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Star Trek: The Next Generation (often abbreviated to TNG) is an American science fiction television series created by Gene Roddenberry as part of the Star Trek franchise. Roddenberry, Rick Berman and Michael Piller served as executive producers at different times throughout the production. Created 21 years after the original Star Trek, and set in the 24th century from the year 2364 through 2371; about 100 years after the original series, the program features a new crew and a new starship Enterprise.

Template:Cquote It premiered the week of September 28, 1987 to 27 million viewers[1] with the two-hour pilot "Encounter at Farpoint". With 178 episodes spread over seven seasons, it ran longer than any other Star Trek series, ending with the finale "All Good Things..." the week of May 23, 1994.

The series was broadcast in first-run syndication, with dates and times varying among individual television stations. The show gained a considerable following during its run and, like The Original Series, remains popular in syndicated reruns. It was the first of several series (the others being Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, Star Trek: Voyager, and Star Trek: Enterprise) that kept new Star Trek episodes airing until 2005. Star Trek: The Next Generation won 18 Emmy Awards and, in its seventh season, became the first, and currently only, syndicated television show to be nominated for the Emmy for Best Dramatic Series. It was nominated for three Hugo Awards and won two. The first-season episode "The Big Goodbye" also won the Peabody Award for excellence in television programming. The series formed the basis of the seventh through the tenth Star Trek films.



The show centers on the adventures of a space-faring crew on board the Starship Enterprise-D, the fifth Federation vessel to bear the name. It takes place roughly 70 years after the final missions of the original Enterprise crew under the command of Captain James T. Kirk (100 years after The Original Series itself). The Federation has undergone massive internal changes in its quest to explore and seek out new life, adding new degrees of complexity and controversy to its methods, especially those focused on the Prime Directive. The Klingon Empire and the United Federation of Planets have ceased wartime hostilities and become galactic allies, while more sinister foes like the Romulans and the Borg take precedence on the show. The Enterprise is commanded by Captain Jean-Luc Picard, and is staffed by first officer Commander William Riker, the android Lieutenant Commander Data, security chief Lieutenant Tasha Yar, ship's counsellor Deanna Troi, Klingon tactical officer Lieutenant Worf, Doctor Beverley Crusher, and conn officer Lieutenant Geordi La Forge. The death of Lieutenant Yar in the show's first season prompts an internal shuffle of personnel, making Worf official chief of security. Geordi La Forge is promoted to chief engineer at the beginning of season 2.

The show begins with the crew of the Enterprise-D put on trial by a nefarious, omnipotent being known as Q. The godlike entity threatens the extinction of mankind for being a race of savages, forcing them to solve a mystery at nearby Farpoint Station in order to prove their worthiness of being spared. After successively solving the mystery and avoiding disaster, the crew officially departs on its mission to explore strange new worlds.

Subsequent stories focus on the discovery of new life, sociological & political relationships with alien cultures, as well as exploring the Human condition. Several new species are introduced as reoccurring antagonists, including the Ferengi, Cardassians, and the Borg. Throughout their adventures Picard and his crew are often forced to face difficult choices, and then live with the consequences of those choices.

The show ended with its final 7th season 2-part episode "All Good Things...," which brought the events of the series full circle, back to the original confrontation with Q. An interstellar anomaly that threatens all life in the universe forces Captain Picard to leap from his present, past and future to combat the threat. Picard was successfully able to demonstrate to Q that humanity could think outside of the confines of perception and theorize on new possibilities, while still being prepared to sacrifice themselves for the sake of the greater good. The show ended with the crew of the Enterprise feeling more like a family, and paved the way for four consecutive motion pictures that continued the theme and mission of the series.


After the box-office success of the Harve Bennett-produced Star Trek-based movies, Paramount decided to create a new Star Trek series in 1986. Roddenberry initially declined to be involved but came on board as creator after being unhappy with early conceptual work. The creation of Star Trek: The Next Generation was announced on October 10, 1986.[2] The show was, unusually, broadcast in first-run syndication rather than running on a major network, with Paramount and the local stations splitting advertising time between them.[3]

Roddenberry hired a number of Star Trek veterans, including Bob Justman, D. C. Fontana, Eddie Milkis, and David Gerrold. Paramount executive Rick Berman was assigned to the show at Roddenberry's request.[4] The Next Generation was shot on 35 mm film[5].

Season one[]

The first season was marked by a "revolving door" of writers, with Gerrold and Fontana quitting after disputes with Roddenberry.[6]

Mark Bourne of The DVD Journal wrote of season one: "A typical episode relied on trite plot points, clumsy allegories, dry and stilted dialogue, or characterization that was taking too long to feel relaxed and natural."[7] Other targets of criticism include poor special effects and plots being resolved by the deus ex machina of Wesley Crusher saving the ship.[8][9] However, Patrick Stewart's acting skills won praise and critics have noted that characters were given greater potential for development than those of the original series.[7][8]

While the events of most episodes of season one were self-contained, many developments important to the show as a whole occurred during the season. The recurring nemesis Q was introduced in the pilot, "Encounter at Farpoint", the alien Ferengi first appeared in "The Last Outpost", the capabilities of the holodeck were explored, and the history between William Riker and Deanna Troi was investigated.

Later season-one episodes set the stage for serial plots. The episode "Datalore" introduced Data's evil twin brother Lore, who made several more appearances in later episodes. "Coming of Age" dealt with Wesley Crusher's efforts to get in to Starfleet Academy while also hinting at the threat to Starfleet later faced in "Conspiracy". "Heart of Glory" explored Worf's character, Klingon culture, and the uneasy truce between the Federation and the Klingon Empire, three themes that would play a major role in later episodes. Tasha Yar left the show in "Skin of Evil" becoming the first regular Star Trek character to die (permanently) in either series or film, and the season finale, "The Neutral Zone", established the presence of two of TNG's most enduring villains: the Romulans, making their first appearance since the Original Series, and, through foreshadowing, the Borg.

The series premiere became the first television show to be nominated for a Hugo Award since 1972. Six first-season episodes were each nominated for an Emmy Award; "11001001" won for Outstanding Sound Editing for a Series, "The Big Goodbye" won for Outstanding Costume Design for a Series, and "Conspiracy" won for Outstanding Achievement in Makeup for a Series.[10] "The Big Goodbye," also won a George Peabody award, the only episode of the entire Star Trek saga to be so honored.

Season two[]

The series underwent significant changes during its second season. Beverly Crusher was replaced as chief medical officer by Katherine Pulaski, played by Diana Muldaur, who had been a guest star in "Return to Tomorrow" and "Is There in Truth No Beauty?", two episodes from the original Star Trek. The show's recreational area, Ten-Forward, and its mysterious bartender/advisor, Guinan, played by Whoopi Goldberg, appeared for the first time. Owing to the 1988 Writers Guild of America strike, the number of episodes produced was cut from 26 to 22 and the start of the season was delayed. Because of the strike, the opening episode, "The Child", was based on a script originally written for Star Trek: Phase II, a previous attempt to create a new weekly Star Trek series, while the season finale, "Shades of Gray" was a clip show. Both episodes were critically panned (especially "Shades of Gray").

Nevertheless, season two as a whole was widely regarded as significantly better than season one. The plots became more sophisticated, and began to mix drama with comic relief. Its focus on character development received special praise.[11] Co-executive producer Maurice Hurley has stated that his primary goal for the season was to plan and execute season-long story arcs and character arcs.[12] Hurley wrote the acclaimed episode "Q Who?", which featured the first on-screen appearance of TNG's most popular villain, the Borg. Season two focused on developing the character Data, and two highly-regarded episodes from the season, "Elementary, Dear Data" and "The Measure of a Man" featured him prominently.[13] Miles O'Brien also became a more prominent character during the second season, while Geordi La Forge found a position as chief engineer. Klingon issues continued to be explored in well-regarded episodes such as "A Matter of Honor" and "The Emissary", which introduced Worf's former lover K'Ehleyr.[14] Five second-season episodes were nominated for six Emmys; "Q Who?" won for Outstanding Sound Editing for a Series and Outstanding Sound Mixing for a Drama Series.[10]

Season three[]

Prior to the production of the third season in the summer of 1989, some personnel changes were made. Head writer Maurice Hurley was let go and Michael Piller took over for the rest of the series. Creator and executive producer Gene Roddenberry took less of an active role due to his declining health. Roddenberry gave Piller and Berman the executive producer jobs, and they remained in that position for the rest of the series' run, with Berman overseeing the production as a whole and Piller being in charge of the creative direction of the show and the "writing room". Doctor Crusher returned from her off-screen tenure at Starfleet Medical to replace Doctor Pulaski, who had remained a guest star throughout the second season. Ronald D. Moore joined the show after submitting a spec script that became "The Bonding"; he became the franchise's "Klingon guru",[10] meaning that he wrote most TNG episodes dealing with the Klingon Empire (though he wrote some Romulan stories as well, such as "The Defector", midway through season three). Writer/producer Ira Steven Behr also joined the show in its third season. Though his tenure with TNG would last only one year, he would later go on to be a writer and co-executive producer of spin-off series Star Trek: Deep Space Nine.[15] Six third-season episodes were nominated for eight Emmys; "Yesterday's Enterprise" won for Outstanding Sound Editing for a Series and "Sins of the Father" won for Best Art Direction for a Series.[10] After complaints of discomfort made by several cast members, new two-piece Starfleet uniforms were introduced in the third season to replace the jumpsuits worn in the first two seasons.

Season four[]

Brannon Braga and Jeri Taylor joined the show in its fourth season. The fourth season surpassed the Original Series in terms of season length with the production of "The Best of Both Worlds, Part II". During the episode of "The Wounded", the alien race of the Cardassians make their first appearance; as they would later go on to be featured within the storyline for Star Trek: Deep Space Nine. The season finale, "Redemption", was the 100th episode, and the cast and crew (including creator Gene Roddenberry) celebrated the historic milestone on the bridge set. Footage of this was seen in the Star Trek 25th anniversary special, hosted by William Shatner and Leonard Nimoy, which aired later in the year. Seven fourth-season episodes were nominated for eight Emmys; "The Best of Both Worlds, Part II" won for both Outstanding Sound Editing in a Series and Outstanding Sound Mixing for a Series.[10] Character Wesley Crusher left the series in Season 4 to go to Starfleet Academy.

Season five[]

The fifth season's "Unification" opened with a dedication to Star Trek creator Gene Roddenberry (even though the prior episode, "The Game," aired four days after his death). Roddenberry, though he had recently died, continued to be credited as "Executive Producer" for the rest of the season. The cast and crew learned of his death during the production of "Hero Worship", a later season five episode. Seven fifth-season episodes were nominated for eight Emmys; "Cost of Living" won for Outstanding Individual Achievement in Costume Design for a Series and Outstanding Individual Achievement in Makeup for a Series, and "A Matter of Time" and "Conundrum" tied for Outstanding Individual Achievement in Special Visual Effects. In addition, "The Inner Light" became the first television episode since the 1968 original series Star Trek episode "The City on the Edge of Forever" to win a Hugo Award for Best Dramatic Presentation.[10] Season five saw the introduction of a jacket for Picard, worn periodically throughout the rest of the show's run. The observation lounge set was altered with the removal of the gold model starships across the interior wall and the addition of lighting beneath the windows. Recurring character Ensign Ro Laren was introduced in the fifth season.

Season six[]

The sixth season brought aboard a new set of changes. Now the writing staff was split between the newly-created Star Trek: Deep Space Nine and The Next Generation, with many writing for both series. Three sixth-season episodes were nominated for Emmys; "Time's Arrow, Part II" won for both Outstanding Individual Achievement in Costume Design for a Series and Outstanding Individual Achievement in Hairstyling for a Series and "A Fistful of Datas" won for Outstanding Individual Achievement in Sound Mixing for a Drama Series.[10]

Season seven[]

The seventh season was The Next GenerationTemplate:'s last. The finale, "All Good Things...", was a double-length episode (separated into two parts for reruns) aired the week of May 19, 1994, revisiting the events of the pilot and providing a bookend to the series. Toronto's SkyDome played host to a massive event for the series finale. Thousands of people packed the stadium to watch the final episode on the stadium's Jumbotron. Five seventh-season episodes were nominated for nine Emmys, and the series as a whole was the first syndicated television series nomination for Outstanding Drama Series. To this day, The Next Generation is the only syndicated drama to be nominated in this category. "All Good Things..." won for Outstanding Individual Achievement in Special Visual Effects and "Genesis" won for Outstanding Individual Achievement in Sound Mixing for a Drama Series. "All Good Things..." also won the second of the series' two Hugo Awards.[10]



Main cast
Actor Character Main position Other positions held Appearances Character's species Rank
Patrick Stewart Jean-Luc Picard Commanding Officer Seasons 1–7 Human Captain
Jonathan Frakes William Riker First Officer Captain (Season 3/6) Seasons 1–7 Human Commander
Captain (temporary)
LeVar Burton Geordi La Forge Chief Engineer Conn Officer (Season 1) Seasons 1–7 Human Lieutenant, Junior Grade (Season 1),
Lieutenant (Season 2),
Lieutenant Commander (Seasons 3–7)
Michael Dorn Worf Chief of Security / Tactical Officer Tactical / Conn officer
(Season 1)
Seasons 1–7 Klingon Lieutenant, Junior Grade (Seasons 1–2),
Lieutenant (Seasons 3–7)
Lieutenant Commander (Star Trek: Generations)
Gates McFadden Beverly Crusher Chief Medical Officer Head of Starfleet Medical (Season 2) Seasons 1, 3–7 Human Commander
Marina Sirtis Deanna Troi Ship's Counsellor Seasons 1–7 Betazoid / Human Lieutenant Commander (Seasons 1–7),
Commander (Season 7)
Brent Spiner Data Second Officer / Chief Operations Officer First Officer (TNG episode: "Chain of Command")/or when Picard is not available and Riker usually is in command Seasons 1–7
Appearances as Lore (recurring)
Android Lieutenant Commander
Wil Wheaton Wesley Crusher Conn Officer Engineering related duties Seasons 1–4
Guest appearances: Seasons 5 & 7
Human Acting Ensign (Seasons 1–3),
Ensign (Seasons 3–4),
Cadet (Seasons 4–7)
Lieutenant Junior Grade (Star Trek: Nemesis)
Denise Crosby Tasha Yar Chief of Security / Tactical Officer
Season 1
Guest appearances:
Seasons 3 & 7
Seasons 4 & 5 (as Sela)
Human Lieutenant
Supporting cast
Diana Muldaur Katherine Pulaski Chief Medical Officer Season 2 Human Commander
Colm Meaney Miles O'Brien Transporter Chief Conn Officer (Season 1) Seasons 2–6
Guest appearance:
Season 7
Human Chief Petty Officer
Rosalind Chao Keiko O'Brien Botanist Seasons 4–6 Human Civilian
Patti Yasutake Alyssa Ogawa Nurse Seasons 4–7 Human Ensign (Seasons 4–7),
Lieutenant, Junior Grade (Season 7)
Whoopi Goldberg Guinan Bartender Seasons 2–6 El-Aurian Civilian
Michelle Forbes Ro Laren Conn Officer Seasons 5–7 Bajoran Ensign (Seasons 5–6),
Lieutenant (Season 7)
Dwight Schultz Reginald Barclay Diagnostic Technician / Systems Engineer Seasons 3–7 Human Lieutenant, Junior Grade
Majel Barrett Lwaxana Troi Federation Ambassador Seasons 1–7
Other appearances:
Voice of Ship's Computer
Betazoid Ambassador

The cast underwent several changes through the series' run. Denise Crosby chose to leave the show shortly before the first season ended.[10] Michael Dorn's Worf replaced Tasha Yar as security chief and tactical officer. Crosby returned to portray Yar in alternate timelines in "Yesterday's Enterprise" and "All Good Things...". Crosby also played Yar's half-Romulan daughter, Sela.

Gates McFadden, as Beverly Crusher, was replaced after the first season by Katherine Pulaski, played by Diana Muldaur, during the second season. Muldaur never received billing in the opening credits, and instead was listed as a special guest star in the credits shown during the first act. Pulaski proved unpopular with viewers and was dropped at the end of the second season; McFadden returned for seasons 3–7 and reprised her role as Crusher.

Wesley Crusher was also written out of the show. According to actor Wil Wheaton's website, he wanted to leave the show because he was frustrated by having to fit other roles around his Trek schedule despite his character's decreasing role in the series.[16] Wesley Crusher reappears in several later episodes.

Notable guest appearances[]

Actor Role Episode reference Notability
Merritt Butrick T'Jon "Symbiosis" Played David Marcus, son of Captain James T. Kirk of the USS Enterprise NCC 1701/1701-A in the films Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan and Star Trek III: The Search for Spock.
William O. Campbell Okona "The Outrageous Okona" Portrayed Cliff Secord in the film The Rocketeer. Campbell was the second choice of the Star Trek: The Next Generation producers to play the role of William Riker, but lost the role to Jonathan Frakes. His first prominent role was that of Luke Fuller, Steven Carrington's lover on the soap opera Dynasty.
Ronny Cox Captain Edward Jellico "Chain of Command", Parts I and II Distinguished actor probably best known for his appearances in Beverly Hills Cop, Total Recall, Deliverance and Robocop.
James Cromwell Minister Jarok
Jaglom Shrek
"The Hunted"
""Birthright, Part II"
Plays Zefram Cochrane in Star Trek: First Contact as well as Minister Hanok in the Star Trek: Deep Space Nine episode "Starship Down"
Daniel Davis Professor Moriarty "Elementary, Dear Data" and "Ship in a Bottle" Best known for his role as Niles the butler on the popular 1990s sitcom The Nanny
James Doohan Captain Montgomery Scott "Relics" Played Montgomery Scott, Chief of Engineering/Second Officer of the USS Enterprise under James T. Kirk (Star Trek: The Original Series).
Kirsten Dunst [17] Hedril "Dark Page" Plays Mary Jane Watson in the Spider-Man films.
Matt Frewer Berlingoff Rasmussen "A Matter of Time" Portrayed 1980s TV character Max Headroom and Edgar Jacobi/Moloch the Mystic in the film Watchmen. The role of Berlingoff Rasmussen was originally going to be portrayed by Robin Williams.
Walter Gotell Kurt Mandl "Home Soil" Known for playing Head of KGB Operations General Anatol Gogol throughout most of the Roger Moore-era James Bond films.
Kelsey Grammer [18] Captain Morgan Bateson, USS Bozeman (NCC-1941) "Cause and Effect" Played Dr. Frasier Crane in TV series Cheers, and Frasier
Bob Gunton Captain Benjamin Maxwell, USS Phoenix (NCC-65420) "The Wounded" Best remembered for his role as Warden Norton in the 1994 film The Shawshank Redemption; starred as Noah Taylor on Desperate Housewives.
Stephen Hawking Himself (Hologram of) "Descent, Part I" Noted scientist; author of A Brief History of Time.
Famke Janssen Kamala "The Perfect Mate" Was a choice to play "Jadzia Dax" in the spinoff Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, but replaced by Terry Farrell. Also has acted with Scott Bakula (Lord of Illusions) and Patrick Stewart (X-Men films), both of whom played captains of the starship Enterprise.
Mae Jemison Transporter Room Chief "Second Chances" Former NASA astronaut, first African-American woman in space. Flew on the Space Shuttle Endeavour as part of the STS-47 mission crew. First actual astronaut to appear on Star Trek.
Ashley Judd Ensign Robin Lefler "Darmok"
"The Game"
Daughter of Naomi Judd and sister of Wynonna Judd, noted country musicians. Played Charlene Shiherlis in the 1995 film Heat. Made a statement on Late Night with David Letterman that Lefler was to have been married to Wesley Crusher, however this was later proven to be false.
DeForest Kelley Admiral Leonard "Bones" McCoy "Encounter at Farpoint, Part I" Played Leonard "Bones" McCoy, Chief Medical Officer of the USS Enterprise under James T. Kirk (Star Trek: The Original Series)
Christopher McDonald Lt. Richard Castillo "Yesterday's Enterprise" Known for playing "Shooter McGavin" from the 1996 film Happy Gilmore.
Leonard Nimoy Ambassador Spock "Unification, Parts I and II" Played Spock, Chief Science Officer/First Officer of the USS Enterprise under James T. Kirk (Star Trek: The Original Series).
Terry O'Quinn Admiral Eric Pressman "The Pegasus" Known for playing the title role in The Stepfather and Stepfather II, as well as Peter Watts in Millennium. In recent years, O'Quinn has portrayed John Locke on the ABC TV series Lost.
Amy Pietz Lt. Sandra Rhodes "Bloodlines" Starred in the NBC series Caroline in the City opposite Lea Thompson portraying the best friend Annie Spadaro.
Michelle Phillips Jenice Manheim "We'll Always Have Paris" Singer, songwriter, and actress. She gained fame as a member of the 1960s group The Mamas & the Papas, and is the last surviving original member of the group.
Saul Rubinek Kivas Fajo "The Most Toys" A noted character actor, he currently plays "Arthur 'Artie' Nielsen" in the Syfy series Warehouse 13.
Judson Scott Sobi "Symbiosis" Played Joachim, Khan Noonien Singh's right hand man, in the film Star Trek: The Wrath of Khan
Siddig El Fadil/Alexander Siddig Lt. J.G. Julian Bashir, MD "Birthright" Played Dr. Julian Bashir in the spinoff series Star Trek: Deep Space Nine. Also went on to star in several films, such as Reign of Fire and Syriana.
Jean Simmons Admiral Norah Satie "The Drumhead" Acclaimed English actress known for such roles as Varinia in Spartacus and Ophelia in Hamlet. She also starred in North and South alongside a young Jonathan Frakes.
Paul Sorvino Dr. Nikolai Rozhenko, foster brother of Worf "Homeward" Father of actress Mira Sorvino. Starred as Sgt. Phil Ceretta on Law & Order, along with numerous film and television appearances.
Brenda Strong Rashella "When the Bough Breaks" Currently starring as Mary Alice Young on Desperate Housewives.
Tony Todd Kurn, house of Mogh "Sins of the Father" Several film appearances, including the role of the Candyman (Daniel Robitaille) in the film series of the same name. Also played the adult Jake Sisko in the Deep Space Nine episode "The Visitor.". Most recently he voiced The Fallen in Transformers: Revenge of The Fallen.
Paul Winfield Captain Dathon "Darmok" Played Captain Clark Terrell in the film Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan and Lt. Traxler in the 1984 film The Terminator
James Worthy Klingon "Koral" "Gambit" Basketball star, University of North Carolina and Los Angeles Lakers.
Liz Vassey Kristen "Conundrum" Known for playing Captain Liberty/Janet on The Tick, and Wendy Simms on the television series CSI: Crime Scene Investigation
Erich Anderson Commander Keiran Macduff "Conundrum" One of the original choices for the role of Commander William Riker besides William O. Campbell; played Rob Dyer in Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter.
Teri Hatcher Lt. Bronwyn Gail Robinson "The Outrageous Okona" Played Lois Lane on Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman; currently starring as Susan Mayer on Desperate Housewives.
Robert Duncan McNeil Cadet Nicholas Locarno "The First Duty" Later plays the character Lt. Tom Paris in Star Trek: Voyager, which is based on his performance of Nicholas Locarno in the TNG episode "The First Duty".
Tim Russ Devor "Starship Mine" Known for portraying Tuvok on "Star Trek: Voyager" as well as having made several appearances throughout the Star Trek franchise as different characters. Has had speaking lines (as different characters) with Captain Kirk, Captain Picard, Captain Sisko, and Captain Janeway. Was also a serious runner up to play the character of Geordi LaForge but lost to LeVar Burton.
Sabrina Le Beauf Ensign Giusti "Gambit, Parts I & II" Known for portraying Sondra Huxtable Tibideaux on the 1980s sitcom The Cosby Show.
Ken Jenkins Dr. Paul Stubbs "Evolution" Known for portraying Dr. Bob Kelso on Scrubs.


Main article: List of Star Trek: The Next Generation episodes

Entertainment Weekly's best episodes[]

To celebrate the series' 20th anniversary, Entertainment Weekly chose its "Top 10 Episodes":

  1. "Yesterday's Enterprise" [19]
  2. "The Best of Both Worlds", Parts I and II [20]
  3. "The Inner Light" [21]
  4. "Tapestry" [22]
  5. "All Good Things..." [23]
  6. "The Measure of a Man" [24]
  7. "Sins of the Father" [25]
  8. "First Contact" [26]
  9. "The First Duty" [27]
  10. "Chain of Command", Parts I and II.[28]

Connections with other Star Trek incarnations[]

The show's theme combines the fanfare from the original series theme by Alexander Courage with Jerry Goldsmith's theme for Star Trek: The Motion Picture.

The Next Generation has other similarities to Star Trek: The Motion Picture, itself spun from the plans for Star Trek: Phase II.[10] The movie's Willard Decker and Ilia bear similarities to The Next Generation's Will Riker and Deanna Troi.[10] The series' second-season premiere was based on a Phase II script, as was the courtroom drama "Devil's Due".[10]

Some sets used in the Original Series-era films were redressed for The Next Generation, and in turn used for subsequent Original Series films.[29] Part of the transporter room set in The Next Generation was used in the original Star Trek's transporter set.[29]

Variants of Enterprise's LCARS computer interface appear in the Deep Space Nine and Voyager spinoffs and the Next Generation-era films.[30] The series also established the five-number stardate, with the second digit corresponding to the season; Deep Space Nine's opening stardate of 46379 aligns with The Next Generation's sixth season, and Voyager's 48315 places it in what would have been The Next Generation's eighth season.[30]

Characters and races[]


Three original Star Trek main actors appear as their original series characters in The Next Generation: DeForest Kelley as Leonard McCoy in "Encounter at Farpoint", Leonard Nimoy as Spock in both halves of "Unification", and James Doohan as Montgomery Scott in "Relics".[10] Mark Lenard played Sarek for both "Sarek" and "Unification, Part I", and Majel Barrett reprised her role of voicing the Enterprise's computer, as well as playing Deanna's mother, Lwaxana Troi.[10] The Romulans reprise their antagonistic role in The Next Generation, although the Klingons reappear as Federation allies.[10]

The Next Generation introduces two characters who would later have lead roles in Deep Space Nine: Miles O'Brien (played by Colm Meaney) and Worf.[31] The character who eventually became Kira Nerys was initially intended to be a reprisal of Michelle Forbes' Next Generation character, Ro Laren.[31] Additional Next Generation characters who appear in Deep Space Nine include Q, the Duras sisters, Klingon Chancellor Gowron, Klingon Kurn (Worf's brother), Alexander Rozhenko (Worf's son), Keiko O'Brien (Miles' wife), Molly O'Brien (Miles' daughter), Lwaxana Troi, Thomas Riker, Vash and Gul Evek.[31]

Reginald Barclay, Deanna Troi, Q, William Riker and Geordi LaForge appear in Voyager.[30] Tom Paris, a main character in Voyager, was based on the Next Generation character Nicholas Locarno; Robert Duncan McNeill, who played Locarno, went on to play Paris.[30]

Deanna Troi and William Riker appear in the Enterprise finale "These Are the Voyages..."

The Ferengi, conceived but panned as The Next Generation's recurring antagonists,[10] appear in subsequent Star Trek spin-offs.[30] The Next Generation also introduces the Borg, Cardassian, Trill and Bajoran species, all of which, along with the Maquis resistance group, play a part in both Deep Space Nine and Voyager.[30]

Deep Space Nine's Julian Bashir, played by Alexander Siddig, appears in The Next Generation's "Birthright, Part I", and Armin Shimerman played Quark for "Firstborn".[10]

Actor crossovers[]

The following Next Generation cast members have appeared as various other characters in other Star Trek productions.

  • Patrick Stewart (Picard) appeared in the first Deep Space Nine episode "Emissary, Part I".
  • Jonathan Frakes (Riker) appeared in Deep Space Nine episode "Defiant" as Thomas Riker, the transporter accident-created twin brother of his main character (from TNG episode "Second Chances"). He also appeared in the Voyager episode "Death Wish" and in the Star Trek: Enterprise series finale "These Are the Voyages...".
  • Marina Sirtis (Troi) reprised the role of Deanna Troi for several episodes of Star Trek: Voyager and appeared alongside Frakes in the Enterprise finale "These Are the Voyages...".
  • Michael Dorn (Worf) appeared in Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country as his ancestor Klingon Colonel Worf and reprised his role as Worf in the latter seasons of Deep Space Nine.
  • Brent Spiner (Data) appeared in three Star Trek: Enterprise episodes as Noonien Soong's ancestor, Arik Soong.
  • Colm Meaney (O'Brien) reprised his role as Miles O'Brien on Deep Space Nine.
  • Diana Muldaur (Pulaski) appeared in The Original Series episodes "Return to Tomorrow" as Lt. Commander Ann Mulhall, and "Is There in Truth No Beauty?" as Dr. Miranda Jones.
  • Majel Barrett Roddenberry (Lwaxana Troi and the ship's computer) appeared in The Original Series as recurring character Nurse Christine Chapel, though she was originally cast as "Number One" in the pilot. She also was the voice for the Federation computers in every series.
  • John de Lancie (Q) appeared in The Next Generation, Deep Space Nine, and Voyager.
  • Dwight Schultz (Lt. Reginald Barclay), who appeared throughout The Next Generation (including in the film Star Trek: First Contact), became a recurring character on Voyager as Barclay becomes integral to the return of the ship to Federation space.
  • LeVar Burton (LaForge) reprised his role as Geordi LaForge in the Voyager episode "Timeless"
  • Jonathan Frakes and LeVar Burton (Riker & LaForge) have also directed episodes of Deep Space Nine and Voyager. Burton also directed episodes of Enterprise.

The following actors from other Star Trek productions have appeared in guest spots on The Next Generation as other characters.

  • Armin Shimerman (Quark of Deep Space Nine) appeared in "The Last Outpost" as the Ferengi Letek, "Haven" as the face of a Betazoid gift box, and "Peak Performance" as Ferengi DaiMon Bractor.
  • Max Grodénchik (Rom of Deep Space Nine) appeared in "Captain's Holiday" as Ferengi Sovak, and "The Perfect Mate" as Ferengi Par Lenor.
  • Ethan Phillips guest stars as the Ferengi Farek, and a holodeck character in Star Trek: First Contact. He later appears in Star Trek: Voyager as Neelix.
  • Marc Alaimo (Dukat of Deep Space Nine) appeared in "Lonely Among Us" as Antican Badar N'D'D, in "The Neutral Zone" as the Romulan commander Tebok, in "The Wounded" as the Cardassian Gul Macet, and in "Time's Arrow" as the poker player Frederick La Rouque.
  • Salome Jens (the Female Shapeshifter of Deep Space Nine) appeared in "The Chase" as an ancient humanoid.
  • Robert Duncan McNeil (Tom Paris of Voyager) appeared in "The First Duty" as Nova Squadron leader Nicholas Locarno.
  • Tim Russ (Tuvok of Voyager) appeared in "Starship Mine" as technician Devor, as the Klingon T'Kar in the Deep Space Nine episode "Invasive Procedures" and as a bridge officer in Star Trek: Generations.
  • James Cromwell, who plays the prime minister in "The Hunted", also plays Dr. Zefram Cochrane in Star Trek: First Contact and the Star Trek: Enterprise episode "Broken Bow" as well as a reprise of the First Contact footage in the Enterprise episode "In a Mirror, Darkly", Jaglom Shrek in TNG episodes "Birthright" parts 1 and 2, and Hanok in Star Trek: Deep Space Nine episode "Starship Down".


Four films feature the series' characters:

  • Star Trek Generations (1994)
  • Star Trek: First Contact (1996)
  • Star Trek: Insurrection (1998)
  • Star Trek Nemesis (2002)

Three other Star Trek TV series succeeded The Next Generation:

The series has also inspired numerous novels, analytical books, websites, and works of fan fiction.

On October 7, 2006, one of the three original filming models of the USS Enterprise-D used on the show sold at a Christie's auction for USD $576,000, making it the highest-selling item at the event.[32]

DVD release[]

Main article: Star Trek: The Next Generation DVD

The series' first season was released on DVD in March 2002. Throughout the year the next six seasons were released at various times on DVD, with the seventh season being released in December 2002. To commemorate the series' 20th anniversary, CBS Home Entertainment and Paramount Home Entertainment released Star Trek: The Next Generation – The Complete Series on October 2, 2007. The DVD box set contains 49 discs.

  1. Star Trek TNG: An Oral History Entertainment Weekly, 2007/09/24. Retrieved on 2007/09/25.
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