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(written from a Production point of view)

The Star Trek: The Next Generation Writers'/Directors' Guide (also stylized as Writer/Director's and Writers/Directors Guide) was an internal document of Paramount Pictures. Written by David Gerrold and Gene Roddenberry, it was intended to familiarize prospect writers and directors with Star Trek: The Next Generation in general. Otherwise known as a "bible", it was a reference work, albeit for the production staff members who worked on the series.

Contents (first season edition)[]

Background information[]

The Writers'/Directors' Guide proceeded from numerous pre-production memos, prior to the making of the series. While Roddenberry was organizing his ideas for the first version of the guide, issues which had to be faced included the fine points of fictional 24th century characters and technology updates, as well as the real 20th-century dilemmas over budgeting, special effects, organizing a crew, and attempting to outdo Star Trek: The Original Series. (Star Trek: The Next Generation Companion, 3rd ed., p. 3)

The TNG series "bible" was written over a period of several weeks. During that time, Roddenberry listened to various people's ideas about how the then-new series should be and collaborated with Gerrold on the text. (Star Trek: The Next Generation Companion, 3rd ed., p. 4)

The first draft of the document (which was twenty-two pages long and was dated 26 November 1986) described and explained the sets, characters, and terminology as well as establishing the format which the series would follow. The document referred to the time period of the forthcoming series as the 25th century, because the series itself was meanwhile conceived as being set in that century. The first-draft writers' guide featured a teenage female character (who ultimately became Wesley Crusher) and Starfleet communicators which were intended to be wrist-worn devices. The document described Deanna Troi as one-quarter Betazoid and possessing some telepathic abilities owing to her "Starfleet officer grandfather having lived on Betazed with one of its humanoid females." This early writers' guide also opened with the promise that the upcoming series would go boldly "where no one has gone before," rather than "where no man has gone before," clearly distinguishing TNG's version of the motto from the TOS version. Additionally, the first draft of the writers' guide bore the series name Star Trek: The Next Generation, although Robert Justman sent a memo a month later (on 5 December 1986) that suggested nineteen other possible series titles. (Star Trek: The Next Generation Companion, 3rd ed., pp. 3, 4, 5, 11, 14-15) According to actor LeVar Burton, his character of Geordi La Forge was a minor character in Roddenberry's first version of the writers' guide. (Cinefantastique, vol. 19, no. 3, p. 27)

Further developing the bible was one aim that motivated Roddenberry, with a writers' guide now in hand, to fill out a production staff. The group started feverishly working on the first-draft bible. (Star Trek: The Next Generation Companion, 3rd ed., p. 6)

The first revision of the writers' guide (completed on 4 February 1987) referred to the Enterprise-D as having 907 officers and family members. It also referred to TNG's planned wrist communicators. The captain was "Julian Picard", his first officer was "William Ryker", the teenager on the ship was now a male named "Wesley". (Star Trek: The Next Generation Companion, 3rd ed., pp. 7, 11 & 14)

The final first-season writers' guide (which was fifty-five pages long and was dated 23 March 1987) was also mostly assembled by David Gerrold and the staff, then polished by Roddenberry himself. The cover of the final Season 1 writers' guide featured drawings of the new Enterprise (dated 8 December 1986). By now, the captain's first name was "Jean-Luc" and his first officer's surname was "Riker", though the captain was given the nickname "Luke". For the first time in an edition of the writers' guide, Beverly Crusher was the subject of an entire dedicated page of background notes, rather than just being mentioned in connection with Wesley Crusher. The final first-season draft increased the number of shipboard personnel to 1,012, which remained the case in the series, and refined the setting to seventy-eight years after "the time of Kirk and Spock." The document also included the first TNG mention of saucer separation and communicators being part of the Starfleet insignia worn on the chest, although the former concept had its roots in earlier-produced Star Trek projects. By now, Deanna Troi was referred to as half-Betazoid, her Starfleet father having resided with her mother on Betazed, but Worf was still completely absent from the writers' guide, yet to be imagined. (Star Trek: The Next Generation Companion, 3rd ed., pp. 7, 9, 14-16)

The second-season writers' guide established Katherine Pulaski as having three children by three different men. (Star Trek: The Next Generation Companion, 3rd ed., p. 64)


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