So May was not as packed to the gills with Star Trek as April. Between taking over the reviews for Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., doing some fun collaborative movie reviews with Clarice (plus a couple other things here and there) it just wasn’t possible.
Don’t worry. I did manage to get some Star Trek watched. In fact, I finished season three of Next Generation! And then I watched the first episode of season four because the glories of online streaming mean I don’t have to wait after the season ended on a cliffhanger!
So I did make some progress. And damn if this show hasn’t gotten really good.
When we last checked in, I was through episode sixteen of TNG season three. Season three is an impressive step up in quality from season two, and while “Yesterday’s Enterprise” still reigns as my favorite episode the season’s latter half did not disappoint by any means with “The Most Toys” and “Sarek” being particularly excellent entries. And, of course, that cliffhanger of a finale, “The Best of Both Worlds, Part 1”.
The show’s greatest achievement, however, is how high the quality has risen in a relatively short space of time. Are there still subpar episodes? Of course. “Ménage à Troi” being one example (I really did not need to see Lwaxana Troi woo a Ferengi). Are certain characters being sidelined? Absolutely! Deanna Troi more so than anyone (notice a theme there?) But the show has improved in leaps and bounds since season two and stands on its own quality without comparison to its predecessors.
And that’s super impressive. I wasn’t sure if it was a temporary switch up when I watched the season’s first half but the quality carried through and I am now very excited for the rest of season four and beyond! The show’s becoming bolder, it’s paying more careful attention to (most of) the characters and it feels like the production budget is rising (though I am not certain of that).
Plus Dr. Crusher is now back for good and I’m never going to stop being happy about that!
(Seriously though. Her temporary exit for season two was nearly a deal-breaker. No lie.)
I also got in a few more episodes of the Original Series which continues to be fun, whacky and utterly refreshing. Does it often show its age? Of course. But watched with that knowledge and context? It’s utterly wonderful (as is the ridiculously dramatic music that they use ALL THE TIME. I love it.)
I also watched the original pilot, “The Cage” and wowee am I surprised this show ever got a chance! The pace is glacial and while the actors are clearly giving it their all, no one comes across and interesting in any way. It’s not good but I’m glad I watched it. It’s always interesting to see where something began (especially if its a franchise for which you’re rapidly gaining a sincere affection).
No progress on the movies this month. Final Frontier is up next though! I’ve heard something about climbing a mountain?
I did, however, rewatch Star Trek Generations and I have to admit, besides Data’s emotion chip shenanigans, I don’t understand why it’s considered one of the bad films. I genuinely enjoyed it the first time. The second time around, with even more knowledge of the universe, I enjoyed it even more!
A final pressing question: should I watch the Animated Series? Or does it not count?
Anyway! Here’s where I currently stand in terms of what I have watched:
Original Pilot: “The Cage”
Original Series: Season 1, Episodes 1-12 & 22)
Next Generation: Season 1. Season 2. Season 3. Season 4 (Episode 1).
Deep Space Nine: Pilot
Movies (TOS): Star Trek: The Motion Picture, Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan, Star Trek III: The Search for Spock, Star Trek IV: Voyage Home
Movies (TNG): Star Trek Generations, Star Trek: First Contact, Star Trek: Insurrection
Movies (Reboot): Star Trek, Star Trek Into Darkness
Check in next month to see what progress I make in June! And I’m tweeting as much as I can (@colehcampbell) under #Trekification so follow along – I’d love to hear from you!