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.
The first seven seasons of this continuity have been about space travel. We've followed the crews of various Enterprises (and a couple of Birds Of Prey) as they've traveled the galaxy boldly going where plots determined they should go. But now is the time in continuity where we focus on a space station where alien races come and go while the crew mainly stays in orbit over Bajor, guarding a wormhole. While the crew of The Enterprise deals with time related problems, the crew of Deep Space Nine deals with various aspects of the Cardassian/Bajoran conflict.
Irumodic Syndrome was a degenerative neurological disorder that caused deterioration of the synaptic pathways. The condition caused confusion, delusions, and eventually death.
In Star Trek: The Next Generation it causes Picard to keep shifting between various parts of his life. In this season, we are going to shift all over the place, too.
Star Trek Season 8:
Serial 1: Descent
(Data, Picard, Riker, Crusher, Worf, LaForge, Troi, Lore, Hugh)
The Borg are back, and a couple of characters we haven't seen for a while resurface and threaten the Federation with imminent destruction.
Episode 3: Cardassians
(Bashir, Sisko, O'Brien, Garak, Gul Dukat, Keiko, Odo)
A Cardassian orphaned child raised by Bajorans ends up in the middle of a custody dispute. I really enjoy the writing on Deep Space Nine, but like most Star Trek shows, the episodes are usually pretty well telegraphed. This one doesn't have any M Night Shyamalan twists, it just doesn't take the easiest way out.
Episode 4: Rules Of Acquisition
(Quark, Kira, Dax, Nagus, Sisko, Rom, Odo)
Staying with The Deep Space Nine crew, but taking a break from all the Cardassian/Bajoran problems, we focus on the Ferengi bartender of the ship as he attempts to expand Ferengi business contacts to the other side of the Wormhole. Most of the focus of this episode is on gender politics in Ferengi culture, which is wildly misogynist, even for a Star Trek species. Also, his brother is a moron. And his even more misogynist mentor thinks intelligent Ferengi females are inconceivable, though he may not know what that word means.
Serial 2: The Maquis
(Sisko, Dax, Gul Dukat, Quark, Bashir, Kira)
The beginning of an intriguing addition to the Bajoran/Cardassian conflict, as we learn of The Maquis, a Bajoran terrorist cell that will begin to reform the Star Trek universe. This conflict eventually leads to the introduction of Voyager, and features heavily in the intervening episodes.
Episode 7: Frame Of Mind
(Riker, Picard, Crusher, Worf, Data, Laforge)
Is Riker insane? While practicing a play about losing his mind, Riker wakes up in solitary confinement. Uh-oh.
Episode 8: Lower Decks
(Picard, Worf, Crusher, Riker, Laforge, Troi, Data, a bunch of people you'll never see again)
Did you know there are other people on the Enterprise besides the usual crew? In this episode we watch a bunch of ensigns vying for promotion on the ship. It's a cool way to explore the relationship between the senior staff, and how they've grown over the duration of the show.
Episode 9: Preemptive Strike
(Ro, Picard, Riker, Troi, Crusher, Worf, Data)
Newly promoted Lieutenant Ro goes undercover in a Maquis terrorist cell. But will she go rogue and leave the Federation to help her Bajoran brethren battle the Cardassians? Nah, this is a Star Trek episode. I'm sure everything will go back to status quo by the end.
Episode 10: Collaborator
(Kira, Odo, Dax, O'Brien, Quark, Videk Winn, Sisko)
Bajorans working with Cardassians must mean shenanigans. And look at how many people AREN'T in this episode. No Bashir, no Dukat, no Garak, no Jake, even Captain Sisko is barely in this episode. She. nanigans.
Serial 4: The Caretaker
(Janeway, Kim, Paris, Chakotay, Torres, Tuvok, Neelix, Doctor, Kes, Quark)
The Maquis situation is out of control, and The Federation has called in Voyager to handle it. Our new cast of officers follows our new cast of villains through a wormhole and end up waaaaaaaaaaaaay far away from home, and might even have to work together to survive. Cool concept, right? Welll, it will go out the window pretty shortly, so enjoy the tension while it lasts.
Episode 13: The Wire
(Bashir, Garak, Dax, Quark, Sisko, Kira, O'Brien)
In "Lower Decks", we met a Cardassian going against stereotype and assisting the federation. Last episode, we saw Bajorans working with Cardassians. On Deep Space Nine, we've seen a Cardassian named Garak who is either a spy, or someone going against stereotype to assist the federation. It's always been unclear which side he's on, but, unlike Gul Dukat, there seems to be no menace to him. But when Doctor Bashir discovers a malfunctioning chip in Garak's head, he decides to go further into his investigation of Garak's motives.
Episode 14: Flashback
(Tuvok, Janeway, Sulu, Rand, Neelix, Kes, Doctor, Chakotay, Kim, Kang)
On Voyager, Tuvok seems to be having similar problems to Garak, only instead of just physical pain, he's having an emotional response to a memory. In order to determine the cause, he mind melds with Janeway and they go back to his most important memory, when he served under Captain Sulu, during the plot of "The Undiscovered Country", way back in season three of this continuity. I think this would have been a solid episode, even if it didn't feature cast members from TOS, but seeing Sulu and Rand again is an absolute blast. Plus, Kang from a terrible TOS epsode ("Day Of The Dove") is back again (and yes, he is the basis for the Treehouse Of Horror alien from The Simpsons).
Episode 15: Crossover
(Kira, Bashir, Sisko, Odo, Dax, O'Brien, Quark, Garak)
It's really a Golden Age of Star Trek. Next Gen overlaps with Deep Space Nine, which then overlaps with Voyager. Such good times. So why not have a crossover. But let's have Deep Space Nine crossover with, oh, I don't know, THE MIRRORVERSE DEEP SPACE NINE. Dun dun dun. Any timeline with Smiley O'Brien in it, seems like a fine timeline to me.
Episode 16: Whispers
(O'Brien, Keiko, Sisko, Bashir, Odo, Jake, Quark)
Oh man, now O'Brien is having memory problems? Or is he just fine, and the entire crew of Deep Space Nine, including his wife, has turned evil? This is a fun twist on the alternate universe trope in Star Trek.
Episode 17: Parallels
(Worf, Troi, Riker, Data, Crusher, Laforge, Picard, Wesley)
And now Worf is having memory issues? This is becoming a huge problem. Is he married to Troi now? Is this going to end up being an alternate universe episode or is this whole season just a mess of red herrings?
Episode 18: Eye Of The Needle
(Janeway, Torres, Tuvok, Paris, Kim, Doctor, Neelix, Kes)
Is the crew of Voyager saved already? They find a wormhole back to the Alpha Quadrant. Ok, it's too small to fit a ship through, but they can send a message and get rescued, right?
Serial 5: All Good Things
(Picard, Crusher, Troi, Laforge, Worf, Data, Riker, Q, Yar, O'Brien)
Well, it's gone all the way to the top. In this, the final episode of TNG, Picard is having memory problems. This is a fun way to say goodbye to the series using character continuity, but very little plot continuity from previous episodes. Unlike Descent, which pulled from previous storylines, this would have been an interesting episode/movie even if we hadn't met any of these characters before. That we do know them, and that some of them haven't been seen for a while, makes this a fulfilling ending to this part of the Star Trek universe.