Friday wrote:Season 2 isn't much better.
We can thank the Writer's Guild of America strike of 1988 for much of season 2's crappy episodes, but it did lead to some changes in the third season that allowed for some pretty groundbreaking stories.
Friday wrote:Season 2 introduces Doctor Katherine Pulaski, an older woman who replaces Crusher while Gates McFadden was on maternity leave for the season.
I thought it was because McFadden wouldn't take crap from Gene Roddenberry or, more commonly at this point, Gene's lawyer Leonard Maizlish, and was thus fired. Many other alumni of the Original Series that Gene had brought on to TNG, like David Gerrold, D.C. Fontana, and Robert Justman, suffered the same fate - essentially Maizlish was keeping Gene isolated from his TOS staff and issuing decrees on behalf of Gene. He also did things like searching the staff's offices and making rewrites on scripts (a violation of WGA regulations) and was eventually banned from the Paramount lot, but by then the damage was done.
Friday wrote:That being said, she does get better as season 2 progresses, and by the end I found myself actually not minding her. I think if she had been given some more seasons to grow, she might have become a character that had some depth and likable qualities. But as it stands she's a janky character in a season/show that's still trying to find its voice.
I rewatched TNG about a year ago and I found myself not as harsh on Pulaski. It was a pleasant surprise to see her warm up to Data. Why, by the time "Peak Performance" rolls around, she's one of Data's staunchest supporters. Personally, my headcanon is that she came around on artificial life forms when she met Moriarty.
Friday wrote:The Child: F Tier (Bottom)
Here we see an episode that was reworked from a script dug up from the aborted Star Trek Phase II series, only there it was Ilia who gets knocked up.
Friday wrote:Where Silence Has Lease: C Tier
Another example of a C Tier that isn't forgettable, this is the episode where a Q-like alien with magic powers named Nagilum tortures and kills the crew in order to satisfy their curiosity. Highlights include Worf raving about how there's only one bridge and one Riker when confronted with a recursive illusion that loops on itself. Picard eventually just sets the auto-destruct to get Nagilum to fuck off. Could have been better, but the execution is somewhat poor and it's sort of a depressing episode watching Nagilum pick off crew members one by one while nobody can do anything about it.
You may recognize Nagilum's voice actor (Earl Bowen) from his most famous role as Dr. Silberman, from Terminator II!
Less-well-known is that the Skull Monster that Worf beats up in his holodeck program wears a modified mask of Skeletor from the 1987 Masters of the Universe film!
Friday wrote:The Outrageous Okona: D Tier
One of the episodes consistently voted as one of the lowest by aggregated fan polls, Okona is a dumb romp for sure but not without its small rays of charm. It's telling that people tolerate absolute trash like Code and The Child over this fluff as to how our society is full of racist women haters.
I don't tolerate those either, but for me, the worst parts of this episode are the grating attempts at comedy. Everything that comes close to a joke is utterly strangled to death. You'd think that Whoopi Goldberg, an actual comedian, could salvage something from it, but nope.
Friday wrote:The Schizoid Man: D Tier
This was supposed to have Patrick McGoohan in the titular role, and it would have been so awesome if it did.
Well, maybe not, since as you say, it's kind of a warmed-over plot, but still!
Friday wrote:A Matter Of Honor:
So, the Klingon captain is portrayed by Christopher Collins. You may not recognize him under that name, but he also goes by a different stage name, Chris Latta.
You might know Chris Latta better as the voice of Starscream!
And Cobra Commander!
And Cobra Commander!
Okay, I'm done.
Friday wrote:The Measure Of A Man: S Tier
Here we go. The first heavy hitter of TNG. Explores the nature of AI, the rights of said AI, personhood, people as property, slavery, and the rights of the individual against the power of the state. A bit heavy handed at times, it's not a perfect episode but the themes and ideas it explores were absolutely novel at the time and still resonate today. Has a very good scene with Guinan where she turns on Picard to the idea of Androids as slaves which allows him to win his case. One of the most discussed episodes in Star Trek history.
This is one of the scripts that may never have been made into an episode had the WGA not gone on strike. Melinda Snodgrass, the writer, drew on her career as an attorney for the script, and it got passed along by George R.R. Martin's agent to the producers.
Friday wrote:The Dauphin: C Tier
I sort of like this episode. I actually think it's cute. But it's pretty boring and if you don't like Wesley, which is almost a given, you probably won't give a shit. However it also has this scene:
and this scene:
And THIS scene:
Friday wrote:The Icarus Factor: C Tier
Worf is stabbed with red hot pokers right in the nipples.