TNG’s Classic Series Finale Was Originally Even Better Than What Fans Saw, Say Star Trek Actor & Producer – News Today

TNG’s Classic Series Finale Was Originally Even Better Than What Fans Saw, Say Star Trek Actor & Producer

Star Trek: The Next Generation’s ending is considered one of TV’s best finales, but Brent Spiner and Brannon Braga say it could’ve been even better.

Patrick Stewart as Jean-Luc Picard and the cast of Star Trek: The Next Generation.

Summary

  • The first draft of Star Trek: The Next Generation’s finale was considered extraordinary and could have been the greatest Star Trek episode ever.
  • Executive producer Michael Piller made changes to the draft, adding technobabble and removing character scenes that he didn’t like.
  • Despite the changes, “All Good Things…” is still a very good episode, but the original draft had moments that were exciting and had wonderful character interactions.

Star Trek: The Next Generation‘s series finale is considered one of TV’s greatest final episodes, but actor Brent Spiner, who played Lt. Commander Data, and co-writer Brannon Braga say “All Good Things…” was supposed to be even better. Braga and Ronald D. Moore penned the two-part finale of Star Trek: The Next Generation while also writing the first TNG movie, Star Trek Generations. “All Good Things…” is considered to be far superior to Star Trek Generations by fans, and it continues to be the gold standard for every Star Trek series finale.

In the Star Trek oral history “The Fifty-Year Mission: The Next 25 Years” by Mark A. Altman and Edward Gross, Brent Spiner and Brannon Braga detail the first draft of Star Trek: The Next Generation‘s series finale that Braga and Ron Moore wrote, and how executive producer Michael Piller made changes that led to the “All Good Things…” that aired. Read Spiner and Braga’s quotes below:

Brent Spiner: The first draft that Ron and Brannon wrote was extraordinary. It would have easily have been thought of as the greatest Star Trek episode of all time. Michael came in and added a few thousand words of technobabble to it and took out some of the character scenes, which he is not keen on. There were moments when I read the first draft that my heart jumped into my throat, because I was so excited. There were some wonderful moments between Picard, Geordi, and Data. Nonetheless, it’s still a very good episode.

Brannon Braga: In the future, they went to the Starfleet Museum where the Enterprise is with a bunch of other ships and they get a guided tour. The tour guide doesn’t even know who they are and they have to commandeer the Enterprise to go on this crazy mission Picard wants to go on. But just as they’re about to go, Admiral Riker comes in with a bunch of security people. They end up going anyway, of course, but to me that was a lot of fun. There was a lot of good character work that was lost. Did we need Geordi’s VISOR to hold the key to the mystery? We’ve seen that about twenty-five times in the show. Do we really need his eyes to be getting younger? Would it have been better to have more character at the risk of meandering a little bit? Yes, I think so. But that’s just my opinion. Michael Piller’s opinion is probably just as valid and I believe the show works either way. I’ll tell you, it was a lot more fun to write the scene of the crew stealing the Enterprise than it was to write tech about people getting younger, and I believe what’s more fun to write is more fun to watch.

Star Trek: The Next Generation cast & character guide
Star Trek: The Next Generation Cast & Character Guide

Star Trek: The Next Generation has one of the most beloved cast of characters in all of science fiction. Here are the major characters of the classic.

Star Trek: Picard Season 3 Did Some Of TNG Finale’s Original Story

Both episodes also ended with a poker game.

Elements of the first draft of Star Trek: The Next Generation‘s series finale, “All Good Things…” are remarkably similar to key events in Star Trek: Picard season 3. Admiral Jean-Luc Picard (Patrick Stewart) and his crew visit the Starfleet Museum in the original draft of TNG‘s finale, and they commandeer the USS Enterprise-D. A version of this happened in Star Trek: Picard season 3; Jean-Luc and the USS Titan-A also visit the Fleet Museum on Athan Prime, but Commodore Geordi La Forge (LeVar Burton) surprises his old crew with the rebuilt USS Enterprise-D.

Geordi’s eyes don’t factor into Star Trek: Picard season 3 as La Forge traded his VISOR for ocular implants decades prior in Star Trek: First Contact.

Of course, Star Trek: The Next Generation‘s finale, “All Good Things…”, ends with Captain Picard joining his crew for a poker game, a symbolic gesture that Picard considers them not just his friends but his family. The theme of family is touchingly reinforced in Star Trek: Picard season 3’s ending, which wraps up with Picard encouraging one more poker game with the people who have meant so much to him for almost 40 years. It’s doubtful Star Trek fans would argue against the greatness of Star Trek: The Next Generation‘s “All Good Things…”, but it’s fascinating to learn what might have been in the episode, and that elements of it were adapted into Star Trek: Picard season 3.

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