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Top 10 Episodes: Star Trek: The Next Generation – Season 6

Top 10 Episodes: Star Trek: The Next Generation – Season 6

This was The Next Generation’s second-to-last season, and while there are some good episodes, there wasn’t anything truly spectacular or that could rival shows from the previous few seasons.

Among some of the highlights were a visit from an Original Series character, another appearance from Q and we spend some time on a Romulan Warbird.

Here are the Top 10 Episodes from Star Trek: The Next Generation – Season 6.

10. Tapestry

We get some Picard backstory here, and Q is as humorous as ever.

Picard returns from an away mission horribly wounded, and as his life starts to slip away he gets a visit from Q. Using an altered idea from Jimmy Stewart’s “It’s a Wonderful Life”, Q takes Picard back in time and shows him what his life would have been like if he hadn’t taken some chances as a youth; events Picard would come to regret later in his life. All we can say is – Picard doesn’t look nearly as good in a blue uniform as he does in red.

Speaking of uniforms, we get a version of the burgundy threads we saw from the TOS features. (Seems like that design lasted quite a while before they updated their look!)

The Nausicaans seem like an extremely formidable foe. It’s too bad we didn’t get to see more of them throughout Trek’s history. (With the exception of Enterprise. Good job, Enterprise!)

9. A Fistful of Datas

Star Trek goes western…and it’s a fun ride!

The Enterprise has got some down time, and Alexander manages to drag his father into the holodeck to play a Sheriff and his deputy. Meanwhile, Data and Geordi are doing some experiments with the android’s programming. Naturally something goes wrong, and all of a sudden Data is showing up in various forms in Worf & Alexander’s holodeck program.

What’s most fun about this episode is the different characters Brent Spiner gets to play…as Data. His different facial reactions, accents, mannerisms – it’s a joy to watch. Troi manages to play a pretty good cowboy herself as well. Nice touch borrowing the title from Clint Eastwood’s “Dollars” trilogy of westerns from back in the 1960’s.

8. Chain of Command Part I

There are some major personnel shake-up’s among the senior officers on the Enterprise, as Picard, Worf and Crusher are assigned a top priority mission in Cardassian space. This will leave the ship under the authority of (obviously) Commander Rik – Captain Edward Jellico.

Wait, whaaaaaat?

Talk about mixing it up! You can’t help but feel for the remaining senior officers as they try and adjust to Captain Jellico’s command “style”. Jellico comes in guns blazing with plenty of proposed changes, and won’t take no for an answer. If he looks familiar, that may be because you might recognize Ronny Cox from roles in Total Recall, Deliverance and 1987’s RoboCop.

Any mission into Cardassian space is a dangerous one, however one can’t help but be underwhelmed by the “cave set” we’ve seen every other time an episode has called for caves. Regardless, Picard seems to be in a bit of a pickle once this one comes to an end.

7. Chain of Command Part II

THERE ARE FOUR LIGHTS!

If you come away from this episode with anything, it will be the fact that there are four lights.

Picard is held prisoner and ruthlessly tortured by a very twisted Cardassian Gul (played by David Warner, who also appeared as Chancellor Gorkon in Star Trek VI, as well as a rather forgettable character in Star Trek V), and things aren’t too peachy between Riker and Captain Jellico.

It’s Patrick Stewart’s performance and Picard’s storyline that carries this episode. Stewart does a great job portraying someone who refuses to give in; he won’t give up hope and succumb to the terrible things being done to him.

6. Starship Mine

Captain Picard gets his own action episode.

The Enterprise-D is scheduled for a special kind maintenance, one that requires the entire crew to be evacuated. However, a small band of criminals posing as the engineering team has plans to steal a substance off the ship and sell it for big profit – and it’s up to the Captain to stop them.

The circumstances of how this entire scenario comes about isn’t exactly that heroic (Picard just happens to be in the right place at the right time), but once he understands what’s going on, he puts his skill and intelligence to work. He makes excellent use of the resources available to him, with plenty of help coming from some of Mr. Worf’s possessions. It doesn’t take much of a sharp eye to IMMEDIATELY recognize Tim Russ as one of the mercenary’s, the man who would go on to play Mr. Tuvok on Star Trek: Voyager. (And an officer on board the Enterprise-B in Star Trek: Generations.)

On the lighter side, Data trying to understand the art of “small talk” is fantastic.

5. Schisms

We’re going deep into subspace in this episode.

An interesting story, with some cool sequences. Perhaps the most interesting part occurs when Troi, Worf, Riker, Geordi and another crew member try and reconstruct on the holodeck what they have been seeing in their dreams. The most chilling moment occurs when they all realize that these aren’t just dreams, but MEMORIES of a real place.

The attempt at creating a pocket of subspace inhabited by alien beings may have been a little lacking, but the concept behind it is solid.

4. Second Chances

Upon returning to a planet Riker had once visited several years prior (and had been lucky to escape from), it turns out that was only partially true: another version of Riker has been marooned on that planet ever since they left.

Turns out a combination of environmental conditions mixed with the transporter created a SECOND Will Riker, this one being beamed back to the planet during the original escape. Poor Riker Version 2 has survived all this time on his own, and has apparently been relying on his love for Troi to keep him going – obviously unaware that another version of himself got off the planet and life has gone on.

We get to see just how passionate Riker was about Troi before his career ambitions took a hold of him, and also how the original Riker doesn’t seem to hold his alternate self in very high regard. It’s a shame we don’t see more of Thomas Riker down the road in this series, but stay tuned to Deep Space Nine for more!

3. Frame of Mind

You really gotta pay attention in this one.

Riker gets confused between what is real, and what is in his head in this psychological thriller. The show does a great job leading us through what Riker is experiencing, and Jonathan Frakes does a good job carrying it out. Tying the story in with Dr. Crusher’s play Riker is participating in was a great move. Data’s misunderstanding of Riker’s “performance” during the play at one point is classic Data.

If anyone thinks Inmate Jaya (the one communicating with the spoon) seems a bit familiar, she played the Borg Queen on Voyager. And Lenara Kahn on Deep Space Nine. And was in another episode of TNG – you get the idea.

2. Face of the Enemy

What a juicy story for Counselor Troi!

Kidnapped, facially altered and thrown into an EXTREMELY tense scenario undercover on a Romulan ship? To say she handled it well would be an understatement. Scott McDonald (making his screen AND Star Trek guest-spot debut) is fantastic as Sub-Commander N’Vek. The story does a good job tying in to the events from season five’s “Unification”.

Gears of War and Mass Effect fans will recognize the voice of Carolyn Seymour, who plays the part of Commander Toreth. She too has multiple guest-spots in Star Trek’s history.

How does NO ONE express more surprise on the Enterprise bridge when the face of a Romulan-ized Troi appears on screen?

1. Relics

Scotty lives!

So much good stuff here for the TOS fans. All of the stories Scotty tells (or starts to tell before he’s interrupted) are straight out of episodes from The Original Series. Being a fan favorite, Scotty’s presence on the Enterprise-D is a great piece of nostalgia. At first LaForge can’t help but think of the retired engineer as a nuisance, however luckily they get on the same page and the payoff between the two characters at the end is both touching and fantastic.

Be sure to keep an eye on the exchange between Worf and Scotty as he parts ways with the crew. Gold.

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