Star Trek: The Next Generation Seasons 1-4 now on Netflix in the UK
First four series of Star Trek TV series made between 1987 and 1994 now on UK Netflix
Let the fandom rejoice: Netflix has just added the first four seasons of Star Trek: The Next Generation, making it possible for an even next-er generation to discover the majesty of the show.
Running from 1987 to 1994, TNG fulfilled Star Trek creator Gene Roddenberry's dream of getting the USS Enterprise away from unwieldy movies and back onto the telly. Some loyalists were appalled at the idea of the same ship with a new crew, but most were won over; the fan acclaim made a star of crisp-voiced RSC actor Patrick Stewart in the lead role of Captain Jean-Luc Picard, an English-accented Frenchman with an Earl Grey habit and a line in laconic catchphrases ('Make it so.' 'Engage!'.) But TNG also attracted a whole new set of fans, thanks to the quality of its writing. It resisted the original series' tendency to rely on Kirk alternately punching and lecturing people, offering instead complex and sometimes painful storylines that addressed hard themes of personal and political ethics, mortality and destiny. It also introduced cool bad guys, such as the fearsome Borg; memorable guest roles such as Whoopi Goldberg as the Enterprise's been-there done-that bartender Guinan, and John De Lancie as the omnipotent trickster Q, instigator of many of the show's best storylines.
Subsequent Star Trek series have, perhaps, a more selective appeal, but for most viewers, The Next Generation was easily as good as the original series – and unlike the original, it stayed good for seven years.