“Tonight…the 24th Century begins…..”
That’s what greeted those of us lounging in front of our televisions 31 years ago tonight, when legendary radio and TV personality and ABC broadcaster Ernie Anderson introduced us to “Staaaaaaaaaar Trek: The Next Generation” with a 90-second teaser just before the premiere of the series first episode, “Encounter at Farpoint.”
Seems like…well, it sure as hell doesn’t seem like 31 years ago that’s for sure.
I’ve told this story before, but on September 28th, 1987, I watched Star Trek: The Next Generation‘s premiere 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 we didn’t hate it, it was obvious that this show would go through a growth period as the folks behind and in front of the camera tweaked and pulled at this or that. Still, it was new Star Trek, by golly, and little did we know at the time what that would come to mean.
Now here we are, 31 years after the series premiere and 16 years since the last time he did so, and Patrick Stewart is preparing to return to the role of Jean-Luc Picard. It’s a helluva fun time to be a Star Trek fan.
And while we’re waiting to see what comes of that? Maybe I’ll run “Farpoint” later tonight. Happy 31st Birthday, Star Trek: The Next Generation.
Go. Go see what’s out there.