Star Trek: The Next Generation
The show was set decades after Captain Kirk and the crew of the Enterprise from the original Star Trek series were exploring new worlds and new civilizations. It featured a completely new cast of characters in a new Enterprise starship.
The series premiered in 1987 and ran until 1994. The new starship Enterprise was commanded by Captain Jean-Luc Picard who was played by the famous English actor Patrick Stewart.
His second in command William Riker is played by Jonathan Frakes. Lt. Commander Geordi La Forge is in charge of engineering and is played by LeVar Burton. Marina Sirtis plays Counselor Deanna Troi. Brent Spiner plays the android Lt. Commander Data and Michael Dorn plays Lieutenant Worf who is in charge of security.
The show was produced by Paramount Television and 178 episodes were created at an average cost of $1,500,000 each. This show ran longer than any other Star Trek series. The show gained a strong following during its prime time run and still gets strong viewing through syndication.
The show revolves around the crew of the new starship Enterprise and portrays many of their adventures as they explore the far reaches of the galaxy. Jean-Luc Picard plays a very pivotal role in this show and is a strong central character.
It is interesting how different characters are interwoven into the ongoing plot. For example Lieutenant Worf is a Klingon which was an enemy of the Federation in the original Star Trek show. And the Commander Data character is used to show how an android can develop true human emotions despite its being a machine.
The show portray interesting and compelling relationships between the different characters. Commander Riker and Counselor Troi eventually develop a strong romantic bond and relationship.
The production aspects of the show are notable in that computer generated special effects were used throughout. This is in contrast to the original series which depended almost entirely on sets and models to portray settings and environments.
It is interesting to note that four major films featured the main characters from this TV series. In addition there were three other Star Trek TV series which followed this show. They include:
Star Trek: Deep Space Nine
Star Trek: Voyager
Star Trek: Enterprise
And on October 6, 2006, one of the original models of the USS Enterprise used on this show sold at auction for a whopping $576,000. This was the highest selling item at the auction and was purchased by Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen.