On September 28, 1987, a momentous event happened – the premiere of Star Trek: The Next Generation, the first new Trek series in decades. The crew of the NCC-1701-D. lead by the diplomatically-gifted Captain Jean-Luc Picard, embarked on their exploratory mission to seek out new life and new civilizations a century after the Original Series’ crew.
TNG ran for seven seasons thanks in part to the strength of a two-part story that bridged Season 2 and Season 3 together in 1990: “The Best of Both Worlds.” Ending with a devastating cliffhanger, fans had to wait three agonizing months for resolution. We talked to one of Loot Crate’s resident super-fans, George N., about the impact that story had on him:
“I was about 9 or 10 when Part 1 aired in the summer of 1990, and was absolutely floored by that cliffhanger. It was my introduction to that method of storytelling, and I was hooked. Seeing how that kind of writing could work, in such a thrilling and intelligent way was probably the first seed in my head which eventually led to my moving to California to work in TV.
I remember sitting on the cold tile floor in our family room with my dad and siblings, and while I was the big TNG nerd in the family, they watched too. I was wracked with agonizing questions the entire summer. I liked seeing Riker vs. Picard, but was a little kid, and of course had nightmares about the Borg winning! It was insane. As an adult, the ingenious plot twist of using Data to connect to the machine part of Locutus, and then actually reach the human part of Picard that remained within is my favorite thing about the story, but the lush Ron Jones score is a wonderful highlight. (And I think was the first soundtrack cassette I ever bought.) The cliffhanger stinger track, the staccato, striking brass hits following Riker’s infamous “Mr. Worf, fire!” still gives me chills.
Part I is easily one of the finest hours the show did in its entire run, and altogether the thing makes for a fantastic feature-length experience, but nothing will ever top that cliffhanger for me.”
George’s experience mirrors that of many TNG fans, and really speaks to how ground-breaking “The Best of Both Worlds” was for genre television in its era, let alone for Trek. For more great reading on this, check out the Hollywood Reporter‘s in-depth 2015 oral history on the making of the two-parter!
SPOILER WARNING: On this 30th birthday of the premiere of Star Trek: The Next Generation, we’re also proud to reveal the exclusive Mini Master figure by Quantum Mechanix that will be available in the our inaugural Star Trek Mission Crate! Sign up by 11/15 to get it and MUCH, much more!
It is LOCUTUS OF BORG. Resistance, as you might imagine, is futile. 😉