On Sept 28, 1987 many people turned on their television sets and saw something like this
…Trek was back in the form of Star Trek: The Next Generation.
TNG was a risky gamble that paid off and led to seven seasons, four feature films, two 24th Century spin-off series and countless books, games, products, etc. The endurance of the franchise today is a testament to TNG. If the show had failed, then it is possible that the franchise may too have ended shortly thereafter (remember it was TNG that kept the flame alive after the disappointment of Star Trek V in 1989). TNG also demonstrated that SciFi can work in prime time again and is often cited as ushering in the age of syndicated drama (which mostly died out after the launch of the WB and UPN in the 90s).
Gene Roddenberry (with the help of some old and new friends) was able to go home again and create an entirely new Trek for (literally) a new generation. For many, especially Trekkies under 40 today, it was their first Trek and it is still their favorite. Some forget, but before the premiere many Trekkies (possibly most) were very wary of this new Trek. It was a new crew in a new era and no Kirk or Spock to be found. Instead of just copying the old show, Roddenberry and his team started from scratch with a whole different approach…and it worked (although it took them a season or two to really get going).
A new Trek crew for a new era
I can still remember the exact moment of sitting down to watch "Encounter at Farpoint" with my college roommate at Berkeley and being so excited that Trek was back and totally new. Still to this day I regularly pop in TNG DVDs and relive the good ol days.
It has been said that TNG looks a bit dated now, and there is an element of truth to that. However, the series still endures and is still seen in re-runs around the world every day. Just to put TNG into perspective, here are some other things you may have seen on your TV around the time of TNG’s premiere.
MORE TNG coverage coming over the next day
Keep coming back to TrekMovie.com some special TNG treats coming up in the next day
for more of our recent TNG coverage and video clips click here.
NITPICKER’S NOTE: Although Sept. 28th is considered the anniversary date, since the show was in syndication the exact date of the airing of "Encounter at Farpoint" varied from city to city as each local station was given a one week window to air the series.
Special thanks to Greg Mefford for the premiere promo vid