Thursday, July 16, 2015

Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch Reflection


Looking Back at The Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch

  • Started: September 4, 2012
  • Completed: June 22, 2015
  • Number of seasons: 7
  • Number of episodes: 178
  • Watched via: SPACE Channel and Netflix
  • Breaks Taken: 3
  • Status: COMPLETE!

It took me almost 3 years, but I finally did it! I re-watched every single episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation. It has been quite a journey, and I feel like I have so many things to say about the experience as a whole that it's hard to know where to start. Let's go back to the beginning.

When I started this project, it was a something I could do that was fun and it centred me during a time when my life was thrown off balance. As life began to change, I couldn't always keep this project going in the same way. During these three years my Mom passed away, my cat passed away, I've moved and have yet another move on the horizon. So much changes in life, and sometimes projects can give us strength by anchoring us and other times they simply weigh us down. I had to ride a few waves and adapt my ways more than once to soar to the finish line, and I'm very proud that I was able to do it.

That's been life through the time of this rewatch, but let's look at what's come up about the show during the rewatch itself. It's been 178 episode, so it shouldn't be that surprizing that I have a few observations to share!


Images Source: TrekCore

General Observations:
  • Even though I was pretty sure I knew every episode by it's title, I still made a game of seeing how quickly I could (correctly) guess each episode.
  • All the Riker-centric episode are ones I consider my favourites.
  • Some episodes affect me differently than on first view, especially emotional episodes and ones about family. The episodes about big life choices or the loss of loved ones, hit me a lot harder than when I first watched these when I was a did. That's the power of relatable life experience for you.
  • One of the things I came to look forward to during the re-watch was reading about each episode over at Memory Alpha. The site has lots of great insights about the episode from the production side of things, and the reaction to the episode as well. Memory Alpha was also my go to for any technical terms, the spelling of alien words and if their was a connection to the larger world of Trek. I admire and appreciate their site very much.
  • Overall, the re-watch took more than twice the amount of time I had anticipated it to take.
  • There are only 2 episodes I would skip if I were to rewatch the series again: 6.13 Aquiel (too boring) and 5.12 Violations (too disturbing).
  • The fabulous TV check in site Get Glue was rebranded to TV Tag, and then folded altogether. Not having a way to check in or easily share that I was watching (with a picture), made re-watching less fun.
  • I initially loved doing the episode write ups, but when it came to a point where I couldn't do them anymore (something I denied for a long time) it threw a wrench in the works of the project.
  • This is one series that it's not actually really necessary to watch in order. There are a few 2 parters each season, and the occasionally return character or continuation, but overall it's not a long-arc show that needs to be watch linearly.
  • Season 5 has by far the highest number of episodes I consider favourite in one season.
  • An odd by-product of the rewatch was that I'm now more comfortable blogging in HTML than WYSIWYG, and I've gotten used to typing out general formatting code.
  • It was important for me to recognize that enjoying the show trumped sticking to the format of the re-watch.
  • I could probably tell you what season any episode is simply by what Troi is wearing.


Images Source: TrekCore

Whenever I do a wrap up or reflection, I feel like I want to share favourites and I didn't think I would be able to narrow it down to an episode given I have 5-8 favourites per season. After thinking a lot about it, I've decided my all-time favourite Star Trek: The Next Generation episode is 6.10 and 6.11 Chain of Command, Part I and Part II, aka There are FOUR light. It is a very powerful episode, one that has stuck with me since I first watched in on first airing. The resilience and strength of character that Picard has when he is taken hostage and tortured by the Cardassians is phenomenal. I will always remember this episode. Always.


Images Source: TrekCore

I'm very thankful to the resources of TrekCore for images and Memory Alpha for having info on everything Trek, plus both Space and Netflix Canada for having the show available to watch. Now if Netflix.ca would just add DS9 and Voyager :)

If you'd like to read through my episode write ups, they are listed in my seasonal archives and reflection posts: Season 1, Season 2, Season 3, Season 4, Season 5, Season 6 and Season 7.

Even though so many things changed through the process of watching the show, the one thing that stayed the same was that I really love Star Trek. This project reinforced that and it was a treat to go through and watch each episode and remember nostalgically the things I loved about it and look for new things to enjoy. I love the characters, I love the stories, I love the Star Trek philosophy of exploration and striving to understand one another. I particularly love that Star Trek is a futuristic show that shows a positive view of the future.

Life has changed so much for me during the time of this project, and I'm very proud that I was able to find a way to keep it going especially when that meant doing things differently. I'm NOT a fan of change. I often resist (which is futile). I had a friend recent retort to me that persistence is fertile, and I'm thinking that is a better way to look at things.


That's me watching the *very* last episode. I DID IT!!

1 comment:

Mike Crate said...

Congratulations, couldn't do that myself not enough of a TNG fan but I am dipping into the show on an on/off basis.