Ad — content continues below. If you only ever watch 25 stories from Star Trek: The Next Generation , these are the ones to do it with, at least in my opinion. The only rules in place are that they have to be from the TV series no films , and multi-part episodes count as one story even if an episode is pretty much an epilogue. If you get a chance, try to watch the majority of all 7 seasons at some point… but by the Great Bird of the Galaxy avoid Shades Of Grey S2. If you are able, I would also recommend watching episodes of The Next Generation in remastered form on Blu-ray, even with the minor changes to the effects shots, as in more than one case this has corrected an actual error.
As with most episodes of Star Trek TV shows, the live-action footage was captured on 35mm film, and thus the restoration work done on the negatives looks fantastic in HD. This list is presented in a viewing order I would suggest, and is primarily in production order as they flow better that way, rather than in a rank order. The episode is memorable for not only killing off a member of the main cast one not even wearing a red shirt!
The story sets up quite a bit that comes afterwards, and fortunately comes towards the end of the generally lackluster first season. I warn you though, this episode has a complete lack of any light-heartedness and is very much a dramatic presentation.
Starfleet seems to have taken a turn for the weird, and an old friend of Captain Picard summons him for a secret meeting. Data also, through the analysis of comm traffic has discovered a disturbing trend in Starfleet orders…. Get the best of Den of Geek delivered right to your inbox! Meanwhile the Enterprise is to rendezvous with a Romulan vessel after decades without contact, only for the results of shared data about attacks along the neutral zone to usher in a serious sense of foreboding. This may be a debatable inclusion in a pure top 25 episodes by quality alone, but the groundwork laid in this episode, for more than one foe of the Federation, is vital to the vast majority that follows in not only Next Generation , but Deep Space Nine and Voyager , too.
From one episode that is crucial to others but considered purely on its own merits is a debatable entry on this list, to an episode that absolutely belongs in the top 2 stories — and one that rivals even Best Of Both Worlds yes, I said it!
Data is ordered to undergo dismantling so that Commander Maddox of the Daystrom Institute can study him. Cue the best courtroom drama episode of Star Trek ever produced including an astonishing performance from Patrick Stewart backed up by an understated but incredibly potent interaction with Whoopi Goldberg, and superb work from Jonathan Frakes, especially in the Blu-ray exclusive extended versions of the story. Q arrives, has a stand-off with Guinan and requests to join the crew of the Enterprise much to the annoyance of Commander Riker and Microbrain aka Worf.
Captain Picard makes the mistake of stating his belief that his crew and Starfleet as a whole is ready to meet whatever is out there. So Q clicks his fingers and throws the Galaxy class Enterprise to the solar system designated J to discover a planet with readings identical to those found in The Neutral Zone. Not only that… but a cube shaped ship enters orbit. It turns out that resistance is futile and your biological and technological distinctiveness will be added to that of Trek fandom, as this is one of the episodes that really will grab you — though its direct sequel is still to come.
Tarah of the Andorian Imperial Guard in Enterprise , making four in total. No other actor has played a Vulcan, an Andorian, a Klingon, and a Q! Foreshadowing Star Trek: Insurrection , a Federation research team has been revealed to the indigenous lifeforms on a planet with a very pre-warp civilization, causing a breach of the Prime Directive, necessitating Commander Riker and Counsellor Troi to go undercover as the Vulcan-eque Mintakans to rescue a researcher. Hilarity ensues.
That is, if you find Picard being referred to as a God and having people sacrificed to him hilarious. It shows Next Generation at its thoughtful best. You know something major has occurred when the end of the pre-credit sequence involves Worf being replaced by Lt. This story sets up a few things, as well as being downright brilliant in its own right, and is every bit as much a must-watch as Best Of Both Worlds. Jonathan Frakes graduates Paramount Academy with his directorial debut here, bringing the best out of Patrick Stewart and Bent Spiner in particular, as Data struggles to understand why he has to inform the Captain of his attempts to procreate when none of the other crew have to.
A great performance from Hallie Todd as Lal which, literally, is the heart of the story, elevates this into the top Mogh, father of Worf is accused of betraying the Klingons to the Romulans, and thus instigating the Khitomer massacre. This is the first time Worf interacts with the Klingon High Council, at least on-screen, and comes into conflict with the Duras family for the first time — the actions in this episode would reverberate through Next Generation , DS9 , and into Star Trek: Generations.
From one father, to another. Ambassador Sarek of Vulcan, whose son is none other than Ambassador and formerly Captain Spock, comes aboard the Enterprise much to the delight of Captain Picard. Unfortunately it seems that Sarek is incapable of visiting the Enterprise in good health, and is suspected of being the cause of heightened tension and conflict aboard ship. J turns out to be a solar system not far enough from the Federation, and the readings from The Neutral Zone are forgotten as a single Borg vessel prepares to cut a swathe through Federation territory, with Captain Picard and anyone else in their way becoming little more than collateral damage.
The episode also returns Duras to the screen and introduces Gowron. A Cardassian Gul Captain and two aides join the crew of the Enterprise to stop the Phoenix destroying further Cardassian vessels and outposts. This is the first appearance of the Cardassians on screen with Marc Alaimo staking an early claim to the de-facto portrayal of a Cardassian commanding officer, Gul Macet, in advance of landing the regular role as Gul Dukat in Deep Space Nine.
It seems the Duras are also getting help, as they have done before, from another race with cloaked ships. Leave it to Captain Data to sort out the situation. How do you talk to a race that appears to speak in gibberish, even with the universal translator doing its best?
According to the Children Of Tamar, the best solution is to beam your Captain and that of the vessel you are trying to communicate with down to a planet with a dangerous creature, give each officer a knife and see if they can work out their differences. A bit of Sarek again, as Spock goes undercover on Romulus conducting cowboy diplomacy, prompting Picard and Data to pretend to be Romulans, and get transported to Romulus aboard a Klingon Bird Of Prey.
Jonathan Frakes sings the Next Generation theme tune in a blooper. Do I really need to say any more? The great and much missed Leonard Nimoy on Next Generation is all the recommendation this one needs. Riker becomes involved romantically with the female-leaning Soren, only to find such a person is viewed as a throwback in need of therapy by their own people.
Bizarrely it appears that our wider knowledge of the human condition as a whole has caught up with this episode which was originally conceived to provide an allegory for different sexualities, and was criticised for not being awfully successful in that endeavour at the time. A single-minded Captain Picard is determined to introduce a virus-like problem into the collective using a teenaged Borg an Enterprise away team has rescued from a crash site as the conduit.
This one is a wonderfully written and executed episode which lays a path for later developments — Borg can indeed become individuals again. Captain Picard is ensnared by an alien probe which as far as the rest of the crew is aware, forces him unconscious. Patrick Stewart excels as he often does in a great bit of science fiction that won a Hugo award and was nominated for an Emmy.
Take one Patrick Stewart and one David Warner, put them in a torture room with 4 lights. The bold interactions between Jonathan Frakes and Ronny Cox are great scenes. Picard is dead. Q is God. The universe, fortunately, is not that badly designed. Q gives Jean-Luc the option to go back and fix what ails him his reliance on an artificial heart by avoiding his injury at the hands of a burley Nausicaan in the first place. Unfortunately it turns out that the result would be a very different man.
Riker appears to find himself in an insane asylum on an alien world, with his known history as a Starfleet Commander on the Enterprise seemingly all a delusion… except he appears to be slipping between realities, or are they delusions too? Jonthan Frakes is allowed to show his acting chops in this reality-bending tale — and he conveys Riker losing his grip on reality very well.
This story does the idea better than Sucker Punch ever could, not to mention a lot earlier. This one provides a rare glimpse into the lives of junior officers aboard the Federation Starfleet flagship, two of whom are up for promotion. This is possibly the most popular episode of season 7 and deserves to be.
It gives a different perspective on the daily lives of those aboard the Enterprise. At one point Sito Jaxa the Bajoran ensign was due to reappear in Deep Space Nine , and this rumor developed at one point to include Thomas Riker, but alas, it never happened.
The trial of the human race that Q instigates in Farpoint is seemingly ongoing, and it appears that Captain Jean-Luc Picard may be the destroyer of humanity itself, in the time-jumping finale to Star Trek: The Next Generation on television. Okay, I am cheating here a bit. Thus you have to watch the first episode of Next Generation for the last to work. Skip to main content area. This article comes from Den of Geek UK.
Data also, through the analysis of comm traffic has discovered a disturbing trend in Starfleet orders… read more: Star Trek Timeline Explained Join our mailing list Get the best of Den of Geek delivered right to your inbox! Season 2 Episode 9: The Measure Of A Man From one episode that is crucial to others but considered purely on its own merits is a debatable entry on this list, to an episode that absolutely belongs in the top 2 stories — and one that rivals even Best Of Both Worlds yes, I said it!
Season 2 Episode Q Who. Season 3 Episode The Offspring. Season 3 Episode Sarek. Season 4 Episode 7: Reunion. Season 5 Episode 2: Darmok How do you talk to a race that appears to speak in gibberish, even with the universal translator doing its best? Season 5 Episodes Unification. Season 5 Episode I Borg. Season 5 Episode The Inner Light Captain Picard is ensnared by an alien probe which as far as the rest of the crew is aware, forces him unconscious.
Season 6 Episode Chain Of Command. Season 6 Episode Tapestry Picard is dead. Season 6 Episode Frame Of Mind. Season 7 Episode Lower Decks This one provides a rare glimpse into the lives of junior officers aboard the Federation Starfleet flagship, two of whom are up for promotion. Ted Lasso Review Spoiler-Free. Share: Share on Facebook opens in a new tab Share on Twitter opens in a new tab Share on Linkedin opens in a new tab Share on email opens in a new tab Comment: Comments count: 0. Written by Sven Harvey. Read more from Sven Harvey.