Best Star Trek: The Next Generation Episodes

Star Trek: The Next Generation is the first spin-off series of the original Star Trek from the 1960's. It aired in syndication from 1987 to 1994. It featured Patrick Stewart (as Captain Picard) and Brent Spinner (Lt. Commander Data).

The Top Ten
1 The Inner Light

So beautiful and heartbreaking. The first time I watched it I thought it was kinda mediocre, but the second time I loved it and almost cried. Don't know if it's my all-time favorite, but certainly up there!

Hands down the best. Love both "The Best of Both Worlds" but one of the few episodes of ANY show that still makes me cry. And YES, I am a man!

Patrick Stewart at his absolute best, simply the best Star Trek has produced since The City On The Edge Of Forever.

Seize the time, Meribor. Live now. Make now always the most precious time. Now will never come again.

2 Tapestry

Q allows Picard to travel back in time and undo some regretfully impulsive decisions. The resulting future Picard is more cautious but less successful.

3 The Best of Both Worlds (parts 1 & 2)

An amazing two parter where Picard is captured by the Borg and becomes there leader. He knows all the Starfleet tricks so how will they defeat him? Now the Borg cube heads for Earth to destroy it. A final stand is put up by Starfleet, the Klingons, and The Romulans but all are destroyed. Also a one time character Shelby shows up and her feud with Riker adds. Speaking of Riker, he has to now be captain and he most certainly is not too happy with that but he steps up. I won't spoil the ending but this is truly worth watching.

The greatest cliffhanger in Star Trek history. Picard gets brainwashed by the Borg and forced to be their leader. Riker meanwhile prepares to fire on the cube...

An awesome climax and good storyline.

4 Datalore

The only season 1 episode I like.

5 Parallels

Very intriguing. I thought it actually improved on "Mirror, Mirror" from the Original Series. I liked a lot of the really subtle changes that they made throughout the universes, as well as the huge, mindblowing ones. Worf + Troi was such an incredible thought, I loved the way it ended.

6 Yesterday's Enterprise

Incredible. I like that it brought back Yar in a meaningful, plausible way that let you see more about her character without seeming stupid. Love the way they continue that story in Redemption (Parts 1 & 2), especially since Picard has 0 recollection of those events occurring. It also brilliantly showcases Guinan's mysterious intuitive capabilities.

Explores an alternate timeline in which the Federation is still at war with the Klingons.

7 Darmok
8 The Most Toys
9 All Good Things

An awesome series finale that shows all the series events culminating in this moment. The characters go out with a bang.

10 The Perfect Mate
The Contenders
11 Data's Day
12 The Measure of a Man

Data asserts his human right to not get dismantled. Starfleet puts him on trial to determine whether androids are free humans or mere property.

Deep and thought-provoking. Very interesting, plus it's a Data episode.

13 Conundrum
14 Chain of Command (Parts 1 & 2)

I really enjoy darker themes like this in Star Trek (as in Schisms, Frame of Mind, and kinda-sorta Phantasms), so I thought the torture element was brilliant. It exposes so much about Picard, revealing incredible strengths and crushing weaknesses and overall letting us view him as the mind-blowing character he truly is.

We see what a great man Picard is even when not save and comfortable on his bridge, but under pressure and in distress. It really showed more of his "real" self and his humanity, including his limits.

Part 1 has the authoritarian, traditionalist Jellico lampshade the disparity between fictional and real military decorum. Part 2 is a well-acted story exploring torture and reinvention of reality, with homages to 1984.

15 Time's Arrow (Parts 1 & 2)
16 Cause and Effect

Incredible. It's funny 'cause this theme is used in the movie "Live, Die, Repeat," but somehow Star Trek managed to do a much, MUCH better job in 1/3 of the run-time. It's fascinating to watch the crew slowly grow aware of what's happening to them, piecing the situation together using the overwhelming sense of deja vu that is afflicting them.

The Enterprise gets stuck in a time loop that repeatedly ends in its destruction. The teaser with the Enterprise exploding is the best ever.

17 Q Who

Debut of the Borg

18 I, Borg

Does the impossible task of humanizing the coldhearted mindless Borg. When one Borg demonstrates individuality, the protagonists reevaluate their flawed worldviews.

The best episode. "Geordi would rather die than be assimilated. He does not wish it." I absolutely adore this one.

19 Conspiracy

Easily the best episode of Star Trek - Always wished they had followed up on the plotline...

20 Who Watches the Watchers

Great Prime Directive episode, very optimistic and inspirational.

21 Lower Decks
22 Reunion
23 Frame of Mind

I'm not a huge fan of Riker, but I love him in this episode. It takes his strong, dutiful and level-headed character and plunges him into intense psychological torture that nearly pushes him over the brink of insanity. In my opinion, the best Riker episode ever.

24 First Contact
25 Face of the Enemy

Troi in her prime. They take her soft, kinda uninterested character and shove it into an intense situation that truly tests her mettle.

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