TOP 10 STAR TREK Episodes of All Time

TOP 10 STAR TREK Episodes of All Time

For the first time in 16 years you can watch
a new Star Trek series on the small screen. But can Star Trek: Discovery live up to the
heights of the previous series? There are some incredible episodes of Trek and DSC has
a high bar to reach. So what are the best episodes of Star Trek? Well, a group of fans attending the 50th Anniversary
Star Trek convention in Las Vegas attempted picked 10 highlights from the 726 available
episodes at the time. Welcome to Final Frontier; these are the top
10 Star Trek episodes… of all time. Number 10: The Magnificent Ferengi; Deep Space
Nine When Quark’s mother Ishka is abducted by the
Dominion, the Grand Nagus offers a huge reward for her return, so Quark, Rom and Nog lead
a team of Ferengi to rescue ‘Moogie’ on Empok Nor. We open with a surprising entry. This episode
just pipped ‘The Trouble with Tribbles’ to the top 10, and is very much a light humour-filled
episode amidst the darkness of the ongoing war with the Dominion. This episode showcases
the best of the Ferengi who can, admittedly, be divisive. Of all the episodes on this list,
this is the only light-hearted one. Number 9. In a Mirror, Darkly; Enterprise Commander Archer mutinies against Captain
Forrest to capture a future Earth ship found in Tholian space. If that doesn’t sound
like the Federation it’s because this episode is set in the alternate ‘Mirror Universe,’
which was first introduced in The Original Series episode ‘Mirror, Mirror’ where
the Federation instead developed into the aggressive Terran Empire. This two-parter represents the fifth- and
fourth-to-last episodes of Star Trek: Enterprise, and what a way to end the much-maligned series.
The episode starts with a great touch with alternate opening credits representing the
alternate history of humanity in the Mirror universe. Number 8. Balance of Terror; The Original
Series As Captain Kirk prepares to perform a wedding
ceremony between two crewmembers, an emergency alarm sounds – Federation Outpost 4 in the
Neutral Zone is under attack from an unknown enemy. This Original Series episode introduces
one of the most enduring villains in the Star Trek universe, the Romulans. This episode
was described as a touchstone for Star Trek: Discovery by Bryan Fuller. It saw the first
appearance of Mark Lenard on the show as the Romulan Commander, who would ultimately wind
up playing Spock’s father, Sarek. Number 7. Chain of Command; The Next Generation While newly assigned Captain Jellico tries
to whip the Enterprise crew into shape for a confrontation with the Cardassians, Picard
is caught on a secret mission, taken prisoner and interrogated. With Deep Space Nine preparing
to take to the air, the ‘Chain of Command’ two-parter was designed to help to establish
the Cardassians as formidable adversaries: this ruthless and cunning species would be
a key player in the Dominion War. A superb story, with elements that resonate strongly
with real-world events to this day, is coupled with some of the finest acting seen in the
series, both from Patrick Stewart and guest stars Ronny Cox and David Warner. Number 6. The Visitor; Deep Space Nine After a freak accident claims the life of
Benjamin Sisko, his son Jake refuses to accept that his father is dead. Instead, he lives
out his life in an endless quest to find out where his father is. This is the story of
the incredible bond between a father and son. We once again are treated to magnificent performances
as Star Trek does what it does best: use the genre to tell a very human story. The Director,
David Livingston, singles out this episode as his favourite. To quote, “It’s probably
the show I’m most proud of, because of the impact. People would tell me that they cried
after seeing the episode.” Number 5. Yesterday’s Enterprise; The Next
Generation A rift in space opens, and the USS Enterprise-C
emerges, changing the timeline into a reality where the Federation is in a bitter war with
the Klingon Empire. The only person on the Enterprise-D who realises that something is
not right is Guinan, and she must help return the displaced starship to its proper time
in order for the Enterprise-D crew to save themselves. This gripping episode sees the return of Tasha
Yar who was originally killed without fanfare in the first season episode ‘Skin of Evil’,
and we see her at her best here trying heroically to save the future. Number 4. Amok Time; The Original Series While the Enterprise is on route to a presidential
inauguration, Spock begins to behave erratically and changes course for Vulcan against Kirk’s
orders. A medical exam reveals his bodily functions are becoming imbalanced, and Spock
reluctantly admits to Kirk that it is the time of ‘pon farr’: when a Vulcan must
return home to mate… or die trying. A great episode with a mix of drama, humour
and action. And talking of action – who wouldn’t love to see a fight to the death
between Spock and Kirk? This is precisely what Amok Time delivers… who wins? I’ll
let you find out for yourselves… Number 3. The Inner Light; The Next Generation After being caught in a probe’s energy beam,
Picard finds himself on a distant planet… and that’s as much as I will dare tell you.
Ask ANY Star Trek: The Next Generation fan their top 5 episodes, and The Inner Light
will almost certainly feature. And rightfully so. This episode is my personal favourite
of all time – perhaps of any TV series ever – and is best approached with zero spoilers.
When I first watched this episode with my family, we were all mesmerised for an hour…
and it was like a spell breaking when the story ended. I still remember us all looking
around at each other overawed at what we had just seen. This scene here is not from The Inner Light,
but a sixth season episode called Lessons where Picard plays a melody on a flute, which
has great significance in The Inner Light. Number 2. In the Pale Moonlight; Deep Space
Nine To save the Federation at the height of the
Dominion War, Sisko has to figure out to what lengths he will go to to achieve what he feels
needs to be done. A masterpiece of an episode that pushes the
boundaries of the Trek universe, with Avery Brooks once again a tour-de-force as he battles
his conscience in a complex and engaging episode that will leave you absolutely stunned…
and a little bit uneasy. Number 1. The City on the Edge of Forever;
The Original Series The Enterprise crew discover a time portal
(the Guardian of Forever) and McCoy accidentally alters history for the worse. Kirk and Spock
follow him to try and undo the disaster and land in 1930s New York. There they meet Edith
Keeler – a dedicated pacifist who runs a homeless shelter. But what price will they
have to pay to put history back on course? This episode not only revolves around the
relationship between Kirk and Edith but also the ever-closer friendship between Kirk and
Spock, which would form a key foundation for the series and the films that followed. An
absolute classic, with a poignant, tragic story and brilliant performances. So, what did you think? These lists are subjective
by their very nature and I know many of you will have expected to see episodes such as
TNG’s Best of Both Worlds on here. So let me know in the comments which episodes you
would like to have seen. Star Trek: Discovery certainly has a lot to live up to and let’s
hope that one day we will see DSC episodes on similar Top 10 lists. For more videos on the world of Star Trek
and science fiction please subscribe and click on the notifications bell. For sneak peeks
and some personal stuff then you can come join me on Twitter and Facebook. Live Long and Prosper.

About the author


  1. Considering how DSC has been "performing" and the way the "creative" staff has been behaving, I'd be surprised if this show could live up to the standard of Wesley Crusher 😁. Am I the only one who thinks a show set just after the decommissioning of the Enterprise-A centered around the first captain other then James T Kirk to command the Enterprise would be pretty cool? It already introduces the character conflict of having to live up to that example. I imagine he'd spend most if not all of his command being compared to Captain Kirk. George Takei could've reprised his role as Captain Sulu. I think he could have been a very compelling as a recurring mentor figure to this new captain.

  2. I'm a huge fan of most of these episodes, but only "Int the Pale moonlight" makes it into my top 10. And I think that's to be expected. It's safe to say that if you've watched all of Star Trek you probably get something out of it that others don't because there are so many concepts introduced throughout the series.

  3. After reading a few posts, I have to agree that VOYAGER The Year of Hell was a glaring omission. TNG All Good Things is a very fitting conclusion to that series. It should at least have an honorable mention. Also TOS The Menagerie was awesome! It melded the Enterprise pre – Captain Kirk with the old crew Captain Pike through Spock with a court martial plus original pilot footage. I personally like TOS The Doomsday Machine. Yes I know it's just a retelling of Ahab and the Whale BUT it works!

  4. ST: DIS is testament to the actual possibility of polishing a turd. It is Star Trek in name only.

    You're actually excluding any spoilers (except the music) from Inner Light… from 1992… 25 years ago?

    (25 years at time of this video publication.)

  5. Ok …none of the DS9 episodes named rank top 10 consideration. I liked DS9 but I always believed it revolved too much around Inter-galatic politics to the detriment of the kind of plots the other series were known for.

    I agree with about half this list. but I have to ask why no voyager episodes w/the highly underrated Jerri Ryan?? No Q episodes when he literally began and ended STNG??? No episodes about the Borg, the most powerful antagonist ever???

  6. I just recently got into Star Trek, and been binging TNG for the last few months which got me to the end of Season 6 right now. I started with it because I thought that the outdated looks from TOS wouldn`t make me able to enjoy the ST universe and therefore Roddenberrys vision to the fullest. But right now, just when i got a little frightened of the prospect that the TNG experience is over the next season (for me), i read your comments and see that every other (classic) ST series seems just to be as great as TNG, which just hypes me to start DS9 and see the events of the Dominion war.

  7. On the whole, I love this list. To pick only 10 "best" episodes of the entire franchise is like participating in the Kobiyashi Maru simulation. For the folks that were upset about ST:V being omitted, the writing on the series just didn't measure up to the others. That doesn't mean I didn't enjoy it, only that when compared to the others, there were few episodes that could even compare. That being said, my favorite episode of Voyager was "Infinite Regress". It was nice to see JRyan switch to all those personalities. She was amazing that episode. My overall favorite: DS9 toss up – "Far Beyond the Stars" and "In The Pale Moonlight". TNG's :"The Inner Light" and "The Measure of the Man" are as good as it gets.

  8. "The Inner Light" is television, no, drama, at its finest. But it's not stand alone. To get the best out of the episode requires some knowledge of the Picard character.

  9. As someone who as a kid really looked up to my dad, The Visitor is genuinely painful to watch which makes it such a good episode.

  10. The visitor is one of the hardest episodes to watch.. actually I avoid it when I can. I have that kind of bond with my own dad. He's the one who got me into DS9. It's such a tearjerk

  11. These "Best" lists are difficult to do; no one is happy with them, even if you did best 100 episodes, someone would complain about their faves not being there. So you are brave, and in for abuse. I think one should qualify with the word "MY" on such lists. Did watch Next Gen but lost interest in others here, but knew of them. And saw some of the movies, which mostly disappointed me. Saw, and have, all TOS, which I watch often, when "nothing is on TV", which is often! "Balance of Terror" is my fave and on your list. It is the one episode, in TOS, that makes maximum use of the Enterprise's weapons to destroy an enemy vessel (Romulan). So, if you like phasers and photon torpedoes, you'll like this one!! My second fave is "the Corbomite Maneuver" in which the Enterprise encounters a massive (mile in diameter) alien ship, and Kirk must use all his experience to save the crew. My third fave is "the Changling", which has one of the best politically incorrect lines of dialog, of all time, on TV. If you see it, you'll immediately know what I mean. Enjoy them all; and live long….etc. etc…

  12. I know this is an old post, but I had to respond when I found this vid. Hands down The City On the Edge Of Forever is my top favorite, first only to "The Visitor"

    A perfect Shatner's line “Let's get the hell out of here”. A simply yet emotionally strong dialogue without Shatner's trademark scenery chewing and grandiose gestures. Making his personal sacrifice of letting a woman that he had fell deeply in love with to die; to save humanity; all the more poignant and heroic.

    Honorable mention from the same episode:

    McCoy: “You deliberately stopped me, Jim! I could have saved her! Do you know what you just did?!”

    Spock: “He knows Doctor, he knows”….

    The Visitor was heartbreaking. Tony Todd gave an outstanding performance as elderly Jake. The whole premise, a father and son’s unbreakable bond. Jake sacrificing himself and possibly all that he accomplished, so that his dad could be saved. I cry everytime I see that episode!

  13. I pretty much agree with the best ever list (except for, maybe, Amok Time and In the Mirror, Darkly), where are Lower Decks (TNG)? The First Duty (TNG)? Duet (DS9)? Darmok (TNG)?

  14. You're definitely a Next Generation fan. My favorite was Voyager – Scientific Method. I can never disagree with Seven of Mine.

  15. What in the world is The Magnificent Ferengi doing on this list! Should’ve been The Best of Both Worlds, or Mirror, Mirror, or Timeless.

  16. As far as episodes that define the genre, yeah, good list. Most of the ones that are suggested are great, but don't really forward the timeline like your choices did.

  17. Everybody is free to make their own top ten list. Boy, do I ever disagree with much of this list. To choose "The Magnificent Ferengi" and "The Inner Light" and "The Visitor" over "Best of Both Worlds" and "The Omega Directive" and "Mirror, Mirror" and "The Doomsday Machine" and "All Good Things" and "Year of Hell" and "Blink of an Eye" and "Scorpion" and "Endgame" and "Hope and Fear" and "Relativity" and other great episodes, is simply wrong. From the comments below I see that some people agree with this. Perhaps some people like small, soap opera-ish plots, where a few characters run around and emote or get angry or afraid or sad at some relatively small thing that doesn't really affect anybody or anything. I have no problem with an OCCASIONAL episode that focuses on one character, but by the end of that episode the audience should admire and feel proud of, and even in a little awe of that character, and see how that character will likely be indispensable in saving Star Fleet or the Earth or the Alpha quadrant in the future.

  18. Voyager would have almost all my top 10. maybe a couple DS9 and Star Trek(most love those little furballs) TNG never liked. First contact first 20 mins and nemesis was ok.

  19. Here's what Star Trek Discovery is praised for:
    (1)Having a better picture quality than all other Star Treks.
    (2)Having better special effects than all other Star Treks.
    (3)Creating many awesome characters, including Captain Philippa Georgiou (Malaysian), Lieutenant Commander Saru (Kelpien), Captain Gabriel Lorca, and T'Kuvma (Klingon chief).
    (4)Allowing the FREE downloading of ALL episodes of Star Trek Discovery (first 6.5 days only, then cancel subscription) from:

    Here's what Star Trek Discovery is criticized for:
    (1)Letting the morals of the whole show deteriorate to the point where very few people will want to watch any full episodes.
    (2)Making most of the Klingons (the white-colored ones) look very different from what Klingons should look like about 10 years before James T. Kirk became the Captain of the Enterprise. Please recall that in one episode of Deep Space Nine, the Klingon, Worf, explained that the major change in the appearance of all Klingons occurred between the time of The Original Series and the time of The Next Generation because of a scientific experiment on the Klingon home planet that went wrong.
    (3)Giving Michael Burnham a traditionally male name.
    (4)Giving Philippa Georgiou the title of "Emperor" instead of "Empress."
    (5)Naming Lieutenant Commander Saru too similar to Lieutenant Hikaru Sulu, who appears in many Star Treks.
    (6)Naming a Malaysian Chinese character, "Georgiou," which is a French (not Chinese) name that is very difficult for Americans to pronounce.
    (7)Making Captain Christopher Pike's yellow T-shirt look too stiff compared to the very comfortable, cotton or cotton/polyester T-shirts worn by Captain Christopher Pike and Captain James T. Kirk in The Original Series.
    (8)Not showing more of Captain Christopher Pike's crew, who would be wearing very comfortable yellow, blue, or red T-shirts:
    (9)Making the USS Discovery too technologically advanced compared to Captain James T. Kirk's USS Enterprise.
    (10)Making the rank insignia too difficult to understand.
    (11)Not creating enough awesome battle scenes.
    (12)Making the plot too complex and difficult to understand.
    (13)Allowing the viewing, but not the downloading, of all episodes of The Original Series, The Animated Series, The Next Generation, Deep Space Nine, Voyager, and Enterprise.
    (14)All Star Treks have characters pronouncing names incorrectly or differently. In The Next Generation, Japanese names, including Yamato, were severely mispronounced. In Discovery, the characters can't seem to agree on how they should pronounce Georgiou, Shenzhou, Saru, and Burnham.
    (15)All Star Treks pronounce Sarek (Spock's father) differently from how Spock pronounced his father's name. Adding even further confusion to this is Surak of Vulcan, the person Spock respects more than anybody else, who is mentioned in The Next Generation and in Deep Space Nine and who appears as an actual character in The Original Series and in Enterprise.
    (16)All Star Treks of the future should not exclude Hispanics/Latinos, who comprised 17.8% of U.S. population in 2016, increased in the U.S. by 43.0% from 2000 to 2010, and will almost certainly replace the German-Americans in the U.S. as the most common genetic DNA phenotype among the U.S. population by 2258, the year James T. Kirk will replace Christopher Pike as the Captain of the USS Enterprise:
    (17)Angering a percentage of Star Trek fans by disabling the fan-made Star Trek movie, Prelude to Axanar.

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  20. Many people are saying best of both worlds but I disagree, it was an action story with a good enemy but the best storys have alot of 'heart' which is the core of trek.

  21. Much too recent to make this list, but "Identity", parts 1 and 2, from "The Orville", the only real "Star Trek" left, is good enough to make this list. Many long time Trekkers will know what I mean.

  22. How can anyone make a list of best Star Trek episodes and NOT include The best Of Both Worlds? It was that 2 part story that defined TNG and made it as popular as it became

  23. Can't agree with list Balance of Terror and Pale Midnight yes, and maybe Amok time but the rest no way

    No Best of Both Worlds, the conclusion of DS9, Journey to Babel, Assignment Earth, Patterns f force, Let this be your Last Battfield

  24. DS9: Far Beyond the Stars, not only a perfect essay about the price of bigotry, also the power of dreams. TNG: All Good Things, the hail and farewell TNG earned and deserved.

  25. Best of Both Worlds, Tapestry, In the pale moonlight, all good things, the drumhead, sacrifice of angels…

    My personal favorite episodes

  26. Other notables:
    Little Green Men
    Sins of the Father
    Critical Care
    Journey to Babel
    The Galileo Seven
    Dear Doctor

  27. How The Magnificent Ferengi made the list is beyond me !!! If you are looking for a Ferengi episode for the list (and really no Ferengi story should make the top 50 then 'Little Green Men' would be my choice. Would have liked to have seen 'Far Beyond The Stars', 'Duet', 'Carbon Creek' and one left field episode for me would be 'Lower Decks'

  28. Looking at some of the comments below, I've concluded this list is a lot like a bunch of people ordering a pizza; no two people can agree on what should be on it.

  29. I don't even know where to begin. The episodes in this list are all worthy, and I agree with at least some of them for top 10 of all time. But of course, there are lots of classics missing from this list – just look through the comments; I've got nothing new to add that hasn't already been mentioned. My only suggestion is this: Make a top 100 episodes list, and make sure it includes episodes from ALL of the series.

  30. The Inner Light is the only Trek episode that brings a tear to my eye, when the flute is revealed at the end.

  31. Voyager is my favorite one. A woman as capitain, lost at delta quadrant and facing The Borgs. It's the best for me.

  32. "Let's hope that DSC episodes will make their way on similar lists in the future" ….aaahhh, yeah right, about that …

  33. If I was making a list, I woukd have included the following: Blink of an Eye, Real Life (VOY), The Siege of AR-558, Far Beyond the Stars (DS9) to name a few. You managed to get some of my favourites on this list though already 🙂

  34. A matter of taste I suppose. I agree with most of these but would have added others from VOY and ENT. Hard to limit faves to ten out of 5 complete series.

  35. In the Pale Moonlight Sisko punches Garak twice only to have Garak completely and logically shut him down by justifying his actions in killing the Romulan Senator and the criminal he used to create the fake data rod. It is one of the best scenes, if not the best, in all of Star Trek.

  36. No episode of DIS will ever appear on a top 10 of all-time Star Trek. I'm also baffled that no single VOY episode appears on this list. I'd say this list is biased towards DS9 very heavily.

  37. Without any doubt (the Essence of the Essence) :
    "Voyager" – "Omega Directive" – A LOOK of 7-of-9 when asked to Harry ("So, what you need the rest of us for") – which simply says : "You, Humans – do not have a clue about clue…"

  38. I would have put either "The Inner Light" or "The Visitor" at number 1… Am I the only one who wonders, why the latter is abscent in this list?

  39. From this list I only agree with the choice of The Inner Light from The Next Generation, and that is probably because that happens to be my favorite episode of Star Trek the Next Generation.

  40. 9 out of 10 right. I'm not a fan of The Visitor, I thought it was a little on the boring side. I did like Avery's performance. Also I love how Voyager was the only show without an episode oh and the animated series but that doesn't count. Definitely agree with 2 and 3

  41. Blink of an Eye (Voyager) I think is a missed gem episode that is really unique. Its basically the better version of City on the Edge (which is so painful to watch because of over acting, bad acting, and lack of acting). Because it doesn't do the standard tropes of history got screwed up, time travel, we have to fix it; it takes a little bit more thought to get through "Blink." What if we saw 10 thousand years of evolution that progressed in 2 days, and we are causing it? That's a great scifi concept.

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