2018 has been a real year of quests. I am attempting to beat Final Fantasy III for the Super Nintendo Entertainment System. I am working my way through Dante’s The Divine Comedy. And I have decided to watch the entire series run of Star Trek : The Next Generation and overlapping series Star Trek : Deep Space Nine.
I have long finished season 1 of Star Trek: TNG, and I have to admit that its limitations are all over the screen. The budget is taken to the absolute maximum, and the strain on the sets and make-up is sadly obvious. Further, the series spends far too much with the young character Wesley Crusher, who is one of the least interesting parts of the first season’s cast.
HOWEVER, the core parts of the show are intact. Despite the first season’s considerable limitations, Star Trek : The Next Generation features wonderful, unique characters engaging in mindful but entertaining explorations of surface level science and armchair philosophy. The show is no doctorate level thesis on any of its topics it address, but it’s worthwhile hourlong entertainment for network television in 1988. Frankly, I can understand why this little reboot took the world by storm given this initial outing.
Is Star Trek Season 1 the best of the series? Not by a long shot, but it’s a solid introduction to the characters and their adventures.
The only real issue I have with it is that it was far more sexual than I recalled it being, which in and of itself isn’t bad, but the show’s earliest season is a bit unsure of its footing, so there’s a fair amount of episodes that appear geared toward children while the next are obviously for adults. Of course, at the same time, this isn’t Star Wars, so it’s not as though the adventures, pacing, and interactions would hold a child’s constant attention.
I was only 6 when the show aired, so it was definitely not in my wheelhouse when it initially aired, but I recall the show still having a fair bit of cultural clout by 1992, when THE PLAYMATES TOYS Figure Line became a staple of the boys’ toy aisle. Looking back on the time, I knew I was not ready for Trek, but I like the idea of it. I still feel that way about its TNG’s debut season.