star trek the next generation
With finale season underway, we're taking a look back at some of television's best show-stopping moments.
Can you remember Hunnicut's final message to Hawkeye on 'M*A*S*H'? Or what happened to the 'Seinfeld' gang?
Test your knowledge with our end-all series finale quiz.
Was that the first time a network show actually endorsed atheism?
I mean, I've seen Bill Maher throw his anti-religion grenades, but that's HBO and that's Bill Maher. To my knowledge no network -- even a network like Fox, which once had a line-up made up entirely of World's Scariest Alien Autoposies -- had ever come down this hard on the beliefs of its viewers...
But AOL TV's picks of the top TV dramas include the most brilliant doctors and lawyers, the angst-iest teens, sci-fi series that transcend their genre molds, family dramas that both warm and break your heart, terrorist- and mobster-fighting heroes ... and a show that combined the best of family and gangster drama into one unforgettable series.
Click through to see all 50 of the best TV dramas of all time.
Here's how the confusion apparently started: There's currently an IDW Star Trek movie prequel comic series out called Star Trek: Countdown that mostly takes place in the Next Generation era. That comic is billed as a direct prequel to Abrams' film and it features TNG favorites like Picard and Data interacting with Bana's character, Nero, and Nimoy's Spock. Apparently, the new movie will start out with Spock and Nero living in the TNG era and time traveling back to the era of Kirk, Scotty and young Spock. But, according to TrekMovie's sources, no TNG cast members will show up in the film.
Jerry Seinfeld is headed back to series television for the first time since his eponymous sitcom went off the air in 1998. This time around, instead of exploring the excruciating minutiae of single life, he'll explore the trials and tribulations of wedlock in 'The Marriage Ref.'
In other news, Fox has renewed 'The Simpsons' for another two seasons, the cast of 'Star Trek: The Next Generation' is reuniting for an ep of 'Family Guy,' and the new 'Melrose Place' has its first resident.
See more of today's TV headlines, casting scoops and premiere dates after the jump.
Frakes directed tonight's episode of Leverage, TNT's hit heist drama starring Timothy Hutton. The episode is a Star Trek reunion of sorts with Frakes behind the camera and his former Star Trek co-stars Brent Spiner (Data from TNG) and Armin Shimerman (Quark from Deep Space Nine) guest starring.
I spoke to Frakes by phone for a few minutes this week and, somehow, I was able to hold back from asking him a million geeky Star Trek questions. (Now I'll never know if "Tom" Riker ever escaped from the Cardassians!) We discussed his love for Leverage, his friendships with his former cast mates, and the possible return of "Number One" Will Riker.
But this isn't any old list – our Top 40 TV Shows of the '90s is just the first in a new series of countdowns in which we'll put our AOL Television seal of approval on the top 40 series of every decade.
Every other month we'll tackle another decade, going all the way back to the '50s, to recall the best comedies (hello 'Lucy'), the best prime-time soaps (do you remember who shot JR?), the best cop shows, animated series and groundbreaking TV shows.
So kick off 50 years of silver-screen bests with the greatest shows of the '90s, including everyone from 'Beavis,' 'Buffy' and 'Simpsons' to 'Freaks and Geeks' and teens on the 'Creek.'
Reason #2: Because it might star Marina Sirtis (Star Trek: TNG's Counselor Troi) and Luke Goss (the pastey prince from Hellboy II).
Reason #3: Because TV could use more evil mohawk-sporting, Fine Young Cannibal-rockin' punks and medieval mad scientists.
Am I wrong?
Last week another terrific cable drama, The Shield, took its final bow in a series finale that still has fans talking. The talk is mostly about the last three minutes, which featured Vic Mackey's silent contemplation of the life he now leads after losing his friends, family and, some say, his freedom. Right before the screen went dark we saw Vic stride out of the cubicle that is now his home -- unsure of what his fate would be from now on.
Some fans of the series were unhappy with this ending, saying that there was no closure to the life that Vic had led over the last seven seasons. Some hearken the ending to the now-famous series finale of The Sopranos, which featured several seconds of nothingness before the credits rolled. This concept of not giving finality to a series finale is a new one for viewers to grasp onto. But, when you look at it further, it makes complete sense. Why should the lives of our favorite characters come to a complete ending when our own lives don't?
This week's letter comes from a fan named Jim Rodrigues.
"I just saw an episode I've never seen before! This was rare indeed. It involved the crew of the Enterprise devolving into different creatures. Barkley became a spider. Captain Picard was becoming a lemur. Warf (sic) was biting amphibian Troi. It was my favorite episode other than one of the best T.V. episodes ever, "Cause and Effect." I was wondering if this "monsters running around" episode was released for Halloween? It would be the perfect October 31st episode. If someone knows the title and the date of release, I surely would appreciate it."
Original Air Date: January 25, 1988
Written by: Patrick Barry
Directed by: Michael Rhodes
Synopsis: The Enterprise comes across the long-lost freighter Odin, which has been missing since Captain Hazelwood crashed the ship into an asteroid seven years ago. Three escape pods are missing and assumed to be on their way to Tatooine, but since the planet Angel One is closer, Picard decides to look there, first. Besides, it's supposedly run by hot babes who like to snu-snu, so Picard can finally dump that load of hats he's been hauling around since "Justice." And -- Science Fiction Cliche alert! -- it's "similar to mid-twentieth century Earth."
After a chilly initial audio-only contact with Angel One's leader, Mistress Beata, during which no one at all asks why the leader has a dom-sub porn name, Picard sends Riker, Troi, Tasha and Data down to the planet to get permission to look for any survivors. On their way to the transporter room, they run into Wesley and Nameless Extra Kid, who are wrapped up in Jiffy Pop suits and on their way to skiing lessons. On the holodeck's version of the Denubian alps. Now, for all the failings in this episode, here are two things it does right: the holodeck doesn't malfunction, and we don't have to watch Wesley and his friend doing their best Suzie Chapstick impression on the icy slopes of Mount Needaplotpoint (part of the majestic Isthisthebestyoucoulddo range).
Picard tells the away team that Angel One could one day be of strategic importance to the Federation, so they'd better be on their best behavior. Riker says, "Dude, is there any planet in the galaxy that isn't going to be of strategic importance to the Federation one day?" Picard responds, "If you keep asking questions like that, Number One, it's going to be fifteen years before you get your own command. Beam them away, Nameless Transporter Chief."
(S04E13) 'Wait, what are the other numbers?' -- Teyla
'42.' -- Sheppard
'What is that?' -- Teyla
'It's the ultimate answer to the great question of life, universe and everything.' -- Sheppard
I seem to be getting the episodes of Stargate Atlantis to review that remind me of episodes of Star Trek: The Next Generation. This week's episode, in which various members of the Atlantis team are trapped in different parts of the city after a false quarantine is declared, reminded me very much of the TNG episode 'Disaster', in which the crew members of the Enterprise are trapped in different parts of the ship after being struck by a quantum filament.
I was lucky enough to recently get a look at what this new DVD set. Is it really better to have the entire series in an all-in-one case? Are the bonus features worth the price itself? Well, I'll tell you my thoughts, at least. (See here for a gallery of packaging images.)
Here are the new TV DVDs, in stores tomorrow.
- Criminal Minds - Season 2
- Entourage - Season 3, Part 2
- Felix The Cat - Golden Anniversary Collection
- The Glen Campbell Goodtime Hour - Good Times Again
- The Godzilla Power Hour - Vol. 3
- Hee Haw - A Salute to Hee Haw
- How I Met Your Mother - Season 2
- I Love New York - Season 1
- Jericho - Season 1
- Little People, Big World - Season 1
- Metalocalypse - Season 1
- The Paul Lynde Show Halloween Special
- The Sarah Silverman Program - Season 1
- The Secret World of Alex Mack - Season 1
- Shark - Season 1
- Star Trek: TNG - Complete Series
- The War - Complete Series
Tonight at dinner, a friend of mine mentioned that he recently met Brent Spiner at an event. He then proceeded to tell me about how a particularly annoying Star Trek fan spent the entire evening bothering Spiner with questions about his character Data.
It reminded me of an episode of Joey where a similar thing happened, except in the episode, Spiner was more than happy to reminisce about his Star Trek days. He even went so far as to take Joey's nephew out to his car to show him his actual uniform from the show.
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