Registered: Jun 2000
Location: Jacksonville, FL, USA
I disagree with Doom1701.
I think the problem with TNG was the "we want to avoid the cast splintering that occurred on TOS, so rather than have 3 main characters and everyone else subordinate, we'll rotate the focus every week so each character gets a show built around them". "Oh look, it's Troi week on TNG" was a common phrase (that and "Counselor Cleavage"). They kept that up for the entire run, but at least by season 3 they had established the characters enough that the writers had a handle on them and they didn't have stupid things like Troi interrupting the captain during combat to warn him that "The crew is feeling apprehensive, Captain".
After Gene died, TNG went downhill and the last year was easily as bad as the first (in fact, I argue that "Clues" is the worst episode of ANY version of Trek, EVER, taking the title from "The Way to Eden" handily, though the "warp drive is bad for space" episode, who's title I forget, comes close). On the other hand, in spite of awkward writing, the first season has much promise. Continuity from episode to episode, a first for Trek. Creative use of the Holodeck to show solutions to boredom in space (though this devolved into the Holodeck Show, it didn't start that way). Characters with personality quirks (Picards dislike of children, that all but disappeared later). There is much promise in season one. Plot threads showing up in one episode that are resolved much later.
In fact, if they hadn't shown all the "Wesley Crusher embarasses the crew by being better at their jobs than they are" episodes in a row, even the first season wouldn't be held in as low regard as it is usually described.
It is interesting that "The Measure of a Man", my personal favorite Star Trek episode of all time (it is so much the ESSENCE of Trek) is a second season episode while "Clues", the worst episode ever, is season 4. I think that says more about variable quality of writing on a production TV show than it does about Roddenberry or Berman.
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