One of the most iconic science fiction shows of all time is Star Trek: The next generation. The second show in the Star Trek the franchise is for many the best, thanks in large part to the characters. There are a lot of legendary characters found throughout the series.
Each season features episodes that feature specific characters and make them stand out from the rest, which on a show like this is no small feat. From series regulars to legacy characters, it’s a real testament when a character manages to outshine the rest.
7 Season 1- Q
One of the most iconic and beloved antagonists to come TNG debuted in the very first episode. Meet in Farpoint Not only introduced to the public the new Enterprise team, but also the divine Q. Q, played by John de Lancie, is described as a being who can do just about anything and shows up in every season of the series to torment it. team, especially Picard.
What makes Q such a remarkable character is the fact that while he’s truly an antagonist, the things he does are more or less for his own enjoyment. It is implied as the series continues that he actually has a fondness for humans, which is one of the many facts about Q fans who may not know it.
6 Season 2 – Data
Commander Data has been a beloved character since his debut in the show’s first episode, but he truly shines in the Season 2 episode, “Measure of a Man.” In it, Data is ordered by a commander to be concealed and investigated, which he refuses. Data must then stand trial and defend his rights as a living being. It’s an episode with a powerful message, like the biggest Star Trek the episodes are. An android’s conspiracy to defend his rights can be interpreted in many ways, and all of them are still relevant today.
No one should have to do anything that demeans them, and no living person should have to defend themselves as such. Every character is great here, but Data is a star who proves he’s as human as anyone, adding to the fact that this is one of the greatest episodes in Star Trek: The Next Generation.
5 Season 3 – Picard
Call for two The best of both worlds iconic is nothing short of an understatement. The first part aired as the finale of the series’ third season and ends on a cliffhanger that many fans still haven’t recovered from. Captain Picard has shown on several occasions that he cares above all about the safety of his ship, and this episode proves it.
The Borg have already proven to be one of the most dangerous threats in all Star Trek by the time the third season unfolded. Backed into a corner, Picard decides that the only way the Enterprise can escape the Borg is to sacrifice himself. This selflessness is a key trait of the captain, and the outcome of his decision still haunts him in his eponymous series which is gearing up for its second season.
4 Season 4 – Worf
In another two-part episode example bringing out the best of the characters, the season four finale Redemption sees Lieutenant Worf decide where his loyalties lie, with the Federation or the Klingon Empire. The Klingons are heading into a civil war, and Picard and Worf are caught in the middle. As the series progressed, Worf became much more three-dimensional and, for lack of a better word, human.
This arc shows it, as he is willing to step down from his position on the Enterprise to help the race he once abandoned. Worf can be a jerk at times, but he’s a character with the depth that all great characters need, and this episode is one example of that.
3 Season 5 – Spock
Arguably the most popular character to come Star Trek is Spock played by Leonard Nimoy. So it’s no surprise that the character made an appearance in the two-part episode, Unification. After the death of Sarek, Spock’s father, Picard seeks out the famous Starfleet ambassador who is said to have defected to the Romulan Empire.
While he only appeared at the end of Part 1 in a cliffhanger, Spock’s appearance was much more important in Part 2 and was a big deal for fans when the episode first aired. . In typical Spock fashion, he uses logic and reasoning to explain his actions, and his presence is one of the best moments of the season.
2 Season 6 – Scotty
Another classic character returning to the Enterprise in TNG is Scotty, the chief engineer of CGU. Scotty’s last appearance was in the final CGU-centered film, The unknown country, who for many is the best CGU-period movie next to Wrath of Khan. See the classic character in the episode Relic was refreshing for fans and provided a nostalgic throwback to the classic show.
There’s even a scene on the holodeck that shows Scotty and Picard on the classic Enterprise deck of CGU. While this episode might not have extremely high stakes like Spock’s guest appearance, it’s still a fun episode that brings fans of both together. Trek eras together, which makes the episode and Scotty shine along with the rest of the season.
1 Season 7 – Riker
It’s no secret that Riker’s biggest dream to be the captain of his own spaceship, and the Gambit in the show’s final season, he’s more than up to the challenge. After learning that Captain Picard is believed to have died while investigating an archaeological dig, Riker is the acting captain and he leads the crew on a quest to uncover the truth about Picard’s disappearance.
Riker is well respected among the crew, and even though they do believe him to be dead, they follow Riker in his investigation in the same way they would follow their supposed late captain. William Riker is a beloved character and has shown himself to be a captain on several occasions, and this episode is one of the best examples of that. A lot happened in the show’s final season, and yet Riker still managed to make his mark.
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