Top Ten Best Star Trek: The Next Generation Episodes #1

tng1I have selected some of my favorite Star Trek: The Next Generation episodes to review and talk about.  Star Trek: The Next Generation was my Star Trek and Captain Picard aka Patrick Stewart was the man.  I grew up with this series, having been only able to experience some episodes of The Original Series in syndication.  I think season 5 of Star Trek: The Next Generation is probably my favorite, but there are a lot of unique episodes everywhere throughout the run.  This is one of them.

As a whole, Star Trek: The Next Generation proved that anything can be modernized.  The tone is modern.  The technology and the designs are modern.  Characters have modern attitudes and beliefs.  I even like the color.  There’s a lot to like in this show and it certainly isn’t shallow.

tng3The first to sneak in at number ten is an episode called Q-Who.  It is good episode, but doesn’t have the moving drama like some other episodes, however there is a little of everything, including comedy, drama, action and suspense.  The episode begins with an ensign spilling coffee on Captain Picard.  I think this lighthearted beginning masks the tone of this episode, which is really about the personal cloud we often hide ourselves in.  Are we ready for challenges?  Is that an allegory I smell?

tng4John de Lancie is back for this episode and he does an excellent job.  His dialogue is better than his last appearance and he doesn’t go way, way over-the-top as in most Q-related episodes.  He torments Captain Picard and seems obsessed with showing him his horrible future.

Lycia Naff expertly anchors the first act to this episode with some comedy and drama.  She has a lot of aspirations and I think her character comes off pretty well.  She’s just an opener though, cause Q appears to fling the Enterprise into danger and show them the Borg are the next Big Bad <tm>.  It’s exciting and the crew do their usual Borg-schitck for the first time.  

Ttng2he thing about this episode is that it throws in background, drama, and guest-stars together, shakes it all around, and gives us a great experience.  Whoopi Goldberg is on hand to be the exposition dump about the Borg, but she really delves into her character for the first time on the show.  I can’t remember any other time she talked so vividly about her past.  She helps the Enterprise with the Borg because they destroyed her home planet, long ago.

tng5At first, Q wants to join the Enterprise crew, but then he taunts them and drops them into great danger, where some of the crew die.  A boarding party beams over to the Borg ship and we are treated to a matte painting of the interior, which shows hundreds and hundreds of Borg in stasis.  It is probably the best shot of the episode.

In the end, Q simply saves the Enterprise from the Borg and that’s it.  Captain Picard rounds out the episode by promising to be ready for the Borg as when they arrive in their intergalactic space bus.  I would have to say that this episode is probably more straightforward than most, but it is a good introductory episode for anyone wanting to learn about Star Trek, the Borg, and all the great characters in The Next Generation.  John de Lancie is not overexposed in every scene, but his work is good and none of the performances feel over-the-top, as in some other action episodes.  It’s just a good show.

 

BEST PART:   The matte painting of the Borg ship interior, with the space chase as a close second.

WORST PART:  Guinan as an exposition dump.

 

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