first episode a little, just to see, and it was a strange mix a familiarity and newness. Captain Picard showed up, and there was Miles O’Brien, but that’s about the end of the familiar.
I got excited, though, looking forward to meeting these new people and seeing how things went for them. And, hey, Worf shows up later, so that’ll be cool.