Given the deathless popularity of the original Star Trek show and the long-running film series it inspired, it was inevitable that the Star Trek concept would be revived in a new series. Gene Roddenberry, creator of the original series, was brought on board to executive-produce a new series, and the result, Star Trek: The Next Generation, was released to syndication in 1987.
The new show was set 78 years after the original show’s mission, but the United Federation of Planets’ grand vision hadn’t changed much. A new U.S.S. Enterprise (twice as big as the original and with eight times the amount of interior space) was sent out on a continuing mission to explore and discover, boldly going where “no one” (no longer just “no man,” showing the Federation’s new gender sensitivity) had gone before. The new captain of the ship was Jean-Luc Picard, who projected a more fatherly, less emotionally volatile vibe than Captain Kirk. His assistant was Commander William Riker, who was more reminiscent of Kirk. Geordi La Forge was the blind pilot who “saw” with the help of special electronic glasses. Deanna Troi was the half-alien/half-human Counselor who had the power to sense the emotions of others, and Lt. Worf functioned as the ships Klingon officer.
Other ship staff included Lt. Tasha Yar, the head of security, and Lt Cdr. Data, an android who fantasized about being human. Yar was killed by an alien in an episode in the Spring of 1988, after which security duties were taken over by Lt. Worf, a Klingon. Yes, a Klingon. 78 years had taken a bit of edge off of the Federation/Klingon animosity as well. Dr. Beverly Crusher served as the ship’s doctor, and her intelligent son Wes was a kid with big dreams of a future as a Starfleet officer. Quinan, the hostess of the ship’s lounge, provided a periodic cameo role for Whoopi Goldberg.
The Enterprise crew faced an expanded group of aliens, both hostile and friendly. Romulans were still a threat, but the newest (and possibly most sinister) force on the cosmic horizon were The Borg, a collective of cybernetic beings with the eerie ability to assimilate other races into their own via technological implants. A frequent and powerful nemesis to the Enterprise crew came in the form of Q, a highly intelligent being with godlike powers who considered humans to be a savage race.
The stories contained plenty of up-to-date special effects and interstellar derring-do, but Roddenberry’s presence ensured the show was much more than just a space opera. He made certain that the show’s writers brought a social consciousness to their work, resulting in stories that asked the viewers to consider their stance on various moral issues. A few examples: In a episode called “Justice,” Wes accidentally violated a planet’s customs and was sentenced to death. Captain Picard was forced to choose between negotiating to save Wes’ life or following his prime directive to avoid interfering with another civilization’s way of life. In another episode, “The Best of Both Worlds,” Riker had to decide whether to save the life of a friend or save the lives of millions when the Borg used the kidnapped Picard as part of their plan to destroy Earth.
Very few sequels to a beloved earlier series find much success on their own, but Star Trek: The Next Generation managed to beat the odds. It lasted twice as long as the original Star Trek series, setting the course for two additional series, Star Trek: Deep Space Nine and Star Trek: Voyager.
The success of Star Trek: The Next Generation was also successfully translated to the big screen. As the original Star Trek crew was phased out of the feature film series, the Next Generation kept the torch of cosmic adventure lit with Star Trek: Generations (which united members of both the old and new casts), Star Trek: First Contact and Star Trek: Insurrection.
USA / Paramount – Syndicated / 174×50 minute episodes 2×100 minute episodes / Broadcast 1987 – 1994
Creator: Gene Roddenberry / Executive Producers: Gene Roddenberry, Rick Berman, Michael Piller, Jeri Taylor
PATRICK STEWART as Capt Jean Luc Picard
JONATHAN FRAKES as Cmdr William Riker
BRENT SPINER as Lt Cmdr Data
GATES McFADDEN as Dr Beverly Crusher
MARINA SIRTIS as Cllr Deanna Troi
LEVAR BURTON as Lt Cmdr Georgi LaForge
MICHAEL DORN as Lt Worf
COLM MEANEY as Chief O’Brien (1987-92)
WHOOPI GOLDBERG as Guinan
DENISE CROSBY as Security Chief Lt. Natasha ‘Tasha’ Yar (1987-88, 1990, 1994)
DENISE CROSBY as Commander Sela (1991-92)
DIANA MULDAUR as Chief Medical Officer Cmdr. Katherine Pulaski M.D. (1988-89)
WIL WHEATON as Acting Ensign/Cadet Third Class Wesley Crusher
ROSALIND CHAO as Botanist Keiko Ishikawa O’Brien (1991-92)
DWIGHT SCHULTZ as Diagnostics Engineer Lt. (j.g.) Reginald ‘Reg’ Endicott Barclay III (1990-94)
Clairvoyant, The (BBC-2 1986, Roy Kinnear, Sandra Dickinson)
In Roy Clarke penned sitcom The Clairvoyant used car salesman Arnold Bristow is knocked down in a car accident and suddenly finds himself with psychic powers – or so he believes. There was a pilot broadcast 27 Nov 1984.
ROY KINNEAR as Arnold Bristow
SANDRA DICKINSON as Lily
HUGH LLOYD as Burma
SHAUN CURRY as Newton
GLYNIS BROOKS as Dawn
CARMEL CRYAN as Carmen
Writer: Roy Clarke
Producer and Director: Alan J.W. Bell
Network and Production Companies: BBC-2
Duration: 6×30 minute episodes
Aired From: Pilot – 27 November 1984 and Series – 15 May – 19 June 1986
Christmas Princess (UP 2017, Nicole Munoz, Zak Santiago)
Christmas Princess is the true story of Donaly Marquez who, through a childhood of neglect and abuse, achieved her dream of becoming a rose bowl princess. An inspirational story of resilience, strength and finding a family to call your own.
Nicole Muñoz as Donaly Marquez
Rosa Blasi as Sara
Zak Santiago as Ignacio Marquez
Olivia Steele Falconer as Emily Marquez
Jaedon Siewert as Abraham Marquez
Lina Renna as Young Donaly
Paloma Kwiatkowski as Chloe
Ty Wood as Trent
Pendo Muema as Monique
Kalyn Miles as Maria
Kaaren de Zilva as Roberta
Garfield Wilson as Dr. Miller
Clay St. Thomas as Judge #1
Patti Allan as Judge #2
Natalie von Rotsburg as Judge #3
Director: Allan Harmon
Writer: Tracy Andreen
Network and Production Companies: UP
Duration: 1×120 minute episode
Aired From: Sunday 10 December 2017
Christmas Reunion, A (Lifetime 2015, Catherine Hicks, Denise Richards)
In A Christmas Reunion a Madison Avenue executive, Amy, discovers an unusual Christmas surprise when she inherits her Aunt’s hometown bakery. The real surprise comes when she learns the other half of the bakery was left to her long-ago boyfriend, Jack.
Unresolved personal issues resurface between them, as the exes return home to co-manage the store, along with its traditional holiday cookie bake-off.
Denise Richards as Amy Stone
Patrick Muldoon as Jack Evans
Jake Busey as Dylan Carruthers
Catherine Hicks as Aunt Linda
Parker Stevenson as Don Dupree
Patricia De Leon as Janette Crowder
Jon Briddell as Luke Crowder
Robert R. Shafer as Frank O’Brien
Anna Barnholtz as Chloe
John Colton as Steve Evans
Sandra Evans as Shari
Brody Fitzgerald as Young Jack Evans
Michael Gaglio as Earl Pratt, Sr.
Gib Gerard as Earl Pratt, Jr.
Joyce Greenleaf as Helen
Director: Sean Olson
Writers: Margaret Base, Mary Glenn, Sam Irvin, Sean Olson, Peter Sullivan, Michael Varrat
Network and Production Companies: Lifetime – Hybrid
Duration: 1×120 minute episode
Aired From: 13 December 2015
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