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Captain's Log: Season Three
It's all change as we swap doctors and bring in the production team that will take us to the end of TNG and beyond!
Remember those super-serious looks in the season one promo shot, and again for season two? Well, Patrick Stewart still has his cheeky grin, but now Gates McFadden and LeVar Burton are breaking with the blanket of frowns. Are we, perhaps, starting to have fun on set...?
Welcome to the season of one-of-our-crew-members-is-missing! Gates McFadden is back as Dr Crusher, standing by to be abducted in episode twelve, one of six abductees in a season that has a preponderance of stories about somebody being lost, stolen, or just going off on their own for a bit. We have promotions for Worf to full Lieutenant and LaForge to Lieutenant Commander, and the arrival of a new recurring character - not to mention, the new four-foot studio miniature of the Enterprise-D that can’t undergo saucer separation, but that made the SFX team’s job way easier.
With the departure of Maurice Hurley, a new head writer stepped in: Michael Wagner... but he didn’t last very long, leaving after just four episodes. He’s followed by Michael Piller, who would spend seven years in key Trek production roles, helping to create Deep Space Nine and Voyager further down the line. Piller can be divisive among fans - and indeed, among writers who worked on the show! - but it is inescapable that some of the greatest Trek episodes came about under his watch.
However, the greatest production change this season was the gradual handover of the Trek throne from Roddenberry to Rick Berman. Berman had been brought on as Supervising Producer from the very beginning of TNG, but with Hurley's departure, Berman went from Co-Executive Producer to Executive Producer and began to take more and more of the production tasks from Roddenberry, whose daily involvement in the show had been declining since the latter stages of season two.
And finally, let's say hello to not just one, but two entirely new sets of uniforms. The original latex uniforms were apparently very hard on the backs of the performers - allegedly, Patrick Stewart's chiropractor suggested he should sue the show, and Brent Spiner and Jonathan Frakes also had problems with their backs as a result of the costumes. Not to mention, the original uniforms were not very breathable and began to stink under the hot studio lights! New costume designer, Robert Blackman, (hired on the recommendation of departing head of wardrobe, Durinda Rice Wood) brought in a more comfortable jacket-and-trousers affair, that solved a lot of problems. (That said, for a long time the one-piece uniforms were still being worn by performers in the background).
Lay in co-ordinates for season three and its snazzy new uniforms this WAM Wednesday!
At the end of each season, it’s my pleasure to promote one of the Away Team, and this time it’s the turn of Lieutenant British Tennessean. Perhaps the most prolific crew member when it comes to comments - and among the most reliable for leaving ‘likes’ (which regenerate our dilithium crystals) - the ship would not be the same without her. She is hereby promoted to the rank of Lieutenant Commander. Congratulations! Your extra pip will be beamed into your imagination immediately.
We’re running low on Lieutenants! You have until Suzie Plakston’s birthday to earn immediate promotion to that rank with this special Season Three offer. Get two gold pips on your imaginary uniform collar and the satisfaction of joining the Away Team…
…or leave a comment on any WAM to earn a promotion to the rank of Ensign.
Lieutenant Commander Mower
Lieutenant Commander British Tennessean
+2 Lieutenants currently off duty
Lieutenant JG Stape
Lieutanent JG Elliott
Ensign (Mordechai) Buxner
Ensign (Benedict Tiberius) Cato
Ensign Jess H
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