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Friday, October 21, 2011

The Best of ST:TNG Season One

Star Trek: The Next Generation is currently being remastered for a high-definition Blu-Ray release next year, and as a science-fiction cinephile, I'm thrilled. On the downside, with the exception of the three-episode teaser advertised above, the series will be released season by season, and TNG's first season isn't highly regarded by fans, thanks to uneven production values, weak stories and uncertain acting. There were certainly some growing pains, but frankly I think the show's first season contains several gems:

Where No One Has Gone Before
Trippy visuals and a voyage to the end of the universe evoke a strong sense of wonder, one of science fiction's primary goals.

The Big Goodbye
An engaging mixture of film noir and science fiction that asks important ethical and existential questions. Won the Peabody Award.

The introduction of Data's twin android brother gives Brent Spiner his first chance to really show off his impressive acting chops.

This episode features an exciting doomsday countdown sequence and an interesting alien species.

Heart of Glory
We learn more about Worf and the Klingons - a suspenseful action story that empathizes with its villains.

The Arsenal of Freedom
Fun satire of our own violent culture.

Creepy paranoid thriller with a truly shocking ending.

The Neutral Zone
Reintroduces the Romulans and hints at the Borg threat to come.

Eight good episodes out of twenty-six isn't exactly a compelling average, I know, but there are some good moments scattered throughout the rest of the season - certainly enough to justify Star Trek nerds like me purchasing the show all over again...

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