It’s probably just nostalgia talking, but Star Trek: The Next Generation is ‘my’ Star Trek. It’s what I used to watch when I was a kid, the books I used to check out of the library and hell, I’ve even got a battered Worf action figure tucked away in a box somewhere. As the years tick by, it’s become one of the most iconic shows in the expansive Star Trek canon, with Star Trek: Picard being a semi-sequel to it.
Now, the full seven season, 178 episode run will be available for free to everyone from July 14th, courtesy of the ad-supported streaming service Pluto TV. The addition of TNG is the result of the recent ViacomCBS re-merger, which will see a number of other shows added to the service. Also coming next week are Survivor, CSI: Miami, The Amazing Race, Beverly Hills 90210, Everybody Hates Chris, JAG, MacGyver, Scorpion and Numbers. You’ll also have access to a selection of episodes from the first ten seasons of South Park and the movies Star Trek Beyond and Galaxy Quest.
But with hundreds of episodes of TNG to watch, which ones should you check out? Well, my favorites are three season 5 episodes: “Cause and Effect,” in which the Enterprise gets caught in a Groundhog Day-style time loop, with Data turning out to be the only person able to stop it, “Darmok,” in which Picard must work with an alien whose language the Universal Translator cannot decipher, and “The Inner Light,” in which Picard lives a new life in the space of 20 minutes and must deal with memories of a family who never really existed.
But it wouldn’t be right not to recommend checking out the amazing “Best of Both Worlds” two-parter as well, which ended season 3 and began season 4. In this famous story, Picard is assimilated into the Borg collective, which would go on to have a long-running impact on him, as seen in Star Trek: First Contact and throughout Star Trek: Picard.
If you’ve got any favorite Star Trek: The Next Generation episodes of your own, be sure to let us know in the comments section down below.