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The Ultimate Guide for Introducing Your Kid to 'Star Trek'

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If you were going to introduce Star Trek to someone, (or your kids), which five episodes from each, (or any) series would you choose? originally appeared on Quora - the knowledge sharing network where compelling questions are answered by people with unique insights.

Answer by Robert Frost, Instructor and Flight Controller at NASA, on Quora.

If you're looking to introduce your children to Star Trek, I'd recommend picking one from each series:

  • Star Trek: The Balance of Terror - Kirk and a Romulan commander engage in a battle of wits as their ships face off.
  • Star Trek: The Next Generation - Best of Both Worlds - Picard is abducted by the Borg and becomes the Federation's worst foe.
  • Star Trek: Deep Space Nine - The Visitor - An older Jake Sisko tells the story of how his father was lost.
  • Star Trek: Voyager - Year of Hell - Voyager is stuck in a temporal incursion and Janeway must sacrifice everything.
  • Star Trek: Enterprise - Similitude - Trip is injured and Phlox creates a clone to save him, introducing complex moral questions about sacrificing the clone to save the original.

Picking five from the original series, I'd select:

  • The City on the Edge of Forever - The crew of the Enterprise discover a portal through time. An accident results in McCoy, in a drugged psychotic state, crossing through that portal and changing Earth history dramatically. Kirk and Spock must follow him through the portal to save their timeline.
  • Balance of Terror - An homage to the WWII submarine battle films, Kirk and a Romulan commander enter a tense battle of wits with only one ship surviving.
  • The Trouble with Tribbles - A comedic episode in which rapidly breeding furrballs reveal a deadly plot. The later Star Trek series, Deep Space Nine, paid a wonderful tribute to this episode in their own episode Trials and Tribble-ations.
  • The Enemy Within - A transporter accident splits Kirk into two beings, each with half of his personality. Kirk must convince his alter-half to rejoin him else they both die.
  • Mirror, Mirror - An Enterprise landing party is transported to an alternate universe in which the Federation is an aggressive imperial organization, and Spock has a beard!

Picking from Star Trek: The Next Generation, I'd select:

  • The Measure of a Man - The definition of 'human' is examined when data's freedom is put on trial
  • Yesterday's Enterprise - The crew of the Enterprise must correct a change to the timeline, with the help of a lost friend
  • The Best of Both Worlds - Picard is abducted by the Borg and becomes the Federation's worst foe.
  • Lower Decks - A story shown from the perspective of lower ranked and seldom seen crew
  • Inner Light - Picard lives the lifetime of an alien

Picking from Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, I'd select:

  • The Visitor - An older Jake Sisko tells the story of how his father was lost.
  • Trials and Tribble-ations - Sisko and the crew injected into footage from the original series episode The Trouble With Tribbles.
  • Far Beyond the Stars - Sisko experiences visions in which DS9 is the imagination of a 20th century author.
  • In the Pale Moonlight - Sisko tells tales of the darkest side of war.
  • Once More Unto the Breach - Klingons, Klingons, Klingons, including three from the original series.

Picking from Star Trek: Voyager, I'd select:

  • Year of Hell - Voyager is stuck in a temporal incursion and Janeway must sacrifice everything.
  • Scorpion - The introduction of Seven of Nine.
  • Deadlock - Two Voyagers, but only one can survive.
  • Future's End - Voyager visits the 20th century.
  • Equinox - Another lost ship with different choices made.

Picking from Star Trek: Enterprise, I'd select:

  • Similitude - Trip is injured and Phlox creates a clone to save him, introducing complex moral questions about sacrificing the clone to save the original.
  • These Are the Voyages - The finale with a neat twist involving characters from STNG.
  • First Flight - How Archer became the Captain.
  • In a Mirror, Darkly - Enterprise's take on the classic Mirror, Mirror.
  • The Andorian Incident - A great ethical story that puts the Vulcans on trial.
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