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Star Trek: The Next Generation Re-Watch: “Code of Honor”

“Code of Honor”
Written by Katharyn Powers and Michael Baron
Directed by Russ Mayberry; Les Landau (uncredited)

Season 1, Episode 4
Original air date:  October 12, 1987
Star date: 41235.25

Mission summary

A devastating plague threatens millions of Federation lives and only one planet seems to have abundant supplies of the vaccine: Ligon II. The Ligonians, who are all black, are described as “proud,” “structured,” “ritualistic,” and “honor-based,” because I guess positive adjectives are supposed to make their African tribal vibe seem less racist.

Picard greets the leader, Lutan, and his first officer equivalent, Hagon, aboard the Enterprise. Lutan is immediately taken by Lt. Yar because on their planet “it is the duty of women only to own the land, and the duty of men to protect and rule it.” Picard gifts them some pottery and they get a tour of the Enterprise, then Yar gives them an aikido demonstration as a way to show off both the holodeck and her own physical skills. All seems to be going well, as Lutan appears both pleased by Picard and willing to negotiate for the vaccine. He politely says his goodbyes, but just as he’s beaming out he abruptly snatches Lt. Yar and transports her with them to the surface.

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Star Trek: The Next Generation Re-Watch: “The Naked Now”

“The Naked Now”
Written by J. Michael Bingham (D.C. Fontana), story by John D.F. Black (“The Naked Time”) and J. Michael Bingham
Directed by Paul Lynch

Season 1, Episode 3
Original air date: October 5, 1987
Star date: 41209.2

Mission summary

After receiving bizarre messages from the S.S. Tsiolkovsky, a science ship studying a collapsing star, Enterprise races at warp 7 to investigate. They make brief contact with what sounds like the Tsiolkovsky’s phone sex operator just before someone blows an emergency hatch on the ship, killing everyone on board.

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Star Trek: The Next Generation Re-Watch: “Encounter at Farpoint”

“Encounter at Farpoint”
Written by D.C. Fontana and Gene Roddenberry
Directed by Corey Allen

Season 1, Episodes 1 & 2
Original air date: September 28, 1987
Star date: 41153.7

Mission summary

Captain Jean-Luc Picard has been assigned command of the USS Enterprise-D. Headed to Deneb IV to round up the rest of his shiny new crew, the Enterprise thumps right into a supernatural barrier. The space net won’t budge and Picard and his bridge officers are visited by Q, a seemingly omnipotent being who accuses the human race of being a violent, savage race of puppy-drowning kitten-snatchers. He demands that they turn tail and run back to Earth or he will kill them all.

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Ten Forward Now Open For Business!

Some of you have stumbled upon it already, but I’d like to announce officially that Ten Forward–our previously discussed forums area–is up and running in beta.*

We’ve started an introduction thread, so drop in and say hello!

* I’m still working out some kinks, so if you have any issues let me know.


The Star Trek: The Next Generation Re-Watch: Introductory Post

I am a Trekkie because of TNG.

I missed it first run but caught it on syndication and for a long time it was my only Star Trek. I couldn’t get into DS9 and Voyager hadn’t aired yet, so I used to wait for 7pm to roll around and tune in for the adventures of Captain Picard and his crew on the USS Enterprise NCC-1701-D.  No one else in my family cared for it so it was my special show that I didn’t have to share with anyone.  To some extent I still feel that way, because I am so rarely able to geek out about it with people. Most of the Trekkies I know are hardcore TOSsers or, interestingly, DS9 fans (I find this to be generational), so I’m really looking forward to the chance to talk about TNG with you guys.

TNG happens to be Eugene’s and my favorite Trek, so you may wonder why we didn’t just re-watch it to begin with. Well, when we embarked on the Star Trek Re-Watch two and a half years ago, the fact that the original series was only three seasons and 79 episodes definitely played a factor in our decision to go forward. TNG, on the other hand, has seven seasons and 176 episodes.

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Deck 10, Section 1: A Room With A View

From the get-go, our goal with this project was to create a fun space where people could have intelligent, interesting conversations (mostly about Star Trek). I like to think of us more as party hosts than exhibitors, and to that end we had always contemplated creating some way for you to chat easily with or without us, on- or off-topic.

We’ve been blessed with a group of ridiculously smart and entertaining folks that I’d be happy to talk to any time of day. To that end, I’m thinking of creating a mailing list or forum space for people to talk Star Trek and beyond: from sharing info on upcoming Star Trek events to crowdsourcing the worthiness of the latest Tintin movie.  It could also be a good way for those not interested in TNG to stay in touch while we continue the re-watch. Mostly I imagine it as a chance to just be friendly and chat about life, the universe, and everything, like the usenet days of yore when the internet didn’t have any 2.0s after it.

I don’t want to talk to myself so I figured I’d toss the idea out to the general crowd. Any interest in this whatsoever? And do people prefer a mailing list (pro: more private and convenient to check; con: potentially voluminous e-mail, possibly unwelcoming to newbies) to a web-based forum (pro: you can easily ignore uninteresting threads; con: publicly available* and requires checking an obviously non-work-related website).

* In the interest of privacy I could, however, make it a registered users/members-only forum.


Re-Watching Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country

Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country

Screenplay by: Nicholas Meyer & Denny Martin Flinn
Story by: Leonard Nimoy and Lawrence Konner & Mark Rosenthal
Produced by: Steven-Charles Jaffe & Ralph Winter
Directed by: Nicholas Meyer

Release date: December 6, 1991
Stardate: 9521.6

Mission Summary

A mining accident destroys Praxis, a Klingon moon where energy for the entire Klingon Empire is produced. With only 50 years of life left to the Empire as a result, the Klingons open a dialog with Vulcan ambassador Sarek about ending hostilities with the Federation and dismantling all bases around the Neutral Zone. Spock has recommended Kirk for the diplomatic honor of escorting the Klingon High Chancellor Gorkon to a peace summit. This enrages Kirk, who has come to despise the Klingons for killing his son David.

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Re-watching Star Trek V: The Final Frontier

Star Trek V: The Final Frontier

Screenplay by: David Loughery
Story by: William Shatner & Harve Bennett & David Loughery
Produced by: Harve Bennett
Directed by: William Shatner

Release date: June 9, 1989
Stardate: 8454.1

Mission Summary

Shore leave at Yosemite Park is cut short by a hostage situation on the planet Nimbus III, where a Vulcan named Sybok has taken three ambassadors hostage. The Enterprise is dispatched to resolve the situation, and they find that Sybok is Spock’s fully Vulcan half-brother. He has a unique ability to purge a person’s pain, a neat trick that both Spock and McCoy take him up on (Kirk refuses, saying his pain makes him human). Unfortunately, Sybok also happens to be a raving cultist in search of god at the planet Sha Ka Ree in the center of the universe. Meanwhile, a Klingon named Klaa is in pursuit of Kirk, for personal glory and because the movie needed explosions.

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Re-Watching Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home

Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home

Illustration by Bob PeakScreenplay by: Steve Meerson & Peter Krikes and
Harve Bennett & Nicholas Meyer
Story by: Leonard Nimoy & Harve Bennett
Produced by: Harve Bennett
Directed by: Leonard Nimoy

Release date: November 26, 1986
Stardate: 8390.0 (aka 1986)

Mission Summary

The crew of the Enterprise has been court-martialed by Klingon request for the ship stolen and the lives lost in Star Trek III. Fortunately, or perhaps unfortunately, a mysterious probe that disables just about everything is headed straight for Earth. The probe sends a signal no one can understand, and when it doesn’t get a response it begins to vaporize the Earth’s oceans and ionize its atmosphere: a recipe for disaster. Spock, newly born again, discovers that the signal is the song of the humpback whale: extinct since the 21st century. In classic Star Trek fashion, the crew go back in time to 1986 San Francisco to nab themselves some humpback whales.

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Re-Watching Star Trek III: The Search for Spock

Star Trek III: The Search for Spock

Written by: Harve Bennett
Produced by: Harve Bennett
Directed by: Leonard Nimoy

Release date: June 1, 1984
Stardate: 8210.3

Mission Summary

Enterprise returns to Earth to be decommissioned, with Kirk and the crew still mourning Spock. A visit from the Vulcan’s father, Sarek, offers some hope that their friend is only mostly dead–just before Spock gave his life to save the ship, he mind-melded with Dr. McCoy to implant his living spirit, or katra, in the doctor’s head. Kirk decides to go to the Genesis Planet to retrieve Spock’s body and take him to Vulcan, but there are two problems: Starfleet has classified Genesis as off-limits, and they don’t have a ship to get them there.

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