The release of Picard has poured new life into the Star Trek universe and has encouraged both fans and newcomers alike to revisit past iterations, most notably The Next Generation.
In today's outrageously extensive library of content there are still those favourites of ours, our go-to shows and movies that no matter how much new content is thrown at us, we head back to and plough through religiously. Those that stay in the constant rotation of our play lists.
With organic exploration of the characters, purposeful, poignant narratives and overarching stories that underpin the show, TNG gifted us with incredible writing and story arcs that remain as relevant today as they did back then.
Star Trek: The Next Generation spanned a glorious 7 seasons and spawned spin-offs, movies and a legion of fans fitting with an already staunch trekkie following. The Enterprise - this time headed by the remarkable Jean-Luc Picard - gave audiences a captivating, exhilarating and endearing journey that only becomes better upon a good re-watch.
Just what is it about TNG that keeps pulling us back in?
10. Suddenly Human
A strength of any Star Trek series - good ones that is - is that it has the ability to take a common morale or ethical question, turn it on it's head and pose it eloquently to the viewer. "Suddenly Human" does just that. Should the human child be forced to rejoin his birth parents? Should he be afforded the right to choose to remain with the only family he has ever known? The exploration of this question is gracefully done.
The episode is a timeless depiction of the debate surrounding ethical fairness and the battle of right and wrong versus that of basic human rights. During a quest to rescue a shipwrecked alien training mission, they discover one of its trainees to be a human. We come to learn that the young boy may have suffered beatings or mistreatment from his adoptive father, and that his living conditions may be of concern, however he does not seem distressed.
The episode challenges the audience to review their stance on free will, ownership, the freedoms afforded to minors, and whether we have the right at all to impose our beliefs on other cultures solely because we perceive ourselves to be superior.
Clutching to their own stubbornness, Picard and the crew totally misinterpret the situation and their journey to further understanding is truly engaging and thought provoking. Ultimately realising that it's simply a choice the boy is entitled to is a lesson in growth that audiences seldom see. The episode resonates greatly among many of us, and ages well given that the questions raised will never have true answer, but can be debated until the end of time.