Star Trek: The Next Generation debuted in syndication the week of September 28, 1987. So, believe it or not, the 25th anniversary of the series that captured lightning in a bottle… again, is upon us. Events of all kinds have been occurring in the Star Trek universe, from the release of TNG Blu-rays to a handful of full-cast convention appearances. StarTrek.com thought it’d be revealing, informative and entertaining to reach out to as many full-time first-season TNG actors as we could corral and ask each of them to answer six questions. We’re going to run the questions and replies – from Marina Sirtis, Brent Spiner, Gates McFadden, Michael Dorn, Jonathan Frakes, Wil Wheaton and Denise Crosby – one a day over the next six days.
Gates McFadden: My life is so different now. The easiest way for me to clock it is when I ended the 7th season, my son was under 3 feet tall and now he is 6'3"! So yes, it feels like a quarter of a century ago in one way, but on the other hand this year gave the cast so many opportunities to hang out that it feels like it never stopped. We've still got the space suits. All we are need are the crew, the script and bigger trailers to include all the kids and animals.
Brent Spiner: It is kind of amazing. It’s a real clear indication that time flies, because it really seems like yesterday that we started it.
Marina Sirtis: It’s wrist-cuttingly scary. It’s odd. I just can’t believe that it’s been 25 years. The thing that amazes me is that it’s 25 years and we’re still talking about it. We’re still having the conversation.
Michael Dorn: It's not scary, but it is amazing that it's been that long. It sort of crept up on me. What is amazing is the closeness of the cast after that long. It's not unusual to have relationships between one or two of the main actors, but all of us? That has to be a record.
Jonathan Frakes: That just blows my mind. That's especially the case at the conventions. The convention circuit has been more alive in the last 18 months than it has in the last 10 years, and I think the excitement about the 25th anniversary is part of it. I think the fact that J.J. (Abrams) rebooted the franchise in such an exciting way that there's now an appreciation of the cultural phenomenon that we've always known Star Trek is, but now we are the old guys. We are who Bill and Leonard were when we started doing it. I've turned 60, but I feel about 35. It's an old adage, but I think you really are as old as you feel. Also, I'm still working. If you're lucky enough to still be working, it doesn't really seem to matter how old you are.
Denise Crosby: That was a fast 25 years! A little scary, but that’s what happens. Life goes on...
Wil Wheaton: I love that TNG is as beloved by parents and their children today as it was when we started a quarter century ago. I turned 40 this year, and I've been meeting people my age who grew up watching TNG with their parents who are now watching it with their own children. I love that The Next Generation is being watched by… the next generation.
Visit StarTrek.com again tomorrow, when the TNG actors recount what Gene Roddenberry told – or didn’t tell – them when they won their respective roles.