As promised, my season five overview of Star Trek: The Next Generation is here. By this time a big chunk of America was watching Star Trek, and its popularity overseas continued to grow as well as TNG continued to capture the world’s imagination. In fact for this year’s sweeps week Star Trek was rated higher than almost every other show on television, even leaving Monday Night Football in the dust! Rightly so, as season five will get some of the best episodes in the entire series, as well as my personal favorite.
This season boasted some of the best guest stars ever in the series (Kelsey Grammer, Ray Walston, Ashley Judd, Famke Janssen and the legendary Leonard Nimoy to name a few), as well as the return of cast members such as Denise Crosby and Wil Wheaton. A recurring character, Ensign Ro Laren, will be introduced this season and I’ll have a character I care about at Conn again.
This season also marked the death of Star Trek’s creator, Gene Roddenberry. He lived to see it’s 25th anniversary but died on October 24th, 1991, while the cast was filming Hero Worship. In my opinion Star Trek was never the same after he died. In my season overview I devote some space to the man that created and defined what Star Trek was, and hopefully will continue to be.
I want to include a quote from Seth Macfarlane, a huge TNG fan who is currently launching his own sci-fi show, The Orville. I think he captures a bit of the appeal of TOS and TNG in particular: “Dystopia is good for drama because you’re starting with conflict: your villain is the world. Writers on [ST:TNG] found it very difficult to work within the confines of a world where everything was going right. They objected to it. But I think that audiences loved it. They liked to see people who got along, and who lived in a world that was a blueprint for what we might achieve, rather than a warning of what might happen to us.” His full quote is in my season overview.
This is also the last year that TNG will have all to itself, as Deep Space 9 will be introduced during its sixth season. This is a great season, and I hope you enjoy reading my season five overview while I get down to reviewing the episodes!