There is an unspoken, unwritten moral code that unites thousands around the world - a way of living inspired by a TV show - this is that show.
Set 75 years after the original show, the Flag Ship of the Federation, Galaxy Class - Enterprise D is on the same mission as her namesake - to explore the Universe.
Their adventures vary from the introspective, to adventurous, to playful, escoteric, artistic, scientific and moralistic.
Always, though, the underlying thread is drive for the betterment of all. Now, however, there is the Prime Directive which states that the Federation cannot interfere with a pre-warp culture. There is also the Federation Charter; a set of standards and rules that the crew must abide by.
This is a Star Trek Universe that is removed from the original series. Strange life forms aren't scary monsters - just creatures with the right to live. I think it's said in one of the TNG movies that if they met Kirk or Spock they'd probably have to arrest them!
Born in the midst of the emergence of Political Correctness - TNG tackles serious philosophical issues in the guise of brilliant story telling. Conversely it also touches on the individual - giving valuable insights on every day issues.
The cast is lead by Patrick Stewart (X-Men) as Captain Jean Luc Picard. Stewart at the time was an accomplished stage actor and lends his Shakespearian experience to the callibre of the episodes. In an interview with Stewart he stated that when the filming of TNG commenced he was staying in a hotel in L.A. - he didn't bother to unpack his suitcase becasue he felt the venture wouldn't live past the filming of the first few episodes.
Stewart also commented that a mature bald British Captain, a blind man at the helm and a yellow skinned Android was an odd combination that the fans of Trek would reject.
It is Stewart however who carries the show for its first two seasons and he gains momentum up to the final 7th season. He is passionate and punctual in his portrayals. The first season was poor, however, in the boom times of the 80's they believed in giving shows like this 2 years to grab an audience and by the second season the show is vastly improved. Seaons 4 - 7 are some of the best sci-fi you'll ever see. For people new to TNG - the finale of Season 3 is the best place to start.
In the tradition of the original Trek, in TNG we are treated with countless guest stars like; Kelsey Grammer (Frasier) Leonard Nimoy (Spock) James Doohan (Scotty) Stephen Hawking, Ashley Judd, De Forest Kelly (Bones) Kirsten Dunst, Terri Hatcher and Tim Russ (Tuvok) - just to name a few.
Easily the No.1 science fiction tv show ever made - this series sparked 2 spin-offs; the squeaky clean Star Trek Voyager and the wonderfully sublime, Deep Space Nine.
There aren't many shows that can change your life - TNG is one of them.