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

Image credit: Julie Dennis

2. THE BEST OF BOTH WORLDS, PARTS I AND II

LOG ENTRY The Borg are coming. A brazen young Borg expert, Commander Shelby (Elizabeth Dennehy), joins Picard's crew to help get them up to speed, but they've little time before the Enterprise makes contact. In the ensuing battle, the Enterprise discovers a weakness, but before they can exploit it, a Borg boarding party beams onto the bridge and kidnaps Picard. They transform him into Locutus of Borg, and he leads the Borg toward Earth. Riker and Shelby coordinate a rescue mission to retrieve Picard, and he clues them in on how to stop the Borg attack.

CRITIQUE This all-action-all-the-time two-parter is how you build a cliff-hanger and then pay it off. And Picard's indoctrination into the Borg Collective hangs over the balance of TNG's story line.

TRIVIA As TNG's head writer, the late Michael Piller instituted an open submission policy. Anyone could write an episode and send it in for consideration. No TV show before or since has done so. — Marc Bernardin

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