Star Trek: The Next Generation


The Academy of Television Arts & Sciences Foundation Presents

02:26

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About

By the mid-1980s, the Star Trek mythos had proven so commercially viable that Paramount announced plans for a new Star Trek series for television. Once again supervised by Roddenberry, Star Trek: The Next Generation debuted in first-run syndication in 1987 and went on to become one of the highest rated syndicated shows in history. Set in the 24th century, this series followed the adventures of a new crew on a new Enterprise (earlier versions of the ship having been destroyed in the movie series). The series was extremely successful at establishing a new story world that still maintained a continuity with the premise, spirit, and history of the original series. On the new Enterprise, the command functions were divided between a more cultured Captain, Jean-Luc Picard (Patrick Stewart), and his younger, more headstrong "number one," Commander William Riker (Jonathan Frakes). Spock's character functions were distributed across a number of new crew members, including ship's counselor and Betazoid telepath, Deanna Troi (Marina Sirtis), the highly advanced android, Lt. Commander Data (Brent Spiner), who provided the show with "logical" commentary as ironic counter-point to the peculiarities of human culture, and finally, Lieutenant Worf (Michael Dorn), a Klingon raised by a human family who struggled to reconcile his warrior heritage with the demands of the Federation. Other important characters included Lt. Geordi La Forge (LeVar Burton), the ship's blind engineer whose "vision" was processed by a high-tech visor, Dr. Beverly Crusher (Gates McFadden), the ship's medical officer and implicit romantic foil for Picard, and Wesley Crusher (Wil Wheaton), the doctor's precocious son.

Running for 178 episodes, Star Trek: The Next Generation was able to develop its characters and storylines in much more detail than the original series. As with many other hour-long dramas its era, the series abandoned a wholly episodic format in favor of more serialized narratives that better showcased the expanded ensemble cast. Continuing over the run of the series were recurring encounters with Q, a seemingly omnipotent yet extremely petulant entity, the Borg, a menacing race of mechanized beings, and Lars, Data's "evil" android brother. Other continuing stories included intrigue and civil war in the Klingon empire, Data's ongoing quest to become more fully human, and often volatile political difficulties with the Romulans. This change in the narrative structure of the series from wholly episodic to a more serialized form can be attributed in some part to the activities of the original series' enormous fan following. A central part of fan culture in the 1970s and 1980s involved fans writing their own Star Trek based stories, often filling in blanks left by the original series and elaborating incidents only briefly mentioned in a given episode. Star Trek: The Next Generation greatly expanded the potential for such creative elaboration by presenting a more complex storyworld, one that actively encouraged the audience to think of the series as a foundation for imagining a larger textual universe.

Despite the show's continuing success, Paramount canceled Star Trek: The Next Generation after seven seasons to turn the series into a film property and make room for new television spin-offs, thus beginning a careful orchestration of the studio's Star Trek interests in both film and television. The cast of the original series returned to the theater for Star Treks 5 and 6, leading finally to Star Trek: Generations, in which the original cast turned over the cinematic baton to the crew of Next Generation. Star Trek: Deep Space Nine premiered in January of 1993 as the eventual replacement for Next Generation on television.

Highlights
LeVar Burton on getting cast on Star Trek: The Next Generation, meeting Gene Roddenberry, and the prime directive
09:48
Diana Muldaur on joining the cast of Star Trek: The Next Generation
06:07
Robert Justman on the development of Star Trek: The Next Generation; on the casting of Patrick Stewart as Captain Picard
11:49
Rick Berman on how he came to produce Star Trek: The Next Generation
05:26
Dorothy Fontana on the development and casting of Star Trek: The Next Generation
Who talked about this show

Rick Berman

View Interview
Rick Berman on how he came to produce Star Trek: The Next Generation
05:26
Rick Berman on his impressions of Gene Roddenberry and the series idea for Star Trek: The Next Generation
02:06
Rick Berman on his initial producing duties on Star Trek: The Next Generation
02:35
Rick Berman on Patrick Stewart as "Captain Picard" on Star Trek: The Next Generation
04:25
Rick Berman on the premise of Star Trek: The Next Generation
02:01
Rick Berman on syndicating Star Trek: The Next Generation
00:42
Rick Berman on casting Star Trek: The Next Generation
06:08
Rick Berman on Gates McFadden leaving and returning to Star Trek: The Next Generation
02:10
Rick Berman on Denise Crosby and Wil Wheaton leaving and returning to Star Trek: The Next Generation
01:31
Rick Berman on casting Whoopi Goldberg on Star Trek: The Next Generation
02:08
Rick Berman on Jonathan Frakes as "William Riker" on Star Trek: The Next Generation
02:38
Rick Berman on actors directing Star Trek: The Next Generation
02:16
Rick Berman on writing for Star Trek: The Next Generation
04:15
Rick Berman on Leonard Nimoy appearing as "Spock" on Star Trek: The Next Generation
01:33
Rick Berman on the Star Trek: The Next Generation episodes "The Best of Both Worlds" and the finale "All Good Things"
02:31
Rick Berman on the visual effects of Star Trek: The Next Generation
03:09
Rick Berman on the make-up work on Star Trek: The Next Generation
02:06
Rick Berman on the rules for writing Star Trek: The Next Generation
03:06
Rick Berman on the critical and fan reaction to Star Trek: The Next Generation
01:03
Rick Berman on his shifting producing duties on Star Trek: The Next Generation
01:17
Rick Berman on the death of Gene Roddenberry
03:45
Rick Berman on the end of Star Trek: The Next Generation
01:26
Rick Berman on dividing his time between Star Trek shows
01:46
Rick Berman on Star Trek: The Next Generation being his favorite of all the Star Trek series and his favorite moments
02:52

Robert Blackman

View Interview
Robert Blackman on the "Picard maneuver" on Star Trek: The Next Generation
01:07
Robert Blackman on the costume for "Q" on Star Trek: The Next Generation
00:57
Robert Blackman on his favorite Star Trek: The Next Generation costumes
01:52
Robert Blackman on getting the job as costume designer on Star Trek: The Next Generation
03:29
Robert Blackman on making the transition to costuming designing for Star Trek: The Next Generation and dealing with the costume design from the original series
01:42
Robert Blackman on redesigning the Star Trek: The Next Generation uniforms in season three
04:59
Robert Blackman on working with Gene Roddenberry on Star Trek: The Next Generation
01:31
Robert Blackman on the challenges of redesigning the Starfleet uniforms on Star Trek: The Next Generation
04:07
Robert Blackman on the challenges of doing a weekly series that takes place in the 24th Century
06:33
Robert Blackman on his costume design staff on Star Trek: The Next Generation
03:39
Robert Blackman on designing costumes for alien characters on Star Trek: The Next Generation
01:12
Robert Blackman on his process of designing a costume for a character on Star Trek: The Next Generation
02:05
Robert Blackman on the fabrics they used for the costumes on Star Trek: The Next Generation
04:51
Robert Blackman on the budget constraints of costume designing for Star Trek: The Next Generation
02:12
Robert Blackman on designing the costumes for the Andorians on Star Trek: The Next Generation
02:39
Robert Blackman on designing the costumes for the Vulcans and the Klingons on Star Trek: The Next Generation
01:59
Robert Blackman on designing the costumes for the Star Trek: The Next Generation episode "Hollow Pursuits"
02:29
Robert Blackman on the color palette of the costumes on Star Trek: The Next Generation 
03:39
Robert Blackman on designing costumes for specific episodes of Star Trek: The Next Generation
05:34
Robert Blackman on the costume of the character "Guinan" on Star Trek: The Next Generation
01:32
Robert Blackman on the costume design for the Star Trek: The Next Generation episode "Unification"
02:24
Robert Blackman on costume design for the Star Trek: The Next Generation episode "The Perfect Mate"
02:38
Robert Blackman on the reactions to his Star Trek: The Next Generation costumes
01:22
Robert Blackman on costume design for the Star Trek: The Next Generation episode "A Fistful of Datas"
01:17
Robert Blackman on costume design for the Star Trek: The Next Generation episode "Times Era"
01:13
Robert Blackman on the process of designing costumes for Star Trek: The Next Generation and working with producer Rick Berman
08:32
Robert Blackman on costuming ideas that didn't work for Star Trek: The Next Generation
04:11
Robert Blackman on winning Emmys for Star Trek: The Next Generation
02:02
Robert Blackman on the cast and crew of Star Trek: The Next Generation
04:49

LeVar Burton

View Interview
LeVar Burton on getting cast on Star Trek: The Next Generation, meeting Gene Roddenberry, and the prime directive
09:48
LeVar Burton on his Star Trek: The Next Generation character "Geordi La Forge"; on special effects, Trekkies, and beginning to direct episodes
23:06
LeVar Burton on his favorite episodes and series finale of Star Trek: The Next Generation
11:39
LeVar Burton on bringing together Star Trek: The Next Generation and Reading Rainbow
01:51
LeVar Burton on directing the more recent series of Star Trek
01:07

Alexander Courage

View Interview
Alexander Courage on his fanfare opening every episode of Star Trek:The Next Generation
00:18

John Debney

View Interview
John Debney on composing for Star Trek: Deep Space Nine and Star Trek: The Next Generation
03:10

Dorothy Fontana

View Interview
Dorothy Fontana on the development and casting of Star Trek: The Next Generation
Dorothy Fontana on the characters and storylines of Star Trek: The Next Generation
18:08

Jerry Goldsmith

View Interview
Jerry Goldsmith on composing the theme for "Star Trek: The Motion Picture", which later became the theme for Star Trek: The Next Generation, and composing for other "Star Trek" features and shows including Star Trek: Voyager  
04:00

Robert Justman

View Interview
Robert Justman on the development of Star Trek: The Next Generation; on the casting of Patrick Stewart as Captain Picard
11:49
Robert Justman on ILM and Star Trek: The Next Generation
11:31

Diana Muldaur

View Interview
Diana Muldaur on joining the cast of Star Trek: The Next Generation
06:07

Leonard Nimoy

View Interview
Leonard Nimoy on appearing on Star Trek: The Next Generation
00:27
Leonard Nimoy on initially being asked to produce the series Star Trek: The Next Generation
01:09

Fred Steiner

View Interview
Fred Steiner on scoring an episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation
01:02

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