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Star Trek: The Next Generation (1987-1994)

Episode:201
The Child

Jack's Rating:
pip pip pip

Dr. Pulaski joins the Enterprise while La Forge prepares the Enterprise to transport dangerous plague specimens; Deanna spontaneously becomes pregnant and gives birth to a mysterious child.

Features:
Stardate: 42073.1
Air Date: 11/21/88
Director: Rob Bowman

Jack's Review
This has long been one of the episodes I skip during a binge-watch. It's actually a good classic Trek episode, but the kid....man, there is something that makes me cringe with the kid. Oh well, still worth a watch.

Episode:202
Where Silence Has Lease

Jack's Rating:
pip pip pip pip pip Jack's Favorite

The Enterprise becomes trapped in a "hole in space", where the crew encounter strange spatial phenomena and crewless ships materialising in and out of existence. The crew suspect they are akin to lab rats.

Features:
Stardate: 42193.6
Air Date: 11/28/88
Director: Winrich Kolbe

Jack's Review
A terrific episode that shows off the quality of what this series would be capable of in the coming years. Plenty of thought-provoking dialogue with an interesting mystery. I would have loved to see Nagilum show up again in a later season.

Episode:203
Elementary, Dear Data

Jack's Rating:
pip pip pip pip pip Jack's Favorite

After Data easily solves an ordinary Sherlock Holmes holodeck mystery, Geordi asks the computer to make a Holmes villain capable of defeating Data. The resultant Professor Moriarty soon becomes far more powerful than expected.

Features: The Holodeck
Stardate: 42286.3
Air Date: 12/05/88
Director: Rob Bowman

Jack's Review
Such a fun episode! Spiner's play as Data doing Holmes is a blast and the overall premise of the episode - a simple misspoken command to the computer - works great.

Episode:204
The Outrageous Okona

Jack's Rating:
pip pip pip pip half-pip

The Enterprise encounters a flamboyant space rogue on the run, while Data explores humor with the help of a holodeck comedian (played by Joe Piscopo).

Features:
Stardate: 42402.7
Air Date: 12/12/88
Director: Robert Becker

Jack's Review
I am a big Billy Campbell fan - great actor, loads of on-screen charisma...which is evident in this interesting sci-fi take on Gulliver's Travels. Campbell's wandering scoundrel, Okona is so fun it almost makes me want to leave the Enterprise and follow him for a few episodes....Can't wait to see the character again in the new Prodigy series.

Episode:205
Loud as a Whisper

Jack's Rating:
pip pip pip

The Enterprise hosts a deaf, telepathic ambassador who mediates difficult peace negotiations with the assistance of his trio of telepathic interpreters.

Features:
Stardate: 42477.2
Air Date: 01/09/89
Director: Larry Shaw

Jack's Review
An interesting episode overall, but it feels a bit forced at times. There are some parts that really annoy...and others that are genuinely good. Odd bit of trivia - the fellow that plays the muse representing the artist/scholar is Randy Oglesby, who plays Degra in Star Trek Enterprise's third season.

Episode:206
The Schizoid Man

Jack's Rating:
pip pip pip pip

A brilliant scientist and former mentor of Data's creator, Dr. Ira Graves, cheats death by uploading his memories and personality into the android Data.

Features:
Stardate: 42437.5
Air Date: 01/23/89
Director: Les Landau

Jack's Review
I love William Morgan Sheppard. He will forever be the crusty Klingon warden at Rura Penthe in Star Trek 6 and the Ahab alien in Voyager's "Bliss"....but his performance in this episode is also terrific and Brent Spiner absolutely knocks it out of the park in this one.

Episode:207
Unnatural Selection

Jack's Rating:
pip pip pip pip

The Enterprise receives a distress call from the USS Lantree where the crew find all hands dead from, apparently, old age. The cause of the accelerated aging must be found before scientists on a research colony suffer the same fate.

Features:
Stardate: 42494.8
Air Date: 01/30/89
Director: Paul Lynch

Jack's Review
Here we have the second accelerated aging episode - unless you count "Too Short a Season"...but that has reverse aging, so. Anyway, this is a terrific Pulaski episode too. Lots of folks dislike her character, but her early abrasiveness and disdain for Data softens over the course of season two. She is exactly what the series needed at the time - a mild injection of Dr. McCoy's grouchy demeanor and moral compass.

Episode:208
A Matter of Honor

Jack's Rating:
pip pip pip pip pip Jack's Favorite

Will Riker is assigned to a Klingon vessel via an officer exchange program.

Features: The Klingons
Stardate: 42506.5
Air Date: 02/06/89
Director: Rob Bowman

Jack's Review
Man, I love this one. Riker cemented himself as my favorite TNG character with this episode. You can't help but enjoy his banter with the Klingons. Trivia tidbit: the Klingon Captain is played by Christopher Collins who plays the Pakled captain, Grebnedlog in "Samaritan Snare", and who also voiced Cobra Commander and Starscream in the 80s GI Joe and Transformers cartoons.

Episode:209
The Measure of a Man

Jack's Rating:
pip pip pip pip pip Jack's Favorite

When Data refuses orders to be dismantled for research purposes, a hearing is convened to determine if he is a legal citizen or property of the Federation.

Features:
Stardate: 42523.7
Air Date: 02/13/89
Director: Robert Scheerer

Jack's Review
Worthy of my list of Top 5 episodes of TNG, easily. An amazing courtroom drama with loads of emotion, sentiment, and some downright incredible acting from Jonathan Frakes, Patrick Stewart, Brent Spiner, Amanda McBroom, and Brian Brophy. This episode was used as the premise for the first season of "Picard", but that season really went off the rails. Thankfully, even after that train wreck, this episode still stands as one of the best Trek episodes of all time.

Episode:210
The Dauphin

Jack's Rating:
pip pip pip pip pip Jack's Favorite

The Enterprise hosts a young world leader and her mysterious chaperone. Wesley soon falls in love with the young leader.

Features:
Stardate: 42568.8
Air Date: 02/20/89
Director: Rob Bowman

Jack's Review
I love this one. Sure, the effects might feel rough by today's standards, but the young love story with Wesley really shows off what Wil Wheaton could do.

Episode:211
Contagion

Jack's Rating:
pip pip pip pip pip Jack's Favorite

A dangerous alien computer virus runs rampant through the Enterprise after causing the destruction of her sister ship, the USS Yamato.

Features: The Romulans
Stardate: 42609.1
Air Date: 03/20/89
Director: Joseph L. Scanlan

Jack's Review
"Personal Log..." will be stuck in your head after watching this one. A great episode with a story arc revisited in DS9. This one never gets old. This classic episode also marks the first Star Trek appearance of Carolyn Seymour, who shows up as a Romulan again in "Face of the Enemy" and Mirasta in "First Contact" (the episode), as well as Mrs. Templeton in Voyager.

Episode:212
The Royale

Jack's Rating:
pip pip pip pip pip Jack's Favorite

Riker, Worf, and Data investigate a structure on an icy gas giant. Inside, they find a casino reconstructed from a bad Earth novel.

Features:
Stardate: 42625.4
Air Date: 03/27/89
Director: Cliff Bole

Jack's Review
The Royale has the the charm of a classic original series episode. It's downright silly at times but so much fun. The light-hearted premise makes it easy to watch and fun to rewatch. Over the years this one has become one of my go-to episodes.

Episode:213
Time Squared

Jack's Rating:
pip pip pip pip

Picard encounters his future self, when the Enterprise becomes caught in a time loop.

Features: Time Travel
Stardate: 42679.2
Air Date: 04/03/89
Director: Joseph L. Scanlan

Jack's Review
When I first saw this episode, I thought it was the best ever. After several viewings, I can say that it honestly doesn't make much sense. While still a very neat idea, there is too much left unexplained. The original idea was to have Q appear to be behind the anomaly, but Roddenberry didn't allow it for the story.

Episode:214
The Icarus Factor

Jack's Rating:
pip pip pip pip

Riker's estranged father visits to brief him on the command he has been offered, and Worf's friends discover he is about to miss an important Klingon rite of passage.

Features:
Stardate: 42686.4
Air Date: 04/24/89
Director: Robert Iscove

Jack's Review
This one has really grown on me over the years. Heck, most of season two has! While not an overly amazing episode, the acting is superb and the story is very well done.

Episode:215
Pen Pals

Jack's Rating:
pip pip pip pip

Data befriends a child from a doomed planet, breaking the Prime Directive.

Features:
Stardate: 42695.3
Air Date: 05/01/89
Director: Winrich Kolbe

Jack's Review
This is actually a beautiful episode - Star Trek at its best. It also contains the only curse word in the series - even if it is spoken in French.

Episode:216
Q Who?

Jack's Rating:
pip pip pip pip pip Jack's Favorite

Q flings the ship 7,000 light years from Federation space and introduces the crew of the Enterprise to the deadly Borg.

Features: The Borg The Q Entity
Stardate: 42761.3
Air Date: 05/08/89
Director: Rob Bowman

Jack's Review
An absolute must watch episode for any new Trek fan. Q, Guinan, The Borg....easily not one to miss.

Episode:217
Samaritan Snare

Jack's Rating:
pip pip pip pip pip Jack's Favorite

A group of dimwitted aliens, the Pakleds, kidnap Geordi to fix their malfunctioning ship.

Features:
Stardate: 42779.1
Air Date: 05/15/89
Director: Les Landau

Jack's Review
I absolutely adore this episode. It's hilarious. The Pakled way of speaking has become a running joke at work, we learn some of Picard's past, and see some bonding between the Captain and Wesley. Overall a must-see episode.

Episode:218
Up the Long Ladder

Jack's Rating:
pip pip pip pip

Picard must find a way to bring two radically incompatible cultures together, lest both of them face extinction.

Features:
Stardate: 42823.2
Air Date: 05/22/89
Director: Winrich Kolbe

Jack's Review
A goofy episode for sure! It is, however, worth watching just for the scene in the screencap.

Episode:219
Manhunt

Jack's Rating:
pip pip pip pip

Deanna's mother seeks a new husband, and she has her eyes on Picard.

Features:
Stardate: 42859.2
Air Date: 06/19/89
Director: Rob Bowman

Jack's Review
Majel Barrett played Lwaxana Troi so well that I almost shudder to see her just like Picard. Honestly, her character shows tremendous growth over the seasons and I really enjoy most of her stories. This one is just silly fun.

Episode:220
The Emissary

Jack's Rating:
pip pip pip pip

Worf's former lover comes aboard Enterprise to help deal with a cryogenically frozen Klingon crew from 70 years in the past.

Features: The Klingons
Stardate: 42901.3
Air Date: 06/29/89
Director: Cliff Bole

Jack's Review
Ah, Susie Plakson. How much different the show would have been has they let K'Ehleyr stay on board. This episode is another well above average season two outing.

Episode:221
Peak Performance

Jack's Rating:
pip pip pip pip pip Jack's Favorite

The Enterprise and USS Hathaway face off in simulated combat maneuvers. Data fails to beat a humanoid at a game of Strategema.

Features: The Ferengi
Stardate: 42923.4
Air Date: 07/10/89
Director: Robert Scheerer

Jack's Review
This one is right up at the top of the episodes of TNG that I absolutely love. It contains perhaps the single best Picard quote in the entire series, as well as one of the best endings. The upbeat end on a freeze-frame is just perfect classic TV.

Episode:222
Shades of Gray

Jack's Rating:
pip pip pip pip

Riker is poisoned by an alien plant and, as he lies comatose, he relives various memories of his life serving the Enterprise.

Features:
Stardate: 42976.1
Air Date: 07/17/89
Director: Rob Bowman

Jack's Review
Clip show! Clip show! In all honesty, I skipped this one so much that when I watched it randomly in 2022 it felt like a new episode of TNG. It's a clip show....but still....it's a Star Trek clip show!

 
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