"Space, the final frontier. These are the voyages of the starship Enterprise. Its continuing mission: to explore strange new worlds, to seek out new life and new civilizations, to boldly go where no one has gone before."
The series takes place some seventy years after the adventures of the crew of the original USS Enterprise and introduces a brand new cast of characters as well as a new flagship, the USS Enterprise NCC-1701-D. Commanding the Enterprise is seasoned captain Jean-Luc Picard. His support staff consists of his first officer William T. Riker, the android helmsman Data, tactical officer Tasha Yar, chief engineer Geordi LaForge, medical officer Beverly Crusher, ship's counselor Deanna Troi and Starfleet's first Klingon officer, LieutenantWorf. Tasha Yar only appeared in season one and the character was killed off in the episode "Skin of Evil". Wil Wheaton’s character, Wesley Crusher, was a regular cast member in seasons 1-4, but left the series, though he did return for several follow-up episodes as well as playing a parallel universe counterpart to himself. The rest of the cast remained on the series for all seven seasons.
The series resurrected several familiar alien races from the previous shows and films, including the Klingons, the Vulcans, the Romulans and the Andorians, but also expanded the Star Trek universe with a bevy of new and often threatening alien beings. Chief among them were the Q, a race of all-powerful cosmic entities that had been guiding the course of humanity for eons. The Q (generally taking the form of actor John de Lancie) placed the crew of the Enterprise through numerous trials to see whether the human race had the potential to evolve beyond their current social and cultural norms. De Lancie's Q proved to be an extremely pivotal character and played an important part in both the pilot and series finale of Star Trek: The Next Generation.
Q's popularity was matched only by that of the Borg, a cybernetic hive-mind race who assimilated human beings into their collective. The Borg appeared in several episodes of the series and their presence had dire consequences for the ship's captain Jean-Luc Picard. The Borg were also the central antagonists in the 1996 film Star Trek: First Contact.
Star Trek: The Next Generation also introduced the Cardassians, the Bajorans and the Ferengi. The Ferengi were an interstellar race whose entire culture was based on commerce and the proliferation of free enterprise. Though not an aggressive species, their collective greed has put them on the crosshairs of the Federation on several occasions. The Cardassians however, were a ruthless war-like race who waged an eternal struggle against the Bajorans, a humanoid race who became key players in intergalactic affairs due to their claim over the Bajoran wormhole. Though all three races were featured only minimally in Star Trek: The Next Generation, they became major figures in the third spin-off series Star Trek: Deep Space Nine.
Captain Kirk is believed to be killed in an accident aboard the USS Enterprise NCC-1701-B, but is in fact, transported to an inter-dimensional reality known as the Nexus. Seventy-eight years later, the crew of the Enterprise-D discover that an El-Aurian named Soran is willing to destroy a star system just to join with the Nexus. Captain Picard finds himself teaming up with Captain Kirk in their efforts to foil Soran's mad schemes.
After having failed in their first attempt to assimilate Humanity, the Borg try again. They travel back in time, to the time of Zefram Cochrane, Human history's inventor of warp drive, with the objective of preventing him from conducting Humanity's first warp flight, the event which directly leads to Humanity's technological development to a level capable of resisting them. Captain Picard and his crew, of the new USS Enterprise-E, must follow them back and ensure that this does not happen.
As the Dominion War ravages the Alpha Quadrant, an idyllic planet in the middle of an unstable region within Federation space serves as home to the peaceful Ba'ku – and a veritable fountain of youth. When the Son'a and the war-torn Federation plan to exploit the planet in order to rejuvenate themselves, Captain Jean-Luc Picard and the crew of the Starship Enterprise-E must rebel against their own people in order to save the Ba'ku and expose the atrocities that are about to take place.
Captain Jean-Luc Picard and the crew of the Starship Enterprise-E become involved when the Romulan Empire's new leader, Praetor Shinzon, makes overtures for peace with the Federation. Surprisingly, Shinzon is not from Romulus, but from Remus, a native of the darkness-shrouded twin world of Romulus. But he is not even a normal Reman at that. Picard faces a new, very personal enemy, and the Enterprise-E is tasked with preventing a costly re-ignition of war between the Empire and the Federation.
Notes & Trivia
All episodes of Star Trek: The Next Generation have been made available on VHS and DVD.
The series has also been referred to as TNG and NextGen by the fan community.