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Go Back   The Trek BBS > Star Trek TV Series > The Next Generation

The Next Generation All Good Things come to an end...but not here.

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Old July 1 2013, 04:16 AM   #1
I am not Spock
Location: Australia
Essential TNG?

What are some TNG episodes that in your view, best represent the show, among the greater Star Trek franchise?

My nominees:

Season 1: Conspiracy
Season 2: The Measure of A Man, Q Who?
Season 3: The Defector, Yesterdays Enterprise, The Offspring, Best of Both Worlds
Season 4: The Drumhead, The Wounded
Season 5: Cause and Effect, The Inner Light, Darmok
Season 6: Tapestry, Relics, Chain of Command
Season 7: Parallels, All Good Things
Senator Vreenak- In the Pale Moonlight
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Old July 1 2013, 04:41 AM   #2
Rear Admiral
Re: Essential TNG?

Wow. My list is almost identical to yours. That isn't supposed to happen on the internet.

Only I would take out Conspiracy and Relics and add Redemption, Gambit, Reunion, Pegasus and Lower Decks.
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Old July 1 2013, 04:49 AM   #3
I am not Spock
Location: Australia
Re: Essential TNG?

Oh, I was trying to include something from every season. And I couldn't think of that many great episodes from season 1. There were a few good ones, but little great ones. Conspiracy was sadly, not followed up, but it was a good, action packed, creepy Star Trek episode, which really opened up the TNG universe for perhaps the first time.
Senator Vreenak- In the Pale Moonlight
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Old July 1 2013, 05:23 AM   #4
The Old Building & Loan
Vice Admiral
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Re: Essential TNG?

^What about "The Big Goodbye"? It won a Peabody Award. "11001001" (Had to look that title up!) is also pretty good.
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Old July 1 2013, 06:18 AM   #5
Vulcan Logician
Lieutenant Commander
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Location: In the realm of pure logic
Re: Essential TNG?

11001001 is a GREAT episode, but there are some haters. (Be they damned!)
Long live Tuvix!
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Old July 1 2013, 06:23 AM   #6
Rear Admiral
Re: Essential TNG?

11001001 and Arsenal of Freedom are good episodes from season 1.

But if we're talking about the greatest episodes in the series, they don't make the cut. Maybe they'd make a top 50.
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Old July 1 2013, 07:16 AM   #7
Third Nacelle
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Location: The Denorios Belt
Re: Essential TNG?

I think Symbiosis is a pretty good for a season 1 episode.

I pretty much agree with the OP's list, but I'd add:

Unnatural Selection
Data's Day
First Contact
Ensign Ro
Time's Arrow
The Chase
Lower Decks
Thine Own Self
Preemptive Strike
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Old July 2 2013, 12:05 AM   #8
Mojochi's Avatar
Re: Essential TNG?

I'd also echo Sarek, & I'd also add

S1: Where No One Has Gone Before

S3: Sins of The Father

S4: Redemption

S5: Unification

S7: The Pegasus
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Old July 2 2013, 04:39 AM   #9
bbjeg's Avatar
Location: Right here.
Re: Essential TNG?

My Star Trek: The Next Generation - Checklist
Season 1:
Encounter At Farpoint Part I & II
Heart of Glory

Season 2:
A Matter of Honor
The Measure of a Man
Q Who
Peak Performance

Season 3:
Sins of the Father
The Best of Both Worlds Part I & II

Season 4:
Data's Day
The Wounded (For DS9 and why didn't they make that guy Gul Dukat?)
First Contact

Season 5:
Darmok (My #1 Episode)
Time's Arrow Part I & II

Season 6:
Birthright Part I & II (For DS9)

Season 7:
Gambit Part I & II
All Good Things Part I & II
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Old July 4 2013, 11:43 PM   #10
Location: Scotland
Re: Essential TNG?

For season three I'd of course show The Best of Both Worlds Part I & II , but I'd follow it up with Family. I see the three episodes as a trilogy, and I love the fact that we see the fallout from such a traumatic event. One of the most action packed episodes in Trek history followed up by a personal and intimate episode was a wonderful choice. Family adds to the value of TBoBW I think.
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Old July 8 2013, 01:54 AM   #11
Wingsley's Avatar
Location: Wingsley
Re: Essential TNG?

Year 1: 11001001, The Arsenal of Freedom, Heart of Glory, The Neutral Zone

Year 2: Where Silence Has Lease, The Measure Of A Man, Contagion, Q Who, Up The Long Ladder

Year 3: The Ensigns of Command, The Survivors, The Enemy, The Vengeance Factor, The Defector, The Hunted, The High Ground, A Matter of Perspective, Yesterday's Enterprise, Tin Man, Transfigurations, The Best of Both Worlds, part 1

Year 4: The Best of Both Worlds, part 2, Family, First Contact, The Drumhead

Year 5: Disaster, Unification 1 & 2, I Borg

Year 6: Rascals, Relics, Chain of Command, Parts I & II

Year 7: The Pegasus
"The way that you wander is the way that you choose. / The day that you tarry is the day that you lose. / Sunshine or thunder, a man will always wonder / Where the fair wind blows ..."
-- Lyrics, Jeremiah Johnson's theme.
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Old July 8 2013, 12:59 PM   #12
Re: Essential TNG?

Season 1: Hide and Q, Symbiosis
Season 2: Unnatural Selection, The Royale
Season 3: Booby Trap, The Hunted
Season 4: Night Terrors, Half a Life
Season 5: Hero Worship, The Outcast
Season 6: Realm of Fear, Lessons
Season 7: Masks, Genesis

The essential "disputees" of episodes, the ones I really enjoy while most TNG-boarders here consider them stinkers
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Old July 8 2013, 02:40 PM   #13
Robert Comsol
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Location: USS Berlin
Re: Essential TNG?

"The Pegasus" is a great one (watching it a second time you understand Riker's uneasyness about the whole business) but since morally I regard this almost as a sequel to "The First Duty", that one should always come first.

"The first duty of every Starfleet officer is to the truth" Jean-Luc Picard
"We can't solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them."
Albert Einstein
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Old July 9 2013, 05:18 PM   #14
TV's Frank
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Location: Los Angeles, CA USA
Re: Essential TNG?

Each season has its own great examples, some more than others, but with seasons 3 and 4 I would make all episodes required viewing!
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Old July 11 2013, 09:39 AM   #15
Fleet Captain
Location: Liverpool, UK
Re: Essential TNG?

I posted this a few years back...

OK. An "essential viewing, beginners guide, series in a season". If the OP doesn't mind I've included 26 as that is the average length of a TNG season. It's hurt me to keep some favourites out, but I'll try to explain my reasoning.

I tried to include all the major arcs - The Klingon civil war, Wesley's destiny, Tasha-Sela, the Cardassian and Bajoran arc with it's backstory to DS9, The Borg before they were "humanised" to their detriment in I Borg and Descent. Then I tried to include a character episode for each of the crew and threw in a couple of personal and fan favourites for good measure. I've left out Unification and Relics because, although I enjoy them, they are sentimental links to TOS and I wanted this list to stand on it's own as TNG.

Encounter at Farpoint
Certainly not the strongest beginning by a Trek crew, but introduces us to everyone and the formidable Q. Also included here because I think it's needed in order to assist the series finalÚ.

Where No One Has Gone Before
Included here because it seems to give alot of background to our characters. Introduces the Traveller and shows how Wes becomes a bridge regular. Included for the first time watcher as it would make no sense to go directly from Yar's introduction in Encounter to her death in...

Skin of Evil
Included to explain Yar's death. An important part of upcoming episodes.

Elementary, Dear Data
I like this one. I know it's not in every fans top 25, and it is full of inconsistancies, but it's quite sentimental for me. It's the first episode I saw as a kid back in the eighties and got me hooked. Introduces the Moriarty character whom I like.

The Measure of a Man
Excellent drama. Riker pitted against his friend because of his duty. Data is recognised as sentient.

Q, Who?
Return of Q. Introduction of the Borg...

Who Watches the Watchers?
Explains the Prime Directive and why it is so important for a Starfleet officer to uphold.

Yesterday's Enterprise
I've always loved "What if's..". Return of Yar, backstory for Sela. Explanation of why Federation had to make peace with the Klingons. The Enterprise "C". The "D" as a warship. So good in so many ways.

Sins of the Father
Worf backstory. Beginning of Klingon arc.

Best of Both Worlds
Nothing to be said. TNG's finest (two) hour(s).

Excellent conclusion to previous episode and it includes some great character development. Nicely shot too.

Klingon civil war hots up. Worf goes boldly where no Starfleet officer has gone before by slaying a candidate for succession. We can almost forgive the introduction of Alexander.

The Wounded
Introduction to the Carddies and an episode in which O'Brien got to shine. Good story.

The Drumhead
Excellent commentary on Mcarthy era witch-hunts. And Worf gets sucked up in it. Trek at it's best. - This is what a bottle-episode can do, I'm looking at you, Shades Of Gray.

Memorable conclusion to the civil war, with the appearance of Tasha's daughter (she was heard, not seen in Mind's Eye). Nice sidestory about Data trying to be accepted as a Captain by his bigoted officer. Shame Worf found it so easy to resign his commission and get it back again. Would have been a nice way to say goodbye to a character (who in my opinion was rarely as good again).

Ensign Ro
Continuation of Cardassian arc and introduction of the Bajorans. Paved the way for the excellent DS9.

The First Duty
So Wes is human afterall. Never liked him until now. Good story about Starfleet principles.

The Inner Light
What might have been for Picard. The Ressikan Flute solo still brings a tear to my eye.

Chain of Command
"There are four lights!" Interesting look at a different Captain on the "D". And we finally get to see Deanna in a uniform, sexy and empowering.

Ship In A Bottle
As said earlier, this is a personal preference of mine and a conclusion to the earlier episode. I can forgive the oversights. Love Moriarty. Love Stephanie Beecham. Love Barclay saying "End program" at the end (how many of us did that too!)

Another "What if?..". Q comes up with the right mix of humour and pathos. Excellent.

Poor Jean-Luc, the life of a Starfleet Captain is a lonely one. Lovely conclusion, in some ways, of The Inner Light and an excellent exploration of what it means to devote your life to the Captains chair.

Second Chances
It was between this and Dark page for a Deanna story to show a first time watcher. I plumped for this because the casual viewer would not have any emotional investment in the Lwaxana character. This story has the added benefit of giving some kind of conclusion to the Riker - Troi romance that was begun in Farpoint.

Lower Decks
Such an interesting episode at the time. Told from a unique perspective. Part of the conclusion of The First Duty. I'm so glad they did what they did with the end. Life isn't all happy Hollywood endings...

Journeys End
We say goodbye to Wes and the traveller. Helps set up Voyagers premise.

All Good Things
"Burning the midnight petroleum". Best series finalÚ to date.
One day soon, man is going to be able to harness incredible energies, energies that could ultimately hurl us to other worlds in... some sort of spaceship.
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