Was what LeVar Burton once said in an interview with the now-defunct Star Trek Magazine when the DVD box sets for Star Trek: The Next Generation started being released. Even cast members, when prompted in fan environments, will tow mainline fandom's party line and cringe on cue at the prospect of the series' supposedly irredeemable first season. And while I grant there are issues to be found in this year's crop of episodes, there are issues to be found in *all* of Star Trek: The Next Generation's seven seasons and I'm still resolute in my belief the first year is unfairly singled out for blame. No, it's not what we've come to expect from Star Trek: The Next Generation and yes, it's a bit awkward in places, but Jonathan Frakes is correct to point out this was a year where the show took risks it wouldn't take later on. And, love her or hate her, this is your only opportunity to see Tasha Yar as a crewmember.
So these are my picks for the absolute best of Star Trek: The Next Generation, Year One. Not every episode is a masterpiece, but each one is far better than its reputation would have you believe and well worth a look during any journey through the show's mythos.
- “Encounter at Farpoint”
- “Where No One Has Gone Before”
- “The Last Outpost”
- “Lonely Among Us”
- “The Battle”
- “Too Short a Season”
- “The Big Goodbye”
- “Home Soil”
- “Coming of Age”
- “Heart of Glory”
- “The Arsenal of Freedom”
- “We'll Always Have Paris”
- “The Neutral Zone”
Addendum: If this is your first visit to Star Trek: The Next Generation, I have to begrudgingly throw in “Datalore” as well. It's not good, but the events it sets in motion come back to play an important part in later story arcs. But even without it, I look at this list and still see a pretty formidable success-failure ratio. I'm recommending roughly the same amount of episodes from Star Trek: The Next Generation Season 1 as I would from the entirety of the Dirty Pair TV series-While this season doesn't have anywhere near the same number of unmitigated masterpieces as that one did, that's pretty high praise coming from me.
Since we're compiling enumerated episode lists anyway and since I never officially did one for this show, here are my picks for the very best episodes from the Dirty Pair TV series, for the five DP fans who actually follow this site. While as of this writing I'm still going with Dirty Pair: Affair of Nolandia as my absolute favourite Dirty Pair story overall, the first two novels are a must-read if you can find them and Dirty Pair: The Motion Picture is probably worth a look at least once, they're not included here (nor is any Classic DP material I've yet to cover) as I'm strictly focusing on the 1985 anime TV series today. With that in mind, I highly recommend...
- “How to Kill a Computer”
- “Go Ahead, Fall in Love! Love is Russian Roulette”
- “The Chase Smells Like Cheesecake and Death”
- “Criados' Heartbeat”
- “Lots of Danger, Lots of Decoys”
- “Love is Everything. Risk Your Life to Elope!!”
- “Gotta Do It! Love is What Makes a Woman Explode”
- “Hire Us! Beautiful Bodyguards are a Better Deal”
- “Hah Hah Hah, Dresses and Men Should Always Be Brand New”
- “What's This?! My Supple Skin is a Mess”
- “Dig Here, Meow Meow. Happiness Comes at the End”
- “An Unjustified Lover's Grudge. Let Me Love You Without Revenge”
- “No Way! 463 People Disappeared?!”
- “We Did It! 463 People Found!”
- “Something's Amiss...?! Our Elegant Revenge”