I’m sure that by now most of you have realized that it’s Anna who does the heavy lifting here. I’ve had a busy couple of months, but that’s no excuse that any blogger worth their salt would put forward in earnest apology, so let me just hang my head in shame for a second, and then we can move on.
PART OF THE PROBLEM was that I bit off a little more than I could chew. Encounter at Farpoint is a giant beast of an episode—the very first, of course. But before we get into it, I’d like us to take a little trip down memory lane. Pretend the year is 1987, and the prior TV season, four of the top 5 television shows were sitcoms, and the one drama was Murder She Wrote. And these guys march into Paramount’s television office with balls of brass and propose a space show based off of a series from the ’50s that ran for three seasons, and then put out a handful of movies. Wow. Wow.
A few magical months (years?) later, here we are… Episode I. There are a lot of dramatic introductory shots, most especially this one which is LITERALLY THE FIRST THING YOU SEE in the whole show:
I don’t know what this show’s about, but I know it’s got a bald man and some wooden walls.
It’s the first ten minutes or so of the show that are the most challenging, fashion-wise. Mostly, we’re confronted with a lot of the trial-and-error costumes that the showrunners (wisely) edited out in later seasons. My favorite favorite favorite by far is Deanna Troi’s costume. As we’ve said in previous posts, the show definitely saw Marina Sirtis’ chestly endowments as major selling points on the show, and, WOW, did they sell them. Take a look at this costume that an officer in the navy is supposed to wear for the whole episode:
I have better shots later on, but wow… she’s two leg-crosses away from Basically Instincting us. Her skirt says “come and get it”, her headband says “let me braid your hair” and her boots say “open your mouth for this gag ball.” Do we have a view of that headband?
It’s braided out of FUTURISTIC FABRICS, guys. THIS IS THE FUTURE. Though, conditioner is still pretty shitty. I guess they didn’t have Pantene’s Pro-V technology until the later parts of the 24th century.
Remember 10 seconds ago when I made a conditioner joke? That was pretty bad.
Anyway, there were a lot of kinks to be worked out of costumes. There are more than a couple moments where the men’s jumpsuits frame their male boobage a little too lovingly. Poor Data here looks like Datette, amirite or amirite?
Did someone order a lumpy B-cup? (Are gay dudes who don’t know anything about boobs allowed to make such a joke?)
Man, at least Data’s were firm and supple. I can’t even really picture what’s going on in there. It might have been a two-pronged thing, where they redesigned the costume, but they also had Patrick Stewart do 200 pushups before every episode.
But there are all sorts of fashion oopsies on the ship. There’s this little number:
Which, sure, if you’re trying to cultivate a horny teenage male audience, sure. But then, a few seconds later, there’s this:
It’s hard to tell in the still (and it took me about 20 minutes to get this screenshot) but that, my friends, is a dude in a dress. A short dress. Now, I like to believe in a future where a dude can wear whatever he wants, but… I honestly believe this was a mistake.
But these are just the standard uniforms for the episode, setting the stage for the next seven years. On top of that, we have the special guest costumes, and, wow, if you’re not holding on to your faces now, you might want to get a grip.
Basic plot: on the way to Farpoint Station on their first mission, the crew of the enterprise get a visit from this guy:
No expense has been spared in this luxurious costume, from the abundant feather puffy cap to the metal chestplate to whatever those gold things are on his sleeves. The discussion revolves heavily around humankind’s barbarian nature, the idea being that he’s a Sir Walter Raleigh type, but, let’s be real: with that wig it’s hard to take him seriously. It’s too bad, too, because he almost kills someone, like, right away.
Needing a more serious tone, he zaps into this getup:
Okay, now strike a pose that doesn’t say gay marine.
First of all, let’s talk about that cigarette! Wow, the ’80s were a crazy time! Q, as our friend here is called, is taking the crew on a tour of the most deadly times of the human race, and since we’re IN THE FUTURE, we can include something that’s in the past for our characters, but still in the future for us.
Okay, honey, remember that the safety word is “Orange Pekoe”.
All I can say is that that’s a Liefeldian level of pouches there. The best part is how incredulously the rest of the crew can look at him, as if he’s the only ridiculously dressed person on that bridge.
Let’s talk about that Worf for a second. His ceremonial sash thing—which he could easily have won at a pageant—evolved as well over the seasons. How could it not, though. Let’s take a closer look:
COME ON GUYS IT HAS A FRINGE WHAT WERE THEY THINKING?! But I suppose it was the ’80s, and that was kind of in. KIND OF.
But this okay, you know why?
Butt cheek on futuristic leather.
Anyway, Q kidnaps a handful of crew and takes them to a courtroom from Earth’s troubled past/future.
I suppose it has to be tough trying to decide what poor, rabid vagabonds would consider fashion in 2150 or whenever this is supposed to take place, but it kind of looks like they could have all waltzed in from Diagon Alley. (That’s a Harry Potter reference, Anna.)
Anyway, there’s no point in trying to assign them a genre (Neville Longbottom’s Grandmother-Chic?) because the costume designers for this sequence were all over the map. Here is the bailiff and his… bell holder?
ORDER! ORDER IN MY WARDROBE!
This is probably the root of what ended up being Joss Whedon having all the characters of Firefly speak chinese—THE FUTURE WILL HAVE ASIAN PEOPLE. I mean, look at those luxurious robes, and those cylindrical caps! FASHION INFLUENCE. Here, check this angle out:
I have a hard time believing they couldn’t find an Asian Little Person. Lazy casting, guys.
Of course, we’re now about to come to what may be one of the best costumes in all of TNG:
As regal as a crazy dean on graduation day. What material is that, acetate?
There’s a lot going on here, but for some reason, after looking at the picture for a couple minutes, the most bothersome (assuming we leave those creepy fat kitty/gremlin heads carved into the posts out of his outfit, though who knows, it could all be connected somewhere) is his creepy red glove. I do not want to know what those are supposed to be used for.
The one necklace seems like an interesting choice, considering what a smörgåsbord this outfit is supposed to be. That hat… that’s a greek orthodox priest hat, yes? I think we’re ready for another angle.
I’m not sure, but I think his mind’s on his money and his money’s on his mind.
The black stripe along the back of the cape really gets me for some reason. And those weird heads are still creepy. I think it’s because they’re almost exactly the size of baby heads. *shiver*
Anyway, PLOT: humankind is guilty of being a cruel species and should be wiped from the face of existence. Picard talks Q into letting them prove themselves. Q says okay, they’ll get tested at Farpoint, but if they fail the test, no more humans. I sort of believe that Q could have found them guilty based on this:
I’m sorry but it’s not an outfit.
Anyway, they get to Farpoint station on Cygnus IV. This is what the station looks like:
The Enterprise is the first non-phallic shaped spaceship, and then we go and do this.
Everyone on this planet dresses the grayest clothes they can find.
I’m looking for something in more of a drab. Do you have anything in four sizes too big?
This is Zorn, who is in charge, and IMMEDIATELY SUSPICIOUS. So is this guy, who Dr. Crusher tries to buy stuff from in the market:
I think I’m going colorblind.
Fortunately for everyone involved, we get to see a few more civilian outfits. I think originally, they must have thought that “crewmember” means tight uniforms, and “civilian” meant the baggiest thing they could find. Here’s apple-cheeked Wil Wheaton premiering as Wesley Crusher:
I can haz flaring shoulder padz?
I’m pretty sure that those pants are two-toned. IT’S THE FUTURE. DEAL WITH IT. Though not so much the future that they could bring themselves not to have tight cuffs with puffy sleeves. And then there’s the color… is that stale puke? It looks like stale puke. Sorry Wes, it’s nothing personal.
At this point we have a RANDOM INTERLUDE: Data walking an old ambassador off the ship. How do you know he’s an old ambassador?
Cause he’s wearing a futuristic version of ’70s clothes, which was SO OVER by 1987. He’s got the comfy but sensible knit cardigan, and I don’t want to get ahead of myself, but those are definitely some flares he’s wearing there. Oh, and, turn around gramps.
Yep, those are some SHINY BLACK LEATHER ELBOW PATCHES. Suck it, the ’70s.
At some point, Deanna and Riker are introduced, and this is how they do SEXUAL INTENSITY:
Those eyes have seen a lot. So why are those sleeves so short?
Riker turns heads all over the ship, like when he asks this perky little ensign how to find Commander Data. She helps him and points him on his way.
And then takes some for herself:
She’ll never get tired of that view.
There’s another interlude where Wesley falls into a lake on the holodeck.
Looks like his outfit caught monochromia down on the surface. He then makes the mistake of being wet in front of the Captain.
Fortunately, he there’s a two-birds/one-stone solution to his problem, which is another hideously colored baggy sweater.
It’s absorbent and machine washable.
Meanwhile, back on the surface, shenanz:
I’m gonna go ahead and be honest with everyone at this point and just say that I literally never got over Deanna’s outfit in this episode. If you think this is the last shot of it, oh-ho, are you wrong. THESE ARE SUPPOSED TO BE SOLDIERS.
Anyway, PLOT: this CRAZY SPACESHIP shows up and starts firing purple nurples on the planet. This is what that looks like, incidentally:
That’s funny, now I have Purple Rain stuck in my head.
First, where is this picturesque window on destruction supposed to be? Someone’s garage with a lip? Why is there an ancient greek urn there? SO MANY QUESTIONS.
Here’s the ship that’s firing on them:
Can we get that rotated for a better view?
I’m just going to go ahead and say what all of us are thinking: puckered hole. Let’s take a look at what this Farpoint station looks like:
If you haven’t instantaneously figured out what’s going on here, then I CANNOT HELP YOU.
I’m sorry, I’m getting away from the Fashion. One last shot of Judge Q, in a closeup.
I mostly included this for that red hockey puck he has glued to his shoulder. WHAT IS THAT. I bet Anna could rock that necklace, though. And probably that hat, too.
So the giant strange shit is attacking the surface. The captain calls Crusher, and tells her to get a medical team to the surface. During the cutaway to sickbay, showing everyone in preparation, we see this guy:
At first he looks like a Jedi, but then that thing he’s holding looks like a sleeping bag, so I’m going to go with he’s going to a sleepover dressed as a Jedi. Also, the only person in Starfleet allowed that kind of plunging neckline is Counselor Troi. SORRY. Though I like that you’re man enough to have a silver/lavender sleeping bag.
Back on the surface, Deanna has to stand sexily in the mouth of a cave.
You go ahead, Will. Me, Geordi and Tasha are going to stay here and have fun without you.
While security chief Tasha Yar is on the surface, though, look at who they leave in charge of tactical back on the enterprise:
Not a hairstyle.
I couldn’t get it clear enough to really establish whether it’s a man or a woman. I kind of like the idea of the Chief of Security being a man named Bjørn with an unrivaled head of blonde hair.
Anyway, for those of you that didn’t figure it out, the mysterious ship and the space station are actually both GIANT ALIENS. I’ll be honest, I was all ready to watch that spiky station get it on with that puckering space ship, but I suppose this was aired on broadcast, so they both logically turn into these:
Space Jelly Fish. That’s a thing, right?
Fortunately, I was still treated to some space fornication, when they let their tendrils brush against each other:
Anyway. That’s basically it. The human race is saved. But let’s bring it back to the fashion, because that is, after all, why we’re all here. I grabbed this last shot of Deanna because it was a little clearer than the others:
First of all, literally what would she do if she needed to use her hands?
But then I looked up and saw that TASHA IS WEARING THE SAME OUTFIT ALL OF A SUDDEN. IT’S SPREADING!!!!
Can we notice her linebacker stance? I mean, gotta let your balls hang somewhere, amirite ladies?
Oh god, I have to go to bed.
Anyway, I still have a few dozen posts to do before I even come close to being even with Anna. But I hope you all had fun.