The complete final season of the 'Star Trek' spin-off. In 'Descent: Part 2', the concluding part to the season six cliffhanger, Picard and the senior crew are stranded on a planet infested with the new Borg. The crew find help in the unlikely source of Hugh, who explains that they are the ones responsible for the changes to the Borg. 'Liaisons' finds Picard stranded on a planet with a beautiful woman. 'Interface' has Geordie encounter his mother when his VISOR is attached to an interface that allows him to have direct mental communication with a remote mechanical probe. 'Gambit' sees Riker captured by aliens who he thinks have killed Picard, but soon finds Picard masquerading as a mercernary. In 'Gambit: Part 2' Riker poses as a rogue Starfleet officer alongside Picard's mercenary. 'Phantasm' finds Data disturbed by bad dreams, and his search for the causes turning into a real-life nightmare for the rest of the crew. 'Dark Page' has Troi probe her mother's memory and uncover a family tragedy hidden in the past. 'Attached' sees Picard and Dr Crusher linked telepathically by an alien race, and suddenly realising that they have been hiding their true feelings for each other. In 'Force of Nature' a brother and sister team prove that the Warp Drive used in all ships is tearing the fabric of the Universe apart. In 'Inheritance' Data meets a woman who was once married to his creator and is therefore his mother. The rest of the crew urge Data to get to know her and, as he does, he begins to realise that she is hiding something from him. 'Parallels' finds Worf shifting into multiple parallel universes. 'The Pegasus' has the Enterprise joined by one of Riker's old commanding officers, Admiral Pressman, who urges Picard to embark on a hunt for a missing Star Fleet vessel before it falls into Romulan hands. 'Homeward' sees Worf clash with his half-brother when the latter wants to violate the Prime Directive. 'Sub Rosa' finds Doctor Crusher falling in love with a stranger she meets at her grandmother's funeral. 'Lower Decks' looks at the lives of some of the junior crew of the Enterprise, who soon find themselves on a top-secret mission. 'Thine Own Self' has Data stranded on a planet with no memory and a horde of angry locals blaming him for bringing the Plague to their town. 'Masks' sees the Enterprise transformed into an ancient society and Data taken over by a string of personalities. In 'Eye of the Beholder' Troi and Worf become romantically involved. In 'Genesis' Picard and Data return to the Enterprise to find that the crew have de-evolved into pre-historic creatures. 'Journey's End' finds Picard forced to relocate a group of American Indians from a planet that now falls in Cardassian space. 'Firstborn' has Alexander reluctant to take part in the Klingon ritual of The First Rite of Ascension. 'Bloodlines' sees Picard discover that he has a son. 'Emergence' finds the crew endangered when the Enterprise develops its own intelligence. 'Pre-Emptive Strike' has Ro ordered to infiltrate the rebel Maquis organisation, where she finds that she is sympathetic to many of their causes. Finally, in the two-part story 'All Good Things', Picard finds himself travelling backwards and forwards in time. Q returns to reveal that Mankind is still on trial by the Consortium, and that Picard's people face destruction from an unlikely source.
The seventh and final season of Star Trek: The Next Generation
will always remain a curiosity in TV sci-fi history. Despite the end being definite, despite Deep Space Nine
taking over, despite knowing there'd be a movie six months after the series' end, and despite Babylon 5
starting that year with its predetermined story arc, there is nothing here to suggest things were coming to a close. Wesley finally gets dispatched ("Journey's End"), but everyone was waiting for that anyway. Some continuity was attempted: there's a sequel to season 1's "The Battle" ("Bloodlines"), Alexander follows the Klingon soap saga through ("Firstborn"), the Maquis and the Cardassians are mentioned several times, and there are final installments for Lwaxana Troi, Barclay, Lore, Guinan, and Ro Laren. None of this brings any form of resolution, however.
The one-off story lines seem to throw out ideas that beg for development. "Force of Nature" suggests frequent high-warp travel is damaging the very fabric of space/time. "Parallels" has Worf experiencing multiple realities, including one in which the Borg won at Wolf 359. "Lower Decks" finally introduces some secondary crew from the more than a thousand supposedly supporting Picard and company. There are even hints at some romance at long last between Dr. Crusher and Picard as well as Worf and Troi. In the long run, even after terrific guest spots from Trek alumni Armin Shimerman and Robin Curtis, and from Paul Sorvino and Kirsten Dunst, there's one thing for which the final year is remembered: "All Good Things..." is a near-perfect denouement for the show. With terrific production values and FX, not to mention standout performances from all concerned, it was an amazing surprise to have Q suggest there'd been a story arc right from the get-go. If only this final script had been fully conceived earlier on, The Next Generation might not have been overshadowed by the glut of TV sci-fi that followed in its wake. --Paul Tonks