TNG@20 – ET Visits TNG

A newly uploaded YouTube clip shows two Entertainment Tonight segments from July 1987 where they visit the set of TNG during the shooting of the pilot.

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Wow…..its too bad you have to hookup extension speakers to even begin to hear this.
Turn it all the way up…..otherwise….why bother?

I heard mine fine….anyways

5 or 6 years Levar….ha…

Regardless of what some of the purists think, there were a lot of really good TNG episodes. I was saddened when the series was cancelled. 7 years goes by too quickly when you’re having fun.

Those interviews were funny to watch. You could see how rigid everyone was. Not until the second season was when they all started to relax.

482 dtST

# 2: Yeah…..well thats what I get for buying a $600.00 Acer Notebook from WalMart.


1987. That was a good year.

Who can believe its been 2 decades. How time flies. I hope the new Generation of kids today get the same kind of kick from TOS 2008 as we did from TNG back in the day.

I fear there isn’t the same kind of wild eyed optimism for the future that there was back then. There was a certain innocence that was contained by TOS and TNG, back in the day. A certain quality that made you look forward to the future, aside from technological advancements.

“I reminisce for a spell, or should I say think back.”

Hey! I actually remember these reports!

I was a strapping young high-school-age geek who videotaped these bits of infotainment fluff (on Beta!) so that I could rewatch the tiny bits of Enterprise footage over and over, just to get a glimpse of the first new Trek series in nearly 20 years. Sad, really, but fun at the time.

It was also the only way back then to see some of this stuff before the series aired. These days, of course, photos and bits of footage would have leaked onto the web months earlier, and dissected ad infinitum by a community of similarly obsessed people. But back then, this was it (unless you ran into bootlegs or things at conventions, or bought “Starlog” to see David Gerrold’s advance reports on the series development).

It’s funny how they focused a great deal on ILM, but gingerly avoided mentioning the one franchise ILM is most famous for: Star Wars. It’s probably because ST and SW are considered bitter rivals. How stupid. In the end, the two don’t compete, they are so different.

Anyway, I was also amused at how stiff Patrick Stewart was speaking. I’m used to seeing more relaxed and comfortable talking about his role and the show. It’s clear at that time he may yet have harbored some doubts, and maybe a little embarrassment?

Wow, John Tesh … that takes me back, and not necessarily in a good way. Anybody remember he played a bit Klingon in that second season episode where Worf went on the holodeck for Klingon bar mitzvah and got jabbed with pain sticks?

Mozel tov!

#8 — yeah, I remember that too.

#7 — I agree about Stewart seeming stiff and/or self-conscious. It also struck me that he was sort of haltingly paraphrasing the standard opening monologue: “to…explore the unknown…investigate that which is new, and strange…to go where men have never been before…” It’s interesting, considering what he’s said in recent years about not even unpacking for the first several months of the series because he was sure it would end soon, or that he’d leave.

“pain sticks”
Pain sticks? I’ve always gotten a pain over the years watching Tesh’s shtick!

Yeah Paramount Owns Entertainment Tonight.

Back then this was “synergy” I s’pose.

Quite the plug for Trek!

Note the old trek font in the top left corner as they cut to and from break.

That would have been cool.

Somehow the video generated titles of next gen always seemed cheap to me.(they made my Quasar TV speaker buzz)

Heck- I was even bugged by the typeface in the early days. Nothing they could do to please a trekkie old head.

Then season three came along. and I became a fan- crappy titles , Geordie’s idiotic eye thing, and all.

Thanks to whover posted this vid.

I was 2 months old when this aired (yeah, I share a birth year with TNG :D), yet watching it still conveys a sense of nostalgia.

It’s the special effects in particular. Before CGI, there was a wonderment about the special effects process that was almost a microcosm of the wonderment Trek conveys about the future. (If that makes any sense at all…)

I remember thinking the video titles for TNG were rather odd (even for the times), as well. They seemed something more like you’d see on a local cable show.

I’ve always wondered when they added to the opening sequence a few years later, they didn’t just re-do the titles as well.

Patrick Stewart seems to be doing the interview in character. I suspect he was guarding his privacy. Also, he thought TNG was going to fail and couldn’t say what he really thought on Paramount’s own promo show. Hollywood was still a strange new world to Patrick Stewart. Nothing he’d ever done would have involved this kind of high-pressure corporate self-promotion.

Wil Wheaton seems just like the kid that Wil Wheaton writes about.

I miss he optimistic nature of TNG the other shows sorta had it but not as much as I liked

I really wished I would have gotten into Trek before TNG’s sixth season!

Wow! lol… that’s kinda funny. Patrick Stewart “in character” for his interview on Entertainment Tonight.
People talk about Spock’s showing of emotion in the first episode of TOS, as incongruent with his character in later episodes, but Data as well seemed to express some rather un-android like facial gestures in the fist few episodes of TNG….
Jordi’s “unique ability” of sight didn’t get much play beyond the first season and Tasha Yar’s “pre Xena warrior princess thing” fell into the background quickly as well.
The girl in the “galactic cheerleader” uniform became excessively dramatic every ten minutes….thankfully that became more nuanced as the show went on…
It was a rough first couple of seasons until the show found it’s feet and it’s niche…
It’s hard to believe it’s been twenty years! I know some people were disappointed that they did not continue TNG on the big screen, but in all honesty 20 years is a long time, and the TNG cast were getting “long in the tooth”, so to speak. They can retire in the comfort of knowing that their efforts on TNG helped to continue Star Trek into the 21st Century….

“Before CGI, there was a wonderment about the special effects ..”
-Etha Williams – August 31, 2007

I’d say about 85% of CGI effects have been under whelming…. Davey Jones in Pirates of the Caribbean was impressive….the giant octopus was not, because no matter how “real” they get it, giant octopuses don’t exist and so we, the audience, are actually distracted from the story by setting there in the middle of an action scene thinking, ” hmmm, that CGI is getting better all the time..”

“I fear there isn’t the same kind of wild eyed optimism for the future that there was back then..”
-DJT – August 31, 2007

I think most people do. Which is ironic considering that in 1987 the Cold War was still raging and seem to be headed towards Nuclear Armageddon. Yet, I agree, it was never-the-less, a more “up” time..more optimistic..

At this point, in 2007, when most people think about what it will be like twenty years from now, the film franchise that comes to mind is not Star Trek, but Mad Max…

TNG was the last truly exciting thing to come out of trek, mainly because a new show in the trek universe still had a lot of untapped potential.
Now it seems everything has been done, Paramount basically strip mined the entire premise IMO.

This was a magical time, to be sure… I remember being in my second year at USC, and being very excited about this new Trek show. A friend had managed to get a copy of the “bible” for the pilot, and it featured some of Andy Probert’s drawings of the ship and the bridge. I built a tiny plastic model of it even then… a simpler time. Also exciting because it was the 10th anniversary of Star Wars as well… and yes, Star Wars and Star Trek can exist happily together in the pantheon of Entertainment. Why, even now, on my shelf, the TOS Enterprise and Milennium Falcon sit next to each other with minimum squabbling between them.

Awesome to see that footage!

It makes you think that if TNG had failed all those years ago would we be sitting here today talking about Star Trek? Obviously there were doubters, Patrick Stewart amongst them, however luckily enough for all of us the series was a success and paved the way for future Star Trek series and movies!

#11 I agree TNG didn’t really come to life until season three. Even now when I go to watch an episode I always choose one from season three onwards.

I always appreciate the youtube videos you guys find. Could you also show the specific link separate from the video? I access the internet through my smartphone & the pocket internet explorer isn’t “smart” enough to show the video that’s on your webpage. The area appears blank & I just have to trust that there really is a video there that all you guys are talking about :) If you provided the link, then most of us with our mobile device could also see & play it. Thanks.

Neat clips. TNG pre-3rd season somehow seems much more ‘dated’ than anything post-3. The costumes, Troi’s hair, the bizarre lounge chairs at the helm, all practically scream ’80’s’, whereas post-3rd season shows still seem up-to-date…. This, combined with what must have been an incredible amount of pressure on cast and crew, it really is incredible that TNG survived at all, let alone became a worthy successor to the original.

Happy birthday, TNG!

I’m a true Gene Roddenberry fan for his optimism that he brought to both TOS & TNG. There’s so many problems in our world & daily lives today. Give me Star Trek that shows hope & a model that I can work toward to be a better man. That’s what I cherish from Star Trek & what I hope the new movie will bring after the spirit being muddied down for so many years.

You can thank TNG for the wealth of syndicated science fiction, fantasy, and horror shows that came after it .

TNG showed that a syndicated one hour drama could work.

I saw the PRIMER EPISODE of STAR TREK:TNG in the Dallas Area. It showed with a “run up”…

“Forbidden Planet,” then George Pal’s “The Time Machine” then “STAR TREK :TNG.” I was so excited, I actually wanted to leave Six Flags over Texas (amusement park) early!

I remember seeing this report when it first aired. I remember being very excited about this new show. I do admit it never really was, or became what I wanted it to be however.

I think TNG changes a lot of film and network wonks’ minds to see that there was still mulla to be made out of sci-fi. I can’t remember anything between the original BSG and TNG that had lasted more than a season.

And yes, #8, I remember Tesh’s dubious appearance as Klingon #5 (or whatever.) The only worse guest star must be Mick Fleetwood as a giant herring in “Manhunt.”

How come this clip wasnt presented in digital surround and in dvd quality..who is ILM? and why is et’s bike in a workshop in californina?

Just kidding, I also recorded many old clips like these in beta..and I did save most of them. my clips start in 1989 however.. I did upload a crapload onto youtube but now I’m banned….WAaaaaaaaaaa

I remember these reports…what a cool time to be a Trek fan!

Thanks to JJ, some that excitement has returned!



Just out of curiosity, and so that I or others might not accidentally do it too…..what does one have to do to be banned from YouTube?

Nostalgics who wish that Trek remained “upbeat” and ideologically unquestioning about their unambiguously progressive view of anything that comes after anything else (i.e., the “FUTURE”), should heed the complaints of the greatest Trek writers — Ron D Moore, Rene Echeverria, Ira Steven Behr. Specifically, you cannot write drama for “perfect” characters. What made TNG so great, and DS9 even better, was to show that the fundamental issues inherent to the human condition — life, death, love, the things “worth the agony and the sweat,” to quote Faulkner — were still real issues even after an age of techonological and economic progress. Star Trek at its best recognizes this, recognizes the limits of the Enlightenment ideology that it purportedly worshipped, and opened itself up to the deeper, fundamentally religious questions of human existence.

“you cannot write drama for “perfect” characters. What made TNG so great, and DS9 even better, was to show that the fundamental issues inherent to the human condition —”life, death, love, the things “worth the agony and the sweat,” to quote Faulkner — were still real issues even after an age of techonological and economic progress.”
-Santiago – September 2, 2007

Yes, but all those thing, “life, death, love, the things “worth the agony and the sweat,” were present in spades in TOS and it’s subsequent films. The Motion Picture explored “what its life and what does it mean to be human”. The Wrath of Kahn explored “The passage of Time and coping with old age” as well as the loss of a dear friend, Spock, etc….

“Upbeat” has nothing to do with ignoring life, death, love, the things “worth the agony and the sweat”, in fact it revels in them. Upbeat is about optimism…about knowing that no matter how bad the storm rages tonight, tomorrow’s dawn will restore the calm. “Upbeat” and optimism are about how you face the problems of this life. We either emerge from the sorrows of life with our hope and sense of purpose in mind, or we are forever chained to them, and let them define us for the rest of our lives.

As the wise man said, “either you define the moment, or the moment defines you”.

#33 — Couldn’t have said it better myself.

i still cant get my head around it being 20 YEARS since TNG began!!

its crazy – some of my friends and family still refer to it as the ‘new star trek’ !!

Still in a way maybe they are right – TNG never really ended as it continued with the TNG movies up until only recently – plus DS9/Voyager and Ent can be seen as spin offs of TNG ( coming out like a conveyour belt – one leading after the other – even when the previous one was still on the air )..where as TNG was the proper sequel to TOS coming nearly 20 years after the last ep…

I guess that was you’ve got it like this:

1st incarnation – TOS
2nd incarnation – TOS movies
3rd incarnation – TNG plus movies/DS9/Voy/Ent

4th incarnation – The new Abrams movie…

#7 Well said. The fact that ILM did the effects for Trek in fact, shows they are now NOT competitors. And, wihtout Star Trek there would be no Star Wars. So really, Star Wars owes its existence to Star Trek.

#12 Wow, someone in here younger than me (I was 6 then, and super pumped)

I actually liked the effect of having the font letters start out hollow and then being filled in. A good 80’s computer effect.

#32 I agree with you. Some of the best DS9 episodes were the ones that really showed that, in fact, Starfleet is as much the military/defense for the Federation as it was scientific and exploration.

I happen to think that in another 4-5 years, we’ll be ready for a new Star Trek show. Some people say a 23rd century show. However, why not go further into the future, like say the 25th century. A new Enterprise (I-J), new crew, boldy going where no one has gone before. Where has the Federation come since the Dominion War? How far have the Ferengi come since Rom because Nagus? Perhaps the Breen be the new enemy? I’m just saying…

Now, back to ILM… If the suits at CBS-D/Paramount had contracted ILM to do the TOS Remastered project, instead of doing it in house, I’m sure EVERYONE would LOVE it. Probably would have been cool enough to truly generate new excitement over TOS.

hahaha that’s awesome, I remember seeing that during my sophomore year in college and nearly wetting myself in anticipation after growing up on the original series during 70’s syndication. I can’t believe it’s been 20 years already! Remember the 1986 anniversary of TOS, with Shatner on SNL? Crikey. I think our current technological rate has somehow quickened our perception of time, 20 years has whizzed by.

With the eminent new movie, it’s almost like 1987 all over again. Crazy.

TNG is so much better than TOS. The characters are more evolved, the show is PERFECT TREK. Gene Roddenberry told it himself!

warp into hyberspace ? hmm lol fair enough. and this shows looks muck , i dont think it will last , not sure what they guy was talking about 5 or 6 year mission , they will be lucky to get a one year one . viewers will never like this , its going to fail badly . hahahahaha.. but really i was only 1 when TNG started , so there has always been star trek for me to watch , but when enterprise finished and they said there was no new movie , i started to panic , i cant go cold turkey , thank god they are making a new movie , i know it going to rock . and heres to many more years of star trek i mean think about it , star trek will be 50 soon enough , and i am sure one day it will make it to 100 with hopefully new trek tv show or movies being made 60 years in the future. ( that would be so cool)

After John Tesh Gave this report he listed the top ten things you should never say while on a date with a Klingon, then talked about the 5 differant things a Vulcan can do to Improve his love life, followed by 6 tips for the android who wants to act more human.

Thanks for this. My, so long ago.

But wow – ET hasn’t changed a bit in 20 years!