An Enterprising Approach to TNG

An Enterprising Approach to TNG

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.

This was an approach that straddled the line between the episodic television of old and the full-blown serialization of today. It seemed groundbreaking for Star Trek in 2004, but a decade earlier Deep Space Nine opened its second season with such an approach. The Circle Trilogy set the tone for what DS9 would become, with breathing room to tell a story that was simply too big for the traditional format. It worked beautifully, but was never revisited until the NX-01 entered the Borderland.

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
Best of Both Worlds

Season Three: “Who Watches the Watchers

Season Four: “First Contact
Voyager’Distant Origin

Season Five: "Unification
TNGStar Trek

Season Six: “The Chase
Star Trek

Season Seven: “Preemptive Strike
Deep Space NineThe Maquis, Part IIStar TrekDS9TNGTNG, DS9,VoyagerVoyagerVoyager


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