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Star Trek (The Next Generation): Your favorite episodes?


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Unlike the other thread, the episode in question doesn't necessarily have to be well-written, well-produced and/or well-acted (though I imagine favorites will typically feature above-average writing, production values and acting).

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Re: Chain of Command - Let's not forget that this is the episode where somebody finally got counselor Troi into a proper uniform.   I always thought she looked better in the blue and black t

Season One:  The Neutral Zone- The Romulans brought back as major antagonist and a pre DS9 Marc Alaimo. Heart of Glory- We get the first real info about Worf's past.   Season 2: 

7 They had a good actor IMO. But the character as written was probably the worst implemented concept since TV went to color.    Also my opinion....

Season One: 

The Neutral Zone- The Romulans brought back as major antagonist and a pre DS9 Marc Alaimo.

Heart of Glory- We get the first real info about Worf's past.

 

Season 2: 

Elementary, Dear Data- Interesting philosophical debate in what qualifies as "sentient life". Daniel Davis is so good they bring him back later for round two.

Measure of a Man- More debate on the rights of "sentient life", but this time it involves Data.

Q Who?- Cop out choice maybe, but John de Lancie turns in a great performance.

 

Season 3:

The Defector-Great performances all around and one hell of an ending.

Yesterday's Enterprise-Probably the darkest episode in the series, but fascinating to see it play out.

Best of Both Worlds- One of Trek's greatest cliff hangers and perhaps the high point of their threat to the Alpha Quadrant.

 

Season 4:

Best of Both Worlds- Not as dark as Yesterday's Enterprise, but damn close.

Remember Me- Dr. Crusher got so few good episodes and this is one of her best.

Devil's Due- An intriguing premise made this one a fun watch.

Redemption- The best Worf centered story of the show until DS9.

 

Season 5:

Redemption- More Worf goodness. He's come a long way since season one.

I, Borg- Some people complain about the declawing of the Borg that starts with this episode, but this is executed pretty well to be honest.

 

Season 6:

True Q-John de Lancie again brings the acting chops and we learn more about Q culture...such as it is.

Chain of Command- An obvious choice. Lots of great acting in both episodes of this two parter. David Warner gives us yet another great performance and his scenes with Stewart are superb.

Ship in a Bottle- More "what is reality?" stream of consciousness stuff. Daniel Davis is again excellent.

 

Season 7:

Lower Decks- A great tale told from a different perspective.

All Good Things-Perhaps not the most exciting series ender, but having it all come back to the beginning definitely makes poetic sense.

 

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"Where Silence Has Lease" is great because the mystery of Nagilum is never explained. On a somewhat somber note, I find that this episode always forces me to recognize the fragility of mortality.

 

"Brothers" ends with Picard breaking down in the vineyard. That was a fantastic performance by Patrick Stewart.

 

"Man of the People" features a moment between Picard and the villain that indirectly takes the famous line from Spock ("The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few.") and clarifies it so that "The end justifies the means." extremists are put in their place.

 

"Frame of Mind" and "Schisms" are standouts for me, because they're superb examples of horror-themed Star Trek episodes (the former is psychological horror whereas the latter is body horror).

 

"Face of the Enemy" shows us Marina Sirtis playing a ruthless Romulan. The tension when the cloaked D'deridex comes within a hair's breadth of blowing up the Enterprise is palpable.

 

"Tapestry" takes Picard and turns him on his head. You come to realize that no matter how egregious your past actions were, they define who you are today...so don't be too quick to wish they never happened.

 

5 hours ago, Dr. MID-Nite said:

Season 2: 

Elementary, Dear Data- Interesting philosophical debate in what qualifies as "sentient life". Daniel Davis is so good they bring him back later for round two.

 

I wish this episode had been a two-parter. Then again, we eventually received Star Trek: Voyager (arguably an entire series focused on the progression of holographic sentience/sapience plus rights).

 

  

5 hours ago, Dr. MID-Nite said:

Season 4:

Remember Me- Dr. Crusher got so few good episodes and this is one of her best.

 

It has been argued that if the reveal came later in the episode (near the end, in fact), this episode would have been much stronger. Still, two scenes come to mind:

 

1. Picard commenting that they've never needed a crew before.

2. The computer defining the boundaries of the known universe.

 

Both statements are chilling in their matter-of-fact delivery.

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There are two episodes, both two parts that I think could have changed the trajectory of the series, because characters should have exited the main cast. 

 

The Best of Both Worlds I and II: This episode really sets up the Borg as terrifying opponents. It was great to see Patrick Stewart as the villain, and voice of the Borg, it also sets up what I think was the best Next Gen movie. In hindsight, I think the episode would have had a much greater impact if we saw Picard, W. Crusher, and Data exit the Enterprise, for testing, and to work on defenses against future Borg incursions. This would have also allowed Riker to maintain command and we could explore stories about he and the crew's shifting dynamics. Of course, I would want to see the characters back at the first hint of Borg activity, so not gone forever, but gone long enough to see growth. 

 

Chain of Command I and II: Again, just amazing acting from Patrick Stewart, side note, I remember reading he shocked the production crew showing up to set naked for the interrogation because he wanted it to come from a place of truth. Ronny Cox as captain was also a great change of pace. Here I think the writing could have been tighter as Troi undermines his command by disclosing Jellico's emotional states to Riker. Also, I think the book Riker is reading in one scene is actually a Palladium source book (can not confirm). Again, following Picard's release, I think the character should have retired, or gone into therapy, to emphasize the trauma that he endured. Again, we have the opportunity to have explored a new crew dynamic, and come on who don't like some Ronny Cox? 

 

Honorable Mention: The Outcast, solid episode, and what I think would have pushed this to a top tier episode in my mind would have been if the production team had been allowed to cast a man as J'naii , something Jonathan Frakes has criticized as a missed opportunity. While there's always going to be Star Trek Slash, getting to move Riker into the LGBTQIA+ camp, I think the internet wold have exploded. Ahem, such as it was in 1992.  

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Re: Chain of Command - Let's not forget that this is the episode where somebody finally got counselor Troi into a proper uniform.

 

I always thought she looked better in the blue and black than in those ridiculous catsuits they had her wearing for the first several seasons.

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12 minutes ago, Pariah said:

Re: Chain of Command - Let's not forget that this is the episode where somebody finally got counselor Troi into a proper uniform.

 

I always thought she looked better in the blue and black than in those ridiculous catsuits they had her wearing for the first several seasons.

 

QFT

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I don't know if this is my favorite episode, but a really good one that hasn't been brought up yet is "The First Duty". Picard's lecture to Wesley is one of Patrick Stewart's best moments in the series. The connection of this episode's events and people with the aforementioned "Lower Decks" was really poignant.

 

I understand that they couldn't do so for copyright reasons, but I wish they had used the character of Nick Locarno in Voyager.

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3 hours ago, Certified said:

Chain of Command I and II: Again, just amazing acting from Patrick Stewart, side note, I remember reading he shocked the production crew showing up to set naked for the interrogation because he wanted it to come from a place of truth. Ronny Cox as captain was also a great change of pace. Here I think the writing could have been tighter as Troi undermines his command by disclosing Jellico's emotional states to Riker. Also, I think the book Riker is reading in one scene is actually a Palladium source book (can not confirm). Again, following Picard's release, I think the character should have retired, or gone into therapy, to emphasize the trauma that he endured. Again, we have the opportunity to have explored a new crew dynamic, and come on who don't like some Ronny Cox?

 

How about David Warner - JON FREAKING IRENICUS! - playing a Cardassian to the hilt?

 

33 minutes ago, Pariah said:

I don't know if this is my favorite episode, but a really good one that hasn't been brought up yet is "The First Duty". Picard's lecture to Wesley is one of Patrick Stewart's best moments in the series.

 

Unfortunately, DS9 had to defecate all over his speech on principles by making war crimes look "badass".

 

33 minutes ago, Pariah said:

I understand that they couldn't do so for copyright reasons, but I wish they had used the character of Nick Locarno in Voyager.

 

It is easy to assume that Tom Paris is a new identity for Nick Locarno...if you ignore the fact his father is Admiral Paris. Okay, scratch that :cry:.

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1 hour ago, Pariah said:

Re: Chain of Command - Let's not forget that this is the episode where somebody finally got counselor Troi into a proper uniform.

 

I always thought she looked better in the blue and black than in those ridiculous catsuits they had her wearing for the first several seasons.


Though even the catsuit was a drastic improvement over the cheerleader outfit from season one. 

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I really liked the one with the massacre at Wolf 359.

 

After Picard's inept bungling in combat with their first encounter with the Borg, I figured that Starfleet would debrief him then build a battle strategy that was equally inept.

 

It just gave me a chill down my spine to see the dullard of an admiral who refused to believe the reality on the ground leading up to the encounter then to see the wreckage of the fleet.

 

Wonderful writing.

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6 hours ago, Ragitsu said:

How about David Warner - JON FREAKING IRENICUS! - playing a Cardassian to the hilt?

 

 

Underrated actor, if I'm going to pick a role for him, I will be forever locked between Tron, Waxwork, and My Best Friend is a Vampire. 

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15 hours ago, Dr. MID-Nite said:

Season 2: 

Elementary, Dear Data- Interesting philosophical debate in what qualifies as "sentient life". Daniel Davis is so good they bring him back later for round two.

 

Season 6:

Ship in a Bottle- More "what is reality?" stream of consciousness stuff. Daniel Davis is again excellent.

 

If you consider those a two-part episode, it's my favorite TNG.

 

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I like "Second Chances" (s06e24). The concept blew my socks off when I first saw it and I still love it.

Commander Riker comes face to face with an exact duplicate of himself, created years earlier by a transporter phenomenon.

 

"Tin Man" (s03e20) is also one of my favorites:

Telepath Tam Elbrun (Harry Groener) joins the crew to investigate a bio ship detected near a star about to go supernova. As the crew investigates, the Romulans threaten the Enterprise and the creature, Gomtuu, and Elbrun boards it with Lt. Commander Data.

 

Honorable mention: "The Outrageous Okona" (s02e04) because of Billy Campbell (didja know he was in the running to play Riker?). And Teri Hatcher is also in it.

As the Federation starship Enterprise, under the command of Captain Jean-Luc Picard, passes through the Coalition of Madena, it detects a small cargo ship, under manual control by its single occupant. The crew makes contact with the pilot, Captain Thadiun Okona (Billy Campbell), who requests help to repair a part on his ship. Captain Picard agrees, and the Enterprise tows Okona's ship while Okona is brought on board. The crew soon finds that Okona has taken a keen interest in the women on the ship, beginning with Transporter Chief Robinson (Teri Hatcher in an uncredited role) and is in no rush to effect repairs.

 

I also enjoy any Ensign Ro episode. I just really like her character.

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3 minutes ago, Lord Liaden said:

If they'd been played straight, I would agree with you. But from the start their appearance and manner were so ridiculously exaggerated it was impossible to take them seriously. I was glad that later Trek decided to just acknowledge that and run with it.

 

If they had been refined, they would have played a good "dark counterpart" to regular Ferengi society. Oh well...c'est la vie.

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On 8/17/2020 at 1:56 AM, Dr. MID-Nite said:

Season One: 

Heart of Glory- We get the first real info about Worf's past.

 

Season 2: 

Q Who?- Cop out choice maybe, but John de Lancie turns in a great performance.

 

Season 3:

Yesterday's Enterprise-Probably the darkest episode in the series, but fascinating to see it play out.

Best of Both Worlds- One of Trek's greatest cliff hangers and perhaps the high point of their threat to the Alpha Quadrant.

 

Season 4:

Best of Both Worlds- Not as dark as Yesterday's Enterprise, but damn close.

Redemption- The best Worf centered story of the show until DS9.

 

Season 5:

Redemption- More Worf goodness. He's come a long way since season one.

I, Borg- Some people complain about the declawing of the Borg that starts with this episode, but this is executed pretty well to be honest.

 

Season 6:

True Q-John de Lancie again brings the acting chops and we learn more about Q culture...such as it is.

Chain of Command- An obvious choice. Lots of great acting in both episodes of this two parter. David Warner gives us yet another great performance and his scenes with Stewart are superb.

 

 

On 8/17/2020 at 2:11 AM, Ragitsu said:

"Face of the Enemy" shows us Marina Sirtis playing a ruthless Romulan. The tension when the cloaked D'deridex comes within a hair's breadth of blowing up the Enterprise is palpable.

 

"Tapestry" takes Picard and turns him on his head. You come to realize that no matter how egregious your past actions were, they define who you are today...so don't be too quick to wish they never happened.

I going to chuck in Encounter at Farpoint. Without this you don't get the rest and it has a McCoy cameo

A Matter of Honor which has Riker joining a Klingon ship

The Emissary with a shipload of Klingons coming out of suspended animation having to be brought back to life

Booby Trap wherein LaForge falls in love

Deja Q. Q is stripped of his powers

A Matter of Perspective. In which Riker is accused of murder. I like Rashamon stories

Sins of the Father. Was Worf's father a traitor ?

Sarek. Spock's father needs help

Reunion. Worf's lover returns

Galaxy's Child. An alien thinks the Enterprise is its mother

Identity Crisis. LaForge becomes an alien

The Drumhead. Are there traitors on the Enterprise

Darmok. Communication problems with an alien species

Ensign Ro. I like Michelle Forbes. Deal with it.

Unification. Spock and the Romulans

Conundrum. Suddenly the crew acquire a new officer 

Cause and Effect. A time loop episode

The Next Phase. Are LaForge and Ro dead ?

Time's Arrow. Guinan meets Picard for the first time.

Relics. Here comes Scotty

Birthright. Is Worf's father alive

Starship Mine. The ship gets a cleaning

Descent. Lore and the Borg

Gambit. Is Picard dead ?

Parallels. Worf is in alternate realities.

The Pegasus. Don't meddle with another races's technology it will go badly

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