Saturday, January 21, 2012

Blog #1: Best Star Trek Episodes

Blog #1: Best Star Trek Episodes
 
 
I've been watching re-runs of Star Trek: The Next Generation lately and currently I am watching the 3rd season. Season 3 is the best of that series for sure with many great episodes, and thus I decided to do a list of my top 6 Star Trek episodes of all time for the entire franchise. They are as follows:
 
#6: 'The Inner Light' (Star Trek: The Next Generation, Season 5)
Picard is scanned by a probe, collapses on the bridge and awakes on an alien world where he is a different man. He lives out his life as this man, is married and has children, has grand children and all is happy. For him his life on the Enterprise becomes a distant memory. He even teaches himself to play the flute. By the end of the episode he realizes that this is not his life, and that this world and his 'family' actually died a thousand years earlier. He awakes on the bridge where only 25 minutes has passed but the memories of his years spent on this planet stay with him.
 
I'll admit this episode actually made me cry. It was such a touching episode and so well acted by Patrick Stewart it remains one of my favourite episodes.
 
 
 
#5: 'Far Beyond The Stars' (Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, Season 6)
Like 'The Inner Light' this is an episode about the Captain living another life away from the series. Sisko finds himself living the life of 'Benny Russell' a 1950's science fiction writer. This episode also featured several other characters in the 50's played by the other regular actors on the show. It was especially cool to see several actors who normally wore heavy make-up for their regular characters playing humans in no make-up. This was a well written episode which tackled some tough subjects such as racism. again this episode made me tear up.
 
 
#4: 'The Defector' (Star Trek: The Next Generation, Season 3)
Throughout Trek there has always been a 'cold war' going on between the Federation and the Romulan Empire, and this episode was probably the best example of that conflict. The Romulans attempt to lure Picard into starting a war, but Picard as always is a step ahead of him and he prevents the destruction of the Enterprise and a war. This episode had one of the best endings, yet very sad and touching. There is no doubt writer Ron Moore was echoing the USA's cold war with Russia, which was still a reality at the time of this episode. This episode was a prime example of TNG thinking their way out of a conflict, rather than fighting their way out. Trek series later on would rely too heavily on special effects, where as TNG never did.  
 
 
#3: 'Yesterdays Enterprise' (Star Trek: The Next Generation, Season 3)
This was a great 'What if' episode as the Enterprise C travels to the present through a time vortex. But having travelled through time has changed the present, unknown to Picard and crew. Now the Enterprise-D is a warship fighting on the front lines in a bitter war against the Klingon Empire. the time line has changed, bringing back Denise Crosby as 'Tasha Yar', who died in season 1. The only one who seems to know that things have changed is Guinan, who cannot explain it herself, but she knows the Enterprise C must be sent back through the time vortex to set everything right.
 
This episode was really the best episode I think Patrick Stewart and Whoopi Goldberg did on this series. Both were great in this episode and gave Emmy worthy performances as Picard and Guinan. It was fascinating to see the crew fighting in a war and how each of them was a little bit different in this alternate time line. Picard gives his most heroic speech as Captain on this episode.
 
"Let's make sure that history never forgets the name... Enterprise" -- Captain Picard
 
 
 
#2: 'The Best Of Both Worlds, Part I' (Star Trek: The Next Generation, Season 3)
 The Borg invades, all seems lost for the Federation and Picard is transformed into being the voice for the Borg, 'Locutus'. The episode ends the season in the greatest Trek cliffhanger ever, and perhaps one of the best cliffhangers in television history. Will Picard be killed? Will Riker destroy the Enterprise to stop the Borg? This was the finest hour of TNG.
 
 
#1: 'The City on the Edge of Forever'  (Star Trek: The Original Series, Season 1)
 The best episode of all time for Trek in my opinion is this original series episode. A great time travel story with Kirk having to let perhaps the love of his life die to save the future he knows. Shatner gave his finest performance as Kirk in this episode. Written by Sci-Fi writing legend Harlan Ellison, this episode in my opinion is the best Trek episode ever made.
 
 
Chrisloc1701 with William Shatner
 
 
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3 of these episodes alone came from the 3rd season of TNG, again proving to me that TNG's season 3 is one of the best done for the franchise. You may have also noticed no Voyager or Enterprise episodes mentioned, that is because they did not produce many good Trek episodes, especially Voyager. Voyager is simply a terrible series, but I will discuss that in a future blog. Enterprise is a show that had some great potential, but that series problems are rooted in the entire premise for that series. Again Enterprise will be discussed in a future blog.
 
Thanks for reading!
 
Live Long And Prosper! 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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