|Star Trek: The Next Generation|
The USS Enterprise-D enters orbit.
|Run dates||28 Sept 1987 - 23 May 1994|
|Genres||SF, drama, action/adventure|
|Country of origin||USA|
Star Trek: The Next Generation is an American science fiction TV show created by Gene Roddenberry as part of the Star Trek franchise. It is set in the 24th century, about seventy years after the original Star Trek series, but within in the timeline of the same universe.
The episodes follow the adventures of the crew of the Galaxy-class starship USS Enterprise NCC-1701-D. As the flagship of the United Federation of Planets, the Enterprise is designed for both exploration and diplomacy, but is also formidable in combat situations when necessary. Dramatic devices such as time travel or temporal loops, natural disasters, holodeck malfunctions, interstellar war, and first contact with alien life forms are used to explore issues of humanity.
The captain of the Enterprise is Jean-Luc Picard (Patrick Stewart), ably backed up by his first officer, William Riker (Jonathan Frakes). The other principal characters in the series also are senior staff or receive promotion to senior positions: Geordie LaForge (LeVar Burton) is Chief Engineer; Worf (Michael Dorn) is Chief Security Officer; Dr. Beverly Crusher (Gates McFadden) is Chief Medical Officer; Deanna Troi (Marina Syrtis) is the ship's only Counsellor; and the android, Data (Brent Spiner) is the Chief Operations Officer. A growing secondary cast somewhat rounds out the complement of ship's crew; but the most junior ranks are noticeably featured only in guest roles in specific episodes.
Relatively few aliens serve among the crew of the Enterprise; but the inclusion of Worf led to considerable development of the Klingon species, their culture, and their empire. Another crew member is an android; and his aspiration to humanity—though usually played as a running gag—occasionally led to a serious examination of human rights.
A number of episodes focus on shipboard life; and there are even a few that take the Enterprise back to Earth and Starfleet Headquarters. However, it is the discovery of alien worlds and the crew's interaction with their cultures that is always the mainstay of the show; and most of the self-contained episodes see the ship zig-zagging across the quadrant to visit alien planets on the outskirts of those portions of the galaxy controlled by the Federation.
Paramount decided to create this new Star Trek series in 1986, after the box-office success of the Harve Bennett-produced Star Trek-based movies. Star Trek: The Next Generation ran from the week of September 28, 1987 to the week of May 23, 1994. However, as it was broadcast in first-run syndication, dates and times vary among individual television stations.
Chronologically, the series follows both the original Star Trek and the prequel series, Enterprise. It is set in the same era as Star Trek: Deep Space Nine and Star Trek: Voyager, which immediately follow it in the time line and follow up on some of the plots and themes introduced in Next Generation. The series forms the basis of four Star Trek films. It has also inspired novels, comic books, and non-fiction analyses.