Star Trek: The Next Generation - All Good Things
There is an old saying that "all good things must come to an end." Considering that this is axiomatic even to the quantum level expression of entropy. It is one generalization; you would be hard-pressed to find the feasible exception. It is also actively the name of the last two episodes of ‘Star Trek: the Last Generation." When it began its seven-year run back in 1987, there were many diehard fans of the original show that gave little consideration to the potential for success of the sequel to the answer is adamant for continuity and resistant to change, as those within the science-fiction community. And even more vocal subset within that group of those involved with Star Wars and Star Trek. Go to any sci-fi con and I guarantee you will be milliseconds before you see cosplay enthusiast emulating the garb of their favorite characters. Star Trek: The Next Generation completing seven seasons. It ran for the twice as long as the original, the feed that many would have believed impossible when the first announcements of a reboot was made back in the late 80s. Initially the series embraced the view of the future engendered by the show’s creator Gene Roddenberry, but over time it expanded psychological scope and emotional foundation to embrace an even greater reliance on social and political themes relevant to the audience members. In the final analysis ST: TNG has earned its place among the best examples of science-fiction, insightfully reflecting crucial issues of the current generation of fans. With stories driven by some of the best directors and writers representing the genre, many of the episodes of the series will remain as classic examples of how science-fiction or results in unblinking commentary about time.
Beginning with the fourth season, it was not uncommon to book end the conclusion of one season with the premiere of the next with a double episode, providing continuity. Since this is the last season of the series, the penultimate and final episodes are combined together as one storyline, pulling the series together. Paramount has added a new twist to releasing the remastered high definition additions of the series by combining these double episodes together as a single disc release. In most cases this allowed the fans to have both episodes at once rather than waiting until the next season release, even though the time between the release of the season was much tighter than usual with all seven seasons completely available in under two years. In keeping with packaging double episodes together, ‘All Good Things’ is not only available for the second season set but as a standalone release.
As the story begins, we find Captain Jean-Luc Picard (Patrick Stewart), realizing that his consciousness is jumping back and forth in time between the current start date in the very first mission when he took command of the Enterprise-D over six years ago that brings them back to his encounter at Far Point Station, where he first encountered the enigmatic and troublesome omnipotent enemy called ‘Q’. As if that wasn’t troublesome enough, Picard also finds himself propelled 25 years into the future, retired from Starfleet attending the family Vineyard in France. These time slips occur seemingly randomly with no warning leaving the normally steadfast commanding officer of Starfleet’s flagship uncharacteristically disoriented. This behavior quickly becomes a concern that the senior staff members. In a plot device worthy of the greats of science-fiction, moving the story between three separate timelines disoriented the audience, forcing us to work at piecing together what is actually going on. This is only appropriate for show that is never talked down to its audience, but rather expected the viewer to be an active participant in the storytelling process. As with so many episodes over the last seven years, this one demands your full attention, reinforcing the need for you to form your own conclusions of what is happening.
In the present day Capt. Picard orders the Enterprise to the Edge of the Romulan Neutral Zone in order to investigate an unusual spatial anomaly. From his future perspective, Picard is compelled to leave Earth and manages to find passage on the medical researcher the USS Pasteur, under the command of his ex-wife, Dr. Beverly Picard, nee Crusher. He convinces her to find the anomaly as it exists in their time. Back in the past, Picard receives new orders from Starfleet to forgo his mission at Farpoint Station in order to investigate the anomaly in their time. Equipped with more knowledge of what happened there, Picard decides that is far more crucial to the timeline that the courses paths with ’Q’ instead. When he arrives at the coordinates he finds nothing but upon walking into is ready room, he discovers that he is in the courtroom devised by ’Q’ as originally happened. There, ’Q’ informs Picard that this is his last opportunity to prove humanity’s work to the continual and that if he doesn’t solve the mystery of the anomaly. He will be responsible for destroying mankind. Eventually, all three versions of Picard arrived at the anomaly noticing that is diminishing the passage of time.
Since the fan base for this series are generally sticklers for details an exceptionally demanding of continuity, the end of the series could not do anything so drastically alter what would be the future of the crew and ship. There were several movies that took place after these events, as well as crossover storylines, especially with ‘Star Trek: Deep Space Nine’. This imposed restrictions not often found in concluding the series. The more typical fashion, the writers have free reign to do pretty much what they want. By the time the credits roll for one final time. Main characters are no longer safe from being killed but in this case we know the ones that are going to live. Even with such nontraditional constraints this final episode was exceptionally well done. It was expected that it would have to tie together the overall story arc of the last seven years, which it did so with the degree of imagination that fans have come to expect from the writers of the show. By splitting the story line into three distinct time periods, including one that was not only very familiar to fans, but that was literally the beginning of the series, the threads of this story quite literally was able to be together. As fans of the franchise realized, timelines are mutable and can be affected retroactively. The temple services of Starfleet considered Capt. James T Kirk to be a menace in this regard, with Capt. Kathryn Janeway of the USS Voyager ranking not fall behind. Events happening in different time periods has been well-established as possible within the physics that the following this universe. This permitted the right is the full often trifurcated time line without the necessity of cumbersome exposition. As far as series finales go, this one was far more satisfying than most.
Audio Commentary By Ronald D. Moore and Brannon Braga