The Next Generation

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This is a father speaking, reporting from the trenches of education. On October 27th last, in what was our youngest boy’s second attempt and our oldest boy’s third one, both succeeded in getting into Star Trek. They were hailed with an ending in which a comfortable planetary base turned out to be an accommodating life form held captive by its occupants. Their faces glowed when the realization hit home.

Our previous attempt to watch the double length pilot together had ended in miserable failure. About halfway through, they pleaded with me to switch to something less boring. That was two years ago, and I realized something had to be done.

So, with their mother acting as a censor of sorts (the boys and I fondly liken her to the priest in Cinema Paradiso, who rings an altar bell whenever he comes across a scene he deems ripe for censure), I started them on a program aimed at broadening their live-action horizons beyond Star Wars movies. It consisted of dozens of other movies, most of Happy Days, quite a bit of Cheers and all of Fawlty Towers, Blackadder and Missie Aarde. We completed the program amid much bell-ringing (believe it or not, but my wife actually found and began using a bell similar to the one featured in Cinema Paradiso, only red) with a screening of Beverly Hills Cop on October 25th. The next day we embarked on the TNG pilot, reaching the eye-opening conclusion on the night after that.

Encounter at Farpoint–about 1 hour 23 minutes in

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