Re-watching Star Trek: The Next Generation, 17 years later

I don’t know what triggered it, but I decided to start re-watching all of Star Trek: The Next Generation. There’s something about this show that still manages to evoke certain emotions in me. Like it’s hitting a part of my brain that hasn’t been touched since I was a kid. Even now, the sound of that theme song makes me feel like I’m 16 again and I’m just about to sit down and watch a quick episode on BBC2 before I start my homework. I’ve made it through the first season, and here are some of the things I’ve noticed so far.

  • When it first aired, I remember thinking how technically impressive this show was, especially compared to the original series. The effects were great, the make-up was mind-blowing. Was I high? This is terrible! I can’t count the amount of times I’ve watched Worf’s prosthetic head-piece wobble almost completely off his head.
  • Speaking of Worf, who decided this guy was supposed to be a big, tough badass? So far, he’s lost every fight he’s gotten into.
  • Fuck Wesley. The majority of the episodes in the first season - especially in the first half - are solved by Wesley pulling some deus ex machina bullshit in the last five minutes.
  • Picard is a bit eager to pull the Enterprise’s self-destruct trigger, isn’t he? I think he’s done it three times in the first season. In the twenty-something episodes of the first season, that means there’s a one-in-ten chance that Picard will try to blow up the ship. I know this is cheating, but there’s an episode in the second season, where the Enterprise is being treated like a rat in a maze, being tested by some huge cosmic being. Picard lasts all of about fifteen minutes before saying “fuck this” and engaging the auto-destruct.
  • How the fuck did I never realise how racist this show is? Each new alien is a thinly-veiled cipher for the writer’s unique brand of xenophobia. The Ferengi alone should have warranted some kind of action from the Anti-Defamation League.
  • I loved where they brought in Michael Berryman, drew a line down his face with a sharpie and then suddenly they’ve got one of the most believable, fucked-up looking aliens the show has ever seen.