Fond Memories of Star Trek – Picard, Data, and La Forge
When I was a kid, one of my favorite shows was Star Trek the Next Generation. The series landed right in time to entertain a certain nerdy little kid, with new episodes airing between the time I was six to 13 years old. Outside of the Next Generation series, I actually don’t really care much about Star Trek. I’ve never been a huge fan of the first series, although I did enjoy the original cast movies. And I haven’t really watched much of any series that followed. But I loved the Next Generation, and still watch it if I come across a rerun.
My favorite characters in the show were Captain Jean-Luc Picard, Lt. Commander Data, and Lt. Commander Geordi La Forge. I decided to try a sketch featuring these three great characters:
There is an episode of Next Generation called Phantasms which involves Data learning to dream. It’s a strange one, but very memorable. Lots of crazy imagery, and some scenes that were a little more disturbing than most in Star Trek. In a scene, Data dreams that he has a phone ringing in his chest. La Forge and Picard have entered Data’s dream to help solve a larger problem, and the Captain answers this phone. It was a pretty bizarre scene, and that’s what’s happening in this sketch.
I think this one actually turned out pretty well! A turn in the right direction after a couple previous sketches that didn’t look much like the subjects. I think Picard, Data, and La Forge all look fairly accurate. The phone doesn’t look great, but I think you can at least tell it’s a phone. I think I also could have done better with the black portions of the uniforms; it’s a bit uneven. I also wasn’t sure how I could represent Data’s android complexion (literally white skin, odd colored eyes) in a black-and-white drawing. That’s sort of a weakness in this one, because Data just looks like a regular person.
More random thoughts on these characters
I’m sure Captain Picard is a favorite for many fans of the show; he was an incredible leader, and was hard-nosed while still being a nuanced thinker and philosophical mind. He’s got some fantastic dialogue in this series. Patrick Stewart was definitely a scene-stealer throughout the series. I’ve heard people argue about who the best Star Trek captain was; even though I’m not an expert on the rest of the series, I’d definitely put my vote in for Picard.
Episodes that centered on Data and his quest for humanity are also some of my favorites. I know Data started as basically a stand-in for Spock, but to me his character was much better-developed. To some it might be a little cliche, but I always liked the “Data shows more humanity than most humans” thing they had going. Despite being an android, Data’s stories definitely carried the heart of the show with them.
And Mr. La Forge? I loved the way they gave us this brilliant, yet steady and reliable Chief Engineer; a stark contrast from Scotty from the original series. Geordi seemed to me like one of the most capable crew members, and if they gave performance evaluations in Starfleet, he probably set the record for consecutive perfect scores. I also really enjoyed La Forge’s rapport with Data.
Actually, some of this discussion has given me an idea! How about a couple surveys?