... Jean-Luc Picard
... William T. Riker
... Geordi LaForge
... Tasha Yar
... Dr. Beverly Crusher
... Deanna Troi
... Wesley Crusher
... Miles O'Brien
Thanks to the continued life of original Star
Trek series in syndication and spinoff movies, Star Trek:
The Next Generation was created. A younger cast was needed to continue
to the "Franchise." It was also updated to be more politically correct than
the original. The first couple of seasons were full of uneven episodes as the
writers were developing characters. During the third season the show hit its
stride and didn't begin to tire until the sixth season. The holodeck became
a writing device to give the characters a chance to playact and do period episodes.
The success of Star Trek: The Next Generation in first-run syndication
paved the way for an explosion of science fiction on television in the 1990's.
The series started to paint itself into a corner by being too politically correct
and avoiding controversy. By the end of the series the "Star Trek" universe
had also become so defined that the storytelling became stagnant. This series
has resulted in three consecutive spin-offs: Star Trek: Deep Space Nine,
Star Trek: Voyager and Enterprise.
The cast has moved on to theatrical films, which have so far been mostly disappointing,
but the series lives on in syndication. Repeat viewings of old Star Trek:
The Next Generation episodes are generally more entertaining than new
viewings of early episodes of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine and any
Star Trek: Voyager episodes.