All Hail! Star Trek: The Next Generation is on Netflix!
I can’t believe that I paid one hundred dollars each, for the first three seasons of Star Trek: The Next Generation, but that’s precisely what happened. I’ve seen this show backwards and forwards several times over the years, and it’s safe to say that there isn’t a more beloved show in my history. Even though I managed to collect all the seasons over the years (perhaps my only legitimate collection goal), when I discovered that TNG would be on Netflix instant streaming, I cherished the idea of not having to fumble through the awkward seven (or six disc for season two) disc sets. Today, that dream is reality. To celebrate this, I’ve compiled some favorite episodes that aren’t the usual suspects.
***Contains Spoilers*** Y’know… for a 20-year-old show.
Episode 9: “The Battle”
This gem features the Ferengi, a headache device, and the original “Picard Maneuver” reference which bore the nickname to the uniform tug so often seen in the series. I wanted more Picard back story like this, but had to settle for flute-playing Picard from later on.
Episode 21: “Peak Performance”
Smug Strategema master pits Picard and Riker against each other in a battle simulation. Picard helms Enterprise, while Riker selects a crew to man the dilapidated Hathaway. Nerd hero Wesley Crusher saves the day again, and Data exacts his Strategema revenge… Sort of.
Episode 2: “The Ensigns of Command”
A genuine “Fuck Yeah!” moment for me is when Picard deliberately waits several moments before answering a Sheliak hail. He had outwitted those bureaucratic bastards and he was enjoying this moment. So did I Jean-Luc… So did I.
Episode 19:The Nth Degree
Perhaps my favorite episode featuring Barclay. He becomes exponentially intelligent, and eventually replaces the Enterprise computer with himself. Maybe Dwight Schultz’ best work on the series.
Episode 6: “The Game”
Maybe I don’t really want to consider the themes in play in this episode. Our heroes, zombified by an addicting game of “Paper Toss” as far as I can tell. Everyone trying to proposition Wesley, luring him into their panel vans..er.. quarters. He manages to save the day (with Data’s help) and win the all-to-out-of-his-league Robin Leffler (played by the lovely Ashley Judd.)
Episode 18: “Starship Mine”
The Enterprise goes in for a car wash, and the process requires the ship to be abandoned. Our Captain, doing his best John McClane impression, outwits the terrorists single-handedly. Meanwhile on the planet, one of my favorite Data moments happens… I’m going to call it, a “Small Talk Causality Loop”
Episodes 4&5: “Gambit”
Not sure why I’m getting off on these “Picard-Incognito” moments, but I won’t apologise for loving this brilliant two-part episode. It features Data in charge of Enterprise, and a rebellious Riker. Even the anti-climactic ending wont spoil your hour-thirty.