Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Science Fiction Non-Fiction: Robert Justman (Star Trek: The Next Generation)

"Hang in there with us, please. If we fail, it won't be for lack of trying. So please bear with us if the new Star Trek doesn't always meet your expectations. Our little show has become legend, and it's hard to live up to a legend. We're trying hard. We want to succeed. We want to excel. We hope we can. We're sure going to try."
-Robert Justman (1926-2008), Star Trek: The Next Generation Companion, Stars And Starships-

Humble, wise words from a man who knows. Robert Justman was an associate and supervising producer on both Star Trek: The Original Series and Star Trek: The Next Generation. His words proved prophetic, because for all of the stumbling in getting the tone right for Star Trek: The Next Generation in the first season, the creators ultimately prevailed in creating some of the finest tales in the Star Trek mythology and as allegorical science fiction reflecting on humanity.

Digging deeper into ST:TNG beyond this first season reveals a truly superb series on human exploration as much as exploration from within and without blessed with some of the smartest penned stories ever made for science fiction television. You just wouldn't quite believe it based on the slim virtues of its first season.


El Vox said...

I'm rediscovering some of the first season of ST:NG as well. I've jumped around willy nilly in the season, as I read a posting off a forum, that said start with these episodes first, so I did just that. I'll now go back to the beginning and start at episode one. What I watched first was: Conspiracy & The Neutral Zone off disc 7, then Justice, Where No One Has Gone Before, The Last Outpost, & then, Lonely Among Us off disc 2. I must say I enjoyed them all.

I'll admit, I never cared for the first debut ep. of ST:NG, Encounter At Farpoint as I've never cared much for Q as a character nor John di Lancie either, but it's been a long while since I've watched them so I'm curious what I'll think about them now. At the time he/his character, seemed like a prankster God-like creature, and I would have preferred someone with a stronger/ bold appeal. His portrayal seemed a bit like Mr. Mxyzptlk in Superman to me (a little bit). Well, I'll watch them again and see what I think.

One thing I think most people will find with Trekkies, we have pretty definitive taste and our own likes and dislikes. :)

The Sci-Fi Fanatic said...

El Vox.
I couldn't agree more. I had a real distaste for Q as a character.

I appreciated him a bit more in Q Who but really had a hard time enjoying anything about him in Season One.

The later seasons certainly build upon his character.

The Neutral Zone and Conspiracy are top shelf episodes for Season One.

I couldn't stand The Last Outpost and hated the Ferengi as much as Q. I also didn't care much for Encounter At Far Point.

Also, unlike yourself, I really have to watch a series beginning to end. I can't hop around until I've seen it all, which you may have. Understandably though, time is tough.

We do have our taste for certain stories and characters. ST:TNG is such a brilliant weave of characters that just gets smoother and smoother as it goes.

I'd have to say La Forge is my least favorite character. Worf has been a real surprise for me. I quite like his character a lot.
Number One is terrific. And Picard, who I was really down on this first season, has quickly become the gentleman leader. I just absolutely love Picard and Patrick Stewart as an actor.