Star Trek TNG Season 1: My Top 5 Fave Episodes

As my husband and I are going through our second full watch of Star Trek as a couple, I thought it would be fun to report on the highlights along the way. So I decided to copy the same format as Charlene at Bookish Whimsy, who is going through her first-ever run of Star Trek and sharing her favorite five episodes for each season. To compare, see her top 3 favorite episodes of season one of The Next Generation (she couldn’t quite come up with 5 this season, and I can’t blame her). 

Ahh… early TNG. It’s not the best. We’re already getting a glimpse into things that annoy me in multiple Star Trek series: Q, Troi’s mom, and Ferengi. There was also a lot of set-up for Wesley ALREADY which really surprised me. They really wanted him to be special, apparently, and threw Tasha under the bus to the point where the actress asked to get killed off. I’ve got to say, I liked Tasha more this time around than I did the first time. I’m not sure if it’s because of seeing Denise Crosby at a convnetion or what. Anyhow, all that said, there were a few decent episodes this season, but let’s just say I’m definitely anticipating the later seasons and some of my favorite episodes that are to come.

5. Symbiosis

tng-1-symbosisThere are some things in this episode that bother me, and I don’t just mean the stuff that’s supposed to make you uncomfortable, but main characters saying dumb things and logic flaws. Despite this, however, it still has an intriguing premise that gets you to think about interfering with other cultures when one is exploiting the other.

4. Haven

tng-1-havenI’d be lying if I said I thought this was a really good episode, but it’s quite entertaining, mostly for Troi telling her mom off. I also find the arranged marriage trope an interesting one sometimes.

3. The Neutral Zone

tng-1-theneutralzoneThe biggest problem with this episode is that there is really pretty equal time for the actual Neutral Zone plotline (which you think would be the more dominate story given the episode title) and the subplot about three frozen people from the past who are recovered by the Enterprise (without Captain Picard’s knowledge… come on, Data, that’s sketch…), and really, these probably should have just been two different episodes because neither felt fully fleshed out. I feel that basically the main point of this episode as the season one finale was to set-up future conflict with the Romulans, but they weren’t feeling daring enough for big cliffhangers yet. (If this had been a later Deep Space Nine episode, OMG, stuff would have gone down.) So mostly, I like this episode for its potential.

2. Conspiracy

tng-1-conspiracyThis is another episode that I like mostly for the potential of what could have been (what still could be if they ever make a new Star Trek show that is set during/after Voyager time), however, it was stronger than The Neutral Zone. In this episode, we see that a species has infiltrated some high-up Starfleet officers, and while the immediate threat is neutralized at the end, there’s an open-ended something that hints more certainly can come. Apparently it was supposed to be explored again but alas, has not been. But it really should be because I’m curious! This episode gets negative points though for the gross-alien-creature-inside-people deal though. Is that really necessary?

1. Coming of Age

tng-1-comingofageI remembered this episode from my previous watch and was surprised that it was first season. This is actually a pretty decent Wesley episode, in fact, it might be the best Wesley story of all TNG, but I guess I’ll have to watch the other seasons again to say for sure. It’s certainly better than Justice. In this one Wesley learns what it takes to get into Starfleet, and acts more mature and less annoying than his usual season one self. I’ve decided to give this episode the top spot for this season mostly because I find it the most memorable.

I’ve got to say, in season one (and from my memory, in all of TNG really), Data really steals the show. I feel Brent Spiner really had Data down from the start and I came to love him all over again very quickly!

If you’ve seen season one of The Next Generation, which episodes are your favorite?

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