Star Trek: The Next Generation (often abbreviated to TNG) is an American science fiction television series created by Gene Roddenberry as part of the Star Trek franchise. Roddenberry, Rick Berman, and Michael Piller served as executive producers at different times throughout the production. The show was created 21 years after the original Star Trek show and set in the 24th century from the year 2364 through 2370 (about 100 years after the original series timeframe). The program features a new crew and a new starship Enterprise. Patrick Stewart's voice-over introduction during each episode's opening credits stated the starship's purpose, updated from the original to represent an open-ended "mission", and to be gender- (and even species-) neutral: Space: the final frontier. These are the voyages of the starship Enterprise. Its continuing mission: to explore strange new worlds, to seek out new life and new civilizations, to boldly go where no one has gone before.
The show follows the adventures of a space-faring crew on board the starship USS Enterprise (NCC-1701-D), the fifth Federation vessel to bear the name and registry and the seventh starship by that name. The time line takes place roughly 80 years after the final missions of the original Enterprise crew under the command of James T. Kirk. The Federation has undergone massive internal changes in its quest to explore and seek out new life, adding new degrees of complexity and controversy to its methods, especially those focused on the Prime Directive. The Klingon Empire and the United Federation of Planets have ceased wartime hostilities and become galactic allies, while more sinister foes like the Romulans and the Borg take precedence on the show.
The Enterprise is commanded by Captain Jean-Luc Picard and is staffed by first officer Commander William Riker, the android Lieutenant Commander Data, security chief Lieutenant Tasha Yar, ship's counselor Deanna Troi, Klingon tactical officer Lieutenant Worf, Doctor Beverly Crusher, and conn officer Lieutenant Geordi La Forge. The death of Lieutenant Yar in the show's first season prompts an internal shuffle of personnel, making Worf official chief of security. Geordi La Forge is promoted to chief engineer at the beginning of season 2.
The show begins with the crew of the Enterprise-D put on trial by a nefarious, omnipotent being known as Q. The godlike entity threatens the extinction of mankind for being a race of savages, forcing them to solve a mystery at nearby Farpoint Station in order to prove their worthiness of being spared. After successively solving the mystery and avoiding disaster, the crew officially departs on its mission to explore strange new worlds.