1. Bainespal says:

    I’ve also been trekking through Star Trek.  I’m halfway through Deep Space Nine now, and I definitely think DSN is my favorite show in the franchise, even though I haven’t seen Voyager or Enterprise or the animated series.
    By far the best episodes in TNG are the Klingon ones.  The Klingon story arc in TNG might be my favorite individual plot thread, but my favorite episode in the franchise so far might be “Blood Oath,” episode 19 of season 2 in DSN.
    I’ve been daydreaming about what a new show with the cast of the rebooted movies would be like.  I still don’t like the fact that they’re redoing the canon.  However, DSN showed me that the franchise can atone for things they’ve done badly in the past, such as the naive imperialism of the Federation in TNG.  In TNG, the secular humanist Federation is pretty much roaming the galaxy, Picard arrogantly thumbing his atheist nose at all the less “evolved” civilizations in the name of tolerance.  I think DSN deliberately takes steps to subvert this arrogance, showing that Starfleet and the Federation is failable, maybe implying that the Federation has even been wrong to try to get the whole galaxy to conform to its ideologies.
    So, I think a new Star Trek show with the new movie crew and setting could be good, if it tried to subvert some of the original Star Trek tropes by casting the same themes in a different light.  I think any new show should borrow insight from Babylon 5 and the two separate Battlestar Galactica shows as well, as those shows are much better at showing a mysterious sense of transcendence in the cosmos.

  2. Trouble with Tribbles, hands down. And the episode when DS9 goes back and relives it. I have a thing for cute, furry, purry things 🙂

    I totally agree with you, John. I gave up on Enterprise. There was nothing to root for. And Archer’s continual harp on how good humanity was went down, then back up and out, much like when one eats too much Halloween candy. Not pretty.

  3. Galadriel says:

    I haven’t actually seen any Star Trek episodes–still working my way through Classic Who, which has taken me about 2.5  years. Maybe I’ll take a look at it, though.

    • Bainespal says:

      I’ve never seen a single episode of any Doctor Who, and I doubt I ever will, simply because there are so many of them, and the whole franchise seems so hopelessly confusing, that someone so clueless as I am could never hope to get caught up in a single lifetime. 😉

      • Galadriel says:

        You could just start at The Eleventh Hour–all you really need to know is “madman in a box, all of time and space, changes his face.” You don’t even have to watch the Classic Series, though I highly recommend it. Seriously, if you want to try, just ask me.

      • bad_cook says:

        DOOO EEEEEET. I don’t like the idea of jumping in at Doctor #11 in “The Eleventh Hour,” but that’s mostly because my favorite is Doctor #10, David Tennant. However, it would be simpler to follow Galadriel’s advice and just stick with the current Doctor. You’ll probably miss the in-jokes and the references to previous villains/characters/whatall, but it’s pretty cohesive and coherent on its own.

        • Galadriel says:

          Oh, I totally recommend seeing 9-10 (and 1-8 for that matter), but the best places for starting with NuWho is either Rose (because so much of Ten’s personality comes from his time as Nine) or Eleventh Hour, because there’s a change of producer, Doctor, and companion at the same time so it’s a fairly clean break.

  4. I’m sure I’ve seen every episode of Star Trek, except for Enterprise. We gave up on it too. Good take on why it didn’t last. I hadn’t considered that angle. Our family gave up watching it for an entirely different reason: to us it played like a galactic soap opera. It wasn’t a show I would allow our small (at that time) children to watch. Enterprise succumbed not only to repeating what had been previously done on other ST episodes, but it reminded me of every other evening drama on TV. It lacked the unique, intelligent quality the other series offered.
    (If Khan is the antagonist in the movie, our entire family will be upset–talk about unoriginal. Still, we plan to be at the midnight showing next Tuesday. )
    As for favorite episode, I’d have to say TNG’s “Family”. It’s the episode immediately following the Borg “Best of Both Worlds.” I loved how it dealt with the psychological damage done to Picard after being assimilated.

  5. R. L. Copple says:

    I had a brief conversation with one person hired to help write the Enterprise series, to come in and help it. He indicated they had no real series arc. He tried to establish one, but the powers that be didn’t follow it. It ended up being a wandering variety of episodes. I think the success of the last three series had made the writing team feel too confident they knew what they were doing.
    If they picked up the same writing team as Voyager, that was their problem. They needed new thinking and plots in there to make a unique series.
    For me, to put it viserally, Enterprise didn’t jive with me. It was bland.
    I too have been catching up. I watched through 2.5 seasons of Voyager back in the day before life distracted me. I’m only now catching up on it via Amazon Prime. I’m currently into season four.
    I’d have a hard time picking a favorite. Mostly I liked the more humorous ones.

  6. Timothy Stone says:

    Bainespal, you’ve gotta watch Doctor Who. You don’t know what you’re missing. Start with the new series in 2005, and go from there. Or ask folks for recommendations on episodes.
    I have to say that my favorite series was DS9, because it was the most “real”, if you will. I’ve never cared for the shiny, false, utopian vision of the future that Roddenberry was so fond of. DS9 and the other shows showed real war and conflict, but the other shows tended to gloss over any consequences and after-effects, or show the “good guys” as never doing anything questionable at all. DS9 didn’t do this, and I appreciated it.
    Two of my favorite episodes are the following two DS9 clips. In the first one, Sisko is horrified to come to the realization that, though the bad deeds to win the war with the Dominion bother him, he can live with it. War is not easy or morally wonderful. The good guys must do “bad things” as well, to win. The greater good sometimes calls for it. Here is the clip.

    Then there is the scene where Nog comes to terms with the fact that he is NOT fine, but suffers emotional trauma from the war. The actor who played him has said that after that episode aired, he got letters from real-life veterans suffering from PTSD due to his portrayal, and how they related to Nog’s predicament. This scene really touched me. I don’t have the physical scars, but I do have the emotional ones, and I can relate. Here is the clip.

    I love the Tribbles episode too. Especially Scotty’s statement that he fought with someone for insulting the Enterprise. 😀

    • Bainespal says:

      Timothy, if you haven’t seen it, you might like the newer Battlestar Galactica.  It depicts the horrors of war frankly, showing the military to be deeply human, suffering realistically from what they face.  One episode in particular makes the point that although the whole society depicted in the show has suffered loss and sorrow, in addition to what everyone is facing, the military are asked to sacrifice their own lives every day.  In another scene one of the main military characters explains that they are taught to consider themselves dead already when they go into battle, so that they will remain cool and collected in the heat of battle.
      Unfortunately, there’s a lot of sex in the show, especially early in the first season and in the mini-series that serves as the pilot.

  7. Alassiel says:

    I don’t have a favorite episode, but Voyager is my favorite series.
    I only watched a few episodes of Enterprise, but just couldn’t get into it. I think it was the characters that were a problem for me. There was no one I really liked right off the bat. Archer’s independent attitude was fun, but it quickly revealed itself as arrogance and started to annoy me.

  8. Galadriel says:

    And can I just say that I love how about half these comments are attempts to lure someone into the Doctor Who fandom?

  9. Steve C. says:

    “Amok Time” is great! You remember, when Spock gets a serious case of the hormones, and has to battle Kirk on Vulcan for his wife-to-be. Man… that’s good.
    I also love “The Squire Of Gothos” with the mysterious character Trelain. (Who later turns out to be a member of the Q Continuum as developed in a much later novel.)
    Man… there are so many. I LOVE Star Trek! 

  10. Leanna says:

    Equinox parts I & II from Star Trek Voyager (it bridges season 5 and season 6)
    Simply because of the scene with the Doctor and Seven singing “Oh My Darling Clementine” and the other character’s reaction to it.
    Also pretty much any episode from TNG or Voyager that has either Q or the Borg.
    (Other than a couple episodes from the original, I’ve never watched the other series though – just didn’t look interesting at all to me)
    I’ve seen the last half of 3 Doctor Who episodes from different seasons and it has utterly failed to grab me. I love the Tardis to pieces and enjoy listening to other people discuss the series but the show itself… meh. I loathed the Doctor in the first episode I ever saw so that probably doesn’t help.

  11. D.M. Dutcher says:

    Probably this one:
    I’m not a big Trekkie, but I think the best episodes are where the writers realized that the premise was a bit silly and just threw reason to the wind. Most of the good television SF was in anthology shows, because with a persistent series, you have to keep the cast around all the time and have a lot of dead episodes where there’s no real change. TV Tropes calls it “Status Quo is God,” and Voyager in particular suffered because they couldn’t let the ship go home, or be seriously damaged or disabled in any way.

    • Bainespal says:

      Most of the good television SF was in anthology shows, because with a persistent series, you have to keep the cast around all the time and have a lot of dead episodes where there’s no real change.

      I agree that preserving the status quo was one of Star Trek‘s biggest mistakes.  The status quo is probably the thing that makes TNG feel so tedious at times.  But I don’t think an anthology approach is much different.  I haven’t seen whatever SF shows you’re thinking of as “anthology shows” (unless you mean the Twilight Zone), but the original series of Star Trek pretty much is an anthology.  There is almost no plot development, even less than TNG.  I think the solution is to do what Babylon 5 did — have a pre-determined plot for the whole series that nearly every episode develops.  But I agree with Timothy’s comment below; DS9 does break the status quo in important ways, probably at least once every season.

      (By the way, I liked that TOS episode, too, for its novelty, even though the plot was silly.)

      • D.M. Dutcher says:

        Yeah, I mean shows like the Twilight Zone, the Outer Limits, Tales from the Darkside (for horror,) and the like.  It’s a problem of television. You can’t kill characters without hiring new ones, or radically change sets and locations due to cost. You can’t get Gilligan off the island, in other words. 
        DS 9 was really good. It’s probably on of the best trek series out there.

  12. Timothy Stone says:

    The above would be why I liked DS9 so much. It managed to not quite go into “darker and edgier” territory (I hate “dark and edgy” in general), but still evade “status quo is God” stuff.

  13. Some interesting thoughts about Enterprise. I don’t disagree with you, it had it’s problems, and the temporal col war (which in itself could have been interesting) often brought the show into cliche. I do think that Broken Bow was one of the best pilots I’ve seen. Honestly I loved the episode. Unfortunately, you gave up on the show just when it got awesome. Seasons 3 and 4 were very good in my opinion, and I was very disappointed when it didn’t get renewed for season 5.
    As for Into Darkness, I saw the film two days ago (it has already opened in Australia). I’m a bit shocked and disapointed at IMDB. That revelation was an important moment in the story, one I have been careful not to spoil online. I will say that the film takes a fascinatingly fresh approach to the character, and Cumberbatch is truley awesome in the role. Having read this article, there is one scene in the movie that I am pretty sure you won’t like, but I hope you see past that to what it is brilliant movie.

What do you think?