For this week’s episode, I am talking all about Star Trek: The Next Generation, which may be my favorite show of all time. I don’t know, this week it feels that way, at least. It could change next week. Not because I don’t love this show, but because I am fickle like that. I’m not including the script this week for the liner notes for this episode, mainly because I tried something different with the script, and it was more of an outline, which makes it less readable as a blog post.
Instead, I thought I would talk about something that made Star Trek: The Next Generation more unique, something that set a trend for the Star Trek series that followed, with the exception of Deep Space Nine. This trend was the two-part season finale/season premier. The cliff hanger.
It all started with The Best of Both Worlds, which was the conclusion of the third season and the beginning of the fourth. And it was how they ended/started each season that followed. It makes sense. Best of Both Worlds was, and probably still is one of my favorite episodes of the series. It is well written, and well directed and well performed by the cast. I still remember what it was like when part one ended, and it was revealed that Picard had been assimilated. That just blew me away, and we had to wait a whole summer before we found out what happened to him and the rest of the crew.
It was really a cheap shot by the writers and producers of the show. A way to get people to buy in beyond just this season. A way to get the people to come back. It worked. I don’t know the numbers, but these two episodes are still talked about today. It’s no wonder that TNG continued to do this throughout the rest of the series.
I think it helped that it came at the end of the season, where I feel, TNG really came into its own as a series. The third season really was where the series started to get good. It included episodes like episodes like Yesterday’s Enterprise and The Offspring, which are two of my favorite. It’s not a surprise that one of the stronger seasons of the show ended on such a high note.
I think one of the reasons the two part episode started to stick with TNG was because the series itself was so episodic. There wasn’t really a continuing story line, so a two parter enabled them to develop s story a little more, and that made it interesting. It would not have really worked with DS9, where it did have an overarching story line. It never really stuck with DS9, but when they brought back the more episodic approach with Voyager, the two parter returned.
Personally, I love it. I am glad they started it with Best of Both Worlds, and kept it going. I liked waiting all summer to see what was going to happen with the crew. I spent the whole time in between wondering what would happen. Then there was the moment when all that anticipation came to a head, as I sat down to watch part two. The wait was almost always worth it.
What were some of your favorite episodes of TNG? Why did you love the show? Join in the conversation on Facebook and let me know. You can also follow me on Twitter and Instagram @thegeekymormon Have any comments or questions about this episode or the podcast itself? Maybe you have a suggestion for a future episode. Well, let me know by emailing me direct at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Want more Star Trek: The Next Generation? Check out some of my past posts: