Category: Rambling

post thumbnail

25 Days of TNG, Day 15: The 10 Worst Tie-In Novels

I first started reading Star Trek tie-in novels when I was about eight. My dad hurt his foot and was in the hospital, and my mom brought me to a bookstore before we went to visit him. I found three Star Trek novels — My Enemy, My Ally by Diane Duane, Dreams of the Raven by Carmen Carter, and How Much For Just The Planet? by John M. Ford — and haven’t looked back. When TNG tie-ins started appearing, I bought them all, saving my allowance and gift certificates until I could afford them.

Unfortunately, while many were great, some… well, some were big-time stinkers. So here’s my opinion on the 10 worst TNG tie-in novels.

A couple of caveats: I stopped reading the tie-ins quite so religiously in the late 90s, so I might have missed a few. Also, this list will not cover the relaunch novels because they’re getting their own article.

So, here goes.

post thumbnail

25 Days of TNG, Day 14: The Best and Worst of Season 6

The sixth season of TNG was sort of weird. There were a lot of iffy episodes, and several that I just didn’t like (and couldn’t tell you why). But it did have my favorite Riker episode of all time.

post thumbnail

25 Days of TNG, Day 13: 10 Things That Don’t Hold Up

When Gene Roddenberry and his team first put Star Trek on the air, there was no way he could know just how far Moore’s Law would take us. How could he have any conceptualization of what computers, cell phones, tablets, and cars would be like 300 years in the future?

He couldn’t. No one can know the future, not for certain.

Trek returned to TV twenty years later, in 1987, and though everything was highly upgraded, there were still technological advancements that were completely unexpected that have since made TNG into something of a dinosaur. Here are ten of them.

post thumbnail

25 Days of TNG, Day 12: The Best and Worst of Season 5

For my money, if you chop off the premiere and the finale, Season 5 was probably the best season of TNG. Though it had a few big-time stinkers, the great episodes were really great and even the middling ones weren’t too bad. Plus, one of the all-time best episodes of TNG ever occurred in this season — I’m sure you know which.

post thumbnail

25 Days of TNG, Day 11: Anachronisms and the Stifling of Creativity

Wil Wheaton, writing for TVSquad in 2006 (later to be reprinted in Memories of the Future), made this comment about “The Last Outpost”:

Data says Ferengi are like traders, and explains this with the most obvious contemporary reference: Yankee traders from 18th century America. This indicates that, in the 24th century, the traditional practice of using 400 year-old comparisons is still in vogue, like when you’re stuck in traffic on the freeway, and you say, “Man, this is just like Vasco de Gama trying to go around the Cape of Good Hope!”

Because of the changing nature of pop culture and fashion, it’s very difficult to include contemporary references in fiction. Some people do it very well — Seth McFarlane, the writers of Psych and Warehouse 13, Joss Whedon — and some don’t. Others just avoid it altogether — for example, Laurell K. Hamilton is very cagey about exactly what type of phone Anita Blake uses. There are positives and negatives to both; catching an old rerun of Family Guy will remind you just what didn’t hold up a mere ten years ago.

post thumbnail

25 Days of TNG, Day 10: The Best and Worst of Season 4

Season Four had some pretty high-concept, hard-hitting episodes. It also introduced a war that apparently everyone in the Trek universe either missed, ignored, or forgot about. And it sent Wesley off to Starfleet Academy, so if you weren’t a fan, you were probably thrilled.

But, of course, the big news was that Picard wasn’t dead and Shelby wasn’t sticking around. I’ll talk about that in my top episodes list when we get there. For now… Season Four.

post thumbnail

25 Days of TNG, Day 9: In Their Own Words

I was really racking my brain for one more article topic*, and this morning (September 14) I was posting something to my quote blog and I realized that each of the stars of TNG have probably had interesting things to say in their lives and careers. So let’s take a look at that.

post thumbnail

25 Days of TNG, Day 8: The Best and Worst of Season 3

After the debacle that was Season Two (and the writer’s strike), it really amazed me just how strong TNG came back with the third season. Despite a somewhat-iffy premiere (the baseball references did nothing at all for me), the next ten or so episodes reminded us how good Star Trek can be. Though Five is probably my favorite season, Three is a close runner-up.

post thumbnail

25 Days of TNG, Day 7: The 10 Best Recurring Characters

While Star Trek: TNG had a strong core cast, sometimes it was guest stars and recurring characters that made certain episodes work. With that in mind, here are the ten that I consider the “best”.

The rules: the character must appear in two or more episodes, and two-parters count as one episode.

post thumbnail

25 Days of TNG, Day 6: The Best and Worst of Season 2

Season Two is generally considered to be the worst of all the TNG seasons, and with good reason: there were some truly atrocious episodes. Of course, the Borg were introduced in Season Two, so it can’t be totally discounted.