There are many ways to measure a true fan, but our own personal "Star Trek: The Next Generation" measuring stick only involves this: Do you, or do you not, reference the series, a series that has been off the air for nearly two decades, at least once a week?
If the answer is no then you're invited to stop reading here and go busy yourself elsewhere; we don't want to take your time. If the answer is yes then we need to tell you this rather intriguing bit of news: The entire TNG cast, including Mr. Patrick Stewart, will take to the stage at the upcoming Grand Slam: Star Trek and Sci-Fi Summit in Burbank in February.
Fans know the "Star Trek" actors are amazingly good at the convention visits, but a full-on, all-cast visit is a much rarer thing indeed. Our own Next Gen source rattled off, in specifics, what cast member appeared where and when, but the "everyone's here" moments are fewer. Makes sense, of course; the actors went on to many other projects following the phenom.
But Creation Entertainment, the company behind the Grand Slam, did indeed use the word "entire" for the cast showing up at the Feb. 15-17 convention. Big news indeed, in the Trek universe.
Two more things to note: Mr. William Shatner, who is certainly not a Next-Gen-er, is bringing his traveling chitchat show to the OC and Santa Barbara in the days ahead. Details.
Also? We unleashed "TNG" above, which fans will do, but this makes us think about how few shows did this prior to this show's 1987-1994 run. It was rare to see a show so beloved it could travel by its initials alone. So, OUAT? DW? And HIMYM? Thank TNG for jumpstarting this trend, even if it didn't invent it whole cloth.
And Next Gen people? Seriously keep referencing the series at least once a week. We all grow as a people because of your deep knowledge and willingness to share it.