10. CHAIN OF COMMAND
LOG ENTRY Captured by the Cardassians while on a covert Federation mission (depicted in ''Chain of Command, Part I''), Picard is turned over to Gul Madred (David Warner), an imperious interrogator. Our dear captain is stripped, dangled from the ceiling overnight, and implanted with a device that causes immense pain in any part of the body that suits Madred. Back on the Enterprise, Picard's caustic replacement, Captain Jellico (the superb Ronny Cox), engages in high-stakes diplomacy that eventually secures Picard's release.
CRITIQUE Cutting between scenes on an anxious, unhappy Enterprise and of an abused and demoralized Picard, this is one of the darkest and most resonant episodes in the series' history.
TRIVIA Warner is no stranger to the final frontier, having appeared as a human in Star Trek V and, more famously, as the far-thinking and quite doomed Klingon chancellor Gorkon in Star Trek VI. Adam B. Vary