Completion Date: August 17, 2007
Publication Year: 1994
Part of Star Trek: The Next Generation series
Reason for Reading: This is a novelization of the very last episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation. It was a wonderful way to end the series, and has always been one of my favourite episodes of all time, so when I saw a hardcover edition with pictures from the show in the middle, I decided to pick it up.
Seven years ago, Captain Jean-Luc Picard first faced the judgment of the Q Continuum -- a race of beings with God-like powers over time and space who presumed to gauge humanity's fitness to exist in the galaxy. Seven years ago they suspended judgment, but now a decision has been reached: The human race will be eliminated, not only in the present, but throughout time. Humanity will never have existed at all.There are so many episodes of Star Trek that I have watched and enjoyed over the years. When this episode aired in the early 90's it meant that Star Trek: The Next Generation was going off the air forever. It was a sad day because you know, I am a big X-Files fan as well, but other than those two shows, as well as Star Trek:Voyager and Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, I have never found a show that I have to watch. Instead, most of my television viewing is reruns of these shows. My solution? Bring another Star Trek on television that is not Enterprise. I was never able to get into that show.
The only chance to save mankind lies with Captain Picard. An old enemy has granted him the power to revisit his life as it was seven years before, and to experience his life twenty-five years in the future. With the help of friendships that span time and space, Picard struggles to defeat the plans of the Q Continuum. But even as he fights to save the human race from total extinction, he has been set up to be the unwitting agent of mankind's destruction.In an effort to save humanity, Picard must sacrifice himself and all those he commands and if their sacrifice fails all mankind is doomed.
One of the good things about reading the book versions of episodes is that there are scenes in the books that got cut out of the television version. It was interesting to read those scenes in this novel. What really seemed to get cut out were the cameos. For example, Deanna's mother and Doctor Pulaski have a scene in this book, but they were not in the television show. Doctor Pulaski was the doctor on the show for one season, the second when where Doctor Crusher went off to be the head of Star Fleet Medical. What really happened was that the writers did not know what to do with their female characters, or so I have read, and so they killed off Tasha Yar, gave Deanna Troi less screen time, and sent Beverly off to Star Fleet Medical. I am glad they brought her back, and the actress that played Tasha Yar even returned, but she played her daughter. I wonder what the show would have been like if Tasha had not been killed off. Until Star Trek: Nemesis, she was the only leading star to be killed off of the show. (Then they killed Data. I still have issues with that.)
Right, the problem with reviewing these books is I start rambling on about the television series, sorry about that. In this book Captain Picard travels back and forth through time. He is in the present, but then he travels back to seven years before to be with the crew before Farpoint Station and into the future 25 years where we see the cast older, and many of them retired. I am glad that the characters have developed differently than the 25 into the future predicted. Deanna and Will got together, in this novel she was supposed to have died. Beverly and Captain Picard were supposed to marry and then get divorced, but that has not happened yet. I am still hopefully they will get together, though, and they might have in more recent books. Will and Riker hate each other in this book, but that does not happen.
So, another funny Data quote:
Wiping her hands on her apron, she leaned in close to La Forge and spoke quietly--though not so quietly Picard couldn't make out what she was saying. "You're his friend, eh?"She is Data's housekeeper. To give you context, Data says that "a touch of gray adds an air of... distinction." Here is what Picard thinks about "the touch of gray" when he sees Data.
He saw the former engineer nod. "That's right. And I have been for quite some time."
"Well then," said the housekeeper, "as his friend, see if you can get him to take that gray streak out of his hair. He looks like a bloomin' skunk, he does. People will soon start walking on the other side of the street when they see him coming."
Data, who had obviously overheard, cast a remonstrative look at Jessel. "Thank you," he told her. "That will be all."
Without another word, she made her exit. The android turned to his guests with a wry look on his face.
"She can be trying at times," he admitted. "But she does make me laugh now and then."
La Forge smiled. "So... what is it with your hair, anyway?"
Picard was glad someone else had mentioned it. Unfortunately, Data looked a bit embarrassed.
"I have found that a touch of gray adds an air of... distinction," he explained. "Unfortunately, I don't seem to have it quite right yet.".....
"Being an android, he hadn't aged over the years. However, there was a prominent streak of gray on one side of his head-not a natural streak, but one that looked as if a paintbrush had been taken to his head."