If you’re a Star Trek fan, you’ve likely had the debates about which of the films is the best? Star Trek II: The Wrath Of Kahn usually takes the cake, often followed or even trumped by Star Trek: First Contact. If you’re open to change, J.J. Abrams reboot of the franchise might be the winner. You don’t often hear Star Trek V: The Final Frontier given much credit; same with Star Trek: Nemesis.
If you ask me, one of the greatest Star Trek movies of all time never actually hit theatres, though it did play on the Jumbotron at Toronto’s Skydome back in the spring of 1994. It was the series finale of Star Trek: The Next Generation, the final toll of the bell as the cast and crew of the Enterprise got ready to beam up to the big screen. As it was, all good things did briefly come to an end…
In All Good Things…Patrick Stewart’s Captain Jean-Luc Picard is travelling between three distinct timelines – his present, his future and his past, which takes place during his first mission with the Enterprise. In each timeline he must convince his friends and fellow officers of what is transpiring as he is once again forced to save the universe.
Originally shown in one two-hour finale, All Good Things… was as a perfect a series finale as one could ask for. Each beloved character had their moments in the sun, more so than they would in their first big screen adventure, Star Trek: Generations. After seven seasons together, these actors were all so comfortable together, they had a noticeable ease and shorthand on screen. The story of converging timelines, tachyon streams and anti-time may have been too complex for theatre goers, but for the final television jaunt of the Enterprise, All Good Things…was the perfect send-off.
Watching it nearly twenty years later, I was reminded once again of just how wonderful Patrick Stewart is as an actor. He plays three distinct version of Picard – the new captain, the established leader and the crusty old man who might be losing his marbles. In all situations, Stewart is a master; one of his generations most gifted and compelling performers.
While many of us await the arrival of Star Trek Into Darkness later this year, I’d suggest going back and rewatching All Good Things… once again. Like the best films, it hasn’t aged a day, and reminds us of just how bold Star Trek could be.