The 57 Best ‘Star Trek’ Episodes Across Every Series, Ranked

First, let’s be clear: Ranking the best “Star Trek” episodes is a silly thing to do. To date, the longest-running American TV franchise has aired a gargantuan 890 episodes and counting, starting with the original series in 1966. Since then, at least one “Star Trek” TV show has aired (or streamed) every decade, totaling 11 so far (with more on the way). Choosing the best episodes within such a boundless, occasionally contradictory storytelling galaxy seems about as wise as cheating when playing poker with a Klingon.

On the other hand, there may be no more time-honored tradition among “Star Trek” fans than a vigorous debate over what constitutes the best of the franchise. (Best series? Best captains? Best starships? Best aliens? Best uniforms? They’ve all been ranked multiple times!)

In that spirit — and to commemorate the 57th anniversary of “Star Trek” on Sept. 8 — Variety’s resident “Trek” geeks have ranked the top 57 episodes of all time, across the franchise.

Creating our list required some deep-dish nerdiness in its own right: We compiled a long list of episodes from each series that we felt deserved to be on the final ranking. Then we created our own individual rankings — and promptly realized our taste was quite divergent. To reconcile our lists, we adopted the approach of the great movie ranking podcast, Screen Drafts: We took alternating turns placing a pick from 57 to 1, and we each had two opportunities to veto the other’s pick (which in every case was to ensure it was placed higher on the list).

Other than the short-lived “Star Trek: The Animated Series” (1973-1974), this list reflects every other iteration of “Trek” on TV: “Star Trek: The Original Series” (1966-1969); “Star Trek: The Next Generation” (1987-1994); “Star Trek: Deep Space Nine” (1993-1999); “Star Trek: Voyager” (1995-2001); “Star Trek: Enterprise” (2001-2005); “Star Trek: Discovery” (2017-2024); “Star Trek: Picard” (2020-2023); “Star Trek: Prodigy” (2021-2022); and the ongoing “Star Trek: Lower Decks” (2020-present) and “Star Trek: Strange New Worlds” (2022-present). The 57 Best ‘Star Trek’ Episodes Across Every Series, Ranked

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