It was one of those episodes that made space (and time) seem mysterious, unexplored and large. The kind of atmosphere which only existed in TOS and the first two seasons of TNG.
I like it when Geordi arrives in disarray on the bridge, tells Picard to destroy the probe and Picard doesn't hesitate to act. With Jellico in command the Enterprise wouldn't have survived.
I agree that overall season 1 and 2 maintained that atmosphere and feeling on a more consistent basis, but I think some of the middle to late TNG episodes (the price, clues, cause and effect, the nth degree, night terrors, timescape, all good things, and a few others) still recreated that feeling from time to time, albeit sporadically..