Ruminations on TV Shows, Comics, And Music
To watch all of The Star Trek franchise, it would take you nearly a month of no-sleep-marathoning. Nearly 550 hours at this point. Twenty-four days. AND THEY'RE STILL MAKING MORE. You don't have that kind of time.
I've attempted to put together a much more condensed series of Star Trek. Dividing it into ten episode seasons. For the most part, these are My Favorite Episodes. I've left out some that are historically important episodes, in favor of things that I found fun to watch. If you're a Trekkie or Trekker, or just consider yourself a fan, I may have left off your favorite episode. Sorry. But this is more a list for people like me, who had seen an episode here and there, were interested in seeing more, but don't want to invest in the whole 530+ hours. I'm doing it, so others don't have to.
Unlike the previous unstructured season, we return to an arc based season. From aging to death & the afterlife to the mistakes of our youth coming back to haunt us. My favorite part of this season is the use of Laforge. Laforge centered episodes largely show him as an awkward nerd who really wants a girlfriend but doesn't know how to communicate with women. It's supremely annoying. But in this season we focus on his interaction with his peers in non-romantic situations, and some of his awkwardness starts to ebb away. Slowly, mind you. He's still awkward, just not insufferably so.
Also, this season has The Next Generation spinning off into Deep Space Nine, and Discovery spinning off into Strange New Worlds creating some cool new storylines with a few familiar characters. It's also interesting because Strange New Worlds is slowly spinning towards The Original Series, which, of course, we've already seen.
Star Trek Season 7:
Episode 1: First Duty
(Wesley, Picard, Crusher, Riker, Troi)
Wesley is back. And he has Fucked Up. In "Tapestry", we saw how Picard fucked up when he was in Starfleet Academy. Now he gets to go back there and help Wesley from ruining his life.
Episode 2: Data's Day
(Data, O'Brien, Picard, Keiko, Crusher, Troi)
See the ship through Data's eyes, and meet O'Brien's future wife, Keiko. See how Data nearly ruins a wedding but also saves the ship. Also, a cat.
Episode 3: Pegasus
(Riker, Picard, Worf, Data, Troi, Laforge)
Riker went to Starfleet once, too! And after he graduated, he served on a ship called Pegasus where Bad Shit Went Down. He and the Captain, another tropey incompetent Starfleet Asshole (a younger John Locke from Lost!) were the only two who escaped. But what did they escape from, and why are the Romulans interested? DUN DUN-DUNNNNN.
Episode 4: The Are The Voyages
(Riker, Archer, T'Pol, Trip, Shran, Soto, Troi, Mayweather, Reed, Phlox, Data)
This is one of the most hated episodes of Star Trek. But more for its context than its content. It was aired as the final episode of Enterprise, which was a slap in the face to the cast of Enterprise, because it's actually a TNG episode. During the events of "Pegasus", Riker goes to the holodeck to examine his problem from multiple angles. To do so, he recreates The Enterprise from Enterprise (I know, I know), and acts as cook, talking with each crew member about different decisions they've made during their Starfleet Career. It would have probably been liked or loved if it had been in the middle of the season instead of the end. I like it as a non-canon chance for Enterprise and TNG to crossover. Because we're going to come back to Enterprise at least once more, and nothing that happens in this episode will have ever happened to them, but it has helped Riker make a difficult decision during "Pegasus".
Serial 1: Time's Arrow
(Data, Picard, Gainan, Riker, Crusher, Laforge, Troi)
An ancient artifact discovered on Earth turns out to be Data's head. Time travel shenanigans ensue featuring Samuel Clemens, a resourceful bellhop, card sharks, and everyone's favorite Enterprise bartender.
Episode 7: The Inner Light
(Picard, Crusher, Riker, Data, Laforge, Troi)
A probe seeks information from Picard, and to get it, makes him live an entire lifetime where his new family and friends convince him that his life on The Enterprise was a dream.
Episode 8: Cause & Effect
(Crusher, Riker, Laforge, Data, Picard, Worf, Ro)
It's Groundhog Day in space! as the crew of The Enterprise keeps living the explosion of their ship over and over again. Will they ever figure out how to escape from this loop, or will we be forced to leave the entire crew behind and find a whole new crew of protagonists?
Episode 9: Emissary
(Sisko, Picard, O'Brien, Kira, Odo, Jake, Quark, Dax, Bashir, Keiko, Nog, Gul Dukat)
Way back in Season Five of this continuity, Capt. Picard became a borg named Locutus who blew up a bunch of Federation ships on his course to destroy Earth (which he failed to do). One of the ships he blew up contained Benjamin Sisko who is now traveling with Picard to an abandoned Cardassian space station called Deep Space Nine. Picard totally killed this guy's wife, so he is Not Pleased with him or the assignment, but he and his son decide to join the crew of Deep Space Nine, anyway, and are joined by Enterprise transporter engineer O'Brien, and his wife, Enterprise botanist Keiko. Plus a ragtag crew of Bajorans, Ferenghi, Trill, and whatever the hell Odo is.
Episode 10: Past Prologue
(Kira, Sisko, Bashir, Garak, Odo, O'Brien, Dax, Keiko)
Much of this season focuses on Cardassian and Bajoran war criminals, and how to keep the peace after all the terrible things they did to one another during the war. Deep Space Nine's first officer, Kira, was once a member of a Bajoran underground movement that the Cardassians consider terrorists. When one of her old cohorts shows up, the newly assembled crew needs to figure out how much they can trust each other, and how much they can trust The Cardassians. And what the hell are the sisters of Duras from Redemption doing on Deep Space Nine?
Episode 11: Man Alone
(Odo, Sisko, Dax, O'Brien, Keiko, Bashir, Nog, Jake, Quark)
Deep Space Nine's security officer, Odo, has held the post since the station was run by Cardassians, and while some of the Bajorans trust him, everyone is put on edge when a criminal he sent to prison shows up on board and is swiftly murdered.
Episode 12: Babel
(Bashir, O'Brien, Sisko, Quark, Odo, Kira, Jake, Dax)
More a companion to Darmok than Journey To Babel or Babel One, the episode focuses on the effects of a Cardassian engineered virus that causes aphasia in its victims. And then they die, of course, unable to express what they're going through.
Episode 13: Conundrum
(Picard, Riker, Worf, Data, Laforge, Crusher, Troi, Ro)
I deleted this from Season Six because I miscounted episodes, and was a little sad about it, so I'm glad I get to slot it in here. It's the old trope of Everyone On The Enterprise Forgets Who They Are. I wonder if the crew member we've never seen before but who suddenly seems important is behind this.
Episode 14: The Nagus
(Quark, Sisko, Kira, Odo, Nagus, Bashir, Jake, O'Brien, Dax, Rom, Nog, Zek)
It's time to learn about Ferenghi culture with the station's favorite bartender, and a slew of strangers who may be important down the line. Also, O'Brien is substitute teacher for his wife's school.
Episode 15: Timescape
(Picard, Data, Troi, Laforge, Crusher, Riker, Worf)
While several key officers are on an away mission, The Enterprise attempts to rescue some Romulans and everything goes wibbly-wobbly-timey-wimey. The away team thinks they've figured out a way to overcome the time problems, but can they fix The Enterprise or the Romulan vessel before either or both of them explode?
Episode 16: Duet
(Kira, Sisko, Bashir, Odo, Gul Dukat, Dax, Quark)
Someone who appears to be a Cardassian war criminal with ties to Kira's past shows up on Deep Space Nine. Kira wants him tried on Bajor, Gul Dukat wants him returned to the Cardassians. Despite a moderately weak and predictable ending, most of this episode is a very interesting look at the guilt of not-necessarily-innocent bystanders during acts of war.
Serial 2: The Homecoming/The Circle/The Seige
(Kira, O'Brien, Sisko, Odo, Bashir, Dax, Quark, Rom, Keiko)
A Bajoran resistance group called The Splinter comes to play in the war with The Cardassians. Their plans to rise to power include eliminating all alien life on Bajor, including the non-Bajoran staff on Deep Space Nine.
Episode 20: The Chase
(Picard, Riker, Worf, Crusher, Troi, Data, Laforge)
It's all about unity when the Federation, The Klingons, The Romulans, and The Cardassians chase down an ancient artifact on a strange planet.