Longtime Vaka Rangi readers may remember that I have a small tradition of making episode guide/reading list posts whenever I finish covering Big Eras of the project. The hypothetical situation is that someone who is new to the show and yet for some reason *doesn’t* want to marathon binge-watch it as is the standard way of consuming TV these days could theoretically be interested in my recommendations for the best stories so as to emphasize the cream of the crop while avoiding filler and missteps. Each entry has a link to my essay on the story for those who might want to revisit them.
I first did something like this when, following a joke Kevin Burns made to me about Futurama, I was challenged to find “20 Good Episodes” of the Original Star Trek. TOS fans will likely be annoyed as there’s probably more episodes from that show one could recommend (and I *still* would have chosen different episodes after publishing Vaka Rangi Volume 1), but I wanted to limit myself to 20 following the conceit of the game so I was far harsher in my choices than I might otherwise have been. I didn’t do a list post for the Animated Series, but really, you’re pretty much good with anything on that show that wasn’t written by Margaret Armen.
After I finished Star Trek: The Next Generation Season 1, I did another post to drive home my argument that the inagural year was very unfairly maligned and in truth had a robust crop of stories that deserve anyone’s attention. That post also has a list of my picks for the best episodes from the Dirty Pair TV series, as I had recently finished watching it for the first time and was about to start on the Original Dirty Pair OVA Series.
The Dirty Pair franchise itself got what in many ways is the prototype of the post you are about to read today: A master post of all my favourite stories I’d experienced so far, with links to where you could get your hands on copies of your own. It’s not linked from Eruditorum Press, but it’s still archived at my old blog. The links to my essays on all these old posts do link back to the old site, but all of my essays are archived right here too and can be read by searching or following the tags. It’s a bit dated now (especially the webstore links, though Dirty Pair should still all be on YouTube), but my picks are still pretty much the ones I’d pick today.
And so now, having come to the end of a long and winding road revisiting Star Trek: The Next Generation and Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, it’s time to give this phase of the project the same dues. Listed below, for your reading pleasure (or perhaps displeasure), are what I consider to be the best Star Trek stories between 1987 and 1996, including TV episodes and comic books.…