Franchise: Star Trek: The Next Generation
Storyline: Essays On Star Trek
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When Next Generation premiered as a syndicated television program in the fall of 1987, it represented a new departure for Gene Roddenberry’s Trek universe. Set in the year 2364 (Stardate 41153.7), ninety-eight years after the beginning of the original series, the second TV outing starred Shakespearean actor Patrick Stewart as Captain Jean-Luc Picard, Jonathan Frakes as Executive Officer William T. Riker, Brent Spiner as the android Second Officer Data, LeVar Burton as Engineer Geordi LaForge, Marina Sirtis as Betazoid Counselor Deanna Troi, Gates McFadden as Chief Medical Officer Dr. Beverly Crusher, Wil Wheaton as Beverly’s son, science whiz Wesley Crusher, Denise Crosby as Security Officer Tasha Yar, and Michael Dorn as Klingon Flight Control Officer (later Security Officer) Worf. The U.S.S. Enterprise-D was significantly faster and larger in size, and featured more than twice the crew complement of (and many more gadgets than) the first starship of that name.
But there was also a major change in attitude and ambience from the original Trek, perhaps an agenda as well, as the new production boldly ventured into politically correct places where no man had gone before. Hilary Palencar casts a critical eye at TNG, examines what it is really saying to the modern TV viewer, and shows how easy it is for the average watcher to get drawn into the new Trek’s very attractive vision of one possible (but highly improbable) future of WASPmankind. Complete with General Index, Title Index, and Character Index.