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Star Trek: The Next Generation

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Template:Infobox television

Star Trek: The Next Generation (also known as ST:TNG or TNG) is a science fiction television series set in the Star Trek universe. The first live-action television continuation of the 19661969 series, Star Trek: The Original Series, The Next Generation is set nearly a century later and features a new starship and a new crew.

The series was conceived and produced by original Star Trek creator Gene Roddenberry. It premiered on September 28, 1987 with the two-hour pilot episode "Encounter at Farpoint" and ran for seven seasons, ending with the final episode "All Good Things..." on May 29, 1994. The show gained a considerable following during its run, and like its predecessor, is widely syndicated. Its popularity led to a line of spin-off television series that would continue without interruption until 2005.

The voiceover during each episode's opening credits was similar to that of the original series:

Space, the final frontier. These are the voyages of the starship Enterprise. Its continuing mission: to explore strange new worlds, to seek out new life and new civilizations, to boldly go where no one has gone before.
Contents

Plots

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NCC_1701-D.jpg

The episodes follow the adventures of the crew of the USS Enterprise (NCC-1701-D), a Galaxy class starship designed for exploration and diplomacy but capable in battle when necessary. Its captain is the seasoned and charismatic Jean-Luc Picard, who is more intellectual and philosophical than many typical protagonists in popular science fiction.

As in the case of The Original Series (TOS), the crew of the Enterprise-D meets many technologically powerful races. Many episodes also involve temporal loops, character dramas, natural disasters, and other plotlines without alien encounters. This crew favors peaceful negotiation more than TOS's crew did. The Prime Directive is involved more frequently and is followed more closely; it states that the Federation must not interfere with the development of cultures that are not capable of interstellar travel. This often creates moral conflict within characters, as they are sometimes bound to ignore races in need of help.

Another noticeable difference between TOS and TNG is the continuity of general story arcs across episodes — events in one episode might influence events in a later episode. One major recurring character, Q, bookends the series, appearing as the first major antagonist in "Encounter at Farpoint" and closing the series by forcing the crew into an ultimate test of human resourcefulness in the final episode "All Good Things...". Since Q could control where he appears in time, the first and last episodes could actually be contiguous from his point of view, both being part of the initial test. His Puck-like behavior and calculated mayhem in many episodes makes him the most influential antagonist of the crew, as had been planned from the series' beginning.

Previously-established alien races appear in TNG.

The Borg are the most significant threat in this series. In the episode "The Best of Both Worlds," a single Borg ship destroys thirty-nine Starfleet vessels at the Battle of Wolf 359 then continues to Earth, where it is stopped by the actions of the Enterprise crew.

Themes

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NCC_1701-D1.jpg
Enterprise in orbit above a planet.

The series greatly expands on a secondary theme of TOS: the idealism of humanity's dedication to improving itself. It also continues TOS's approach of using extra-terrestrial species and science fiction elements as a means of exploring many real-world social, political, personal and spiritual issues. The series continues to mirror Gene Roddenberry's vision of a future humanity which transcends war, racism, prejudice, and poverty.

TNG has been praised for being more in the spirit of "traditional" idea-based science fiction than other action/adventure franchises which became more common between 1970 and 2000. However, it has also been criticized for shying away from conflict and character drama and too often having the crew solve its challenges through the discovery or invention of hitherto-unknown technology (known as Treknobabble).

Gene Roddenberry continued to be credited as executive producer of TNG though his influence lessened as the series progressed. He died in 1991 and producer Rick Berman took over, and under his guidance, the series came to rely more on action and conflict.

The series also contains many story elements that are found in all the Star Trek series. For instance, an alien or android is a member of the crew, and a lot of dialogue revolves around explaining human customs to the alien (supposedly enlightening the human viewer in the process).

Controversy

The prospect of a new live-action Star Trek series after 18 years was much anticipated by the Star Trek fan community, but for some, anticipation turned to outrage when Gene Roddenberry announced that the new series would feature a brand new cast and be set in a time long after the adventures of Captain James T. Kirk and his crew, making even guest appearances by the original cast unlikely. Before production even began on the series, factions of Star Trek fandom were at work circulating petitions and organizing protests against the new series.

Although it is not known what, if any, impact these protests had on the producers, it is known that as early as the first season efforts were underway to arrange for an appearance by Leonard Nimoy as Spock (the event would not happen until the fifth season), and a script was reportedly written to feature the character of Harry Mudd, a recurring minor criminal from TOS. The episode was cancelled when actor Roger C. Carmel died. DeForest Kelley made a cameo appearance in the first episode as Admiral Leonard McCoy.

As late as 2004 there remain some fans who steadfastly refuse to watch any of "modern" Trek, even though TNG (and later series and movies) have all featured characters from the original series, including Spock and Scotty.

Influences

By the time TNG was produced, the term "Trekkies" had come to imply a certain nerdy fanaticism among fans and was considered pejorative by some, in spite of the fact that it was coined by creator Gene Roddenberry himself, with no such negative connotations. In response, some fans of the new series decided to call themselves "Trekkers." The terms have become interchangeable.

Four feature films have been made featuring the series' characters:

TNG paved the way for three other TV series:

The series has also inspired countless novels, analytical books, web-sites, and works of fan fiction.

Toronto's Skydome played host to a massivve CITY-TV sponsored event for the series finale on May 25, 1994. Thousands of people packed the stadium to watch the final episode on the stadium's Jumbotron.

Cast

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TNG_crew.jpg
(from front to back, left to right) Picard, Troi, Crusher, LaForge, Data, Worf, Riker

Main characters

The main characters of TNG are crew members of the Enterprise. All characters have their main post on the bridge except Geordi La Forge who is in Engineering and Beverly Crusher who is in Sickbay. In early episodes, Wesley Crusher plays a civilian on the Enterprise until Picard gives him the commission of Acting Ensign on stardate 41263.4 (episode "Where No One Has Gone Before").

Every episode in which Diana Muldaur appeared as Katherine Pulaski listed her as a "special guest star" rather than a primary character. She was also a guest star in two episodes of TOS.

Actor Rank Role Position
Patrick Stewart Captain Jean-Luc Picard Commanding officer
Jonathan Frakes Commander William Riker Executive (first) officer
Brent Spiner Lieutenant Commander Data Chief operations officer
LeVar Burton Lieutenant Junior Grade/Lieutenant/Lieutenant Commander Geordi La Forge Chief engineering officer
Michael Dorn Lieutenant Worf Chief security and tactical officer
Gates McFadden Commander Doctor Beverly Crusher Chief medical officer (seasons 1, 3-7)
Diana Muldaur Commander Doctor Katherine Pulaski Chief medical officer (season 2)
Marina Sirtis Lieutenant Commander/Commander Deanna Troi Ship's counselor
Denise Crosby Lieutenant Tasha Yar Chief security officer (season 1)
Wil Wheaton Ensign Wesley Crusher Dr. Crusher's son (seasons 1-4, recurring otherwise)

Recurring characters

Actor Role Appearances
Brian Bonsall Alexander Rozhenko, Worf's son seasons 4–7
Patti Yasutake Nurse Alyssa Ogawa Seasons 3–7
Whoopi Goldberg Guinan, wise bartender Seasons 2–7
Colm Meaney Miles O'Brien, transporter chief Seasons 1–6
Rosalind Chao Keiko O'Brien, Miles O'Brien's wife Seasons 4–7
Tony Todd Kurn, Worf's half brother Seasons 3–7
Majel Barrett Lwaxana Troi, Deanna Troi's mother
voice of the Enterprise computer
Seasons 1–7
Daniel Davis Professor Moriarty, a sentient Holodeck character Seasons 2 and 6
John de Lancie Q, omnipotent member of the Q Continuum Seasons 1–7
Dwight Schultz Lieutenant Reginald Barclay, engineer Seasons 3–7
Michelle Forbes Ensign/Lieutenant Ro Laren, a Bajoran Seasons 5–7
Denise Crosby Sela, a Romulan Seasons 4 and 5
  Spot, Data's cat Seasons 3–7
Eric Menyuk The Traveler Seasons 1, 4, and 7
Mark Lenard Ambassador Sarek, a Vulcan and Spock's father Seasons 3 and 5

Ms. Barrett (wife of Star Trek creator, Gene Roddenberry), has also been the voice of the ship's computer in most Trek incarnations, and was Nurse Chapel in the original series, as well as the unnamed first officer in the first pilot of the original series, "The Cage".

Alien races

See also List of Star Trek races

Race Episodes of appearance(s)
Bajoran
Betazoid
Bolian
Borg
Breen
Cardassian
Chalna
Edo
Ferengi
Husnock
Klingon
Mintakan
Mizarian
Nausican
Pakled
Reman
Romulan
Q
Sheliak
Talarian
Tamarian
Trill
Vulcan
Zakdorn

See also

External links


Star Trek
Series: Movies:
cs:Star Trek: Nov generace

de:Raumschiff Enterprise: Das Nchste Jahrhundert es:Star Trek (TNG) fr:Star Trek : La nouvelle gnration it:Star Trek- The Next Generation ja:新スタートレック la:Star Trek The Next Generation no:Star Trek: The Next Generation sv:Star Trek: The Next Generation

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