NEW
A Guide to Binge Watching 7 Great STAR TREK Arcs
FOLLOW NERDIST TO STAY UP TO DATE
FOLLOW US

Star Trek has spanned over 50 years, six live-action series, and 13 feature films, not to mention decades worth of ancillary material. And while there may be plenty of Trek to devour, the non-serialized nature of the early series makes it seem like they may not be great candidates for modern binge watching. But if you focus on the episodes that form thematic arcs, you can come up with some very satisfying marathon viewing sessions. We’ve done the hard part for you, so here are a few different theme-specific Star Trek binge-watch-a-thons you can sit back and enjoy!

The Best of Spock

The original Star Trek was almost entirely unserialized, but there are several episodes that, when watched together, make for a terrific deluge of Leonard Nimoy just delivering the goods. These episodes show the usually calm and collected Spock losing control of his emotions and dealing with family drama. Also, the two-part Star Trek: The Next Generation episode “Unification” shows how Spock chose to spend his twilight years, dedicated to reuniting two halves of the same species in conflict with each other. That’s the perfect metaphor for his own personal struggle. Here are the eps:

“The Naked Time” (TOS season one, episode four)
“The Menagerie Part I” (TOS season one, episode 11)
“The Menagerie Part II” (TOS season one, episode 12)
“This Side of Paradise” (TOS season one, episode 24)
“Amok Time” (TOS season two, episode one)
“Journey to Babel” (TOS season two, episode ten)
“All Our Yesterdays” (TOS season three, episode 23)
“Unification Part I” (TNG season five, episode seven
“Unification Part II” (TNG season five, episode eight)

The Best of Captain Kirk

What with his being the Captain of the Enterprise, almost every episode of the original Star Trek was technically a James T. Kirk episode. Having said that, there are a handful of chapters that really highlight who Kirk is as a human being and as a commanding officer, beyond just the stalwart leader and intergalactic playboy. These are all among William Shatner’s most memorable episodes, and a few even give hints to his past before taking command of the Enterprise. Among these are some of the very best episodes of Star Trek ever (including the very best: “The City on the Edge of Forever”).

“The Enemy Within” (TOS season one, episode five)
“The Corbomite Maneuver” (TOS season one, episode ten)
“Arena” (TOS season one, episode 18)
“Court Martial” (TOS season one, episode 20)
“The City on the Edge of Forever” (TOS season one, episode 28)
“Obsession” (TOS season two, episode 13)
“The Paradise Syndrome” (TOS season three, episode three)

The Enterprise Vs. The Borg

The Borg are considered the greatest enemies of the crew of the Enterprise-D, but you might be surprised to learn that they are in only six episodes of The Next Generation‘s seven-season run. But watched together, those six episodes make for a single incredible story arc, as we find the Federation faced with an enemy far more powerful and technologically advanced than they are. These episodes also includes Captain Picard’s most personal storyline in the series: when he becomes part of the Borg collective.

“Q Who” (TNG season two, episode 16)
“The Best of Both Worlds Part I” (TNG season three, episode 26
“The Best of Both Worlds Part II” (TNG season four, episode one)
“I, Borg” (TNG season five, episode 23)
“Descent Part I” (TNG season six, episode 26)
“Descent Part II” (TNG season seven, episode one)

The Mirror Universe Saga

The Mirror Universe, a parallel world in which all our heroes exist as ruthless and dark, was introduced in a classic TOS episode “Mirror, Mirror” back in 1967. Although it was supposed to be a one-off episode, Deep Space Nine returned to that universe for several episodes over their entire run; both Enterprise and most recently, Discovery, showed us that alternate universe’s origins. If you enjoy your heroes acting like bad guys, these episodes make for a great way to spend a whole day.

“Mirror, Mirror” (TOS season two, episode four)
“Crossover” (DS9 season two, episode 23)
“Through the Looking Glass” (DS9 season three, episode 19)
“Shattered Mirror” (DS9 season four, episode 20)
“Resurrection” (DS9 season six, episode eight)
“The Emperor’s New Cloak” (DS9 season seven, episode 12)
“In a Mirror, Darkly Part I” (Enterprise season four, episode 18)
“In a Mirror, Darkly Part II” (Enterprise season four, episode 19)
“Into the Forest I Go” (Discovery season one, episode nine)
“Despite Yourself” (Discovery season one, episode ten)
“The Wolf Inside” (Discovery season one, episode 11)
“What’s Past Is Prologue” (Discovery season one, episode 13)
“The War Without, the War Within” (Discovery season one, episode 14)
“Will You Take My Hand?” (Discovery season one, episode 15)

The Dominion War Begins

Although its predecessors were largely un-serialized, Deep Space Nine went in whole hog. This was particularly evident by the show’s final few years, when the Federation and their allies went full steam against the incursion of the Dominion, a new adversary from the other side of the galaxy. The end of season five and the beginning of season six saw the Dominion actually take over the show’s titular space station, and the crew’s journey to retake their home made for some of the best sci-fi television ever.

“In Purgatory’s Shadow” (DS9 season five, episode 14)
“By Inferno’s Light” (DS9 season five, episode 15)
“Call to Arms” (DS9 season five, episode 26)
“A Time to Stand” (DS9 season six, episode one)
“Rocks and Shoals” (DS9 season six, episode two)
“Sons and Daughters” (DS9 season six, episode three)
“Behind the Lines” (DS9 season six, episode four)
“Favor the Bold”(DS9 season six, episode five)
“Sacrifice of Angels” (DS9 season six, episode six)

The Klingon Civil War

What started out as a simple Worf episode, exploring his relationship with his long lost brother and returning to the Klingon homeworld, became an arc that ran through three seasons of The Next Generation and explored the nature of the Klingon Empire in ways we’d never seen before. If you’re a fan of Game of Thrones, we think you’ll love this storyline in particular, and find many similarities to Westeros.

“Sins of the Father” (TNG season three, episode 17)
“Reunion” (TNG season four, episode seven)
“Redemption Part I” (TNG season four, episode 26
“Redemption Part II” (TNG season five, episode one)

Voyager vs. the Borg

While The Next Generation only used the Borg sparingly as a way to maximize their effect, Voyager leaned in hard on the cybernetic drone species, as the latter series was set in the Borg-controlled part of space. Although these episodes demystified the Borg quite a bit, they also introduced us to one of Trek‘s most memorable characters: Seven of Nine, a Borg drone trying to rediscover her humanity. Through a story arc that spanned several seasons, we experience a new side to these implacable foes that previous series only hinted at.

“Scorpion Part I” (Voyager season three, episode 26)
“Scorpion Part II” (Voyager season four, episode one)
“Drone” (Voyager season five, episode two)
“Dark Frontier Part I” (Voyager season five, episode 15/16)
“Collective” (Voyager season six, episode 16)
“Unimatrix Zero Part I” (Voyager season six, episode 26)
“Unimatrix Zero Part II” (Voyager season seven, episode one)
“Endgame” (Voyager season seven, episode 25/26)

Images: CBS