Showcase TV Series – Star Trek : The Next Generation

“Star Trek : The Next Generation” is a popular science fiction TV Series that ran for seven seasons from 1987-1994, before it moved on to the silver screen with four blockbuster movies. TNG currently airs on the SciFi Channel weekdays at 10pm with repeats during the following day.
 
 
TNG is the sequel series to the 1960s science fiction series “Star Trek”, which had gained in popularity during the 1970s and 1980s with its reruns and movie series, so much so that Star Trek creator, Gene Roddenberry, was commissioned to produce a sequel series.
 
USS Enterprise NCC-1701-D
 
Set in the 24th Century, TNG presents the adventures of the crew of the USS Enterprise, the flagship of the United Federation of Planets, as the Enteprise embarks on its mission of space exploration and interstellar diplomacy. The Federation is an alliance of many alien races, including Humans, and is dedicated to the scientific progress and peaceful coexistence among the member races. However, the Federation exists amongst other major powers who have agendas that often lead to conflict with the Federation. These powers include the Klingon Empire, former enemies but now uneasy allies with the Federation. The Romulans and the Cardassians, both warlike and aggressive species that have clashed with the Federation in the past. Another rising threat is the Borg, an uncompromising collective species which seeks to assimilate all alien cultures and technologies into its own.
 
Season 1 cast of TNG
 
The main appeal of TNG is that many of its stories reflect on our world’s problems and situations. One common theme involves some alien civilization asking for Federation assistance in solving their problems, and the crew would often brood about how much they could help without interferring with the cultural or social development of the civilization. Sometimes even the slightest assistance could lead to unintended results. An example include the Federation’s supply of medical aid to a world wrecked by civil war, causing a warring faction (branded as terrorists by the local government) to accuse the Federation of taking sides in the conflict. Another example is the Enterprise’s discovery that the economics between two worlds was based on one world’s supply of highly addictive drugs for the treatment of an epidemic on the other world, with that world unaware that the epidemic had been cured ages ago and were still buying the drug simply because of their addiction to it. The crew decided not to reveal this fact, as doing so would have destroyed the economics of both worlds, leaving the aliens to find out for themselves the addictive nature of the drug. This guideline of non-interference is referred to as the “Prime Directive”, strictly adhered to by the Federation, and is something the governments of the world could learn from. 
 
TNG also presents an optimistic, positive vision of the future, something the people of the world could look forward to and possibly achieve. The crew members of the USS Enterprise, although coming from different worlds, are able to overcome their prejudices towards each other and work together onboard the starship. Race or gender differences are no longer an issue, as each person work purely for the betterment of mankind and are not motivated by selfish purposes. It was also decided to make the one of Enterprise’s officer a Klingon, symbolising that yesterday’s enemies could become today’s allies.
 
Another common theme in TNG is that some superior being would place our heroes in some sort of impossible test, and despite overwhelming odds, our heroes would be able to triumph and prevail as they relied upon their humanity and were able to demonstrate their ability to transcend beyond their inhibitions. Often at such tests, the crew would be compelled to kill another adversary in order to pass the test, but instead our heroes would show mercy and let go of the adversary, which in fact enables our heroes to pass the test since that was the passing condition required. Perhaps, such an altruism is something that everybody can aspire to and maybe adopt, the next step to take for our society to evolve.
 
Throughout its seven season run, TNG never dropped in its rating, and has set the benchmark for all other science fiction TV series to follow. And in the years passed since TNG’s airing, the stories have stayed relevant in today’s world and setting.
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