List of essential episodes.

Discussion in 'General Trek Discussion' started by martine, Jan 3, 2013.

  1. martine

    martine Ensign Newbie

    Jan 3, 2013
    I'm compiling a list for a friend who hasn't time to watch a lot. I found this thread, but it's far too extensive. My list is minimal.

    I'm trying to include all the important story arcs and themes, e.g:
    • The Borg
    • Species 8472
    • Dreams; hallucinations; illusions
    • Q
    • Eugenics/Augments
    • Crossovers between series
    • Mirror universe
    • Time-travel
    • Nazis
    • Data and the Doctor dreaming or becoming more human; Dr. Soong
    • Commander Shran's friendship with Archer
    • Dominion War

    I have more in mind, but not sure what's actually important. What themes do you think should be included?

    What I need help with are hidden-gem episodes, like One Little Ship, The Haunting of Deck Twelve, Tuvix, Rascals and Distant Voices. I have no reliable way of finding these episodes. They fall under no conveniently searchable theme on Memory Alpha. What hidden gems do you know?
  2. BillJ

    BillJ Fleet Admiral Admiral

    Just with the themes you mention above, you're likely looking at 100 to 150 episodes. :eek:

    The Naked Time (TOS) and Time Squared (TNG) both have elements of time travel involved.
  3. Finn

    Finn Vice Admiral Admiral

    Mar 30, 2006
    ^It depends on what storylines appeals to your friend.
  4. martine

    martine Ensign Newbie

    Jan 3, 2013
    Time-travel episodes, Alternate timeline episodes, Parallel universe episodes. There's a lot of these, will have to filter out the bad eggs. :) And these don't even count the instances of "fake" time travel, e.g. that Hirogen holodeck simulation involving Nazis.

    Time Squared is awesome -- I love time-loops! But I'm posting to see what appeals to others!
  5. BillJ

    BillJ Fleet Admiral Admiral

    The Borg - Q, Who?
    Species 8472 - Scorpion
    Dreams; hallucinations; illusions - Unimatrix Zero
    Q - Encounter at Farpoint/Hide and Q/All Good Things...
    Eugenics/Augments - Space Seed/Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan
    Mirror universe - Mirror, Mirror/In a Mirror, Darkly
    Time-travel - Tomorrow is Yesterday/City on the Edge of Forever/Carbon Creek/Carpenter Street
    Nazis - Zero Hour/Storm Front
    Dominion War - In the Pale Moonlight/The Siege of AR-558
  6. JirinPanthosa

    JirinPanthosa Vice Admiral Admiral

    Nov 20, 2012
    For a time loop episode I'd go with Cause and Effect.

    Other of my favorite hidden gems:
    Civil Defense
    One Man Bashir
    Who Mourns for Morn
    The Magnificent Farengi

    Course: Oblivion
    The Thaw
    Tinker, Tenor, Doctor, Spy
    Blink Of An Eye

    The Royale
    The Enemy
    The Defector
    Future Imperfect
    Power Play
    Frame of Mind
    The Gambit
    The Pegasus
  7. R. Star

    R. Star Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Jun 15, 2012
    If you're wanting to cover ALL those themes your friend would just be better off watching them all in order.... I'd honestly just ask yourself what your friend is in Trek for and narrow down your list to 2-3 of those categories. You'd still get a couple dozen episodes.
  8. martine

    martine Ensign Newbie

    Jan 3, 2013
    This is good advice, thanks. I will think on it. That said, watching everything is not an option. We're very afraid to waste time -- we self-study. Even so, I intend to inject her with Star Trek culture. I'm under pressure as such to include enough hidden gems, the sort that really make you love Trek.
  9. at Quark's

    at Quark's Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    Dec 15, 2012
    hmmm, although 'nazi's' are a recurring theme, I wouldn't call it 'important' (the only series without any nazi eps I can think of are TNG and DS9, unless you'd interpret the cardassians as nazis). That is, I've never really felt it to be integral to the Trek saga, more of a 'ohh, let's do an EVIL NAZIS IN OUTER SPACE-story, as we can't think of anything else this week!' - the result usually being a somewhat silly episode imho. (although I do like 'patterns of force').

    But, if you like that stuff, by all means include those eps in your list :)

    By contrast, I would include a 'holodeck malfunction'- ep, just to convey the idea. But only one of them :)
  10. R. Star

    R. Star Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Jun 15, 2012
    Well you'd know your friend better than us. I will say, among my Trek converts, I've had more luck using DS9 than any other series to get them hooked. Chances are if your friend doesn't like Trials and Tribbleations, the rest of Trek will be lost on her too. ;)
  11. The Mirrorball Man

    The Mirrorball Man Vice Admiral Admiral

    Dec 18, 1999
    Just pick two or three episodes of each series, if your friend enjoys them, add some more based on her reactions. It should be simple enough.
  12. AdmiralScreed

    AdmiralScreed Captain Captain

    Nov 5, 2011
    I've been rewatching TNG, so if I were to give a "best of" from the first two seasons I'd say:

    In airdate order:

    Season 1:

    Season 2:
    The Child
    The Schizoid Man
    The Dauphin
    Time Squared
    The Icarus Factor
    The Emissary

    It may not be exactly what you're asking for, but in my view the essential episodes to watch are the ones that highlight the strengths of the series. In my humble opinion, the episodes I listed above do that very well!
  13. Sector 7

    Sector 7 Vice Admiral Admiral

    Mar 27, 2008
    Rural North Carolina
    Your list would definitely overwhelm your friend. Here are a couple of essentials that I like:

    Where No Man Has Gone Before
    Amok Time
    City on the Edge of Forever


    The Inner Light

    Trials and Tribble-ations
    Pilot episode

    The Caretaker, Parts 1 & 2

    Carbon Creek

    This short list can be a primer for those wanting to know more about Star Trek. IMO, it also comprises some of the best of Trek series.
    Last edited: Jan 6, 2013
  14. TorontoTrekker

    TorontoTrekker Vice Admiral Admiral

    Jul 15, 2002
    Toronto, Ontario, Canada
    I'm not sure that Trials and Tribble-ations makes sense without first having seen The Trouble With Tribbles, though.

    As for the other series, I would substitute "Year Of Hell" for "Caretaker", and "Shuttlepod One" or "Observer Effect" for "Carbon Creek". Or perhaps one of the S4 arcs - "Babel One"/"United"/"The Aenar" might be a good choice.

    For Q episodes, "Encounter At Farpoint" is a must because it introduces Q, "All Good Things..." because it brings the story full circle, and I'd throw in "Death Wish" from VOY because it deals with the whole omnipotence thing and its pitfalls.

    I can't disagree with any of Sector 7's other choices, though I'd also add "Cause And Effect".
  15. d'Anconia

    d'Anconia Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

    Jul 16, 2012
    The Gap in the fabric of all Time and Space.
    You should add Maquis episodes from TNG/DS9/VOY as well. Together they form a great arc of stories.
  16. Greg Cox

    Greg Cox Admiral Premium Member

    May 12, 2004
    Oxford, PA
    For DS9, I'd add "Duet," which is easily the best of the early episodes. And also serves as a nice intro to the whole Bajoran/Cardassian thing, as well as Kira's backstory.
    Last edited: Jan 6, 2013
  17. AdmiralScreed

    AdmiralScreed Captain Captain

    Nov 5, 2011
    For the Maquis I'd just stick with DS9 and TNG episodes. VOY terribly mishandled them. Even though half of the VOY crew were Maquis, their introduction and most of their development happened on the other shows. Just my two cents.
  18. R. Star

    R. Star Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Jun 15, 2012
    Really the thing is, I've seen episodes listed on this thread, I'd consider bottom tier, and I bet some of my favorites may not be thought so by others.

    It really is a subjective opinion on what makes an episode good or bad.
  19. jpch

    jpch Commander Red Shirt

    Nov 22, 2011
    Delta Quadrant Borg Queen appartement 8472
    That is so not true,in the first 3 seasons of Voyager there were so many amazing Maquis episodes. and no not half of Voyagers crew was made of Maquis,Voyagers crew was of 150 approx and the caretakers wave killed some of them,they were replaced with Maquis and the crew compliment was still referenced as 150 later in the series so the Maquis are most likely about 30 people max not half the crew.:rolleyes: there was never a lack of crew in caretaker after the Incident,and you could actually count the Maquis.
  20. jpch

    jpch Commander Red Shirt

    Nov 22, 2011
    Delta Quadrant Borg Queen appartement 8472
    I love your list Martine <3:bolian: