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Star Trek: The Next Generation – Yesterday’s Enterprise (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.

Yesterday’s Enterprise is one of the best-loved pieces of Star Trek ever produced. Its inclusion is a given in absolutely any “best of” poll being run for Star Trek: The Next Generation or even the franchise as a whole. A rather thoughtful piece of high-concept science-fiction exploring the importance of the right people in the right time, Yesterday’s Enterprise is proof that The Next Generation has truly come of age. After two years of wandering in the wilderness, the show has finally found its feet.

Of course, the production of Yesterday’s Enterprise was quite traumatic. The story and script went through multiple iterations between the original pitch and the version presented on the screen. The episode was written by pretty much the entire writing staff over the Thanksgiving weekend, racing against the clock to get it finished. Due to scheduling issues with Denise Crosby and Whoopi Goldberg, it was filmed in late December instead of early January.

As with so much of the third season, there’s a sense that the episode was held together by chewing gum and rubber bands. However, also like most of the third season, that sense only comes from those delving into the behind-the-scenes stories. Looking at the episode itself, this was a show on the top of its game.

The battle bridge...

The battle bridge…

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Star Trek: The Next Generation – Skin of Evil (Review)

To celebrate the twenty-fifth anniversary of Star Trek: The Next Generation, and also next year’s release of Star Trek: Into Darkness, I’m taking a look at the recent blu ray release of the first season, episode-by-episode. Check back daily for the latest review.

Skin of Evil is a mess of an episode. It’s a whole bunch of concepts thrown together, and executed in the most ridiculous and banal manner possible. There’s a lot of the disparate elements of Skin of Evil that could easily work if handled properly. Most notably, the idea of a character dying in the line of duty rather than as a hero is a fascinating one, and the eponymous monster could be an interesting twist on the “god-like beings” we seem to stumble across once every couple of weeks in the Star Trek universe. However, Skin of Evil winds up feeling the one thing it should be impossible for an episode like this to be. Despite all the different stuff happening involving all the different characters: it’s boring.

A slick operator...

A slick operator…

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