Star Trek: The Next Generation
Saturday, 8.20pm, SF A festive season gift for Trekkies, All Good Things . . . (part 2) is the very last adventure — episode 178 — of the second Star Trek franchise, The Next Generation. Patrick Stewart, who brought all of his Shakespearean gravitas to the role of Captain Jean-Luc Picard, has said the producers never expected the series to run beyond a year or two. And here he is, fully seven years later. Fortunately viewers took to the idea of a captain who was a thinker, a statesman and an officer of great dignity, not just a randy gadabout in space, as William Shatner, once deemed irreplaceable, had been. In the final episode, Stewart gets to stretch his Shakespearean wings, playing himself at various ages and obviously delighting in playing an ancient Picard, in one of the series’ best ever temporal distortion dramas. The devil is in the detail for fans, who get to see the destinies of all of the characters far beyond the seven years we have followed them for. If there’s not a tear in your eye when Picard joins the staff poker game at the episode’s end you should turn in your com badge at the door.