Wednesday, September 05, 2012

ST:TNG 1.02 Encounter at Farpoint (Part 2) Star Trek: The Next Generation Re-Watch



The Star Trek: The Next Generation re-watch continues with...

Encounter at Farpoint, Part 2
Star Trek: The Next Generation - Season 1, Episode 2

Story:
  • We continue the story started with Encounter at Farpoint (Part 1) with the Enterprise at Farpoint station, a place where things seem to magically appear exactly to match your needs. The result of how the crew deals with the mystery of Farpoint will apparently be judged by Q in lieu of his previous actions to put the crew on trial for the crimes of humanity and claim that humans are a savage race.
What it's really about:
  • Keep digging until you find the missing link to understand the whole story. Q kept waiting and hoping for the crew to jump into action prematurely and react, attack or take advantage of the 'mystery' of Farpoint station, which was an energy creature that was being starved to meet the needs of people around it.
  • It also serves to continue character introductions that started in Part I
  • We continue to be oriented to the Enterprise, including the holodeck.
Character Focus:
  • Although like Part I this is more about the crew as a whole, there is still a calm focus Captain Picard, although it's not a strong as the first episode with the exception that it reaffirms his ineptitude with kids.
  • We start to learn more about Geordi, Data, the family of Beverly & Wesley as well as a reveal that there was a relationship between Troi & Riker.
What I remembered about this episode:
  • To be honest, I didn't remember anything specifically about the second part of this episode except that Q let's them go.
What I noticed now, that I didn't notice then:
  • In terms of characters, almost everyone feels flawed in some way from the very beginning.
  • And Riker continues to be one the outs, needing help on how to find someone on the ship and having Data explain to him how the holodeck works. In some ways, he serves as what I like to call the 'New Girl in Town' character, someone that the audience learns about the world through. I see the logic of the choice given he's a new transfer to the ship, but it seems odd for a first officer not to know stuff about the ship, or need help.
  • It's interesting to see the choice of Data although superior would love to be human versus Geordi's active choice to be who he is even with a 'disability'. I'm trying to remember if they use that term or not, but it's feels like quite the stance on embracing being 'differently abled', although the show might pre-date that term.
  • I was shocked the 'last time on...' intro voice over wasn't Majel Barrett! And they said 'Last time on Encounter at Farpoint' (as opposed to on Star Trek: The Next Generation. I think my Voyager knowledge is showing.
  • Beverly & Wesley clearly serve as the single parent family - I can't believe I never really notice that as a type, and also how on-target that was for the time.
What feels different now, than then:
  • I loved how Geordi gets impatient with Beverly on the 'unique-ness' of his condition, and I'm surprized I didn't notice that as much on earlier times watching the episode as I can totally relate to it.
  • Riker feels like he's being super-harsh with Troi, I think that feels different as you get to know the characters more over the seasons.
  • It was pretty disturbing to see that the Federation would continue to work with the folks that mis-used the creatures, at least that's my interpretation of what they mean when they say they'll work towards creating a new Farpoint Station. What they did was pretty horrible to the energy beings.
What remained the same:
  • There is definitely some over-acting going on an a lot of melodrama, especially with Troi, Riker, Wesley & Data. A few times I was really feeling that, but 1st seasons you have to let people settle into their characters and find the rhythm. But still...wow.
  • Some of the stories just don't stick in my brain, even though it didn't change I didn't actually know how the story would play out. I'm often way more interested in characters.
What I see differently:

  • There as like a freaking flying saucer! I mean .... seriously! That feels so odd.
  • Data feels a little Lore-ish.
  • The sets are so.... sets. They double-use 2 locations, see something that is so doesn't look like a set through the view screen. It almost feels like a callback to The Original Series, but sadly, I don't think it is!
Great Quotes:
  • "But Captain Picard is a pain, isn't he?" - Wesley
  • "I shall endeavor to function adequately" - Data
Left off at:
  • It's a happy ending with Q's claim against humans savagery quashed, the aliens freed & reunited and the crew having their first successful mission. And the non-committal double-negative from Q that he may return.
So that completes the double episode of Encounter at Farpoint. I still can't believe I didn't remember the 'story' at all. I'm looking forward to diving into a single-episode tomorrow and seeing how that shakes things up.


The wonders of technology! Hello holodeck & visor!

2 comments:

Jamie Ridler Studios said...

I love reading your take on these episodes, Shannon. It takes me right back to watching them and also the time in which we were watching them.

Fascinating message to keep digging until you have all the facts.

Shannon said...

Thank you Jamie, I am so glad that you are enjoying them! I have so many memories of watching the show together, it's really interesting to see how I remember them from then, and how I see them now (and if that's the same... or different). Totally fun. And I think they *all* have messages, at least I hope so! :)