Star Trek: The Next Generation:: The Good Parts

I wrote this without knowing that this server already had an archive of TNG reviews in the mirror. This is clearly not the year 2021 we were hoping for if nerds are still writing TNG reviews.


The Next Generation is my favorite Star Trek series. Star Trek reached peak maturity in TNG and as far as I know it was the final series situated in a utopian universe. This is a summary of which episodes I think are the most memorable or that fill out my favorite store arcs. Any episode not listed here should not be assumed to be avoided, but none of the movies are worth listing here.

You may wish to consult the The Canonical TNG Drinking Game before you begin.


Season 1

1x01 / 1x02 - "Encounter at Farpoint"

Obligatory character introductions, but more importantly this episode introduces the moral tone for the rest of the series.

1x08 - "Justice"

Introduction to the Prime Directive with a very late '80s feel.

1x10 - "Hide and Q"

Watch this if you want to follow the Q arc. There is also some good character development here.

1x13 - "Datalore"

An essential Data episode.

1x22 - "Symbiosis"

For those that grew up with anti-drug propaganda in the USA this one has a nostalgic "just say no" scene, but has a proper "Star Trek" ending.

1x26 - "The Neutral Zone"

Nothing spectacular, but introduces more of the TNG universe.

Season 2

2x02 - "Where Silence Has Lease"

A good episode about The Mission.

2x08 - "A Matter Of Honor"

I'm not a fan of Klingons but I like this one.

2x09 - "The Measure Of A Man"

The (human) rights of Data are questioned.

2x12 "The Royale"

Memorable meta-camp.

2x15 "Pen Pals"

A Prime Directive episode.

2x16 "Q Who"

A critical piece of the overall TNG arc.

2x17 "Samaritan Snare"

A memeworthy episode.

Season 3

3x11 "The Hunted"

An episode about war veterans.

3x15 "Yesterday's Enterprise"

An insipid time-travel and parallel-universe episode. A popular episode but also direct inspiration for much of the dystopian slop to follow. If someone could travel back in time to stop this episode it would prevent both the reboot movies and the discovery series.

3x16 "The Offspring"

A profoundly creepy and tragic episode that is essential to the Data arc.

3x18 "Allegiance"

A funny episode in the classic genre.

3x19 "Captain's Holiday"

Picard goes on vacation.

3x22 "The Most Toys"

Another Data episode. Classic 1990s sci-fi.

3x26 "The Best of Both Worlds"

Classic Borg drama.

Season 4

4x01 "The Best of Both Worlds, Part II"

Conclusion of some Borg drama.

4x03 "Brothers"

More of the Data story arc.

4x04 "Suddenly Human"

Episode on culture and asimilation.

4x08 "Future Imperfect"

A twist on "The Prisoner".

4x11 "Data's Day"

More Data, but not an esssential episode.

4x12 "The Wounded"

An episode on war and a precursor to Deep Space Nine. Watch this and skip DS9.

4x13 "Devil's Due"

Classic genre episode.

4x14 "Clues"

A nice episode about Data and The Mission.

4x15 "First Contact"

An episode on first contact with a new culture.

4x19 "The Nth Degree"

The good Barclay episode.

4x21 "The Drumhead"

An episode on Federation politics. One of the best, but you'll need to be familar with the series to enjoy it.

4x24 "The Mind's Eye"

Mind control drama.

4x25 "In Theory"

Data gets a girlfriend.

Season 5

5x02 "Darmok"

I hated this one the first time I saw it but later enjoyed the memes, then someone realized the episode is actually about memes. Picard with his face palmed.

5x04 "Silicon Avatar"

Second encounter with the Crystalline Entity.

5x05 "Disaster"

A disaster episode.

5x06 "The Game"

A silly episode but perhaps prophetic.

5x09 "A Matter of Time"

A time-travel episode.

5x11 "Hero Worship"

Another good but non-essential Data episode.

5x13 "The Masterpiece Society"

An episode on eugenics and asylum.

5x14 "Conundrum"

A mass amnesia episode.

5x17 "The Outcast"

An episode on gender.

5x23 "I Borg"

An essential Borg episode.

5x25 "The Inner Light"

A favorite episode to many and one of the most memorable.

Season 6

I only remember the final episode of this season.

6x26 "Descent"

More Borg.

Season 7

I would only watch the first episode of this season again.

7x01 "Descent, Part II"

Conclusion of more Borg.

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