'Star Trek: The Next Generation': The Top 10 Episodes


LOG ENTRY As happens every so often, the Enterprise is observing a temporal rift in deep space when another Federation starship comes through the rift. In a flash, we're thrown into an alternate universe. The Enterprise is suddenly a ship of war. The bridge crew is armed with phasers. Deanna Troi isn't in the ship's complement, and neither is Worf. And, most amazingly, the deceased Tasha Yar is back at her post. The mystery ship turns out to be the barely functional, battle-scarred Enterprise C, which history records as having been lost 22 years ago. Its appearance in the present has twisted the timeline. Now the Federation is in a losing war with the Klingon empire — and the temporally sensitive Guinan (Whoopi Goldberg) intuits that the Enterprise C's disappearance from its own timeline may be responsible. The only solution: Picard must send the ship back through the rift, back to the firefight it barely escaped from, to certain destruction.

CRITIQUE This episode takes one simple premise — that every action, like a pebble thrown in a pond, has a rippling effect — and exploits the heck out of it. Offering massive space battles, hardcore Trek continuity revelations, and a poignant story line, in which Tasha falls for a doomed crewman and chooses to join him on a suicide run, this hour of Trek is the gold standard. As Picard says, before committing his own ship to destruction, ''Let's make sure that history never forgets the name Enterprise.'' Mission accomplished.

TRIVIA This was the first time Denise Crosby returned to the show after her character was killed in the first season. She would later be seen as a Romulan in the fifth season. — Marc Bernardin

What do you think about our picks of the 10 best Next Generation episodes? Click over to our message board to comment on our selections or make your case for an episode we left out of the Star Trek: The Next Generation Top 10.

Want more Star Trek: TNG? See Star Trek: The Next Generation: An Oral History for an insider's view of how the series took flight and Star Trek: The Next Generation: Where Are They Now? to see what's next for Patrick Stewart, Jonathan Frakes, Denise Crosby, and other TNG favorites.

Originally posted Sep 19, 2007
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