Trekathon 107: Encounter at Farpoint, Part II (TNG)

February 13th, 2010

The second half of the pilot picks the pieces up a little. There are still some problems – Picard is being a bit of a dick, and his characterisation is still settling down. And the Wesley Crusher issue is starting to rear it’s head. But the core of the story is an interesting SF idea, and it’s something that hadn’t been done much before as well.

This is already a Star Trek that feels very different to the Original Series. Picard is much more of a Chief Executive than the hands-on Captain that Kirk was. There are also some clear attempts to give the second line characters something more, although it’s painting with pretty broad strokes so far. And maybe I’ve read too many Tom Clancy novels, but I always found Troi’s position vaguely disturbing – a psychic who is there to ‘assist’ the captain?

There’s a clear difference in production values from the 1960s. The special effects and the set design of the ship are fantastic, but the planet side sets still feel like the same Original Series soundstages.

Overall it wasn’t a fantastic start to the new series, but the glimmers of promise are there.

Great Star Trek moment: the first appearance of the holodeck. And they even managed to avoid the first malfunction this time.

107 down, 630 to go.