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Star Trek: The Next Generation – Sins of the Father (Review)

This January and February, we’ll be finishing up our look at the second season of Star Trek: The Next Generation and moving on to the third year of the show, both recently and lovingly remastered for high definition. Check back daily for the latest review.

Sins of the Father is another watershed moment for Star Trek: The Next Generation and Star Trek as a whole. It’s really the first time that the franchise has invested in proper long-form world-building, rather than treating continuity as something that occasionally built up by sheer narrative momentum. It’s an episode that ends on an ambiguous note, suggesting more to come. It’s also an episode that nails down a lot of Klingon culture and tradition.

In a way, it’s the logical conclusion of a narrative style that has been building since The Enemy and The Defector earlier in the season; creating a sense that The Next Generation isn’t just the story of the crazy adventures that or crew have week in and week out, but a window into a much larger fictional universe. There’s a sense that the adventures of the Enterprise are set against a much larger and vaster universe, and Sins of the Father really gives us a glimpse at that.

It broadens the scope of The Next Generation, in terms of subject matter and also in terms of narrative possibilities.

Picard gets his Palpatine on...

Picard gets his Palpatine on…

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Star Trek: The Next Generation – The Last Generation (Review)

This January and February, we’ll be finishing up our look at the second season of Star Trek: The Next Generation and moving on to the third year of the show, both recently and lovingly remastered for high definition. Check back daily for the latest review.

We’ll be supplementing our coverage of the episodes with some additional materials – mainly novels and comics and films.

The Last Generation, a five-issue miniseries written by Andrew Steven Harris and illustrated by the wonderful Gordon Purcell, feels like a companion piece to Harris’ Alien Spotlight: Borg issue. Both are essentially stories about the morality of using time travel to re-write history, and both can be read as a reflection on Star Trek continuity as a whole.

Published from November 2008 through to March 2009, The Last Generation feels like something of a preemptive rebuttal to JJ Abrams’ May 2009 reboot of Star Trek. Much like Alien Spotlight: Borg before it, it feels like a conscious attempt to vindicate and validate the franchise from the era of Star Trek: The Next Generation onwards.

Given the fact that the “reboot-in-all-but-name” back-to-Kirk nature of Abrams’ film was openly discussed well ahead of the release, it’s hard not to read The Last Generation and Alien Spotlight: Borg as protests against the decision to set the clock back on the franchise and start with Kirk yet again.

A shot in the dark...

A shot in the dark…

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