Star Trek: The Next Generation (season 1)
|Star Trek: The Next Generation season 1|
Region A/1 Blu Ray cover art
|Country of origin||United States|
|No. of episodes||26|
|Original run||September 28, 1987– May 16, 1988|
|Home video release|
|Region 1||March 26, 2002|
|Region 2||April 1, 2002|
|Blu-ray Disc release|
|Region A||July 24, 2012|
|Region B||July 23, 2012|
The first season of the American television science fiction show Star Trek: The Next Generation premiered in the United States on September 28, 1987, through first-run syndication, and concluded on May 16, 1988. The season consisted of one feature-length episode, entitled "Encounter at Farpoint", and 24 additional episodes with a run time of 44 minutes each. The show followed the first adventures of the crew of the USS Enterprise-D, between stardates 41153.7 and 41986.0. This season was the first season of a live action Star Trek television to be produced since season three of Star Trek which aired in 1968–1969.
The season was produced by Paramount Pictures, with the production team headed up by Star Trek creator Gene Roddenberry. He brought back several staff members from the original Star Trek series, including Robert H. Justman as supervising producer. Justman was joined by Rick Berman, who had previously worked for Paramount. Justman left after half of season one, later explaining that "I'd accomplished what I wanted to accomplish. Star Trek wasn't a fluke". D. C. Fontana was brought in to work with Roddenberry on the pilot, "Encounter at Farpoint", she had previously also written on the original series under a handful of pseudonyms.
This season had a cast of seven actors who received star billing. Patrick Stewart portrayed Captain Jean-Luc Picard, the commanding officer of the USS Enterprise (NCC-1701-D). The other main cast represented the rest of the main bridge crew. These included Jonathan Frakes as Commander William Riker, Brent Spiner as the android Data, and Gates McFadden as Doctor Beverly Crusher. Marina Sirtis appeared as Councillor Deanna Troi, and Denise Crosby as security chief Tasha Yar, although in the early stages of casting, the two actresses were originally cast in each other's roles and the security chief was originally called Macha Hernandez.
Wil Wheaton and Michael Dorn made their first appearances in the recurring roles of Wesley Crusher and Worf, respectively. Other guest actors who made their first appearances during season one included John de Lancie as Q and Eric Menyuk as the Traveler. Majel Barrett, who had previously appeared as Nurse Christine Chapel in the original Star Trek series, made her first appearance as Lwaxana Troi during season one and voiced the Enterprise computer throughout.
Several future Star Trek alumni also appeared in the first season of The Next Generation, although not in roles they would later feature regularly in. These included Armin Shimerman as a wedding box in "Haven" and as Letek in "The Last Outpost" (he would later appear as other Ferengi before gaining the main cast role of Quark in Star Trek: Deep Space Nine), Marc Alaimo as the Romulan Captain Tebok in "The Neutral Zone" (he was later cast as Gul Dukat, also in DS9), and Colm Meaney as a conn ensign in two episodes during the season, later established as Chief Miles O'Brien in season two, and would become a main cast member of DS9.
Star Trek: The Next Generation was released into broadcast syndication, meaning that it was hosted on multiple television stations without going through a broadcast network. At the time this was relatively unheard of, although the original series had become successful following release on syndication after an initial run on NBC. In advance of the first airing of the pilot, "Encounter at Farpoint", the show had been sold in 171 markets. "Encounter at Farpoint" received Nielson ratings of 15.7 million, and it was granted a commitment for a further 24 one hour episodes following the broadcast. The pilot was the highest rated episode of the first season, the lowest rated episode of the first season was "The Last Outpost", the fourth episode broadcast, which received ratings of 8.9 million. Three episodes later, "Justice" was broadcast, which received a rating of 12.7 million, the highest for the season other than the pilot. As of the period between September 6 and January 3, the show was only outranked in the Nielsen Ratings by Wheel of Fortune and Jeopardy! for shows released directly into syndication, and it became the highest rated syndicated series by the end of the first season, which prompted several other series to be released directly into syndication.
Although it was highly anticipated, when the series was initially broadcast, the response was lukewarm from fans and reviewers. John J. O'Connor reviewed the first episode for the New York Times, and simply hoped that the action and pace would increase in the episodes aired after the pilot. While some approved of certain elements of the show such as the design of the new Enterprise, one early episode divided opinions. "The Naked Now", the second episode of the season, was based on the original series episode "The Naked Time". This resulted in some fans, and former Star Trek writers, becoming concerned that the series would continue to "re-hash" old plots. Marina Sirtis remarked while promoting Star Trek: Nemesis that in the beginning "they bloody hated us".
Reviewing the series as part of the DVD release in 2002, Marc Bernardin for Entertainment Weekly said of season one, that it was "almost hard to believe... just how bad much of it was". He thought that the first season was too similar to the end of the "cheesy" original series but said that it "succeeded where it needed to: It introduced viewers to the characters who would carry the torch through six more seasons", and gave it a score of B+. Tor.com reviewer Keith DeCandido was less positive, feeling that it "earned" its reputation as the poorest of The Next Generation 's seven seasons because "the episodes were uneven, poorly plotted, ineptly scripted, and acted by actors who were still trying to figure their characters out". He gave it a score of 5 out of 10. The season has been given an 80% "fresh" rating by review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes.
Star Trek: The Next Generation received seven nominations at the 40th Primetime Emmy Awards. Chris Haire, Doug Davey, Jerry Clemans and Alan Bernard were nominated for "Outstanding Sound Mixing for a Drama Series" for work on the episode "Where No One Has Gone Before". Edward R. Brown was nominated for "Outstanding Cinematography for a Series" for "The Big Goodbye". The makeup teams on the show were nominated for two episodes for "Outstanding Achievement Makeup for a Series", for the episodes "Coming of Age" and "Conspiracy", winning the award for the latter episode. William Ware Theiss won the award "Outstanding Costume Design for a Series" for "The Big Goodbye", while the team working on "11001001" won the Emmy for "Outstanding Sound Editing for a Series".
"The Big Goodbye" also won a Peabody Award. The series' premier episode, "Encounter at Farpoint" was nominated for "Best Dramatic Presentation" at the 1988 Hugo Awards. Wil Wheaton was nominated for "Best Young Actor Starring in a Television Drama Series" at the 9th Youth in Film Awards for his portrayal of Wesley Crusher.
- Patrick Stewart as Captain Jean-Luc Picard
- Jonathan Frakes as Commander William Riker
- LeVar Burton as Lt. (j.g.) Geordi La Forge
- Denise Crosby as Lt. Tasha Yar (23 episodes)
- Michael Dorn as Lt. (j.g.) Worf
- Gates McFadden as Doctor Beverly Crusher
- Marina Sirtis as Counselor Deanna Troi
- Brent Spiner as Lt. Commander Data
- Wil Wheaton as Wesley Crusher
- John de Lancie as Q (2 episodes)
- Colm Meaney as Conn Ensign/Security Officer (2 episodes)
- Armin Shimerman as Letek/Betazoid Gift Box (2 episodes)
- Biff Yeager as Lt. Commander Argyle (2 episodes)
- Ward Costello as Rear Admiral Gregory Quinn (2 episodes)
- Robert Schenkkan as Lt. Commander Dexter Remmick (2 episodes)
- Majel Barrett as Lwaxana Troi (1 episode)
- Carel Struycken as Mr. Homn (1 episode)
- Eric Menyuk as The Traveler (1 episode)
In the following table, episodes are listed by the order in which they aired, and may not necessarily correspond to their production codes.
|Title||Stardate||Directed by||Written by||Original air date||US viewers (millions)|
|1 / 2||1 / 2||"Encounter at Farpoint"||41153.7||Corey Allen||D. C. Fontana and Gene Roddenberry||September 28, 1987||15.7|
|The new starship Enterprise begins her maiden voyage by uncovering the mysteries of an advanced space station. The crew's mission is threatened by an omnipotent being named Q, who puts them on trial for the crimes of all humanity.|
|3||3||"The Naked Now"||41209.2||Paul Lynch||Teleplay: J. Michael Bingham
Story: John D. F. Black and J. Michael Bingham
|October 5, 1987||11.5|
|The crew of the Enterprise find the crew of a scientific vessel dead. They soon fall prey to a mysterious, communicable contaminant causing the crew to experience symptoms similar to alcohol intoxication, threatening the lives of all aboard the ship.|
|4||4||"Code of Honor"||41235.25||Russ Mayberry||Katharyn Powers and Michael Baron||October 12, 1987||9.5|
|Lt. Yar is abducted by the leader of a people who abide by a strict code of honor, which requires her participation in a fight to the death.|
|5||5||"The Last Outpost"||41386.4||Richard Colla||Teleplay: Herbert Wright
Story: Richard Krzmeien
|October 19, 1987||8.9|
|An unknown force immobilizes the Enterprise during the Federation's first encounter with a new alien threat—the Ferengi.|
|6||6||"Where No One Has Gone Before"||41263.1||Rob Bowman||Diane Duane and Michael Reaves||October 26, 1987||10.5|
|Warp efficiency tests send the Enterprise traveling far beyond known space, where the crew's imagination takes on real form. First appearance of Eric Menyuk as The Traveler.|
|7||7||"Lonely Among Us"||41249.3||Cliff Bole||Teleplay: D. C. Fontana
Story: Michael Halperin
|November 2, 1987||12.1|
|An alien entity possesses Dr. Crusher, Worf, and Picard while the Enterprise is transporting delegates from two feuding planets.|
|8||8||"Justice"||41255.6||James L. Conway||Teleplay: Worley Thorne
Story: Ralph Willis and Worley Thorne
|November 9, 1987||12.7|
|Wesley breaks an idyllic world's trivial law by accidentally stepping on flowers and faces the death sentence.|
|9||9||"The Battle"||41723.9||Rob Bowman||Teleplay: Herbert J. Wright
Story: Larry Forrester
|November 16, 1987||10.5|
|A Ferengi captain returns the abandoned Stargazer to its former captain, Jean-Luc Picard. Picard, who experiences severe headaches, begins to relive the "Battle of Maxia" in which he lost the ship.|
|10||10||"Hide and Q"||41590.5||Cliff Bole||Teleplay: C.J. Holland and Gene Roddenberry
Story: C.J. Holland
|November 23, 1987||11.0|
|Q returns to the Enterprise to tempt Commander Riker into joining the Q Continuum with the lure of Q's powers.|
|11||11||"Haven"||41294.5||Richard Compton||Teleplay: Tracy Tormé
Story: Tracy Tormé and Lan O'Kun
|November 30, 1987||10.3|
|Lwaxana Troi visits her daughter, Counselor Troi, and prepares her for an arranged marriage.|
|12||12||"The Big Goodbye"||41997.7||Joseph L. Scanlan||Tracy Tormé||January 11, 1988||11.5|
|A computer malfunction traps Picard, Data, Dr. Crusher, and Whalen in a Dixon Hill holodeck program set in early-20th-century Earth.|
|13||13||"Datalore"||41242.4||Rob Bowman||Teleplay: Robert Lewin and Gene Roddenberry
Story: Robert Lewin and Maurice Hurley
|January 18, 1988||10.3|
|The Enterprise crew finds a disassembled android identical to Data at the site of the Omicron Theta colony—where Data was found—which was destroyed by a life form dubbed "the Crystalline Entity." The reassembled android, Lore, brings the Crystalline Entity to the Enterprise.|
|14||14||"Angel One"||41636.9||Michael Rhoades||Patrick Barry||January 25, 1988||11.4|
|The Enterprise visits a world dominated by women to rescue survivors of a downed freighter.|
|15||15||"11001001"||41365.9||Paul Lynch||Maurice Hurley and Robert Lewin||February 1, 1988||10.7|
|Bynars upgrade the Enterprise's computers in spacedock. Riker and Picard become distracted by a surprisingly realistic holodeck character.|
|16||16||"Too Short a Season"||41309.5||Rob Bowman||Teleplay: Michael Michaelian and D. C. Fontana
Story: Michael Michaelian
|February 8, 1988||10.9|
|The Enterprise transports a legendary geriatric admiral who must once again negotiate a hostage situation involving a man from decades earlier in his career. The admiral however, is mysteriously growing younger the farther along their mission progresses.|
|17||17||"When the Bough Breaks"||41509.1||Kim Manners||Hannah Louise Shearer||February 15, 1988||10.2|
|A planet formerly existing only in legend uncloaks and requests help from the Enterprise. The planet's inhabitants are sterile and want to adopt children from the Enterprise—by force, if necessary.|
|18||18||"Home Soil"||41463.9||Corey Allen||Teleplay: Robert Sabaroff
Story: Karl Geurs & Ralph Sanchez and Robert Sabaroff
|February 22, 1988||9.0|
|The crew of the Enterprise discovers a crystalline lifeform with murderous intelligence that has been killing the scientists on a terraforming project.|
|19||19||"Coming of Age"||41416.2||Mike Vejar||Sandy Fries||March 14, 1988||10.1|
|While Wesley takes a Starfleet Academy entrance exam, the senior staff of the Enterprise are placed under investigation by Starfleet.|
|20||20||"Heart of Glory"||41503.7||Rob Bowman||Teleplay: Maurice Hurley
Story: Maurice Hurley and Herbert Wright & D. C. Fontana
|March 21, 1988||10.7|
|Fugitive Klingons seeking battle attempt to hijack the Enterprise, and ask Worf to join them.|
|21||21||"The Arsenal of Freedom"||41798.2||Les Landau||Teleplay: Richard Manning and Hans Beimler
Story: Maurice Hurley and Robert Lewin
|April 11, 1988||10.4|
|Trapped on the surface of an abandoned planet, an away team becomes unwitting participants in the demonstration of an advanced weapons system.|
|22||22||"Symbiosis"||Unknown||Win Phelps||Teleplay: Robert Lewin & Richard Manning and Hans Beimler
Story: Robert Lewin
|April 18, 1988||10.8|
|Picard tries to mediate a trade dispute between two neighboring planets, one of which is the sole supplier of a drug to treat the other's apparently fatal disease.|
|23||23||"Skin of Evil"||41601.3||Joseph L. Scanlan||Teleplay: Joseph Stefano and Hannah Louise Shearer
Story: Joseph Stefano
|April 25, 1988||9.7|
|An evil, tar-like creature holds Troi hostage on an alien world. During the rescue mission, one of the Enterprise's crew is killed.|
|24||24||"We'll Always Have Paris"||41697.9||Robert Becker||Deborah Dean Davis and Hannah Louise Shearer||May 2, 1988||9.7|
|Picard meets an old flame, whose husband has been affected by an accident involving a dimensional experiment.|
|25||25||"Conspiracy"||41775.5||Cliff Bole||Teleplay: Tracy Tormé
Story: Robert Sabaroff
|May 9, 1988||9.4|
|The strange behavior of high-ranking officers—which earlier prompted the investigation of the crew (in "Coming of Age")—leads Picard to uncover a conspiracy within Starfleet.|
|26||26||"The Neutral Zone"||41986.0||James L. Conway||Teleplay: Maurice Hurley
Story: Deborah McIntyre & Mona Clee
|May 16, 1988||10.2|
|A derelict satellite is found containing cryonically frozen humans from the 21st century as the Enterprise is sent to investigate the destruction of outposts near Romulan space.|
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