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The 9 Best “Star Trek: The Next Generation” Episodes Ever Made

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I grew up watching Star Trek: The Next Generation in standard definition on broadcast television back in the 1980s and 90s. I remember looking forward to seeing new life & death episodes each week.

The summer between seasons 3 and 4 was the longest of my life.

Picard had become Locutus of Borg and the fate of the Federation was at stake! I could hardly stand the suspense. So much so that the day The Best of Both Worlds (Part II) aired I was inside at a friend’s house finding out what was going to happen to the crew of the Enterprise instead of attending the pool party outside. It remains one of my favorite episodes of the television series to this day.

CBS, who owns the rights to the show, spent years working on updating the series by taking the original film negatives and re-doing the entire post-production process to create high-definition versions of the show to sell on Blu-ray. Each of the seven seasons of Star Trek: The Next Generation can be seen on Paramount+ in all its HD glory to any subscriber and I couldn’t be more excited about it.

Have trouble picturing the difference between the SD & HD releases? Take a look at this comparison of the DVD and Bluray releases side by side:

It has been a couple of years, but I’m ecstatic that we can watch Star Trek: The Next Generation in HD now. The below previews are from StarTrek.com and in SD, but you’ll get the idea of each episode’s story by watching these vintage 30-second trailers.

1.) The Best of Both Worlds (Parts 1 & 2)

Season 3, Episode 26 & Season 4, Episode 1

Responding to a distress call on one of the Federation’s outer-most colonies, the Enterprise arrives… only to find a big hole in the ground where the town used to be, and discovers the Borg are behind the attack.

Having absorbed Captain Picard and his knowledge, the Borg head for Earth, leaving Riker and the Enterprise desperate for an unanticipated way to defeat them.

2.) Chain Of Command (Parts 1 & 2)

Season 6, Episodes 10 & 11

Picard is replaced as captain of the Enterprise so he, Lt. Worf and Dr. Crusher go on a top-secret mission into Cardassian space.

Meanwhile, his replacement, Captain Jellico, meets his new command with some resistance from the crew. While the humorless Captain Jellico leads the effort to prevent a Cardassian invasion, Picard is captured and tortured by a ruthless interrogator in an attempt to break him.

3.) Yesterday’s Enterprise

Season 3, Episode 15

The Enterprise C enters the Enterprise D’s time and space continuum, where they find Picard and crew in a constant state of war with the Klingons, and only Guinan knows it.

4.) Darmok

Season 5, Episode 2

Picard must learn to communicate with a race that speaks in metaphor under a difficult set of circumstances.

5.) The Measure of a Man

Season 2, Episode 9

When Data resigns his commission rather than be dismantled for examination by an inadequately skilled scientist, a formal hearing is convened to determine whether Data is considered property without rights or is a sentient being.

6.) Clues

Season 4, Episode 14

Effects of passing through a wormhole give the Enterprise crew a sense that they were unconscious for more than the thirty seconds they’ve been led to believe.

7.) Remember Me

Season 4, Episode 5

Dr. Crusher’s fear of losing loved ones becomes real when her worries create an alternate reality.

8.) Second Chances

Season 6, Episode 24

Riker’s exact duplicate is discovered on Nervala IV. His first order of business: resume his relationship with Deanna. Second order: obey orders from his superior – himself.

9.) Parallels

Season 7, Episode 11

On his return from a bat’leth competition in the Klingon Empire, Worf finds himself shifting realities where events and details are in a constant state of flux and only he is aware of the changes.

There are obviously many more, but I’ve tried to keep the list short.

What episodes would you add to the list? Let me know in the comments or on social.

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2 COMMENTS

  1. These are my choices,
    1. I don’t remember the title. It’s when Q sent the Enterprise 1000 + light years. Their first contact with the Borg.
    2. When Q acted like God showing Picard what would have happened if he didn’t get stabbed in the back losing his heart.
    3. When Picard had to rescue and protect Q when he lost his powers. The Canamaraine aliens were after him.
    4. When Warf celebrated his Ascention (birthday). The pain sticks.
    5. Relics:
    Mr. Scott was on the Genolin in a transporter recycle phase. And they discovered the Dyson Sphere.
    6. When Spock was on the Enterprise trying to unite the Romulans and the Vulcans.
    7. When Dr. McCoy visited the new Enterprise.
    8. When none of the Enterprise crew remembered who they were. Warf assumes command of the Enterprise.
    9. Warf defends his family’s honor. Met his younger brother for the first time.
    10. All Good Things. The 3 enterprises trying seal up the anomaly which ruptured the space time continuum.

  2. One of my favorite episodes found Picard encountering a probe that took him to another place and time, where he lived his entire life (in just a few actual minutes,) in a community and on a planet which had been destroyed by a supernova centuries before. A wife, children, grandchildren. Beautifully written. And the final scene where Riker brings the Captain his flute. Absolutely stunning.

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