Stardate 41153.7 – On The Voyages Of The Enterprise NCC 1701-D

Star Trek - TNG - cast

On September 28th, 1987, Gene Roddenberry’s second major venture into television, Star Trek – The Next Generation premiered on syndicated channels throughout the United States and some foreign countries.

I touched on the legacy of ST-TNG and its importance to the evolution of TV by becoming the most popular syndicated series of all time, but also by changing the television landscape and giving impetus for emergent syndicated series. It also affected the kinds of shows that were to come. Creative risks were taken, inspiring a new genre as a result of its success, that led to shows like Buffy The Vampire Slayer, Heroes and Smallville, to name just a few.

Star Trek - TNG - logoThere have been a number of articles that have appeared decrying TNG and the other Trek series as over-simplistic, and not reflective of reality such as, Why I hate Star Trek, And Why it sucks: “Star Trek, especially the newest incarnations, is void of all of the things that make for entertaining, adult-minded science fiction. The Next Generation, Deep Space Nine, and Voyager, have a sort of juvenile mindset to them. Instead of having people do exactly what they normally would do as humans, the Trek Universe has people behaving as though there are strict rules about everything that prevent a person from even considering self-preservation or self-indulgence as a primary motivator.”

His criteria for good science fiction follows: “they have just the right blend of special effects, drama, but most importantly they ask us to ponder, if just for a moment, the implications of our actions, the ethical use of developing or hypothetical technology, or how we feel about balancing our fear of the unknown with the moral and ethical decisions that might arise from a hypothetical situation.”

I agree completely with his assessment of what makes good science fiction, but that, in my opinion, is what ‘Star Trek – The Next Generation’ embodied, in plain, understandable narrative.

Happy Birthday, Star Trek – The Next Generation on this twentieth anniversary as it engages, into its twenty-first year.

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