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Star trek: the next generation — 10 best story arcs.

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I Can't Think Of A Better Series Finale Than Star Trek: TNG, Even 30 Years Later

Young sheldon caltech sequel series hopes gets a disappointing update from producer, station 19 series finale' subtle grey's anatomy callback made it even better.

With shows such as Strange New Worlds revitalizing the franchise, Star Trek fans have many unique storylines and arcs to look forward to in the future. Though it was an episodic series, Star Trek: The Next Generation wove complicated narratives throughout its seven seasons and featured compelling story arcs.

From brief, two-episode arcs to lengthy Shakespearean epics, the variety of storylines presented in the series kept things fresh and gave fans something to look forward to each week.

Barclay's Social Anxiety

Originally starting as a one-off character, Lieutenant Reginald Barclay's unique social struggles made him an instant hit with fans. Debuting in the episode "Hollow Pursuits", Barclay is seen to be a man who struggles with social interaction and uses the holodeck as a way to avoid confronting his fears.

RELATED: The 20 Best Star Trek: The Next Generation Episodes Of All Time

He would reappear periodically throughout the series, and each time he did he got the opportunity to overcome certain phobias. Starfleet officers are often shown to be confident and outgoing, but Barclay was an interesting reverse of that idea, and he allowed the writers to explore concepts like mental health and anxiety through him.

Ro Laren's Time On The Enterprise

Generally regarded as one of the best Star Trek: The Next Generation characters introduced after the first season , the hot-headed Bajoran Ro Laren shook things up when she joined the Enterprise crew. Coming to serve with a heaping helping of baggage thanks to a court-martial, Laren didn't take long to chafe against Starfleet authority, especially Captain Picard.

First appearing in the fifth-season episode "Ensign Ro", fans were given a few chances to learn about the young officer throughout the final three seasons. With Star Trek: Deep Space Nine overlapping with the final season of TNG , Laren became embroiled in the overarching Maquis storyline. Fans were given a final, but not satisfying, conclusion to her arch when she left to join the terrorist group.

Holodeck Consequences

The franchise's innovative holodeck has led to some great Star Trek episodes , and it also posed quite a few moral quandaries for the audience in TNG . Told over the course of two disparate episodes, the trials and tribulations of the hologram version of Professor Moriarty made for fascinating TV.

First seen in the episode "Elementary, Dear Data", the ruthless evildoer was made all the worse when he was programed to defeat Data. Though he was vanquished, it was revealed in "Ship in a Bottle" that he had somehow gained consciousness and was suffering in holographic captivity. The arc was opened and closed over the course of two episodes, but it was nevertheless one of the most interesting storylines involving the ethics of technology.

Wesley Crusher's Coming Of Age

From the outset, Dr. Crusher's only child was introduced as a precocious tween who seemed to get on Captain Picard's nerves by simply existing. However, Wesley continued to appear in the series and began to flex his prowess as a student that seemed a shoo-in for top of his class at Starfleet Academy.

RELATED: The Best Character In Each Season Of Star Trek: The Next Generation

While on the Enterprise he earned his Ensign status and in the episode "Final Mission" he was shown to have gained the respect and mentorship of the previously antagonistic captain. Over the course of the series Crusher grows to be moralistic above all else, and in "The First Duty" it is obvious that he learned from his experience on the Enterprise and had become a man of principle.

Romulan Escalation

Over the course of some of the best Romulan episodes of Star Trek , the dastardly cousins to the Vulcans repeatedly proved to be an antagonist to the Federation, even if they did so subtly. While never quite friendly with their long-time enemies, it is clear throughout the series that their violent ambitions escalated.

From their standoffish first appearance in "The Neutral Zone" through controversial actions like in "Future Imperfect", the Romulans continued to creep closer and closer to full-scale war with the Federation. It was only touched on briefly throughout, but two-part episodes like "Unification" showed that there were very tense negotiations happening to prevent war, but the Enterprise was mostly busy with other things.

Riker And Troi's Relationship

Throughout seven seasons of TNG , fans were treated to a will-they-won't-they of epic proportions regarding Commander Riker and Deanna Troi. The gallant first officer and brilliant ship's counselor came to the show with a checkered past, and fans were slowly let in on what brought them together and eventually drove them apart.

While it was clear that they would always be Imzadi, the Betazed word for beloved, they alternated between being cool towards one another and being fiercely jealous of each other's love interests. The films and canon novels would eventually show that the pair got married, but episodes like "Second Chances" were really where their love story played out best.

Picard's Borg Trauma

One of the reasons that many fans consider Captain Picard to be the best Star Trek captain is that he was an emotionally complicated figure and tried to balance his passions with his sense of duty. After being assimilated by the Borg in "Best of Both Worlds", Picard carried that difficult trauma with him forever.

While the Enterprise only encountered the Borg a handful of times after the seminal two-part episode, Picard was always at the center of the stories because of his time as Locutus. "I, Borg" was a brilliant window into Picard's mindset, and he shows who he really is by not destroying the collective. The film First Contact illustrated however that he was still very much affected by his collective experience.

Data's Quest For Humanity

The android Data grew throughout the show from a mere synthetic humanoid into a full-fledged person with wants and desires. Introducing Data's existential crisis in the episode "Measure of a Man" the writers on TNG never missed an opportunity to explore Data's quest for humanity.

RELATED: The 10 Best Star Trek: The Next Generation Novels, According To Goodreads

The perennial fish-out-of-water, Data still managed to integrate himself into the society of the Enterprise and adapted himself well to new social situations. Though many thought him incapable of humanity, episodes like "Descent" showed that Data was slowly developing the ability to feel, and there are innumerable examples of his friendliness and caring nature as well.

Q And Captain Picard

The omnipotent being known simply as Q could presumably do anything with his unlimited time, and yet he showed again and again that he was most interested in Captain Picard. From the very first episode "Encounter at Farpoint", Q was frequently on hand to pester the captain and endanger the Enterprise.

Whether it was silly tales like "Q-Pid" or more serious journeys like "Tapestry" the common denominator was always Q and Captain Picard. The most obvious reason for this is that Picard never gave into Q's wishes, and defeated him with the one weapon that Q never possessed--humanity.

Worf, Son Of Mogh

Worf was not only the center of TNG 's best ongoing storyline, but his longtime battle with his Klingon heritage continued well into DS9 . Being the only Klingon in Starfleet, Worf was already an outcast from his community, but the soured reputation of his family name made things worse.

Mimicking the best Shakespeare tragedies of old, Worf's lengthy saga has many ups and downs. At the center is a troubled person who wants only to be accepted by his race, and do his duty to Starfleet. "Sins of the Father" introduces the conflict well, and each season of the show is dotted with amazing Klingon tales that add depth to the arc. Left on shaky ground after TNG , Worf's journey went on to be an amazing storyline on DS9 as well.

NEXT: The 10 Best Klingon Episodes Of Star Trek

  • Star Trek: The Next Generation (1987)

Memory Alpha

  • View history

Deep Space Nine - Final Chapter

The promotional logo for DS9's "final chapter" story arc

Story arcs are story lines in Star Trek that are told over the course of multiple episodes. They are not simply two-parters or recurring characters and themes, but rather plots that are interwoven with other arcs and plot threads. An example of this is Star Trek: Deep Space Nine 's introduction of the Dominion and the eventual Dominion War . Story arcs often take precedence over other plot elements and consume a series for several consecutive episodes, but in many cases (such as the Dominion War) they may take a back seat and re-enter the picture later on.

Prior to DS9, story arcs were a relatively minor part of the Star Trek universe. Star Trek: The Original Series and Star Trek: The Next Generation both largely restored the status quo ante at the end of each episode, and even two-part episodes were somewhat rare. This changed due to the stationary nature of space station Deep Space 9 , which did not simply move on to the next adventure each week; characters' actions had lasting consequences, and the events of one episode directly influenced the next. At the time, Ira Steven Behr had to fight with Viacom over making the show so serialized. [1]

Star Trek: Voyager took the idea of the story arc in a different direction by setting itself aboard a starship as per the traditional Trek formula but stranding its crew in the distant Delta Quadrant . This both enhanced and reduced the prevalence of story arcs; while alien races such as the Kazon and Borg appeared in multiple episodes, the show was hampered by its very nature: the object was to leave familiar elements behind, which meant each plot thread had a limited life span.

Star Trek: Enterprise , like DS9 before it, often relied on story arcs such as the Temporal Cold War and the Xindi arc that took up the entire third season . By the show's fourth season , Enterprise wrapped up these story arcs and instead refocused on the show's prequel concept with a series of "mini arcs." Most season four episodes are two- or three-part story lines, with few stand-alone episodes.

Feature-length episodes [ ]

These episodes are originally broadcast in two hours, as opposed to the standard one hour. After their original run, feature length episodes are re-cut as two part episodes (see below), but are usually released in their original broadcast format as a single episode. They include:

  • " Encounter at Farpoint "
  • " All Good Things... "
  • " Emissary "
  • " The Way of the Warrior "
  • " What You Leave Behind "
  • " Caretaker "
  • " The Killing Game " (United Kingdom only)
  • " Dark Frontier "
  • " Flesh and Blood "
  • " Endgame "
  • " Broken Bow "

" The Killing Game " and " The Killing Game, Part II " aired on the same night in their premiere in the United States but were not edited into a single episode. A feature-length version was broadcast by the BBC on its first airing on 5 September 1999 , and formed part of the UK VHS release Star Trek: Voyager - Movies .

Two-part episodes [ ]

These episodes air separately, but tell the same story. It is typical for the first part to end with the line "To Be Continued...". They are frequently used to end and begin seasons. Two-part episodes include:

  • " The Menagerie, Part I " and " The Menagerie, Part II "
  • " The Best of Both Worlds " and " The Best of Both Worlds, Part II "
  • " Redemption " and " Redemption II "
  • " Unification I " and " Unification II "
  • " Time's Arrow " and " Time's Arrow, Part II "
  • " Chain Of Command, Part I " and " Chain Of Command, Part II "
  • " Birthright, Part I " and " Birthright, Part II "
  • " Descent " and " Descent, Part II "
  • " Gambit, Part I " and " Gambit, Part II "
  • " The Maquis, Part I " and " The Maquis, Part II "
  • " The Search, Part I " and " The Search, Part II " (see below)
  • " Past Tense, Part I " and " Past Tense, Part II "
  • " Improbable Cause " and " The Die is Cast "
  • " Homefront " and " Paradise Lost "
  • " In Purgatory's Shadow " and " By Inferno's Light "
  • " Favor the Bold " and " Sacrifice of Angels " (see below)
  • " Image in the Sand " and " Shadows and Symbols " (see below)
  • " Basics, Part I " and " Basics, Part II "
  • " Future's End " and " Future's End, Part II "
  • " Scorpion " and " Scorpion, Part II "
  • " Year of Hell " and " Year of Hell, Part II "
  • " The Killing Game " and " The Killing Game, Part II "
  • " Equinox " and " Equinox, Part II "
  • " Unimatrix Zero " and " Unimatrix Zero, Part II "
  • " Workforce " and " Workforce, Part II "
  • " Shockwave " and " Shockwave, Part II "
  • " Storm Front " and " Storm Front, Part II "
  • " Affliction " and " Divergence "
  • " In a Mirror, Darkly " and " In a Mirror, Darkly, Part II "
  • " Demons " and " Terra Prime "
  • " The Vulcan Hello " and " Battle at the Binary Stars "
  • " Such Sweet Sorrow " and " Such Sweet Sorrow, Part 2 "
  • " Terra Firma, Part 1 " and " Terra Firma, Part 2 "
  • " Et in Arcadia Ego, Part 1 " and " Et in Arcadia Ego, Part 2 "
  • " First First Contact " and " Grounded "
  • " The Inner Fight " and " Old Friends, New Planets "
  • " A Moral Star, Part 1 " and " A Moral Star, Part 2 "
  • " Supernova, Part 1 " and " Supernova, Part 2 "

Notably, DIS Season 3 was bookended by episodes titled " That Hope Is You, Part 1 " and " That Hope Is You, Part 2 ", though the two were not a single "episode" composed of consecutive episodes in the same series. That season also featured " Unification III " despite " Unification II " being an episode of TNG Season 5 .

Similarly, " Crisis Point 2: Paradoxus " also served as a sequel to " Crisis Point " but did not immediately follow that episode.

Three-part episodes [ ]

Three consecutive episodes that air separately, but tell the same story.

  • " The Best of Both Worlds ", " The Best of Both Worlds, Part II ", " Family "
  • " The Homecoming ", " The Circle ", and " The Siege "
  • " The Jem'Hadar ", " The Search, Part I ", and " The Search, Part II "
  • " Tears of the Prophets ", " Image in the Sand ", and " Shadows and Symbols "
  • " Scorpion ", " Scorpion, Part II ", and " The Gift "
  • " Borderland ", " Cold Station 12 ", and " The Augments "
  • " The Forge ", " Awakening ", and " Kir'Shara "
  • " Babel One ", " United ", and " The Aenar "

Multi-episode arcs [ ]

Multi-episode arcs tell a continuing story and are spread out through several different episodes throughout one or multiple seasons.

The Next Generation [ ]

  • " Hide And Q "
  • " Tapestry "
  • " The Battle "
  • " Bloodlines "
  • " Datalore "
  • " Silicon Avatar "
  • " Coming of Age "
  • " Conspiracy "
  • " The Drumhead "
  • " Yesterday's Enterprise "
  • " The Mind's Eye "
  • " Redemption "
  • " Redemption II "
  • " Unification I "
  • " Unification II "

Deep Space Nine [ ]

  • " Rapture "
  • " Past Prologue "
  • " In the Hands of the Prophets "
  • " The Homecoming "
  • " The Circle "
  • " The Siege "
  • " The Maquis, Part II "
  • " Civil Defense "
  • " Indiscretion "
  • " Return to Grace "
  • " In Purgatory's Shadow "
  • " A Time to Stand "
  • " Sons and Daughters "
  • " Wrongs Darker Than Death or Night "
  • " Covenant "
  • " The House of Quark "
  • " Looking for par'Mach in All the Wrong Places "
  • " Heart of Stone "
  • " Crossfire "
  • " Children of Time "
  • " Call to Arms "
  • " His Way "
  • " Chimera "
  • " The Die is Cast "
  • " The Adversary "
  • " Homefront "
  • " Paradise Lost "
  • " Apocalypse Rising "
  • " By Inferno's Light "
  • " Sons of Mogh "
  • " Rules of Engagement "
  • " Broken Link "
  • " Nor the Battle to the Strong "
  • " For the Cause "
  • " For the Uniform "
  • " Blaze of Glory "
  • " In the Cards "
  • " Rocks and Shoals "
  • " Behind the Lines "
  • " Favor the Bold "
  • " Sacrifice of Angels "
  • " Honor Among Thieves "
  • " Prodigal Daughter "
  • " The Siege of AR-558 "
  • " It's Only a Paper Moon "
  • " Penumbra "
  • " 'Til Death Do Us Part "
  • " Strange Bedfellows "
  • " The Changing Face of Evil "
  • " When It Rains... "
  • " Tacking Into the Wind "
  • " Extreme Measures "
  • " The Dogs of War "

Voyager [ ]

  • " State of Flux "
  • " Maneuvers "
  • " Alliances "
  • " Lifesigns "
  • " Investigations "
  • " Basics, Part I "
  • " Basics, Part II "
  • " Death Wish "
  • " The Q and the Grey "
  • " Message in a Bottle "
  • " Hunters "
  • " The Killing Game "
  • " The Killing Game, Part II "
  • " Course: Oblivion "
  • " Pathfinder "
  • " Life Line "
  • " Inside Man "
  • " Author, Author "
  • " Fair Haven "
  • " Spirit Folk "

Enterprise [ ]

  • " Cold Front "
  • " Detained "
  • " Two Days and Two Nights "
  • " Shockwave "
  • " Shockwave, Part II "
  • " Future Tense "
  • " The Expanse "
  • " Carpenter Street "
  • " Harbinger "
  • " Azati Prime "
  • " Zero Hour "
  • " Storm Front "
  • " Storm Front, Part II "
  • " The Andorian Incident "
  • " Shadows of P'Jem "
  • " Cease Fire "
  • " Proving Ground "
  • " The Forge "
  • " Awakening "
  • " Kir'Shara "
  • " Fallen Hero "
  • " Desert Crossing "
  • " Minefield "
  • " Dead Stop "
  • " Marauders "
  • " Judgment "
  • " The Xindi "
  • " Anomaly (ENT) "
  • " Extinction "
  • " Impulse "
  • " The Shipment "
  • " Twilight "
  • " North Star "
  • " Similitude "
  • " Chosen Realm "
  • " Stratagem "
  • " Doctor's Orders "
  • " Hatchery "
  • " The Forgotten "
  • " The Council "
  • " Countdown "
  • " Terra Prime "

Discovery [ ]

  • " The Vulcan Hello "
  • " Battle at the Binary Stars "
  • " Context Is for Kings "
  • " The Butcher's Knife Cares Not for the Lamb's Cry "
  • " Choose Your Pain "
  • " Magic to Make the Sanest Man Go Mad "
  • " Si Vis Pacem, Para Bellum "
  • " Into the Forest I Go "
  • " The War Without, The War Within "
  • " Will You Take My Hand? "
  • " Brother "
  • " New Eden "
  • " Point of Light "
  • " An Obol for Charon "
  • " Saints of Imperfection "
  • " The Sound of Thunder "
  • " Light and Shadows "
  • " If Memory Serves "
  • " Project Daedalus "
  • " The Red Angel "
  • " Perpetual Infinity "
  • " Through the Valley of Shadows "
  • " Such Sweet Sorrow "
  • " Such Sweet Sorrow, Part 2 "
  • " That Hope Is You, Part 1 "
  • " Far From Home "
  • " People of Earth "
  • " Forget Me Not "
  • " Die Trying "
  • " Scavengers "
  • " Unification III "
  • " The Sanctuary "
  • " Terra Firma, Part 1 "
  • " Terra Firma, Part 2 "
  • " There Is A Tide... "
  • " That Hope Is You, Part 2 "
  • " Kobayashi Maru "
  • " Anomaly (DIS) "
  • " Choose to Live "
  • " All Is Possible "
  • " The Examples "
  • " Stormy Weather "
  • " ...But to Connect "
  • " Rubicon "
  • " The Galactic Barrier "
  • " Rosetta "
  • " Species Ten-C "
  • " Coming Home "
  • " Remembrance "
  • " Maps and Legends "
  • " The End is the Beginning "
  • " Absolute Candor "
  • " Stardust City Rag "
  • " The Impossible Box "
  • " Nepenthe "
  • " Broken Pieces "
  • " Et in Arcadia Ego, Part 1 "
  • " Et in Arcadia Ego, Part 2 "
  • " The Star Gazer "
  • " Penance "
  • " Assimilation "
  • " Watcher "
  • " Fly Me to the Moon "
  • " Two of One "
  • " Monsters "
  • " Hide and Seek "
  • " Farewell "
  • " The Next Generation "
  • " Disengage "
  • " Seventeen Seconds "
  • " No Win Scenario "
  • " Imposters "
  • " The Bounty "
  • " Dominion "
  • " Surrender "
  • " The Last Generation "

Lower Decks [ ]

  • " No Small Parts "
  • " Kayshon, His Eyes Open "
  • " The Spy Humongous "
  • " wej Duj "
  • " First First Contact "
  • " Grounded "
  • " I Have No Bones Yet I Must Flee "
  • " Something Borrowed, Something Green "
  • " Empathological Fallacies "
  • " Parth Ferengi's Heart Place "
  • " A Few Badgeys More "
  • " The Inner Fight "
  • " Old Friends, New Planets "
  • Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan
  • Star Trek III: The Search for Spock
  • Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home
  • Star Trek V: The Final Frontier

Subject arcs [ ]

Section 31 [ ].

22nd century episodes

  • " Affliction "
  • " Divergence "

23rd century episodes

24th century episodes

  • " Inquisition "
  • " Inter Arma Enim Silent Leges "

The mirror universe [ ]

  • " In a Mirror, Darkly "
  • " In a Mirror, Darkly, Part II "
  • " Despite Yourself "
  • " The Wolf Inside "
  • " Vaulting Ambition "
  • " What's Past Is Prologue "
  • " Mirror, Mirror "
  • " Crossover "
  • " Through the Looking Glass "
  • " Shattered Mirror "
  • " Resurrection "
  • " The Emperor's New Cloak "

The alternate reality [ ]

  • Star Trek Into Darkness
  • Star Trek Beyond

Q -related episodes

  • " Veritas "

Multi-series arcs [ ]

Starting in...

The Original Series [ ]

  • TOS : " The Cage "
  • DIS : " If Memory Serves "
  • TOS : " The Menagerie, Part I ", " The Menagerie, Part II "
  • SNW : " Among the Lotus Eaters "
  • DIS : " Choose Your Pain ", " Magic to Make the Sanest Man Go Mad "
  • ST : " The Escape Artist "
  • TOS : " Mudd's Women ", " I, Mudd "
  • TAS : " Mudd's Passion "
  • TOS : " The Naked Time "
  • TNG : " The Naked Now "
  • TOS : " Shore Leave "
  • TAS : " Once Upon a Planet "
  • SNW : " Memento Mori ", " All Those Who Wander ", " The Broken Circle ", " Lost in Translation ", " Hegemony "
  • TOS : " Arena "
  • PIC : " Farewell "
  • ENT : " Borderland ", " Cold Station 12 ", " The Augments "
  • SNW : " Tomorrow and Tomorrow and Tomorrow "
  • TOS : " Space Seed "
  • TOS : " Errand of Mercy "
  • TAS : " The Time Trap "
  • DS9 : " Blood Oath ", " The Sword of Kahless ", and " Once More Unto the Breach "
  • TOS : " The City on the Edge of Forever "
  • TAS : " Yesteryear "
  • DIS : " Terra Firma, Part 1 " and " Terra Firma, Part 2 "
  • ST : " The Trouble with Edward "
  • TOS : " The Trouble with Tribbles "
  • TAS : " More Tribbles, More Troubles "
  • DS9 : " Trials and Tribble-ations "
  • TOS : " The Tholian Web "
  • ENT : " In a Mirror, Darkly ", " In a Mirror, Darkly, Part II "
  • DIS : " Despite Yourself ", " The Wolf Inside "
  • TNG : " Where No One Has Gone Before ", " Remember Me ", and " Journey's End "
  • TNG : " Datalore ", " Brothers ", " Descent ", and " Descent, Part II "
  • PIC : " The Bounty ", " Dominion " and " Surrender "
  • TNG : " Elementary, Dear Data " and " Ship In A Bottle "
  • PIC : " The Bounty "
  • TNG : " The Outrageous Okona "
  • LD : " An Embarrassment Of Dooplers "
  • PRO : " Crossroads ", " Masquerade "
  • TNG : " Q Who "
  • Star Trek: First Contact
  • ENT : " Regeneration "
  • TNG : " The Price "
  • VOY : " False Profits "
  • TNG : " Captain's Holiday " and " Qpid "
  • DS9 : " Q-Less "
  • TNG : " Sins of The Father ", " Reunion ", " The Mind's Eye ", " Redemption ", " Redemption II "
  • DS9 : " Past Prologue "
  • TNG : " Firstborn "
  • Star Trek Generations
  • DS9 : " The Sword of Kahless "
  • TNG : " Unification I ", " Unification II ", " Face Of The Enemy "
  • DIS : " Unification III "
  • TNG : " Second Chances "
  • DS9 : " Defiant "
  • TNG : " The First Duty ", " Lower Decks ", " Journey's End "
  • LD : " Twovix ", " I Have No Bones Yet I Must Flee ", " Something Borrowed, Something Green ", " Empathological Fallacies ", " Parth Ferengi's Heart Place ", " A Few Badgeys More ", " The Inner Fight ", " Old Friends, New Planets "
  • TNG : " The Chase "
  • DIS : " Red Directive ", " Under the Twin Moons ", " Jinaal ", " Face the Strange ", " Mirrors "
  • TNG : " The Pegasus "
  • ENT : " These Are the Voyages... "
  • DS9 : " The Maquis, Part I ", " The Maquis, Part II "
  • TNG : " Preemptive Strike "
  • DS9 : " Tribunal ", " Defiant "
  • VOY : " Caretaker ", " Parallax "
  • DS9 : " Heart of Stone "
  • VOY : " Learning Curve ", " Dreadnought "
  • DS9 : " For the Cause ", " For the Uniform ", " Blaze of Glory "
  • VOY : " Worst Case Scenario ", " Extreme Risk ", " Repression "
  • PIC : " Imposters "
  • SNW : " Ghosts of Illyria ", " A Quality of Mercy ", " The Broken Circle ", " Ad Astra per Aspera "
  • DS9 : " Doctor Bashir, I Presume ", " Statistical Probabilities ", " Chrysalis "

Short Treks [ ]

  • ST : " The Brightest Star "
  • DIS : " The Sound of Thunder ", and " Such Sweet Sorrow, Part 2 "
  • ST : " Children of Mars "
  • PIC : " Broken Pieces ", " Absolute Candor ", PIC : " Maps and Legends ", and " The End is the Beginning "
  • SNW : " The Serene Squall "
  • PIC : " Remembrance ", " The End is the Beginning ", " Absolute Candor "
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The best Star Trek series, ranked

Ready to settle in and watch some Star Trek episodes? Since there are so many, we’ve ranked all of the different series to help you get started on your quest.

Star Trek is one of the greatest franchises ever created. If you're new to the world of transporters and holodecks, you have so much wonderful content to catch up on — of course, some would say too much content.

Since there are over 850 episodes and counting (all of which you can stream on Paramount+ ), watching all of Star Trek can be more difficult than fighting a Gorn in the desert. To make things easier for you to get started, we've ranked every series (besides the short-form series Short Treks ) of this long-running franchise. Some of these choices were a bit daunting to play favorites with, but, like Jim Kirk, there's no belief in the no-win scenario.

Without further ado, here's our list of every Star Trek series ranked from worst to best.

11. Star Trek: Picard (2020–2023)

Star Trek: Picard was meant to be like comfort food to fans of Star Trek: The Next Generation . And whether fans were turned off by the changes in franchise direction with shows like Discovery or just wanted to see Patrick Stewart back in action, Paramount clearly thought this show would be almost universally beloved.

That didn't happen . The warm and fuzzy feeling of seeing a few familiar faces in the first season evaporated because of an often-confusing plot about androids. The second season continued this confusion with a time-travel story that often bordered on incoherence. While many Star Trek shows take a few seasons to hit their stride, it was shocking that so much of this relatively short series was seemingly created with "make it so-so" in mind.

10. Star Trek: The Animated Series (1973–1974)

If you're in the right mood (or you've been sipping on some Saurian brandy), Star Trek: The Animated Series has some wacky entertainment value. Any given episode had the writers throwing in stories like a giant version of a beloved character. And the animators threw some fun curveballs, including making the embodiment of evil into a shirtless hottie that would make even shirtless Kirk jealous.

However, this animated show was often caught between two very different worlds. It wasn't fully a return to the (relatively) grounded exploration of space, science, and morality of The Original Series . And it didn't fully lean into the chaotic possibilities of a cartoon world (something Lower Decks would later handle much better). So, while more and more elements of The Animated Series have become canonical thanks to shows like Discovery , and it's fun to hear the voice acting of the Original Series cast, this cartoon is one that all but the most hardcore fans can skip.

9. Star Trek: Enterprise (2001–2005)

Despite what you might have heard, Star Trek: Enterprise is not a bad show. It just didn't start as a very good show. The series was tragically canceled after the fourth season, which was arguably when it had just begun to hit its stride (thanks in part to longer story arcs and a really fun glimpse into Trek 's popular Mirror Universe).

At the end of the day, Enterprise is a show best enjoyed by Star Trek fans that like to pore over the Memory Alpha wiki and familiarize themselves with Trek minutiae. As a prequel show, it laid the groundwork for everything from Starfleet policy to alien interactions that other shows explore in more detail. If you don't have a shot at winning any Star Trek trivia contests at your local bar, it's still worth watching how captivating Scott Bakula can be in the captain's seat.

8. Star Trek: Prodigy (2021–present)

Star Trek: Prodigy was very difficult to rank. Unlike the other two Trek cartoons, this series was explicitly designed for younger audiences. Paramount clearly wants to use this show as a gateway for these younger fans to explore the wider world of Star Trek , but there are enough elements (most notably the return of Kate Mulgrew , reprising her role as Captain Janeway via a holographic form) to keep veteran franchise fans invested.

Ultimately, your enjoyment of this series will be largely dependent on how much you enjoy animated/YA entertainment. If nothing else, you should check out the first two episodes of this show to see just how beautiful the CGI animation can get.

7. Star Trek: Discovery (2017–present)

If Enterprise is the Star Trek show cut off too soon, Discovery may very well be the first Star Trek show to outlive its welcome, though it will end after its fifth season . There are many things the show gets right, from nifty effects to quirky characters to amazing casting (seriously, Sonequa Martin-Green is electrifying whenever she is on screen).

The show veers from a disjointed-but-interesting first season to a mesmerizing second season, which gets a real shot in the arm by introducing Captain Pike (played by the inimitably charming Anson Mount ) and Spock (played as a perfect homage to Leonard Nimoy by Ethan Peck). Later seasons, however, prove that the series can't get away from galactic-level threats, and character drama begins overriding plot development enough that we want to slingshot around the sun and return this series to its earlier roots.

6. Star Trek: Voyager (1995–2001)

Like many Trek series, Star Trek: Voyager had a rocky beginning, and it was often overshadowed by the excellent Deep Space Nine . Ironically, Voyager dramatically improved with what could be a cynical casting stunt: adding the alluring Jeri Ryan (constantly wearing a catsuit, no less).

Though it really looked like a desperate ratings stunt, Ryan turned the reformed Borg Seven of Nine into the most interesting character on the show. And, despite their alleged clashes behind the scenes, the actress helped to elevate every scene she shared with Kate Mulgrew. Between the new cast member, improved writing, and Mulgrew being nothing short of a damned icon, Voyager soon became appointment television, and it's definitely worth binge-watching for modern audiences.

5. Star Trek: Lower Decks (2020–present)

Lower Decks is an impressive show for many reasons, including the fact that its execution elevates its initial premise, which focuses on the lives of the lower-level staffers aboard the starship. Because showrunner Mike McMahan previously wrote for Rick and Morty and the animation takes its cues from the cartoon adventures of Rick Sanchez, many fans may have assumed Lower Decks would simply be " Star Trek meets Rick and Morty ."

Thankfully, that's not the case. Aside from animation similarities, the main element these two cartoons have in common is a breakneck, borderline chaotic pace. But as entertaining as it can be, Rick and Morty is an often nihilistic show with gags revolving around how nothing really matters. Lower Decks , however, is a lighthearted series that serves as the cure to modern Trek . If you've dismissed other contemporary series such as Discovery and Picard because they are grim, violent, and serious, Lower Decks is a wonderfully lighthearted alternative that is never afraid to poke fun at its own franchise.

4. Star Trek: Strange New Worlds (2022–present)

Star Trek: Strange New Worlds is a truly pleasant surprise to fans of the franchise. Set years before Captain Kirk sat in that famous chair, we see Capt. Christopher Pike (Anson Mount reprising the role) lead the U.S.S. Enterprise into bizarre adventures alongside some familiar characters (Ethan Peck returning as Spock, for example) and a few new ones.

Part of what helps this show shine is that it marks a return to episodic Trek in that every installment is a self-contained adventure as opposed to other newer series like Discovery and Picard , which build entire seasons around a single plot. The characters all ooze with the same swashbuckling charm of The Original Series characters, and we can't wait to see more of their adventures. We also can't wait to see more of Anson Mount's amazing hair (arguably the most awesome practical effect in the franchise).

3. Star Trek: The Next Generation (1987–1994)

Star Trek: The Next Generation has the dubious honor of being the first Trek show where veteran fans warn against new fans starting at the very beginning. Early episodes ranged from stupidly horny (planetary inhabitants in the episode "Justice" were barely wearing scraps of clothing) to ridiculously racist ("Code of Honor" may very well be the worst Star Trek episode ever made). Many of these problems stemmed from the fact that despite being called "The Next Generation," the show was trying to recreate The Original Series (right down to using some of the same writers and shamelessly reusing scripts from the scrapped Star Trek: Phase II series).

As fans like to joke, the show got better as Commander Riker's beard got longer. Season 2 was a major improvement, which was then usurped by season 3, which brought in new uniforms, new sets, and Michael Piller to head up the writing team. Just like that, TNG embraced its differences from its famous forerunner (Picard was cerebral whereas Kirk was impulsive, Data yearned for emotion whereas Spock detested it, and so on). At last, the gamble paid off, and the next generation of this franchise ushered in the next generation of Star Trek fans.

2. Star Trek: The Original Series (1966–1969)

What can we say about The Original Series that hasn't been said already? Gene Roddenberry successfully fused science fiction with American pioneer spirit to create his vision of this " Wagon Train to the stars." The episodes were both fun and thought-provoking in equal measure, and William Shatner as Kirk and Leonard Nimoy as Spock, among many others, turned in performances that seared themselves into our collective pop culture consciousness.

The Original Series offered social commentary about racism, imperialism, and (often to Spock's annoyance) the human condition. And the blend of big acting, ambitious sets, and poignant plots helped this show become something truly transcendent. The OG Star Trek shaped not only the future of the franchise but television itself, and it's not hard to see why it continues to win over new generations of fans year after year.

1. Star Trek: Deep Space Nine (1993–1999)

Placing Star Trek: Deep Space Nine in the top spot is perhaps a contentious decision. However, this series did more than measure up to the quality of The Next Generation (a lofty feat in and of itself). The show also made a number of storytelling and production choices that have helped DS9 seem more relevant in recent years than ever before, including tackling issues about race, religious fundamentalism, and war on a regular basis.

Perhaps the main way DS9 feels so pertinent is that the show broke the longstanding Trek rule of making only standalone episodes. As the powers that be focused more on creating their next show, Voyager , DS9 showrunner Ira Steven Behr was able to get away with creating long story arcs and frequent episode callbacks. The end result of this is that Deep Space Nine is the first of the pre-streaming era Trek shows that is perfect for binge-watching.

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Steve Lovelace

  • Entertainment

Star Trek and Story Arcs

by Steve Lovelace · March 10, 2014

Star Trek Bucks Coffee

Made for Channel Surfers

Back in the 80s and 90s , most shows were made up of self-contained episodes. This made a lot of sense back in the days of channel surfing. Even if you weren’t a hardcore Trekkie, you could tune into an episode of Star Trek (either the original or NextGen ), and watch a complete story line in an hour. If you missed a couple of weeks, you could tune in again and not feel lost. But this isn’t how people watch television anymore. Nowadays, people DVR, stream and download TV series. In the 21st century, we “binge-watch” TV shows, and the nature of the medium has changed appropriately. Most modern series worth their salt are based on story arcs.

The Best of Both Worlds

To see how story arcs might have improved the series, let’s look at the NextGen episode, “The Best of Both Worlds” . This was a two-part episode: a cliffhanger at the end of Season 3 with its conclusion at the beginning of Season 4. In the episode, Captain Jean-Luc Picard is kidnapped a hive mind called the Borg , and “assimilated” to become the cybernetic commander “Locutus of Borg”. This is hands-down one of the best episodes of Star Trek , but watching it now, it feels a bit rushed. Even as a two-part episode, the story is beholden to the Status Quo nature of the series. Later episodes hint at Picard’s deep psychological scarring from the incident, but for the most part, everything wraps up nicely at the end of the episode.

A Locutus Story Arc

If Star Trek: The Next Generation were on today, the Best of Both Worlds story arc might have lasted the better part of a season. I would have like to see a couple more episodes where the evil Locutus uses his insider knowledge against the Enterprise and Starfleet. I would have like to see Picard have a harder time escaping the Borg collective. And most of all, I would like to see the Enterprise crew live and grow more as people, much like the characters on modern series like Mad Men , Game of Thrones and Breaking Bad .

The Future of Star Trek

Star Trek: Deep Space Nine had some story arcs in its later seasons, which it used to good effect. The next two series, Voyager and Enterprise , flirted with story arcs a bit, but mostly stayed episodic. (Correct me if I’m wrong. I’ve never watched more than a couple of episodes of either.) But even with the most recent series, Enterprise , it’s been a good decade. Television has changed an awful lot in that time, and I would love to see Star Trek come back and make the best of the new medium.

Tags: sci-fi Star Trek writing

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Steve Lovelace is a writer and graphic artist. After graduating Michigan State University in 2004, he taught Spanish in Samoa before moving to Dallas, Texas. He blogs regularly at http://steve-lovelace.com.

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The Top 57 Episodes of ‘Star Trek,’ Ranked From Great to Perfect

Star Trek Episodes Ranked

First, let’s be clear: Ranking the best “Star Trek” episodes is a silly thing to do. To date, the longest-running American TV franchise has aired a gargantuan 890 episodes and counting, starting with the original series in 1966. Since then, at least one “Star Trek” TV show has aired (or streamed) every decade, totaling 11 so far (with more on the way ). Choosing the best episodes within such a boundless, occasionally contradictory storytelling galaxy seems about as wise as cheating when playing poker with a Klingon.

On the other hand, there may be no more time-honored tradition among “Star Trek” fans than a vigorous debate over what constitutes the best of the franchise. (Best series ? Best captains ? Best starships ? Best aliens ? Best uniforms ? They’ve all been ranked multiple times !)

In that spirit — and to commemorate the 57th anniversary of “Star Trek” on Sept. 8 —  Variety ’s resident “Trek” geeks have ranked the top 57 episodes of all time, across the franchise.

Creating our list required some deep-dish nerdiness in its own right: We compiled a long list of episodes from each series that we felt deserved to be on the final ranking. Then we created our own individual rankings — and promptly realized our taste was quite divergent. To reconcile our lists, we adopted the approach of the great movie ranking podcast, Screen Drafts : We took alternating turns placing a pick from 57 to 1, and we each had two opportunities to veto the other’s pick (which in every case was to ensure it was placed higher on the list).

Other than the short-lived “Star Trek: The Animated Series” (1973-1974), this list reflects every other iteration of “Trek” on TV: “Star Trek: The Original Series” (1966-1969); “Star Trek: The Next Generation” (1987-1994); “Star Trek: Deep Space Nine” (1993-1999); “Star Trek: Voyager” (1995-2001); “Star Trek: Enterprise” (2001-2005); “Star Trek: Discovery” (2017-2024); “Star Trek: Picard” (2020-2023); “Star Trek: Prodigy” (2021-2022); and the ongoing “Star Trek: Lower Decks” (2020-present) and “Star Trek: Strange New Worlds” (2022-present).

The Way to Eden

STAR TREK, Leonard Nimoy (far left), Season 3, Episode 20, 'The Way to Eden' aired February 21, 1969, 1966-1969. © Paramount Television/ Courtesy: Everett Collection

“The Original Series” — Season 3, Episode 20

Look, this episode gets a lot of hate. But the fact is “TOS” is known (by today’s standards) for being very campy, and there is no episode campier than this one. A group of space hippies board the Enterprise on their journey to a mythical planet called Eden, where they can live happily forever. The episode memorably features Charles Napier (who would go on to a long career playing tough guys, villains, cops and the like) breaking out into song a bunch of times, including a jam session with Spock (Leonard Nimoy). —Joe Otterson Original airdate: Feb. 21, 1969

Terra Prime

ENTERPRISE, (aka STAR TREK: ENTERPRISE), Jolene Blalock, Peter Weller, Connor Trinneer, (Season 4) Ep. 'Terra Prime', May 13, 2005. 2001 - 2005, Photo: Ron Tom. (c) Paramount Pictures/ Courtesy: Everett Collection.

“Enterprise” — Season 4, Episode 21 More than any other episode of “Enterprise,” “Terra Prime” made the most of the show’s mission to dramatize the beginnings of Starfleet, 100 years before the events of “TOS.” Just as a newfound coalition of planets begins to form on Earth (a precursor to the Federation), Captain Archer (Scott Bakula) and his crew must stop a xenophobic terrorist (played to the hilt by future “Star Trek Into Darkness” villain Peter Weller) bent on forcing all aliens to leave Earth. Subtle, it ain’t, but the story feels more relevant today than it did 20 years ago, and everyone in the cast gets a moment to shine. Alas, it came too late: “Enterprise” had been canceled before this episode even went into production. —Adam B. Vary Original airdate: May 13, 2005

best star trek story arcs

“Prodigy” — Season 1, Episode 6

The animated “Prodigy” was the first “Star Trek” series geared toward kids, but that doesn’t mean there weren’t things for older “Trek” fans to enjoy. In particular, “Kobayashi” perfectly embodies what makes this show a worthy entry in “Trek” canon. Dal (Brett Gray) and Jankom Pog (Jason Mantzoukas) discover the holodeck aboard the Protostar, where they decide to go through the Kobayashi Maru, a.k.a. the “no-win scenario” that Capt. Kirk successfully beat during his time at the Academy. He gets help along the way from legendary characters like Spock, Dr. Crusher (Gates McFadden) and Odo (René Auberjonois). —J.O.

Original airdate: Jan. 6, 2022

Stormy Weather

Pictured: David Ajala as Book, Grudge the cat and Sonequa Martin Green as Burnham of the Paramount+ original series STAR TREK: DISCOVERY. Photo Cr: Michael Gibson/Paramount+ © 2021 CBS Interactive. All Rights Reserved.

“Discovery” — Season 4, Episode 6

On a mission to discover the origins of a cataclysmic gravitational anomaly, the U.S.S. Discovery enters a subspace rift and finds itself trapped inside a lethal black void that threatens to collapse in on the ship. The result is a classic race-against-time thriller (directed by “Trek” mainstay Jonathan Frakes), but what makes “Stormy Weather” stand out amid the heavily serialized episodes of “Discovery” is its emotionally resonant use of the ship’s sentient A.I. computer, Zora (Annabelle Wallis), who has to learn how to calm her mind from overwhelming stimuli in order to guide the ship out of danger. —A.B.V.

Original airdate: Dec. 23, 2021

Seventeen Seconds

Patrick Steward as Picard, Gates McFadden as Dr. Beverly Crusher and Ed Speelers as Jack Crusher in "Seventeen Seconds" Episode 303, Star Trek: Picard on Paramount+.  Photo Credit: Monty Brinton/Paramount+. ©2021 Viacom, International Inc.  All Rights Reserved.

“Picard” — Season 3, Episode 3

“Picard” didn’t find itself until Season 3, which reunited the core cast of “The Next Generation” — and it was really Episode 3 that sealed the deal. Riker (Frakes) is forced to take command of the Titan as Vadic (Amanda Plummer) and the Shrike hunt them. Picard (Patrick Stewart) and Dr. Crusher get an all-time great scene together as she reveals why she never told him about their son, Jack (Ed Speleers). Worf (Michael Dorn) makes his big return. We learn the Changelings are still intent on attacking the Federation. Riker and Picard end up at odds in a way we’ve never seen before. In short, epic. —J.O.

Original airdate: March 2, 2023

The Enemy Within

best star trek story arcs

“The Original Series” — Season 1, Episode 5

The transporter — the cause of, and solution to, so many “Star Trek” problems — accidentally splits Capt. Kirk (William Shatner) into two people: Good Kirk, who is wracked with indecision, and evil Kirk, who is a histrionic asshole. Come for a meditation on the darkness that lies tucked inside everyone’s psyche, stay for some of William Shatner’s most deliciously hammy acting — and this was just the fifth episode of the series! —A.B.V.

Original airdate: Oct. 6, 1966

Family Business

best star trek story arcs

“Deep Space Nine” — Season 3, Episode 23

The Ferengi episodes of “DS9” are always great comic relief, with this episode giving fans their first view of the home planet of Ferenginar and Ferengi culture in general. Quark (Armin Shimerman) and Rom (Max Grodénchik) must return home when their mother, Ishka (Andrea Martin), is accused of acquiring profit (gasp!), something Ferengi females are forbidden to do. Shimerman and Martin shine as they play out Quark and Ishka’s relationship, while Grodénchik really gets to put his comedic chops on display. This episode is also notable as the first appearance of Brunt (Jeffrey Combs) from the Ferengi Commerce Authority, as well as Kasidy Yates (Penny Johnson Jerald), frequent love interest of Cmdr. Sisko (Avery Brooks). —J.O.

Original airdate: May 15, 1995

Blink of an Eye

best star trek story arcs

“Voyager” — Season 6, Episode 12

The Voyager gets stuck in orbit around a planet where time passes far more rapidly than in the rest of space, as the episode alternates between the bemused curiosity of Capt. Janeway (Kate Mulgrew) and her crew and the awestruck preoccupation of the expeditiously progressing populace on the planet below, for whom Voyager is a sparkling, fixed constant in the night sky. At one point, the Doctor (Robert Picard) beams down to the planet to investigate, and a delay of only a few minutes on Voyager means he spends three years on its surface. He even adopts a son! One of the great, wild what if? episodes of “Star Trek.” —A.B.V.

Original airdate: Jan. 19, 2000

best star trek story arcs

“The Next Generation” — Season 3, Episode 23

Mark Lenard absolutely crushed the role of Spock’s father, Sarek, in multiple episodes across multiple “Star Trek” series and movies, but this episode is perhaps his finest performance as the character. Sarek comes to the Enterprise-D on what is meant to be his final mission, only for the crew to learn he is suffering from Bendii Syndrome. The condition leaves him prone to uncharacteristic emotional outbursts while also causing him to telepathically influence the emotions of those around him. Picard saves the day by mind melding with Sarek, allowing him to finish his mission with dignity — and provide Stewart with the chance for some powerhouse acting as he channels Sarek’s volcanic emotions. —J.O.

Original airdate: May 14, 1990

best star trek story arcs

“Enterprise” — Season 3, Episode 10

“Trek” loves a moral dilemma, and this one’s a doozy: After Cmdr. Tucker (Connor Trinneer) is critically injured while the Enterprise is on a deep space mission, Dr. Phlox (John Billingsley) suggests growing a “mimetic symbiote” of Trip — effectively, a clone with a built-in two-week lifespan — in order to create the brain tissue needed to save Trip’s life. But that means the Enterprise crew must endure watching Trip’s clone rapidly age from a precocious kid to an adult man (played by Trinneer with eerie self-possession), who then pleads for his own right to live. Creepy and heartbreaking in equal measure. —A.B.V.

Original airdate: Nov. 19, 2003

Trials and Tribble-ations

STAR TREK: DEEP SPACE NINE, front from left: William Shatner, Leonard Nimoy; back: Avery Brooks, Terry Farrell, 'Trials and Tribble-ations', (S5.E6, aired Nov 4, 1996), 1993-99. ©Paramount Television / Courtesy Everett Collection

“Deep Space Nine” — Season 5, Episode 6

This episode is a love letter to the original series, with the Defiant’s crew transported back in time to the events of “The Trouble With Tribbles.” A Klingon agent is planning to use a booby-trapped tribble to assassinate James T. Kirk. Thanks to digital editing, the crew is able to interact with the original Enterprise crew and keep the timeline intact. —J.O.

Original airdate: Nov. 4, 1996

best star trek story arcs

“Deep Space Nine” — Season 2, Episode 23

Mirror universe episodes of “Star Trek” are (almost) always fun, if ultimately a little silly. But this one — in which Kira (Nana Visitor) and Dr. Bashir (Alexander Siddig) find themselves in an alternate reality in which Bajor, Cardassians and Klingons subjugate humans as slaves — comes closest to matching the spark of discovery in the original “TOS” episode. It’s especially fun to watch Visitor devour the role of Kira’s deliciously wicked mirror counterpart, the Intendant. —A.B.V.

Original airdate: May 16, 1994

Memento Mori

Anson Mount as Pike and Ethan Peck as Spock of the Paramount+ original series STAR TREK: STRANGE NEW WORLDS. Photo Cr: Marni Grossman/Paramount+ ©2022 CBS Studios. All Rights Reserved.

“Strange New Worlds” — Season 1, Episode 4

This episode proved “Strange New Worlds” — the newest “Star Trek” series — could be as action-packed as the very best of “Star Trek.” The Enterprise crew find themselves on the run from the Gorn, a savage enemy (first introduced on “TOS” and largely ignored in “Trek” canon) about which they know virtually nothing. They are forced to use every resource at their disposal to outwit and outrun the Gorn, including tapping into the subconscious of La’an (Christina Chong), the only crew member who has encountered the aliens and survived. —J.O.

Original airdate: May 26, 2022

Counterpoint

best star trek story arcs

“Voyager” — Season 5, Episode 10

The main story is a tense, WWII allegory: Capt. Janeway and her crew hide telepathic refugees while passing through the space of the Devore, who have outlawed telepaths. But the real story is the relationship Janeway forms with the lead Devore inspector, Kashyk (Mark Harelik), who suddenly shows up alone and announces he’s defecting. As Kashyk aids Janeway in finding safe harbor for the refugees, she realizes how much he’s her intellectual equal, and she finds herself drawn to him — in spite of (or perhaps spurred on by) her continued suspicion of his motives. A great, subtle performance by Mulgrew captures both Janeway’s steely wits and her private yearning. —A.B.V.

Original airdate: Dec. 16, 1998

The Drumhead

best star trek story arcs

“The Next Generation” — Season 4, Episode 21

“Star Trek” has done a number of courtroom episodes, and this is one of the best. Rear admiral Norah Satie (Jean Simmons) is sent to investigate suspected sabotage aboard the Enterprise. The investigation quickly spirals into paranoia and accusations of treachery against a crew member who is revealed to have Romulan lineage. It is an excellent reminder of what can happen when persecution is dressed up as an attempt at greater security, with Picard using Satie’s father’s teachings to bring about her downfall. —J.O.

Original airdate: April 29, 1991

best star trek story arcs

“The Next Generation” — Season 7, Episode 8

More thwarted romance! The seasons-long will-they/won’t-they between Picard and Dr. Crusher (Gates McFadden) gets its best showcase, when the pair are captured by isolationist aliens and given implants that allow them to read each other’s thoughts. You get the feeling Stewart and especially McFadden had been dying to play out this dynamic on the show, so they both bring years of sublimated longing to the episode. —A.B.V.

Original airdate: Nov. 8, 1993

In the Hands of the Prophets

best star trek story arcs

“Deep Space Nine” — Season 1, Episode 20

Louise Fletcher’s performance as Vedek Winn (later Kai Winn) ranks among the best “Star Trek” villains of all time. Deeply religious to the point of fanaticism, Winn protests Keiko O’Brien (Rosalind Chao) teaching children on Deep Space Nine that the wormhole aliens are not deities, as many Bajorans believe. Winn’s words whip Bajorans on the station into a frenzy; Keiko’s school is bombed. But what Winn really desires is power, to the point she tries to get one of her followers to kill a fellow Vedek she sees as a threat. The episode sets up Winn’s role as a major antagonist throughout the series to great effect. —J.O.

Original airdate: June 21, 1993

The Trouble With Tribbles

STAR TREK, 1966-69, Ep.#42: "The Trouble With Tribbles," William Shatner, 12/29/67. Paramount/Courtesy: Everett Collection.

“The Original Series” — Season 2, Episode 15

If you’ve seen any episode of “TOS,” chances are it’s this one. While on shore leave at a space station, the Enterprise comes upon an adorably furry alien creature called a tribble, which are born pregnant, multiply exponentially, consume enormous quantities of food and react with alarm when in the presence of a Klingon. Fizzy and funny and, to this day, one of the best-known episodes of “Trek” ever. —A.B.V.

Original airdate: Dec. 29, 1967

Balance of Terror

best star trek story arcs

“The Original Series” — Season 1, Episode 14

Introducing the Romulans alone makes this episode worthy of being on the list. But it’s also an epic cat-and-mouse game between Kirk and a Romulan commander played by none other than Mark Lenard, who would go on to play Sarek starting in Season 2. Kirk successfully lures the Romulan ship into a trap, leading to Lenard delivering the iconic line, “You and I are of a kind. In a different reality, I could have called you friend.” —J.O.

Original airdate: Dec. 15, 1966

STAR TREK: THE NEXT GENERATION, from left: Patrick Stewart, Brent Spiner, Jonathan Frakes, Marina Sirtis, LeVar Burton, 'Qpid', season 4, ep. 20, aired 4/20/1991, 1987-94. © Paramount Television/ Courtesy Everett Collection

“The Next Generation” — Season 4, Episode 20

John de Lancie never disappoints when he plays Q, but this episode offered a wonderful twist on his usual appearances. Following the events of “Deja Q,” Q returns to the Enterprise saying he owes Picard a debt. Picard repeatedly tells Q he wants nothing from him, but Q notices Picard has eyes for Vash (Jennifer Hetrick), the mercenary archeologist Picard first met on Risa. Being Q, he naturally transports Picard, Vash, and the bridge crew to a Robin Hood fantasy in which Picard must rescue Vash from the evil Sir Guy of Gisbourne (Clive Frevill). Added bonus: Worf, in scarlet tights, exclaiming in protest, “I am not a merry man!” —J.O.

Original airdate: April 22, 1991

STAR TREK, Bobby Clark (as the Gorn captain), William Shatner, in Season 1, Ep#19, 'Arena,' January 19, 1967. (c)Paramount. Courtesy:Everett Collection.

“The Original Series” — Season 1, Episode 18

The classic “trial by combat” episode that pitted Kirk against a Gorn captain on a barren, rocky planet (i.e. the storied filming location Vasquez Rocks ). Few images from “Star Trek” have become more iconic than the original Gorn costume, which was essentially an actor dressed as a large lizard. The ending is also an all-timer, with Kirk choosing to spare the Gorn, proving to the all-powerful Metrons that set up the trial by combat that humans are capable of more than just random violence. —J.O.

Original airdate: Jan. 19, 1967

A Mathematically Perfect Redemption

"A Mathematically Perfect Redemption”- Ep#307 --Jamies Sia as Kaltorus and Kether Donohue as Peanut Hamper in the Paramount+ series STAR TREK: LOWER DECKS. Photo: PARAMOUNT+ ©2022 CBS Interactive, Inc. All Rights Reserved **Best Possible Screen Grab**

“Lower Decks” — Season 3, Episode 7

“Star Trek’s” first pure comedy (and second animated series) often plays as a twisted love letter to the entire “Trek” franchise — like when Peanut Hamper (Kether Donohue), one of the sentient Exocomp robots first introduced on “The Next Generation,” abandons the crew of the U.S.S. Cerritos in a time of need. This episode tracks Peanut Hamper’s journey to redemption afterwards, which involves her encountering a seemingly primitive species called the Areore. To say anything more would spoil the fun; suffice it to say, “Trek” has rarely provoked gasps of deep laughter like this episode does. —A.B.V.

Original airdate: Oct. 6, 2022

Bar Association

best star trek story arcs

“Deep Space Nine” — Season 4, Episode 15

What better episode of “Star Trek” to talk about after Hollywood’s hot labor summer? Fed up with the unfair conditions at Quark’s bar, Rom talks the other workers into forming a union and going on strike. Max Grodénchik truly shines in this episode as the would-be union leader. Once Rom successfully gets Quark to agree to all the workers’ demands, he outright quits and goes to work as a repair technician for the station, setting up some of Rom’s best moments in the episodes to come. —J.O.

Original airdate: Feb. 19, 1996

STAR TREK: VOYAGER, from left: John Savage, Kate Mulgrew, 'Equinox', (Season 5, ep. 526, aired May 26, 1999), 1995-2001. photo: Ron Tom / ©Paramount Television / Courtesy Everett Collection

“Voyager” — Season 5, Episode 26 & Season 6, Episode 1

The Voyager swoops to the rescue of the Equinox, another Federation starship stranded in the Gamma Quadrant — only this one, led by Capt. Ransom (John Savage), is a smaller ship not meant for deep space travel. With their crew whittled down to just 12 people, Ransom has resorted to murdering alien creatures to use their bio-matter to boost the Equinox’s engines — a horrific violation of everything Starfleet stands for. The discovery pushes Janeway to her own limits, as she obsessively pursues the Equinox despite the cost to her own crew and her morality. The two-parter is one of the darkest episodes of “Star Trek,” a chilling reminder of how easily good people can find themselves slipping into disgrace. —A.B.V.

Original airdates: May 26, 1999 & Sept. 22, 1999

Who Mourns for Morn?

best star trek story arcs

“Deep Space Nine” — Season 6, Episode 12

Morn (Mark Allen Shepherd) was a “Deep Space Nine” fixture, always at Quark’s bar, but never actually speaking onscreen. But in this episode, with Morn apparently dead in an accident, everyone reveals the offscreen times they spent with him, including the revelation that he “never shuts up.” Quark inherits all of Morn’s property, which Odo relishes revealing is ultimately nothing. But as it turns out, Morn had a much more adventurous life before his time on “DS9” than anyone knew, leading his former comrades to seek him out to get a hold of the money they believed he still possessed. —J.O.

Original airdate: Feb. 4, 1998

Species Ten-C

Pictured: Sonequa Martin-Green as Burnham of the Paramount+ original series STAR TREK: DISCOVERY. Photo Cr: Marni Grossman/Paramount+ © 2021 CBS Interactive. All Rights Reserved.

“Discovery” — Season 4, Episode 12

Other than the Gorn, almost all of the aliens on “Star Trek” are, essentially, humans with slightly different forehead ridges. But in its most recent season, “Discovery” embraced “Trek’s” prime directive (seeking out new life, bolding going where no one’s gone, etc.) by crafting a species that is truly alien: the Ten-C. Throughout the season, the Ten-C are presented as both a total mystery and an existential threat; when Capt. Burnham (Sonequa Martin-Green) and the crew of the Discovery finally reach them — outside the barrier of the Milky Way galaxy — they are unlike anything the show has ever encountered. Rarely has “Trek” applied more intellectual and emotional rigor to what it might actually be like to attempt first contact with extra-terrestrials, and rarely has it been this compelling. —A.B.V.

Original airdate: March 10, 2022

A Man Alone

STAR TREK: DEEP SPACE NINE, Alexander Siddig, Terry Farrell, Avery Brooks, Rene Auberjonois, 1993-1999, "A Man Alone

“Deep Space Nine” — Season 1, Episode 4

Odo is one of the best characters in “DS9” — and in the “Star Trek” universe — in general, and this is the first episode to really establish him as a standout . A known criminal returns to the station only to die shortly after, and Odo is accused of his murder. Odo’s status as an outsider, but ultimately someone to be respected, is made crystal clear in this episode, with even his archenemy Quark acknowledging that Odo is not the type to murder someone in cold blood. —J.O.

Original airdate: Jan. 17, 1993

Mirror, Mirror

STAR TREK, 1966-69, William Shatner, Leonard Nimoy, "Mirror, Mirror"--Ep.39, aired 10/6/67. Paramount/Courtesy: Everett Collection.

“The Original Series” — Season 2, Episode 4

The transporter strikes again, this time accidentally zapping Kirk, Uhura (Nichelle Nichols), Scotty (James Doohan) and Bones (DeForest Kelley) from their reality into a parallel universe in which the benevolent Federation has been replaced by the bloodthirsty Terran Empire, governed by brute force and fascistic exploitation — and Spock has a goatee! More silly than serious (and no less fun for it), the episode effectively spawned an entire sub-genre of parallel universe episodes of TV (from “Supernatural” to “Friends”) and gave generations of actors a chance to play wildly against type. —A.B.V.

Original airdate: Oct. 6, 1967

best star trek story arcs

“The Next Generation” — Season 4, Episode 2

People rave about “The Best of Both Worlds” and Picard’s assimilation by the Borg, but fewer remember this incredible follow-up episode. Picard returns to his family vineyard to put the Borg incident behind him, even briefly thinking that he will leave Starfleet. Jeremy Kemp crushes it as Picard’s brother Robert, with the two sharing a memorable (and muddy) scene in which Picard breaks down and admits how much his assimilation has shaken him. The episode is also memorable for the appearance of Worf’s adoptive parents, who come to the Enterprise to be with him following his discommendation. —J.O.

Original airdate: Oct. 1, 1990

Living Witness

best star trek story arcs

“Voyager” — Season 4, Episode 23

For several minutes, “Living Witness” seems like a mirror universe episode, as a ruthless Janeway, captain of the “warship” Voyager, agrees to aid the Vaskans against the insurgent Kyrians by unleashing a biological weapon upon millions and executing the Kyrian leader. But then we realize that we’ve just witnessed a recreation at a Kyrian museum 700 years in the future, at which point a copy of the Doctor enters the story and learns, to his horror, how much the Kyrians have gotten wrong. What could have been a Rashomon-style caper instead becomes fascinating meditation on how the telling of history can be weaponized, even inadvertently, to maintain old wounds rather than heal them. —A.B.V.

Original airdate: April 29, 1998

Unification

best star trek story arcs

“The Next Generation” — Season 5, Episode 7 & 8

Spock appeared on “The Next Generation” a month before the release of 1991’s “Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country” — but this time, at least, crass cross-promotion prompted some sublimely entertaining TV, as Picard and Data (Brent Spiner) aid Spock in his effort to reunify the Romulan and Vulcan peoples. [Stefon voice]: This two-parter has everything : Klingon warbirds, rude Ferengis, Tasha’s evil Romulan daughter Sela (Denise Crosby), Data and Spock philosophizing on their twin pursuits of logic and emotion, the death of Sarek, Worf singing Klingon opera with a four-armed bar pianist, and Picard and Spock mind-melding! —A.B.V.

Original airdates: Nov. 4 & 11, 1991

best star trek story arcs

“Deep Space Nine” — Season 7, Episode 9

Gul Dukat is the best villain in “Star Trek.” Yes, you read that right. The writers and actor Marc Alaimo created an incredibly nuanced character that goes through a remarkable arc over the course of the series. This episode, near the end of “DS9’s” run, reminds fans that Dukat sees himself as a savior, but is ultimately a force for evil. He establishes a cult dedicated to the Pah wraiths on Empok Nor, luring a number of Bajorans to his side. But of course, he also sleeps with his female followers and tries to trick them into a mass suicide. Amazing stuff. —J.O.

Original airdate: Nov. 23, 1998

The Last Generation

LeVar Burton as Geordi La Forge, Brent Spiner as Data, Gates McFadden as Dr. Beverly Crusher, Michael Dorn as Worf, Marina Sirtis as Deanna Troi, Jonathan Frakes as Will Riker and Patrick Stewart as Picard in "The Last Generation" Episode 310, Star Trek: Picard on Paramount+.  Photo Credit: Trae Patton/Paramount+. ©2021 Viacom, International Inc.  All Rights Reserved.

“Picard” — Season 3, Episode 10

The cast of “TNG” infamously never got their swan song, after 2002’s “Star Trek: Nemesis” bombed in theaters, so this series finale serves as a gift both to them and to “TNG” fans. Every character gets their spotlight, including the resurrected Enterprise-D, as Picard, Riker, Dr. Crusher, Data, Worf, LaForge (LeVar Burton) and Troi (Marina Sirtis) all help to take down the Borg once and for all. The final scene — everyone sitting around a poker table, laughing and reminiscing — is as pure and satisfying an expression of fan service as anything “Trek” has ever done. —A.B.V.

Original airdate: April 20, 2023

best star trek story arcs

“The Next Generation” — Season 3, Episode 13

Until this episode, Q was an enjoyably malevolent force within “TNG,” an omnipotent being who’d gleefully pop up now and again to play with the lives of the Enterprise-D crew. But here, when Q suddenly appears on the bridge, he’s been stripped of all his powers (and all of his clothes) and begs Picard for safe harbor. At first, no one believes him — even after Guinan (Whoopi Goldberg) stabs him with a fork — which only fuels John de Lancie’s sparkling performance, as Q confronts life as ( shudder ) a mortal human. —A.B.V.

Original airdate: Feb. 3, 1990

An Embarrassment of Dooplers

205: “An Embarrassment of Dooplers” -- Commander, Dawnn Lewis as Captain Carol Freeman an  Richard Kind as Dooplers of the Paramount+ series STAR TREK: LOWER DECKS. Photo: PARAMOUNT+ ©2021 CBS Interactive, Inc. All Rights Reserved **Best Possible Screen Grab**

“Lower Decks” — Season 2, Episode 5

The title refers to an alien called a Doopler, who duplicate themselves whenever they get embarrassed — which, naturally, becomes an issue the moment one steps foot on the Cerritos. But really, this episode is one of those deeply enjoyable “Trek” episodes that is less about story than it is about the vibes , as the characters spend their downtime winningly contending with the central premise of the show: The bittersweet contentment of life at the bottom of the ladder. —A.B.V.

Original airdate: Sept. 9, 2021

STAR TREK: DEEP SPACE NINE, from left: John Colicos, William Campbell, Michael Ansara, 'Blood Oath', (S2, E19, aired March 27, 1994), 1993-99. ©Paramount Television / Courtesy Everett Collection

“Deep Space Nine” — Season 2, Episode 19    

The lives of the past hosts of the Dax symbiont are a recurring plot device on “DS9,” and no episode does it better than this one. A group of Klingons who knew Curzon Dax arrive at the station and enlist Jadzia’s (Terry Ferrell) help in killing their sworn enemy, a criminal known as The Albino who killed the three Klingons’ first-born sons. Jadzia ultimately honors the blood oath, as the episode explores the meaning of honor and solidarity. —J.O.

Original airdate: March 28, 1994

Where No Man Has Gone Before

STAR TREK, Sally Kellerman (left), Paul Fix (2nd from right), George Takei (right), 'Where No Man Has Gone Before', (Season 1, ep. 103, aired Sept. 22, 1966), 1966-69.

“The Original Series” — Season 1, Episode 3

The famed second pilot episode of “Star Trek” (which introduced William Shatner as Capt. Kirk) is a strange artifact today: Bones and Uhura aren’t aboard yet, Sulu (George Takei) isn’t at the helm, the Enterprise has a psychiatrist (played by Sally Kellerman), and the uniforms and sets look a bit off. But the central story — Kirk’s best friend, Gary Mitchell (Gary Lockwood), is zapped by an energy blast at the edge of the galaxy, and begins to exhibit extraordinary psychokinetic powers — is vintage “Trek”: Brainy, brawny, and just the right side of uncanny. And it’s fascinating now to see how well-established Kirk and Spock’s dynamic of emotion vs. logic was from the very start. —A.B.V.

Original airdate: Sept. 22, 1966

The Measure of a Man

best star trek story arcs

“The Next Generation” — Season 2, Episode 9

Data’s quest for humanity is at the very core of “TNG,” and this stirring episode literally puts that quest on trial — and establishes the show’s voice for the rest of its run. A Starfleet scientist wants to dismantle Data in order to create more androids, but Data refuses, setting up an intense courtroom drama — is Data merely a machine and the property of Starfleet? — with Picard representing Data while Riker is forced to represent the scientist. —J.O.

Original airdate: Feb. 13, 1989

best star trek story arcs

“The Next Generation” — Season 4, Episode 26 & Season 5, Episode 1

The Klingons started on “Trek” as a not-that-thinly-veiled metaphor for the Soviet Union at the height of the Cold War, but over the decades, they’ve developed their own richly detailed mythology. This two-parter (which aired just before the fall of the USSR) depicts a civil war within the Klingon Empire that leads to Worf’s decision to leave the Enterprise and join the fight. For a series that was episodic by design, this is the closest “TNG” ever got to serialized storytelling, incorporating events from several previous episodes — including the shocking introduction of Tasha’s Romulan daughter, Sela. —A.B.V.

Original airdates: June 17, 1991 & Sept. 23, 1991

best star trek story arcs

“Deep Space Nine” — Season 1, Episode 11

It is endlessly entertaining to see Quark get what he wants as he then  learns that it’s way more trouble than he realized. This episode sums that idea up nicely, while also featuring the first of many wonderful appearances by Wallace Shawn as Ferengi leader Grand Nagus Zek. Zek unexpectedly names Quark his successor, only for Zek to die shortly after. Quark is thrilled at first, before he realizes being the Nagus puts a massive target on his back. This episode also helps build the friendship between Nog (Aron Eisenbeg) and Jake (Cirroc Lofton), with Jake secretly teaching Nog how to read. —J.O.

Original airdate: March 22, 1993

Tinker, Tenor, Doctor, Spy

STAR TREK: VOYAGER, (from left): Robert Picardo (right), 'Tinker, Tenor, Doctor, Spy', (Season 6, aired Oct. 13, 1999), 1995-2001. © Paramount Television / Courtesy: Everett Collection

“Voyager” — Season 6, Episode 4

Yearning to grow past his programming, the Doctor allows himself the ability to daydream, in one of the flat-out funniest episodes of “Trek” ever. It opens with Robert Picardo singing opera as Tuvok (Tim Russ) undergoes pon farr (i.e. the madness to mate that consumes Vulcan males) and just gets wilder from there, up to the moment when the Doctor, who’d fantasized about taking over command of Voyager in an emergency, does it for real. —A.B.V.

Original airdate: Oct. 13, 1999

STAR TREK, 1966-69, Leonard Nimoy (as Spock) & Arlene Martel (as his bride, T'Pring), in episode #34, "Amok Time," 9/15/67.

“The Original Series” — Season 2, Episode 1

Speaking of pon farr, this is the “TOS” episode that first establishes it — as well as the planet Vulcan, several Vulcan customs and traditions, and the now legendary Vulcan salute (honorable mention: Spock actually smiles!). Wracked with pon farr, Spock asks for leave back on his home planet, and eventually reveals that he must meet his betrothed, T’Pring (Arlene Martel). Naturally, Kirk and Spock end up in a fight to the death in one of the most iconic battles in “Star Trek” history. —J.O.

Original airdate: Sept. 15, 1967

Year of Hell

best star trek story arcs

“Voyager” — Season 4, Episode 8 & 9

The most lasting criticism of “Voyager” is that every week, no matter what happened in the previous episode, the ship and crew emerged unscathed and ready for a new adventure. As if in response, this two-parter tracks a year in which the Voyager is ravaged to the point of near ruin by repeated encounters with an aggressive alien species called the Krenim. Unbeknownst to the crew, they’re actually the victims of a Krenim scientist, Annorax (Kurtwood Smith), who developed a technology to alter the fabric of time by erasing entire species from ever existing. This is as harrowing and merciless as “Trek’s” ever been, but it’s not quite the best episode of “Voyager” due to the irony of its ending: Janeway crashes the husk of the Voyager into Annorax’s timeship — which resets the timeline completely, as if nothing that we’d seen had ever happened. —A.B.V.

Original airdates: Nov. 5 & 12, 1997

best star trek story arcs

“Deep Space Nine” — Season 3, Episodes 11 & 12

“Star Trek” often addresses timely societal issues, but this episode put them firmly in a 21st century context. Sisko, Bashir, and Dax accidentally wind up in San Francisco circa 2024, where poverty and oppression of the disadvantaged are running rampant (crazy how that remains timely, huh?). When a man meant to serve an important purpose in an historic riot is accidentally killed too soon, Sisko is forced to take his place. —J.O.

Original airdate: Jan. 2, 1995 & Jan. 9, 1995

Those Old Scientists

Tawny Newsome, Jack Quaid and Anson Mount appearing in Star Trek: Strange New Worlds, streaming on Paramount+, 2023. Photo Cr: Michael Gibson/Paramount+

“Strange New Worlds” — Season 2, Episode 7

In one of the rare “Trek” crossover episodes, Ens. Boimler (Jack Quaid) and Ens. Mariner (Tawny Newsome) from “Lower Decks” find themselves zapped back to the era when Capt. Pike (Anson Mount) captained the Enterprise. Marshalled by Jonathan Frakes’ steady hand as a director , the disparate tones of “Lower Decks” and “Strange New World” somehow mesh perfectly, and hilariously, together. Packed with guffaw-worthy laughs, “Those Old Scientists” also becomes a deeply poignant expression of the impact “Trek” has had on generations of fans. Maybe it’s controversial to place one of the most recent “Trek” episodes so high on this list, but this one more than earns its spot. —A.B.V.

Original airdate: July 22, 2023

The Best of Both Worlds

best star trek story arcs

“The Next Generation” — Season 3, Episode 26 & Season 4, Episode 1

This two-parter is frequently cited as the best “Next Generation” storyline of all time, mostly because it features one of the most iconic cliffhangers in all of television. The Borg attack the Federation, leading to a showdown with the Enterprise. Picard is captured and assimilated, revealing himself to his crew as Locutus of Borg. If we’re splitting Borg nano-probes, the second half doesn’t quite live up to the first, which is why, for us, it doesn’t quite rank into the Top 10. Special shoutout to this episode for setting up the incredible “Star Trek” film “First Contact.” —J.O.

Original airdate: June 18, 1990 & Sept. 24, 1990

best star trek story arcs

“Deep Space Nine” — Season 1, Episode 19

When a Cardassian named Marritza (Harris Yulin) arrives on Deep Space Nine, Kira realizes he must have worked at one of the most notorious labor camps during Cardassia’s occupation of Bajor, and she arrests him as a war criminal. What follows is effectively a two-hander, as Kira’s interrogation of Marritza leads to a series of revelations that unmoor her hard-won fury at the atrocities inflicted upon her people. The conventional wisdom is that “DS9” didn’t get cooking until the Dominion War, but this early episode proves that this show was providing great, searing drama from the start. —A.B.V.

Original airdate: June 14, 1993

STAR TREK, Ep.#24: 'Space Seed,' Ricardo Montalban, William Shatner, 2/16/67. Paramount/Courtesy: Everett Collection.

“The Original Series” — Season 1, Episode 22

Ricardo Montalbán makes his debut as Khan Noonien Singh, a genetically superior dictator from Earth’s Eugenics Wars. Khan and his people have been in suspended animation for 200 years and are looking to dominate humanity once again. Naturally, Kirk is able to beat Khan in a riveting confrontation, but rather than send him and his people to a penal colony, he agrees to let them settle on the wild planet, Ceti Alpha V. The episode proved to be so good, it led to the 1982 film “Star Trek II: Wrath of Khan,” arguably the best “Trek” movie of all time. —J.O.

Original airdate: Feb. 16, 1967

best star trek story arcs

“Voyager” — Season 5, Episode 6

There’s something about time travel — and the twisty narrative paradoxes it can cause — that has engendered some of the best episodes of “Trek” ever made. That certainly includes this stunning “Voyager” episode, which opens with Harry Kim (Garrett Wang) and Chakotay (Robert Beltran), 15 years in the future, discovering the frozen husk of the Voyager buried inside a glacier on a barren ice planet. It turns out Kim made a critical mistake that caused the catastrophic accident, from which only he and Chakotay survived. Their unyielding fixation to right that wrong — and erase the previous 15 years from history — makes for a gripping nail-biter about regret and devotion. Not only did LeVar Burton direct, but he cameos as Capt. Geordi La Forge! —A.B.V.

Original airdate: Nov. 18, 1998

The Defector

best star trek story arcs

“The Next Generation” — Season 3, Episode 10

Did a Romulan admiral really defect to the Federation, or are the Romulans perpetrating an elaborate hoax on Picard and the Enterprise crew? This wonderful episode sees the admiral in question (played by James Sloyan) claiming the Romulans are building a secret base within the Neutral Zone, forcing Picard to consider whether or not he should investigate and thus risk starting a war. It also features the excellent opening in which Picard tries to teach Data about humanity by having him act out scenes from Shakespeare’s “Henry V.” —J.O.

Original airdate: Jan. 1, 1990

Chain of Command

best star trek story arcs

“The Next Generation” — Season 6, Episode 10 & 11

Lured into Cardassian territory under false pretenses, Picard is captured and systematically tortured by a ruthless interrogator, Gul Madred, in a chilling performance by David Warner. Their disturbing tête-à-tête — Picard is stripped naked and nearly broken by the end — would be enough for one of the all-time best “Trek” episodes. But this two-parter also boasts Ronny Cox as Capt. Jellico, Picard’s replacement on the Enterprise, whose prickly and demanding leadership style creates all kinds of thrilling friction among the crew. —A.B.V.

Original airdates: Dec. 14 & 21, 1992

In the Pale Moonlight

best star trek story arcs

“Deep Space Nine” — Season 6, Episode 19

In this fantastic episode, Sisko grapples with the ethics of doing whatever it takes to get the Romulans to join the Dominion War on the Federation-Klingon side. This includes falsifying evidence and freeing a known criminal from Klingon prison with the help of master spy Garak (played by the always wonderful Andrew Robinson). Sisko (while recording a personal log) delivers a series of powerful monologues direct to camera about why he did what he did, ultimately deciding it was worth it in the end. —J.O.

Original airdate: April 13, 1998

The City on the Edge of Forever

best star trek story arcs

“The Original Series” — Season 1, Episode 28

Accidentally hopped up on stimulants, a crazed Bones leaps through a time portal on an alien planet and winds up changing history so drastically that the Enterprise disappears. Kirk and Spock travel back to stop him, and land in New York City during the Great Depression, where they learn that Bones saved the life of Sister Edith Keeler (Joan Collins), a pacifist whose message resonates so strongly that the U.S. stays out of WWII, allowing the Nazis to conquer Europe. Alas, Kirk falls deeply in love with Keeler, establishing a classic “Trek” moral dilemma: How does one suppress their most profound personal feelings for the greater good? An all-timer that still resonates today. —A.B.V.

Original airdate: April 6, 1967

Far Beyond the Stars

best star trek story arcs

“Deep Space Nine” — Season 6, Episode 13

In this Avery Brooks-directed episode, Sisko envisions himself as a Black science fiction writer in 1950s New York named Benny Russell. Russell dreams up a story about the crew of a space station led by a Black captain, but his publisher refuses to run it. This episode is memorable for many reasons, the biggest of which being its handling of racism, but it also allows the show’s main cast gets to appear without any prosthetics or makeup, as completely different characters, to great effect. —J.O.

Original airdate: Feb. 9, 1998

Yesterday’s Enterprise

best star trek story arcs

“The Next Generation” — Season 3, Episode 15

The Enterprise-C, believed to have been destroyed over 20 years earlier, emerges from a temporal anomaly and resets history into a decades-long war between the Federation and the Klingon Empire. Tasha — killed off in Season 1 (after Denise Crosby wanted to leave the show) — is brought back to life, and falls for the Enterprise-C’s helmsman (Christopher McDonald), while Guinan implores Picard that something is desperately wrong with history and he must send the Enterprise-C back to certain doom. Somehow, this episode crams a movie’s worth of story into a nimble and rousing 44 minutes. Not a second is wasted. Outrageously great. —A.B.V.

Original airdate: Feb. 19, 1990

The Inner Light

best star trek story arcs

“The Next Generation” — Season 5, Episode 25

When the Enterprise comes upon a mysterious probe, Picard is suddenly hit with a signal that plunges him into a different man’s life on a dying planet. There, Picard experiences half a lifetime, with a wife, children and grandchildren, all in the space of 25 minutes. When Picard realizes this was all meant as a time capsule — a way to preserve the stories of the people of the planet, which was destroyed 1,000 years earlier by an exploding star — the revelation that he lived the life he’d long forsaken as a Starfleet captain, only to have it ripped away, is almost more than he can bear. But hoo boy, does it make for stunning, deeply moving television. In fact, almost no episode of “Trek” is better. Almost. —A.B.V.

Original airdate: June 1, 1992

The Visitor

best star trek story arcs

“Deep Space Nine” — Season 4, Episode 2

Don’t watch this one without tissues handy. This emotionally devastating episode gets right to the heart of what made “DS9” so special — the relationship between Sisko and his son, Jake. Told in flashbacks by an elderly Jake (Tony Todd), the episode recounts how Sisko became unstuck in time, briefly revisiting Jake over the course of his life, and how Jake is determined to bring him back. In brief, fleeting moments, Sisko tells Jake not to worry about him and to live his life to the fullest. But Jake cannot bear the thought of losing his father forever, ultimately sacrificing his own life to restore the normal flow of time. —J.O.

Original airdate: Oct. 9, 1995

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Ex Astris Scientia

10 Best Star Trek Episodes

😲 Comment below (without indignation, if possible), or post your personal list. There are many outstanding Trek episodes, but it is my intention to pick just ten favorites from a total of over 800. The only Trek movie that ties with the episodes listed below in my view is "Star Trek: First Contact". And here it goes:

best star trek story arcs

10 ENT: Awakening

best star trek story arcs

"Awakening" is the only Enterprise episode to make my top ten list. Despite its intrinsic disadvantage as the middle part of a trilogy, it is nothing less than an excellent drama with just the right share of action. In a (possibly daring) comparison with "Star Trek III", I think that Archer is more credible as the one who carries Surak's katra than McCoy with Spock's mind. I like the Enterprise-style Surak anyway because he is shown as a gentle and prudent leader, one that would win the hearts of the people and not simply lecture and command them. And Scott Bakula isn't even the greatest actor of the show. That honor falls to Connor Trinneer as Trip once again, whose interaction with Soval is wonderful. In some fashion these two are like the prototypes of Kirk and Spock. Read the full review .

9 TNG: Frame of Mind

best star trek story arcs

Characters of the various Star Trek series repeatedly find themselves in situations in which they can't distinguish what is real and what is an illusion or a hallucination. "Frame of Mind" is the most impressive story of its kind. I think this is mainly because we see everything through Riker's eyes. Jonathan Frakes's performance in this episode is outstanding, and I admit I may have underestimated his acting up to this point. While it is clear that the person who increasingly believes that he is insane really is Will Riker, first officer of the Enterprise, and not a maniacal murderer, the viewer is caught in his distorted world just like Riker himself. We see the true Enterprise crew as late as at the very end of the episode. This is thrilling from the first to the last minute and earns this episode its place among my personal top ten. Read the full review .

8 TNG: The Best of Both Worlds I/II

best star trek story arcs

No list of favorite Trek episodes ever compiled can do without "The Best of Both Worlds", and here it is. The two-parter is the by far most famous episode of TNG and perhaps of all Star Trek. But what is so special about it? First of all, after the slow start of TNG it brought excitement to the franchise. Secondly, "The Best of Both Worlds" involves the crew very personally, in an existential way and (in hindsight) with long-term consequences, especially for Picard. Thirdly, the character relations are played out very well. Everyone of the crew has a few good scenes, and interacts with everyone else. Fourthly, it is full of memorable moments, including the possibly best cliffhanger in the history of television. The excitement comes from the story, from the actors and from the directing - despite or just because of the simple visual effects of the time. Note the pleasant absence of hectic camera motion and of fast cuts! Read the full review .

7 TNG: Cause and Effect

best star trek story arcs

Star Trek has a long history of featuring strange time travel phenomena, very often involving past incursions that the crew has to fix, or other variations of linear time. "Cause and Effect" puts a fresh spin on the idea of time travel with its concept of a time loop. It is arguably one of the most curious episodes ever written, especially keeping in mind that it came out in 1992 even before the famous movie "Groundhog Day" with its similar theme. It is also among the most thrilling stories ever, and a true masterpiece of writer Brannon Braga and director Jonathan Frakes, who had to take care of minutiae that are not important or are not deemed important in a usual episode. For the viewer, this is an episode in which it pays off to pay attention to the smallest details. Read the full review .

6 DS9: What You Leave Behind

best star trek story arcs

"What You Leave Behind" is an awesome conclusion to Star Trek's arguably best multi-episode arc and, of course, to the whole series just as well. I absolutely love how the finale takes time to resolve a couple of issues after the rage of the final battle (with the war ending already half-way through the episode). It is an almost perfect mix of action and character development and never appears hasty. Every part of the arc and every character is given a fair share of the screen time. Regarding Sisko's fate, it may not seem entirely satisfying that he has to stay with the Prophets, especially considering that he leaves behind a son and a pregnant wife. But considering how everything began in "Emissary", the cycle is completed when Sisko, after completing his mundane task, joins the Prophets. When Kira and Jake stand behind the window on the promenade deck, this is the final goodbye to the station, although probably no other Trek series would have called so much for a sequel, and if only in a TV movie. Read the full review .

5 VOY: Distant Origin

best star trek story arcs

"Distant Origin" is remarkable to start with because it is told from the perspective of the dinosaur-like Voth much of the time; Voyager doesn't even appear until about 15 minutes into the episode. The story of Gegen, who defends his "Distant Origin Theory", strikes me as one of the most intellectual ones in the whole franchise. It addresses various questions of science and politics and doesn't leave us with a ready-made answer for everything. If a proof is necessary that Star Trek has evolved beyond simple plots where the roles of good and evil are clear and the good always wins, I will most likely refer to "Distant Origin". There is no happy ending. Still, there is the spark of hope that some day some other Voth and perhaps some more Voth will insist on the truth and will succeed. The Voth are arguably the most remarkable aliens-of-the-week ever featured. I would have loved to see them again in some fashion. Read the full review .

4 VOY: Year of Hell I/II

best star trek story arcs

Even after more than 20 years, "Year of Hell" still blows me away. It deserves a prize for being the perhaps most intelligent and most sophisticated plot ever successfully brought to the small screen. I wonder if anyone is able to understand all the depicted or implied temporal changes after watching the episode only once. Actually, when "Year of Hell" was just released on VHS, I invited a couple of colleagues to watch it. So we spent one and a half hours to watch it, and a few more hours to discuss it. We were young and we still had the time. Also, hardly any episode is so full of tidbits, as special effects, trivia and quotes are concerned. For quite some time after our video showing, "a few more calculations" was a winged word at our university institute. Read the full review .

3 DS9: Trials and Tribble-ations

best star trek story arcs

"Trials and Tribble-ations" perfectly blends the good old TOS episode "The Trouble with Tribbles", a known fan favorite, with a new DS9-based background story. The episode benefits greatly from an intelligent script, from accurate timing, from visual effects that are incredible for their time and from actors who visibly have fun in their roles. It is full of memorable quotes without being contrived, and the crew's numerous mistakes about 23rd century technology and habits are hilarious without becoming silly. An equally affectionate homage to The Original Series has never been produced before and will never be made again. Among my all-time favorite episodes this may not be the most exciting one or the most important one as the story arc is concerned, but it will always have a special place. Read the full review .

2 TNG: Parallels

best star trek story arcs

"Parallels" doesn't customarily show up on fans' lists of favorite episodes, probably because many feel let down if the events of an episode have no impact on "our" characters and "our" universe. And perhaps because they dislike the idea of a Worf-Troi relationship (just like Jonathan Frakes, who tends to be very vocal in this regard). While I can understand these points, I think the fascinating plot idea, the skillful development of the story, the plethora of details and the almost flawless execution and fine acting make "Parallels" a highlight of TNG and of the whole franchise. I personally prefer the universe with the chocolate cake. Read the full review .

1 DS9: The Way of the Warrior

best star trek story arcs

This double feature did not only reinvigorate DS9, it took the storytelling of the whole franchise to a new, still unsurpassed level. It is not just the so far most spectacular space battle in Star Trek's history or the mere fact that Worf, a favorite character from TNG, permanently joins the crew that makes this episode extraordinary. "The Way of the Warrior" draws on the characters and on their relationships, on the realism that lies in the plot and on the overall quality in the screenplay and the directing. Everything is spot-on. If I were to give out an award for the best dramatic presentation in Star Trek, it would go to "The Way of the Warrior". Read the full review .

Great episodes such as TOS: "The City on the Edge of Forever", TNG: "The Inner Light", TNG: "Yesterday's Enterprise", DS9: "Tears of the Prophets", DS9: "Favor the Bold / Sacrifice of Angels", VOY: "Living Witness" or VOY: "Scorpion I/II" narrowly didn't make this list.

best star trek story arcs

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10 Story-arcs Star Trek: Legacy Should Continue

We are the keepers of Star Trek's Legacy as fans - so what do we need to see?

Captain Tuvok Delta Quadrant Star Trek Legacy Picard Voyager Tim Russ

The release of Star Trek: Picard's third season saw an enormous, and almost immediate, call for the powers that be to green-light Star Trek: Legacy . This series, set in the early 25th century, would follow the events of Frontier Day, the promotion of Seven-of-Nine to captain of the Enterprise-G, and focus on post- Nemesis Trek stories.

While the decision-makers mull over the practicalities of Legacy , we have decided to piece together a short list of storylines begging to be developed. One that you won't see here is the Conspiracy aliens, or Bluegills if you prefer, simply as Picard covered far too similar a plot with the Borg infiltration of Starfleet.

We have made our feelings on repeating storylines quite clear at this point!

What do you think, from the list below, is the biggest dangling thread that Star Trek needs to address? While you're thinking, make sure to make your need for Legacy to be greenlit known on your social media platforms - as fans, we helped to save Star Trek: Prodigy , so let's make magic again as a community.

10. Species 8472

Captain Tuvok Delta Quadrant Star Trek Legacy Picard Voyager Tim Russ

Species 8472 have only been seen on-screen in Star Trek: Voyager at this point, though they have an extensive storyline in Star Trek Online. There, they would be renamed the Undine, and a war would break out between them and the Federation. Apparently, the events of In The Flesh didn't have the positive outcome one might have hoped for.

Translating this to Star Trek: Legacy , with Seven-of-Nine commanding the Enterprise-G, this seems like a perfect storyline to pick up, especially when one remembers that Seven and 8472 have a complicated history.

It was the Borg who first invaded their space, with Seven herself directly responsible for beaming a lone survivor aboard a Hirogen vessel. With this history, exploring Seven's relationship with them as she navigates her personal feelings while commanding the Federation flagship, would make for a fascinating continuation of this largely untapped resource.

If nothing else, seeing this tripedal species rendered in 4k would be a sight to behold.

Writer. Reader. Host. I'm Seán, I live in Ireland and I'm the poster child for dangerous obsessions with Star Trek. Check me out on Twitter @seanferrick

Best Star Trek: Deep Space Nine episodes

We countdown the best Star Trek: Deep Space Nine episodes from an ambitious and emotionally charged series.

Star Trek Deep Space Nine_The Visitor

Ranking the best Star Trek: Deep Space Nine episodes is no easy task considering there were 176 of them spread over seven seasons. Premiering in 1993 and ending in 1999, Deep Space Nine (DS9) warped into new territory for Trek. Set mostly on a space station rather than a starship, DS9 was grittier than The Next Generation (TNG) and more grounded than Voyager. We saw the first black lead in the commanding presence of Avery Brooks, and delved deeper into the affairs of the Bajorans, Cardassians, and Ferengi.

Although a slower burn than its predecessors and successors, DS9 eventually crackled into some seriously ambitious story arcs. Like other Treks, the early seasons could be sketchy, but those who invested in the longer-form sequences were handsomely rewarded.

Situated next to a wormhole, and Bajor, which was occupied by the Cardassians, the show’s writers handled vast themes and complicated plots. War with The Dominion led to deeply atmospheric high stakes and moral ambivalence. DS9 was political, emotional, and innovative, but as always it was strong characters who anchored these stories.

The likes of Odo (Rene Auberjonois), Dax, and Kira (Nana Visitor) were complex personalities. There was the wily and engaging Garak (Andrew Robinson) and charming Bashir (Alexander Siddig). While TNG fans got to see other sides to Chief O’Brien and Worf. Commander, and later Captain, Sisko held it together with a thinking man’s masculinity that was neatly foiled by “old man” Jadzia (Terry Farrell). 

It was a difficult choice to whittle down the contenders, but this list of the best Star Trek: Deep Space Nine episodes should provide some insight into what made this show such a special and layered entry in Star Trek canon.

While you’re at it, also check out our best Star Trek: The Original Series episodes and best Star Trek: The Next Generation episodes lists and see if you agree. 

10. Emissary

Star Trek Deep Space Nine_Emissary

  • Season 1, Episode 1
  • Original airdate: January 3, 1993

Deep Space Nine’s pilot opens during a pivotal confrontation in Federation history, against the Borg in the Battle of Wolf 359. Aboard the U.S.S. Saratoga we see Lt. Commander Benjamin Sisko face overwhelming odds, and the death of his beloved wife Jennifer. Three years later, Sisko, now a commander, has to face the man who led the Borg attack: Captain Picard, who’d been assimilated and become Locutus. 

It’s a tense meeting, with Sisko barely hiding his disdain while Picard is equally tough. It’s a faceoff worthy of Pacino and De Niro in Heat in the Trek canon, and well worth rewatching. 

Emissary is an episode full of incident: involving gambling, special orbs, subterfuge, politics, and non-corporeal aliens, to name a few, and benefits from a snappy script and charming introductions to the main cast. In Sisko’s interactions with the wormhole aliens, Emissary also features some unexpectedly deep wisdom, and holds up as one of  Star Trek’s best episodes.

9. Whispers

Star Trek Deep Space Nine_Whispers

  • Season 2, Episode 14
  • Original airdate: February 6, 1994

Chief O’Brien (Colm Meaney) was introduced in The Next Generation, but had a much more substantial role in Deep Space Nine. Catching up with Miles and his family was often a treat, while the chief’s dependably solid demeanor was put through the wringer on many occasions. 

In Whispers, we have a mystery, as O’Brien returns to the station from an away mission only to find his crewmates, and his wife Keiko (Rosalind Chao), behaving oddly. Things are not quite right and the episode steadily builds the eeriness until an emotional and unexpected ending.

8. Improbable Cause & The Die is Cast

Star Trek Deep Space Nine_Improbable Cause

  • Season 3, Episode 20 & 21
  • Original airdate: April 24, 1995 & May 1, 1995

The wily and unctuous Cardassian known as Garak is one of Star Trek’s most compelling characters. Posing as a humble yet charismatic tailor, the façade belies a supremely subtle intelligence. In this two-parter Odo plays detective as a bomb detonates in Garak’s shop. 

Uncovering a plot, tables turn as we learn more about Garak’s connections and start to see the limits of his charm and how his persona might’ve been developed as a survival tactic. It’s also notable for an intense interrogation culminating in hard-to-watch scenes as Garak is forced to commit torture.

7. The Siege of AR-558

Star Trek Deep Space Nine_The Seige of AR-558

  • Season 7, Episode 8
  • Original airdate: November 18, 1998

This episode hones in on the atrocious realities of war as the U.S.S. Defiant makes a supply run to the barren planet AR-558. Beaming down to a heavily depleted Starfleet garrison, with morale low as the troops have been assailed for months, Sisko decides to stay and help these desperate souls. 

The Siege of AR-558 does not shy away from the dread and grimness of combat and war, bringing the camera close rather than zooming far out to space. Pair this with the follow-up It’s Only a Paper Moon (season 7, episode 10) that focuses on the PTSD one of the DS9 crew suffers from the siege.

6. The Way of the Warrior

Star Trek Deep Space Nine_Way of the Warrior

  • Season 4, Episode 1
  • Original airdate: October 2, 1995

This double-length episode that opens season four is an example of DS9 at its best. Exploring the political machinations of the Klingons as paranoia runs riot since the shapeshifters are infiltrating the ranks of their foes, the fearsome species is seemingly looking to revert to their old ways of warring and conquering. 

Starfleet turns to its favorite Klingon to find out exactly what’s going on: Worf (Michael Dorn). This episode is also notable for a wonderfully sly scene where Sisko finds a Garak-shaped way of informing the Cardassians of a Klingon invasion.

5. Trials and Tribble-ations

Star Trek Deep Space Nine_Trials and Tribble-ations

  • Season 5, Episode 6
  • Original airdate: November 4, 1996

This is one of the most beloved episodes in the entire Star Trek canon, and why? Three words: James Tiberius Kirk. Several of DS9’s officers on the Defiant are thrown back in time and encounter none other than the NCC-1701 Constitution-class U.S.S. Enterprise. A Klingon wants to assassinate Kirk and it’s up to Sisko and crew to foil his plot. 

This episode was conceived as a tribute to the original series and is one of the most lavishly budgeted of the entire series. And it shows. From the sets to the throwback costumes Jadzia and Sisko have to don, this is a detailed recreation of that era. The episode was also a welcome change in tone, full of humor and plenty of Easter eggs and callbacks to keep Trekkies busy. 

Watch as tribbles invade the Enterprise and the DS9 crew seamlessly interact with Kirk and his crew. It’s a thrill too when Worf remarks on the ridgeless Klingons of this era’s Trek, a discrepancy that was later explained via Archer’s Enterprise.

4. Sacrifice of Angels

Star Trek Deep Space Nine_Sacrifice of Angels

  • Season 6, Episode 6
  • Original airdate: November 3, 1997

Star Trek fans may have gotten used to story arcs, but they used to be somewhat rare. They involved the Borg in TNG, but Deep Space Nine really paved the way, taking the series into more serialized form. Season six of DS9 followed the war with the Dominion, and Sacrifice of Angels culminated a six-episode arc that is as exciting and dramatic as anything Trek has attempted before or since. 

Sisko makes bold decisions as he seeks to wrest influence from the Dominion while viewers can enjoy some of the biggest space fights in the series. But away from the pyrotechnics, it’s the more profound and philosophical moments that really make this shine.

3. Far Beyond The Stars

Star Trek Deep Space Nine_Far Beyond the Stars

  • Season 6, Episode 13
  • Original airdate: February 11, 1998

Out of nowhere, this episode materialized to become one of DS9’s most memorable and deeply felt. It focuses on Benjamin Sisko, except he’s having a vision, and suddenly we’re transported to 1950s New York and Sisko has become Benny Russell, a writer for science fiction magazine Incredible Tales. Inspired by a drawing, Russell pens an inspired story about a space station and its black captain. But since it's mid-twentieth century America, Russell's boss, the editor, says it’s not believable to have a black captain. 

Featuring the regular DS9 cast, it’s a treat to see the likes of Quark (Armin Shimmerman), Odo, and Worf as regular New Yorkers. But Far Beyond The Stars stands out for a towering performance from Avery Brooks as a writer who dares to dream but who is stricken by the racism of this time period. It’s an unfortunate fact that this episode still resonates in the twenty-first century, but, as the end suggests, it's possible to still dream of a more utopian future.

2. The Visitor

Star Trek Deep Space Nine_The Visitor 2

  • Season 4, Episode 2
  • Original airdate: October 9, 1995

Using a science fiction trope of being lost to time and space, this episode reaches toward the universal. It achieves it in a brusque yet elegant script and a superb performance from Tony Todd as the older Jake (trivia: he also plays Worf’s brother Kurn in DS9 episode Sons of Mogh, and on TNG). 

The Visitor finds Sisko trapped in subspace by a freak accident. His son, Jake, then proceeds to spend the rest of his life trying to bring his father back in this emotional tour de force. For those with fathers – whether absent, role model, or something in between – or are themselves fathers, this episode hits hard.

1. In the Pale Moonlight

Star Trek Deep Space Nine_In the Pale Moonlight

  • Season 6, Episode 19
  • Original airdate: April 15, 1998

While Caradassians are major antagonists, it’s the shapeshifters and The Dominion War that form the deeper structure of DS9 and often shape the most ambitious and morally complex plots. This particular episode reveals the extent to which Sisko and Starfleet are willing to cross moral boundaries to change the odds in their favor. 

Avery Brooks and Andrew Robinson put in stellar performances as Sisko enlists Garak's help to bring the Romulans into the war to assist the Federation, and we see just how far Sisko is willing to go to achieve that.

As Sisko notes in his log, “the road to hell is paved with good intentions. I laid the first stone…” In the Pale Moonlight shows how easily good men can turn to devilry and how each step on that road is marked by rationalizations; yet while you’d want Picard at the negotiating table it’s probably Sisko who you’d turn to to win a war.

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Lu-Hai Liang is a British Chinese writer and reporter. He has a degree in multimedia journalism and has written about culture for The Atlantic, BBC, CNN, Eurogamer, IGN, and Wired among others. He was based previously in Beijing for six years and reported on China’s changing society and development in business and technology. Generally, he likes sci-fi, video games, and space.

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best star trek story arcs

Star Trek: The Next Generation’s Finale Remains Perfect

Deal us in.

Marina Sirtis, Patrick Stewart, and Jonathan Frakes in "All Good Things..."

Three decades ago, one sci-fi series rose above the rest to approach the impossible label of perfection. When Star Trek: The Next Generation aired its triumphant finale on May 23, 1994, it was almost an entirely different series than when it began in 1987. Back then, Next Gen was an awkward remake of The Original Series . When Next Gen ended, it was Star Trek, transforming a 1960s curio into a format destined to survive and evolve for another quarter century.

To say there is no modern Star Trek without The Next Generation is obvious, but what gets missed in countless reassessments is that most adoration for Next Gen can be qualified non-linearly. Just as Captain Picard discovers that a time paradox is the key to saving the galaxy, the success of the TNG finale “All Good Things...” didn’t just come from the fact that it ended a hit show on a high note; instead, it revised Next Generation history to make the beginning of the show feel as good as the ending.

“All Good Things...” was presented as a two-hour finale, just like TNG’s pilot, “Encounter at Farpoint.” Captain Picard (Patrick Stewart) finds himself jumping between the present, a past before when we meet him in “Farpoint,” and a future where he’s a doddering old man with memory problems. Borrowing from Kurt Vonnegut’s classic novel Slaughterhouse-Five , Picard is unstuck in time. It’s soon revealed that the meddling space god Q ( John de Lancie ), intent on teaching Picard a lesson before it's too late, is behind these time shifts. The entire history of everything is on the line as Q reveals a spatial anomaly centered around Picard that threatens to wipe out humanity.

In the past, Picard is tasked with convincing characters who barely know him that he’s their beloved leader, while in the future, the close-knit TNG family has splintered. To save the day, Picard has to heal old wounds and get a fractured Enterprise crew back together for one last ride. In the end, Picard must order three versions of the Enterprise — past, present, and future — to their utter destruction. But it’s okay, no one really lost their lives. The anomaly is erased, and Q dryly tells Picard, “If it puts your mind at ease, you've saved humanity... once again.”

Q (John de Lancie) and Picard (Patrick Stewart) in "All Good Things..."

Q has one last test for Picard.

Part of what makes “All Good Things...” so on-brand for TNG is that there’s no real villain, and once the quest is over its stakes seem ridiculously low. You’re never actually worried the episode will end with humanity getting wiped out by a time anomaly, meaning the true stakes of the episode are emotional. The journey was about understanding the Starfleet family that’s formed over the last seven years.

If this sounds overly sentimental, you’re not wrong, but what made “All Good Things...” a successful finale is that it celebrated what Next Generation had become: a warm, allegorical, pseudo-family show about people more than sci-fi concepts. That Picard, Geordi, and Data share an epiphany about a time paradox, and that realization saves the day, feels like a denouement that could have occurred in any episode. But in the final analysis, the show was about this generation of heroes, and how they came together as a family, not a crew.

“That to me is one of the best series finales ever,” Marvel’s Kevin Feige said in 2018. “Picard went and played poker with the crew, something he should have done a long time ago, right?” It’s certainly a memorable moment for fans. The stiff, distant Picard had grown closer and more vulnerable over the years, but he’d never joined his crew’s card game, a tradition first introduced way back in one of TNG’s best episodes, Season 2’s “The Measure of a Man.” But now, as Picard sits down and looks at his crew, he realizes it's okay for him to be happy. There are no hard decisions to make, and he doesn’t need to slip into his signature stoicism to seem strong. He can just be there with the people he loves.

The final shot of "All Good Things..." featuring the entire 'Next Generation' crew.

The final shot of the crew in “All Good Things...”

This moment was echoed in the 2023 series finale of Picard , and for good reason. Since the end of The Next Generation , the series' reputation is greater than the sum of its parts. While the first two seasons have standout moments, the show didn’t find its feet until 1990. Even its final season wasn’t its best, even if the finale is excellent.

As the most venerable and flexible sci-fi franchise of them all, Star Trek has proven that characters and tones can change radically while still feeling like part of a cohesive whole. But as an ensemble show about people, The Next Generation became something special in its finale. The Enterprise doesn’t warp into its next adventure; it just gently cruises through space. Fans didn’t want the show to end, but not because they craved more adventures. We just wanted to keep hanging out with these people, because the true triumph of The Next Generation is that it felt like home.

Phasers on Stun!: How the Making — and Remaking — of Star Trek Changed the World

  • Science Fiction

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Star Trek: The Next Generation Season 2 Ending, Explained

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Star Trek: 5 Important Moments In The Borg's History

Star trek: data's best quotes, star trek: who was dr. pulaski, and why did fans hate her, quick links, how does star trek: the next generation season 2 end, star trek: the next generation season 2's biggest story arcs, what do fans think of star trek: the next generation season 2's ending.

  • Despite having a shortened run of episodes, Star Trek: The Next Generation 's second season ended with Star Trek 's first clip show.
  • 'Shades of Gray' features Commander Riker battling an alien infection with his memories, and is regarded as one of the worst episodes in Star Trek history.
  • It's a strange way to end a year that introduced storylines that would last for decades and revealed the series' major alien threat, the Borg.

Fans are used to Star Trek seasons ending on a high, but it took a while for the franchise to set the template. The Original Series didn’t end any of its three years on a particularly strong note, which carried through to Star Trek: The Next Generation . TNG ’s second year was hit by the 1988 Writers Guild of America strike, an exodus of writers, and despite being reduced to 22 episodes, it was short of budget at the year’s end. While it would only be a year until TNG set the bar for Star Trek season cliffhangers with The Best of Both Worlds , the second year ended with a bottle episode.

Even today, beyond the syndication model that shipped TNG out to networks and effectively blocked story arcs, the bottle episode format is famous. The budget-saving format that used reduced cast, sets, and footage from previous episodes has been parodied in shows like Community and Teen Titans Go! Still, it’s pretty uncommon at the end of a series. TNG ’s second-year finale, which sees Commander Riker contract an alien infection, has the odd distinction of not just ending the year weakly but with what’s regarded as one of the worst episodes of all time.

6 Coolest Weapons From Star Trek: The Next Generation, Ranked

Star Trek: The Next Generation introduced plenty of sci-fi weapons that kept audiences fascinated and kept the action high.

Season Two ended with Star Trek ’s first clip show. In ‘Shades of Gray,’ fans catch up with the USS Enterprise as it carries out the first geological survey of a jungle planet, and Riker has already picked up an injured. As the transporter's useful biofilters can’t screen out the unidentified microbes in Riker’s signal, Dr. Pulaski beams down before clearing him for sickbay. As Riker says in the episode:

I’m surprised they don’t happen more often — after all, we are exploring the unknown.

As Riker’s leg goes numb, Pulaski confirms that a microorganism with elements of bacteria and virus is spreading through the commander’s body. She warns that it's fused to his nervous system at a molecular level and could kill him if it reaches his brain. Geordi La Forge and Data head to the planet to find the culprit, a predatory vine that strikes at animal life with giant thorns. An ever-entertaining patient, Riker has one-to-ones with Picard and then Troi, proclaiming, “I haven’t given up” before he falls into a coma.

Star Trek: The Next Generation - The Best Riker Episodes

Riker has appeared in multiple Star Trek projects, but his episodes on Star Trek: The Next Generation are the most definitive.

Pulaski keeps Riker’s brain stimulated with electrical impulses, triggering memories (clips) from previous stories until she discovers that different memories can stop the infection. After a clip from ‘The Last Outpost’ shows Riker lost on an ominous alien planet, ‘Encounter at Farpoint’ has him meeting Data for the first time, and ‘The Dauphin,’ oddly recounts his coaching of Wesley Crusher as he roleplays some comedy roleplaying with Guinan. Inspired, Pulaski stimulates Riker’s romantic memories, much to the discomfort of Troi, who’s reading her Imzadi’s emotions.

A clip from ‘The Icarus Factor" recalls Riker saying goodbye to Troi before being led away for some pleasure in the paradise of ‘Justice" and practices his Humphrey Bogart patter with self-aware hologram Minuet in ‘11001001’. As Troi bristles at the “erotic memories,” he seduces Beata, the leader of an alien world in ‘Angel One’ and is then seduced by Brenna Odell aboard the Enterprise in ‘Up the Long Ladder.’ When Pulaski deduces that passionate memories are doubling the organism’s growth rate, she stimulates Riker’s brain endorphins to induce darker memories, much to Troi and the audience’s relief.

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William Riker was Captain Picard's well-known Number One, but he wasn't the only William Riker in Star Trek.

The first memory is Tasha Yar’s pointless death in ‘Skin of Evil,' followed by the demise of Troi’s child in the bizarre Season Two opener ‘The Child.’ Riker stands up to the second officer aboard the Klingon Bird of Prey Pagh in ‘A Matter of Honor,’ before parasite-infected Admiral Quinn soundly beats him in ‘Conspiracy.’ When Riker only has half an hour to live, Pulaski is forced to stimulate even darker memories.

Quick-fire clips show Riker being tortured in ‘Symbiosis,’ attacked by Ferengi in ‘The Last Outpost,’ and dragged into the malevolent oil slick Armus ‘Skin of Evil.’ After setting the Enterprise self-destruct in ‘11001001’ and narrowly helping Klingons escape the exploding vessel Batris in ‘Heart of Glory,’ the iconic phasering of Commander Remmick’s head in ‘Conspiracy’ eradicates the infection. The episode quickly wraps up with the awake Riker demonstrating his marvelous sense of humor as the Enterprise soars away from the planet that almost killed him.

Star Trek: William Riker's Best Quotes

William Riker has delivered several memorable lines throughout the Star Trek franchise's history. These are some of the best.

The finale of season one left fan expectations high. It signaled the Romulans' in-universe return with a new look and powerful addition to their fleet in the D'deridex warbird. However, creator Gene Roddenberry opposed too many appearances by the alien race, and they only appeared once in the second year.

There were no massive storylines in the second year of TNG , which is typical of its syndicated release, but there were notable first appearances. Big introductions included Professor James Moriarty in 'Elementary, Dear Data,' most recently seen again in Star Trek: Picard . Lwaxana Troi, played by Majel Barrett-Roddenberry, provided her first comic relief before subsequent appearances in TNG and Deep Space Nine .

The Borg is a frightening alien race from Star Trek, and these are just a few of the most important moments in their history

Most notable was the first onscreen appearance of the Borg. The eerie episode ‘Q Who’ saw the mischievous Q propel the Enterprise thousands of light years into the Delta Quadrant for Starfleet's first engagement with the Collective . This paved the way for the Borg to become the definitive TNG threat on the small and big screen and play a significant role in Star Trek: Voyager .

Other episodes provided threads for major stories that would be picked up and explored in later series. A notable example is ‘The Measure of a Man,’ which explored Data’s rights of self-determination and would form a significant part of Star Trek: Picard decades later. The finale, ‘Shades of Gray,’ wouldn’t prove so influential.

Data is one of the best characters from Star Trek: The Next Generation and his quotes showcase that despite being an android, he's extremely human.

The clip show that ends TNG’s shortest season has struggled to conjure up much love. In fact, ‘Shades of Gray’ fails on almost every level. Fans and critics have cited multiple genre shows that have handled clip shows far better, including many examples in Stargate SG1 . Other episodes of Star Trek are considered to have handled the threat of alien infection far better. They include Star Trek: Voyager ‘Resolutions’ and ‘Operation -- Annihilate! Which closed the first season of the Original Series .

The writer of ‘Shades of Gray,’ and Season Two showrunner Maurice Hurley didn’t have kind words for the story in Captains' Logs: The Unauthorized Complete Trek Voyages . He called it “Terrible, just terrible, and a way to save some money,” and a few other choice words. It was Hurley’s final episode of Star Trek , just as it was for Diana Muldaur as Dr. Katherine Pulaski. Both departures went relatively unnoticed.

Exploring the backlash to this character from The Next Generation, and whether or not it was justified.

On Reddit, ‘Shades of Gray’ is central to a lively and colorful debate about the worst episodes of Star Trek . While there are several contenders in Star Trek ’s hundreds of episodes, the TNG Season Two finale is undoubtedly up there and will likely remain. As Riker says in the episode:

This bug is persistent, I’ll admit that.

At the very least, the Season Two finale is considered boring . While the episode insists that facing death is an ultimate test of character, ‘Shades of Gray’ falls foul of many pitfalls that come with clip shows. For one, the meta potential of clips from episodes showing events from an audience’s point of view doesn’t work as a character’s memory, even when they are stimulated to fight infection.

It remains incredible that the second year of TNG ended with a clip show and a clear indication of the tumultuous couple of years the series overcame to become a legendary TV show. As the cliche goes, it’s always darkest before dawn. Apparently, that's even true in space. The vast improvement seen in TNG Season Three and the cliffhangers the show would pioneer a year later owe a lot to ‘Shades of Gray.’

Star Trek: The Next Generation

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Star Trek

Story Arc: New Romulus

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Faction Romulan Republic

The New Romulus story arc is a chain of cross-faction missions available to all factions.

Captains help build and protect the newly-founded colony for a splinter group of Romulans and Remans led by D'Tan and Obisek , who oppose the Tal Shiar and reject the Empire's culture of secrecy and deception.

The episode arc serves as an introduction to the New Romulus Adventure Zone. Through short patrols on the planet's surface it explores the machinations of the Tal Shiar operatives and their allies, the Hirogen , as well as motive behind the Tholian presence. An energy source beneath the planet's surface leads to a discovery that could change everything.

List of missions [ | ]

Warning: [1] When you complete the "Mountain Base" , don't leave the mission area! Instead, turn in the mission and hail the next one, "Secret Shuttle Codes" . You'll get an option to view the cutscene by approaching the nearby Romulan shuttle. This will autocomplete the next mission and you won't have to run through the Mountain Base again.

Warning: When you complete the "Overgrown Caves" , don't leave the mission area! Instead, turn in the mission and hail the next one, "Web Access" . You'll get an option to view the cutscene by activating a nearby Tholian console. This will autocomplete the next mission and you won't have to run through the Overgrown Caves again.

Warning: When you complete the "The Power Source" , don't leave the mission area! Instead, turn in the mission and hail the next one, "Secrets of Ancients" . You'll get an option to signal D'Tan to beam down. This will activate the cutscene and autocomplete the next mission so you won't have to run through the Underground Ruins again.

Related content [ | ]

New romulus reputation [ | ].

Romulan Marks

Nukara Strikeforce Reputation [ | ]

Nukara Marks

Romulan Republic System Patrols [ | ]

The Tal Shiar and Tholians are not the only ones threatening the stability of the nascent Republic. Various enemy factions, such as Nausicaan , Gorn , and Orion , continue pillaging Romulan star systems.

Assist Romulans in protecting their colonies. Access these patrols directly from Sector space .

New Romulus Adventure Zone [ | ]

Romulans and Remans have decided to build a new home for their people on the surface Dewa III .

Assist them in exploring their new world, uncovering the secrets left behind by previous inhabitants, the Dewans , and protecting it from the machinations of the Tal Shiar and their new allies, the Hirogen . Uncover the true motives behind the Tholian incursion.

Nukara Prime Battlezone [ | ]

Search for a missing science vessel leads to the discovery of Tholian presence on surface of Nukara Prime .

Put on an Environmental Suit and beam down to the surface of this "Demon" class planet to prevent Tholians from establishing a foothold inside the Beta Quadrant .

Task Force Operations [ | ]

Notes [ | ].

  • All the missions were added to Star Trek Online with the release of Season Seven: New Romulus . They weren't added to the mission journal until the release of the Agents of Yesterday - Artifacts .
  • Some of the missions added to the journal in 2016 were later removed as part of the streamlining in 2018. This includes the “The Atlai” , “Vastam Peaks” , “Paehhos Crater” and “Hwael Ruins” . They can still be found in-game by talking to various NPCs in the Adventure Zone.
  • “Task Force Operations: New Romulus” was added in 2018 as a wrapper for Romulan-related Task Force Operations . It was removed in 2020.

See also [ | ]

  • Season Seven: New Romulus
  • Expansion: Legacy of Romulus

References [ | ]

  • ↑ Missions “Hidden Camera” , “Secret Shuttle Codes” , “Web Access” , “Latest Findings” and “Secrets of the Ancients” used to be tied to New Romulus reputation system and were unlocked at each tier. As they contain some important story details for the next episode arcs, the reputation progress requirement has been removed. To play the “Secret Shuttle Codes” , “Web Access” and “Secrets of the Ancients” player needs to reach the end of the “Mountain Base” , “Overgrown Caves” and “The Power Source” respectively.
  • 1 Playable starship
  • 3 Phoenix Prize Pack

Stacker

The best 'Star Trek' episode of all time, according to fans—and see if your favorite ranks in the 25 best

Posted: May 20, 2024 | Last updated: May 20, 2024

<p>It's hard to think of a more everlasting and impactful science fiction property than "Star Trek." In 1966, what is now known as "Star Trek: The Original Series" premiered on NBC, the brainchild of creator, writer, and executive producer Gene Roddenberry. What made "Star Trek" unique for its time was its devotion to an optimistic vision of society, one where human civilization has moved past war and poverty, boldly going "where no man has gone before."</p>  <p>This utopian future was reflected by a diverse cast, with the crew of the USS Enterprise including a woman of African descent (Nyota Uhura, played by Nichelle Nichols) and an Asian man (Hikaru Sulu, played by George Takei). Starting in Season Two, "Star Trek" added a Russian character (Pavel Chekov, played by Walter Koenig) during a real-life period of tension between the U.S. and the Soviet Union. The cast was headlined by William Shatner as Captain James T. Kirk, Leonard Nimoy as First Officer Spock, and DeForest Kelley as Dr. Leonard McCoy.</p>  <p>Unlike the campier and fantastical sci-fi fare of the 1960s—<a href="https://www.denofgeek.com/tv/lost-in-space-book-bill-mumy-angela-cartwright/">like "Lost in Space"</a>—"Star Trek" tackled issues not limited to racism, sexism, and nationalism, with episodic stories that served as allegories for present-day issues. One of the most commonly cited groundbreaking moments in "Star Trek" was a kiss between the characters of Kirk and Uhura in Season Three, one of the <a href="https://theconversation.com/the-story-behind-star-trek-actress-nichelle-nichols-iconic-interracial-kiss-188048">earliest on-screen interracial kisses</a>.</p>  <p>While the original "Star Trek" was marred with low ratings on NBC, fan mail campaigns kept the show alive until its eventual cancellation in 1969. However, the series found new life in syndication in the 1970s, and the property has since grown into a multimedia franchise that includes 11 television shows and 13 theatrical movies.</p>  <p>To honor the original 79 episodes, <a href="https://stacker.com/">Stacker</a> gathered<a href="https://imdb.com/"> IMDb</a> data for all episodes of the original "Star Trek" series and ranked the top 25 by user rating as of June 2023, with ties broken by the number of votes received. Read on to see if your favorite "Star Trek" episodes made the cut.</p>

Best 'Star Trek' episodes

It's hard to think of a more everlasting and impactful science fiction property than "Star Trek." In 1966, what is now known as "Star Trek: The Original Series" premiered on NBC, the brainchild of creator, writer, and executive producer Gene Roddenberry. What made "Star Trek" unique for its time was its devotion to an optimistic vision of society, one where human civilization has moved past war and poverty, boldly going "where no man has gone before."

This utopian future was reflected by a diverse cast, with the crew of the USS Enterprise including a woman of African descent (Nyota Uhura, played by Nichelle Nichols) and an Asian man (Hikaru Sulu, played by George Takei). Starting in Season Two, "Star Trek" added a Russian character (Pavel Chekov, played by Walter Koenig) during a real-life period of tension between the U.S. and the Soviet Union. The cast was headlined by William Shatner as Captain James T. Kirk, Leonard Nimoy as First Officer Spock, and DeForest Kelley as Dr. Leonard McCoy.

Unlike the campier and fantastical sci-fi fare of the 1960s— like "Lost in Space" —"Star Trek" tackled issues not limited to racism, sexism, and nationalism, with episodic stories that served as allegories for present-day issues. One of the most commonly cited groundbreaking moments in "Star Trek" was a kiss between the characters of Kirk and Uhura in Season Three, one of the earliest on-screen interracial kisses .

While the original "Star Trek" was marred with low ratings on NBC, fan mail campaigns kept the show alive until its eventual cancellation in 1969. However, the series found new life in syndication in the 1970s, and the property has since grown into a multimedia franchise that includes 11 television shows and 13 theatrical movies.

To honor the original 79 episodes, Stacker gathered IMDb data for all episodes of the original "Star Trek" series and ranked the top 25 by user rating as of June 2023, with ties broken by the number of votes received. Read on to see if your favorite "Star Trek" episodes made the cut.

<p>- IMDb user rating: 7.7<br> - Season 3, Episode 7<br> - Director: Marvin J. Chomsky</p>  <p>The seventh episode of the third season of "Star Trek" once again pitted the Enterprise crew against the brutal Klingons. A being of pure energy creates confusion between the two factions, inserting false memories and creating conflict—in one instance, Chekov becomes aggressive towards the Klingons for killing a brother of his that never existed in the first place. The Klingon character of Kang, who originated from this episode, would <a href="https://screenrant.com/tar-trek-ds9-tos-klingons-kor-koloth-kang/">return in the "Deep Space Nine" and "Voyager" shows</a> decades later.</p>

#25. Day of the Dove (1968)

- IMDb user rating: 7.7 - Season 3, Episode 7 - Director: Marvin J. Chomsky

The seventh episode of the third season of "Star Trek" once again pitted the Enterprise crew against the brutal Klingons. A being of pure energy creates confusion between the two factions, inserting false memories and creating conflict—in one instance, Chekov becomes aggressive towards the Klingons for killing a brother of his that never existed in the first place. The Klingon character of Kang, who originated from this episode, would return in the "Deep Space Nine" and "Voyager" shows decades later.

<p>- IMDb user rating: 7.7<br> - Season 2, Episode 17<br> - Director: James Komack</p>  <p>Sometimes, "Star Trek" likes to incorporate time travel to create period-piece episodes, but in the case of Season Two, Episode 17, Kirk, Spock, and McCoy land on a planet that emulates 1920s Chicago gangster culture. With Tommy guns, fedoras, and pulpy 1920s dialogue, this fun episode goes through many of the classic gangster tropes. It's a memorable episode, particularly to writer-director Quentin Tarantino, who in the late 2010s wanted to <a href="https://variety.com/feature/quentin-tarantino-star-trek-explained-1235184059/">direct a rated-R "Star Trek" movie inspired by the episode</a>.</p>

#24. A Piece of the Action (1968)

- IMDb user rating: 7.7 - Season 2, Episode 17 - Director: James Komack

Sometimes, "Star Trek" likes to incorporate time travel to create period-piece episodes, but in the case of Season Two, Episode 17, Kirk, Spock, and McCoy land on a planet that emulates 1920s Chicago gangster culture. With Tommy guns, fedoras, and pulpy 1920s dialogue, this fun episode goes through many of the classic gangster tropes. It's a memorable episode, particularly to writer-director Quentin Tarantino, who in the late 2010s wanted to direct a rated-R "Star Trek" movie inspired by the episode .

<p>- IMDb user rating: 7.7<br> - Season 1, Episode 3<br> - Director: James Goldstone</p>  <p>The second pilot of "Star Trek" is titled after the famous mantra of the franchise, though "Where No Man Has Gone Before" was aired as the third episode of the first season. This episode was meant to introduce viewers to the general concepts of "Star Trek," with a standard mission gone awry—as a result, helmsman Gary Mitchell gains psychic and telekinetic powers, proclaiming himself to be god-like. "Above all else, a god needs compassion," Kirk says in one iconic scene when describing Mitchell's violent actions. As pivotal as the episode is, it <a href="https://www.wired.com/2013/05/underrated-star-trek-episodes/">lacks mainstay characters like McCoy and Uhura</a>.</p>

#23. Where No Man Has Gone Before (1966)

- IMDb user rating: 7.7 - Season 1, Episode 3 - Director: James Goldstone

The second pilot of "Star Trek" is titled after the famous mantra of the franchise, though "Where No Man Has Gone Before" was aired as the third episode of the first season. This episode was meant to introduce viewers to the general concepts of "Star Trek," with a standard mission gone awry—as a result, helmsman Gary Mitchell gains psychic and telekinetic powers, proclaiming himself to be god-like. "Above all else, a god needs compassion," Kirk says in one iconic scene when describing Mitchell's violent actions. As pivotal as the episode is, it lacks mainstay characters like McCoy and Uhura .

<p>- IMDb user rating: 7.8<br> - Season 1, Episode 24<br> - Director: Ralph Senensky</p>  <p>Spock is often paired with short-term romantic interests in "Star Trek," and Episode 24 of the first season features one in the character Kalomi. Spock reunites with this botanist from his past on an away mission—he, Kirk, and McCoy beam down to a colony to find that all of its inhabitants are affected by spores that invoke an overly positive and lethargic attitude. For the half-human, half-Vulcan character Spock, it was another opportune time for him to explore his emotions as he found himself under the same influence.</p>

#22. This Side of Paradise (1967)

- IMDb user rating: 7.8 - Season 1, Episode 24 - Director: Ralph Senensky

Spock is often paired with short-term romantic interests in "Star Trek," and Episode 24 of the first season features one in the character Kalomi. Spock reunites with this botanist from his past on an away mission—he, Kirk, and McCoy beam down to a colony to find that all of its inhabitants are affected by spores that invoke an overly positive and lethargic attitude. For the half-human, half-Vulcan character Spock, it was another opportune time for him to explore his emotions as he found himself under the same influence.

<p>- IMDb user rating: 7.8<br> - Season 1, Episode 4<br> - Director: Marc Daniels</p>  <p>The fourth episode of the show as a whole let the cast members let loose and act out of character. "The Naked Time" starts with Spock and a lieutenant observing frozen corpses in an abandoned research facility—after which they inadvertently bring some sort of sickness to the Enterprise that makes everyone affected act irrationally. Spock sheds tears and has an intimate moment with Nurse Chapel, but in a sillier (and iconic) scene, <a href="https://www.startrek.com/article/the-naked-time-50-years-later">a shirtless Sulu runs amok with a sword</a>.</p>

#21. The Naked Time (1966)

- IMDb user rating: 7.8 - Season 1, Episode 4 - Director: Marc Daniels

The fourth episode of the show as a whole let the cast members let loose and act out of character. "The Naked Time" starts with Spock and a lieutenant observing frozen corpses in an abandoned research facility—after which they inadvertently bring some sort of sickness to the Enterprise that makes everyone affected act irrationally. Spock sheds tears and has an intimate moment with Nurse Chapel, but in a sillier (and iconic) scene, a shirtless Sulu runs amok with a sword .

<p>- IMDb user rating: 7.9<br> - Season 1, Episode 19<br> - Director: Michael O'Herlihy</p>  <p>The 19th episode of "Star Trek" Season One is a time-travel story, with the Enterprise finding itself above 1960s Earth. A U.S. Air Force pilot named John Christopher flies up to identify the ship, only to be beamed up by the crew. What ensues is a race to scrub all evidence of the Enterprise's visit to the 1960s while containing Christopher, all while trying to return home. In terms of "Star Trek" lore, the Enterprise's method of returning to the future is used again in "Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home" and <a href="https://screenrant.com/star-trek-picard-spock-enterprise-time-travel-important/">referenced in "Star Trek: Picard."</a></p>

#20. Tomorrow Is Yesterday (1967)

- IMDb user rating: 7.9 - Season 1, Episode 19 - Director: Michael O'Herlihy

The 19th episode of "Star Trek" Season One is a time-travel story, with the Enterprise finding itself above 1960s Earth. A U.S. Air Force pilot named John Christopher flies up to identify the ship, only to be beamed up by the crew. What ensues is a race to scrub all evidence of the Enterprise's visit to the 1960s while containing Christopher, all while trying to return home. In terms of "Star Trek" lore, the Enterprise's method of returning to the future is used again in "Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home" and referenced in "Star Trek: Picard."

<p>- IMDb user rating: 7.9<br> - Season 1, Episode 18<br> - Director: Joseph Pevney</p>  <p>Episode 18 of "Star Trek" showcases some of Kirk's physical combat abilities as he is forced to fight a member of the reptile species known as the Gorn. The fight scene between Kirk and the Gorn captain was shot at the <a href="https://www.travelinusa.us/vasquez-rocks/#google_vignette">Vasquez Rocks</a>, a location used so frequently by the franchise that it is nicknamed the "Star Trek Rocks." Modern audiences have mocked and parodied <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4SK0cUNMnMM">the fight scene</a>, but its iconic status has never been disputed.</p>

#19. Arena (1967)

- IMDb user rating: 7.9 - Season 1, Episode 18 - Director: Joseph Pevney

Episode 18 of "Star Trek" showcases some of Kirk's physical combat abilities as he is forced to fight a member of the reptile species known as the Gorn. The fight scene between Kirk and the Gorn captain was shot at the Vasquez Rocks , a location used so frequently by the franchise that it is nicknamed the "Star Trek Rocks." Modern audiences have mocked and parodied the fight scene , but its iconic status has never been disputed.

<p>- IMDb user rating: 8.0<br> - Season 3, Episode 9<br> - Directors: Herb Wallerstein, Ralph Senensky</p>  <p>Season Three, Episode 9 of "Star Trek" begins with the Enterprise searching for its sister ship, the Defiant. Unfortunately, the Defiant's crew had perished somehow, and the Enterprise crew find themselves up against interdimensional beings known as the Tholians. As they create an energy web around the entire Enterprise, Kirk is believed lost and the crew members begin to fall to the same madness that led to the Defiant crew's demise. The plotlines of the Defiant and the Tholian Web are followed up in the prequel show "Enterprise," in the <a href="https://www.startrek.com/database_article/in-a-mirror-darkly">2005 two-part episode "In a Mirror, Darkly."</a></p>

#18. The Tholian Web (1968)

- IMDb user rating: 8.0 - Season 3, Episode 9 - Directors: Herb Wallerstein, Ralph Senensky

Season Three, Episode 9 of "Star Trek" begins with the Enterprise searching for its sister ship, the Defiant. Unfortunately, the Defiant's crew had perished somehow, and the Enterprise crew find themselves up against interdimensional beings known as the Tholians. As they create an energy web around the entire Enterprise, Kirk is believed lost and the crew members begin to fall to the same madness that led to the Defiant crew's demise. The plotlines of the Defiant and the Tholian Web are followed up in the prequel show "Enterprise," in the 2005 two-part episode "In a Mirror, Darkly."

<p>- IMDb user rating: 8.0<br> - Season 2, Episode 24<br> - Director: John Meredyth Lucas</p>  <p>In a premise that still rings true today due to the prevalence of artificial intelligence, Season Two, Episode 24 features a computer named M-5, designed and built to handle all ship functions. Unsurprisingly, M-5 begins to turn malevolent, effectively trying to replace Kirk as the captain and attacking other Federation starships. "Computers make excellent and efficient servants, but I have no wish to serve under them," Spock tells Kirk at one point.</p>

#17. The Ultimate Computer (1968)

- IMDb user rating: 8.0 - Season 2, Episode 24 - Director: John Meredyth Lucas

In a premise that still rings true today due to the prevalence of artificial intelligence, Season Two, Episode 24 features a computer named M-5, designed and built to handle all ship functions. Unsurprisingly, M-5 begins to turn malevolent, effectively trying to replace Kirk as the captain and attacking other Federation starships. "Computers make excellent and efficient servants, but I have no wish to serve under them," Spock tells Kirk at one point.

<p>- IMDb user rating: 8.0<br> - Season 1, Episode 23<br> - Director: Joseph Pevney</p>  <p>Episode 23 of Season One features a rather unique sci-fi concept—a planet that fights war through virtual means. Kirk lands on a planet that is in conflict with another planet, and the long war between the two is fought in a simulation; when someone "dies" in the simulation, they are killed in real life. Unfortunately for Kirk, the Enterprise is destroyed in the simulation, but Kirk naturally refuses to destroy his ship and crew. Despite the dire premise, the resolution of the episode has fans believing it to be <a href="https://screenrant.com/star-trek-next-generation-enterprise-franchise-optimistic-hopeful-future/#a-taste-of-armageddon-tos">an overall optimistic story</a>.</p>

#16. A Taste of Armageddon (1967)

- IMDb user rating: 8.0 - Season 1, Episode 23 - Director: Joseph Pevney

Episode 23 of Season One features a rather unique sci-fi concept—a planet that fights war through virtual means. Kirk lands on a planet that is in conflict with another planet, and the long war between the two is fought in a simulation; when someone "dies" in the simulation, they are killed in real life. Unfortunately for Kirk, the Enterprise is destroyed in the simulation, but Kirk naturally refuses to destroy his ship and crew. Despite the dire premise, the resolution of the episode has fans believing it to be an overall optimistic story .

<p>- IMDb user rating: 8.0<br> - Season 1, Episode 10<br> - Director: Joseph Sargent</p>  <p>The 10th overall episode of "Star Trek" was the first to be shot after the pilot episode, and it features a memorable encounter with an alien named Balok (featured in the closing credits of the show). Balok claims that he is all-powerful and will destroy the Enterprise, giving the crew 10 minutes, but Kirk calls Balok's bluff. Summing up the lesson of the episode, Kirk remarks: "You know the greatest danger facing us is ourselves, an irrational fear of the unknown. But there's no such thing as the unknown—only things temporarily hidden, temporarily not understood."</p>

#15. The Corbomite Maneuver (1966)

- IMDb user rating: 8.0 - Season 1, Episode 10 - Director: Joseph Sargent

The 10th overall episode of "Star Trek" was the first to be shot after the pilot episode, and it features a memorable encounter with an alien named Balok (featured in the closing credits of the show). Balok claims that he is all-powerful and will destroy the Enterprise, giving the crew 10 minutes, but Kirk calls Balok's bluff. Summing up the lesson of the episode, Kirk remarks: "You know the greatest danger facing us is ourselves, an irrational fear of the unknown. But there's no such thing as the unknown—only things temporarily hidden, temporarily not understood."

<p>- IMDb user rating: 8.1<br> - Season 3, Episode 23<br> - Director: Marvin J. Chomsky</p>  <p>Season Three, Episode 23 of "Star Trek" features some recurring tropes of the show, such as time travel and Spock having a brush with romance. The main trio of Kirk, Spock, and McCoy each end up in two distant time periods of a planet. Spock and McCoy encounter a woman named Zarabeth, whom McCoy is suspicious of and Spock falls in love with rather quickly. While most time-travel episodes center around Earth, using this narrative device to explore the past of an alien planet was thought to be unique by fans.</p>

#14. All Our Yesterdays (1969)

- IMDb user rating: 8.1 - Season 3, Episode 23 - Director: Marvin J. Chomsky

Season Three, Episode 23 of "Star Trek" features some recurring tropes of the show, such as time travel and Spock having a brush with romance. The main trio of Kirk, Spock, and McCoy each end up in two distant time periods of a planet. Spock and McCoy encounter a woman named Zarabeth, whom McCoy is suspicious of and Spock falls in love with rather quickly. While most time-travel episodes center around Earth, using this narrative device to explore the past of an alien planet was thought to be unique by fans.

<p>- IMDb user rating: 8.1<br> - Season 1, Episode 26<br> - Director: John Newland</p>  <p>Episode 26 of Season One utilizes the Klingons as the main foes, with "Errand of Mercy" depicting the beginning of a war between the Federation and the Klingon Empire. Kirk and Spock visit a neutral planet near the Klingon Border called Organia and attempt to convince its people to resist Klingon forces in this <a href="https://www.dailydot.com/parsec/klingon-star-trek-netflix/">Cold War allegory episode</a>. While the peaceful Organians appear to be primitive at first, they soon surprise Kirk and Spock as well as the Klingons. The main antagonist, the Klingon named Kor, <a href="https://www.startrek.com/database_article/kor">returns in "Deep Space Nine."</a></p>

#13. Errand of Mercy (1967)

- IMDb user rating: 8.1 - Season 1, Episode 26 - Director: John Newland

Episode 26 of Season One utilizes the Klingons as the main foes, with "Errand of Mercy" depicting the beginning of a war between the Federation and the Klingon Empire. Kirk and Spock visit a neutral planet near the Klingon Border called Organia and attempt to convince its people to resist Klingon forces in this Cold War allegory episode . While the peaceful Organians appear to be primitive at first, they soon surprise Kirk and Spock as well as the Klingons. The main antagonist, the Klingon named Kor, returns in "Deep Space Nine."

<p>- IMDb user rating: 8.1<br> - Season 1, Episode 12<br> - Directors: Robert Butler, Marc Daniels</p>  <p>Spock is under court martial in Season One, Episode 12, in this conclusion to the previous episode. This second part features the psychic Talosian aliens more heavily, as well as the character of Number One, who is portrayed by Roddenberry's second wife, Majel Barrett. With the previous episode establishing Captain Pike's tragic injuries, this second half provides a happier ending for the former captain of the Enterprise.</p>

#12. The Menagerie: Part II (1966)

- IMDb user rating: 8.1 - Season 1, Episode 12 - Directors: Robert Butler, Marc Daniels

Spock is under court martial in Season One, Episode 12, in this conclusion to the previous episode. This second part features the psychic Talosian aliens more heavily, as well as the character of Number One, who is portrayed by Roddenberry's second wife, Majel Barrett. With the previous episode establishing Captain Pike's tragic injuries, this second half provides a happier ending for the former captain of the Enterprise.

<p>- IMDb user rating: 8.2<br> - Season 1, Episode 11<br> - Directors: Marc Daniels, Robert Butler</p>  <p>Season One, Episode 11 revisited events from the unaired pilot episode of "Star Trek," titled "The Cage." That pilot had featured Captain Pike (Jeffrey Hunter) instead of Kirk, but "The Menagerie" clarifies that Pike was the captain of the Enterprise before Kirk. At this point in time, Pike has been horrifically injured, bound to a chair, and only able to communicate through beeps. Pike and Spock once again end up on the planet Talos IV for some unfinished business, and the episode <a href="https://www.startrek.com/article/lost-trek-history-the-menagerie">utilizes footage from "The Cage" extensively</a> as flashbacks for budgetary reasons.</p>

#11. The Menagerie: Part I (1966)

- IMDb user rating: 8.2 - Season 1, Episode 11 - Directors: Marc Daniels, Robert Butler

Season One, Episode 11 revisited events from the unaired pilot episode of "Star Trek," titled "The Cage." That pilot had featured Captain Pike (Jeffrey Hunter) instead of Kirk, but "The Menagerie" clarifies that Pike was the captain of the Enterprise before Kirk. At this point in time, Pike has been horrifically injured, bound to a chair, and only able to communicate through beeps. Pike and Spock once again end up on the planet Talos IV for some unfinished business, and the episode utilizes footage from "The Cage" extensively as flashbacks for budgetary reasons.

<p>- IMDb user rating: 8.3<br> - Season 1, Episode 25<br> - Director: Joseph Pevney</p>  <p>"Star Trek" is arguably its most memorable when it teaches viewers about compassion and pacifism, and Episode 25 of the first season very much demonstrates this. Kirk, Spock, and McCoy begin to assist a mining colony dealing with a creature responsible for killing workers. Upon encountering the creature, the main characters begin to understand its nature better, and instead spare it and cure it, facilitating a symbiotic relationship between the creature and the miners.</p>  <p>William Shatner considers the episode one of his favorites, but behind the scenes, <a href="https://www.startrek.com/article/50-years-later-the-devil-is-in-the-details">Shatner's father passed away during production</a>, necessitating the temporary use of a body double while he attended his father's funeral.</p>

#10. The Devil in the Dark (1967)

- IMDb user rating: 8.3 - Season 1, Episode 25 - Director: Joseph Pevney

"Star Trek" is arguably its most memorable when it teaches viewers about compassion and pacifism, and Episode 25 of the first season very much demonstrates this. Kirk, Spock, and McCoy begin to assist a mining colony dealing with a creature responsible for killing workers. Upon encountering the creature, the main characters begin to understand its nature better, and instead spare it and cure it, facilitating a symbiotic relationship between the creature and the miners.

William Shatner considers the episode one of his favorites, but behind the scenes, Shatner's father passed away during production , necessitating the temporary use of a body double while he attended his father's funeral.

<p>- IMDb user rating: 8.4<br> - Season 3, Episode 2<br> - Director: John Meredyth Lucas</p>  <p>The writers of "Star Trek" loved to use sudden irrational behavior by the characters as plot devices, and Episode 2 of the third season features Captain Kirk going off the rails. The Enterprise is on a secret mission to steal a Romulan cloaking device, and they encounter a female Romulan commander who eventually takes an interest in Spock. Kirk acts erratically through the episode and is even declared unfit to captain, leading to a dramatic episode overall.</p>

#9. The Enterprise Incident (1968)

- IMDb user rating: 8.4 - Season 3, Episode 2 - Director: John Meredyth Lucas

The writers of "Star Trek" loved to use sudden irrational behavior by the characters as plot devices, and Episode 2 of the third season features Captain Kirk going off the rails. The Enterprise is on a secret mission to steal a Romulan cloaking device, and they encounter a female Romulan commander who eventually takes an interest in Spock. Kirk acts erratically through the episode and is even declared unfit to captain, leading to a dramatic episode overall.

<p>- IMDb user rating: 8.5<br> - Season 2, Episode 10<br> - Director: Joseph Pevney</p>  <p>Some significant characters in "Star Trek" lore make their first appearance in Episode 10 of Season Two, as Spock's parents Sarek and Amanda (the latter being human) feature heavily. Sarek, an ambassador, is wrongly accused of murdering a foreign dignitary, and it's up to Spock to clear his name. While Sarek and Amanda made more appearances in future "Star Trek" media, this episode is their only appearance in the original series.</p>

#8. Journey to Babel (1967)

- IMDb user rating: 8.5 - Season 2, Episode 10 - Director: Joseph Pevney

Some significant characters in "Star Trek" lore make their first appearance in Episode 10 of Season Two, as Spock's parents Sarek and Amanda (the latter being human) feature heavily. Sarek, an ambassador, is wrongly accused of murdering a foreign dignitary, and it's up to Spock to clear his name. While Sarek and Amanda made more appearances in future "Star Trek" media, this episode is their only appearance in the original series.

<p>- IMDb user rating: 8.6<br> - Season 2, Episode 1<br> - Director: Joseph Pevney</p>  <p>The season premiere of "Star Trek" Season Two introduced concepts that would permeate larger popular culture. Spock's bizarre behavior leads the characters to learn about pon farr, a physiological phenomenon related to Vulcan mating. Viewers meet Spock's betrothed, a Vulcan named T'Pring, and the iconic Vulcan salute is used for the first time in this episode. The events culminate in a fight between Kirk and Spock, with the scene and <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=guNfdqpk7bA">its incidental music</a> parodied in movies like "The Cable Guy" and <a href="https://whatculture.com/tv/every-star-trek-reference-in-futurama?page=4">shows including "Futurama."</a></p>

#7. Amok Time (1967)

- IMDb user rating: 8.6 - Season 2, Episode 1 - Director: Joseph Pevney

The season premiere of "Star Trek" Season Two introduced concepts that would permeate larger popular culture. Spock's bizarre behavior leads the characters to learn about pon farr, a physiological phenomenon related to Vulcan mating. Viewers meet Spock's betrothed, a Vulcan named T'Pring, and the iconic Vulcan salute is used for the first time in this episode. The events culminate in a fight between Kirk and Spock, with the scene and its incidental music parodied in movies like "The Cable Guy" and shows including "Futurama."

<p>- IMDb user rating: 8.7<br> - Season 2, Episode 6<br> - Director: Marc Daniels</p>  <p>Catastrophic destruction is the main threat of Season Two, Episode 6, aptly titled "The Doomsday Machine." The Enterprise finds that one of its sister ships, the Constellation, has been heavily damaged by a machine capable of destroying planets. Matt Decker, one of the ship's survivors, goes on a mad campaign against the machine, jeopardizing the Enterprise in the process. While Decker doesn't make it by the end of the episode, his son Willard Deckard is a main character in 1979's "Star Trek: The Motion Picture."</p>

#6. The Doomsday Machine (1967)

- IMDb user rating: 8.7 - Season 2, Episode 6 - Director: Marc Daniels

Catastrophic destruction is the main threat of Season Two, Episode 6, aptly titled "The Doomsday Machine." The Enterprise finds that one of its sister ships, the Constellation, has been heavily damaged by a machine capable of destroying planets. Matt Decker, one of the ship's survivors, goes on a mad campaign against the machine, jeopardizing the Enterprise in the process. While Decker doesn't make it by the end of the episode, his son Willard Deckard is a main character in 1979's "Star Trek: The Motion Picture."

<p>- IMDb user rating: 8.7<br> - Season 1, Episode 22<br> - Director: Marc Daniels</p>  <p>Episode 22 of the first season introduced perhaps the most recognizable villain in all "Star Trek" media: Khan Noonien Singh, portrayed by Ricardo Montalbán. A genetically engineered man from the past, Khan attempts to lead his people in overthrowing the Enterprise. While Khan was thwarted and exiled, he would later return in "Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan," widely thought to be <a href="https://www.empireonline.com/movies/features/best-star-trek-movies-ranked/">the greatest "Star Trek" movie in the franchise</a>.</p>

#5. Space Seed (1967)

- IMDb user rating: 8.7 - Season 1, Episode 22 - Director: Marc Daniels

Episode 22 of the first season introduced perhaps the most recognizable villain in all "Star Trek" media: Khan Noonien Singh, portrayed by Ricardo Montalbán. A genetically engineered man from the past, Khan attempts to lead his people in overthrowing the Enterprise. While Khan was thwarted and exiled, he would later return in "Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan," widely thought to be the greatest "Star Trek" movie in the franchise .

<p>- IMDb user rating: 8.8<br> - Season 2, Episode 15<br> - Director: Joseph Pevney</p>  <p>"Star Trek" isn't just political allegory and technobabble—there has to be levity sometimes as well. Enter the tribbles, cute little fuzzy creatures that create a problem for the Enterprise, as a tribble found in a space station begins multiplying rapidly. Meanwhile, conflict arises between Enterprise crew members and Klingons, culminating in a brawl in the space station. For the 30th anniversary of "Star Trek," an episode of "Deep Space Nine" titled <a href="https://www.startrek.com/news/how-trials-and-tribble-ations-helped-deep-space-nine-find-its-place">"Trials and Tribble-ations" </a>revisited the events of this episode, digitally inserting the "Deep Space Nine" cast into the events of the original episode.</p>

#4. The Trouble with Tribbles (1967)

- IMDb user rating: 8.8 - Season 2, Episode 15 - Director: Joseph Pevney

"Star Trek" isn't just political allegory and technobabble—there has to be levity sometimes as well. Enter the tribbles, cute little fuzzy creatures that create a problem for the Enterprise, as a tribble found in a space station begins multiplying rapidly. Meanwhile, conflict arises between Enterprise crew members and Klingons, culminating in a brawl in the space station. For the 30th anniversary of "Star Trek," an episode of "Deep Space Nine" titled "Trials and Tribble-ations" revisited the events of this episode, digitally inserting the "Deep Space Nine" cast into the events of the original episode.

<p>- IMDb user rating: 8.8<br> - Season 1, Episode 14<br> - Director: Vincent McEveety</p>  <p>Episode 14 of the first season of "Star Trek" is essential viewing, as it introduces the antagonistic Romulan race, a staple of the "Star Trek" universe. The centerpiece of this action-packed episode is a cat-and-mouse game between the Enterprise and a Romulan vessel with cloaking capabilities, leading to exciting and tense encounters. It's an episode full of high emotion that explores the effect and ramifications of war, with <a href="https://www.startrek.com/database_article/balance-of-terror">Kirk and the Romulan commander speculating</a> that in another life, perhaps they could have been friends.</p>

#3. Balance of Terror (1966)

- IMDb user rating: 8.8 - Season 1, Episode 14 - Director: Vincent McEveety

Episode 14 of the first season of "Star Trek" is essential viewing, as it introduces the antagonistic Romulan race, a staple of the "Star Trek" universe. The centerpiece of this action-packed episode is a cat-and-mouse game between the Enterprise and a Romulan vessel with cloaking capabilities, leading to exciting and tense encounters. It's an episode full of high emotion that explores the effect and ramifications of war, with Kirk and the Romulan commander speculating that in another life, perhaps they could have been friends.

<p>- IMDb user rating: 9.0<br> - Season 2, Episode 4<br> - Director: Marc Daniels</p>  <p>Episode 4 of Season Two of "Star Trek" had the first look into another dimension within the lore, often referred to as the Mirror Universe. In this reality, the Federation is instead the Terran Empire, which is aggressive and militaristic in nature. The USS Enterprise is instead the ISS Enterprise, torture in the Agony Booth is the main form of discipline, and <a href="https://www.startrek.com/article/mirror-mirror-49-years-later">Mirror Spock famously fashions a goatee</a>. The Mirror Universe has become a mainstay in most "Star Trek" shows, and the use of a beard to signify an evil doppelganger is an <a href="https://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/BeardOfEvil">often used and parodied trope</a>.</p>

#2. Mirror, Mirror (1967)

- IMDb user rating: 9.0 - Season 2, Episode 4 - Director: Marc Daniels

Episode 4 of Season Two of "Star Trek" had the first look into another dimension within the lore, often referred to as the Mirror Universe. In this reality, the Federation is instead the Terran Empire, which is aggressive and militaristic in nature. The USS Enterprise is instead the ISS Enterprise, torture in the Agony Booth is the main form of discipline, and Mirror Spock famously fashions a goatee . The Mirror Universe has become a mainstay in most "Star Trek" shows, and the use of a beard to signify an evil doppelganger is an often used and parodied trope .

<p>- IMDb user rating: 9.2<br> - Season 1, Episode 28<br> - Director: Joseph Pevney</p>  <p>In quite possibly the most famous episode in the entire "Star Trek" franchise, Captain Kirk faces an unimaginable moral dilemma. A chase for an unwell McCoy leads to history being changed, and the Enterprise crew members find themselves in Depression-era New York City to repair the damage. Kirk falls in love with a social worker named Edith Keeler, but to his dismay, he discovers that for the timeline to be restored, Edith must be allowed to die. The tragic ending, Shatner's performance, high regard from both the cast and crew of "Star Trek," and multiple awards solidified "City" as <a href="https://www.startrek.com/news/city-edge-forever-remembered-one-treks-best">the most celebrated "Trek" episode of all time</a>.</p>  <p><em>Data reporting by Luke Hicks. Copy editing by Tim Bruns. Photo selection by Clarese Moller.</em></p>

#1. The City on the Edge of Forever (1967)

- IMDb user rating: 9.2 - Season 1, Episode 28 - Director: Joseph Pevney

In quite possibly the most famous episode in the entire "Star Trek" franchise, Captain Kirk faces an unimaginable moral dilemma. A chase for an unwell McCoy leads to history being changed, and the Enterprise crew members find themselves in Depression-era New York City to repair the damage. Kirk falls in love with a social worker named Edith Keeler, but to his dismay, he discovers that for the timeline to be restored, Edith must be allowed to die. The tragic ending, Shatner's performance, high regard from both the cast and crew of "Star Trek," and multiple awards solidified "City" as the most celebrated "Trek" episode of all time .

Data reporting by Luke Hicks. Copy editing by Tim Bruns. Photo selection by Clarese Moller.

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Published May 22, 2024

A Guide to Star Trek's Essential Libraries and Archives

The Eternal Gallery and Archive is not the only collection dedicated to the preservation of galactic knowledge.

This article contains story details and plot points for Star Trek: Discovery's "Labyrinths."

Collage of Star Trek's libraries and archives episodic stills

StarTrek.com

Housing the largest known collection of historical and cultural artifacts in the Alpha or Beta Quadrant, the Eternal Gallery and Archive was devoted to the preservation of galactic knowledge. Whether ensuring that lost civilizations were never forgotten or storing obscure texts like Labyrinths of the Mind , the Archive acted as a neutral site where all species were welcome — as long as they obeyed the rules, of course.

Hy'Rell escores Burnham and Book through the aisles at the Eternal Gallery and Archive in 'Labyrinths'

"Labyrinths"

While Star Trek: Discovery 's " Labyrinths " showcased the Archive as the preeminent repository in local space, other Star Trek facilities have played a pivotal role in safeguarding an array of priceless antiques and information.

Flint's Gallery in the Omega System

Spock lifts his tricorder while observing a painting in Flint's Gallery in 'Requiem for Methuselah'

"Requiem for Methuselah"

We'll begin with the ornate collection owned by Flint, a 6,000-year-old being from Earth who eventually retired to Holberg 917G in the Omega system.

In Star Trek 's " Requiem for Methuselah ," Captain Kirk learned that Flint's immortality afforded him the opportunity to take on numerous names over the centuries, including Leonardo da Vinci, Johannes Brahms, Merlin, and over a hundred others. His travels brought him into contact with the likes of Galileo, Socrates, and Moses, allowing him to amass his collection of rare books and artwork.

From Shakespeare's First Folio and a Gutenberg Bible to art by Sten of Marcus II and lithographs from Taranullus of Centauri VII, his own talents provided him with new additions for his gallery, as he continued to paint Leonardo da Vinci masterpieces and compose Brahm waltzes.

The Kelvin Memorial Archive in the Kelvin Timeline

Thomas Harewood pauses in front of the Kelvin Memorial Archive as he looks over his shoulder in Star Trek Into Darkness

Star Trek Into Darkness

Starfleet honored the U.S.S. Kelvin crew members who were lost during Nero's initial incursion by naming its London-based data archive the Kelvin Memorial Archive. James T. Kirk referred to the building as a library in Star Trek Into Darkness , but a bombing orchestrated by John Harrison — an alias used by Khan Noonien Singh — exposed the archive's true purpose.

Beneath the Kelvin Memorial Archive is a secret base for Section 31 in Star Trek Into Darkness

While the structure contained an abundance of publicly-available information, its cavernous lower level was dedicated to Section 31, a top-secret branch of Starfleet. Concerned that a war with the Klingons was inevitable, Section 31 was using the archive to develop defense technology and train its officers to gather intelligence on potential enemies of the Federation. Overseen by Admiral Marcus, the creation of specialized long-range photon torpedoes represented one of the facility's many innovations.  

Kivas Fajo's Collection on the Jovis

Kivas Fojo leans against a table among his prized possessions in 'The Most Toys'

"The Most Toys"

Much like Flint, the Zibalian trader Kivas Fajo gathered a unique collection of priceless artifacts to display in a room aboard his vessel, the Jovis , in Star Trek: The Next Generation 's " The Most Toys ."

However, Fajo proved willing to acquire these pieces in a variety of nefarious ways, such as kidnapping Data and forcing the android to become a centerpiece in his personal museum. A vase by Mark Off-Zel of Sirrie IV, a Salvador Dali painting, a 1962 Roger Maris trading card, and the last surviving lapling were also held captive in his menagerie. Fajo prized original and one-of-a-kind items, finding his thrills by bragging about his valuable finds to his friends and fellow collectors. Sadly, Fajo's violent interests also led him to obtain four Varon-T disruptors, a gruesome weapon that delivered a painful death and had been banned by the Federation. 

The Probe from Kataan

Close-up of an aged Picard who has lived Kamin's entire lifetime after encountering a probe from Kataan in 'The Inner Light'

"The Inner Light"

Our next entry is a little unorthodox, as this repository of knowledge did not possess any halls to roam or galleries to enjoy.

The Next Generation ’s " The Inner Light " introduced us to an enigmatic probe from Kataan. The object projected an unusual particle stream toward the U.S.S. Enterprise -D which incapacitated Captain Picard and permitted him to experience the life of a person from that long dead planet in a matter of minutes. Although Kataan had been destroyed when its star went supernova approximately 1,000 years earlier, Picard embodied the existence of a man named Kamin for what felt like decades to him. The probe even carried Kamin's beloved Ressikan flute within it. Preserving Kamin's perspective on Kataan's final days kept the planet's legacy alive and left an unforgettable impression on the captain.

The Starfleet Archives on Earth

Picard walks down the long aisle of the Starfleet Archives in 'Remembrance'

"Remembrance"

Star Trek: Picard 's first season debuted with " Remembrance ," an installment which found Jean-Luc Picard heading to San Francisco in order to visit the Starfleet Museum.

The Starfleet Archives resided in the building, where the quantum archive supplied the Federation to lock key relics in stasis. Picard maintained his own personal room within the archive, and his collection was overseen by an interactive holographic assistant. A wealth of items from the retired admiral's career — a Klingon bat’leth , a model of the U.S.S. Stargazer , and his famed Captain Picard Day sign — were stowed here, but Picard made the trip so that he could visit Daughter , an oil on canvas painting created by Commander Data in 2369. This excursion convinced the admiral that Dahj Asha was indeed Data's daughter.

The Fleet Museum at Athan Prime

Earth's old spacedock is retrofitted to be the Fleet Museum in Athan Prime in 'The Bounty'

"The Bounty"

While many people collect paintings and sculptures, there are others who prefer that their art is powered by a warp core.

Situated above Athan Prime, the Federation's Fleet Museum turned the old Earth Spacedock into a respected resting place for every legendary starship that survived to retire from active service. First seen in Picard 's “ The Bounty ,” the Fleet Museum provided berths for the likes of the U.S.S. Defiant , U.S.S. Voyager , a Klingon Bird-of-Prey captured by Admiral Kirk, and multiple starships bearing the name Enterprise .

In " Vōx ," Commodore La Forge revealed that he had even used the facility to rebuild and restore the U.S.S. Enterprise -D to its former glory, an enlightened endeavor which contributed to the Federation's victory over the Borg Queen.

An Archive from the D'Arsay System

The Enterprise-D stands beside an the D'Arsay System artifact in 'Masks'

"Masks"

As if the probe from Kataan was not strange enough, the U.S.S. Enterprise -D located an 87 million-year-old comet originating from the D’Arsay system in The Next Generation 's " Masks ."

An artificial object was buried within, and the device downloaded information into the ship's computer core. Believing it to be an archive from an ancient civilization, the crew watched as the library used the Enterprise 's replicators to manifest artifacts throughout the vessel. The archive connected with Data, subjugating the android to thousands of personalities. The transformation intensified when the object began to turn parts of the ship into swamps, aqueducts, living plants, and other elements from D’Arsay culture. The crew managed to avert a disaster and restore the Enterprise to its previous configuration, but Captain Picard concluded that Data had actually been given a gift in the form of being an entire civilization.

Mister Atoz's Library on Sarpeidon

The librarian Altoz faces Kirk directly at his library in Sarpeidon in 'All Our Yesterdays'

"All Our Yesterdays"

With its star set to go nova within hours, the planet Sarpeidon conducted a very unique evacuation for its entire population in Star Trek 's " All Our Yesterdays ."

A local librarian named Mister Atoz, as well as his replicas, operated an advanced library consisting of more than 20,000 tapes. Employing a device called the Atavachron, Atoz was capable of sending his fellow citizens to safety at any point in the planet’s history… so long as the Atavachron had prepared those who entered the portal by altering their cell structure and brain patterns to make life natural in Sarpeidon's past.

In a sense, the extensive library did not simply collect a comprehensive archive of the planet's history, it also allowed Sarpeidon's population to live on even after its star went nova.

Daystrom Station

Breaking into Daystrom Station, Worf, Riker, and Raffi discover the latest Soong-type android which possessed elements of Lal, B-4, Lore, and Data in 'The Bounty'

From experimental weapons to contraband from non-Federation species, Daystrom Station concealed Starfleet's most off-the-books tech from the public. During the Dominion War, Vadic and other Changeling prisoners were imprisoned at Daystrom and subjected to invasive scientific procedures. After escaping, Vadic acquired a devastating portal device from the station.

In Picard 's "The Bounty," Admiral Picard and his crew organized a break-in at Daystrom to obtain a manifest from its primary vault, an area protected by a lethal artificial intelligence. A team led by Captain Riker boarded the station and passed a host of Section 31's prized possessions, including the Genesis II Device, James T. Kirk's remains, and a genetically-modified Tribble. However, their greatest find was surely the latest Soong-type android , a highly-advanced hybrid synth which contained elements of Lal, B-4, Lore, and Data.

Memory Alpha

Spock, McCoy, and Kirk beam aboard Memory Alpha in 'The Lights of Zetar'

"The Lights of Zetar"

The Memory Alpha planetoid depicted in Star Trek 's "The Lights of Zetar" shared many objectives with the Eternal Gallery and Archive, as the Federation set the structure up as a central library to store the total cultural history and scientific knowledge of every Federation member. The library complex lacked shields, as such defenses were considered inappropriate to its academic purpose. Memory Alpha's information was intended to be made available to everyone, so a protective system did not seem necessary.

Unfortunately, a community of interstellar lifeforms wrought havoc upon the facility, burning out its memory core and killing the various scholars, researchers, and scientists who were present at the time. As it turned out, the beings were the noncorporeal remnants of the Zetar civilization whose life forces refused to accept their own deaths.

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Jay Stobie (he/him) is a freelance writer, author, and consultant who has contributed articles to StarTrek.com, Star Trek Explorer, and Star Trek Magazine, as well as to Star Wars Insider and StarWars.com. Learn more about Jay by visiting JayStobie.com or finding him on Twitter, Instagram, and other social media platforms at @StobiesGalaxy.

Star Trek: Discovery Seasons 1-4 are streaming exclusively on Paramount+ in the U.S., the UK, Canada, Switzerland, South Korea, Latin America, Germany, France, Italy, Australia and Austria. Seasons 2 and 3 also are available on the Pluto TV “Star Trek” channel in Switzerland, Germany and Austria. The series streams on Super Drama in Japan, TVNZ in New Zealand, and SkyShowtime in Spain, Portugal, Poland, The Nordics, The Netherlands, and Central and Eastern Europe and also airs on Cosmote TV in Greece. The series is distributed by Paramount Global Content Distribution.

In addition to streaming on Paramount+ , Star Trek: Picard also streams on Prime Video outside of the U.S. and Canada, and in Canada can be seen on Bell Media's CTV Sci-Fi Channel and streams on Crave. Star Trek: Picard is distributed by Paramount Global Content Distribution.

Star Trek: The Next Generation

10 Best Star Trek: Voyager Episodes, Ranked

Star Trek: Voyager may have been a controversial series on its debut, but it's now a certified classic as these top-ranked episodes prove.

Everything about Star Trek: Voyager was a risk when the series debuted following the end of Star Trek: The Next Generation , an incredibly popular series. The flagship show of the nascent United Paramount Network, Captain Kathryn Janeway and her crew faced familiar struggles from fans. Their story, however, took the Star Trek universe to a new part of the galaxy. The Delta Quadrant hosted never-before-seen alien species and was the backyard of the Borg.

Through syndication and wide streaming access, Star Trek: Voyager is now regarded as a classic of this universe's second wave. Voyager finished its journey strong, and the addition of Seven of Nine -- a human drone rescued from the Borg collective -- changed the series for the better. Now in the third wave of the franchise, Seven of Nine is the captain of the USS Enterprise-G, and Janeway is now a Vice Admiral leading the young cadets of Star Trek: Prodigy . Below are the episodes that best showcase why Voyager is among Star Trek's most beloved series

10 'Distant Origin' Is the Kind of Social Allegory Star Trek Does Best

Voyager is caught up in a tale about scientific truth, immigration and acceptance, how did star trek: voyager become a tv series.

The only episode on this list before Seven of Nine joined the crew, "Distant Origin" is representative of what Star Trek does best . It's a high-concept story about scientific exploration and the ways entrenched powers oppress the truth and those who seem "lesser" than them . The Voth are a superior race of intelligent beings that evolved tens of millions of years in Earth's past and took the stars.

The titular theory threatens the social order of the Voth, and the idea that they have a right to oppress others because they are "the first race" in their sector of space. Ironically, the episode spends much of its time away from the USS Voyager. It's not really their story, but rather the story of the Voth scientist facing punishment for violating "doctrine."

9 'Dark Frontier' Reveals Seven of Nine's Human Past and Importance to the Borg

This episode ties voyager to first contact and the next generation.

A feature-length two-part episode, "Dark Frontier" brings the Borg Queen to television for the first time since the character was created for Star Trek: First Contact . It also reveals how Annika Hansen and her parents came to be assimilated by the Borg. Part-heist story and part "mythology episode," which gives viewers a courtside view to how the Borg assimilate a species.

The USS Voyager plans to steal some Borg technology to help them get to Earth more quickly, but it's trap to recapture Seven of Nine. The Borg Queen reveals that Seven of Nine was "allowed" to leave the collective, and her recapture is meant to make her the human face of the Borg invasion of Earth, just as Locutus (Jean-Luc Picard) and Vox (Jack Crusher) were meant to be. In rescuing Seven of Nine, Captain Kathryn Janeway proves herself to be the Borg's biggest threat .

8 'Drone' Is a Perfect Blend of Star Trek Weirdness and Character Study

A high-concept voyager episode with a deeply emotional ending.

In "Drone," the holographic Doctor and Seven of Nine have a baby, of sorts. Originally bound to sickbay and the holodecks, the Doctor was given a 29th Century mobile emitter by Henry Starling. A transporter accident blends Borg "nanoprobes" with this technology creating a 29th Century Borg drone, just without a collective. He names himself "One," becoming something like a son to Seven of Nine.

One accidentally signals the Borg collective, which shows up to assimilate him and the USS Voyager. One is curious about his people, yet he's fully an individual . First, he helps the crew fight the Borg cube, but even his 29th Century know-how can't match the cube's raw firepower. He sacrifices himself in truly epic fashion, saving the ship but breaking Seven of Nine's heart .

7 'Endgame' Is the Epic Series Finale for Voyager and the Borg

Janeway brings the crew home and defeats star trek's worst enemy, star trek: voyager actor weighs in on controversial tuvix debate.

While everyone from fans to some of the cast lament the series finale of Star Trek: Voyager didn't show the ship actually arriving on Earth, it's still a fantastic finale. It begins many years after the previous episode, when the USS Voyager does arrive on Earth. Now a Vice Admiral, Janeway travels back in time with a plan to bring the ship and immobilize the Borg. All it will cost her is her life.

The beginning of the finale shows a version of the crew's future, though not everyone made it to Earth. The Elder Janeway's plan is ambitious and takes the ship right into the heart of the Borg society. While her younger counterpart gets her ship home, the elder Janeway has a final showdown with the Borg Queen. "Endgame" is full of spectacle appropriate for a series finale, while not sacrificing attention on the characters fans loved .

6 'Year of Hell' Is an Epic Two-Part Struggle for Survival

A year-long episode of star trek: voyager was almost a whole season.

The "Year of Hell" is a two-part episode that, according to Star Trek Voyager: A Celebration , could've lasted for an entire season. The episode centers on a new species called the Kremin, who developed a "timeship" that could erase entire civilizations from history. The captain and lead scientist, Annorax , continues these temporal incursions and sets his sights on the USS Voyager.

The two-part episode takes place over an entire year, with the USS Voyager and the Krenim engaging in a running war. The ship is damaged, the crew is battered and demoralized. The resolution resets the series' status quo. Had the fallout from this taken a full season, the show might have gotten too dark. This two-part epic is just enough "hell" to make this episode a classic instead of "the one where the season started to go downhill." The Krenim and the idea of the "Year of Hell" was mentioned in Season 3's "Before and After," when Kes visited a possible future.

5 'Timeless' Is About the Death and Resurrection of the USS Voyager

The survivors of the uss voyager break the prime directive to rewrite history.

Time travel is a Star Trek staple , and Voyager featured a lot of it. In "Timeless," select members of the crew survive after the USS Voyager is destroyed. The episode was directed by LeVar Burton who also appeared as Captain Geordi La Forge from the alternate future. As the surviving crew tries to change the past, La Forge has to stop them from violating the "Temporal Prime Directive."

Along with being a dark look at the future, the episode is emotionally heavy, especially for Chakotay and Harry Kim. The latter blames himself for the accident that destroyed the ship. He is determined to fix that mistake. Even though he's successful, the episode ends on a down note as the elder Kim sends a message to his younger self.

4 'Message In a Bottle' Brings Voyager One Step Closer to Home

The emergency medical holograms prove their mettle as starfleet officers, star trek: prodigy is the last hope for janeway and chakotay shippers.

The Romulans appear in "Message In a Bottle," one of the rare times a classic Star Trek alien species appears in Voyager other than the crew. The ship discovers a massive sensor array, and Seven of Nine sends the Doctor to another Starfleet vessel on the edge of Federation space. The array is the bottle, and he is the message. However, the ship is experimental and has been overtaken by Romulans.

The Doctor meets the Mark II version of the Emergency Medical Hologram used by Starfleet, and the irascible pair have to take on the Romulans. Along with being a thrilling episode in its own right, "Message In a Bottle" was important to the overall story. It's the first time the USS Voyager is able to make contact with Starfleet, letting them know the ship was not destroyed .

3 'Living Witness' Is Unlike Any Other Star Trek Episode

The closest the uss voyager ever got to the 'mirror universe'.

Another Doctor-heavy episode, "Living Witness" is a truly unique premise, not just for Voyager but Star Trek itself. Much of the episode is set far in the future from the 24th Century, in a society where the USS Voyager, Starfleet and Captain Janeway have become myth. A copy of the Doctor's program is discovered, and a researcher at the museum reactivates him.

The holographic recreations of the USS Voyager are like Mirror Universe versions of the characters fans know. As the Doctor tries to set the record straight, it causes social upheaval in the society. Ultimately, he urges the researcher to deactivate him and maintain peace on his planet, at the cost of the truth . Though, an even further future ending scene shows the truth eventually came out.

2 'Scorpion' Represents an Ending and a Beginning for Voyager

These episodes introdce the borg and seven of nine, star trek: prodigy's connection to voyager, explained.

The end of Star Trek: Voyager Season 3 and start of Season 4 began the ship's frequent conflicts with the Borg. The second part of the two-part episode also introduces Seven of Nine, as Captain Janeway makes an alliance with the Borg . They encounter a new alien, species 8472 from a dimension of "fluidic space" with no other lifeforms. They are immune to assimilation.

The first episode cold open is short but powerful. A pair of Borg cubes descend on the unseen species 8472 and are destroyed. "Scorpion" is as consequential to Voyager as the classic Season 3 to 4 " Best of Both Worlds " was to The Next Generation . Unlike the USS Enterprise, which only had to deal with a single Borg cube, the USS Voyager was in the heart of Borg space.

1 'Blink of an Eye' Is a Classic Star Trek Episode with a Unique Concept

The top-rated star trek: voyager episode encompasses everything the franchise does best.

The USS Voyager finds itself stuck in the orbit of a planet that has a strange time variance, due to a heavy concentration of "chronaton particles." While the ship spends less than a week in this predicament, the time differential means the ship is viewed in the sky by the planet's indigenous population for a millennia. The "skyship" is the subject of myth, religion, pop culture and serves as an impetus for scientific advancement.

Because of the Prime Directive , the crew avoids making contact with the population, even though the presence of the ship causes frequent planetwide earthquakes. However, as the society advances, explorers from the planet come to the ship. It's a classic Star Trek episode despite being so unique. Just like "Distant Origin," it deals with the idea of scientific exploration, respect for other cultures or societies, and the propensity for any species to turn to violence when faced with the unknown .

Star Trek: Voyager is available to own on Blu-ray, DVD, digital and streams on Paramount+ and Pluto TV.

Star Trek Voyager

Pulled to the far side of the galaxy, where the Federation is seventy-five years away at maximum warp speed, a Starfleet ship must cooperate with Maquis rebels to find a way home.

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  4. Story Arc: Iconian War

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COMMENTS

  1. Star Trek: The Next Generation

    With shows such as Strange New Worlds revitalizing the franchise, Star Trek fans have many unique storylines and arcs to look forward to in the future. Though it was an episodic series, Star Trek: The Next Generation wove complicated narratives throughout its seven seasons and featured compelling story arcs. From brief, two-episode arcs to lengthy Shakespearean epics, the variety of storylines ...

  2. What's your favorite story arc/episode arc in all of Star Trek?

    Got to be the Deep Space nine, seven-episode arc spanning the end of Season 5 going into Season 6 (Call of Arms to Sacrifice of Angels), when the Dominion occupied the station. Simply fantastic storytelling hitting on all cylinders. Nog's story in DS9. He goes from being a troubled teen to a starfleet officer.

  3. Story arcs

    Story arcs are story lines in Star Trek that are told over the course of multiple episodes. They are not simply two-parters or recurring characters and themes, but rather plots that are interwoven with other arcs and plot threads. An example of this is Star Trek: Deep Space Nine's introduction of the Dominion and the eventual Dominion War. Story arcs often take precedence over other plot ...

  4. Star Trek: 10 Story Arcs You Can Binge In A Day

    Here are ten examples of Star Trek story arcs you can binge in a day. 10. Captain Pike And The Talosians. CBS. The Episodes: TOS: "The Cage". Discovery: "If Memory Serves" and "Through the Valley ...

  5. A Guide to Binge Watching 7 Great STAR TREK Arcs

    Among these are some of the very best episodes of Star Trek ever (including the very best: "The City on the Edge of Forever"). The Enterprise Vs. The Borg. The Borg are considered the greatest ...

  6. Story Arcs Ranked : r/sto

    Other story arcs not here: Agents of Yesterday (TOS-only captains). Warzone, Fek'ihri Return, & Vigilence (KDF & KDF-Dominion captains). Fresh from the Ashes, Allies, In Shadows, Vengeance & Freedom (RRF captains). Spectres, Lost Dominion, & Cold War (everyone at level 65). For me, the In Shadows arc for RRF captains is the best arc in the game ...

  7. The best 'Star Trek' series, ranked

    1. Star Trek: Deep Space Nine (1993-1999) Everett Collection. Placing Star Trek: Deep Space Nine in the top spot is perhaps a contentious decision. However, this series did more than measure up ...

  8. 10 Story-arcs Star Trek: Legacy Should Continue

    We are the keepers of Star Trek's Legacy as fans - so what do we need to see?Read the article here: https://whatculture.com/trekculture/10-story-arcs-star-tr...

  9. Star Trek: 10 Story Arcs You Can Binge In A Day

    Star Trek is a rich tapestry, but some threads are meant to be pulled.Read the article here: https://whatculture.com/tv/star-trek-10-story-arcs-you-can-binge...

  10. Enterprise's Ambitious Arcs

    From The Original Series' "The Menagerie" duology to the lengthy struggle against the Dominion as depicted in Deep Space Nine, the Star Trek franchise has never been a stranger to epic, multi-episode story arcs. Discovery and Picard have even been organized into season-long narratives, where each year's adventures are dedicated to pursuing a specific plot.

  11. Star Trek and Story Arcs

    Looking back at the old episodes of Star Trek, I wonder how much story arcs would have helped the series. Made for Channel Surfers. Back in the 80s and 90s, most shows were made up of self-contained episodes. This made a lot of sense back in the days of channel surfing. ... This is hands-down one of the best episodes of Star Trek, but watching ...

  12. The 57 Best 'Star Trek' Episodes Across Every Series, Ranked

    The Enemy Within. "The Original Series" — Season 1, Episode 5. The transporter — the cause of, and solution to, so many "Star Trek" problems — accidentally splits Capt. Kirk (William ...

  13. Star Trek Online: Playing the Story Arcs in Order

    There are six playable factions available in STO. Klingon Defence Force, Discovery era Starfleet, Dominion, TOS era Starfleet, Romulan Republic and Starfleet. All have an initial story arc that is unique to that particular faction. Once this is complete the following missions are then universal to all. Because the greatest proportion of players ...

  14. Ex Astris Scientia

    "What You Leave Behind" is an awesome conclusion to Star Trek's arguably best multi-episode arc and, of course, to the whole series just as well. ... Among my all-time favorite episodes this may not be the most exciting one or the most important one as the story arc is concerned, but it will always have a special place. Read the full review. 2.

  15. 10 Story-arcs Star Trek: Legacy Should Continue

    by Sean Ferrick. October 27th, 2023. CBS Media Ventures. The release of Star Trek: Picard's third season saw an enormous, and almost immediate, call for the powers that be to green-light Star Trek ...

  16. Star Trek: 10 Best Original Stories In The Comics

    The Trial of James T. Kirk is a three-issue story arc beginning in Star Trek #10 and ending in issue #11 by writer Peter David with artists James W. Fry and Gordon Purcell. A year before Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country forced Kirk to come to terms with his brewing racism and bigotry towards his decades-old foe, the Klingons, the ongoing title from DC did much the same on the printed page.

  17. Long story arcs versus episode-long story arcs : r/startrek

    So to me the long story arcs feel more like a 1 or 2 episode story arc that was stretched out. On the flip side, I like the whole dominion war story arc on ds9. I enjoyed the semi-continuous arcs on stargate, and the longer arcs on babylon 5.

  18. Star Trek: Every Story Arc From the 1990s Starfleet Academy ...

    In 1996, Marvel Comics broke the Star Trek comics mold by releasing Starfleet Academy.The series, which followed the adventures of Deep Space Nine's Nog as a cadet at Starfleet Academy, was the ...

  19. Best Star Trek: Deep Space Nine episodes

    Star Trek fans may have gotten used to story arcs, but they used to be somewhat rare. They involved the Borg in TNG, but Deep Space Nine really paved the way, taking the series into more ...

  20. Star Trek: The Next Generation's Finale Remains Perfect

    Three decades ago, one sci-fi series rose above the rest to approach the impossible label of perfection. When Star Trek: The Next Generation aired its triumphant finale on May 23, 1994, it was ...

  21. Star Trek: The Next Generation Season 2 Ending, Explained

    Stream on Paramount+; Buy on Apple TV+ . Season Two ended with Star Trek 's first clip show. In 'Shades of Gray,' fans catch up with the USS Enterprise as it carries out the first geological ...

  22. Story Arc: New Romulus

    Romulan Republic is building a new homeworld on New Romulus in the Azure Sector and have asked for aid. The New Romulus story arc is a chain of cross-faction missions available to all factions. Captains help build and protect the newly-founded colony for a splinter group of Romulans and Remans led by D'Tan and Obisek, who oppose the Tal Shiar and reject the Empire's culture of secrecy and ...

  23. The best 'Star Trek' episode of all time, according to fans—and ...

    - IMDb user rating: 7.8 - Season 1, Episode 24 - Director: Ralph Senensky. Spock is often paired with short-term romantic interests in "Star Trek," and Episode 24 of the first season features one ...

  24. The Augments

    List of episodes. " The Augments " is the sixth episode of the fourth season of the American science fiction television series Star Trek: Enterprise, the eighty-second episode overall. It is the last of a three-story episode arc, preceded by "Borderland", and "Cold Station 12". "The Augments" was directed by LeVar Burton, from a script by ...

  25. A Guide to Star Trek's Essential Libraries and Archives

    A Guide to Star Trek's Essential Libraries and Archives. The Eternal Gallery and Archive is not the only collection dedicated to the preservation of galactic knowledge. This article contains story details and plot points for Star Trek: Discovery's "Labyrinths." Housing the largest known collection of historical and cultural artifacts in the ...

  26. Star Trek: Enterprise season 3

    Season 3 was the first to use a single story arc for an entire season and is only one of two ... Star Trek: Enterprise - Season 3: Set details: Special features: ... In 2019, CBR rated Season 3 of Star Trek: Enterprise as the seventh best season of all Star Trek seasons up to that time. In 2022, Dominic Keating said he liked the original ...

  27. List of Star Trek television series

    Logo for the first Star Trek series, now known as The Original Series. Star Trek is an American science fiction media franchise that started with a television series (simply called Star Trek but now referred to as Star Trek: The Original Series) created by Gene Roddenberry.The series was first broadcast from 1966 to 1969 on NBC.Since then, the Star Trek canon has expanded to include many other ...

  28. What's your favorite Story Arc in STO? : r/sto

    This is the unofficial community subreddit for Star Trek Online, the licensed Star Trek MMO, available on PC, Playstation, and Xbox. Share your glorious (or hilarious) in-game adventures through stories and screencaps, ask your game related questions, and organize events with your fellow Captains. ... The Famna Quadrant arc is probably the best ...

  29. 10 Best Star Trek: Voyager Episodes, Ranked

    9. Nov. 12, 1997. 8.6. The "Year of Hell" is a two-part episode that, according to Star Trek Voyager: A Celebration, could've lasted for an entire season. The episode centers on a new species called the Kremin, who developed a "timeship" that could erase entire civilizations from history.