Star Trek: The Next Generation (TV Series 1987–1994) Poster


Despite phasing out the "one-piece uniforms" from the first two seasons, this variant of Starfleet uniform reappeared at least once every season afterwards. (worn by many "extras" in season three, used in a video record in Star Trek: The Next Generation: Identity Crisis (1991), worn by Picard in a nightmare in Star Trek: The Next Generation: Violations (1992), worn by a duplicate Riker in Star Trek: The Next Generation: Second Chances (1993) and worn in the past time frame in Star Trek: The Next Generation: All Good Things... (1994)).
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When the cast decided to lobby for a salary increase, actor Wil Wheaton's first offer from the producers was to instead have his character's rank raised to Lieutenant. His response was, "So what should I tell my landlord when I can't pay my rent? 'Don't worry, I just made Lieutenant'?"
Worf's prosthetic forehead changed in season 2 because the original was stolen.
When Gates McFadden originally signed on for Star Trek: The Next Generation (1987), it was on the understanding that her character would ultimately become a romantic foil for Captain Jean-Luc Picard. This did not materialize and she was becoming increasingly frustrated with the lack of character development for Dr Crusher. Clashes with the producers led to her being released from her contract, hence Dr Crusher's absence from Season 2 and replacement by Dr Kate Pulaski, played by Diana Muldaur. Ironically Muldaur would later decide that serial television was not for her, so producer Rick Berman personally phoned McFadden to try to convince her to return for Season 3. A call from her dear friend Patrick Stewart clinched the deal for McFadden.
Patrick Stewart was so convinced that the show would fail that for the first six weeks of shooting he refused to unpack any of his suitcases.
When the show's cast was first announced, some print media reports described Patrick Stewart as an unknown British Shakespearian actor. Brent Spiner made up a poster for the door of Stewart's dressing room reading "Beware: Unknown British Shakespearian actor!"
The original version of the Starfleet uniform was very uncomfortable for the actors, leading to a change of design from one-piece to a two-piece outfit in Season Three. Although the new uniforms were easier to wear, the jackets had a tendency to "ride up" when the actors were sitting down. Patrick Stewart got into the habit of straightening his jacket with a sharp downward tug as he stood up, an action that became known among the cast and crew as "The Picard Maneuver" (from a tactical maneuver mentioned in the show).
The ceiling of the transporter chamber on the Enterprise D is in fact the floor of the transporter chamber from the Enterprise in the original Star Trek (1966).
Though all the live action sequences were shot on 35mm film, the special effects sequences were shot on video to reduce production costs. This later posed an enormous obstacle when Paramount decided to release the show on Blu-Ray, as the quality of the picture of the original master tapes was not high enough resolution to undergo the transition to Blu-Ray format. In order to confront this problem, Paramount had to recover all the original live action and special effects footage and use digital techniques to restore and upgrade the picture quality. Essentially, this meant every episode had to be re-edited from scratch.
Patrick Stewart (Captain Jean-Luc Picard) and Jonathan Frakes (Commander William T. Riker) are the only actors to appear in all 178 episodes of the series.
Jonathan Frakes returned to rehearsals at the start of the second season sporting a beard with the intention of shaving it off before shooting began, but the producers liked it and asked him to keep it. It remained for the rest of the show's run. (He eventually shaved it off during an ending scene of the movie Star Trek: Insurrection (1998)). In one segment Q sarcastically notes Riker "was more fun before the beard".
Marina Sirtis, a Londoner, initially delivered her lines in what was supposed to be an alien-sounding accent because Troi was half human/half Betazoid. However, when Majel Barrett appeared as her mother, Lwxanna, she spoke in her American accent. Sirtis then developed Troi's accent into an Eastern-European sound, as it was decided that was where Troi's human father came from.
After the second season, producers planned to establish that Geordi had undergone an experimental medical procedure to permanently restore his natural eye sight and eliminate use of his VISOR. However, recognizing that the character had become a positive role model for the disabled community, producers dropped the plan.
Using simple math and the Year 2364 reference point established in the Season One finale Star Trek: The Next Generation: The Neutral Zone (1988), one can easily convert a Stardate given in any episode into standard calendar format. The 5-digit stardate format used in this series calculates to 1000 units per year (i.e. the time span between Stardate 41000.0 and 42000.0 is one full Earth year). Take for example the first episode Star Trek: The Next Generation: Encounter at Farpoint (1987)_. The first stardate given in the episode is Stardate 41153.7. As this is the first season, we know it takes place in the year 2364. As for month and day, take the last 3 digits plus decimal (xx153.7) and divide it by 1000 (to get 0.1537), then multiply it by 365 (366 for leap years such as for 2364) and you will get the day of the year (56th day of the year in this case). Therefore Stardate 41153.7 translates to February 25th 2364. Using this same method, the last episode of the series, the Season 7 Star Trek: The Next Generation: All Good Things... (1994) takes place on Stardate 47988, which translates to December 26th 2370 (xx988 divided by 1000 times 365 = 360th day of the year).
At the suggestion of the producers, Patrick Stewart wore a hairpiece for his first meeting with Paramount executives. Evidently, the creative staff on the show worried that Paramount would veto Stewart's casting if they knew the actor was bald. After the meeting, the executives agreed to cast Stewart, on the condition that he not wear the same ridiculous toupee.
Denise Crosby was originally cast to play Counselor Troi, and Marina Sirtis was cast as a security chief named Lt. Macha Hernandez. Shortly before filming the pilot, the two switched roles and the security chief's name was changed to Lt. Natasha Yar.
Michael Dorn has said that being cast as Worf enabled him to finally break away from the "nice guy" roles he had primarily played prior to the series. Dorn's voice also got naturally deeper as a result of the vocal inflections he used for the part of Worf.
VISOR stands for "Visual Instrument and Sensory Organ Replacement".
Prior to being cast as Picard, Patrick Stewart had never seen a full Star Trek (1966) episode or movie, and was largely unaware of the series' iconic status. As a result, he said he felt no intimidation in taking the part, which made it easy for him to settle into the role.
Along with other humorous readouts, the table in Engineering has an item labeled "Infinite Improbability Generator" in a reference to the propulsion system aboard the Heart of Gold in Douglas Adams' "Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy".
According his own diagnostics, Commander Data's data storage capacity is 800 quadrillion bits. This translates into 100 petabytes or 100 PB. For comparison purposes, the HTML content of the internet ca. 2005 is estimated at 1-2 PB.
The sliding doors were very loud on the show and have been compared to sliding glass doors. The actors were instructed to hold their dialogue until the doors stopped; you will rarely see an actor delivering lines while a door is opening or closing.
Close inspection of an oversized Enterprise schematic which was shown in nearly every episode reveals a detail invisible to TV audiences: the image of a mouse on a wheel in Engineering (the schematic is on display at the Hollywood Entertainment Museum). A Porsche can also been seen in the Main Shuttlebay.
As a running gag, bathrooms are never shown on Enterprise schematics. This joke is referenced in Star Trek: First Contact (1996) when Zefram Cochrane asks Geordi, "...don't you people from the 24th Century ever pee?" Also, in an interview during the mid 70's on Tomorrow Coast to Coast (1973) with 'Tom Snyder', James Doohan stated that bathrooms weren't needed in the future because "that's what phasers are for".
The Borg were originally written as insectoids (see Star Trek: The Next Generation: Conspiracy (1988)), but were changed to cyborgs due to budget constraints.
Captain Picard has a fish in his quarters named Livingston, named after David Livingston, the show's line producer. The fish has its own trading card in the Star Trek: The Next Generation (1987) card series as well.
While also co-starring in this series, LeVar Burton continued hosting the children's' book series Reading Rainbow (1983). In 1988, the show released its most popular episode of all time (Reading Rainbow: The Bionic Bunny Show (1988)) which featured a behind-the-scenes look at the making of Star Trek: The Next Generation. Most notably, the episode included a set of Star Trek: The Next Generation bloopers - the only legal release of such material.
Gene Roddenberry initially refused to cast Patrick Stewart for Picard. Roddenberry had envisioned a younger captain with a full head of hair. But Stewart so impressed producer Robert H. Justman that Justman campaigned for him to be cast. Roddenberry finally relented after every other considered actor auditioned and Stewart was the only one who was right for the role.
Initally, Worf wasn't to be a part of the series, and when first created only meant to be a recurring character. To set the series apart from the original Star Trek (1966), Gene Roddenberry did not want to use any of the aliens from the original series in any capacity. Worf was created as a compromise between Roddenberry and the other producers, and Roddenberry's sanction of excluding original series aliens was gradually dropped.
Picard often called Riker Number One. This stems from British Naval history in which first officers were traditionally called Number One. The term had also applied to the otherwise nameless Enterprise First Officer in the original series pilot Star Trek: The Cage (1986). Picard's French heritage is also an homage to that country's history of noted explorers.
The character of Q (John de Lancie) appears at least once in every season except for the Fifth. Wesley Crusher (Wil Wheaton) appears in every season except the Sixth.
Wil Wheaton had specific button patterns he used to "control" the ship that stayed the same from episode to episode.
Whoopi Goldberg (the re-occurring mysterious bar-keeper Guinan, seasons 2-6, and the movie Star Trek: Generations (1994)), was given the role after being a fan of the original Star Trek (1966) and expressing interesting in having a re-occurring role in the new series.
Tim Russ, later to play Tuvok on Star Trek: Voyager (1995), was a candidate for the role of Geordi.
Picard rose to his rank of Captain when his commanding officer aboard the USS Stargazer was killed in battle. A model of the Stargazer can be seen displayed by the back wall in Picard's ready room. The ship itself was shown on Star Trek: The Next Generation: The Battle (1987).
Throughout the first two Star Trek crews (including in the movies), Picard and Data are the only characters to never receive a promotion. However, in at least two "alternate futures", they were both promoted - the episodes Star Trek: The Next Generation: Future Imperfect (1990) (Data is a full Commander, Picard is an admiral) and Star Trek: The Next Generation: All Good Things... (1994) (Picard, though retired, is referred to as Ambassador).
Gates McFadden (Dr. Crusher) and her 2nd-season substitute Diana Muldaur (Dr. Pulaski) are the only regularly appearing doctors from any of the five Star Trek (1966) series not to say "I'm a doctor, not a ____" in some capacity.
Although informally called "Will" throughout the series, Commander William T. Riker is addressed by Counselor Deanna Troi as "Bill" in several episodes during the first season.
Paramount felt that a Star Trek (1966) sequel/spin-off series would ultimately be cheaper to produce than a direct revival of the original series. Specifically it was felt that lesser or unknown actors wouldn't have the same salary demands that the existing actors would.
In 1994 the series became the first show in syndication to ever be nominated for an Emmy for Outstanding Drama Series.
Marina Sirtis wore a hairpiece for most of the series and her real hear was styled around the "fall" while Gates McFadden wore a full wig for the first few seasons.
The line "Shut up Wesley", which would come to be used as a catch phrase by critics of the character, was only said in one episode: Star Trek: The Next Generation: Datalore (1988).
The decision to end the series after seven seasons came as something of a surprise to cast members, who were signed for eight seasons.
Originally, Data was going to be the Chief Science Officer on the Enterprise (like Spock was on the original Star Trek (1966)) and wear a blue uniform. However, the color blue clashed with the android make-up and the idea was changed. Data was reassigned as the Chief Operations Officer and sported a gold uniform for all seven seasons (except for two episodes, which were; the episode Star Trek: The Next Generation: Future Imperfect (1990) in which we see him on the bridge as the First officer in the brilliantly designed computer simulation rouse of the alien Barash Dana Tjowander, and the two-part episode "Chain of Command" in which he's promoted to first officer and wears a red tunic).
The character of Geordi LaForge was originally conceived to be Jamaican. When LeVar Burton was cast in the role, this plan was dropped; although a Jamaican actress (Madge Sinclair) later appeared as Geordi's mother.
After authorizing Paramount to do a new Star Trek TV series, Gene Roddenberry initially was to have no involvement with the show. After hearing some of the original ideas and concepts for the show, he changed his mind and signed on as Executive Producer.
Whoopi Goldberg first inquired about appearing on the show prior to its debut. It was nearly a year before she heard back from anyone on it, as producers initially didn't think her inquiry about a role on the show was serious.
When Gates McFadden was dismissed for the second season, it was explained that Dr. Crusher had left the Enterprise to take a post at Starfleet Medical. Other than Crusher's return in the third season, no explanation was given for Dr. Pulaski's departure. Pulaski was barely mentioned and largely forgotten throughout the rest of the series, and nothing was said of her post-Enterprise whereabouts.
The "El Baz," one of the Enterprise's most frequently seen shuttle craft, is named for Farouk Elbaz, a NASA scientist who helped train the astronauts during the Apollo program.
Two characters on the show were named after real people: The alien "Q" was named for Janet Quarton, a British fan; and Geordi La Forge was named after another Trek fan, George La Forge, who was confined to a wheelchair.
The Ferengi were originally introduced with the intention of making them the main, recurring adversaries in the series (very much like the Klingons were in the original Star Trek (1966)). However, audiences found the Ferengi too comical to take seriously as potential foes, and the race was gradually refined into the more (usually unintentionally) comical characters later typified by Quark in Star Trek: Deep Space Nine (1993). The Borg eventually became infamous as Star Trek: The Next Generation (1987)'s ultimate nemesis.
The transporter effect was created by filming stirred glitter in water.
The series attracted a number of actors and other celebrities/public figures to play guest starring or cameo roles at their own request, since they were fans of Star Trek (1966). Most notably of these was Whoopi Goldberg's frequently recurring role as Guinan. However, the producers were unable to fulfill every request they received, the most notable being one by Robin Williams. Due to Williams' schedule filming Hook (1991), he had to forfeit his role in Star Trek: The Next Generation: A Matter of Time (1991), and Matt Frewer took his place.
Gates McFadden was pregnant during most of the fourth season. Since it was not incorporated into the series, directors used a variety of techniques to hide her pregnancy on screen.
Mae C. Jemison is the first (and as of January 2002, the only) real astronaut to appear in any Star Trek show. (Star Trek: The Next Generation: Second Chances (1993))
Michael Dorn's makeup as Lieutenant Worf took approximately two hours to apply.
Wesley Crusher takes his first name from Gene Roddenberry's middle name.
Captain Jean-Luc Picard is the only captain in a Star Trek series who did NOT originate from the United States, as he came from the town of Labarre in southern France. Captain James T. Kirk (Star Trek (1966)) was from Riverside, Iowa, Captain Benjamin Sisko (Star Trek: Deep Space Nine (1993)) was from New Orleans, Louisiana, Captain Kathryn Janeway (Star Trek: Voyager (1995)) was from Bloomington, Indiana, and Captain Jonathan Archer (Star Trek: Enterprise (2001)) was from Upstate New York.
In a 1989 interview with Starlog Magazine, Jonathan Frakes said he knew the series had made it when it was satirized in Mad Magazine.
Characters on the Enterprise frequently access hidden ship's mechanisms by removing "Mees Panels" from the walls. This is two-pronged inside joke: Jim Mees was TNG's set decorator, and "Mees Panels" are a reference both to him and to the original series' "Jefferies Tubes", named for original prop master Walter M. Jefferies.
The Ferengi were modeled after stereotypical lawyers: always making deals, following contract laws, overly concerned with money, and looking down on women.
Jeffrey Combs auditioned for the role of William T. Riker, and later went on to play roles in Star Trek: Deep Space Nine (1993), Star Trek: Voyager (1995) and Star Trek: Enterprise (2001).
The character of Tasha Yar was originally going to be a Latina named Macha Hernandez, inspired by the tough female marine Vasquez in Aliens (1986). In fact, Jenette Goldstein (who played Vasquez) auditioned for this character, and later played the Enterprise-B science officer in Star Trek: Generations (1994).
Although several cast members from this series would reprise their respected roles on the later Star Trek spin-offs, Jonathan Frakes is the only cast member to have appeared as Commander Riker in all three of the spin-offs to follow this series. He reprises his role in Star Trek: Voyager: Death Wish (1996), Star Trek: Enterprise: These Are the Voyages... (2005), and Star Trek: Deep Space Nine: Defiant (1994), (as Thomas Riker, the transporter clone of William Riker from the TNG episode Star Trek: The Next Generation: Second Chances (1993)).
O'Brien was seen as an unnamed red shirted crew member in Star Trek: The Next Generation: Encounter at Farpoint (1987) and Star Trek: The Next Generation: Lonely Among Us (1987). It wasn't until officially becoming a recurring character during season two when he had a name, and was established as the ship's Transporter Chief.
In this series, the uniforms worn by Romulan military officers have a variety of patterns and colors on them. These do not appear to have anything to do with the Romulan's position or rank; a popular fan theory is that Romulan uniforms are patterned according to family or clan affiliation.
Gene Roddenberry's original scripts for Star Trek: The Next Generation (1987)'s premiere story, Star Trek: The Next Generation: Encounter at Farpoint (1987), did not include any scenes set in the Enterprise's engine room. When he learned that Paramount was therefore refusing to pay to build an engine room set, he revised the scripts to include the engine room.
When the Enterprise was initially being designed for Star Trek: The Next Generation (1987), the producers conveniently located a transporter room directly off the main bridge. Gene Roddenberry nixed the idea, saying he wanted the characters to have conversations in the turbolifts before/after embarking on a mission. The in-bridge transporter concept would eventually appear in Star Trek: Deep Space Nine (1993).
Lt. Worf wears a golden Klingon baldric (sash) during the show's first season. At the start of the second season after Worf is promoted to Chief of Security, he wears a silver baldric, and wears the same one through the rest of the series run, as well as on Star Trek: Deep Space Nine (1993). The only exception is in the final episode during the past timeline, where Worf wears the gold baldric one more time.
Paramount was at first reluctant to do an updated Star Trek TV series, feeling it would result in less fan interest towards the Trek movie franchise.
When first introduced, Worf's son Alexander was played by Jon Paul Steuer. After deciding to add Alexander as a recurring character, Producers wanted the role to be played by a more experienced child actor. Brian Bonsall was cast in the role on the strength of his experience in episodic television on the 80s sitcom Family Ties (1982).
Deanna Troi was nearly written out after the first season and, in fact, is absent from many of those episodes. But, after both Tasha Yar and Dr. Crusher were written out, Troi was kept.
Original series writers D.C. Fontana and David Gerrold both brought separate WGA arbitration suits against Gene Roddenberry, alleging that they both had authored large portions of this show's series bible, and deserved co-creator credit. Fontana and Gerrold had been among the first people contacted by Roddenberry to work on the series and develop early concepts for the show. Both suits were settled in favor of the writers who each received undisclosed settlements while Roddenberry retained sole creator credit. The terms of each settlement also prevent Fontana, Gerrold or anyone else associated with either arbitration suit from discussing the details of the settlement.
Gene Roddenberry had made public his plans to add gay characters to the show, and had even commissioned scripts to introduce them at the start of the series' run. However, with his declining health and subsequent death leaving Executive Producer Rick Berman in charge of production, these plans were scrapped and as of 2012 no gay characters have appeared in any "Star Trek" TV series or film, though several were originally scripted as such. Though no public reason has ever been cited for this omission, writers David Gerrold, Ronald D. Moore, and actors Leonard Nimoy, Kate Mulgrew and Scott Bakula have all implied that Berman has personally blocked all attempts to integrate LGBT characters into the "Trek" universe.
Geordi LaForge has been promoted faster than any Star Trek character before or since. In the first season, Geordi was a Lieutenant junior grade; in the 2nd season, a full Lieutenant; 3rd season, a Lieutenant Commander. (Other characters have had that many ranks, but none were promoted as fast as Geordi was.) Star Trek: Voyager: Timeless (1998), took place in the future, where Geordi was a Captain.
When producers decided not to bring back Diana Muldaur for Season Three, they considered introducing a new Doctor to the series. Fans had expressed their disappointment over Gates McFadden's departure after Season One, and rather than introduce the third doctor in as many seasons, Producers decided to bring back McFadden as Dr Crusher.
Wil Wheaton left the show towards the middle of the fourth season to pursue film opportunities. Wesley was written out by being accepted into and departing for Starfleet Academy. Wheaton would reprise his role as Wesley in sporadic guest appearances during the show's later, as well as brief cameo in Star Trek: Nemesis (2002) (most of which was relegated to the deleted scenes).
A year after the series ended, Michael Dorn reprised his role on Star Trek: Deep Space Nine (1993) making Worf the only character featured regularly on two Star Trek series. Chief O'Brien was also a regular character on Deep Space Nine, but only a recurring one on TNG.
Although it is frequently stated that a Vulcan named Doctor Selar is one of the most important members of Beverly Crusher's medical staff, the two are never seen together. In fact, Selar, played by Suzie Plakson, only appeared once in the entire series, in Star Trek: The Next Generation: The Schizoid Man (1989) during Gates McFadden's hiatus years, when Kate Pulaski (Diana Muldaur) was the ship's chief medical officer.
The special and visual effects producers frequently used everyday objects to create futuristic effects. The hovering killer probe in Star Trek: The Next Generation: The Arsenal of Freedom (1988) was made of a shampoo bottle and a pantyhose container. The edge of the universe was created in Star Trek: The Next Generation: Where No One Has Gone Before (1987) by bouncing a laser beam off a beer can. One element of the sliding door sound is sound editor James Wolvington's shoe squeaking against the floor.
The number 47 pops up an inordinate amount of times on computer screens, serial numbers, dates and so on. This tradition was started by writer/coproducer Joe Menosky and was soon picked up by the rest of the production team. Menosky said that he choose that particular number because when he was a graduate student at Pomona College, Professor of Mathematics Donald Bentley proved as a joke that all numbers are equal to 47.[See also Trivia entries for Star Trek: Deep Space Nine (1993) and Star Trek: Voyager (1995)]
Many displays and readouts in this series also have smaller printing or sight gags that are actually too small to be read on a TV screen. These were known internally as "Okudagrams," after production designer Michael Okuda. One such joke is on the medical displays and reads "Medical Insurance Remaining".
The motto of Starfleet Academy, "Ex Astris, Scientia" ("From the stars, knowledge") is based on the motto of the United States Navy, "Ex tridens scientia" (From the sea, knowledge). The crest of the ill-fated Apollo 13 mission was "Ex Luna, Scientia (From the moon, knowledge)".
The genesis for the creation of Data stemmed from an earlier TV project by Gene Roddenberry. In 1974, Roddenberry created an unsold pilot for a proposed series called The Questor Tapes (1974), which centered around an Android studying humanity while seeking his creator.
While there were negotiations to sell Star Trek: The Next Generation (1987) to one of the major TV networks, it was ultimately decided to air the series in syndication as that was how the original Star Trek (1966) ultimately found success. In addition, Gene Roddenberry maintained resentment over network interference with the original series, as well as other attempted series, and wanted to work independently from the networks.
The corridor, engineering, transporter room, and battle bridge sets were derived from sets originally built for the first four Star Trek movies. A majority of the sets also served as different locations on the Enterprise-A in Star Trek V: The Final Frontier (1989) and Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country (1991).
The Master Alarm sound was reused from Star Trek (1966).
The two-part arcs "The Best of Both Worlds" and "Unification" both contained 'graveyard' scenes full of wrecked and/or abandoned starships. These scenes were populated with study models that were considered for use in Star Trek: The Motion Picture (1979) (as possible versions of the Enterprise) and Star Trek III: The Search for Spock (1984) (as the Excelsior). Some of the other wrecked ships were created via "kit-bashing," or by quickly mixing starship parts from many different models.
When a writers' strike hit the series at the start of the second season, several stories from the proposed late 1970's series "Star Trek (1966): Phase II", which was eventually dropped in favor of becoming Star Trek: The Motion Picture (1979), were quickly dusted off and adapted for the Star Trek: The Next Generation (1987) crew. Example: Star Trek: The Next Generation: The Child (1988).
Geordi's VISOR was improvised on the first day of shooting using chiefly an automotive air filter and a hair band.
Star Trek: The Next Generation (1987) borrowed its theme music from Star Trek: The Motion Picture (1979).
The original Starfleet uniforms were one-piece spandex jumpsuits that, per Gene Roddenberry's request, were made one size smaller than that of the actors wearing them. Roddenberry had wanted the suits to be perfectly skin tight over the actors' bodies, like a second skin.
The 'Star Trek Crews' from all the Star Trek series were ranked #2 in TV Guide's list of the "25 Greatest Sci-Fi Legends" (1 August 2004 issue).
Marina Sirtis wore dark contact lenses for her role as Deanna Troi. In reality her eyes are green, but the producers felt the characters eyes should reflect her dark hair.
Early on in the series broadcasts, there were disputes among Star Trek (1966) fans as to which series at that time were superior, the original series or the next generation. The 80's sitcom, Night Court (1984), spoofed this in a segment where a group of Trekkies are brought before Judge Stone (Harry Anderson) for getting into a fist fight over this dispute. Brent Spiner, who plays Lt. Commander Data, appeared in several episodes of Night Court as Bob Wheeler, the patriarch of a hillbilly family that kept getting hauled before Judge Stone for one wacky reason or another.
The original concept for Counselor Troi (at the time called Lieutenant Commander Troi) portrayed her as a sexually voracious, four breasted alien. D.C. Fontana personally lobbied Gene Roddenberry that this concept was ridiculous and would require unfeasible make-up, so the idea was dropped.
Star Trek: The Next Generation: Family (1990) is the only episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation (1987) in which Brent Spiner does not appear.
Edward James Olmos turned down the role of Jean-Luc Picard to focus on stage and film work.
One of the stars closest to Earth was Wolf 359, a name taken from a popular pre-"Star Trek" (1966)_ science fiction production: The Outer Limits: Wolf 359 (1964).
During the second season, when Gates McFadden was released from the series, she used the opportunity to play the role of Catherine Ryan in The Hunt for Red October (1990). She later returned to the show, making her unavailable for the sequel, Patriot Games (1992), so she was replaced by Anne Archer.
Although Diana Muldaur's character of Dr. Pulaski appeared as a regular character for the entire length of Season 2, her name was never listed in the opening credits for the series. Her name always appeared in the Guest Stars under "Special Guest Appearance".
Some characters have their origins from the proposed Star Trek (1966) Phase II series. Riker and Troi are based on Lieutenants Decker and Ilia from Star Trek: The Motion Picture (1979), and originally intended for Phase II. (See "Star Trek: The Next Generation" (1987) {The Child (#2.1)}_ in particular.) Data is based on Xon, a full Vulcan lacking emotion with high intelligence who aspires to learn about and attempts to mimic human behavior. In addition, Phase II would have seen Kirk as mostly ship bound, matured and tempered by experience, while mellowing with age, traits given to Captain Picard.
Denise Crosby left the series due to feeling dissatisfied with the proper development of her character, and the desire to pursue film roles. Crosby credits with understanding her reasons and respecting her wishes to leave the series. Crosby also maintains that most other producers would have made her stick to her contract and stay with the show.
Gene Roddenberry created the recurring character of Lwaxana Troi, with his wife Majel Barrett in mind. He based the role on the titular character in Auntie Mame (1958), and later joked that Barrett was so perfect for the role, she wouldn't even need to act.
Most of the characters underwent minor changes before the show debuted: Picard's first name was Julien; Riker was spelled 'Ryker'; Data's name was pronounced 'dat-uh' instead of 'day-tah'; Wesley Crusher was Leslie Crusher, Dr. Crusher's daughter.
The colored portions of the uniforms are actually much darker in real life (e.g. the red uniforms are really maroon), but appear that bright due to the lighting used on the show.
Throughout the series, several references are made to William Shakespeare. Prior to being cast as Picard, Patrick Stewart had acted primarily with the Royal Shakespeare Company.
If one includes the movies, nearly every member of the Star Trek (1966) crew has appeared in this series and interacted with the new crew - Kirk (in Star Trek: Generations (1994)), Bones (in Star Trek: The Next Generation: Encounter at Farpoint (1987)), Scotty (in Star Trek: The Next Generation: Relics (1992)) and Spock (in Unification, parts 1 & 2). Chekov and Scotty also appear in Star Trek: Generations (1994), but they do not interact with the Next Generation crew (although Chekov DOES speak briefly to future Enterprise-D bartender Guinan). Only Uhura and Sulu have not, but the former did appear in Star Trek: Deep Space Nine: Trials and Tribble-ations (1996) with Kirk, Spock, McCoy, Scott, Chekov & the DS9 crew; while the latter appears in Star Trek: Voyager: Flashback (1996) (and is mentioned as one of Chakotay's contemporaries in Star Trek: Voyager: Tattoo (1995)).
Running for seven seasons, the show briefly held the record for longest-running American live-action science fiction TV series (though several fantasy series ran longer). It was soon tied by its spin-offs Star Trek: Deep Space Nine (1993) and Star Trek: Voyager (1995). In 2002, the record was taken by The X-Files (1993) which ended after nine seasons. Ultimately Stargate SG-1 (1997) took the record with ten seasons.
The decision to produce Star Trek: The Next Generation (1987) for syndication rather than for a network was considered a gamble at the time. It was the most expensive project of its kind ever attempted, but it did so well it ended up opening the door for a tidal wave of made-for-syndication dramatic series (including Hercules: The Legendary Journeys (1995), Xena: Warrior Princess (1995), Andromeda (2000), Star Trek: Deep Space Nine (1993), and Baywatch (1989)), which continued for more than a decade. Had the show failed, Paramount would have just added the segments to the Star Trek (1966): The Original Series syndication package, just as they did with the remastered pilot "Star Trek" (1966) {The Cage (#1.0)}_.
The three live-action Star Trek series after the original Star Trek (1966) each had a cameo appearance by a character from its predecessor series in its premiere episode. In this one, Star Trek: The Next Generation: Encounter at Farpoint (1987) has Admiral Leonard H. McCoy, MD (DeForest Kelley) appear as an honored guest being escorted by the Enterprise-D.
Rosalind Chao read for the part of Tasha Yar. She would later be cast for the recurring role of Keiko O'Brien, a role she continued after being moved to Star Trek: Deep Space Nine (1993).
The first season features four different Chief Engineers: MacDougall; Argyle; Logan; and Lynch, who all appeared in separate episodes. At one point it was indicated that the Enterprise had a team of rotating Chief Engineers. Argyle was the only one to make two appearances, and in addition was portrayed as Chief Engineer in the earliest novels and DC Comics Limited Series based on the show. This lead to speculation that he would become a permanent character, but the Chief Engineer's position was given solely to LaForge beginning with the second season.
As the show progressed, writers had hoped to depict a shipboard wedding involving one of the show's characters. Producers at one point considered having Picard being permanently married, but ultimately decided to have lead recurring character O'Brien married instead. (Star Trek: The Next Generation: Data's Day (1991)) At one point O'Brien's wife was to be a female crew member who replaced Wesley as the ship's Conn Officer.
Beginning with season three, each season ended with cliffhanger episodes. Initially the first season was to end in a cliffhanger, but the plans were scrapped due to the impending Writers Strike. Had the cliffhanger happened, season 2 would have begun with the introduction of The Borg, who as it turned out would debut toward the end of season 2 in Star Trek: The Next Generation: Q Who? (1989).
When first selling the series to individual TV stations (as opposed to the networks), priority was given to stations airing the original Star Trek (1966).
Star Trek: The Next Generation (1987) was first officially announced in late 1986 as part of events celebrating Star Trek (1966)'s Twentieth Anniversary.
Originally Dennis McCarthy, a series main composer, composed a different theme music cue before the decision was made to reuse Jerry Goldsmith's theme. The unused title music was later issued on Volume 1 of the Next Generation soundtrack CD's produced by GNP Crescendo Records in the US, as well as becoming Picard's Theme, which was heard in some episode scores (mainly early on).
The character Guinan, played by Whoopi Goldberg, is named after Texas Guinan, a silent movie actress who later became a New York speakeasy owner during Prohibition.
From the beginning of the series until the end of Season 4, the wall opposite the windows of the Enterprise-D's observation lounge featured an "alto-relievo"-style display of scale sculptures of six of the Earth vessels previously commissioned as the USS Enterprise. At the beginning of Season 5 and up until the end of the series, the Enterprises sculptures were replaced with a standard wall, with no explanation ever provided about their removal. The previous Enterprises display would not return again until Star Trek: First Contact (1996), where the Enterprise-E's observation lounge has a glass-covered display with seven golden models of the previous Enterprises. The only exception is in the final episode during the past timeline, where we briefly see the Enterprise sculptures one more time.
Lieutenant Reginald Barclay, an Enterprise engineer, has the full name of Reginald Endicott Barclay III, according to the scripts of his episodes. This is a homage to the TV series Benson (1979) which had a character named Clayton Endicott III (played by Rene Auberjonois, who would later play Constable Odo in Star Trek: Deep Space Nine (1993)).
The prop bottles used for Klingon Blood Wine are Cuervo Margarita Mix bottles, painted white.
British trade weekly Broadcast has named this the 10th best U.S. television show ever.
Many actors who originally auditioned for roles on this show later went on to star in other Star Trek series; including Tim Russ, the 2nd choice for Geordi LaForge, and Vaughn Armstrong, who auditioned for Riker.
The hull number of the starship Bozeman is NCC-1941, because model maker Gregory Jein also worked on the film 1941 (1979).
Early in the planning stages of the series, Roger C. Carmel was offered the chance to return as his Star Trek (1966) character Harry Mudd, but he died before production would have begun on such an episode. Attempts were also reportedly made to get Leonard Nimoy to appear during the first season, but fans had to wait four years for that to happen in Star Trek: The Next Generation: Unification II (1991).
A "Grand Corridor" set, intended to go around the perimeter of the Enterprise-D's saucer section, was conceived but scrapped before being constructed because it would have been too expensive to maintain. It was resurrected as part of Star Trek the Experience: The Klingon Encounter (1998).
The Fox Network showed interest in airing the series, but couldn't come to an agreement with producers on how many episodes to buy for the first season. The Network only wanted to commit to thirteen episodes for the first season, and debut it when the network was launched in Spring, 1987. The producers wanted a full season commitment and for the series to premiere in September of that year.
Dwight Schultz was cast in the recurring role as Barclay as the result of co-starring with Whoopi Goldberg in the movie The Long Walk Home (1987). While working on the movie, Schultz asked Goldberg to pass on his request to make an appearance on the series.
Many of the crew were avid fans of Japanese animation, and often put in references to their favorite shows. This includes the "Exocomps" in the episode Star Trek: The Next Generation: The Quality of Life (1992) were modeled after the robot Namno from Dirty Pair (1989), while other episodes often referenced characters from Urusei yatsura (1981). The "Akira (1988)-class" starships are also meant as a double reference to the Anime film of the same name and director Akira Kurosawa. The USS Yamato, which briefly appears in season 2, is a reference to Uchû senkan Yamato (1974). The alien race of the Nausicaans is said to have been named after the title character from Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind (1984).
This show inspired one of the very first fandubs ever created, "Star Trek: Sinnlos im Weltraum" (German for "Star Trek: Pointless in Space"). Two fans used a VCR, a microphone and some Star Trek sounds (which were embedded in a merchandise key fob) to create their own version of some episodes. At first, in the mid 90s, they were distributed on VHS and were only available to a small group of Star Trek fans. But with the rising popularity of the Internet, the episodes got a much wider audience, subsequently gained cult status and, to this day, are shown at Star Trek (1966) conventions. Meanwhile they were approved by Paramount and it's legal to download them.
Wesley Snipes, Kevin Peter Hall, Clarence Gilyard Jr., Victor Love, Chip McAllister, and baseball player Reggie Jackson also auditioned for the role of Geordi LeForge.
Diana Muldaur (Dr. Pulaski) played two previous roles in the Star Trek (1966) universe: "Dr. Miranda Jones" in Star Trek: Is There in Truth No Beauty? (1968) and "Lt. Cmdr. Ann Mulhall, Ph.D" in Star Trek: Return to Tomorrow (1968).
As of fall 2003, pieces of the original bridge including the chairs and consoles, and a large Enterprise schematic, are preserved and on display at the Hollywood Entertainment Museum on Hollywood Blvd. in Los Angeles.
Before the decision was made to air the series in first run syndication, producers considered an offer to air the show on the FOX Network, which was launched at roughly the same time the series was. Many FOX affiliated stations, particularly those just going on the air, broadcast the series as part of their non FOX Network programming.
Yaphet Kotto, Roy Thinnes, Patrick Bauchau, and Mitchell Ryan auditioned for the role of Captain Jean-Luc Picard. Ryan later guest starred as Riker's father in Star Trek: The Next Generation: The Icarus Factor (1989).
A promotional trailer for the series was featured on the initial home video release of Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home (1986).
As rights holders to the Star Trek franchise at the time, DC Comics published a six issue limited series based on the show from late 1987 to early 1988. This was followed up by a regular comic book series by DC which lasted from 1989 to 1996, and included this adaptation.
David Gerrold, a writer from the original series, was a consultant and uncredited story editor on the first two seasons. He left in a dispute after a script of his containing two implied gay characters and an allegorical reference to AIDS was pulled from production in the 11th hour. The story, titled "Blood and Fire", was resurrected in 2004 as a non-Star Trek (1966) novel by Gerrold, and later, as an episode of Star Trek New Voyages: Phase II (2004).
The Next Generation was an apt term for at least two of the series crew members. First season regular Denise Crosby was the granddaughter of entertainer Bing Crosby, and series writer Tracy Tormé was the son of singer/songwriter Mel Tormé.
James Avery and Julian Christopher auditioned for the role of Worf. Both actors would later guest star in this series.
Patti Yasutake was considered for the role of Keiko O'Brien before being cast in the recurring role of Nurse Alyssa Ogawa.
During the show's development, there was consideration for Dr. Crusher to have a daughter named Leslie as opposed to her son Wesley.
Actress Christina Pickles was a strong runner up for the part of Doctor Pulaski. Producer Rick Berman recalls that the choice between Pickles and Diana Muldaur was a "very difficult decision."
Kevin Peter Hall, Mark Lindsay Chapman, Eric Menyuk, and Kelvin Han Yee auditioned for the role of Data. Menyuk later played the recurring role of The Traveler.
The Borg were planned to be insectoid aliens but the special effects budget wouldn't cut it. The concept was reused for the Jarada, who we never see on-screen.
The Q Continuum were originally going to be many people with the same face. This portrayal is rather apparent in "Encounter At Farpoint," with each change of costume Q goes through usually resulting in a change in attitude and demeanor. However, by Q's next appearance, this particular idea seems to have been dropped, with Q acting as a single individual, and later episodes introduced additional members of the Q Continuum.
Anne Twomey and Jenny Agutter auditioned for the role of Dr. Beverly Crusher.
J.D. Roth auditioned for the role of Wesley Crusher.
Julia Nickson, Liane Langland, Leah Ayres, Marta DuBois, and Bunty Bailey also auditioned for the role of Tasha Yar.
Stephen Macht was the front runner for the role of Capt. Picard. He later guested in Star Trek: Deep Space Nine: The Circle (1993) and Star Trek: Deep Space Nine: The Siege (1993).
During the first few seasons, many in the writing staff became frustrated by Gene Roddenberry, feeling his Utopian standards severely limited the quality of the stories they wanted to create. This resulted in some of the writers quitting the show, while remaining writers began to feel a greater sense of freedom when Roddenberry began to take a lesser role in overseeing the series. Some writers also found it odd that Roddenberry had forbidden any interpersonal conflicts between the regular characters in light of the fact that such conflicts between Kirk, Spock and McCoy were a centerpiece of the original series.
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Michael O'Gorman, Gregg Marx, and Ben Murphy also auditioned for the role of William Ryker.


The trivia items below may give away important plot points.

Regarding Star Trek: The Next Generation: Skin of Evil (1988): Tasha Yar was the first regular Star Trek character to be permanently killed off. This is in line with the original Star Trek (1966), which had developed a reputation for killing off Enterprise Security Officers during the course of an away mission.
The cliffhanger ending to Season 3 (Star Trek: The Next Generation: The Best of Both Worlds: Part 1 (1990)) was largely connected with Patrick Stewart's contract negotiations. Stewart's contract for the series expired after the third season, and Stewart was giving serious consideration to not renewing it. Had Stewart not come to terms with producers on a new contract agreement, Picard would have been killed off in Star Trek: The Next Generation: The Best of Both Worlds: Part 2 (1990) at the beginning of Season 4.

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