The bright futurism of Star Trek: The Next Generation, the award-winning sci-fi series that warps into its 25th anniversary Friday, was so unique that the show probably wouldn't get the command to engage today.
"There is not a new hopeful, optimistic vision of the future that I am currently aware of," veteran Star Trek: The Next Generation writer (and Battlestar Galactica rebooter) Ronald Moore told Wired by phone. That shiny outlook, on display throughout seven alternately brilliant and bombed seasons, powered the show into our collective consciousness.
"I'd argue that in the last few decades in America, when people are asked what they hope the future will look like, they still turn to Star Trek," Moore said. "They hope we put aside our differences and come together as humanity, that we rise above war, poverty, racism and other problems that have beset us. They hope that there's a future where we set off into the galaxy to have peaceful relations with other worlds."
Still, some of Star Trek: The Next Generation's 178 episodes stand taller than others. We've beamed up our picks for the best and worst episodes (and feature films) in the gallery above for Trekkies (and Trekkers) to dissect, and tagged them with our own "Make it so?" ratings.