For research and science, I have been binging Star Trek: The Next Generation episodes. Yes, really, it is for science.
Okay, maybe not so much, but I need the inspiration for my upcoming cosplay.
In this wonderful time of binge-watching, I have gotten the chance to watch episodes I’ve never seen before, feel all the feels, and fall in love with the show over and over again. Thus, my “research” has yielded a list of my Top 10 favorite episodes from the series. Maybe your favorite will be on the list as well!
10. “Ensign Ro”
I love Ensign Ro. She’s a complex supporting character on the show, and she’s sassy. Before I saw her debut episode, I had seen her pop up in several other stories. But then “Ensign Ro” came on one day, and it all made sense. Her angst, her impeccable fashion sense, and her tragic backstory. Who doesn’t love a character with a tragic backstory?
9. “I Borg”
The Borg is scary. Any episode involving The Borg is mildly terrifying. But “I Borg” is different; it’s a sweet episode involving a young Borg who fights to earn his own identity with help from Geordi La Forge. The eventual foes into friends plot won me over the first time I saw it, earning a spot in my heart, and on this list.
When Picard and an alien captain are transported to a desolate planet, which is ruled over by a ferocious beast, the two must find a way to communicate in order to survive. You see, this alien captain speaks a language that involves metaphors from his species, which is incomprehensible to Picard. But, they both work their way through this barrier, and Picard sees the importance of the metaphorical language. I love this episode because it portrays a situation that is so different from any other episode I’ve seen. Most of the time, the Enterprise’s computer can translate, or Data can help decipher a language, but Picard must use his smarts to communicate with this alien captain. For the English geek in me, it’s brilliant.
Okay, let’s be honest: I’m a sucker for Data-centered episodes. “Phantasms” was the first one I saw. This episode involves Data’s latest experiment–dreaming–and the strange complications that come with it.
6. “Identity Crisis”
When crew members from Geordi’s past begin to disappear, he and another colleague try to find answers to the mysterious disappearances. Until, that is, his remaining colleague is overtaken with a strange ailment that turns her into a chameleon-like creature. Gerodi needs to race to solve the mystery, until he, too is overcome by the strange phenomenon. I think Geordi is a very complex character–and definitely one of the most lively characters–in the TNG universe. The episodes involving Geordi are often very interesting, with this one being a favorite.
5. “A Fistful of Datas”
I don’t usually like the “silly” episodes. I hate the episodes involving Q. Don’t ask me why, I just do. But I adore “A Fistful of Datas” for several reasons. One of them, of course, being the malfunction that places Data as Wild West foes in a holodeck program. The other reason being that it’s a cute episode involving Worf and his son, Alexander, as they come together to survive the malfunctioning program. What better setting for a Klingon and his son to bond than the Wild West?
4. “Half a Life”
An episode featuring David Ogden Stiers? Yes please! This episode ivolves a complicated moral issue about death and old age, and a rare glimpse at a vulnerable Lwaxana Troi. I was blown away with how the story played out, how these characters developed with one another, and the resolution that came to be at the end of the episode.
This is such a sweet episode. I love it so much. The crew of the Enterprise discover that Scotty has survived for 75 years in a transporter loop on a crashed, deserted ship. Scotty, now aboard a much more advanced ship than the one he’s accustomed to, tries to come to grips with the notion that he may not be suited on such a ship anymore. He and Geordi work together later on in the episode to save the crew of this Enterprise. It’s an episode about finding one’s place in a confusing new world.
2. “The Bonding”
This episode actually made me cry. I SHED TEARS FOR THIS EPISODE. That alone puts it on my list. It also shows the tender side of Worf, which is rarely seen.
1. “Data’s Day”
Of course I had to put a Data-centered episode as my Number One. This episode is so cute and so…Data-y…that I can’t help but love it. His view of the human world, and their behavior, is so innocent and calculated that it is charming to watch. In the end, I think that Data embodies much of the basic human ideals; he’s curious, observant, and open to the new. This episode exhibits those traits.