Since we started the Star Trek: Age of Discovery podcast I’ve immersed myself in the other series for background information. Critics were mixed on Star Trek: Discovery‘s two-part premiere. I thought it was pretty good. For a Star Trek premiere it was great. In contrast, some of the other shows’ premieres and finale episodes have left a lot to be desired. Is anything as bad as TNG‘s “Encounter at Farpoint?” I didn’t watch the first season of the show because it was so awful. What about Voyager‘s premiere, “Caretaker?” But I will fight you if you think anything on Discovery has been as bad or worst than Enterprise‘s pitiful sendoff, “These Are The Voyages…” It was absolutely the worst way to end that troubled series.
So I came up with my personal list of favorite Star Trek episodes across the five previous TV series.
I’ve spent quite a bit of time watching and rewatching most of the episodes for these series. I’ve grown to love quite a few of them. Each of the episodes on this list has a major theme or compelling storyline that grabbed me. Or they helped to build some critical part of Star Trek canon. Not all of them are considered fan favorites. That’s okay. They’re the best ones to me. If you’re looking for The Trouble with Tribbles or The City on the Edge of Forever, forget it. Those are two of my least favorite episodes.
Also, I want to highlight something. I didn’t realize it until now but my #1 favorite TNG episode and DS9 episode both allow the show’s lead actor – Patrick Stewart and Avery Brooks, respectively – to show off their immense acting ability. Theatre-training will always show.
Look it over. Tell me what you think. Are any of my favorites some of yours? Share your comments below. #LLAP
- Balance of Terror – The Enterprise battles a Romulan ship suspected of destroying outposts near the Neutral Zone.
- Space Seed – The Enterprise discovers an ancient spaceship carrying genetically enhanced Khan Noonien Singh and his supermen from late 20th century Earth.
- Mirror, Mirror – A transporter malfunction sends Kirk, McCoy, Scotty, and Uhura to a parallel universe where the Federation is an evil Terran Empire.
- The Doomsday Machine – The Enterprise confronts a planet-destroying weapon and a commodore on a crazed mission of revenge.
- The Savage Curtain – Kirk and Spock fight alongside Abraham Lincoln of Earth and Surak of Vulcan by aliens who wish to understand “good” and “evil.”
- The Ultimate Computer – The Enterprise tests a computer that, if successful, could replace Kirk as the captain.
- Journey to Babel – The Enterprise comes under attack carrying alien dignitaries to a diplomatic conference on Babel. One of them, Spock’s estranged father Sarek, becomes the prime suspect when another delegate is murdered.
- Amok Time – Suffering from pon farr, the Vulcan biological mating urge, Spock must return to Vulcan to marry his betrothed or he will die.
- Where No Man Has Gone Before – An encounter at the edge of our galaxy changes Lt. Commander Gary Mitchell and threatens the Enterprise.
- Spectre of the Gun – Captain Kirk, Mr. Spock, Dr. McCoy, Scotty, and Chekov are forced to re-enact the gunfight at the O.K. Corral in Tombstone.
Star Trek: The Next Generation
- Chain of Command (Part 2) – Picard’s secret mission fails, leading to his capture and torture by the Cardassians. On the Enterprise, Captain Jellico attempts to prevent war with the Cardassian Union.
- The Best of Both Worlds (Part 1) – The Borg invade Federation space and capture Captain Picard, turning him into one of their own.
- Darmok – Picard is trapped on a planet with an alien captain who speaks a metaphorical language. They must learn to communicate before a deadly beast overwhelms them.
- Sarek – Violent emotions sweep the Enterprise when Ambassador Sarek comes aboard to finish a long diplomatic mission.
- Q Who – Q throws the Enterprise into uncharted space where it encounters and is engaged by a vessel of a previously unknown species: the Borg.
- Unification (Parts 1 & 2) – The Federation discovers Spock has traveled to Romulus. Fearing he has defected, Picard is sent on a covert mission to determine why. Spock reveals he is working to reunite the Romulans and Vulcans.
- The Best of Both Worlds (Part 2) – With Picard assimilated by the Borg, and a Starfleet armada totally obliterated at Wolf 359, Riker is forced to face his former captain in battle.
- Tapestry – Picard dies on an away mission. He meets Q in the afterlife who offers him the chance to change a crucial moment in his past, preventing the mistakes of his youth.
- Yesterday’s Enterprise – A temporal rift opens and the USS Enterprise-C emerges, changing reality into one where the Federation is in a bitter war with the Klingon Empire.
- Face of the Enemy – Troi is captured and forced to pretend to be a Romulan intelligence officer in a plot to aid the defection of several high-ranking Romulan officials.
Star Trek: Deep Space Nine
- In The Pale Moonlight – As defeat appears eminent in the Dominion War, Sisko enlists Garak’s aid to “persuade” the Romulans to join the Federation/Klingon alliance.
- Far Beyond The Stars – Experiencing visions from the Prophets, Sisko sees himself as Benny Russell, a science-fiction writer in the 1950s, who struggles with discrimination after writing about a black commander on a futuristic space station.
- Waltz – Following the destruction of the starship Honshu, Sisko is severely injured and trapped alone on a deserted planet with an unstable Dukat.
- What You Leave Behind – The Federation Alliance prepares a final invasion of Cardassia. Meanwhile on Bajor, Kai Winn releases the Pah-wraiths from the Fire Caves which threatens the entire Alpha Quadrant.
- The Way of the Warrior (Parts 1 & 2) – General Martok’s Klingon fleet unexpectedly arrives at Deep Space 9. Sisko seeks to discover the Klingons’ intentions.
- The Dogs of War – Kira, Damar, Garak and Cardassian Resistance are ambushed on Cardassia.
- The Visitor – After an accident in the engine room of the Defiant apparently claims the life of Benjamin Sisko, Jake lives out his life in an endless quest to locate his father.
- The Improbable Cause – Odo begins an investigation after a bomb that destroys Garak’s tailor shop.
- The Die is Cast – The Cardassian-Romulan fleet enters the Gamma Quadrant; Sisko tries to rescue Odo.
- Homefront – Sisko is recalled to San Francisco after a terrorist bombing reveals that Changelings have reached Earth.
- Paradise Lost – While Starfleet tightens security measures on Earth, Sisko and Odo discover that Admiral Leyton is deviously plotting to take over the planet.
- Favor the Bold – Tired of losing the war, Captain Sisko convinces Starfleet Command to launch a fleet of starships to retake Deep Space 9.
- Sacrifice of Angel – A large fleet of Federation ships head towards Deep Space 9 to stop the Dominion destroying the Wormhole minefield. A Dominion fleet meets them in battle. Can the Defiant make it in time?
Star Trek: Voyager
- Scorpion (Parts 1 & 2) – Voyager encounters an alien race more dangerous than the Borg. Janeway enters an alliance with the Borg in order to defeat them.
- Equinox (Parts 1 & 2) – Voyager finds another Federation starship, the USS Equinox, stranded in the Delta Quadrant. They also find that the crew is harboring a dark secret.
- Meld – Tuvok is plagued by the senselessness of a murder aboard Voyager.
- Year of Hell (Parts 1 & 2) Obsessed with restoring the Krenim Imperium, no matter the cost, a Krenim military temporal scientist creates changes in history that all but destroy Voyager.
- Endgame – Years after Voyager‘s return to the Alpha Quadrant, Admiral Kathryn Janeway resolves to alter the past in order to help her crew get home sooner.
Star Trek: Enterprise
- United – Archer tries to unify the Andorians, Tellarites, Humans and Vulcans in a plan to capture a marauder ship threatening to destabilize the region.
- The Forgotten – Two members of the Xindi Council offer to stop the launch of the weapon if Archer can prove that the Xindi have been manipulated; the crew holds a memorial for their dead shipmates.
- Demons – A xenophobic faction of Humanity threatens to undermine talks to form a new coalition of planets.
- Terra Prime – A Human isolationist leader threatens to destroy Starfleet Command unless all aliens leave the Sol system immediately.
Written by Gary Anderson 2017 © Star Trek: Age of Discovery