After the end of the first season of Star Trek: Picard, many Star Trek fans are getting more adventures in galaxies that no one has ever seen before. In addition, many of you are forced to spend a lot of time at home, and the current offerings from Netflix or other streaming services cannot provide endless entertainment. We have therefore compiled a list of the best Star Trek episodes of all time, which we use on (almost) all classic series. In plain language, this means that from Star Trek: Enterprise to Star Trek: Enterprise, we tap the entire history of the Federation and filter out some of the most extraordinary, touching, and interesting episodes.
The list does not include the two series Star Trek: Picard and Star Trek: Discovery, as these should still be fresh in the mind of most trekkers. Also outside we leave the animated series "The Enterprise" (Original: "Star Trek: The Animated Series"). We are aware that the animated series also contains some important episodes and, on top of that, has shaped concepts that became an integral part of the universe in later series. However, since the sedate narrated cartoon look from the 1970s could put new beginners off the ground, we limit ourselves in this list to real films. If we have made you curious: very good! The animated series is, for some episodes, an underestimated gem, give it a try! By the way, we intentionally leave out the equally excellent episodes that we mentioned in our article Star Trek: Picard – the complete story.
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Star Trek: Deep Space Nine – Penalty Cycles (Original: "Hard Time")
We start with an episode that doesn't just show the viewer that Deep Space Nine deals with the dark aspects of Roddenberry's future. Colm Meaney's acting talent, who plays Senior Chief Petty Officer Miles O'Brien, also comes into its own in this episode! When visiting the planet Argratha, O'Brien expresses interest in local technology. However, the Argrathi see the interest of the technician not as a compliment, but as an attempt at espionage. As a punishment, they sentenced O'Brien to serve a virtual prison sentence of 20 years. Physically, the officer only spends a few hours on the operating table, but it feels like 20 years have passed. When the viewer is shown what O'Brien experienced in his world of thought, the start of a grandiose chamber game begins: the cell is tiny and the food supply is scarce. There are no opportunities for spiritual distraction, so O'Brien is slowly but surely becoming a paranoid wreck. What Miles hid from his friends after he was "released" from prison: he shared his cell with an inmate named Ee'Char. The fellow prisoner is a strange but quite friendly character. O'Brien begins to distrust Ee'Char over the years and eventually kills him for a misunderstanding.
<img src = "https://www.pcgames.de/screenshots/1020x/2020/04/OBrien_01-buffed.jpg" alt = "During his prison term, O'Brien was taken away in" punitive cycles "in such a way that he was no longer can sleep in a normal bed.
Miles is welcomed joyfully on the space station, but due to the traumatic events he does not find his way back to his normal life. He arranges food in careful rows, responds to simple questions with tantrums and sleeps on the floor. When he finally nearly beats his daughter Molly in anger, he escapes into a hold and holds a maximum phaser to his throat and wants to end his life. Colm Meaney does a terrific job of bringing the viewer closer to the despair and mindset of an ex-maximum security prisoner, which has been changed by the post-traumatic disorder. However, we can reassure you: the final of the episode is as touching as it makes you think.
Starship Enterprise: The Next Century – Promotion (Original: "Lower Decks")
Of particular interest to Star Trek fans are the so-called "Lower Deck episodes, which deal with the everyday life of the crew. Originally conceived as budget-saving bridge episodes, the character studies have now become an integral part of every Star Trek series. As a result," Promotion "gives the viewer a glimpse of the" Lower Decks "in the truest sense of the word: With Sito, Sam and Alyssa, we accompany three ensigns in their work and leisure activities. The discussions between the three colleagues are about promotions, personal evaluations and They contain general small talk, and their friend Ben, a civilian who works as a waiter, tells them that two other friends, nurse Ogawa and volcanic technician Taurik, are definitely getting a promotion, and the Enterprise is now reading a rescue capsule that contains a wounded Cardassian is found, Ogawa is kept secret by Dr. Beverley Crusher unit is prompted and it begins to take care of the shipwrecked.
<img src = "https://www.pcgames.de/screenshots/1020x/2020/04/Redshirts_unter_sich_01-buffed.jpg" alt = "The episode" Promotion "shows us in a bitter way that even the often smiled at “Redshirts” are people with friends and a story.
When we see the Bajoran Sito again, she experiences one stroke of fate after the other: senior officers talk about her as if she weren't there during a poker game and Captain Picard reprimands her for her participation in the catastrophic accident that followed "A failed maneuver". After being overtaken by LLieutenant Commander Worf initially gets blindfolded in a close combat exercise and then has to take one hit after the other, Sito defends himself against the unfair treatment. Good for them, because all previous situations were a test carefully planned by Picard, Riker and Worf to test their resilience and character.
The selected Cardassian, however, turns out to be a Federation spy whom Sito is supposed to accompany in a secret mission as a "prisoner". Sito's escape back to the Enterprise is said to take place in a rescue capsule. Proud of her personal development, Sito accompanies the Cardassian and manages to allow him to flee across the border. However, after Sito is still missing after 32 hours, the Enterprise uses a probe to find only the remains of the escape pod. Intercepted communications by the Cardassians confirm the worst: the escape pod was destroyed before it could start its way back across the border. "Promotion" ends sadly and shows that members of the lower ranks of Starfleet have to make the ultimate sacrifice far more often than members of the upper decks. We like to forget that behind every "red shirt" there is always a person with friends, dreams and their own story. "Promotion" makes this impressively clear to us.
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Starship Enterprise – Spock under suspicion (Original: "Balance of Terror")
There are still said to be those in the Star Trek community who dismiss Star Trek as silly and too colorful. We recommend the episode "Spock under suspicion" to all those, which is practically a submarine thriller in space. Captain Kirk's wedding of two crew members interrupts a red alarm. There was a fight on the edge of the neutral zone that destroyed several Federation outposts. The intruders are quickly identified as Romulans, but the Romulan star empire is still a faceless enemy at this point. Only the Romulans' spaceships are known to the Starfleet. The excitement is all the greater when the Enterprise receives the transfer of another outpost. He was able to transmit a picture of the attackers shortly before their destruction: the Romulans look exactly like their distant brothers, the Vulcans. Parts of the crew immediately suspect Spock, because many crew members have already lost relatives in the fight against the Romulan raptor ships.
On the bridge of the Romulan ship, however, the commander was informed that the camouflage device had to be temporarily shut down due to the energy requirements of the plasma weapons. The Enterprise tracks the Romulan cruiser using Spock's calculations. The Romulan camouflage device starts again near a comet. Due to the churned particles of the comet's tail, the Enterprise can guess the course of the cruiser. The close confidante of the Romulan commander is injured in a short firefight. The Romulan ship strikes back and damages the Enterprise – which also marks the start of a top-class cat and mouse game. Both ships regulate their energy consumption and go on "creep speed". Spock has to deal with the now hostile comments of the crew during the grueling wait.
<img src = "https://www.pcgames.de/screenshots/1020x/2020/04/Romulanische_Niederlage_01-buffed.jpg" alt = "In" Spock under suspicion "the crew confronts their still existing bigotry and delivers one exciting battle with the Romulanders.
By mishap, however, he reveals the position of the Enterprise, which then switches back to normal operating mode – and is immediately badly damaged by an ambush by the Romulans. A leak in the phaser's cooling system ensures that crew members are in danger while the Romulan ship is exposed from the Enterprise. Only Spock's intervention prevents the crew's death and at the same time enables a final retaliatory strike against the enemy. With his last words, the Romulan commander turns to Kirk and tells him that it was an honor to be defeated by an equal enemy. The captain refused to accept the capitulation offered by Kirk, saying "In a different life we might have been friends" – and activated the self-destruction of his ship.
"Spock under suspicion" shows how reflectively spaceship Enterprise dealt with the topics of bigotry and the fear of the unknown. The fact that the episode is also an exciting thriller, in which two captains try to outmaneuver one another, makes "Balance of Terror" one of the best episodes of the original series.
Star Trek: Voyager – One Year of Hell Part I and II (Orig: "Year of Hell")
One of the main criticisms of Star Trek: Voyager is that Voyager's journey through the Delta Quadrant didn't feel like an odyssey. The crew was cut off from all supply routes on their way home and was the only Starfleet ship far and wide. With only 13 phaser banks and 38 photon torpedoes, Voyager should have skimped and calculated at every opportunity – until the showrunners decided to throw everything overboard . From the fifth season at the latest, the crew replicated and constructed everything they needed without ever having a defect. It's a shame, but at least fans can look forward to the two-part "One Year Hell". Here we learn what the journey would have looked like if resources had been scarce and the enemies were overpowering.
The story this time revolves around the Krenim Empire, which at the beginning of the episode is a shadow of itself. The Krenim scientist Annorax tries to restore the former glory of the empire with the help of a temporal weapon – and to bring his dead wife back to life. A massive temporal wave hits Voyager as it fends off a tiny Krenim ship several times in succession. The scene changes suddenly: the small ship becomes a huge Krenim battleship, while the Voyager suddenly shows severe damage. What follows is indeed a "Year of Hell" because the ship is repeatedly attacked by the Krenim, whose weapons are far superior to Voyager's shield systems. We accompany the crew for months as the situation becomes more and more hopeless: the replicators fail and the medical supplies run out. Tuvok goes blind as he pulls Seven of Nine out of the deadly area of a Chroniton torpedo. And Captain Janeway suffers permanent lung damage and severe burns.
Watching the doctor, for example, make decisions that save the ship but result in the death of two crew members as a direct consequence is an intense audience experience. Meanwhile, we watch Junior Lieutenant Tom Paris and Commander Chakotay as they become prisoners of the Krenim and members of their scientific staff, always hoping to save Voyager and undo the increasing disasters. The fade-in of the past time is particularly clever: If we switch from day three to day 47 to day 257, it makes it clear how long the suffering of the crew is. The finale of the double episode is spectacular and makes the suddenly clean look of the "real" timeline after the hell ride seem bizarre. Even if the catastrophic year of Hell was undone afterwards by a little futuristic time magic, of course: the two episodes are compulsory and present an exciting alternative to the Voyager concept.
Star Trek: Enterprise – The Dark Side of the Mirror Part I and II (Orig: "In a Mirror, Darkly")
Many fans still consider Star Trek: Enterprise the ugly duckling of the series. The prequel around Captain Archer's crew isn't a bad series, it just (like most Star Trek series) took a while to get going. With the episode "The Dark Side of the Mirror" at the latest, Star Trek: Enterprise was able to soften even the toughest hearts, because here author Mike Sussman and director James Conway start everything that makes trekker hearts beat faster.
We start with the famous scene from Star Trek: The first contact in which warp drive inventor Zefram Cochrane greets the volcanic ambassador on Earth – only that in this version no handshake is exchanged, but Cochrane mows down his opponent with a shotgun. What follows is a bleak version of the Enterprise header that is bursting with phaser fire and explosions. At the latest when the symbol of the Terran Empire appears, it is clear: we are dealing with a mirror universe episode. A sadistic and petty Commander Archer takes command of Captain Maximilian Forrest in the first quarter of an hour by murder, manslaughter and torture. In the meantime, the audience is shown both the agony chambers and a trapped Tholian. Both are classic elements of the Star Trek universe; especially the reunion with the Tholians shown for the first time in the TOS episode "The Spider Web (Original: The Tholian Web)" is an absolute highlight. A betrayal follows the next and in the final act of the first episode, the crew discovers that the Tholians are the U.S.S. Defiant from "The Spider Web" in the Terran parallel universe. The ship, 100 years from the future, would give the empire an enormous technological lead. There is only one problem: there is a reptilian sign of life on the Defiant.
<img src = "https://www.pcgames.de/screenshots/1020x/2020/04/Grabbeltisch_Kirk_01-buffed.jpg" alt = "With" The dark side of the mirror "Star Trek: Enterprise delivered ingenious double sequences that are uncompromising uses the look of the original series.
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After the Enterprise is destroyed by the Tholians, the second episode begins, in which the actors visibly have more fun: Captain Archer finds the uniform of a Starfleet captain from the 23rd century and actor Scott Bakula is allowed in Kirk-like overacting practice so that it is a real pleasure to watch him. It is now clear that the reptilian sign of life comes from Slar, a genuine Gorn who is up to mischief on the ship. In the meantime, most of the crew members have changed, so that the Enterprise episode is gradually turning into a TOS episode, a spectacular fist fight against a raging giant lizard. Even if the Gorn's CGI effects look even worse than the ancient lizard costume, you can't help but applaud as a trekker! Reusing the old uniforms and the colorful set in the style of the spaceship Enterprise testifies to the enormous cutting edge and a great love for detail on the part of the producers. An equally classic moment is Archer's burgeoning madness, which manifests itself in the "evil twin" of the captain, who repeatedly whispers paranoid catastrophe scenarios to him. It goes so far that Archer vaporizes a Terran admiral with one of the true-to-style phasers type 2 from the 23rd century and swings himself up to the budding emperor. It comes as it should and the Vulcan T'Pol tries one last time to prevent Archer from using the technically superior ship. The uprising fails and everything seems to be going well for "Imperator Archer" – when he is poisoned by his lover Hoshi Sato, who then crowns herself the Emperor. The double sequence "The Dark Side of the Mirror" is certainly not the most logical, logical or error-free sequence on our list. It is one of the most entertaining things a Star Trek fan can watch. From the changed opening credits to the original uniforms, the two episodes are buzzing with charm. Bravo!
With "The Conspiracy" we offer you a notorious TNG episode that hardly feels like Star Trek and uses some Lovecraft tropics. The Enterprise is actually on its way to the Pacifica vacation planet, but the strange behavior of some Starfleet officers causes Picard to investigate the incident further. What follows is a slow build-up of subtle horrors: old acquaintances behave atypically, the wreckage of a Starfleet ship is discovered and even the music changes slowly and ominously throughout the episode. If you want to be surprised, stop reading at this point.
You are still here? Then hold on: The strange officers are controlled by a neural parasite that nests at the base of the skull. Wild firefights alternate with scenes in which Starfleet officers stuff large amounts of maggots into their mouths. Don't watch the finale of the episode at dinner, because the "queen" of the parasites is hidden in the body of Commander Remmick – whose skull is blown up in a slimy explosion by concentrated phaser fire from Picard and Riker! We're not done yet, however, because the parasite breaks out of the bloody ruin of Remmick's chest and is vaporized by Picard's shrill screams. Patrick Stewart's confused and disgusted face sums up the episode well. The story ends bleakly, because the parasites are hinted at as a vanguard of a greater evil waiting in the darkness between the stars. The uncut version of "The Conspiracy" is one of the strangest Star Trek episodes of all time – and exceptionally not by amusing costumes or a crazy time travel plot.
Starship Enterprise – A Hand in the Story (Orig: "The City on the Edge of Forever")
In addition to "Horta saves her children" (Orig: The Devil in the Dark) "Griff in die Geschichte" is probably the best known of all spaceship enterprise episodes. Author Harlan Ellison was anything but happy with the result, as his design was changed a lot. However, that did not stop fans from giving the episode cult status. In the orbit of an unknown planet, the Enterprise is hit by temporal waves, which result in Sulu being seriously injured by a short circuit in one of the control consoles. Dr. McCoy gives him a dose of cordrazine, but injects the rest of the vial himself through another temporal wave. Since the side effects of an overdose are delusions and anxiety attacks, the raging McCoy runs from the stoop and beams onto the planet's surface. There the crew discovers an ancient, speaking gate that describes itself as the "guardian of eternity". McCoy jumps through the portal after a short scuffle, causing contact with the spaceship to break off. The doctor seems to have manipulated the past so that the Enterprise never existed. To prevent the disaster, the crew follows McCoy through the portal and lands in New York in 1930. After some confusion, curious police officers and a short-lived theft of clothing, the group encounters social worker Edith Keeler. The crew quickly realized that there was something in the United States during this period that was called the "Depression" and had far-reaching consequences. Kirk meanwhile develops strong feelings for Edith.
Spock manages to build a computer using primitive materials and evaluates the data collected: Edith Keeler himself is the catalyst for the changes. If she survived, she would prevent the United States from entering World War II, thereby ensuring the victory of the Nazis – who obviously had no interest in space travel.
The alternative is Keeler's death, which would restore the timeline. Before the circumstances of death can be determined, the computer fails. A little later, McCoy also appeared in the past in New York and was taken in by the social worker without the crew's knowledge. It was only when Kirk and Edith were on the way to the cinema and chatting that McCoy spoke. The doctor steps onto the street, so Edith takes a step towards him in confusion – and is immediately hit by a truck. A devastated Kirk stops McCoy from saving Edith. "Griff in Geschichte" has everything a classic Star Trek episode needs: time travel, drama and charming overacting. There are no aliens in rubber suits and no phaser-heavy material battles here. And yet it is one of the best science fiction TV episodes produced within the first thirty years of television.
Of course, our list was far from exhaustive, as there are a lot of good Star Trek episodes across all series. We are already looking forward to your best episodes of all time – tell us in the comments!
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