In honor of the 55th anniversary of Gene Roddenberry’s “Star Trek,” listed in order of airdate, here are 10 episodes from “Star Trek: The Next Generation” (1987-1994) that are worth watch again once you’re done viewing the original series.
“The Measure of a Man” (Season 2, Episode 9)During a star base visit, Lt. Commander Data (Brent Spiner), the Enterprise’s android chief operations officer, is ordered to report to Cpt. Bruce Maddox (Brian Brophy). Maddox plans to systematically deconstruct Data in hopes of learning enough about his positronic brain to reproduce it in other androids. But when Data learns that Maddox may be unable to put him back together, he refuses to cooperate, and Cpt. Picard (Patrick Stewart) quickly comes to his defense.
“Q Who” (Season 2, Episode 16)The god-like extraterrestrial entity Q returns to torment the crew of the Enterprise, this time by throwing the entire ship across the galaxy and into the path of a dangerous, hive-mind species known as “the Borg.”
“The Offspring” (Season 3, Episode 16)New technology allows Data to create “Lal” (Hallie Todd), an android child modeled according to his own Soong-type neural net. But Picard worries about the lengths his Star Fleet higher-ups will go to when faced with the possibility of indefinitely reproducing what many would view not as a child but as a valuable machine.
“Sarek” (Season 3, Episode 23)When ambassador Sarek’s typically Vulcan stoicism begins to fail him in the middle of a diplomatic mission, he agrees to perform a mind-meld with Picard in hopes of regaining control.
“The Wounded” (Season 4, Episode 12)Picard and his crew move to intercept a rogue Star Fleet vessel in Cardassian space. The crew must act quickly to protect the already tenuous alliance between the federation and the Cardassians.
“Half a Life” (Season 4, Episode 22)Counselor Troi’s mother (Majel Barret) attempts to prevent the man she has fallen in love with from committing ritual suicide traditionally required of his people.
“The Outcast” (Season 5, Episode 17)On an away mission, a dangerous relationship sparks between Commander Riker (Jonathan Frakes) and Soren (Melinda Culea), a member of the androgynous J’anaii race. A capitol offense under J’anaii law, Soren identifies as having only one gender.
“I Borg” (Season 5, Episode 23)After discovering a single surviving Borg drone on a damaged ship, Dr. Crusher (Gates McFadden) convinces Picard to bring it back to the Enterprise in hopes of better understanding the seemingly invincible race. Initially hostile, the drone slowly starts to appreciate individuality, a concept entirely antithetical to Borg ideology.
“Tapestry” (Season 6, Episode 15)Q offers Picard a second chance at life after an away mission turns fatal.
“Lower Decks” (Season 7, Episode 15)A rare look at crew members from “the lower decks,” this episode follows a group of four junior officers as they work through a series of challenges in hopes of promotion.
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