An Episodic Guide To Introducing My Kids To The Entire ‘Star Trek’ Canon
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If you were going to introduce Star Trek to your kids, which 5 episodes from each, (or any) series would you choose?
Picking one from each series, I’d select:
Star Trek — “The Balance of Terror”: Kirk and a Romulan commander engage in a battle of wits as their ships face off.
Star Trek: The Next Generation — “Best of Both Worlds”: Picard is abducted by the Borg and becomes the Federation’s worst foe.
Star Trek: Deep Space Nine — “The Visitor”: An older Jake Sisko tells the story of how his father was lost.
Star Trek: Voyager — “Year of Hell”: Voyager is stuck in a temporal incursion and Janeway must sacrifice everything.
Star Trek: Enterprise — “Similitude”: Trip is injured and Phlox creates a clone to save him, introducing complex moral questions about sacrificing the clone to save the original.
Picking from the Original Series, I’d select:
“The City On The Edge Of Forever”: The crew of the Enterprise discover a portal through time. An accident results in McCoy, in a drugged psychotic state, crossing through that portal and changing Earth history dramatically. Kirk and Spock must follow him through the portal to save their timeline.
“Balance Of Terror”: An homage to the WWII submarine battle films, Kirk and a Romulan commander enter a tense battle of wits with only one ship surviving.
“The Trouble With Tribbles”: A comedic episode in which rapidly breeding furrballs reveal a deadly plot. The later Star Trek series, Deep Space Nine, paid a wonderful tribute to this episode in their own episode Trials and Tribble-ations.
“The Enemy Within”: A transporter accident splits Kirk into 2 beings, each with half of his personality. Kirk must convince his alter-half to rejoin him else they both die.
“Mirror, Mirror”: An Enterprise landing party is transported to an alternate universe in which the Federation is an aggressive imperial organization, and Spock has a beard!
Picking from Star Trek: The Next Generation, I’d select:
“The Measure Of A Man”: The definition of human is examined when Data’s freedom is put on trial.
“Yesterday’s Enterprise”: The crew of the Enterprise must correct a change to the timeline, with the help of a lost friend.
“The Best Of Both Worlds”: Picard is abducted by the Borg and becomes the Federation’s worst foe.
“Lower Decks”: A story shown from the perspective of lower ranked and seldom seen crew.
“Inner Light”: Picard lives the lifetime of an alien.
Picking from Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, I’d select:
“The Visitor”: An older Jake Sisko tells the story of how his father was lost.
“Trials And Tribble-ations”: Sisko and the crew injected into footage from the original series episode The Trouble With Tribbles.
“Far Beyond The Stars”: Sisko experiences visions in which DS9 is the imagination of a twentieth century author.
“In The Pale Moonlight”: Sisko tells tales of the darkest side of war.
“Once More Unto The Breach”: Klingons, Klingons, Klingons, including 3 from the original series.
Picking from Star Trek: Voyager, I’d select:
“Year of Hell”: Voyager is stuck in a temporal incursion and Janeway must sacrifice everything.
“Scorpion”: The introduction of Seven of Nine.
“Deadlock”: Two Voyagers, but only one can survive.
“Future’s End”: Voyager visits the twentieth century.
“Equinox”: Another lost ship with different choices made.
Picking from Star Trek: Enterprise, I’d select:
“Similitude”: Trip is injured and Phlox creates a clone to save him, introducing complex moral questions about sacrificing the clone to save the original.
“These Are The Voyages”: The finale with a neat twist involving characters from STNG.
“First Flight”: How Archer became the Captain.
“In A Mirror, Darkly”: Enterprise’s take on the classic Mirror, Mirror.
“The Andorian Incident”: A great ethical story that puts the Vulcans on trial.
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