Today, May 23, marks the anniversary of not one, but two Star Trek series finales. "All Good Things...," which capped The Next Generation, aired on May 23, 1994, and "Endgame," the last installment of Voyager, aired on May 23, 2001. Both two-hour finales closed out their respective shows in style, with the former setting the stage for the TNG features and the latter bringing the Voyager and her crew home at long last.
"ALL GOOD THINGS..."
Brannon Braga and Ronald D. Moore tapped out the first draft for “All Good Things…” in just six days. They were also, at the same time, in active production on Star Trek Generations.
Go-to Trek helmer Rick Kolbe directed “All Good Things…” He ultimately directed 16 TNG episodes, 13 Deep Space Nine episodes, 18 Voyager episodes (including the series premiere) and one Enterprise episode. Sadly, Kolbe passed away in 2012 after a long illness.
The future Enterprise could achieve a speed of warp 13.
The 2012 Winemaker's Reserve Roussanne from The Callaway Vineyard & Winery won the Gold at the recent 2014 Winemaker's Challenge Wine Competition. Why do we bring this up? Because the Picard-Geordi vineyard scenes were filmed in early 1994 at the winery in Temecula, California.
Andreas Katsulas, Patti Yasutake and Clyde Kusatsu reprised their recurring roles as Tomalak, Ogawa and Nakamura. And, of course, the series regulars gathered together for one last game of poker, joined -- finally, shockingly and poignantly -- by Picard.
Katsulas was in the midst of a busy period in his career when he returned as Tomalak. He’d co-starred the year before in The Fugitive as Sykes, a/k/a the one-armed man, and had just started his run as G’Kar on Babylon 5. Katsulas later guested on Enterprise, portraying Captain Drennik in “Cogenitor” in 2003. That proved to be one of his final roles, as Katsulas lost a long battle with cancer on February 13, 2006. He was just 59 years old.
Patrick Stewart and Jonathan Frakes were the only two TNG regulars to appear in every episode.
Fans saw three different Enterprises in the finale. Denise Crosby, Colm Meaney and John de Lancie returned one last time as Tasha Yar, Miles O’Brien and Q, respectively.
“All Good Things…” was nominated for four Emmy Awards, winning one, for Outstanding Individual Achievement in Special Visual Effects, and was also honored in 1995 with a Hugo Award for Best Dramatic Presentation.
Patrick Stewart intoned the final line of dialogue: “So, five-card stud, nothing wild... and the sky's the limit.”
Allan Kroeker had the honor of directing "Endgame." A veteran Trek director, he'd also called the shots on the DS9 finale, "What You Leave Behind," and he later directed the Enterprise capper, "These Are the Voyages."
"Endgame" gave us an ending. Not necessarily THE ending, but an ending, a possible resolution for the storyline and the characters. It was a bold and daring choice.
Alice Krige returned as The Borg Queen. Veteran Trek guest star Susanna Thompson had previously played the Borg Queen in "Dark Frontier" and the "Unimatrix Zero" two-parter, but the producers turned to the role's originator, First Contact actress Krige, for the finale.
Chakotay and Seven of Nine are a couple. Feel free to continue the debate about that out-of-the-blue development.
The Doctor gets hitched and calls himself... Joe.
Speaking of Joe... a fan-favorite moment in the episode -- Admiral Janeway handing Captain Janeway a cup of coffee -- was Kate Mulgrew's idea.
"Endgame took 15 days, over the course of 2.5 weeks, to film.
The very last line of dialogue, Janeway saying "Set a course... for home," repeats the same last line from the series pilot, "Caretaker."
"Endgame" was watched by 8.8 million viewers and it went on to win two Emmy Awards, one for Outstanding Special Visual Effects and one for Outstanding Music Composition For A Series/Dramatic Underscore (Jay Chattaway). It's worth pointing out that frequent Trek guest James Cromwell presented the FX award, while Scott Bakula presented the music award.
So, which finale do you think best ended its respective series?