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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 at­topic


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?

#FeeL­inG PeAKy

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).


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.

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