(...Review continued from Part 1)
Note that I'm going by the original feature-length version, so specific scenes I refer to may appear in Part 1 and vice versa, in the shuffled two-part version.
I've covered most of the main points of this Pilot in Part 1, but a few more thoughts...
John de Lancie is very interesting as Q, in the first of many appearances in both TNG and its various follow-ons.
The highlight of 'Encounter...' has to be the cameo by DeForest Kelley as the aged McCoy from the Original Series. His scene with Data is wonderful, and his line "I don't see no point on your ears boy, but you sound just like a Vulcan" is one of my all-time favourites from the show, and a lovely tie to the Original Series.
We also get introduced to the Holodeck. The Holodeck (which had originally been planned for 'The Motion Picture' but was never really realized due to limitations of the time), is a fascinating concept, though I do feel that, particularly in later seasons, the series relied to heavily on it; after all, in the 'Star Trek Universe', the Holodeck is all a computer-generated illusion; I'd far rather see the crew beam down to an interesting new planet.
The special effects are again of their time, coming only from the very dawn of the true digital effects age (the Enterprise and suchlike are all physical models in this series), but mostly do very well, and surprisingly haven't dated as badly as I thought they might, all things considering.
A couple of characters I didn't touch upon in my review for Part 1 – I much prefer Troi's look here to her "severe" first season look (though both Troi and Dr. Crusher were often spare wheels in much of the series), and as I do now, as a kid I thought Geordi was really cool (and not just for his funky hairband visor); I've always liked strong black characters on TV.
The story, though quite slow – both to due introducing the characters, and its general nature – is actually quite interesting and thought out, and things really liven up in this second half.
All-in-all... 'Encounter at Farpoint' is certainly dated, and slow in places, and the series certainly hasn't fully found it's niche at this point, but even so, I can't help but feel that some have come to knock this Pilot to TNG unduly. It serves its purpose in introducing the characters, and has a decent plot to boot. Definitely not a Top 10 TNG episode, but it's not as bad as many make out, and after all, it did herald a new era of 'Trek'. As with Part 1, I give this half 9/10.