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A Star Trek Rookie's 1st Impressions - Best and Worst

Dude108

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POSTS: 60

Report this Oct. 21 2012, 8:42 pm



Hello. I hope all is well!


Last March, met with some major health complications, leaving me essentially immobile. Just making the bed left me feeling like I’d run twenty miles. Even reading took energy. Had much time I needed to fill


Saw a few episodes of TOS as reruns when I was a child. Caught a couple episodes of TNG when it originally aired. Would never have considered myself a “Trekkie."


Right as my ailment set in, I’d ordered all three seasons of TOS on bluray. Was simply inspired to do so because I thought the film “Star Trek” (2009) was so amazing. That led to watching all of TNG, then DS9, then VYG. Just wrapped up ENT tonight.


So, essentially, for the past seven months, a large chunk of time was spent watching every single episode of Star Trek ever made*, in chronological order. And I say with all sincerity, it helped keep me sane through some rough patches in life.   (*Although I must admit that some of the episodes of DS9 were so painful, I skipped them.)


I assume most Trekkies reading this have seen all episodes several times over. Thought sharing “first contact impressions of a Trek rookie” might prove interesting reading for some. If you feel like discussing or debating, would love to do so. Broken up into two simple categories: Best and Worst. (And please don’t become all Klingon around a tribble if you disagree.  I completely understand aesthetics and taste are all personal opinion.)


BEST


Character


TOS – Spock


TNG – Picard


DS9 – Garak


VYG – 7 of 9


ENT – Toss up between Archer and Dr. Phlox.


Romance – Worf and Dax, with Trip and T’Pol a close runner up.


Dramatic moment – “There are four lights.”


Funniest moment – Data asking Picard advice on women. Close runner up? Worf playing baseball.


Ship – Enterprise NX-01


Alien species – Klingons


Villains – The Borg, with Cardassians a close 2nd


Space Battle – Season 4 opener of DS9 was probably the greatest sci-fi space battle I’ve ever seen, and not just on Star Trek.


Movie – Star Trek VI


Final episode - ENT


Opening theme – TOS


Story arc – Picard/Borg


Season - Season 4/ENT (TOS is excluded from this category. All 3 seasons were pure latinum.)


Special effects/CGI/Costumes – ENT. The Xindi Reptilian make-up/costumes were especially brilliant.


Best supporting – Jeffrey Combs as Weyoun/DS9 and Shran/ENT, John de Lancie as Q, J.G. Hertzler  as Martok/DS9, Dwight Schultz as Reginald Endicott Barclay III.


Best Series - Obviously, ranking the series as to which is best overall would be silly. Each had their own flavor. You can’t say guacamole is better than chocolate, or that filet mignon is better than fresh, ripe mango. But, looking at the average episode of each series, and let’s say your scanning channels one night, you’d probably be best off catching the series in this particular order: TOS, TNG, ENT, VYG, DS9.


WORST


Character - DS9, Kira Nerys. The character, the dialogue, and the actress’ portrayal were consistently horrid, and quite often, downright painful. Runner up (though still nowhere near as painful as Kira) is Malcom on ENT. He started out strong, but as the show went on, the term that comes to mind is “whiny, negative fop.”


Romance – Kira and Odo


Ship – Voyager  (It looked like a spoon!)


Episode – any where children or Ferengi were the main characters. Also, “parallel universe/evil twin” episodes were difficult to get through.


Villains – VYG “Kazons.” They looked like those gnomes with fluffy hair, but let out in the sun to melt a little bit.


Final episode – VYG. Oh…time travel…really? 


Story arc – DS9, Bajorans/Prophets. There’s enough of this insanity on Earth. Didn’t need it in a Trek.


Movie -  Star Trek V. To quote Raj, it is the badness against which all other badness is measured.


Opening theme – ENT. From the time that primates started beating on drums rhythmically, to the creation of the iPod, this could potentially be the worst song ever written. I hope the song writer and composer never procreate so that their genetic lines don’t continue.  At some point, during development, didn’t at least two dozen people look at the producers and director and say, “Hey…this song is the antithesis of all that is Trek. It must be destroyed. All traces of its existence erased from all permanent record. It is the purest blight on Trek and music.  Ever.  Are you insane? ARE YOU INSANE!?!“  I loved ENT. But my guess is,a driving factor for its cancellation was simply this song.


 

A.J.Dembroski

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POSTS: 41

Report this Oct. 22 2012, 12:23 am

Wow, great post. I think I agree with 90% of what you've posted here. I think Maywhether beats out Reid as ENT's worst character, but I wouldn't argue with Reid I guess. 


I think you and I are on a similar wavelength when it comes to ENT. I feel like it really does get the short end of the stick from the fans for some cosmetic reasons. 


Ultimately I think ENT's failure was one of the fans' impatience. The show was conceived with a long term goal in mind, to introduce the Star Trek universe piece by piece. ENT's crew didn't trust the transporter, the Prime Directive hadn't been concieved yet, humans were still somewhat provincial, and Vulcan culture hadn't advanced to it's level of enlightenment that produced Spock, people were put off. This was a show that deserved the investment of our attention over the long haul... but Star Trek fans had never had to wait for that "perfect future" to arrive before. 

Dude108

GROUP: Members

POSTS: 60

Report this Oct. 22 2012, 1:21 am

Cool input AJ. The funny thing is, all the things you listed for ENT that people seemed not to like (and I'm taking your word for this since I'm new to the realm) are the things I absolutely loved about the show.

In VYG, things became a bit too easy: "Oh...scan the next twenty light years for enemy ships"...."Oh...just beam them out of that plasma storm"..."Contracted a fatal, alien disease? Oh...just re-align the quantum bio-matrix."

ENT was just raw. And the costumes/makeup/CGI were amazing. I've read some interviews with Michael Dorn who says he's trying to get a series based on Klingons up and running. Initially, I thought it would be too cheesy. But after what I saw of Klingons on ENT, I could easily see a Klingon/Trek that could be just as intense as Battlestar Galactica was.

As for Mayweather and Malcolm, I hear ya. Mayweather's acting was a bit weak at times, but the character had a good heart, and was strong. Malcolm started out the strong stoic type, but then became all whiny. Same thing with Odo in DS9. He was awesome to begin with, but turned into this whimpering puppy over Kira. Ugh!

ENT started out rough, but absolutely loved how it developed. In my mind, I honestly feel it was the closest of all the post-TOS series to what Roddenberry had in mind. Incredibly saddened to see it shut down after only four seasons.

And especially saddened that I'm done altogether! I think what I just experienced was rare. Watching all five series, for the first time, consecutively. Was able to follow things very closely. Didn't lose the energy of a story thread.

I know that there may be a new series someday, but it won't be the same, having to wait every week for the next episode.

And thanks for the response AJ. Needless to say, most in my sphere of functioning don't get my obssession. At times, it almost seems as if it's a social faux pas to even mention Trek. Being able to share my thoughts, then get actual feedback from someone who knows what I'm talking about is truly, truly appreciated.

My whole life, wasn't a "standard" person. Mostly into music, Eastern thought. And throughout my life, the general impression of "Trekkies" was that of people simply interested in rayguns and space ships and that couldn't get out of their mother's basements.

But now? After having gone through all five series, I get it. Trekkies aren't the crazy ones. They're the ones that realize that reason, science, exploration and compassion are key aspects to living a good and happy life. They're the aspects that will lead to humanity's next stage in evolution.

Trekkies see that in Star Trek, then they turn on the news and see people killing each other over gods written about by men living in the desert 2,000 years ago. They see people more intent on money and material possessions than on personal development. Of course Trekkies might seem like outsiders to the rest of the world.

Trekkies are probably some of the sanest people on the planet, and the other people don't get that.

Thanks for your feedback, your time, and for reading this.

Mitchz95

GROUP: Members

POSTS: 1830

Report this Oct. 22 2012, 8:29 pm

My first Trek experience wasn't quite as interesting as the OP's, but it still hooked me into the franchise.


I was an avid sci-fi fan. One day, my mom sat me and my sister down to watch The Undiscovered Country. She warned us that it was one of the "slower" ones, but we loved it. To date, it's my favorite of the movies.


After that, we watched all the other movies and then moved on to Voyager. Then DS9, then Enterprise, and we're working our way through TNG. I haven't seen much of TOS yet (I know, sacrilage) but what I have seen I liked.


So here's my best/worst list.


BEST


Character


TOS – Spock


TNG – Data


DS9 – Garak


VYG – Either the Doctor or Seven of Nine


ENT – Archer, with T'Pol a close second


Romance – Trip and T’Pol


Dramatic moment – the entire last act of "Terra Prime"


Funniest moment – in "Phantasms", when Data was asking Worf to take care of Spot. "Tell him he is a pretty cat, and a good cat."  I replayed that scene eight times, and cracked up each time. Especially when Worf sneezed on Spot at the end.


Ship – NX-01


Alien species – Either Romulans, Xindi, or Species 8472


Villains – See above


Space Battle – Second Battle of Chin'toka (DS9: "The Changing Face of Evil")


Movie – The Undiscovered Country


Final episode - Haven't seen TOS or TNG yet


Opening theme – DS9


Story arc – Soval, and the corrupted Vulcan society


Season - ENT Season 4


Special effects/CGI/Costumes – ENT (not really a fair question, if you ask me)


Best supporting – Jeffrey Combs


Best Series - DS9, ENT, TNG/VOY tie (TOS not included, since I haven't seen it yet)


 


WORST


Character - Kes


Romance – Worf and Troi (if that doesn't count, Kira and Odo)


Ship – USS Enterprise-D (Galaxy class)


Episode – Profit and Lace


Villains – Kazon as well


Final episode – These Are The Voyages. Not terrible, but not really good either.


Story arc – Kes honing her telepathic/telekinetic abilities. Just boring overall.


Movie - I like them all in varying amounts


Opening theme – TOS, but it's a bit dated so not a fair question. I actually really liked the ENT opening (except the season 3-4 version). Listening to the lyrics, I don't think it was an "antithesis" at all.


"The future is in the hands of those who explore... And from all the beauty they discover while crossing perpetually receding frontiers, they develop for nature and for humankind an infinite love." - Jacques Yves Cousteau

Dude108

GROUP: Members

POSTS: 60

Report this Oct. 23 2012, 8:03 am

Wow...doing TOS last? Awesome! Fascinating to think someone watched ENT first!

I hear you on Kes. Thing is, I didn't actively dislike her...she was just kind of...there. I know many dudes liked 7 of 9 simply because of her physical attributes, and I agree, but for me, she was a great replacement for Kes because of the whole aspect of trying to discover what it means to be human.

Before watching TOS, I'd just simply warn you about editing, which has changed dramatically since the 1960s. Today, in a tv show, theres a hundred different shots every few minutes. Quick cuts, fast past pacing. When watching TNG, it might seem a little slower (although that changes once you get to the "4 Lights" era...precursor to Battlestar Galactica.)

But TOS? There'll be scenes where the camera stays on the same shot for a minute or two.

Yeah...effects were cheesy, and the acting can be melodramatic, but for me, I felt like the writers had gone on a huge "existentialist" binge (Kafka, Sartre, Camus) before they wrote anything. In my mind, I think it only lasted three seasons because it might've gone over the heads of many people.

And my difficulties with the ENT theme were two fold. First, the lyrics were just a long string of cliches.

And second, its focus on faith. The very definition of faith is believing in something for which you have no evidence. Star Trek is about science.

It doesn't take faith to test a new warp drive engine. You know thousands of hours of research and development took place. It doesn't take faith to go on an away mission. You know the people you're going with have their act together. You don't need faith in your Captain, because you know past experience dictates that he/she has the skill and knowledge to do whats right.

If we only went by faith, we'd still believe the Earth is flat. Faith is why stem cell research is blocked, and people don't believe in evolution even though there's hundreds of thousands of pieces of evidence for it.

And I so envy you going through TNG and TOS for the first time!

Thanks for writing Mitch. The time, thought and effort it took you to do so is truly, truly appreciated. Please let me know impressions of TNG and TOS.

LLAP

Mitchz95

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POSTS: 1830

Report this Oct. 23 2012, 8:42 am

I hear you on Kes. Thing is, I didn't actively dislike her...she was just kind of...there.


Yeah, same kind of thing here. I like them all, just in differing amounts.


Before watching TOS, I'd just simply warn you about editing, which has changed dramatically since the 1960s. Today, in a tv show, theres a hundred different shots every few minutes. Quick cuts, fast past pacing. When watching TNG, it might seem a little slower (although that changes once you get to the "4 Lights" era...precursor to Battlestar Galactica.)

But TOS? There'll be scenes where the camera stays on the same shot for a minute or two.


Yeah...effects were cheesy, and the acting can be melodramatic, but for me, I felt like the writers had gone on a huge "existentialist" binge (Kafka, Sartre, Camus) before they wrote anything. In my mind, I think it only lasted three seasons because it might've gone over the heads of many people.


I've noticed that in the few episodes that I've watched. I kind of like it, actually - it demonstrates an emphasis on story rather than today's "sex and explosions" shows.

And my difficulties with the ENT theme were two fold. First, the lyrics were just a long string of cliches.

And second, its focus on faith. The very definition of faith is believing in something for which you have no evidence. Star Trek is about science.

It doesn't take faith to test a new warp drive engine. You know thousands of hours of research and development took place. It doesn't take faith to go on an away mission. You know the people you're going with have their act together. You don't need faith in your Captain, because you know past experience dictates that he/she has the skill and knowledge to do whats right.

If we only went by faith, we'd still believe the Earth is flat. Faith is why stem cell research is blocked, and people don't believe in evolution even though there's hundreds of thousands of pieces of evidence for it.


I don't know if I agree... a recurring theme in all the series is learning to trust your gut feelings, in order to supplement the evidence. Spock, T'Pol, Data, and Seven of Nine all struggled with this in their respective shows.


And I don't see faith as representing ignorance. I see it as meaning you're willing to look beyond what you can see and acknowledge that there may be things in the world that you're not capable of understanding, and that you're not perfect.


It can also refer to believing in yourself and your abilities, which I think is what the lyrics in the ENT opening were referring to.

And I so envy you going through TNG and TOS for the first time!

Thanks for writing Mitch. The time, thought and effort it took you to do so is truly, truly appreciated. Please let me know impressions of TNG and TOS.


I'm enjoying them a lot so far. I'll keep you posted.


"The future is in the hands of those who explore... And from all the beauty they discover while crossing perpetually receding frontiers, they develop for nature and for humankind an infinite love." - Jacques Yves Cousteau

Dude108

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POSTS: 60

Report this Oct. 23 2012, 10:33 am

I guess this is maybe where we're just getting into semantics. There's faith which is believing something for which you have no proof, but then there's faith, or "conviction" is maybe a better word, where, from past experience, you believe in someone or something in the current situation.

I see where you're coming from.

When it comes to "gut instinct, " and Spock and T'Pol and 7 of 9 and so forth, have read some research that quite often, "gut instinct" is really just the mind's way of processing tons of experience and data, but the mind can't put it all together in black & white, or into words.

A person who's done photography for years, picks up the camera on a gut instinct, takes a perfect shot. A scientist, on a "hunch," tries a new formula, and discovers a new cure. An experienced pilot, for no good reason, pulls up on the throttle, even though all training says to pull down, and lands safely. Those gut reactions are really just experience coming into play, all at once.

I think that's what humans were trying to teach Vulcans and androids.

Recently started watching "Walking Dead," but have been applying Star Trek principles to it.

There's one character, Shane, who keeps talking about "being strong" and essentially, "the needs of the many outweight the needs of the few." And on paper, it's logical. The math works out.

But, he's missing what Picard was trying to teach Data. One should never view one life, or thousands of lives, as a mathematical equation.

Ok. Will stop. Could go on for pages.

Simply put, Star Trek is amazing, because it leads to conversations like these. Your insights have given me fuel for re-evaluating faith and gut feelings and reason, which will then, hopefully, make me a better person.

Thanks dude.

kree8or

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POSTS: 43

Report this Oct. 23 2012, 11:31 am

i generally like must of st, with the exeption of DS9. i tried with it, i really did, but i was bored every episode. Also any episode about Data exploring the human condition, spare me.

A.J.Dembroski

GROUP: Members

POSTS: 41

Report this Oct. 24 2012, 10:45 pm

Quote: Dude108 @ Oct. 23 2012, 10:33 am

>

>I guess this is maybe where we're just getting into semantics. There's faith which is believing something for which you have no proof, but then there's faith, or "conviction" is maybe a better word, where, from past experience, you believe in someone or something in the current situation.


 


A bit of context here... I'm a Christian, though undoubtedly not the type you're used too (I call myself a "Taoist Christian", which I consider an understanding that while God may have created everything, he also created rules which even he cannot [or maybe simply does not] break... i.e. God couldn't create a 4-sided Triangle, because it would cease to be a triangle). My mother was an atheist, so my decision to begin attending church was a personal decision I made when I was 14. I was in a wierd place and sought answers.


That particular church held nothing for me. It was the same crap I'd hear about religion for most of my life. But there was a youth group head that encouraged us to read the Bible and come up with our own answers. When he was fired for not preaching strict dogma, I took it upon myself to actually read it, read the opinions of various scholars over the years on their interpretations, and get an idea of what it meant for me.


The Bible does not preach faith in the former, but the latter. A common misconception. The Bible takes the existance of God as a given, as do most [i]devout[/i] believers (that is to say, not the people who go to church because they feel it's what they're supposed to do, but true believers.). The use of the word faith is absolutely in the same context that my son has faith that I will catch him when I toss him in the air, or that I'll be there if he hurts himself and needs someone to pick him up. I'm his father... he trusts me, and has faith in me. This is the same faith the Bible preaches in God, believe it or not. This used to be well known, but over the years the ridiculous side of Atheism (those who treat Christians as idiots and feels anyone who owns a Bible is by definition a bigot) have spread tons of misinformation about what THEY think the Bible says.


Now, on to the point...


As for the Enterprise theme, while I'm not a huge fan of it, I don't think the lyrics at all clash with Star Trek. I think it's clearly a faith in the human spirit. Faith of the Heart is absolutely reminscent of an early Archer... wide-eyed and optimistic. It is, in many ways, a celebration of the progress humanity has already and presumably will make. 


Some bitch about all our failings, some celebrate what we've done despite that. The song is very much an homage to the latter. I don't think there's any indication of spirituality in the song.

Dude108

GROUP: Members

POSTS: 60

Report this Oct. 25 2012, 4:30 am

When it comes to Star Trek and religion, I think it best to go to the source: Gene Roddenberry.

When he submitted the very first script to producers, one of them asked, "Where's the chaplain?" He replied, "It's the 23rd century. They won't need one."

Roddenberry was a staunch humanist/atheist. And throughout the Star Trek universe, the idiocy of organized religion is clearly shown. The clearest example being the Bajorans and the prophets.

Yeah, there's faith your dad will catch you when you fall. There's the "faith" that Archer had when he started out. But, that's conviction laced with optimism. Not blind faith.

There's just as much evidence for the God outlined in the Judeo-Christian tradition as there is for Odin or Zeus or Quetzlcoatl.

Star Trek was never about that kind of faith, which is really just superstition.

There are idiot atheists, there are idiot Christians. There are compassionate reaonable atheists, Christians and so forth.

And that's what Trek was all about: compassion and reason. "Faith" was wayyyyyyyyy down on the list, if there at all. Having an entire them based on it was unquestionably off the mark.

Vger23

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POSTS: 6799

Report this Oct. 25 2012, 6:02 pm

BEST


 


Character


 


TOS – Spock


 


TNG – Picard


 


DS9 – KIra


 


VYG – Tuvok


 


ENT – Archer


 


Romance – Worf and Dax


 


Dramatic moment – “He knows Doctor....he knows.”


 


Funniest moment – Trouble With Tribbles


 


Ship – Enterprise NCC-1701-A


 


Alien species – Borg (before they stupid-fied them with a queen, etc)


 


Villains – Romulans, Dominion


 


Space Battle – Way of the Warrior, Wrath of Khan, Nemesis


 


Movie – Star Trek II The Wrath of Khan


 


Final episode - "...All Good Things"


 


Opening theme – VOY


 


Story arc – Dominion War


 


Season - Season 2 TOS, Season 3-5 TNG, Season 4-7 DS9


 


Special effects/CGI/Costumes – too many to pick from


 


Best supporting – Andrew Robinson


 


Best Series - TOS, DS9, TNG, ENT, VOY


 


WORST


 


Character - Travis Wayweather, Harry Kim


 


Romance – Paris and B'Elanna


 


Ship – Voyager  or NX-01


 


Episode – Anything with Lwaxanna Troi or Quark's mom.


 


Villains – Suliban


 


Final episode – ENT


 


Story arc – Borg kids in VOY...oh my God, someone shoot me.


 


Movie -  Star Trek Insurrection. The only movie in history that actually aimed for mediocrity and came up short.


 


Opening theme – TOS...just a little too disco for me. TAS is even worse.


 

I AM KEE-ROCK!!

Dude108

GROUP: Members

POSTS: 60

Report this Oct. 25 2012, 8:13 pm

Thanks Vger23. Taking the time to put forth your thoughts is truly, truly appreciated. Fascinating to see people's different takes on the different series.

And for the record? Best/funniest sentence/comment I've read all week came from you:

"before they stupid-fied them with a queen"

Pure awesomeness! Will be using that term in the future.

Hugues

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POSTS: 537

Report this Nov. 02 2012, 5:23 am

 


@ Dude108


Quote: "


Best Series - Obviously, ranking the series as to which is best overall would be silly. Each had their own flavor. You can’t say guacamole is better than chocolate, or that filet mignon is better than fresh, ripe mango. But, looking at the average episode of each series, and let’s say your scanning channels one night, you’d probably be best off catching the series in this particular order: TOS, TNG, ENT, VYG, DS9.


Roddenberry was a staunch humanist/atheist. And throughout the Star Trek universe, the idiocy of organized religion is clearly shown. The clearest example being the Bajorans and the prophets."


You clearly did not understand DS9. Well, since you was ill and obviously not in possession of all your mental capacities (one can hope it was due to the ilness) i will forgive you.


DS9 was not only the best Star Trek ever, but simply the best scifi serial ever.


DS9 RULES!!!!!

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