It's hard to believe, but this year marks the 30th anniversary of Star Trek: The Next Generation's premiere episode, "Encounter at Farpoint." It's hard to imagine now, in an age where TNG is considered a classic and one of the greatest sci-fi shows of all time, that when the show first came out it had all the odds stacked against it. The original Star Trek series was already a pop culture icon, and nobody wanted an Enterprise without Kirk and Spock on board. It might have been the first TV series to premiere where the fanbase was actively rooting for it to fail.
But despite a bumpy first two seasons, eventually TNG would flourish with fans and critics alike, and go four seasons longer than the original series ever did. Now, the folks at Roddenberry Entertainment, the company named after Star Trek's creator Gene Roddenberry, are releasing straight from the "Roddenberry Vault" one never-before-seen photo each in 2017, all to celebrate TNG's 30th.
In our exclusive photo reveal, in which you can see the full photo in our gallery below, we get a glimpse of the cast of the TNG on set for a script read through of one of the show's earliest episodes, "The Last Outpost." On set that day were Jonathan Frakes (Riker), Brent Spiner (Data) Levar Burton (Geordi), Michael Dorn (Worf), and Denise Crosby (Tasha Yar). The release of these photos are promoting Roddenberry Entertainment’s 365 campaign, where they are releasing one never seen photo from TNG each day of 2017 via social media.
Star Trek: The Next Generation will always have a special place in my heart, as the series premiered right as I turned 13, and went off the air before my 20th birthday. I literally spent my most important, formative years with Captain Picard and the crew of the Enterprise-D, and I'd like to think I'm an ethical person in part because of the lessons I learned from the show. Check out the image below, and share your own tales about how TNG made you the person you are today.
How are you planning to celebrate Star Trek: The Next Generation's 30th birthday? Be sure to let us know down below in the comments.
Images: CBS / Roddenberry Entertainment