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Things That Confused Me About TNG From Someone Who Has Never Seen Star Trek

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So, let’s get this out of the way: I have never seen Star Trek. Not once before I wrote this article. Not the original series, not any of the seemingly dozen different spin-off series, not even the new JJ Abrams movies where they replaced Shatner with Chris Pine since Shatner had long ago been transformed into a marshmallow.

Star Trek

Image: Trek News “It’s called time, Chris. And it’s coming for you.”

Admittedly this isn’t the best forum to voice that fact on since many of our readers dream of a world where the phrase, “I’ve never watched Star Trek,” is followed by a swift exile to a prison colony. But before you ship me off to the New Zealand Penal Settlement from Deep Space 9 (I had to look that one up), know that upon setting out to write this article I took steps to change that, settling in to watch several episodes of The Next Generation that my DVR recorded, in no particular order. And I basically just recorded my thoughts as I moved through the episodes.

So get ready for some observations of a first time Trekkie, sure to send fans young and old into shaking paroxysms of rage:

  1. Alright, so there’s Patrick Stewart, taking command of the ship. Interesting. This feels like it would have been pretty groundbreaking set work in the 90’s. That’s pretty cool.
  2. Why is he the only one with an accent? He’s supposed to be French right? Why does he talk like a British person?
  3. There’s a startling lack of ethnic diversity for an Earth-wide federation ship. Seems to mostly be Americans. Although, Riker does seem like he could be Canadian.
  4. Nope, guess not.
  5. So this lady is psychic, but not enough to be relevant to the plot.
  6. Half-Betazoid. Is there seriously a society in this universe calling themselves the Betazoids? Was there another choice for a name that was beaten by Betazoid?
  7. People seem to not like Betazoids. Understandable.
  8. Oh look, it’s that Wesley Crusher kid everyone hates. He doesn’t seem that bad. No more than any 12-year-old.
  9. Worf has a cool voice. I bet this actor freaked people out when he came back from school one summer after his voice dropped. Works well for a Klingon, though.
  10. Alright, so the Star Trek crew seems to be representing humanity in some kind of trial. The courtroom is set up to mimic the “Post-nuclear horror”, which is evidently an event that brought back the fashion of 16th-century England and combined it with Qing Dynasty China. Horror indeed. Did society re-emerge from caves wearing loincloths and take their fashion from a wax museum?
Star Trek


11. What is up with Data’s eyes? If you’re trying to make something that can eventually grow into a human, you probably don’t want it to look like some kind of cat/man hybrid. There’s no way Brent Spiner‘s eyes aren’t permanently damaged from wearing those contacts.

12. Well, good job Picard, you saved humanity from the judgment of a space entity that is really into period dress. What’s next?

13. Getting a vaccine from a planet of people that aren’t human, yet somehow are exactly like some kind of African tribal society. Alright, I’m in. Let’s see how this shakes out.

14. Wow, they came on board to kidnap the security chief lady. This episode is regrettably racially insensitive.

15. So they have laser beams and particle transporters, but have yet to figure out space flight and fight with poisoned gloves?

16. So the prime directive to not interfere with other planets is more of a loose guideline. Basically, it’s don’t interfere unless you feel like it. This seems like it’s going to be a recurring thing.

17. Is Picard playing the flute? Was that Patrick Stewart’s idea? Like he’s really into the flute and fought to eventually get to play it on TV.

18. Wow, this Wesley kid is annoying. Please blow him out the airlock, Picard. No jury in the federation would convict you.

19. Why is Whoppi Goldberg on here, and what in God’s name is she wearing on her head?

20. Every single episode is set up like some kind of morality tale. You could produce any of these as plays and it wouldn’t seem the least bit strange. No one steal that idea.

21. Beat to the punch.

So there you have it, folks. I watched about four episodes from different seasons. And I have to say, I like it. I might pick up the box set.

I’m still not watching the movies, though. Well, maybe this one:


Wyatt is a writer at 301 Digital Media. You can follow him on Twitter @WyattRedd.

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