BEAMING ANEW

With casting now under way on the new syndicated series, "Star Trek: The Next Generation," we thought we'd give you a sneak peek at the newest Enterprise crew members to patrol Federation space, to boldly go . . . well, you know.

Produced by Paramount Network TV (which has committed to a two-hour pilot and 24 episodes, at a reported cost of $1 million each), with filming to begin June 1, the plans--at present--are for characters including:

William Ryker, 30ish, in command of "away" missions as well as ship and crew.

Capt. Julian Picard, in his 50s, something of a space legend.

Data, an android designed by an unknown alien race, who longs to become human.

Deanna Troi, ship's chief psychologist, who happens to be one-quarter alien. (No word on exactly which quarter!)

Dr. Beverly Crusher, brilliant senior medical officer.

And more--including Dr. Crusher's son (we're betting he'll be a teen-ager), a macha but also mucho-feminine security chief who owes her allegiance to the Star Fleet (and her origins, it seems, to the tough women characters of "Aliens").

Word also has it the producers are considering having a sightless crew member aboard.

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