Part 3 of Playboy.com’s exhaustive ranking of every Star Trek episode ever made. This time, from The Animated Series’ “Once Upon a Planet” to The Next Generation’s The Most Toys.
500) “Once Upon A Planet,” The Animated Series, Season 1
A replay of TOS’ “Shore Leave” but with crazy-ass beasts (because it is animated.) Call me a dunce but I dug it.
499) “Repression,” Voyager, Season 7
Old Maquis members start acting like jerks again. Tuvok must find the cause.
498) “Horizon,” Enterprise, Season 2
Decent world building as we visit Mayweather’s family aboard their merchant vessel, but could use more oomph.
497) “Hide and Q,” The Next Generation, Season 1
496) “Devil’s Due,” The Next Generation, Season 4
Odd episode where the ship is “under arrest.” If the script feels like a holdover from Kirk’s era, it’s because it was original pegged to the ill-fated “Phase II” show.
495) “Badda-Bing, Badda-Bang,” Deep Space Nine, Season 7
Who decided Holosuite characters deserved their own episodes? I’m on the fence.
494) “Terra Nova,” Enterprise, Season 1
Archer & company klutz their way into the descendants of an old Earth colony.
493) “Body Parts,” Deep Space Nine, Season 4
Quark thinks he’s dying and puts his remains up for bid. See, Ferengi culture is silly, but the writers really thought it through, so it works.
492) “Exile,” Enterprise, Season 3
There’s a reason Hoshi isn’t the lead of too many episodes. In this one, she’s trapped in a castle in a Beauty and the Beast scenario. In the end, it moves the Xindi arc forward but there had to’ve been a better way.
491) “Lifesigns,” Voyager, Season 2
Can a computer program fall in love? When the Doctor is one of your best characters, for the good of the show, you let him. Whether his programming intended to let him grow and become more human (for reasonable purposes like bedside manner) would allow a subroutine to cause him to perform less-than-perfectly, well, that’s another conversation.
490) “Remember,” Voyager, Season 3
Telepaths on board make B'Elanna all randy (good) but also burden her with the knowledge of genocide (bad).
489) “Starship Down,” Deep Space Nine, Season 4
Standard action episode where everyone has their own task. Quark disarming a torpedo is fun.
488) “Invasive Procedures,” Deep Space Nine, Season 2
A middling Dax-centric episode, best for wowing ‘em at trivia when you want to list all the hosts of the symbiont.
487) “The Mark of Gideon,” The Original Series, Season 3
The topic of overpopulation is substantial and some of the imagery is good, but the script fumbles way too much to be considered a real winner.
486) “The Catwalk,” Enterprise, Season 2
The crew must bunk for days in a reinforced corridor as they sail through a radioactive storm. Just when baddies arrive and try to take the ship. Should have been more about the characters out of their element, not new villains.
485) “The Emperor’s New Cloak,” Deep Space Nine, Season 7
484) “Explorers,” Deep Space Nine, Season 3
One of those “let’s hang out” episodes. Sisko and son on a Kon-Tiki-esque solar sail-ship is nice.
483) “Rapture,” Deep Space Nine, Season 5
Sisko starts getting Emissary visions, and acting on them. It’s great to get inside Kira’s head once in a while. Is Sisko just her boss, or does she secretly consider him a God?
482) “Hollow Pursuits,” The Next Generation, Season 3
In time, Reg Barclay will become a great character. When first introduced (as a stand-in for the audience, I get it) he is insufferable.
481) “The Wounded,” The Next Generation, Season 4
Our first peek at the Cardassians and, yeah, they mean business.
480) “Natural Law,” Voyager, Season 7
Chakotay and Seven of Nine trapped on a primitive world. They need to find a way to communicate (and also make kissy face).
479) “Mortal Coil,” Voyager, Season 4
Neelix dies. But is revived hours later by Seven of Nine’s nanotechnology. But Neelix did not experience the traditional Talaxian afterlife and this sends him into a spiral. Kinda heavy!
478) “Acquisition,” Enterprise, Season 1
The Ferengi have taken the ship! Archer and Trip sneak around and stop their pillaging.
477) “North Star,” Enterprise, Season 3
476) “Facets,” Deep Space Nine, Season 3
The cast gets to “become” each of the Dax symbiont’s former hosts for a Trill ritual known as Zhian'tara. Mainly an excuse to let the actors strut their stuff.
475) “Sons of Mogh,” Deep Space Nine, Season 4
Worf’s brother demands a ritual killing. But Worf’s tied in to the Federation more than ever, and can’t justify it. Honor and legal mumbo jumbo collide!
474) “The Storyteller,” Deep Space Nine, Season 1
Chief O'Brien must protect a village from storms with his oratory powers. A much maligned episode that, for some reason, I quite like.
473) “Coming of Age,” The Next Generation, Season 1
Wesley fails his Academy entrance exam. Or does he?
472) “Journey’s End,” The Next Generation, Season 7
Wesley’s back and so are the Native Americans. This episode was meant more as a lead-in to stuff going on with the Maquis and the other series.
471) “Home Soil,” The Next Generation, Season 1
Only the great Patrick Stewart can sell a line like, “We will send you home to your wet sand!”
470) “Storm Front,” Enterprise, Season 4
The outstanding Xindi arc ends and the fourth season begins with more of the worn-out Temporal Cold War. And there are aliens in Nazi uniforms. This all feels like a step backward.
469) “Basics,” Voyager, Season 2-3
The death of Seska inspires a raid to snatch Chakotay’s child. It doesn’t go well and the crew gets stranded and the ship is taken. Brad Dourif returns to be the best guest star ever.
468) “Infinite Regress,” Voyager, Season 5
A floating Borg gewgaw causes Seven of Nine to reconnect, partially, with the minds other scattered drones. It could spell her doom but it can also be a decent acting reel for Jeri Ryan.
467) “Resolutions,” Voyager, Season 2
Janeway and Chakotay contract a fatal illness and quarantine themselves on a planet that protects them. Tuvok gets the keys to the ship, but the crew ain’t going for it. Will Janeway and Chakotay make this camping trip fun or professional?
466) “The Alternative Factor,” The Original Series, Season 1
465) “Nothing Human,” Voyager, Season 5
A parasite of some sort causes major damage to B'Elanna. The Doctor needs to brush up on exobiology so consults a well-known Cardassian war criminal. Is it right to save yourself with knowledge accrued unethically? This is up to you to decide.
464) “Virtuoso,” Voyager, Season 6
The Doctor becomes a superstar opera singer on an alien planet. But is it “his” voice?
463) “Displaced,” Voyager, Season 3
One by one Janeway’s crew is replaced by confused aliens. Will she stop the process in time to save her ship? Yes, she will, and it involves firing lots of phasers.
462) “Waltz,” Deep Space Nine, Season 6
Sisko and Dukat get trapped somewhere. Turns out Dukat is a jerk. Next!
461) “Desert Crossings,” Enterprise, Season 1
Survivalist story with Archer and Trip after they are lured to an arid wasteland by a terrorist/freedom fighter. T'Pol does not leave them behind!
460) “Fight or Flight,” Enterprise, Season 1
It was important to show early on that Captain Archer was going his way, and that his way was sometimes the not-so-enlightened way, by Star Trek standards. Anyhow, they take a risk encountering an empty ship and meet some baddies.
459) “Beyond the Farthest Star,” The Animated Series, Season 1
The first animated episode lays it down. Yes, this is for kids, but this is going to be far-out stuff that we couldn’t show in live action. Big crazy spaceships, weirdo aliens. Great. The story (the computer is possessed) is merely okay and the 23-minute run time needs getting used to, but go with it. Trust me.
458) “Turnabout Intruder,” The Original Series, Season 3
Eek. This is no way for The Original Series to end. Yet, this cringeworthy bit of sexism is what we have to deal with. Kirk’s ex-gf switches bodies with him because she wants to be a Captain. But she cracks under the pressure. The full-on hammy Shatner makes it something of a must-see, though.
457) “The Slaver Weapon,” The Animated Series, Season 1
456) “Vanishing Point,” Enterprise, Season 2
After a trip through the (then still scary) transporter Hoshi gets caught in some sort of inter-dimensional phase space. Or maybe an alien is screwin’ with her. Or maybe she’s just crazy.
455) “Civilization,” Enterprise, Season 1
No Star Trek crew can pass up a chance to observe a planet whose culture is similar to one of Earth’s past – just like no Star Trek writing staff can avoid writing such an episode.
454) “Past Prologue,” Deep Space Nine, Season 1
This early episode is best for showing that none of the characters really want to be there. Except Dr. Bashir, who everyone thinks is a goof.
453) “Galaxy’s Child,” The Next Generation, Season 4
Holodeck fantasies come home to roost. LaForge is busted.
452) “Suspicions,” The Next Generation, Season 6
Dr. Crusher thinks she’s Quincy.
451) “Ménage à Troi,” The Next Generation, Season 3
Admittedly, the Lwaxana episodes kinda blur together. This is the one where she, Deanna and Riker are captured by a Ferengi, and she’s at Peak Rue McLanahan. (Also: the introduction of Oo-mox.)
450) “Miri,” The Original Series, Season 1
Aside from having Kim Darby and Michael J. Pollard in it (!) this planet of rapscallion-y kids who want to bonk the “grups” on the head is a little annoying but still an agreed-upon classic.
449) “Final Mission,” The Next Generation, Season 4
Wesley and Picard trapped under a rock or something. When’s he leaving for the Academy?
448) “Looking For Par'Mach In All The Wrong Places,” Deep Space Nine, Season 5
447) “Things Past,” Deep Space Nine, Season 5
Odo shows how things were on Terok Nor. It’s a little uncomfortable to see Kira as a terrorist.
446) “Fortunate Son,” Enterprise, Season 1
Early Starfleet vs the “Boomer” culture of space haulers. Nice bit of world building, as they say.
445) “Chosen Realm,” Enterprise, Season 3
Zealous sphere-worshipers cause unrest in the Expanse, and an interesting quandary for Archer who respects alien culture but also won’t abide by doctrine that brings about suffering.
444) “Wolf in the Fold,” The Original Series, Season 2
Scotty murders a woman after picking her up at a bar. What? Never! He was actually possessed by Jack the Ripper, who, we now know, is an ancient swirl of colorful gas that feeds off or primal fear. Hey, I’m just delivering the news, here. Listen, anything with a lot of Scotty in it is good.
443) “Friendship One,” Voyager, Season 7
Janeway’s first on-the-books Starfleet assignment in years: locate an old Earth probe. And, as expected, clean up the mess it caused.
442) “Faces,” Voyager, Season 1
B'Elanna is split in two — half Klingon, half Latina. The Doctor is able to splice her DNA back together before the Viidians do anything too nasty.
441) “Dax,” Deep Space Nine, Season 1
Is Jadzia culpable for the crimes of her earlier hosts? This wanted to be DS9’s version of “Measure of a Man” and it isn’t quite that, but it’s still good.
440) “Melora,” Deep Space Nine, Season 2
Both an allegory about prejudice toward the disabled as well as the closest TV would get to showing sex in zero G.
439) “The Lights of Zetar,” The Original Series, Season 3
438) “The High Ground,” The Next Generation, Season 3
One man’s terrorist is another man’s freedom fighter is another man’s TNG episode that had decent potential but doesn’t quite come together.
437) “One Of Our Planets Is Missing,” The Animated Series, Season 1
A humongous cloud is eating planets. The Enterprise gets chomped and, I swear, tries to find its way out the other end. This was in a Saturday morning cartoon.
436) “Unexpected,” Enterprise, Season 1
Trip Tucker gets pregnant. Just by sticking his fingers in some stones! Doesn’t even need to take injections.
435) “Vox Sola,” Enterprise, Season 1
A weird symbiotic creature captures and cocoons much of the crew, forcing Hoshi to get aggressive and communicate with the alien lifeform.
434) “The Savage Curtain,” The Original Series, Season 3
Abraham Lincoln shows up floating in space then calls Uhura and “enchanting Negress.” Listen, we Trek fans have to face up to our history no matter how painful. This episode is so incredibly dumb it ends up being one of the ones I like watching the most.
433) “The Communicator,” Enterprise, Season 1
Malcolm Reed loses his cell phone and ends up contaminating a culture. A fun look at why we need a Prime Directive.
432) “The Voyager Conspiracy,” Voyager, Season 6
The moral of this one: too much information makes you paranoid. Seven of Nine’s absorption of the entire ship’s data turns her into Alex Jones.
431) “The Disease,” Voyager, Season 5
Love conquers all … or does it? Harry Kim falls for an alien hottie, but her biochemistry puts them at risk (and he disobeys the Captain whilst getting it on.) This is a metaphor for something, I’m sure.
430) “The Nagus,” Deep Space Nine, Season 1
This was the start of Star Trek’s biggest stunt: turning the Ferengi from a punchline into a culture worthy of respect. Roddenberry’s Infinite Diversity Infinite Combinations put to practice.
429) “Shakaar,” Deep Space Nine, Season 3
Bajor’s post-liberation growing pains continue, as Kai Winn locks horns with Kira’s old resistance cell leader. Things are always easier when there’s an intruder to hate!
428) “Equilibrium,” Deep Space Nine, Season 3
Jadzia learns of a secret host for the Dax symbiont. She should keep a guest book or something.
427) “The Apple,” The Original Series, Season 2
Of all the times Kirk violated the Prime Directive, this is the most egregious. A stagnant culture is having a groovy time worshiping their false god and just hanging out. But Kirk (and really Bones) decide that they need to grow up.
426) “Gravity,” Voyager, Season 5
Do you ever sometimes feel like you’re in a spatial sinkhole? If so, and you’re a Vulcan, that’s the time to start falling in love.
425) “Judgement,” Enterprise, Season 2
A wee bit of fan service as a thank you to the viewers. A trip to Rura Penthe and a replay of the courtroom scene from Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country (though with Duras and Martok stand-ins, not Worf).
424) “Fusion,” Enterprise, Season 1
The V'Tosh Ka'tur, like Spock’s half-brother Sybok (booo!) are all about Vulcans having emotion. This causes trouble for T'Pol.
423) “Silent Enemy,” Enterprise, Season 1
Sometimes you can’t reason with a villain — they just want to shoot you. The new crew must work together to build a phase cannon, but how can they do that when they realize no one knows what Malcolm Reed likes to eat?
422) “When It Rains,” Deep Space Nine, Season 7
Odo is getting sick, and it’s Section 31’s fault. Dukat goes blind with Pah-wraith fever. This may be a sin to say, but the end of DS9’s great Dominion War arc is maybe stalling for time here.
421) “Family Business,” Deep Space Nine, Season 3
If you are one who can’t take the Ferengi seriously, this trip to Ferenginar will be as annoying as a Sherlock Holmes holodeck episode. But I find the place very amusing.
420) “Dreadnought,” Voyager, Season 2
A visit from an old friend: a souped-up Cardassian missile that B'Elanna altered back when she was a Maquis. Can she change it back in time to save the ship? Or make it destroy itself with logic like Kirk used to do?
419) “Hunters,” Voyager, Season 4
418) “Alice,” Voyager, Season 6
Tom Paris anthropomorphizes a vehicle like he’s a walking Bruce Springsteen song. Then an on-board computer takes advantage.
417) “We’ll Always Have Paris,” The Next Generation, Season 1
Time loop paradoxes are good. Love stories on the Holodeck are not. This season 1 episode has both, so it’s a mixed bag.
416) “Resistance,” Voyager, Season 2
The ship needs supplies by any means possible. When Tuvok and B'Elanna are captured, Janeway has to align with a somewhat demented Joel Grey to free them. Does she exploit this man, who thinks she’s his lost daughter? These decisions aren’t easy!
415) “Shore Leave,” The Original Series, Season 1
Old memories come to haunt us — and Kirk must battle his nuisance old classmate Finnegan. The final shots of Bones McCoy with the two gals from Rigel II is, indeed, something of a perfect ’60s time capsule.
414) “Contagion,” The Next Generation, Season 2
Action in the Neutral Zone!
413) “Dawn,” Enterprise, Season 2
Trip Tucker plays the Dennis Quaid role in a shrunk-down version of “Enemy Mine.” A few extra twists keep it interesting.
412) “Detained,” Enterprise, Season 1
Enterprise got its Quantum Leap reunion in early on Season 1, casting Dean Stockwell in this prison episode. Good to add some depth to the Suliban, early Enterprise’s big baddies, showing that only an elite few in power are the ones rattling sabers.
411) “Frame of Mind,” The Next Generation, Season 6
Riker wakes up in the nut house, accused of murder. We know he didn’t do it, but how many wheels-within-wheels must he stop from spinning before he can find the truth? This is a fan favorite, but I know the truth: it’s a little dopey.
410) “Business As Usual,” Deep Space Nine, Season 5
Quark gets in the arms business, but his time with hu-mans has given him (gasp!) a moral compass. Such a disgrace to his Ferengi heritage. He’s now as much a traitor as Worf once was.
409) “Loud As A Whisper,” The Next Generation, Season 2
What if the only man who could bring peace to two warring worlds couldn’t actually speak? A TNG classic with its liberal heart on its sleeve.
408) “The Assignment,” Deep Space Nine, Season 5
There are no side characters on Deep Space Nine. Everyone gets their moment — and this time it is Keiko O'Brien, possessed by a Pah-Wraith.
407) “Blaze of Glory,” Deep Space Nine, Season 5
Michael Eddington and the Maquis’ last gasp, featuring preventive strikes and complex alliances. Also: Martok picking on Nog, which is funny.
406) “Tribunal,” Deep Space Nine, Season 2
Chief O'Brien is Josef K. on Cardassia Prime. Not a good position to be in.
405) “Eye of the Needle,” Voyager, Season 1
Good news! Harry Kim found a wormhole. Bad news! It is so small only a microprobe can go through — and there are Romulans on the other side. Will Voyager convince them to be nice guys and tell the Federation they’re okay? Maybe!
404) “Home,” Enterprise, Season 4
The crew needs to lick their wounds after the Xindi Arc and “Storm Front.” Lacks the kick of TNG’s “Family,” but there’s only one Patrick Stewart.
403) “Two Days and Two Nights,” Enterprise, Season 1
The gang gets some R&R on Risa. Hoshi literally lets her hair down. Dr. Phlox tries to get some shuteye. Comedy all around.
402) “Night Terrors,” The Next Generation, Season 4
No one can sleep. Troi floats around in a void, allowing the camera to shoot her from below.
401) “The Changeling,” The Original Series, Season 2
Lookout — here comes NOMAD. It may look like restaurant grade espresso machine, but it’s actually a very dangerous probe. Many Redshirts go down on this one, and Uhura gets her entire memory wiped. But she takes a week off and is back at her post soon enough.