As Star Trek: The Next Generation turns 25, my 14 favorite episodes

28-Sep-12 1:08 PM by
Filed under Star Trek; 1 comment.
My father never signed me up for Little League or Boy Scouts or karate lessons. Instead, 25 years ago today, he sat me down to watch the premiere of the follow-up to a show he watched as a boy: Star Trek. The debut of The Next Generation in 1987 marked the first return of the show to television since The Original Series went off the air 18 years earlier. With TNG, Star Trek remained on TV for another 18 years, until the cancellation of Enterprise in 2005. It remained a weekly tradition for me and my father for that entire time, more than half my life thus far, and has defined more of my interests and ambitions than I can measure.
Star Trek: The Next Generation cast

They boldly went — and took me and my dad along for the ride.


TNG is now being re-released on Blu-ray DVD, including several bonus features, such as "The Origins of The Next Generation". "There are a lot of issues and challenges in the Eighties and Nineties and the end of the century that need talking about — and they need talking about in drama, because drama will move people, cause people to think much more than any street show," said Star Trek creator Gene Roddenberry. In the course of addressing those issues, Roddenberry and crew created some wonderful, memorable stories featuring a talented cast. I recounted many of them in a special package that friends Peter Watson, Gene Demaitre, and I put together for the show's 20th anniversary in 2007, but at no point did I specifically name my favorite episodes.

Since the cast and crew of TNG recently identified their favorites, I figured I should, too. So finally, out of 178 episodes, here are 14 that, in no particular order, stand out in my memory.

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Star Trek Boxing

09-Jun-07 3:59 PM by
Filed under Star Trek; 3 comments.

Star Trek episodes can be had in so many digital formats, it's overwhelming. On DVD alone, should you buy a season set, series set, or selected "best of" set? Whatever you decide, it's nice to have options, and Paramount is more than happy to line their coffers by offering you those choices.

Now at StarTrek.com is a survey to determine the contents of the next two box sets. This survey was originally offered last year, and whether it's been opened again intentionally or accidentally is unknown — but it's still a fascinating look at the themes and figures of Star Trek.

The survey proposes that The Captains Collective Edition and The Alternate Realities Collective Edition will join those earlier sets that focused on Borg, Kirk, Q, and Klingons. (Apparently the Jean-Luc Collection has been retconned?) The questionnaire presents a predetermined list of Archer, Kirk, Picard, Sisko, Janeway, and "other captains" (or first officers acting as captains) episodes and asks you to select your favorite five in each of the six categories, or suggest your own. The survey also accepts suggestions of alternative reality episodes to include with the eight Mirror Universe episodes.

Finally, the survey offers the open-ended opportunity to suggest themes for other new box sets. Here are mine:

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