1171. Star Trek: The Next Generation Companion
PUBLICATION: 2nd ed., Pocket Books, May 1995
CREATORS: Larry Nemecek
STARDATE: Covers TNG's 7 seasons and Generations (the 3rd ed. adds all movies through Nemesis; the 1st stops before Season 7)
TOPIC: An episode guide that covers every episode starring the TNG cast plus Generations (and all films eventually), plus information on the genesis of the show and the issues associated with each season. Each episode has a list of characters and the actors who play them, a black and white picture or two, a synopsis, stories about its production, and links to the broader continuity. At the end of the book, an index of writers and actors.
CONTINUITY: Each episode and film gets a short synopsis.
DIVERGENCES: Rick Berman is quoted as saying that Voyager will not be the "one trip to the well too many".
PICTURE OF THE WEEK - Hot Worf
REVIEW: Following in the footsteps of the Star Trek Compendium, the TNG Companion is a much better product. In fact, I bought it twice (1st and 2nd ed.) though the info on the last movies wasn't particularly impressive, so I didn't spring for another. Why is it better? For one thing, it's more complete. The Compendium listed characters' appearances, but the Companion tells you who played them. Each season's production team is likewise given credit. Design-wise, the synopses and behind-the-scenes info is clearly delineated, and there's more of the latter. There's some critical review there, but it's so slim as to be non-existent. Instead, we get differences from script to screen, opinions of production team members and cast, and lots of cross-referencing between episodes. Unlike the Compendium's "this is what everyone remembers and you should too" approach, we have a book that's at once more trivia-oriented, chattier and that makes good, concise use of interviews. So it tends to have more surprises. Even a lame episode like Sub Rosa, for example, has twice the background info The City on the Edge of Forever did.