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The terrifying, never-ending (old) Star Trek thread - new movies and Discovery talk in the other, dedicated threads


Wiper
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I've always meant to watch all of TNG and this thread has finally made me do it. I'm mostly interested in Patrick Stewart so was not going to bother with any of TOS, but is there a couple of eps I really must see before I start? Sorry if this has been answered, I've read this really quickly!

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I can't believe some of the guff in here about DS9. Following Pob's suggestion I checked out 'Whispers' today, and it's instantly become one of my favourite episodes of the entire series. The first few season have their fare share of gems, and a lot of the other episodes are interesting if only to see how different character relationships evolve.

Strangely enough I did the same (Sky Anytime have the first 3 seasons of DS9 on demand at the moment). Despite surely having seen it before I had no idea of the ending and it genuinely surprised me.

An excellent episode so thanks Pob for the recommendation. In fact, looking at the Season 2 episode list there are a lot of really good ones there so I'd really recommend not skipping DS9's early seasons. Whilst you can skip TNG Season 1 and 2 without too many problems, DS9 early seasons really feed into the overly story arc. DS9 season 1 may be the most uneven of the seasons but I also watched Duet yesterday and it is also one of DS9's best episodes so would be a shame to miss it out.

As others have said, you could start at Season 4 but you'd be missing a lot of the good stuff (Season 3 is consistently nothing but good) and Season 4 is nothing like the reset button it is being made out to be. It still massively relies on the back story built up to that point but just adds a few elements to it.

With TNG, I'd be tempted to start at Season 3. Even as an avid fan I rarely revisit Seasons 1 and 2 and they are always pretty bad when I do. Voyager is a strange one. It's not awful by any means but it is also far from excellent and straddles average for most of its run. It does have some excellent episodes, and I'm not sure it ever reaches the poorness of TNG Season 1 and 2, but it is largely uninspired for a lot of its episodes and the characters are by far the blandest of any Trek series (although Enterprise gives it a run for its money). It's very popcorn TV and in fairness I regularly record the off episode being played on Sky Atlantic and can enjoy re-watching it (Scorpion's on today I noticed which is a decent episode). But it's never as good as either TNG or DS9, the lack of a proper story arc really hurts it and it is just inconsistent throughout its run. I also think the series perhaps gets too much flack because compared to what it could have been it is a complete let down. The premise of Voyager is fantastic but sadly it just never lives up to what could have been which is perhaps Voyager's biggest failing.

ENT Seasons 1 and 2 are pretty bland to be fair but are more or less watchable for the most part. Season 3 is terrific though and I would certainly recommend watching that and then Season 4. I've always thought that had we seen more seasons of ENT then it may have had a better legacy than it ended up with (int he same way that I don''t think we would hold TNG to the same regard it if had been canceled at the end of Season 4).

TLDR: Watch all of DS9, Seasons 3-7 of TNG (probably start with TNG as it will lay a lot of the back story that will be helpful for DS9) and then decide if you want to tackle one or both of VOY/ENT. I'm not overly knowledgeable on TOS but it really stands apart from the modern series and you won't gain/lose much by watching it or not watching it.

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Yeah, but pretty much everyone here is saying that's after that is where it starts to get better.

To be fair, if he has watched Season 1-3 of DS9 and not enjoyed them then he's probably not going to enjoy the remaining seasons. Whilst undoubtedly DS9 hit its high between S4-6 if you haven't enjoyed Season 1-3 then I doubt 4-6 will change your mind, however awesome they are. Horses for courses really, I think the general consensus from most people who have seen all the series is that DS9 stands head and shoulders above the others.

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Star Trek is about exploring and sexytime for Kirk

Next Gen, whilst it has a lot of very good episodes, isn't really about exploration and is more about being an intergalactic minibus which ferries dignitaries and cargo to various outposts.

DS9 is decent and if you liked the reboot of Battlestar Galactica, it's interesting insofar as you get to see where a lot of the storylines came from.

Voyager - Back to exploration and there are a lot of decent episodes but the characters are almost universally irritating. And it created one of the greatest crimes in science fiction in the Fairhaven episodes.

Enterprise - Water Polo, a ship's dog and men in boiler suits being beaten up by aliens every week. The fourth series has a few comparative high points though, but in the same way as a thimble full of water is a merciful relief after drinking 3 pints of sick.

For a lot of people, Next Gen is Star Trek but there is a lot of it. I'd start with the first series of the original.

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I don't think anyone would argue about Shades of Grey. You need to see Wesley to understand the hatred for him, thats part of the experience. You need to see the transition from beardless to bearded Riker for much the same reason.

This is my point exactly; I totally agree with Dandy Sephy on this. You can't just watch the "best bits". Well, naturally, you can - but I really don't think you should do that. It depends on what you want, though. If you just want to watch some good TV, then fine, but if you want to "get" Trek, I really think you need to take the bad with the good.

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The Next Generation was always my area of expertise -- my favourite show as a young teenager. I'm sort of looking forward to the blu-rays, but I'm also hesitant. For me, Star Trek works when it's on Sky at a regular time each weekday. That's how I watched it when I was 13 years old, and that's still how I'd prefer to watch it today. I can't quite imagine sitting down and watching TNG boxsets. They are all episodes I've seen a hundred times before, and there isn't much (or any) plot continuation between them, so I don't think I can devote my time to properly watching a boxset. Also, there's a big leap in style and quality between the first 2 seasons and the rest. That's not to say seasons 1 and 2 are awful -- there are some interesting episodes -- but it's bizarre how seasons 1 and 2 have dated horribly yet seasons 3-7 are timeless.

Deep Space 9 is mixed for me. It feels like I've watched most of it over the years, but actually I think I grew bored and stopped watching before the Dominion arc began. I heard that DS9 had become awesome in later seasons, but by that point I wasn't familiar with the arc, so I only dipped in and out of BBC2 broadcasts. So perhaps I should sit down with boxsets of seasons 4 - 7. My only memory of the last season is that Ezri Dax was fucking delicious (but everyone hates her).

Voyager... ah, grey boring reliable Voyager. Never terrible, never great, it's just there. Early seasons have too many "space anomaly of the week" episodes, then later seasons nerf the Borg. Seven of Nine has very tight clothes but a moose face. Add your own lesbian subtext between Seven and Janeway to liven up the proceedings.

Enterprise... grey boring Enterprise. Apparently the last couple of seasons got fun, but I wasn't watching by then.

The Original Series is a weird one. There's certainly some important science fiction there (rather like some episodes of The Twilight Zone are essential viewing). But there's also a lot of... how to describe it?... goofy 60s shite. I just can't take TOS seriously. They look like they're wearing pajamas and eye shadow, and they end up in medieval dungeons half the time. So I would suggest watching a handful of the acclaimed episodes only.

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I might give this a go. I really loved the good bits of BSG, I loved the original series when I was a kid, and I liked the First Contact movie. I'm a little bit reluctant though: my memory of what I've seen in passing when they originally aired is that the shows weren't so good, with lots of filler. And there's a heck of a lot of it to watch.

Can someone recommend a few sample episodes as a taster? Nothing that will spoil a big story arc if I decide I like it, but a few things that make the show look good, and will persuade my missus it's worth giving this a shot.

How good are we talking? I'm not expecting Sopranos/Deadwood/Wire good, but does it bear comparison with BSG or the other decent modern US dramas?

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How good are we talking? I'm not expecting Sopranos/Deadwood/Wire good, but does it bear comparison with BSG or the other decent modern US dramas?

It's StarTrek basically - it's own thing, so I think comparisons with other TV shows are unfair.

The Wire never did a completely mindbending paradoxical theoretical physics episode involving shooting an inverse tachyon pulse into the same quadrant of space, at three different time periods, causing an anti-time reaction to flow backwards through the space/time continuum, wiping out humanity in the process, for example.

Your missus will hate it. It really is nerd porn, but with beautiful character development.

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With TNG, I'd be tempted to start at Season 3. Even as an avid fan I rarely revisit Seasons 1 and 2 and they are always pretty bad when I do.

On the otherhand I'll quite happily watch an entire Trek show over a few weeks and will skip less than 10 episodes across TNG/DS9/Voy combined, and those are the "worst.episodes.ever" to coin a phrase. Only one of those episodes is in the first two seasons of TNG (Shades of Grey), one is DS9 (Time's Orphan) and the rest are probably all Voyager.

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I might give this a go. I really loved the good bits of BSG, I loved the original series when I was a kid, and I liked the First Contact movie. I'm a little bit reluctant though: my memory of what I've seen in passing when they originally aired is that the shows weren't so good, with lots of filler. And there's a heck of a lot of it to watch.

Can someone recommend a few sample episodes as a taster? Nothing that will spoil a big story arc if I decide I like it, but a few things that make the show look good, and will persuade my missus it's worth giving this a shot.

How good are we talking? I'm not expecting Sopranos/Deadwood/Wire good, but does it bear comparison with BSG or the other decent modern US dramas?

TNG or DS9?

It's probably worth trying out some standalone episodes because that best represents the series rather (especially TNG which doesn't do much in the way of complex arcs). I mean, if you want to see the best of TNG then the commonly-accepted "best episodes evar!" is a two-parter from slap in the middle called The Best Of Both Worlds. It's the first proper Borg story. But then you'd miss out on the way the Borg are teased in the earlier episodes (not a huge problem, though).

Also for TNG, try Yesterday's Enterprise for something quite nerdy and exciting, and The Inner Light for something that shows off the excellent characterisation (i.e your wife is more likely to dig it). These are two of the best, I'm sure everyone will agree.

For DS9, the aforementioned 'Whispers' is a great standalone episode. 'The Visitor' might hook your wife in - see if it makes her cry. The season 4 opener, The Way Of The Warrior, is a good taste of where DS9 ends up, but it'll spoil a load of what happens in the brilliant season 3.

If you or Wiper do embark on this, we'll expect regular updates and episode reviews.

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What I love about The Next Generation is that it's like Little House On The Prairie but in space, with Picard and Dr Crusher as the parents to a collection of errant children with varied behavioural problems that they have to work through together.

Also, because of the assumption that all other space faring species but humans will wear uniforms - even the civilians.

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Something else I forgot to mention about DS9 - despite it being described as "the dark one", its frequently hilarious. Funny when you consider that Ron Moore's BSG's occasional attempts at humour were toe-curlingly bad.

So Graham/Wiper, also check out Little Green Men (Ferengi travel back in time to 1950s Earth and become the Roswell aliens. Hilarity ensures)and Trials & Tribbleations (the DS9 crew travel back in time and are cleverly ingegrated into an episode of TOS. Absolute belter, that one) for a taste of Star Trek comedy at its finest.

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What I love about The Next Generation is that it's like Little House On The Prairie but in space, with Picard and Dr Crusher as the parents to a collection of errant children with varied behavioural problems that they have to work through together.

That should be the start of another thread. I'm reading the Laura Ingalls Wilder books with the kids at bedtime, so I thought we'd try the TV show over Xmas. Man, the feature length pilot is slow! I wonder what season of Little House on the Prairie gets good, and how well it compare to Deadwood? Will there be much swearing and eye-gouging? Don't spoil any of the big story arcs.

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Can someone recommend a few sample episodes as a taster? Nothing that will spoil a big story arc if I decide I like it, but a few things that make the show look good, and will persuade my missus it's worth giving this a shot.

Hmm... Interesting. Good sample episodes without huge plot or background knowledge required. I'll pick 3 episodes from TNG, DS9, and Voy which I think show off the potential.

TNG:

The Measure of a Man - A good court room drama but with a sci fi twist

Clues - A proper sci fi mystery episode

The Drumhead - Another court room episode so perhaps substitute 'The Wounded' for a bit of an action episode

DS9:

Duet - Might be a bit difficult without any back story knowledge but a terrific episode (alternatively Civil Defense is good fun).

Whispers is in my recent memory and might be a good choice, strong plot and easy to follow

Our Man Bashir - Terrific spy episode showing the breath of what Star Trek can offer

VOY:

Parallax

Displaced (on second thoughts, perhaps Message in the Bottle for some humour). I've always had a soft spot for Displaced but it's not amazing on a technical level.

Counterpoint (or Blink of an Eye)

With Voyager there are quite a few easy choices to go for. Voyager is made so you can enjoy the episodes in pretty much any order, there is no strong running strong ark happening and most episodes are quite acceptable/good but few are great/fantastic.

Edit: The above suggestions are pretty good, with my choices I tried to go away from the iconic episodes and towards smaller more self contained episodes. Episodes like Yesterday's Episodes are great, but I think you get the most out of them if you are fairly familiar with the crew already. Ditto with The Best of Both Worlds, you'll enjoy it whatever happens but some of the plot will have more weight if you are more familiar with the characters. The Visitor is a good choice though.

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Something else I forgot to mention about DS9 - despite it being described as "the dark one", its frequently hilarious. Funny when you consider that Ron Moore's BSG's occasional attempts at humour were toe-curlingly bad.

Ferengi focused episodes are pretty much guaranteed to be a laugh

Lot's of good episodes there Charles, although I would swap Displaced with Message in a Bottle.

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The TNG eps that really blew me away were the mind-bendy science fiction ones, usually involving time travel. Brannon Braga's name might be mud now, but he was on fire during his tenure on the later seasons of TNG. He must have used all his good ideas up.

So if you're info space-mysteries, time travel and head-fucks, try the following TNG eps:

  • Cause and Effect - the Enterprise gets stuck in a time loop that always ends with its destruction.
  • Clues - a spate of minor mysteries get the crew scratching their heads, then Data starts acting up.
  • Frame of Mind - Riker loses his marbles big time.
  • Timescape - Picard and co return to the Enterprise to find it frozen in time in the midst of a warp core breach (i.e big explosion)
  • Parallels - Worf finds himself slipping into alternate realities

A couple of other good ones that caught my eye whilst scanning through the episode lists:

  • Second Chances - Riker encounters an exact copy of himself, caused by a transporter accident years earlier, marooned on a planet. Bit like Moon, this one.
  • The Pegasus - good political potboiler, again focusing on Riker

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  • Cause and Effect - the Enterprise gets stuck in a time loop that always ends with its destruction.
  • Timescape - Picard and co return to the Enterprise to find it frozen in time in the midst of a warp core breach (i.e big explosion)

I loved these two, thanks for the titles :D

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[*]Clues - a spate of minor mysteries get the crew scratching their heads, then Data starts acting up.

Ooo, forgot about that one.

Spiner's very subtle facial expression at the end when he knows he hasn't been rumbled was wonderfully played. I did always wonder though, what happens when they check the time against the nearest starbase? Wouldn't they realise they've lost two days?

For Voyager episodes, I always enjoyed:

• Time and Again (Voyager comes across an industrial planet that appears to have wiped itself out, and ends up travelling back in time to before the accident)

• Parrallax (Voyager tries to rescue a ship trapped at an event horizon)

• Blink of an Eye (Voyager becomes the cultural inspiration for a planet it becomes trapped above, and which exists in hyper-time).

• Projections (Doctor becomes convinced he is real, and everyone else are holograms)

• Meld (Tuvok mind melds with the ships serial killer)

• The Q and the Grey (one of the continuum seeks asylum on Voyager)

• Timeless ("Fifteen years in the future, Chakotay and Harry Kim attempt to prevent the Voyager from crash-landing on an ice planet.")

Great episodes.

It was a shame they didn't do more with Tuvok in the later series - that character was the high point of Voyager for me.

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• The Q and the Grey (one of the continuum seeks asylum on Voyager)

It was a shame they didn't do more with Tuvok in the later series - that character was the high point of Voyager for me.

Death Wish no? The Q and the Grey was the rather rubbish follow up with the Q continuum civil war. Otherwise all good choices, but again for a newbie the Q episodes are assisted with knowledge of the Q character.

I agree with the Tuvok comment. He was always one of the stronger characters but for some reason, particularly during the end of the run, was treated very much as a background player. In hindsight, whilst the idea of a Vulcan security/tactical officer was good it did, in my view, slightly limit the fun of some of the action scenes which had to be delivered in a very unemotional Vulcan way most of the time.

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Death Wish no? The Q and the Grey was the rather rubbish follow up with the Q continuum civil war. Otherwise all good choices, but again for a newbie the Q episodes are assisted with knowledge of the Q character.

Ah, yeah that was the one. Good point on the whole 'Q' concept.

Anyway...

NEVER FORGET.

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*cracks knuckles*

Personal favourites that are easy to follow for newbies? Time to show my true nerdy leanings and whittle them down to just 5 per show:

TNG:

Remember Me: The only decent Crusher episode. A nice little mystery which involves a slowly dwindling crew.

First Contact: Not the movie of the same name, but an interesting story about Riker causing mayhem on a pre warp civilisation.

Cause and Effect: Already mentioned by someone else. An ace Groundhog day scenario.

The Pegasus: There are naughty people working for Starfleet! Who would have guessed!?!

All Good Things...: Not really easy to follow for newbies, but any list that has TNG episodes has to have it in, it's that good.

Cause and Effect: Already mentioned by someone else. An ace Groundhog day scenario.

One to avoid:

Justice: Just kill him already.

DS9:

Visionary: A fairly standard time-travel story with some neat ideas where poor O'Brien gets put through the wringer. It happens to him every year.

The Visitor: 45 minutes of the best Star Trek ever. Warning: There will be tears.

The Quickening: An ace medical drama. No seriously.

Trials and Tribble-ations: Two for One! A classic time travel TOS story with both the original cast and the DS9 crew. Way better than it should be.

It's Only A Paper Moon: Poor Nog. An injured member of the crew has to deal with the thought of going back to active duty. An excellent character piece.

One to avoid:

The Storyteller: Bleughhhhhhhhhhhhhh. Shite of the highest order.

Voyager:

Deadlock: Explosions! A dead Harry Kim! A pretty good plot McGuffin!

Living Witness: The Doctors program is reactivated on a planet centuries after Voyager had visited.

Counterpoint: Space Nazis who hate those God-damned psychics.

Timeless: 100th episode spectacular! See all the cast die! Except Harry Kim! Oh.

Shattered: Utterly ridiculous time-travel that knows how ridiculous it is.

One to avoid:

Those stupid fucking Irish village episodes where the Doctor, a computer program, gets hypnotised. And anything with Harry Kim centre stage. And anything about Neelix. Or Naomi Wildman

Enterprise

...

erm

...

One to avoid:

Any episode which has that fucking beginning credits theme tune.

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