30 years of Star Trek: The Next Generation. That’s an awful lot of Earl Grey.
Andrew Gorton, Facebook 6pm, Wednesdays, BBC Two. It was the highlight of my week as a kid. The show had a memorable villain in the Borg, and an intellectual badass captain you wished was your dad. There was also the comically serious android with just a touch of Stan Laurel about him.
David McGiveron, email My parents divorced when I was young, so the TNG crew became a surrogate family to me. Away from the drama and the arguing and the family strife, here was a group of people who were genuinely decent to each other, cared for each other, and taught me right from wrong. Picard was my father figure, Worf was the wise uncle, Riker was like a cheeky older cousin... Each and every one gave me a person to look up to and respect. Even Troi, though she mainly taught me not to state the bloody obvious…
Robert Harris, Facebook Dr Pulaski has to be on my list of things I love about TNG. Even though her stint was short, it was great. She was grumpy and irascible but damned if you didn’t want her as your Doctor. You knew she’d do everything possible to cure your ass of that Levosian flu you picked up. Or that nasty, itchy little rash you got off Risa…
Dan Morton, Facebook Whoever greenlit the episode where Beverly is haunted by a sex ghost on planet “not Scotland” should be shot.
Robert William Graham, Facebook Originally it took me a long time to warm to Captain Picard. Until the end of season three I found him dull and stiff but by the end of the series he was my favourite character. Shame they never got to do another movie after Nemesis, which I felt was very underrated. SFX Agreed. This great cast deserved a chance to go out on a high.
Keith Tudor, email It’s hard to believe the show is 30 years old now. It’s great fun to watch Q torment Picard, the holodeck malfunction, the Romulans’ treachery and the Klingons fight with honour (or not, if it will plunge the Empire into civil war). Then there’s Picard’s speeches. His use of poetry and Shakespeare to drive home a point to an opponent were a joy. I
You knew she’d do everything to cure your ass of that Levosian flu
will continue to revisit all seven seasons for many years to come. The sky’s the limit…
Brett Pritchard, Facebook I sometimes found the namby-pamby elements a bit much. All those constant conferences... Kirk and co had conferences of course, but I liked that Kirk was unpredictable and would sometimes make reckless calls.
Mark Howe, Facebook It hasn’t aged well, with its rather beige Enterprise sets, ship’s counsellor and iffy first two and last two seasons. Having said that, during seasons three to five Next Gen was the best Trek, with “Best Of Both Worlds, Part One” the best episode of any of the series.
Gaia Ametza, Facebook There were lots of weak plots and the number of new particles they routinely invented did get a bit tiresome. However, without the strength of the cast and the decent plots we’d never have had any more Star Trek legacy.
GM Jordan, Facebook Surreal moment: Majel Barrett pushing her way into a TNG convention dealers’ room, not looking to see who was coming and smashing me in the face with the heavy door, breaking my nose. Then Marina Sirtis helping to stop the bleeding and making sure I was okay. SFX Any other readers been inadvertently injured by a Star Trek celeb? We want to hear from you…
Andrew Fulkes, Facebook I remember the shocked cries of a large group of students crammed into the communal TV room in my hall of residence at the end of “The Best Of Both Worlds, Part One”. That cliffhanger!
Paul Chinn, Facebook Big fan of Wil Wheaton but I’d have happily smothered Wesley Crusher with a pillow.
Joe Jarvie, Facebook I disliked the actual Enterprise itself. The Enterprise-E is far sleeker and looks fast.
Richie Bruce Watters, Facebook Worf saying, “I am not a merry man!” creases me every time!
Jason Burke Facebook Two words: Picard’s flute. Damn fine television. Seriously, the pinnacle of the ’90s.
Look out for the next SFX Hot Topic at bit.ly/SFXhottopic
#DoCToR AnD THe eTHiCS
Linda Scholefield, Bradford I’ve just started watching Outlander on DVD and was thrilled to discover author Diana Gabaldon got her ideas after watching an old episode of Doctor Who featuring the second Doctor and Jamie. This proves Doctor Who isn’t just a kids’ TV show as some people might think. Doctor Who is inspirational, educational and can teach us all important lessons, especially not to judge people by their appearances, as proved by the heart breaking episodes “World Enough And Time” and “The Doctor Falls” when Bill was turned into a Cyberman (or Cyberwoman?). I’m hoping the new series will encourage a whole new generation of people to watch Doctor Who when it returns to our screens, and that it will inspire more people to go and do great things that previously they thought were impossible. Because, as we all know, anything is possible when it comes to the Doctor! SFX Quoted for truth, Linda. Doctor Who certainly taught me to look for the best in everyone, even when their slimy tentacles are wrapped around my throat. #APe CRuSADeR
James Kinsley, norwich Just got in from seeing War For The Planet Of The Apes, and having rewatched the first two over the past two nights in preparation, I can honestly say I don’t recall ever seeing a trilogy that had me so emotionally invested in a non-human character. Or possibly even a human one. Caesar is a magnificent creation and stands proudly at the centre of an emotionally mature and gripping story that defies expectations for a series of movies about talking apes. Sober, brutal and moving, watching Rise and Dawn back I’m still amazed at just how good these films are and War maintains the high standards of its predecessors. It’s proof that no matter how B-movie-esque the concept, there’s no reason that sci-fi can’t offer intelligent, provocative and heartbreaking storytelling. I mean, honestly, just how good are these movies... *continues gushing endlessly*. SFX It’s been a great trilogy for sure. Makes me excited to see what Matt Reeves will do when he gets his paws on Batman.
#WHo WATCHeS THe SuiTS? Llama God, email Re: HBO’s new Watchmen series. Llama God’s Journal, 11 August, 2017: Overnight figures on desks this morning, red lines on profit sheets. Studios afraid of new things. They’ve seen what audiences like. Production lines are gutters and the gutters flow with money and creative freshness washed away, for fear that wallets starve. The constant desire for profit will well up inside their greedy minds and the studio producers and execs scrabbling for new TV series ideas will look up and shout “Watchmen!”... and I’ll look down and whisper: “For fuck’s sake, that was 30 years ago. The ideas explored in that series about
superheroes being massively flawed and disturbed individuals were interesting at the time, but through adaptations and influence and repeated metatextual re-referencing it’s been done. It’s not new. In other words: “No.”
SFX The cold, suffocating dark goes on forever and we are alone. But hey, at least we have the SFX letters pages.
Tonia Small, email I’m so sad to see Orphan Black leave us. It’s been such a brilliant show, and Tatiana Maslany is one of the greatest actresses of our generation – how she managed to play so many characters and make them all believable deserves every Emmy ever given to anybody ever.
SFX Will she ever be satisfied by only playing one character again?
#DRoKK ’n’ RoLL
Ashley Beeching, email How exciting is the news of a forthcoming Judge Dredd TV show? Drokking exciting, that’s how exciting! I loved the 2012 movie and, like many, I campaigned for a sequel, but a TV show is the next best thing, if not actually better. A two-hour movie was never going to be enough to explore the multitude of stories and characters inhabiting the world of Mega-City One. Just think of the possible storylines: Chopper, America, The Angel Gang, The Pit, Necropolis, The Dark Judges and so many more besides – the potential is almost limitless! The mixtures of tone from horror to satire to action – all wrapped in the dystopian sci- fi trappings that are synonymous with Dredd – could make for exciting and varied viewing. Done right, this could be one of the genre-defining series of the decade, if not of all time.
SFX There’s so much greatness waiting to be mined in the back pages of 2000 AD. Come on, Netflix, Amazon and the rest: how about Rogue Trooper, Flesh and Strontium Dog for starters?
Matt, email I’m slightly obsessed with how long it’s taking Cooper to wake up from his post-BlackLodge-addled state in the new season of Twin Peaks – and what will finally wake him up. I was certain that very first cup of coffee would do it. When that didn’t work, I was adamant it would be the cherry pie, but no. Then it dawned on me. Of course! It must be the combination of pie and coffee at the same time! But alas, no. I get the feeling Mr Lynch is doing all this deliberately, just to dash my hopes each week. I have now moved on to my new theory that Coop/Dougie will have to go to Twin Peaks and have Norma’s special organic cherry pie and a cup of Joe served by Heather Graham at the Double R diner before he revives. I’m losing my grip on reality! I am now off to look in the mirror to see if it knows how Annie is.
At least you didn’t type this email backwards, Matt. By Lynchian standards you’re pretty much compos mentis (disclaimer: not a professional medical opinion).
#We ALSo HeARD FRoM
neil Hickman, Stourbridge So who can’t tell 1985 comic art from 2015 comic art? Wrong Secret Wars series in the Marvel preview [SFX 290]! Doh!
SFX Official line: dimensional anomaly caused by the Beyonder.
Steve Laming, email Thought I’d send you a photograph of our new broom and mop cupboard, which lives in the garden. Some people don’t think it’s really big enough but it’s amazing how much space there is inside…
SFX It’s amazing what you can pick up in the Gallifreyan branch of Homebase.
Thirty years ago this lot set off on a new space mission.
Learn all of life’s lessons by watching this chap.