TNG’s 20th anniversary is coming…

As the 20th anniversary of The Next Generation approaches (on September 28) you’ll start to see more and more tidbits, information, and a general celebration of TNG around the web and here at

To get an early start one of our intrepid community members Greg Mefford has put up an Entertainment Tonight clip of TNG’s announcement back in early 1987. It includes an interview with David Gerold as he writes a season one TNG episode.

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I love this show, my first and best Trek.

I was prepared and expected to hate TNG. It got my attention in the first episode and by the close of season three it became my favorite of all the versions. It still is. Happy anniversary to the magnificent seven.

I just wish that the previous two movies did better….

Also, if you want a replica of the Big D built go too

Sorry for the shameless plug.

David Gerrold in better times in the video. Didn’t last – –


Season 3 really marked TNG’s emergence. Michael Piller helped guide the show into more interesting territory, and by the time “The Best of Both Worlds” aired, TNG was off and running.

20 years… yikes. Time is truly the fire in which we burn!

I can’t believe it’s almost 20 years old. I can still remember it first coming onto TV. I had a conversation with my Dad saying I didn’t think it would be as good as the original. I must have been ten at the time because I’m 30 on the 27th of September. So it celebrates its 20th the day after my Birthday…very cool.

It did take me a while to warm to the new crew and having no Kirk or Spock around but after a couple of seasons I loved it and I still do. In fact it was watching TNG repeated years later on TV and video that helped get me through college.

I wander if they will remaster TNG some day. I remember thinking the space shots where amazing when I first saw them but even they are looking dated today.

But I would want them to get ahead of themselves. I rather they stick to the task of a top quality finish with the original series before they take on anything else :O)

I have to get this in before the Trek vs. Trek bashing begins… and that in itself is a pity.
I fully expect the anti-TNG trolls (I won’t name names) to roll in any moment and then this becomes the next battleground, like every other thread on here despite the subject.
I like all phases of Trek and believe all 5 shows have had their golden moments and awful episodes.

TOS was”past my bedtime” but I would sneak out to the living room to watch show. Balok at the end of credits scared me. But as I grew up,TOS became my after-school treat at 4pm. That secured it’s hold on my imagination. The desire to see more grew and grew. The movies helped but I wanted a weekly fix.
TNG was born.
I really thought that Picard was put in just to die early and Riker would assume command, but it didn’t happen that way. The first episodes struggled, but then things blossomed. Episodes became well written and well-acted. I hated the cliff-hanger season -finales, but only because they denied me the rest of the story until September.
I don’t believe TNG was developed to replace TOS, just to build on a solid foundation and tell good stories in the same universe many years later.
And now, watch the bashing begin, And remember, if you can’t say something nice, maybe you shouldn’t say anything at all.

Perhaps some might get the hint…. but I won’t hold my breath.

#8 Lt. Arex –
“like all phases of Trek and believe all 5 shows have had their golden moments and awful episodes.”

Agreed – –

appreciated, Greg

As a subject of the UK, I didn’t see TNG till about 1990, so I knew it mainly from comics, tie-in novels and a couple of VHS rentals at first.

TNG remains one of the great TV frustrations of my life. It see-sawed from week to week. It was a show that could turn out the thrills of Conspiracy one week and the mogadon that was The Last Outpost another.

Every time it seemed to be on the brink of breaking out and taking Trek in a new direction, it played it safe and hit the plot reset button.

To this day, I remember the thrill of watching The Best of Both Worlds I. To this day I remember the crushing letdown that was The Best of Both Worlds II.

TNG had the most potential of any Star Trek series, but, while mostly managing to be very very good, never quite attained greatness!

Twenty years! Sheesh! The TNG cast are as old as the TOS cast were now!! Marina Sirtis was definitely a fittie back then: the thinking man’s Erika Eleniak! ;)

What you describe is every TV show. It cannot be top notch all the time. What show do you think was perfect all the time?

#11 Dom,

I think you make an interesting point about TNG holding back from more daring directions. I think that if the show were produced today in this 24/Lost era of storytelling, you would see more risk-taking stories. I recall reading at some point that the producers considered killing Will Riker and replacing him with Tom Riker, resetting a stale character and making for a whole new dynamic onboard the Enterprise-D. I enjoyed TNG, it was a reliable source of entertainment for 7 years. I never fell in love with the show like TOS, but I am happy to celebrate it 20 years after the fact.

Hi Adam. Howzit going?

I agree. We have to accept TNG as a product of its time.

Now the TNG era’s kinda been wound up, it’d be a good thing to look back to when TNG was young and fresh, before the cynicism set in!

Happy Birthday Star Trek: The Next Generation!

I’m doing great, Dom, thanks for asking. How have you been?

You know, if those last two movies came out differently, I think the lingering memories of TNG would be more positive among the fans. Generations was a misstep for them as well, but First Contact was a strong recovery. But in total, I watch the TNG films the least, and some not at all. Even before it’s 7-year run ahd ended, it felt as if the show lost its inspiration. “All Good Things” was a good finale, but that episode was a shining light amidst some very forgettable final season episodes.


Ron Moore has stated on a number of occasions that the TNG writing staff was well aware that the show had run out of gas while producing the final season. Luckily, they did manage to put together a finale which still stands as the best of all the Trek series. (TOS of course didn’t have one; DS9’s was half-great and half-crap; and the less said about the Enterprise and Voyager finales, the better.)

#13. Adam Cohen

“I enjoyed TNG, it was a reliable source of entertainment for 7 years. I never fell in love with the show like TOS, but I am happy to celebrate it 20 years after the fact.”

My sentiments exactly. All the incarnations of Trek were just that… entertainment. Some, arguably, more reliable than others.

One thing that is consistent in all of them… they were all products of their time and reflected the social consciousness, cultural tenor, visual styling, and story-telling triumphs and limitations of the their time.

A very happy and congratulatory score to TNG!

Hey Adam! Pretty hectic here. Not as busy as the pre-Christmas 24-hour work shift period, but work keeps me from posting much here in the daytime!

I think the naming of the final episode of season six of TNG (Descent) was, unfortunately, apt! I think, had TNG adopted the ensemble format fully, changing a lot more on-screen personnel and production crew, it might have lasted longer as a TV show. If TNG had finished at the end of season six and more time had been spent prepping the next film, it might have been better thought of now!

As a film franchise, TNG reflected its TV background. A messy first film, a solid second film that promised much, a third which played it annoyingly safe and a last film that was David Gerrold’s ‘One film too many!’

I wish All Good Things . . . had been a big screen movie, to be honest!

All Good Things was spectacular. I always thought a Q movie would have been great.

Paramount was trying to repackage STAR TREK — affiliates wanted more episodes. The plan was TOS would be sold to stations and run M-F, then TNG on the weekend. While I was working at a local independent, I can remember the Paramount rep pitching the show: TNG would round out 100 episodes for STAR TREK period. They just wanted to reach the magic 100 — there were no expectations that it would go on two or three years, much less seven.

This in from CBS ..20th Anniversary special ….. “Shades of Gray” remastered …

Whats that supposed to mean?

#22. Light Year Models

I’m just guessin’ but I suspect that #21. mooseday is funnin’ us a bit.

“Shades of Gray” was a crippled clip-show at the end of TNG’s second season chronicling Riker’s retrospect as he rails against a virus that has infected him.

The notion that this episode may be… “cough, cough”… remastered AND serve as the CBS 20th Anniversary special for the series is both hysterically funny and suicidally frightening.

However, mooseday, if your post was both in earnest from the standpoint of yours or CBS’s desire… I’m loading my revolver.

# 9, Agreed. I enjoyed all Trek series to a great extent, including the much maligned Enterprise.

TNG is and always will be my favorite Trek, even though I didn’t miss any of the other series. In the shows, the novels, and to a lesser extent, the movies, The character of Jean-Luc Picard has been more than a hero for me. Perhaps it was really Gene Roddenberry’s view of secular humanism shining through and making Picard’s character what he was, but without Patrick Stewart, the message may have have never been as adequately portrayed.

Besides the philosophical message and depictions of what society could be in the future, TNG didn’t forget to include some Science in their Fiction. There was also just enough action to satisfy many Sci-Fi fans….and its use had a subtlety that was sorely missing in other non-Trek (and later Trek) series. During its television run, it was rarely contrived or ‘gratuitous’. Unfortunately, that changed when TNG reached the big screen. I’m pleased to say that a great example of balanced action and story was “Tin Man”, written in part by Mr. Bailey.

I have to disagree that TNG is a product of its time. I do not recall the 1980s in America as a time that I would describe as welcoming to the optimism, scientific curiousity, and/or ideals portrayed in TNG. That’s why TNG was so special to me…it was unique. It was the exception to the rule (the later TNG movies, not-so-much). Today, TNG is even more ‘unique’. It is quite surreal when I watch reruns of TNG on SpikeTV, interspersed with commercial advertisments for Spike’s other ridiculous programming. Indeed, Star Trek is among the very few examples of television fiction I can stomach today.

Anyway, I’m glad to hear that Trek Movie will include references to TNG and its 20th Anniversary. I hope that what the person in post # 8 said does not come to pass, as it would be nice if TNG fans could feel was as much their site as it was anyone else’s.

They should’ve just made Phase II or whatever after The Voyage Home instead of bringing in a whole new cast and making it about the technology. TNG was a really good series overall, despite having a weak captain. The surrounding cast, dare I say, was superior to TOS. If Riker did succeed Picard, I think TNG could’ve surpassed TOS in many ways.

Ha. “Shades of Gray” sticks in my mind as the worst episode of anything .. ever. If only because I remember coming home from school, hyped for a new episode, making a special effort to get home before TNG started and then to find …. CHEESY CLIP SHOW. ARRRRGGGHHH

Even the TNG producers apologised for that episode … I believe the excuse was they had spent all there production budget and had to pad the season somehow ….

I remember wanting very much to like The Next Generation and watched it faithfully for several years until it just wore me out with its overall blandness. It had its moments. I know there are a lot of people out there who continue to like it, and for them this upcoming anniversary must be exciting.

Oh, and for the record, for that one low point of TNG ( and maybe Genesis ) .. there are MANY high points.

oh boy, 1987! Return of the Jedi, High School graduation for me, and the debut of Star Trek: The Next Generation! Truly, I hope this thread does stay civil and honorable. Whatever my ultimate feelings on TNG, it was an exciting debut and a sense of possibility! Happy 20th TNG! :-)

#26 mooseday – “Even the TNG producers apologised for that episode … I believe the excuse was they had spent all there production budget and had to pad the season somehow”

Don’t forget the largest reason which hurt the entire second season – Writer’s Strike!

TNG, the first Trek I watched, and my all time favorite.

#30 greg – after some research per memory alpha “This episode was written to save time and money as a result of the writers’ strike of 1988.”, I never knew it was the strike that screwed thing, thanks for point it out.

I do seem to remember an interview somewhere ( StarBurst maybe ) where they actually apolgised and promised they would never do a clip show again …

#24 Canonista, hello there, how you doin’?
We are up in the 30 post area now and I continue to pray that this is a positive thread that doesn’t sink to the levels of a few previous story threads.
I found TNG to be a breath of fresh air in that time. Much of TV was a wasteland of sitcoms and this had imagination. No show could be an Emmy-gem every week, but I feel this show tried hard to live up to it’s namesake, with similarities, but showing enough differences to not be called a clone. 20 years is a long time and this was a different crew in a different time, ours and theirs. Some may dislike it, but I don’t make a practice of mocking or trashing their favorites.

Wow TNG has it’s 20th anniversary coming up, I recall it premiering like it was yesterday.

Happy 20th Next Gen, I wonder if it will actually be celebrated? Or just sort of universally agreed upon that this year marks 20 years since Star Trek jumped the shark!


You guys make it so eeeeeeasy.

I really wanted to like TNG. I remember when it premiered I worked at a TV station and got the early feed for the first episode. I got together with my Trek friends and we had a party and watched “Encounter and Farpoint”. We really didn’t know what to think and over the next 7years grew more and more dis-interested with the show. Aside from the words in the title, it was not anything like the Star Trek we were passionate about. We remained faithful and tuned in week after week and were occasionally rewarded with a “Yesterday’s Enterprise” or “Inner Light”, but ultimately we were, for the most part, dissappointed as these high points were the exception rather than the rule. That was the worst part,….aside from all the behind the scenes bickering and hiring and firing, the series the potential to be great “Star Trek”…but it rarely delivered. Clearly there was a type of fan, especially women, who thrived on this new-Coke style formula of Trek, but it wasn’t our little group of Trekkies. We wanted a show that demonstrated it knew how to walk that fine line of action/adventure/imagintion/ romance and humor that the orignal series balanced on so well. But it wasn’t to be. After 7 years we threw another party to celebrate the show’s demise. TNG was anything but a happy ride for this fan.

I think TNG is an interesting paradox in the annals of Star Trek history, on one hand, it’s success can be contributed to essentially being an indirect extension of TOS, in that much of the preliminary work for this series was done 10 years previously for Phase II, down to specific characterizations, (Data=Xon) etc, on the other hand, any particularly damning flaws inherent in the shows concept can also be traced back to the aborted Phase II series. I think TNG as advertised represents Roddenberrys retrospective self indulgent view on his own Star Trek. Unfortunately, that isn’t necessarily a good thing, as TNG and PHASE II were bourne out of a time in Roddenberrys life when he wasn’t all that interested in Star Trek again.

Star Trek = new imaginative personal and creative endeavor filled with passion and fire

TNG, Phase II, The Motion Picture in many ways = Been there, done that, I’d rather be doing something else but, ah well this is my baby so

Yep… just as predicted back in #8. The other side of the equation has arrived.

Josh, you are on record as liking TMP… you waffling now or is this just an exercise to get attention as always?

Read clearly what I said before you make assumptions.

which part?…
“it’s success can be contributed to essentially being an indirect extension of TOS”… which I have no problem with..
this is just an exercise for you to get attention?

I’m reffering to the conceptual nature of TNG, and what the root of any percieved negative qualities may be attributed to since TNG is fairly divisive amongst fandom, with those that either adore it or don’t care much at all for it.

TNG unfortunately was brainstormed during a time in Roddenberrys life when he wasn’t that enthusiastic about Star Trek in general, as it was a past creative endeavor for him and he was too busy focusing on genesis II, the Questor Tapes, Andromeda , etc.
I’m not reffering to 1986 development but rather the core preliminary genesis of TNG during the mid 70’s when Star Trek was being rushed into production.

Riker = Decker
Illia = Troi
Xon= Data


Dude it seems to me YOU are the one that brings and calls attention to ME. Is every post made on these forums designed to bring attention to ones self according to your estimation? Let it drop. Discuss Star Trek, and STOP discussing me, lest I be inclined to to suspect there’s some serious Josh envy going on, which of course I wouldn’t blame you ;)

I only see them comming out with a HD-DVD/BluRay release.

It’s going to be interesting to see how they solve the video transfer/special effects issues for the HD release.

If Star Trek is taking this long, TNG would take 3 times as long.

#42 Josh,
Not you…. just your attitude towards others. Your previous comments calling me “Nazi” and the other terms you have endowed on others here just makes me wonder how you remain able to post on this site.
But you are right.. this IS a Star Trek board… and that makes it all ok.

#45 Lt. Arex

He’s right, Arex. Ignore him, not worth the trouble. Trek’s the subject.

How’d you get my name?

Wow. I still remember reading David Gerrold’s articles about how production on the yet-to-premiere series was going, and looking at those drawings of the Enteprise-D and the new bridge–I remember I thought the D was just too big and ungainly. And I remember watching the premiere and first two years of the show, always coming away with the feeling that the series just wasn’t quite cutting it. I kept watching though, only because there just wasn’t that much science fiction on tv, and it was nice to see a show with special effects (still pretty rare at the time),

And then that third year happened, and I’d come back week after week, thrilled and amazed by what I was seeing. And in the years that followed, the show just got bigger and better, becoming a pop cultural phenomenon in its own right. TNG stepped out from TOS’s shadow and found its own voice, alright, and dared to go places where TOS never would have gone. A captain who was forever scarred and changed after a brutal facing up to his own frailty. A richer, deeper Klingon culture than we’d have ever expected to see from those traditional villains. Storytelling that for its time, pushed back against the limits of tv mediocrity (this was way before serious shows like The Sopranos and The West Wing lifted up the medium as a whole, remember). TNG came along at the perfect time to spark my imagination in a big way, and for that I’ll always be grateful, because it opened my eyes to what could be accomplished if you dared to think big and beyond the conventional.

So happy 20th anniversary, TNG. You performed one of the greatest comebacks ever, and you’ll always have a place in this fanboy’s heart. I’m glad I was there for the entire ride.

Xai, leave me alone. I didn’t take your name

I have fond memories of TNG. When it first appeared, I wasn’t all that impressed. But as time went on, and the characters became more developed and more attractive. The early TNG episodes show a group of actors… By the time they got to “Best of Both Worlds,” they had become those characters…

TNG had all the stuff I think Roddenberry wanted, but took David Gerrold to put it in focus. There were some truly great episodes. There were some clunkers, just like TOS had… The bottom line is that when Star Trek was at its best, it was UNBEATABLE.