After the success of Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan, Paramount decided it was time to launch a new Trek series (which they had planned on doing before creating Star Trek: The Motion Picture). Gene Roddenberry was initially not going to be involved, but changed his mind and joined the production team as "creator" while Rick Berman was the actual producer of the show. The show launched as a syndicated series in 1987 and ran for 7 years. The Setting: 24th century Earth and surrounding galactic space on board the USS Enterprise 1701-D. This new Enterprise is the first Galaxy-class ship, not only an exploration/science/combat vessel, but the first to actually be a home with full families on board, including children. The Main Races: Human Klingon – Former enemies of Starfleet, the Klingons are now uneasy allies. Romulan – An old enemy, the Romulans have not been seen for many years, but reappear near the beginning of the series. Betazoid - From the planet Betazed, they are human-looking with full telepathic powers. Typically have black-colored irises. Ferengi - Short, huge-eared, financially motived aliens who initally were going to be the primary antagonist of the series, they quickly became used as comic relief. Cardassian - Militaristic race with slight reptillian features Bajoran - Highly spiritual race recently recovering from Cardassian rule Borg - Cybernetic beings who exist to "assimilate" all superior technology Vulcan - Once the primary "alien" of Star Trek, Vulcans are seldom seen in early TNG due to the producers desire to separate the show from the original series The Main characters: Captain Jean-Luc Picard - Highly decorated captain born in France. Enjoys archeology and is uncomfortable around children First Officer Commander William T. Riker - Typically leading the landing parties, he fills the "Kirk" role of the series being the one to get in fights and romance the natives Lt. Commander Data - a self-sentient android, Data strives to be more human. At the start of the series, he remembers little of his origin. Counselor Deanna Troi - a half Betazoid who lacks full telepathy, but does possess empathy (probably the biggest symbol of the 80's in this series... having a therapist always around) Lt. Geordi LaForge - Blind helmsman who sees using a device mounted to optical implants. He soon takes over the engineering department of the ship Lt. Natasha "Tasha" Yar - Chief of security Lt. Worf - the first Klingon to serve in Starfleet, Worf was raised by humans after being orphaned as a small child. He starts off as security/relief helm, but soon takes over as Chief of security Dr. Beverly Crusher - Chief medical officer, her late husband was a friend and shipmate of Capt. Picard. Wesley Crusher - boy genius... 'nuff said The Supporting characters: Guinan - An El Aurian, Guinan is an old friend of Picard's who comes aboard to tend bar (Whoopi Goldberg) Dr. Kate Pulaski - Chief medical officer during the 2nd year while Dr. Crusher was gone Lwaxana Troi - Mother of Deanna, she is generally considered exteremely obnoxious Q - Seemingly omnipotent alien who develops an interest in humankind and Picard. Miles O'Brien - Transporter chief Lt. Reg Barclay - Tech whiz with serious socialization problems Several actors reprised thier roles from the original series: DeForest Kelly played a very old Admiral McCoy in the first episode, James Doohan as Scotty was found to have been stuck in a transporter accident, Spock was living on Rolumus trying to create peace between the Romulans and Vulcans in a two part epsiode, Mark Lenard appeared as Sarek in two episodes and Majel Barrett returned as the voice of the Enterprise computer (as well as playing Lwaxana Troi) With a few exceptions, Star Trek: The Next Generation (aka TNG) used stand-alone episodes, so a viewer can start watching at any time during the series and not have to worry about missing anything. It won 18 Emmys and was one of the highest-rated syndicated shows of all time. MOVIES Star Trek: Generations The first of the Next Generation films, Generations starts off with Kirk sacrificing himself to save the passengers and crew of the Enterprise-B from an energy ribbon called The Nexus. After entering The Nexus himself, Captain Picard finds Kirk alive and well, living in a perpetual dream world. Star Trek: First Contact The Borg have returned, and after a fierce battle a borg sphere creates a temporal rift over Earth, and the crew of the new 1701-E witness the Earth turning into a Borg world. They have no choice but to follow the sphere back in time and try to fix the changes that were made Star Trek: Insurrection Picard discovers members of Starfleet are working with an alien race in a plot against a planet of peaceful people with a special secret. Star Trek: Nemesis The Enterprise heads to Romulus expecting a peace treaty, only to discover a plan to attack Earth.