Off-Ramp Extra is a daily dose of Off-Ramp, hosted by KPCC's John Rabe.
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Arts & Entertainment

TNG XXV - Rod Roddenberry and Gates McFadden on the 25th anniv of "Star Trek: The Next Generation"

CBS Digital has poured an enormous amount of money and time into restoring a TV series nobody thought would go anywhere, but which re-energized one of the most profitable properties in Hollywood history.

"Star Trek: the Next Generation" turns 25 this week, and the Blu-Ray disc shows Trekkies what the show's makers were seeing in the dailies in crisp, colorful, detailed 35mm film. It's not just an improvement; it's a true, painstaking restoration.

To celebrate, Off-Ramp talked with Gates McFadden, who played Dr Beverly Crusher on TNG, and Rod Roddenberry, whose father started the whole thing.

McFadden says in the late 80s, she wanted to concentrate on her theatre work, but her agent ordered her to audition. She asked a receptionist, "which is the funniest part?" The reply was Dr. Crusher, so that's what McFadden picked, and the audition was the scene in which Crusher and Picard have a space sickness, and can't keep their hands off each other. "It was the only funny scene in 7 seasons," McFadden remembers. She says she was the victim of a bait and switch.

Rod Roddenberry's father Gene required him to work a summer as an AP on the show. Rod didn't care about Star Trek; he wanted to go play with his friends. Instead, he got an invaluable experience. But he says he hated it at the time. "I was an idiot," he concedes.

By the way, Roddenberry endorses the Blu-Ray restoration. They didn't "do a George Lucas."

And KPCCofframp Facebook fans ... this is the episode you've been waiting for, in which Gates McFadden personally answers the questions you sent in!