On September 28, 1987, the premiere episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation aired as a two hour made for T.V. movie. After the success of the first four Star Trek movies, Paramount approached original creator Gene Roddenberry about developing a new series in the franchise and The Next Generation was born.
Under Roddenberry’s leadership the new show stuck with his optimistic vision for the future that had helped make the original series the icon that it was. He also recognized that with this new crew he would need to show that even in the 23rd Century, advances in technology and politics would happen. Klingons were now friends and for the first time in Trek there would be a Klingon serving on the new ship. Once fans realized that Roddenberry wasn’t trying to re-create the show but build up it’s legend, fans embraced the new characters.
30 years later you can still find re-runs of the show on BBC America (or as I call it the Star Trek/Doctor Who channel) and it is just as much a part of our popular culture now as it was then. The five episodes that I feel have withstood the test of time are:
5 – “Sins of the Father” (Season 3 Episode 17)
4 – “Conspiracy” (Season 1 Episode 25)
3 – “Yesterday’s Enterprise” (Season 3 Episode 15)
2 – “Best of Both Worlds Parts 1 & 2” (Season 3 Episode 26; Season 4
1 – “The Inner Light” (Season 5 Episode 25)
For more on Star Trek, check out Will Star Trek Discovery Be A One Off?