BigJKO

A Dedicated Thread For Talking About Star Trek Episodes

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BigJKO   

I'm watching The Next Generation, for the first time. First off, I'm thinking of just skipping ahead to the third season, since I hear that's where it gets going. Maybe I'll give the second season a chance. The first season, after the first two episodes, kinda bums me out. It's maybe a little fun, but such a mess.. Maybe I like Q. Mostly I think he's pretty ridiculous.  

 

Also, Space Jellyfish.

 

farpoint_hd_890.jpg

 

Ben. You're watching The Original Series, or at least skimming it at a leisurely pace. Why don't you tell us about it?!

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The second season does have some bumps, and the honor of featuring one of the most poorly regarded episodes (a clip show, seasons finale). They also ran into a writers strike. there are some good ones, Q Who in particular. They also replaced the doctor for this season alone. 

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Roderick   

Currently watching TOS, and will post some tidbits as I encounter them. Like I said before, so far there have been a couple of stand-out episodes in the first season:  'A taste of armageddon', 'Errand of mercy' and especially 'Balance of terror'.

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Over the past three years, I rewatched both Next Generation and Deep Space 9. Both take a while to really get going, although for different reasons (for TNG Roddenberry was still around and the writing team hadn't really coalesced, for DS9 it took a while to figure out how to be more than just "TNG that stays in one place"). Both also really pick up towards the middle of their runs, and I really don't regret watching the mediocre early seasons, since they give you a good sense of how far the characters have come both in terms of narrative events and in terms of writing quality.

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BigJKO   

I really don't regret watching the mediocre early seasons, since they give you a good sense of how far the characters have come both in terms of narrative events and in terms of writing quality.

 

I'm going to give Season 1 a chance, then. See how it goes. I still kind of like it, especially Picard's eccentric traits like his awkwardness with children and Patrick Stewart acts the hell out of what he's given.

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In terms of what I want out of genre fiction, I think a lot about TOS's "The Naked Time". Sulu secretly wanting to be a swashbuckling buccaneer is the best. That's the strength of TOS over the (admittedly, limited) episodes I've seen of later series: it's mostly character driven, not idea driven.

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Ben X   

I've watched a few TOS eps now. Dr McCoy is definitely my favourite character, he actually gets some really good lines. It's generally pretty lightweight and silly. There also seems to be a pattern of aliens creating illusions (the heart's desire, whatever they happen to be thinking about, a medieval castle) and especially dressing the female crew members up in pretty fairytale dresses.

 

I'm trying to remember some episode-specific stuff to talk about, but honestly nothing's really stuck in my mind. I'm not bowled over right now...

 

I just watched Squire Of Gothos, it was pretty ropey. Apparently this is one of the classic episodes ¬¬

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JonCole   

I've been slowly burning through Star Trek with my girlfriend, we watched all of TNG and switched off seasons when DS9 was running concurrently. We decided it'd be cool to watch Voyager episodes along with DS9 episodes in order of airing, so I'm about halfway through S3 of DS9 and two episodes into Voyager IIRC. I'm really enjoying watching DS9 for the first time and rewatching Voyager (watched Voyager in syndication, never watched DS9), I think they did a particularly good job in DS9 of not having any characters whose specific episodes I don't enjoy. A small feat, really, considering my generally positive feelings about TNG while completely detesting most Troi and many Data episodes.

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A small feat, really, considering my generally positive feelings about TNG while completely detesting most Troi and many Data episodes.

 

I feel like the worst episodes in every Star Trek series are "Uh oh, there's something fucked up with Data's/Troi's/Odo's/Dax's/Kes'/Seven of Nine's body!" Trek just can't do good body horror, probably because its sense of reality and the attendant stakes are so fluid.

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Roderick   

McCoy is the absolute best thing in TOS. The Squire of Gothos was a novelty episode, but really nothing great. I'm telling you, Balance of Terror, where the Romulans are first introduced (when they were still cool!), that's the good stuff.

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JonCole   

I feel like the worst episodes in every Star Trek series are "Uh oh, there's something fucked up with Data's/Troi's/Odo's/Dax's/Kes'/Seven of Nine's body!" Trek just can't do good body horror, probably because its sense of reality and the attendant stakes are so fluid.

 

Actually, now that you say that I really do find that many of the episodes I don't like are of that nature. That said, I meant more that the personalities of Troi and Data make these episodes where everything is super inward-facing and really highlights their idiosyncrasies. It takes a really long time for a Troi episode to get beyond the simple background of "what is it like to be a woman in space" or "what is it like to read minds, wouldn't it be crazyyyyyy". It's probably partly a result of DS9 coming after TNG, so they took some chances earlier on and let people's quirks unfold through relationships and interesting scenarios rather than introspective "what is it like to have a parasite in your body that controls your mind" or "what if you're a fairly non-empathetic doctor" questions being foundations for episodes.

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Sno   

Currently watching TOS, and will post some tidbits as I encounter them. Like I said before, so far there have been a couple of stand-out episodes in the first season:  'A taste of armageddon', 'Errand of mercy' and especially 'Balance of terror'.

You might find this to be an interesting companion for that.

 

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That said, I meant more that the personalities of Troi and Data make these episodes where everything is super inward-facing and really highlights their idiosyncrasies. It takes a really long time for a Troi episode to get beyond the simple background of "what is it like to be a woman in space" or "what is it like to read minds, wouldn't it be crazyyyyyy".

 

Yeah, I think that the slower pacing of TNG and its extreme introspection with most of its characters both mean that those episodes take longer to go anywhere and don't go as far when they do. I actually enjoyed almost all Worf-centric episodes more than Data- or Troi-centric ones, despite Worf being incredibly underwritten in TNG, because his personality kept the "Wow, it's fucked up being an alien/robot/woman in spaaace" stage of any episode's plot from lasting more than a few minutes.

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I'm going to give Season 1 a chance, then. See how it goes. I still kind of like it, especially Picard's eccentric traits like his awkwardness with children and Patrick Stewart acts the hell out of what he's given.

 

Seasons 1 and 2 are before the show really found it's stride, so they're kind of weird.  It's probably good to watch them to get a sense of how the show started like Gormongous said, but I don't think it's necessarily a bad idea to skip them either once you get the feel.  The one episode I would really recommend not skipping from Season 2 is The Measure of a Man.  It's generally considered one of the better episodes of the series even though it's from the early seasons.  I would also say watch Elementary, Dear Data because this episode gets a sequel of sorts later on.

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BigJKO   

Sweet! Thanks, SecretAsianMan.

 

Watched 'Code of Honor' last night. It's not that the plot is too weird.. It is, but I can accept that. Everyone also acts weird. Especially Lieutenant Yar. Christ, it's like she's eager to jump off the stage and run away from it all, the way she shakes and almost tipped over in one scene. And some exchanges just.. either make no sense or are very disturbing. Like when Yar is asked at the end of the episode whether she would like to be Lutan's wife, and she goes "No.. ", gives him the elevator look and then says "that would be.. complicated."

 

It's also hilarious how nonchalant everyone is when something terrible happens. It's probably mostly the editing, because it always happens during beam-up scenes where it's presumably shot in two takes. But when Zorn in the first episode vanishes, and Lutan grabs Yar in this one, Riker and Picard look so calm, then suddenly turn around and yell "Red Alert!". It's clumsy and hilarious.

 

It got a nice, little laugh from me when Picard was ranting and interrupted himself with "Forgive me, this is becoming a speech." I love Picard.

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Sweet! Thanks, SecretAsianMan.

 

No problem.  I should also mention the Season 1 episode Skin of Evil, which is important for plot reasons but otherwise I think it's one of the dumbest episodes in the whole series.

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Ben X   

McCoy is the absolute best thing in TOS. The Squire of Gothos was a novelty episode, but really nothing great. I'm telling you, Balance of Terror, where the Romulans are first introduced (when they were still cool!), that's the good stuff.

 

I did watch Balance Of Terror, but I kept falling asleep (not due to the episode, just because I was tired). The bits I did see seemed pretty cool, though - a bit more serious and tense.

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Ben X   

Just watched Arena, the first half was really good - nice effects, set, battlefield atmos, then the plot-turn when the other aliens show up really gives the feel of "SPACE: anything can happen!" It slows down a bit once Kirk and the Gorn are on the planet surface (in more ways than one - why do they fight in slow-motion?), though. It's yet another 'powerful aliens play games with the crew' ep, but it was enjoyable. Not as good as new BSG, but better than some new Doctor Who, so it holds up.

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Ben X   

Space Seed (the Khan episode) - this is okay. An interesting premise, but it never really sizzles. [spoilerS FROM HERE] Plus the ending is bizarre - after trying to kill a load of people, infamous dictator Khan is sent off scot-free to some (uninhabited?) planet with the explicit challenge to conquer it. Did I miss something?

 

The usual soft-lit popsy is even more embarrassing in this ep as Khan's key to taking over the Enterprise is a female crew member who thinks he's hot and therefore betrays her captain and crew after about five minutes with him.

 

Best bit by far is McCoy's hardcore banter whilst being choked and having a scalpel to the throat.

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