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The Star Trek: TNG Movies--What Went Wrong?

Old 11-27-19, 05:33 PM
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The Star Trek: TNG Movies--What Went Wrong?

I've been revisiting the Star Trek: The Next Generation movies. I'd rank them as follows:

1. First Contact
2. Insurrection
3. Generations
100. Nemesis

Some people say they haven't age well. Some were put off by Action-Picard. Some were put off on the focus of it being all about Picard and Data at the expense of the other characters. Some found the killing of James T. Kirk distasteful and underwhelming. Almost everyone says that they seem like glorified episodes rather than theatrical films. (apart from First Contact, I'd agree). Some thought the public were Trekked out with these movies along with Deep Space Nine, Voyager, and Enterprise during the 1994-2002 run of the TNG movies.

What made the 6 TOS films so iconic? Each one was an event when it came out. (even Star Trek V). TNG was mucho popular during its time one television, why didn't their films make as big a splash? In 1994 the big meeting with Kirk and Picard was was hotly anticipated so much so that it made the cover of Time Magazine, but once it came out it was promptly forgotten. First Contact seems to be the only one that even remotely stuck with the public in an measurable way.

What went wrong? What could they have done better?
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Old 11-27-19, 05:44 PM
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Re: The Star Trek: TNG Movies--What Went Wrong?

First Contact worked the best because it had a great villain (still too much Picard and Data though) and felt like a huge Hollywood movie.

I also think the Picard/Kirk stuff was too convoluted - Kirk is missing for years and then dies soon after he is found. Just didn't work for me.
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Old 11-27-19, 05:58 PM
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Re: The Star Trek: TNG Movies--What Went Wrong?

I like them all pretty well truthfully. Iíve always had a soft spot for Generations in spite of it not being one that many seem to like. The idea behind the Nexus is kinda cool. I also like the ending interaction between Kirk and Picard. Could have been better but it was handled decently other than the way Kirk dies isnít the greatest. Also like the parts with Data and the emotion chip as well as Picardís arc reacting to the death of his brother and nephew. While I kinda wish it wouldnít have been destroyed the sequence where the Enterprise D separates and the saucer crashes is pretty cool. I think Iíve always been a fan of it because I saw it in theaters (probably my first theatrical Trek film), had a lot of the toys, and it was one of the only official VHS releases I received as a birthday gift so I watched it a lot.

First Contact is probably the best of the TNG films. The trauma Picard goes through when having to encounter the Borg again who are taking over the Enterprise is a good storyline. The secondary story of the First Contact between the Vulcans and humans is cool also and the crewís interaction with Zefram Cochrane is pretty entertaining.

Insurrection I hardly remember truth be told. Itís been a while since Iíve seen it so I canít comment much on it. I think itís the one I like least, and I remember it sort of feeling more like an elongated episode rather than a movie.

Nemesis I donít think is as bad as people say it is. The biggest problems I have with it are that it tries to go a bit for some of the same beats as Wrath of Khan, but not as effectively since the Shinzon character is never mentioned prior to his appearance. I also donít feel like it was a good final outing for the TNG crew.
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Old 11-27-19, 06:01 PM
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Re: The Star Trek: TNG Movies--What Went Wrong?

Iím guessing a mix of the sheer number of episodes: ST:TNG had 7 seasons (178 eps) vs TOSí 3 seasons (79 episodes) + the length of time between end of tv airing to movie (10 years for TOS and a few months for TNG).

TOS had 10 years to build up its audience, and any new content were the movies. TNG literally went into movies the same year the series ended. TOS has a build up while TNG was likely waning in the later seasons, so had more of a plateau or downward trend when it came to being excited about new TNG material.

This is all just a guess on my part, so absolutely not saying any of this is factual
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Old 11-27-19, 06:02 PM
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Re: The Star Trek: TNG Movies--What Went Wrong?

the worse TNG movie by far is Insurrection and it is the reason why the movie series died. What a forgettable piece of shit. There was nothing cinematic about it. It felt like a TV episode in scope and grandeur, a bad TV episode at that. The failure of that movie primed the pump for the failure of Nemesis (which wasn't great by any means but not horrible) as most sequel successes feed off of the one before it. Then age crept in with the cast and the rest is history.
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Old 11-27-19, 06:05 PM
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Re: The Star Trek: TNG Movies--What Went Wrong?

https://www.denofgeek.com/us/movies/...hat-went-wrong

This article details what they think went wrong with Nemesis.

One big thing was that they hired the wrong guy to direct. Stuart Baird was an Academy Award winning editor and directed U.S. Marshalls and Executive Decision. But, apparently he was not a fan of Star Trek nor did he have any knowledge of it. So I don't get why he took the job? I guess this movie was such a disaster for him professionally as a director because he was never hired to direct another movie again after this. Although he still gets work as an editor.
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Old 11-27-19, 06:05 PM
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Re: The Star Trek: TNG Movies--What Went Wrong?

Originally Posted by Draven View Post
First Contact worked the best because it had a great villain (still too much Picard and Data though) and felt like a huge Hollywood movie.

I also think the Picard/Kirk stuff was too convoluted - Kirk is missing for years and then dies soon after he is found. Just didn't work for me.
Heís not really lost. Everyone believes he died saving the Enterprise B, but really he wound up in the Nexus. Whatís convoluted is the way that he meets up with Picard. Not really sure how Guinan knows what happened to Kirk or why she sets Picard and him to meet up. It was just an excuse for them to get together but I didnít really mind it I guess.
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Old 11-27-19, 06:27 PM
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Re: The Star Trek: TNG Movies--What Went Wrong?

I think the TNG movies are underrated. Solid Trek entertainment. They just don't have the mass appeal of the original crew or the flashier Abrams' reboot.
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Old 11-27-19, 06:36 PM
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Re: The Star Trek: TNG Movies--What Went Wrong?

The Abrams movies are entirely different compared with the TOS or TNG movies. Theyíre not bad but are definitely targeted to a broader audience and go for the more polished look and star lots of pretty faces and are action heavy. I think the TOS and TNG movies are fairly comparable in terms of having popular casts.

Probably the biggest difference is that TOS movies came when there wasnít a lot of Star Trek out there. Reruns were about it at the time most of the films came out. The TNG movies on the other hand came off a boom period for Trek. TNG has just finished and during the release of the first film DS9 and VOY were still going. There probably was a bit of over saturation with the mainstream audience, most of whom probably only tolerate so much Trek to begin with.

Last edited by Mike86; 11-27-19 at 06:41 PM.
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Old 11-27-19, 06:37 PM
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Re: The Star Trek: TNG Movies--What Went Wrong?

My Star Trek ends with the card game as the last scene of TNG series. Star Trek TOS, The Original Crew films and then TNG the series are all I need.

I even love Star Trek V but just can't get behind TNG movies. They seem like bad episodes of TV as mentioned before.

JJ Trek is not only a crime against cinema but humanity.
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Old 11-27-19, 06:45 PM
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Re: The Star Trek: TNG Movies--What Went Wrong?

Originally Posted by stvn1974 View Post
My Star Trek ends with the card game as the last scene of TNG series. Star Trek TOS, The Original Crew films and then TNG the series are all I need.

I even love Star Trek V but just can't get behind TNG movies. They seem like bad episodes of TV as mentioned before.

JJ Trek is not only a crime against cinema but humanity.
This.
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Old 11-27-19, 06:54 PM
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Re: The Star Trek: TNG Movies--What Went Wrong?

Originally Posted by TGM View Post
the worse TNG movie by far is Insurrection and it is the reason why the movie series died. What a forgettable piece of shit. There was nothing cinematic about it. It felt like a TV episode in scope and grandeur, a bad TV episode at that. The failure of that movie primed the pump for the failure of Nemesis (which wasn't great by any means but not horrible) as most sequel successes feed off of the one before it. Then age crept in with the cast and the rest is history.
I enjoyed "First Contact", thinking it was nicely paced; however, the friend I saw it with hated it because its portrayal of Cochran contradicted TOS canon. On the other hand, I hate, hate, hated "Insurrection" for the reasons you mentioned. I had high hopes Stuart Baird, -an outside director whose work I liked, -would bring a fresh take to "First Contact". What a disappointment.
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Old 11-27-19, 07:39 PM
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Re: The Star Trek: TNG Movies--What Went Wrong?

Here's something that I should have put up first:

What could have been done better with the TNG movies? What would have made the movie series on par with the TOS movies?
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Old 11-27-19, 07:50 PM
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Re: The Star Trek: TNG Movies--What Went Wrong?

Originally Posted by TGM View Post
the worse TNG movie by far is Insurrection and it is the reason why the movie series died. What a forgettable piece of shit. There was nothing cinematic about it. It felt like a TV episode in scope and grandeur, a bad TV episode at that. The failure of that movie primed the pump for the failure of Nemesis (which wasn't great by any means but not horrible) as most sequel successes feed off of the one before it. Then age crept in with the cast and the rest is history.
Nemesis also was released four years after Insurrection, compared with just a two year gap between the other releases. It also was released just a few days before The Two Towers, which was really stupid of Paramount. And while Insurrection wasnít greatly received, it was still liked more than Nemesis by a decent percentage.
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Old 11-27-19, 07:55 PM
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Re: The Star Trek: TNG Movies--What Went Wrong?

Originally Posted by PatD View Post
Here's something that I should have put up first:

What could have been done better with the TNG movies? What would have made the movie series on par with the TOS movies?
Probably expanding on a story arc from the series. There was no Wrath of Kahn equivalence.
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Old 11-27-19, 08:01 PM
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Re: The Star Trek: TNG Movies--What Went Wrong?

Originally Posted by Brack View Post
Probably expanding on a story arc from the series. There was no Wrath of Kahn equivalence.
They did that with First Contact. That carried on the Best or Both Worlds arc from TNG. Not a Khan equivalence, but a story arc that had repercussions which carry over. Shinzon was a forced want to be Khan type villain.
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Old 11-27-19, 08:04 PM
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Re: The Star Trek: TNG Movies--What Went Wrong?

Nemesis was released at the wrong time as mentioned and they hired the wrong director. If they hired a director who knew Star Trek, I’m sure the script could have gone through another rewrite.
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Old 11-27-19, 08:24 PM
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Re: The Star Trek: TNG Movies--What Went Wrong?

Originally Posted by Brack View Post
Probably expanding on a story arc from the series. There was no Wrath of Kahn equivalence.
I think that’s a big part of it. I absolutely loved the expanded storyline that stretched from Wrath of Khan to The Voyage Home. I even loved Search for Spock. It would have been nice to do have done some continuation on any of the big storylines from the series. Alas.
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Old 11-27-19, 08:33 PM
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Re: The Star Trek: TNG Movies--What Went Wrong?

The ďtrilogyĒ in the original films is good I agree. The Search For Spock has always been a personal favorite. In fact Iíve never really subscribed to the stereotype that the odd numbered movies suck. One does (The Final Frontier) but the others are okay, Insurrection probably is the next weakest film, but I donít remember even hating it. Just didnít find it particularly memorable.
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Old 11-27-19, 08:39 PM
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Re: The Star Trek: TNG Movies--What Went Wrong?

I agree First Contact is the best of the four. However, when it came out I felt they went to the time travel well again too quickly after Generations. Aside from waiting a film, I donít think that had many problems. Plus, it introduced us to the Enterprise-E.

Generations had some good elements, but it didnít come together well. it has a cinematic feel, but also felt like an enhanced episode. Plus, big budget film with rescued special effects!? Please.

I honestly do t remember much about Insurrection. I think Picard fell in love (maybe?), and Rikee invented the Briar Patch maneuver. Fun fact: believe it was last Trek film with real models.

Nemesis was just awful from what I recall. I truly have only watched it in the theater, so itís been a LONG time. I always remember being confused why the Data parts ended up being B4. Somebody mentioned TNG films not having a Khan. I truly thought they were setting up Lore to be the villain. That would have made the film better. Plus they wasted an underutilized Romulan plot, who have been used very sparsely during Trek cannon.

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Old 11-27-19, 08:51 PM
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Re: The Star Trek: TNG Movies--What Went Wrong?

Lore was disassembled at one point in TNG. They could have brought in Q. Kinda surprised they never did actually.
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Old 11-27-19, 08:56 PM
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Re: The Star Trek: TNG Movies--What Went Wrong?

For one thing, The Next Generation had sort of worn out its welcome by the seventh season, and I think people were tired of it by then. They should have let it cool off for a couple of years before jumping into the movies. The difference with TOS is that that series only had three seasons and a ten year gap between the final episode and the first movie, and by that time the fandom had exploded and people were hungry for more Star Trek.

Generations
suffered because it felt more like an extended episode of the series than an actual movie. They also completely wasted Kirk; it was like "Yay! We got Shatner!" but then didn't know what to do with him. It was also a missed opportunity to not have both full crews cross over in some kind of time travel story and team up on a mission together. That was probably a budgetary issue more than anything. (And would also lead us to wonder why the future versions of McCoy, Spock, and Scotty wouldn't have remembered teaming up with the D-crew in the past, though that could be technobabbled away.)

Insurrection was, I believe, heavily rewritten from its original concept, which was to be based on Hearts of Darkness. Maybe another budgetary issue; at any rate, the final film felt like a forgettable two-part episode from season six or seven.

Nemesis was all over the place. The dune buggy chase felt really far removed from the feel of TNG, as did a lot of the other things in it. Another problem, and I kind of hate to say this, is that they let Patrick Stewart and Brent Spiner have too much influence on the story. (Which also makes me a little nervous about the upcoming Picard series.) And, lastly, it was trying too hard to rehash The Wrath of Khan. And all of this stuff never really gelled into a coherent story... the Picard clone and the Data prototype and the dune buggy and Troi getting psychically raped.
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Old 11-27-19, 09:00 PM
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Re: The Star Trek: TNG Movies--What Went Wrong?

Originally Posted by Mike86 View Post
They did that with First Contact. That carried on the Best or Both Worlds arc from TNG. Not a Khan equivalence, but a story arc that had repercussions which carry over. Shinzon was a forced want to be Khan type villain.
It just didnít work really to engage fans, and didnít care over into other films. They shouldíve done a Romulan storyline.
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Old 11-27-19, 09:03 PM
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Re: The Star Trek: TNG Movies--What Went Wrong?

Originally Posted by Mike86 View Post
Lore was disassembled at one point in TNG. They could have brought in Q. Kinda surprised they never did actually.
Yes, he absolutely should have been in one of the movies. So strange he never was.
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Old 11-27-19, 09:20 PM
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Re: The Star Trek: TNG Movies--What Went Wrong?

Not a movie but I wonder if Q might appear in Star Trek: Picard. Seems somewhat likely as a lot of other characters are returning in it.
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