Guide Next Generation Review
is a review from the February 6, 1988 TV Guide that was
republished in the TV Guide Collector's Edition Star
Trek Tribute. It was written by Don Merrill.
'Star Trek: The Next Generation'
Sometime in the past, before they were both assigned to
the Starship Enterprise, something went on between Cmdr.
William Riker (Jonathan Frakes) and Starfleet Counselor
Deanna Troi (Marina Sirtis). Of course she's half
Betazoid and can sense emotions around her, but when
people talk about romance or marriage, she locks eyes
with Riker - who resembles a young Ronald Reagan - and
wow, talk about your meaningful looks!
of fact, there are lots of meaningful looks aboard the
good ship Enterprise - not the same one the original
Star Trek's Captain Kirk and Spock and that bunch tooted
around the galaxy in 85 years ago, but a newer
24th-century model built to order for Star Trek: The
Next Generation (syndicated). This one is a sleek job
that carries over 1000 people. The uniforms are neater
(and tighter), and the dials, gauges, and buttons on the
old have been eliminated. Instead of an all-knowing
computer run by an emotionless Spock, we have a muscular
android, aptly named Data, who remembers everything and
longs for human emotions. The navigator, Lt. Geordi
LaForge (LeVar Burton), is blind. He wears fancy shades
that hurt but endow him with splendid vision.
things, however, are the same, like unfriendly aliens
and pointy sideburns on the men. The Klingons, by the
way, those folks who seem either to have half their
brains on the outside or to have had their heads run
over by snow tires, are no longer the enemy.
(Incidentally, you haven't lived until you've seen male
and female Klingons courting.) The new baddies are the
Ferengi - ruthless, greedy, ugly characters who could
use a good orthodontist.
Trek: The Next Generation is a worthy successor to the
original science fiction show that started 21 years ago
and still fascinates millions of fans who watch it in
reruns. Executive producer Gene Roddenberry, who created
the original series, has lost none of this ingenuity or
his taste in selecting stories. And the new Enterprise
captain, play by English Capt. Shakespearean actor
Patrick Stewart, is terrific. As Capt. Jean-Luc Picard,
he heads a capable ensemble, all of whom understand the
secret of action in a science fiction show - believe the
story, no matter how wild or unbelievable it may seem in
script form. When the story calls for Stewart to become
angry, his voice takes on that rich, fruity, resonant
sound that good English actors produce so well.
stories introduce strange and often fascinating
characters and are packed with action. There's something
restful about a nice quiet chase in outer space - no
scripts are little morality plays. One week the show
insists that despite man's history of warfare and
destruction, in the future he can succeed in overcoming
his tendency to violence. Another demonstrates that
vengeance is an empty accomplishment. A third shows that
friendship is more important than power. All of the
stories carry a message of hope, a belief that mankind
is growing - and maturing. Please, Lord, let it be so.