Shuttle Pod 39: Will the Real Top 10 ‘Star Trek: The Next Generation’ Episodes Please Stand Up?

It’s probably safe to say that the longest-running discussion/argument had by Star Trek fans is trying to figure out what the “best” episodes of each series are.  While there are some that are universally hailed as classics, there are many that come down to personal taste, and in that spirit we decided to come up with a list of our own favorites from Star Trek: The Next Generation.

We began by coming up with a “top 5” list of episodes that are widely considered TNG’s best. They are (in no particular order):  “All Good Things,” “Chain Of Command,” “Yesterday’s Enterprise,” “The Inner Light,” and “The Best of Both Worlds.” For the next five, we each nominated episodes we considered worthy, and the ones that received the most nominations made the cut and rounded out the list. Some of the titles might surprise you.

Will we reveal our admiration for the grotesque, head-exploding “Conspiracy”?  Go public with a hidden love for the Harlequin ghost romance of “Sub Rosa”? Yearn to live among the Irish space farmers from “Up the Long Ladder”? You’ll have to listen to find out!

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Been listening to old podcasts – tonight listened to episode 2 about how TNG has aged – so really looking forward to this!

Interestingly my personal top ten includes the same episodes as these, except I include “Offspring” instead of “Family”. I was surprised at the degree of overlap. Cool.

I had a bit of a chuckle at Kayla being the only one out of the three to voice her dislike of that episode. It’s rather obvious: Men like the episode because they think Lal is cute. Which of course makes the ending all the more devastating.

It had NOTHING to do with Lal being cute. It’s about Data going through a very traumatic time and not being able to process it. It’s incredibly sad.

Oh, no question about it! It’s a terribly sad ending – especially contrasted with the four acts lighthearted acts preceding it.
Please excuse my unwarranted foray into armchair psychology – note that I wasn’t being entirely serious there!
By the way, I think besides it being sad, the ending of “The Offspring” also has that clever twist to it, since the audience is ultimately left wondering to what extent Data CAN ultimately be affected/traumatised by the events sorrounding him. And it goes deeper than that: On the one hand, there’s that slightly cynical notion that everyone around him might be more profoundly affected by his “daughter’s” passing than he, the “father”, himself. And on the other hand, since Lal’s memories are part of Data’s, there’s obviously a deeper connection between the two individuals than humanly possible (with an emphasis on HUMAN) and therefore hardly measurable by human standards, if you will.
A gem of an episode all around.

I can confirm Small Wonder was a terrible show. Used to watch it on weekdays after school. It was the only thing on TV at grandma’s house! A show so bad, sometimes I actually went outside to play.

Hmmm… does indeed sound like a dreadful TV show.

I’m not sure that Best of Both Worlds makes it into my Top 5 because Part II was so weak. Part I, maybe. And Conspiracy is definitely in my Top 10.

drop ‘inner light’ and go with ‘q who’.

I have one word, “Conspiracy.” I REALLY like that episode and regret they never followed up on those aliens.

Sidenote: Actually, there are at least four other episodes in which the Enterprise gets destroyed, besides “Cause and Effect”. Namely: “Time Squared”, “Timescape” (as mentioned in the podcast), “Parallels” (okay, that’s obviously an alternative reality version, but still…) and then we have not one but THREE Enterprises blowing up in “All Good Things”.
In short: The Big E blowing up is pretty much a staple of TNG time travel episodes.
Funnily, the extraordinarily dark “Yesterday’s Enterprise” is an exception to that rule -but well… while we don’t SEE it getting destroyed in that episode, it couldn’t be more obvious that the ship is doomed.

I still miss TNG! Such an amazing show.

no ‘drummhead’?!?!?!?

Should do a “guilty pleasures” top ten list. That way Kayla can have her Masks and I can have my Times Arrow….

I’d think “Who Watches the Watchers?,” “The Pegasus,” and “Ensign Ro” into consideration.