Welcome back to this feature at SuperMarcey.com called ‘The Super Five’. This is a different take on the ‘Top 10’ or ‘List’ style features, where I take a subject and simply name five things. It isn’t a top list, just simply five things for your enjoyment!
Rewatching Star Trek: The Next Generation over the last few years off and on got me thinking about what my favourite episodes were. They really haven’t changed since I was younger and I think that just shows the power of the show, at least for me. So here are what I would call my 5 favourite episodes.
5.) MASKS (07×17)
Now Masks may not be one of the best episodes ever, but it is one that is both mysterious and interesting. The Enterprise begins to change into an old society, and Data inhabits the people from this society. The episode really is about the fantastic performance of Brent Spiner who brings to life a number of interesting characters and he does it very convincingly. I can watch this episode over and over and it is a highlight of the last season of the show.
4.) TIME’S ARROW (05×26/06×01)
This double episode is pure fun, using the old time travel business. This remains a favourite as it is my fathers favourite episodes of the show and we’d watch it many times over. It has a really cool plot, which has Date sent 500 years back in time and the crew have to find a way to get him back. It also has the meeting of Guinan and Picard for the first time, and one of the main characters is Samuel Clemens aka Mark Twain. It’s a fun episode, its engaging and very rewatchable. I love it.
3.) CHAIN OF COMMAND (06×10/06×11)
This isn’t a double episode that one can rewatch too often, it is quite hardhitting and it has a fantastic performance by Patrick Stewart. Picard gets captured by the Cardassians who torture him to gain information. The episode certainly contains strong themes and these are still relevant, perhaps even more so now. One of the other highlights is guest star Ronny Cox as Capt Jellico, who you can imagine is nothing like Picard. Definitely recommended viewing, it still remains as powerful as it did upon its first airing.
2.) I, BORG (05×23)
The Borg have become such a fascinating element in Star Trek, representing the complete taking over of oneself. This episode is so great and intriguing because it takes a single Borg who is removed from the hive mind and finds himself alone. The Borg they end up naming Hugh (played by the excellent Jonathan Del Arco) rediscovers what it is like to be a person, not a collective. I find this to be such a moving episode and I do think it is one of the best episodes of the series.
1.5) INNER LIGHT (05×25)
What an episode this is, it is often considered by many to be one of the best episodes in all of Star Trek and it won the Hugo Award for Best Dramatic Presentation. This takes a what if approach for Picard, when he’s rendered unconscious by a probe, he wakes up in basically a new life. He lives out this life in full detail, while only 25 minutes actually pass on the Enterprise. The probe contained these peoples memories, where they hoped that others would learn about them. It is such an interesting concept, and it features such a fantastic performance by Patrick Stewart. A very moving episode.
1.) THE MEASURE OF A MAN (02×09)
This Season 2 episode has probably been my favourite since I saw it as a kid, it challenged me in a way I hadn’t been challenged before and still to this day it seems like such an important episode. Is Data property of Starfleet or his own being? This plays out as a type of court case, with Picard presenting Data and Commander Riker must prosecute. Both arguments are ultimately very convincing and one has to wonder whether this will really happen in our life time the more technology becomes advanced. It is a thought provoking episode and it is very moving with excellent performances, this is the episode that elevated the series to a new level and I really do love it.