Chapter XLIII: "The More Things Change"
Part II, Chapter XLIII: "The More Things Change"
“I think that there is some truth to the idea of The Next Generation suffering from seasonal rot. Our last two seasons weren’t bad, but by no means our best work. A lot of our good writers had started doing work on Deep Space Nine, or were beginning to get tired. After season seven, it was clear to us that we needed some new blood to freshen things up.”-Rick Berman, on The Next Generation’s seventh season. 
The seventh season of Star Trek: The Next Generation was a minor gamble for the show. With a new ship, new uniforms, new interiors and a slightly altered cast, it was clear that the last two seasons of the show would have a distinctly different aesthetic.
While some fans expressed concern over the amount of changes being made so late in the show’s run, there were many things to be excited about for the season. As with the two previous seasons, a member of the Original Series cast would be returning, this time Walter Koenig as Pavel Chekov. In addition, Gates McFadden would be returning as Beverly Crusher early in the season. 
Midway through the season, Christian Slater’s character of Andrew Kelly would depart, to begin appearing on Deep Space Nine, a move that would also see recurring actor Colm Meaney leave the show.
The seventh season received positive reviews, though many considered it to be a weaker season overall than many of its predecessors. Fans were also divided over the new design for the ship, with some suggesting that the Enterprise-E should have been another vessel of the same class as the Enterprise-D.
List of Episodes of Season 7 of Star Trek: The Next Generation:
- All Good Things… (Part II)
- Conscientious Objection 
- The Departed 
- Shakedown 
- Island of Tears 
- The Pegasus
- Limits 
- Fare Thee Well 
- Force of Nature
- Birthright (Part I)
- Birthright (Part II)
- Reunion 
- Prejudices 
- Lower Decks
- Gambit (Part I)
- Gambit (Part II)
- A Piece of Reaction 
- That Which We Manifest 
- Dark Page
- To Thine Own Self Be True 
- The Mark 
- Forgiveness (Part I) 
Cast of Season 7 of Star Trek: The Next Generation:
- Captain Julien Picard – Patrick Stewart
- Commander William Riker – Jonathan Frakes
- Lt. Cmdr. Data – Brent Spiner
- Dr. Amelia Henderson – Stephanie Beacham
- Lt. Cmdr. Geordi La Forge – LeVar Burton
- Counselor (Lt. Cmdr.) Deanna Troi – Marina Sirtis
- Lt. Worf – Michael Dorn
- Lt. (j.g.) Ro Laren – Michelle Forbes
- Lt. (j.g.) Andrew Kelly – Christian Slater (Main: Episodes 1-9, Guest: Episode 12) 
By the time of the seventh season’s release, an eighth and final season had already been ordered. Plans for the future of the The Next Generation cast now primarily involved a shift to film, the planning for which was now underway.
 TTL's TNG is not free of the seasonal rot, but they actually make an effort to do something about it, and are starting to bring in more writers, like they did with Straczynski on DS9.
 Hinted at it earlier. Might go back and edit the previous update.
 Focusses on much of the crew's objection to Starfleet becoming more military than exploratory, and their clashes with Picard, who is more on board with it.
 Return of Dr. Crusher. Focusses on the crew moving on with their losses from the disastrous Breen mission, particularly the apparent death of Leslie Crusher.
 The debut of the Enterprise-E, and deals with the crew's adjusting to the new ship.
 An overtly environmental story. Undeveloped script from OTL.
 One of two stories this season explicitly to do with warp. This one concerns the Warp 10 barrier (don't worry, it's not Threshold, I've taken my own spin on the whole thing).
 Departure of Christian Slater as Lt. Kelly
 Soft sequel to Tapestry, Picard reunites with Cortin and Marta. Undeveloped script from OTL.
 Ro is framed for the murder of a Cardassian official. Undeveloped script from OTL.
 The return of Sigma Iotia II from TOS. Undeveloped script from OTL.
 Alien planet of the week episode.
 Enterprise tries to provide aid to planet in Federation, but cultural boundaries cause issues. Undeveloped script from OTL.
 Members of the crew begin being "marked for death".
 Return of Chekov. Chekov acts as ambassador to species which tortured him, but begins to act suspiciously. Undeveloped script from OTL.
 He's around for a little bit, mainly so that he can be brought onto Deep Space Nine by the Enterprise. Also, he appears in Birthright (Part I) because it sort of wouldn't make sense if he didn't.