What are the best episodes of Star Trek? Except I don't care so much about the mythology, I'm just looking for good acting, good writing, and universal subject matter. Any series is fine, though to give you an idea Deep Space 9 is my favorite.
I've been watching through Deep Space 9 lately, and this question was prompted by the fourth season episode "The Visitor
," where Jake Sisko narrates the story as an old man about how his father disappeared, and later reappeared to him every couple decades over the course of his life. This episode was amazing because for one it was out of the ordinary for Star Trek, and also it was well acted and hinged on something as basic as the relationship between a father and son, and it rang true.
When Star Trek is bad, it can be really
bad, but on the same token there are some good parts. I'm not about to go watch every episode of Star Trek ever made, though, so I was hoping you could help me highlight those episodes that stand out.
Other examples of what I'm looking for would be the DS9 episode where they go back to the past (our future) and unemployed people live in fenced-off ghettos, which lead to riots, or the TNG finale, or the one where Riker's old commander comes back in an attempt to cover up the existence of a Federation cloaking device, or the one where they discover Scotty trapped in a transporter. Also, my favorite movie is First Contact, just because it was dramatic and well-acted.
I'm not necessarily looking for episodes that are crucial to the overarching story; don't recommend me an episode just because it was the one where the Borg were introduced, or because it was the one that established the Dominion War or something, recommend me those episodes if they are good
, and could almost stand on their own and still be compelling.
And I'm definitely not looking for episodes where Quark becomes a woman, or the Doctor on Voyager sings a lot, or Data's emotion chip goes haywire, or whatever. Basically, I'm looking for the handful of episodes through all five series that I wouldn't be embarrassed to watch with my friends.