S1E1 - Encounter at Farpoint

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dnaphil
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S1E1 - Encounter at Farpoint

Post by dnaphil »

Our first episode is the pilot episode.

I don't want to say much about it until after the Watch Party.
If you are going to join the Watch Party keep an eye out on the Week 1 Episode list thread: viewtopic.php?f=58&t=2208

We will be posting the code for the Watch Party, later tonight.

In the meantime, we will get the discussion going tomorrow.

Enjoy!
dnaphil
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Re: S1E1 - Encounter at Farpoint

Post by dnaphil »

Ok. Now that we have seen the episode, here are some of my thoughts.

I found it interesting that both Senda and Schmitty thought the episode was not too bad. But I guess I am skewed because I know what kinds of stories are coming. But I am glad it was not too bad.

I liked the story overall. The whole thing with Q was very much in the feel of an Original Series show, with some god-like power messing with the crew. The mystery of Farpoint was one I liked, now, and when the show first came out. The idea of the station being a beached space creature was a cool twist for me.

The crew looks so young. My memories of later episodes are stronger than earlier ones, so they all look young.

(No spoilers) I also forgot some of the original crew assignments. (No spoilers)

The casting of Q was great and I love John de Lancie. (minor spoiler: Q keeps true to his word. We will see him a few more times in our watchings).
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pksullivan
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Re: S1E1 - Encounter at Farpoint

Post by pksullivan »

This is definitely an artifact of its time, the old TV model. A lot of time was spent establishing characters and relationships and for a good chunk in the middle not a lot happened. For the most part, it works. It's good but not great Star Trek.

What I liked about this is how immediately they differentiate Picard from Kirk. If Star Trek was "Wagon Train to the stars", Kirk was the head cowboy. Picard is much more of an intellectual and a diplomat.
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Chromatic Chameleon
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Re: S1E1 - Encounter at Farpoint

Post by Chromatic Chameleon »

I think this was a good trial episode were they tested a lot of concepts to see what the audience wanted. They had the new uniforms and the gender fluid dress (if I recall it didn't go over that well in mid 80s crowd) to the music, to the diplomatic, military and a tad bit of science, even the saucer separation.

The thing that stood out to me was the testing of romantic relationships to see which stuck. Even the music they played when Picard saw Crusher for the first time. The director probably came close to yelling more swoon more swoon Patrick

PS I couldn't get into the viewing with everyone. I had the extension and I think it was on but the link just went to the episode. Did I miss a step?
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RobAbrazado
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Re: S1E1 - Encounter at Farpoint

Post by RobAbrazado »

I was too sleepy to make the watch party, so I watched this over lunch break today (and dragged my partner along for the ride ;) ). I was actually surprised how much I didn't think the episode was too bad, myself! I tend to skip it when I revisit TNG, so I haven't seen this one in a LONG time, so it was actually kinda nice that it didn't live down to my terrible expectations. Though my memory of there being a ridiculously long ship separation sequence definitely proved accurate. :lol:

I was definitely struck by how much the "feel" was similar to original series, with my favorite aspect being ROMANTIC TENSION presented as INCREDIBLY DRAMATIC. Also the pilot was a kinda tough-to-watch indicator of how TNG treats women as characters, but...I guess we'll see if my memory holds up in that arena, as well.

I kept trying to consciously approach watching the pilot as if I was someone seeing Star Trek for the first time, and I couldn't help thinking how I would just be confused and angry about what was happening. :lol: Like...if I sat down ready for some starships and lasers, and then Q rolls in with his pirate outfit and like TURN THEE BACK MORTALS, I would have been, like...what in God's name is happening here?!
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GMGERRYMANDER
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Re: S1E1 - Encounter at Farpoint

Post by GMGERRYMANDER »

PK< that last statement might be part of what turned me off to Q in the past.

I never like godlike villains, but the "campy without being campy" thing was disappointing first time around.

It's fun to see how the writers were still getting their ground and trying to both make changes while at the same time clinging to tropes and cliches to hook people in.

And yeah, everyone was young.

I never understood the saucer separation thing. It seemed like a gimmick. And something that would endanger the civilians. (Oh good, the combat part separated from the part that has all of the people and resources. Let's grab that.)

I'm interested to see the separation used in interesting ways once it gets going.

Did Voyager have the ability to separate?
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RobAbrazado
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Re: S1E1 - Encounter at Farpoint

Post by RobAbrazado »

Voyager couldn't separate. But it could land on a planet!

Also, something I forgot about. Big ups to our boy Worf for coming such a long way over the course of the series from being the guy ready to shoot a hole in the viewscreen. :lol:
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JimLikesGames
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Re: S1E1 - Encounter at Farpoint

Post by JimLikesGames »

I think it's worth noting that in this episode, they very casually and without fanfare put a black man in the command chair of the Enterprise. I have absolutely no recollection at the time whether it went commented upon among fandom (this was pre-internet discourse, imagine that) but I cannot imagine it wasn't very much on purpose, and probably pissed off at least a few of the right people.
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Jared Rascher
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Re: S1E1 - Encounter at Farpoint

Post by Jared Rascher »

I've been playing catch up on the Watch Club, but I didn't rewatch this one, since my wife and I just watched it when we were finishing up Picard.

It does remind me of older science fiction shows, in that instead of assuming the audience is keeping pace, it seems to want to linger to make sure either that you get what is being said, or that you have enough time to relate to the people by giving you extra "personal time," instead of keeping the standard pacing you might if the show wasn't science fiction.

They really wanted us to know the saucer section could separate, didn't they?
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RobAbrazado
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Re: S1E1 - Encounter at Farpoint

Post by RobAbrazado »

Jared Rascher wrote: Thu Jul 09, 2020 10:27 pm They really wanted us to know the saucer section could separate, didn't they?
Oh my god. Speaking of lingering in a scene. :lol:
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