With over 800 television episodes and films, an objective ranking of on-screen Star Trek content would be impossible. However, within each series, a consensus has coalesced around a handful of episodes that are often regarded as the finest. “The Measure of a Man,” “Improbable Cause/The Die is Cast,” and “Deadlock” are particularly good episodes from their respective series’ earlier seasons, and symbolise each series coming into its own.
Even so, admiration for each series’ so-called “best episodes” isn’t always universal, and fans’ rankings of a series’ finest episodes might range as much as their selections for the worst. For ardent Trek fans, evaluating episodes on their merits can be challenging since what we appreciate most about our favourite episodes is frequently impossible to measure. The nostalgia of having grown up with these programmes raises the question of their most acclaimed episodes: “Do we love them because they’re good, or are they good because we love them?”
For this month’s poll, we chose two episodes from each of the first five series, as well as one TOS feature and one TNG film that are widely regarded as the best of the best. Only series with completed original runs are represented; we’ll have to wait for history to weigh in on the series that are currently in production.
Choose the episode or film you believe is the worst and tell us why. Is there an episode we missed you believe deserves to be the worst “best” episode? Don’t see what all the fuss was about “The Inner Light,” “The Visitor,” or “Equinox”? Tell us what and why!