Star Trek: The Next Generation Watchlist

(Posted here for archival purposes)

Well, everyone and their mother has done one of these, but considering I’ve just made it through my first run through the whole series of Star Trek: The Next Generation, I felt it was probably useful to some people to know my opinions on the show. It’s definitely one of my favorite shows ever, but as we all know: not all of the episodes should be on your bucket-list. So here’s my list of the episodes to watch if you’re short on time but not TOO short on time to watch Star Trek.

Season 1

(You really can skip all of these, as Season 1 has no real good episodes at all, but here’s some picks)

Encounter at Farpoint
Skin of Evil
The Neutral Zone

Honorable Mentions

Where No One Has Gone Before
Hide And Q
The Big Goodbye

Season 2

A Matter of Honor
The Measure of a Man
Q Who

Honorable Mentions

Elementary, Dear Data
The Royale

Season 3

Deja Q
Yesterday’s Enterprise
The Offspring
Sins of The Father
Hollow Pursuits
The Best of Both Worlds (Part 1)

Honorable Mentions

Booby Trap
The Defector
A Matter of Perspective
Captain’s Holiday
The Most Toys

Season 4

The Best of Both Worlds (Part 2)
Remember Me
Data’s Day
The Drumhead
Redemption (Part 1)

Honorable Mentions

Future Imperfect
Final Mission
The Wounded
Galaxy’s Child
In Theory
I, Borg

Season 5

Redemption (Part 2)
Ensign Ro
Cause and Effect
The Next Phase
The Inner Light
Time’s Arrow (Part 1)

Honorable Mentions

The Game
The First Duty

Season 6

Time’s Arrow (Part 2)
Chain of Command (Part 1) <- My personal favorite episode
Chain of Command (Part 2)
Ship in a Bottle
Starship Mine
Frame of Mind
Second Chances

Honorable Mentions

True Q
A Fistful of Datas
The Quality of Life
Descent (Part 1)

Season 7

Lower Decks
Preemptive Strike
All Good Things…

Honorable Mentions

Descent (Part 2)
Thine Own Self


Since I’m apparently in the business of saving you some time, I feel as though it would be remiss on me not to tell you the episodes that you should outright avoid at all costs. And since when Trek gets bad, it gets REAL bad, I thought it might be fun to rank the worst stinkers in the show’s history. Starting from least bad to the worst TNG episode of all time.

10 S7E7 Dark Page

It’s got two things going for it to make it one of the worst episodes ever. One is always bad and always impossible-to-remember-how-to-spell Lwaxana Troi. And the other, is a wierd freaky-deaky delve into the telepathic consciousness. This is definitely one of the more out-there episodes, but not the worst on the list, for sure.

9 S6E20 The Chase

What’s strange is that I’ve seen this episode show up on some people’s favorite lists, but I think it’s terrible. It essentially follows a It’s a Mad Mad Mad World race-to-the-mystical-macguffin type plot, similar to Star Trek V: The Final Frontier, and with similarly terrible results. What’s found doesn’t live up to the hype, and ultimately feels like a forced kumbaya message. The laughably bad acting along the way, a rarity for Season 7, doesn’t help.

8 S2E22 Shades of Gray

A clip show. Think about it, an episode has to be pretty bad for a clip show to rate above it in terms of watchability. I think this episode gains some brownie points for borrowing good clips from the first two (admittedly rough) seasons. Not a great way to end Season 2 though.

7 S2E10 The Dauphin

Wesley Crusher. Love Story. Two things that almost never work on this show, combined. Nuff said.

6 S1E15 Too Short a Season

Bad bad bad acting in bad bad bad old guy makeup. Abort! Abort!

5 S7E14 Sub Rosa

About as fucking wierd as this series ever gets. Spoilers! Beverly Crusher’s family has been secretly controlled by a rape ghost for a thousand years. Yep. That’s totally canon now. And this is Season 7, so this is coming out of nowhere.

4 S1E3 Code of Honor

Too much like the original series. Racist stereotypes. Battle to the death. It’s all here but the ears, baby.

3 S1E7 Justice

Wesley Crusher finds himself in a pickle when he stumbles onto some flowers in this perfect society with a deadly secret! Yeah no, Wesley is in prime form here, by which I mean he is sucking. I wish they really would’ve let him be put to the death here. We would’ve missed out on Final Mission, but it might’ve been worth it.

2 S1E13 Angel One

Probably as offensively bad as the show ever gets. An attempt a message about transcending gender norms falls worse than flat and actually trips into sexist garbage, and besides, it’s just not a very good episode.

1 S2E1 The Child

Speaking of not a very good episode, and sexist trash. The worst episode, the crowing achievement of badness that this series has ever offered. The Child can probably be shown in feminist classes because of it’s flawless execution of the Mystical Pregnancy trope. It’s lazy, shallow writing that disrespects Deanna’s character, and more importantly–my limited time on this Earth. Although she doesn’t often shine when she’s in the starring role, this is the worst of Deanna’s run, and my pick for worst of the series.