Star Trek: The Next Generation is an American science-fiction show, set in the 24th Century. The series – created by Gene Roddenberry – follows the story of the crew of the USS Enterprise and its exploration of space.  

The series was created as a follow-up show to the popular Star Trek TV series of the 1960s, as well as the successful run of Star Trek movies of the late ‘70s onward. Unlike the original show and movies, which focused on the adventures of Captain James T. Kirk and his crew, The Next Generation focused on Captain Jean-Luc Picard and his team, including Riker, Data, Worf, Geordi La Forge, Deanna Troi, Tasha Yar, and Beverly and Wesley Crusher.

Image: ©CBS
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Upon making its debut, Star Trek: The Next Generation built up a loyal fanbase, and became popular with audiences. Over time, it established itself as a fantastic piece of television, stepping out the shadow of its predecessor, and boasted excellent stories and well-written characters.

So, when it came time to end the show on television, not everybody was quite ready to say goodbye. Mere months after the television adventures wrapped, the Next Generation crew took to the big screen to appear in a series of movies.

And the Next Gen journey didn’t quite end with movies either. Almost two decades after the final film hit screens, Jean-Luc Picard, and a handful of his crew mates, returned for another television show.

In short: Between shows and movies, there’s a lot of Next Generation content out there. But if you’re a complete newcomer to The Next Generation, where do you begin?

With this post, of course!

Below, I am providing a run-through of Star Trek: The Next Generation, detailing the viewing order for the shows and the movies. So, if you’re not sure how best to watch the series, how many seasons there are, or when to begin watching the films, you simply need to follow the details below.  

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Understanding Star Trek: The Next Generation

Image: ©CBS

Star Trek: The Next Generation hit television screens in 1987, with the two-part story: Encounter at Farpoint. This double-length episode, kicked off the show’s first season, which comprised a total of 26 episodes.

The following year, The Next Generation returned for its second season. This was then followed by seasons three, four, five, six, and seven, all popping up on an annual basis.

The seventh and final season of the show, aired between 1993 and 1994, concluding with the two-part story: All Good Things…. By the time the show reached the end of its run, Star Trek: The Next Generation had clocked up 178 episodes of television.

But this wasn’t the end for The Next Generation – the cast simply side-stepped from television into movies, beginning with Star Trek Generations (1994). The movie combined the cast of the original Star Trek television show, with the cast of The Next Generation, for a big screen adventure.

Image: ©CBS
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Star Trek Generations proved to be a box office hit, and The Next Generation cast returned for further movies, including: Star Trek: First Contact (1996), Star Trek: Insurrection (1998), and Star Trek: Nemesis (2002).

Star Trek: Nemesis essentially ended the adventures of The Next Generation crew on the big screen, and bar the odd guest spot on television, the actors largely stepped away from the Star Trek universe. But this still wasn’t the end – in 2020, actor Patrick Stewart (aka Jean-Luc Picard) returned to the small screen for yet another television show.

The series was called Picard. It centred largely around the eponymous character, but also included various Next Gen cast members, who appeared in the series in guest roles.  

Due to the popularity of Picard’s first season, as well as a positive reception from critics, the show returned for subsequent seasons.

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Star Trek: The Next Generation in order

Image: ©CBS

If you wish to watch Star Trek: The Next Generation in order, begin with the original television show, taking it season by season, then move onto the four films followed by Picard.

The Star Trek: The Next Generation viewing order is as follows:

  • Star Trek: The Next Generation – Season One (1987 – 1988) – TV series
  • Star Trek: The Next Generation – Season Two (1988 – 1989) – TV series
  • Star Trek: The Next Generation – Season Three (1989 – 1990) – TV series
  • Star Trek: The Next Generation – Season Four (1990 – 1991) – TV series
  • Star Trek: The Next Generation – Season Five (1991 – 1992) – TV series
  • Star Trek: The Next Generation – Season Six (1992 – 1993) – TV series
  • Star Trek: The Next Generation – Season Seven (1993 – 1994) – TV series
  • Star Trek Generations (1994) – Movie
  • Star Trek: First Contact (1996) – Movie
  • Star Trek: Insurrection (1998) – Movie
  • Star Trek: Nemesis (2002) – Movie
  • Picard – Season One (2020) – TV series
  • Picard – Season Two (2022) – TV series
  • Picard – Season Three (2023) – TV series

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If you’re a fan of Star Trek: The Next Generation, you may be interested to know that all the episodes of the original showare currently available on Blu-ray in a neat little box set.

Star Trek: The Next Generation – The Complete Series Blu-ray Box Set includes all seven seasons of the show, covering 178 episodes.

Star Trek: The Next Generation – The Complete Series Blu-ray Box Set is available from all good entertainment stockists, including Amazon US and Amazon UK.

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Thank you for taking the time to stop by It’s A Stampede! to read this post about the viewing order for Star Trek: The Next Generation – I hope it has proved useful. For more useful posts, be sure to check out the recommended reads below.

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