Star Trek: TNG Countdown FAQ

The countdown begins in four days.  Here’s the obligatory FAQ.

1.  Why?

This past summer I had an internship that required me to be on the road over two hours per day.  I bought an MP3 player to help dull the monotony, but I knew I didn’t want to listen to just music either.  So I decided to convert the TNG episodes to audio files and listen to them on my drive each day.

2.  But why the countdown?

I’ve seen a lot of TNG lists floating around the intertubes.  Top tens and top twenties.  Also, several people have written their individual reviews of episodes.  Many have started blogging about each episode, starting from the beginning, but then petered out before they were finished (e.g. Wil Wheaton, who is mind-blowingly hilarious but stopped after half of season one).  I found that unsatisfying.  So while I listened to the episodes, I decided to take notes.  I thought it would be more fun to share those notes in countdown style.

3.  A lot of Star Trek is also art, costumes, and special effects.  How can you rank them without watching them?

I’ve watched each episode at-least a half-dozen times or more, so I know what they look like.  But it’s amazing how much you miss while being dazzled by all the visuals.  Nuances in conversation are much sharper without the eye candy.  Preparing this countdown has helped me appreciate some episodes more and other less, and I believe part of that is how I took them in.

4.  What’s the format going to be?

Rank and Episode Title, of course.  Then I will more or less simply critique each episode while hopefully being entertaining.  What you will not find:

a)broad summaries of each episode.  I’ll link to Memory Alpha if you don’t remember.
b)nitpicks of minutia–like continuity errors or Data saying a contraction–unless it’s relevant to the plot or character development

5.  How often will you post?

Every day, Monday through Friday.  Promise.

6.  Are you ranking the two-parters together or separately?

For me, the two-part episodes are really feature length episodes artificially split into two parts.  Thus, they will get reviewed as one episode.  So, instead of a countdown beginning at 176, it begins at 168.

7.  I can’t believe you rank ______ that low/high!  Can I laugh and point at you?

Go right ahead.  I just ask two things.  Don’t be an asshole, and try not to get worked up if something is ranked #138 and you think it should be #136.  I didn’t agonize too much over the positioning after a certain point.

8.  Anything else we should know?

Yes.  I do not rank Shades of Gray last.  And you may ridicule me every day until it appears on the list.

3 thoughts on “Star Trek: TNG Countdown FAQ”

  1. You should know, I just started watching TNG. We have a group of people here that get together on Monday nights to watch a couple episodes. I missed out on watching it while growing up so I’m starting now. We’ve watched the first three so far and it has already exceeded my expectations. It helps that we have a drinking game where we drink whenever there is a Captain’s log, red alert, Geordi takes off his visor, ominous horns, Troy senses something obvious, etc. We drink a lot. I’m going to show your list to Jordan, I’m sure he’ll be interested in reading it!
    – Kayleen

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