Even 16 years after it’s gone on the air, the crew of the USS Enterprise-D is being called in to provide some help to Syfy’s Tuesday lineup.
“Star Trek: The Next Generation” will begin airing some of its most popular episodes beginning at 7 p.m. ET this Tuesday as a way to help feed into Syfy’s primetime programming of “Stargate: Universe” and “Caprica.”
It all starts Oct. 19 when the two-parter “Redemption” airs ahead of the SGU episode “Pathogen,” according to GateWorld. “Redemption” was an amazing TNG two-parter written by “Caprica” co-creator Ronald D. Moore back in 1991 that featured the return of Worf (Michael Dorn) to the Klingon homeworld, to restore his family name, and then take part in a Klingon Civil War.
TNG will be pre-empted the following week for Halloween coverage (although both SGU and “Caprica” will still air), but after that, on Nov. 2, Syfy will air both parts of “Unification,” the first episodes of TNG to air following the death of creator Gene Roddenberry, and featuring special guest appearances by Leonard Nimoy, Mark Lenard and Denise Crosby. Those two episodes, written by Rick Berman, Michael Piller and Jeri Taylor, highlighted efforts between Vulcan and Romulus to reunify (both species come from the same source), but were curtailed by Crosby’s character of Sela (the half-Romulan daughter of an alternate version of Tasha Yar), which tried to use the unification efforts as a means to conquer Vulcan.
Nov. 9 is “Time’s Arrow,” a two-parter written by Joe Menosky, Piller and Taylor that sends some of the crew back into 19th century San Francisco where they meet up with Mark Twain.
Nov. 16 is “Chain of Command,” where Picard has to decide under torture how many lights his Cardassian interrogator, played by David Warner, has on behind him. Those episodes were written by Moore and Frank Abatemarco.
“Birthright” is the two-parter of choice on Nov. 23, written by Brannon Braga, and focused mostly on Data (Brent Spiner) and Worf, as the two look for more details on their respective fathers.
Then it will all end Nov. 30 with “Descent,” written by Taylor, Moore and Rene Echevarria that involves Data’s brother Lore and the Borg, and features a special guest appearance by Stephen Hawking.
The past strategy has been to help viewers keep caught up with SGU by showing the immediate past episodes, but that hasn’t provided too much of a boost for SGU in the timeslot. So the new strategy, apparently, is to help bring in some classic fans through TNG, and help build the audiences that way.
The move will have two SGU actors happy. Both David Blue and Brian J. Smith have admitted being fans of TNG when they were growing up (Blue was a Riker fan while Smith was a Data fan).
To see David Blue’s thoughts on TNG, check out this exclusive interview Airlock Alpha did with the SGU actor at San Diego Comic-Con.
“Stargate: Universe” airs Tuesdays at 9 p.m. ET, and “Caprica” airs Tuesdays at 10 p.m. ET on Syfy.
Story corrected 10/18/2010 to state “Stargate: Universe” and “Caprica” will air Halloween weekend, as opposed to the original story that said otherwise.