“YOU SHUT YOUR MOUTH, DAYTON!”
Sorry, folks, but it’s true. 30 years ago, tonight.
I’ve told this story before, but on September 28th, 1987, I watched Star Trek: The Next Generation‘s premiere episode, “Encounter at Farpoint,” in the TV room of my barracks at Camp Pendleton. The room was stuffed with Marines, and maybe it was because of the beer, but we all stayed to watch the whole thing.
While “Farpoint” certainly had its problems, it was Star Trek, by golly. And, it was new Star Trek, and little did we know at the time what that really meant.
Anybody remember this bit, which ran before the episode?
Man. How time flies.
So, yeah. The show got off to something of a rocky start, and took a while to find its footing. Still, even with this first episode, it was easy to see the potential in this new show. A big part of that is due to Patrick Stewart, who carried much of the load that first year and who as Captain Jean-Luc Picard brought a gravitas to the series which helped us forgive some of the hokier storylines. The other actors soon settled into their roles, of course, in time becoming a comfortable ensemble and even a family. By its third season, the show established itself as a worthy bearer of the Star Trek torch.
Seven television seasons, four feature films, and merchandising out the wazoo, including a whole bunch of novels published by Pocket Books. As one of those responsible for foisting more than a few of those on an unsuspecting public, I’ve always enjoyed my time spent with Captain Picard and his merry band. Here’s hoping they let me do a few more.
Happy 30th Anniversary, Star Trek: The Next Generation. Go. Go see what’s out there.