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Editorial

Willkommen, jolan tru, welcome!

All good things must come to an end. After more than three years I have finally concluded my reviews of TNG episodes with "All Good Things".

Star Trek: The Next Generation was definitely a good thing. And no better title could have been chosen for the series finale. Actually, I think TNG was the best thing that ever happened to the Star Trek franchise since TOS until today. Looking back, however, it had a slow start. The first two seasons were too much influenced by TOS. Thery were too busy with presenting some kind of Star Trek that people seemed to love. The showrunners and writers gradually learned to work with the new characters they had created but it took them quite some time to further develop the Star Trek legacy beyond the mere cosmetic changes since the time of TOS. The holodeck as a new place for adventures of all kinds was instrumental in taking Star Trek to the 24th century, the Ferengi as new villains were not. I think the introduction of the Borg and especially the double feature "The Best of Both Worlds" ultimately set the series apart from its predecessor, and united nerds and "normal" fans in front of the screen. The sixth season became the absolute highlight of the series, with great original stories and an unprecedented involvement of the whole main cast. At this time it seemed that TNG could carry on forever.

But all good things must come to an end. It may be some sort of self-fulfilling prophecy that the show went downhill a bit in its final season. Well, some episodes were simply badly done, such as "Sub Rosa" or "Masks". Others were apparently hampered by the prospect that the series would come to a closure. I like how some story arcs are wrapped up near the end of the series. However, I don't think it was a good idea to introduce new family members of the crew in several episodes, as if the writers were working up a list of relatives to be shown. Likewise, bringing together Worf and Deanna looks like a desperate (and much too late) attempt to get things moving on the romantic side of character relationships. Also, I have mixed feelings about long-standing assets that are falling apart: The warp drive is discovered to damage subspace (although it won't be mentioned again after TNG), the Federation fails to control the situation in the Demilitarized Zone, Wesley and Ro leave Starfleet for good. It seems like TNG prepares to pass on the baton to the somewhat dystopian DS9. I love DS9, but it is a different kind of Star Trek. And although my average rating of TNG episodes gradually went down to the same level as DS9's, I think TNG is closer than anything else to the "ideal Star Trek series".

The TNG reviews were the last reviews of any Star Trek series at EAS that were still missing. But seeing that it has been over a decade since I watched several of the episodes, I may start over with Voyager. I intend to add more details, and most likely I will revise my opinion on some of the episodes. It's time to rediscover another series!

Bernd Schneider

Archive

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