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o All new disc labels are also being created for this special edition 20th Anniversary product o A booklet is being designed to fit inside the box
A writer's guide was composed with which to sell and define where the Trek universe was in the 24th Century. The United Federation of Planets was a more appealing ideology to an America keen to see where the Reagan/Gorbachev faceoff was taking them. Starfleet's meritocratic philosophy had always embraced all races and species. Now Earth's utopian history, featuring the abolishment of poverty, was brandished prominently and proudly. The new Enterprise, NCC 1701-D, was no longer a ship of war but an exploration vessel carrying families. The ethical and ethnical flagship also carried a former enemy (the Klingon Worf, played by Michael Dorn), and its Chief Engineer (Geordi LaForge) was blind and black. From every politically correct viewpoint, Paramount executives thought the future looked just swell!
Roddenberry's feminism now contrasted a pilot episode featuring ship's Counsellor Troi (Marina Sirtis) in a mini-skirt with her ongoing inner strengths and also those of Dr. Crusher (Gates McFadden) and the short-lived Tasha Yar (Denise Crosby). The arrival of Whoopi Goldberg in season 2 as mystic barkeep Guinan is a great example of the good the original Trek did for racial groups--Goldberg has stated that she was inspired to become an actress in large part through seeing Nichelle Nichols' Uhura. Her credibility as an actress helped enormously alongside the strong central performances of Patrick Stewart (Captain Picard), Jonathan Frakes (First Officer Will Riker), and Brent Spiner (Data) in defining another wholly believable environment once again populated with well-defined characters. Star Trek, it turned out, did not depend for its success on any single group of actors.
Like its predecessor in the 1960s, TNG pioneered visual effects on TV, making it an increasingly jaw-dropping show to look at. And thanks also to the enduring success of the original show, phasers, tricorders, communicators and even phase inverters were already familiar to most viewers. But while technology was a useful tool in most crises, it now frequently seemed to be the cause of them too, as the show's writers continually warned about the dangers of over-reliance on technology (the Borg were the ultimate expression of this maxim). The word "technobabble" came to describe a weakness in many TNG scripts, which sacrificed the social and political allegories of the original and relied instead upon invented technological faults and their equally fictitious resolutions to provide drama within the Enterprise's self-contained society. (The holodeck's safety protocol override seemed to be next to the light switch given the number of times crew members were trapped within.) This emphasis on scientific jargon appealed strongly to an audience who were growing up for the first time in the late 1980s with the home computer--and gave rise to the clichéd image of the nerdy Trek fan.
Like in the original Trek, it was in the stories themselves that much of the show's success is to be found. That pesky Prime Directive kept moral dilemmas afloat ("Justice"/"Who Watches the Watchers?"/"First Contact"). More "what if" scenarios came out of time-travel episodes ("Cause and Effect"/"Time's Arrow"/"Yesterday's Enterprise"). And there were some episodes that touched on the political world, such as "The Arsenal of Freedom" questioning the supply of arms, "Chain of Command" decrying the torture of political prisoners and "The Defector", which was called "The Cuban Missile Crisis of The Neutral Zone" by its writer. The show ran for more than twice as many episodes as its progenitor and therefore had more time to explore wider ranging issues. But the choice of issues illustrates the change in the social climate that had occurred with the passing of a couple of decades. "Angel One" covered sexism; "The Outcast" was about homosexuality; "Symbiosis"--drug addiction; "The High Ground"--terrorism; "Ethics"--euthanasia; "Darmok"--language barriers; and "Journey's End"--displacement of Indians from their homeland. It would have been unthinkable for the original series to have tackled most of these.
TNG could so easily have been a failure, but it wasn't. It survived a writer's strike in its second year, the tragic death of Roddenberry just after Trek's 25th anniversary in 1991, and plenty of competition from would-be rival franchises. Yes, its maintenance of an optimistic future was appealing, but the strong stories and readily identifiable characters ensured the viewers' continuing loyalty. --Paul Tonks
If you are a Trekky, this is for you! How could anyone invent a character like "Q"? I like Stewart as the captain rather than the early series.Published 4 months ago by Maurice A. Rhodes
I enjoyed the series again except the episodes that came after his death. The team did a good job but did not have vision. Read morePublished 5 months ago by Monique Dancause
I love any and all Star Trek series. I just need to get Deep Space Nine then I'll have them all and can watch on my time table.Published 10 months ago by Diane Edwards
Star Trek: The Next Generation was a noteworthy television series, but this product falls well short of expectations. Read morePublished 10 months ago by Steve Makohin
I have always loved this show and this way it was setup deserves credit to whoever designed it. unfortunately it arrived with minor damage to one of the disk case.Published 12 months ago by Donald G Salisbury
My husband was happy with this product. He wasn't concerned about the packaging, or at least didn't mention it when I told him about the negative reviews I had read after ordering. Read morePublished 14 months ago by Sharlene T. Weingart
A couple of the CD's had slight glitches, but apart from that it was great viewing - I would recommend this.Published 16 months ago by CM2