When Star Trek: The Next Generation premiered in 1987, episodic storytelling was the norm. Get in, tell your story and get out. Next week, move on to the next (unrelated) mission. It works, but perspectives on this have changed significantly over the years. When Enterprise warped into its final season, it brought with it a form of storytelling rarely seen in Star Trek: the three-episode mini-arc.
What if this approach had been used on TNG? Let’s look at one episode per season that could have benefited from a larger canvas, and how these stories might have been told.
Season One: “Datalore”
Season Two: “Q Who”
Season Three: “Who Watches the Watchers”
Season Four: “First Contact”
Season Five: "Unification”
Season Six: “The Chase”
Season Seven: “Preemptive Strike”
So there are seven expanded episodes that are admittedly light on details. But it’s fun to think about how TNG might be told from the perspective of a more modern television format. What would you do with these stories? Which other episodes do you feel could benefit from an Enterprising approach to TNG? The floor is yours. Please share your ideas with your fellow readers in the comments section.
C Bryan Jones is founder and publisher of the Trek.fm podcast network, host of The Ready Room and Hyperchannel, and co-host of The Orb: A Star Trek Deep Space Nine Podcast. Here on Earth, he’s also Editor-In-Chief of Metropolis, a city life and entertainment magazine in Tokyo, and host of the companion podcast Metropolis On Air. And when prattling on there isn’t enough, he turns to Twitter (@cbryanjones) and his personal website cbryanjones.com.