"Star Trek Into Darkness" co-writer Damon Lindelof has kind of, sort of apologized for anyone offended by the gratuitous display of Alice Eve's nearly-naked body in movie theaters (and the movie's marketing) around the world.
Alice Eve strips down for no apparent plot-based reason in "Star Trek Into Darkness."
"I copped to the fact that we should have done a better job of not being gratuitous in our representation of a barely clothed actress," Lindelof wrote on Twitter on Monday night.
Given the fact the image in question was featured in numerous trailers leading up to last week's release, moviegoers knew Alice Eve's character, Dr. Carol Marcus, was stripping down at some point.
But when the moment finally arrives, viewers were left wondering why it was ever written or shot, other than possible blatant attempt to inject the Paramount franchise with some sex appeal.
Lindelof didn't ease any crtics' suspicions when trading emails with MTV's Josh Horowitz.
"I feel like I have to start with the biggest mystery/conversation that's surrounded the film from the get go," Horowitz wrote. "Why is Alice Eve in her underwear at one point?"
"Why is Alice Eve in her underwear, gratuitously and unnecessarily, without any real effort made as to why in God's name she would undress in that circumstance?" Lindelof responded. "Well there's a very good answer for that. But I'm not telling you what it is. Because... uh... MYSTERY?"
In the film, Marcus undresses behind Kirk (Chris Pine) while changing into a suit more appropriate for the climate outside of the Enterprise. Even though she tells Kirk to turn around, the curious womanizer can't help but sneak a peek at the scientist's bod.
While addressing the issue to his Twitter followers, Lindelof compared the scantily-clad scene to others in both "Star Trek" movies where Kirk was in his skivvies.
"We also had Kirk shirtless in underpants in both movies. Do not want to make light of something that some construe as mysogenistic," Lindelof continued to tweet. "What I'm saying is I hear you, I take responsibility and will be more mindful in the future."
"Also," he added. "I need to learn how to spell "misogynistic."
Once you're an adult, summer doesn't quite mean what it used to. Most of us don't get June, July and August off any more, and end up whiling away the majority of the season staring wistfully out the office window at that so-fleeting sunshine.
"Man of Steel," "The Great Gatsby," "World War Z" and "Monsters University" are among our picks for summer must-see movies.
But one of the perks of summer that Americans of all ages and job descriptions get is the summer movie season. Don't expect to see gritty, intense Oscar contenders on these long, hot days -- this is the time for pure popcorn, light and fluffy films with explosions and animation, superheroes and zombies.
More than 60 movies will open over the course of the summer. Here are 11 you'll want to consider putting on your must-see list.
If you can only see ONE summer blockbuster, see 'Iron Man 3' It's tough to imagine the "Iron Man" series without cocky, wisecracking Robert Downey Jr. in the lead role. Who else could make Tony Stark/Iron Man the most fascinating superhero onscreen? Stark is super, sure, but he also has battled alcoholism and anxiety attacks, and his super-flubs are as intriguing as his big battles. Downey makes you buy into it for two-plus hours in "Iron Man 3," backed by a superb supporting cast, including Don Cheadle, Jon Favreau, Guy Pearce and Gwyneth Paltrow. Other films have their fans (we hear you, Trekkies!), but "Iron Man 3" might be the biggest summer blockbuster in a summer filled with them. (Opens May 3.)
If you're an English major, see 'The Great Gatsby' If we made a list of the movies least likely to benefit from 3-D, "The Great Gatsby" would top that list. Hey! Guess what? Hollywood put it in 3-D anyway! It's supposed to give a more immersive experience, but really, can't F. Scott Fitzgerald's legendary characters and story do that on their own? But this latest rendition of "Gatsby" is going all out, with Leonardo DiCaprio as Jay Gatsby, Tobey Maguire as Nick and Carey Mulligan as Daisy. Aussie director Baz Luhrmann made "Moulin Rouge!" and "Romeo + Juliet," and both those films made waves for their style and panache. Traditionalists who want to see a straightforward march straight to the green light at the end of Daisy's dock may be clutching their knotted pearls when they see this one. (Opens May 10.)
If you're missing your friends from Starfleet Academy, see 'Star Trek Into Darkness' Give the folks behind "Star Trek: Into Darkness" (and its 2009 predecessor, "Star Trek") huge props. Rebooting a series that was so beloved for so long without alienating devoted fans has to rank right up there with solving the Kobayashi Maru training exercise. And like a young James T. Kirk back in his school days, they somehow pulled it off. The rebooted movie series is a solid new take on Kirk, Spock, Bones and the rest -- we especially love Simon "Shaun of the Dead" Pegg as Scotty. And as much as Trekkies love to dig for info, this film has managed to maintain a certain secrecy about the villain, played by Benedict Cumberbatch and named John Harrison. Is Harrison a version of the legendary baddie Khan? Or Gary Mitchell from the original series? Does it matter? We'll be there faster than a red-shirted ensign can say, "Look out, Capt--" (Opens May 17.)
If you like quirky growing-up tales, see 'The Kings of Summer' It looks a little like "Stand By Me" with a more modern, sarcastic sensibility. "The Kings of Summer" was a Sundance hit. Three boys whose parents are driving them crazy build a house in the woods -- and a pretty decent one, too -- and leave civilzation behind. Or kind of. They may make occasional forays to a nearby Boston Market. In previews, the boys are charming and likable, and the parents include the fabulous Nick Offerman who reportedly all but steals the movie. We're guessing this will become a cult fave a la "Donnie Darko." (Opens May 31.)
If you want to see Hollywood stars die horribly yet humorously, see 'This Is the End' It's maybe the weirdest concept film of the summer. Hollywood stars play themselves having a big party at James Franco's house jut as the apocalypse -- complete with hellfire, crumbling earth, monsters and Rapture-style abductions -- comes to Los Angeles. Stars like Seth Rogen, Jonah Hill, Michael Cera and Craig Robinson react pretty much as any character they've ever played would react -- by running around like loons, fighting over the lone remaining Milky Way candy bar and getting robbed by Emma Watson. "Hermione stole all our (expletive)," announces Danny McBride. It could be awful, but based on the rapport of the leads, we're declaring it so silly it's might just be great. (Opens June 12.)
If you like your superheroes polite and clean-cut, see 'Man of Steel' Iron Man's charming, but his personal problems could fill a therapist's file cabinet. Not so Superman. Sure, he and Lois Lane have issues, but Clark Kent/Superman is still the superhero you could safely bring home to Mom. That can mean he's ... kinda boring, and the trailers don't do much to dispel that, showing a young Clark saving a busload of schoolkids and angstily fretting about his place in the world. One early review of the new "Man of Steel," however, claims that the trailer misrepresents things and Supes really kicks some butt in the movie. Some fans will always mourn Christopher Reeve, but new star Henry Cavil sure has the look down. We'll soon see if he can leap tall buildings in a single bound. (Opens June 14)
If you can't get enough zombies, see 'World War Z' "The Walking Dead" is on break, but zombies will be chewing brains all over the big screen in "World War Z." Here's our concern: The film's based on Max Brooks' excellent book, which is told by a UN employee who traveled the world interviewing people of all nationalities about how the zombie uprising affected them. (If you know Studs Terkel's "The Good War," it's that but with the undead.) But the movie's trailer takes Brooks' title and turns it into a we've-seen-this-before action flick as Brad Pitt works to save his children and wife from the zombies. Yes, you can't judge a film by a 2-minute preview, but between the excellence we've become accustomed to on "Walking Dead" and Brooks' fine book, we have high expectations. Someone on this set better have kept their braaaaaaaaaains. (Opens June 21)
If you have a kid, or are a kid at heart, see 'Monsters University' Not every sequel works, but "Monsters University," Pixar's prequel to its 2001 delight "Monsters Inc.," is positively inspired. Monsters Mike (voice of Billy Crystal) and Sulley (voice of John Goodman) were pals as co-workers in the original film, but when they met back in monster college, that wasn't the case. Bad for them, good for us, as we watch the dormmates fight it out (turns out Sulley sheds in his sleep) amid all the craziness of majoring in scaring. If this one doesn't entertain you, reassess your entertainment genes. (Opens June 21)
If you loved 'Bridesmaids,' see 'The Heat' "The Heat" is a buddy-cop comedy with a twist -- the cops are women. And not just any women, but Sandra Bullock and Melissa McCarthy. Director Paul Feig not only directed "Bridesmaids," he created the legendary "Freaks and Geeks," which always makes our list of "shows that should never have been canceled." Bullock's best when she's funny (sorry, "Blind Side" fans) and McCarthy is on a roll, so this should be fun. (June 28)
If you loved the Minions, see 'Despicable Me 2" It's a great summer for kid movies. In 2010's "Despicable Me," Steve Carell introduced us to Gru, a supervillain with a passel of little yellow pill-shaped Minions who gabble to each other in gibberish and engage in Three Stooges-style slapstick that's somehow cuter than normal coming from them. Gru seemed tough at first, but his heart quickly melted when he took in three orphan girls. He's back in the sequel, and the Anti-Villain League (with an agent voiced by Kristen Wiig) needs his help to take down another baddie. Thankfully, the Minions and the girls are along for the ride. If you can't get enough of the little yellow guys, another spinoff film, "Minions," is coming in 2014. (Opens July 3.)
If you loved 'Cars,' see 'Planes' Get ready for "Planes" bedsheets, stuffed toys, video games, phone apps and lunchboxes, because if you thought "Cars" saturated the world of kids, you ain't seen nothin' yet. Disney's "Planes" takes the action to the air with comic Dane Cook voicing Dusty Crophopper, the little cropduster with big dreams. He's no Lightning McQueen, but with a little help from his friends -- and a few zillion kid viewers -- he might just soar high. (Opens Aug. 9.)
A one-of-a-kind phaser rifle used by William Shatner in the second pilot made for the original "Star Trek" series sold for $231,000 at an auction conducted by Julien's.
A laser rifle from the William Shatner-starring 2nd pilot for "Star Trek" sold for $231,000 at auction.
The price is the second-highest paid at auction for a prop from the 1960s edition of "Star Trek," surpassed only by the $304,750 a collector laid out for the captain's chair in 2008. A miniature special effects model of the enterprise from "Star Trek: The Next Generation" sold for $576,000 in 2006.
Props and memorabilia from the original series are highly sought after by collectors. In addition to being an iconic and beloved show, many original items were lost or destroyed so that authentic memorabilia is comparatively rare.
Toy designer Reuben Klamer created the prop for Gene Roddenberry to use in the pilot in exchange for licensing rights to produce toys based on the design. The rifle was seen in "Where No Man Has Gone Before," which was filmed as the series pilot but was the third episode of the series broadcast, airing on Sept. 22, 1966.
The story revolves around a Lt. Commander who gains telepathic and telekinetic powers that threaten the crew. Captain Kirk (Shatner) kills the officer with the phaser rifle when he threatens the whole crew. After the pilot was completed, the phaser rifle was replaced with the now familiar handgun-style phaser.
The rifle never appeared in another episode, though it was seen in publicity photos of Shatner as Kirk and on an early lunchbox. The prop is made of wood with an aluminum barrel and is painted with a metallic blue-green paint.
After production, the rifle was returned to Klamer. See a video of the designer talking about its origins and construction below.
Benedict Cumberbatch brings a brutal touch to the new "Star Trek Into Darkness" trailer.
By Ree Hines, TODAY contributor
Fans of the "Star Trek" franchise have been waiting for more details about Benedict Cumberbatch's villain in the upcoming "Into Darkness" sequel, but little was known about the character -- until now.
Cumberbatch was first rumored to be playing classic "Trek" baddie Khan in the film, but in December, a caption for an official still from the film revealed the character to be John Harrison, a complete unknown. A newly-released international trailer fills in the blanks.
Harrison isn't just any formidable foe -- he's a turncoat, a former top agent for Starfleet bent on destruction.
"You think your world is safe. It is an illusion," a completely dastardly Harrison teases. "Enjoy these final moments of peace."
Of course, James T. Kirk has no intention of allowing Harrison any peace at all.
"I watched you murder innocent men and women," the Enterprise's leading man warns. "I will make you answer for what you did."
But the threat of repercussions does little to dissuade Cumberbatch's character, who vows to "walk over your cold corpses."
Somehow, John Cho found time to father another kid. The "Go On" actor has welcomed a baby girl with wife Kerri Higuchi, their second child together, Cho's rep confirmed Monday to E! News. They're also parents to a 4-year-old son.
Meanwhile, Cho has continued working constantly: In addition to his "Go On" duties, the three-time "Harold & Kumar" star is currently on the big screen in "Identity Thief" and he reprises his role as Sulu in the upcoming "Star Trek Into Darkness."
The preternaturally youthful-looking 40-year-old also starred in last fall's "Total Recall" remake and appeared in "American Reunion."
The Super Bowl ads weren't just selling physical products, some of them were hyping big movies coming to theaters near you later in the year. Sadly, most of the ads were just teases -- tantalizing the audience with little snippets, some of which had already been seen in previously released teasers. ("World War Z," we're looking at you.)
"The Lone Ranger" ad was one of those that actually revealed never-before-seen footage, focusing on the repartee between the Ranger (Armie Hammer) and sidekick Tonto (Johnny Depp). Not everyone is sold on this film, however. Wrote Moviefone.com, "Eh. How long can we watch Johnny Depp act weird in makeup?"
The ad for "Iron Man 3" showed the superhero saving people who'd been flung out of Air Force One after it's attacked in middair, but then urged viewers to surf to the movie's Facebook page for an extended peek. Star Robert Downey Jr. begins the extended preview by stalking into the camera's eye, striking a number of poses and dramatically whipping off his sunglasses, then admitting, "That might have been more extensive than extended."
Just two hours after it was posted, the extended trailer had been shared more than 30,000 times on Facebook.
"Oz the Great and Powerful" offers James Franco as the famed man behind the curtain, showing how he arrives in Oz long before Dorothy and her little dog Toto make the twister-led journey there. "The Land You Know -- The Story You Don't," promises the colorful preview, which includes the creepy Wicked Witch, Franco floating in an enormous bubble like one of those State Fair attractions, and some truly nightmare-inducing flying monkeys.
The "Star Trek Into Darkness" trailer features a creepy voiceover from Benedict Cumberbatch, who plays the film's villain, and shows a combination of seen-before and new footage, including a shot of the beloved Enterprise in tatters. "Shall we begin?" Cumberbatch menacingly asks at the end. Yes, please!
The "Fast and Furious" franchise is up to its sixth film now, and if you like the speed and the crash-bang-smash-em-up action of the series, you'll find nothing to dissaude you in the latest installment. Vin Diesel, The Rock, women in bikinis and short skirts, it's the "Citizen Kane" of guy movies.
The "World War Z" trailer, like earlier previews of this Brad Pitt film, was remarkably light on the undead. As The Huffington Post cracked, the film "shows off the zombie apocalypse ("We've lost the East Coast") without actually showing off the zombie apocalypse." In a really odd glimpse, soldiers are seen marching out of a city carrying a framed copy of the U.S. Constitution. We the zombies, in order to form a more perfect brain-eating union...
Movie fans will have to wait a little while, though, to get beyond the trailers. "Oz the Great and Powerful" is the first of the advertised films to open, with a March 8 scheduled release. "Star Trek Into Darkness" opens May 17, "Fast and Furious 6" opens May 24, "World War Z" opens June 21, "The Lone Ranger" opens July 3,
George Takei told Andy Cohen on Thursday that William Shatner is far from his favorite "Star Trek" co-star.
By Ree Hines, TODAY contributor
Captain Kirk and Mr. Sulu got along just fine on the bridge of the USS Enterprise, but in real-life, there's no love lost between the men behind the iconic sci-fi characters. Actors William Shatner and George Takei have long traded barbs and dropped not-so-subtle hints about what they really think of each other. For fans of the stars, the off-screen drama practically qualifies as "Star Trek" spin-off of its own -- and now, there's a new release in the feud franchise.
Takei paid a visit to Andy Cohen's "Watch What Happens Live" Thursday night and offered up an insult unbecoming a Starfleet officer but perfectly suited to the ongoing Shatner vs. Takei battle.
When a viewer wanted to know who "the biggest d-----" on "Star Trek" was, Takei responded, "I think most fans know."
Cohen asked, "Shatner?"
Takei played coy with an "I didn't say anything" answer ... that is, until Cohen quizzed him for more info.
"(About) Bill's d-----ness? Well, he's very self-possessed, self-involved -- everything revolves around the captain," the actor explained.
Especially the cameras. According to Takei, if a director was set to film a "Star Trek" scene with the lens focused on anyone other than Shatner, the main man took action.
"He would take the director off to a dark corner and have a whispered conversation," Takei explained. "And then the director comes back and moves the camera that way (to Bill). ... You know, sometimes that happens. But it happens regularly, and then it begins to be -- 'oh, no!' "
It's the future "Star Trek" predicted. Here's Captain Kirk (OK, OK, William Shatner, who played him) sending a quick message to a man in space -- Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield, who's on the International Space Station -- who then replies, from space, to confirm that he is in fact, in space.
Warning: Possible spoilers for "Star Trek Into Darkness" follow.
"Star Trek" fans are known for their devotion -- to the series, to its characters, to remembering past episodes. So even though the new teaser for "Star Trek Into Darkness," the second movie in the rebooted series, doesn't reveal a great deal, fans are already building theories.
The one-minute teaser provides plenty of action, but merely hints at the biggest question: Which villain is star Benedict Cumberbatch playing?
There are two big rumors -- and the tricky new teaser would seem to support both of them.
Some believe the villain will be Gary Mitchell, who appeared in the original series episode "Where No Man Has Gone Before," playing Captain Kirk's good friend and one-time Starfleet Academy student. Mitchell gains almost godlike powers (and creepy silver eyes, represented by painful contact lenses) and ends up in a deadly battle with Kirk.
Actor Karl Urban, who plays Dr. McCoy, dropped an earlier hint mentioning Mitchell by name, and in the new teaser, Cumberbatch is wearing a Starfleet uniform, as Mitchell would.
Jokes Badass Digest reader Andrew Crump, "I really hope the villain isn't Gary Mitchell, because Gary Mitchell is not the name of a villain. It's the name of an insurance salesman from Topeka, Kansas."
The other big villain's name that keeps circulating is of course, Khan Nooonien Singh, the character so memorably played by Ricardo Montalban in both the 1967 television episode "Space Seed" and the 1982 film, "Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan."
Khan's a fan favorite, for the details of his story (a wormlike Ceti eel in Chekov's brain!), Montalban's portrayal (that accent!), and William Shatner's tortured "KHAAAAAAAAAN!" wail as Kirk, certainly one of the most parodied line deliveries ever.
Now before you go practicing that line, know that Simon Pegg, who plays Scotty in the movie series, has said of the villain, "It's not Khan."
But could he be faking us out? In the teaser trailer, Cumberbatch says, "For I have returned to have my vengeance," which to many viewers means "vengeance on Kirk for exiling me," as was done to Khan.
And another clue was sniffed out by those who cared enough to go to the Apple trailers site and watch the Japanese version of this teaser. At the very end, there's a scene not shown in the U.S. trailer, where two hands, one split in the famed Vulcan "live long and prosper" salute, touch on opposite sides of glass.
Fans may not have to wait too long for answers. Although "Star Trek Into Darkness" doesn't open till May 17, viewers going to IMAX showings of "The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey," which opens Dec. 14, will get to see the first nine minutes of the movie before returning to Middle-Earth.
Do you think Khan, Mitchell, or another villain will take center stage in the upcoming "Star Trek" sequel? Tell us on Facebook.
William Shatner, Kate Mulgrew and Sir Patrick Stewart -- who all played "Star Trek" captains and attended the Las Vegas convention in August -- will reunite this weekend in London along with two other former captains.
LONDON -- Klingons, Romulans, Vulcans and thousands of "Star Trek" fans will descend on London this weekend to celebrate one of the world's best-loved television and film franchises at a convention that will have all five starship captains in attendance.
"Destination Star Trek London" will see captains -- played by actors William Shatner (Captain Kirk), Patrick Stewart (Captain Picard), Avery Brooks (Captain Sisko), Kate Mulgrew (Captain Janeway) and Scott Bakula (Captain Archer) -- mingle with "trekkies" at a three-day convention in London's ExCel arena.
A replica of the bridge of the starship Enterprise, a Klingon zone and a museum dedicated to the 46-year-old series have been erected in the ExCel for the gathering, which starts on Friday.
Organizers have taken a cue from the annual "Star Trek" convention in Las Vegas by creating a schedule that combines appearances from 30 "Star Trek" celebrities with special events, including a stunt show and a Klingon-speaking workshop.
"We're getting crazier, we're losing our reserved edge and we've been hungry for this style of convention for a while," said 30-year-old Samantha Darragh, a fan and co-founder of website trekkiegirls.com.
Life-long trekkie Simon Foster, 31, said he is travelling to London's "Star Trek" gathering with his fiancée, a recent convert.
"She is definitely a fan now, she has been busy knitting a 'Star Trek' jumper (sweater) to wear at the convention. She is having her photo taken with Scott Bakula."
Around 17,000 tickets have been sold for the event so far, including 20 VIP packages costing almost $4,800 each, according to organizers Media 10 and Showmasters.
Some fans are travelling from as far away as Australia, Colombia and Vietnam to the convention, undeterred by the absence of Leonard Nimoy, the original Spock, from the convention, which coincides with the 25th anniversary of the "Star Trek: The Next Generation" series.
Darragh said many fans were hoping that a strong showing in London could convince CBS, the owners of the TV franchise, to commit to more series in the future.
"It has had an almost 50-year history and it's still going as strong as ever. I think they could be testing the water to see how much more 'Star Trek' we want," she said.
So far the classic sci-fi drama has spawned six television series and 11 feature films, with the next movie instalment starring Chris Pine as Captain Kirk and Zachary Quinto as Spock expected in May 2013.
The last "Star Trek" television series "Star Trek: Enterprise" starred Bakula as Captain Jonathan Archer and ran from 2001 to 2005.
The five captains will appear at the event's opening ceremony for a question and answer session in front of fans, which was expected to be one of the convention's most over-subscribed sessions.
An attempt to break the Guinness World Record for the largest gathering of people dressed as "Star Trek" characters was also likely to be a big draw for attendees.
The record was last set by U.S. fans at the Las Vegas convention in August, when 1,040 "Star Trek" characters assembled.
For Raules Davies, a convention veteran and the official CBS "Trekologist," meeting fellow trekkies will be as exciting as the organised events.
"A lot people go to meet up with other people and that's the magic - you'll find a world of wonders, costumes and creations by just talking to one of the other (attendees)," Davies said, adding that he plans to wear a 1,200 pound custom-made replica uniform from the original television series.
"I can almost guarantee that three days is not going to be long enough because there will be a heck of a lot to see."
But Abrams told Conan O'Brien those three frames are indeed from "Star Trek Into Darkness," the heavily guarded follow-up to his 2009 "Trek" reboot.
“This is a scene where Spock … for reasons that you’ll have to see the film to understand, is in a volcano in this crazy suit.”
"Star Trek Into Darkness" is slated for a May 17, 2013, release and reunites the Enterprise crew from the 2009 film (including Chris Pine, Zachary Quinto, Karl Urban and Zoe Saldana) and adds "Sherlock" star Benedict Cumberbatch in a villain role still shrouded in mystery, even though the movie has wrapped.
Many science fiction fans would argue that "Star Trek: The Next Generation" is the best series in the "Star Trek" franchise created by Gene Roddenberry. Looking back at the show on its 25th Anniversary, it's easy to see why. Debuting on September 28, 1987, over 20 years after the original "Star Trek" series, the show lasted seven seasons and was nominated for, and won, multiple awards. The success of this spin off led to the creation of 3 other series in the franchise: "Deep Space Nine," "Voyager," and "Enterprise," as well as multiple feature films.
This is an episode with all the classic elements of "Star Trek": temporal rifts, space battles, and a major moral dilemma. After encountering the rift, the Enterprise enters an alternate timeline where they are at war with the Klingon empire and there is no Worf or Deanna on the ship. Instead we see the return of Tasha Yar (who was killed in season one) and the appearance of the Enterprise C, which barely escaped destruction at the hands of the Romulans by leaving the past using the rift.
In order to set the timeline straight, the original Enterprise needs to send the crew of the Enterprise C back to the past to face certain death. All those lives must be sacrificed in order to set things right, a decision that is difficult for the present crew. This episode also gives another one of the most memorable lines in the series said by Captain Picard. One that is especially appropriate for this anniversary: “Let’s make sure history never forgets the name Enterprise.”
This episode is a perfect example of what's so great about "The Next Generation." There’s no need for an action-packed space battle to keep this episode interesting, as the Enterprise crew faces a more intriguing battle with android crew member Data at the very center of it. When the beloved android refuses to submit to a Star Fleet researcher’s risky procedure, he finds himself dragged into a legal battle fighting for his very existence: Is he a machine, just Federation property that can be taken apart at any moment, or a sentient being with the same rights as any other living being under Federation law?
Tackling these types of moral dilemmas is what makes "Star Trek" such an unforgettable series. Captain Picard’s stirring speech at the end is moving, powerful, and shows off actor Patrick Stewart’s classical background to the fullest. How can anyone question Data’s right to choose as a person after watching Picard’s amazing argument in the clip above?
Sent on a covert mission to a Cardassian border planet, Picard, Worf, and Crusher walk into a trap that results in the capture of the captain. A prisoner of the Cardassians, the episode takes a dark turn as Picard is tortured at the hands of his captors. A lot of TV shows have tried to address the issue of torture in the past, some succeeding and some failing, but this two-parter does an excellent job portraying a powerful story focusing on Picard’s struggle to resist torture at the hands of the Cardassians.
This is a strong story that goes back and forth between Picard's agony and his crew's fight to rescue him. It’s a great performance by the cast and guest stars Ronny Cox (who plays Captain Jellico, the one in charge of the Enterprise in Picard’s absence) and David Warner (who plays Picard's Cardassian torturer.) You can never forget Picard’s final proclamation that “There are four lights!”
Talk about an irresistible pick! While not the strongest of episodes in some ways, it’s the perfect example of the type of sci-fi fun that can be had on a show like "Star Trek." It’s an episode that takes us for a ride in our favorite android’s dreams, or rather nightmares, as Data's unconscious tries to warn him about an alien presence on the ship.
Between seeing Deanna as a talking cake, Crusher drinking Riker’s brain through a straw, and visits from Sigmund Freud, it provides us with laughs only a "Star Trek" episode can offer. Like many of the episodes featuring Data, it has just enough heart to make you smile too. The scene where Data asks Worf to take care of his cat Spot and then gives him cat-sitting advice is priceless because it’s not only funny, but sweet to see how much Data cares for his pet.
In this episode the Enterprise discovers an alien probe that knocks Picard unconscious with some kind of beam. When he wakes up he’s on a primitive planet and everyone thinks he’s an iron weaver named Kamin, a married man who likes to try playing the flute! Picard ends up living a lifetime, growing old with a wife, children and grandchildren only to wake up back on the Enterprise and discover he’s been knocked out for about 25 minutes.
It’s an amazing episode showcasing the acting of Stewart, and even won the 1993 Hugo Award for best dramatic presentation. That final scene with Picard clutching and playing the flute, clearly thinking of the family he had that no longer exists, is truly moving and unforgettable.
"The Best of Both Worlds" (Season 3/4, two-parter)
This episode has everything you could want from a confrontation between the Enterprise and their ultimate nemesis, the Borg. From major space battles to the transformation of Picard into Locutus to Riker's struggle to deal with taking on the mantle of Captain, it's an amazing cliffhanger episode with a more than satisfying conclusion. It’s definitely why this episode can be considered THE best of the series.
Nothing gives you more chills than hearing Picard of all people say “Resistance is futile.”
... must sadly come to an end, even "Star Trek: The Next Generation." As the series finale, this episode had a tough job trying to please fans who were saying goodbye. While no finale was going to please everyone, the intriguing story line in this episode does a good job combining all our favorite elements of "The Next Generation." With time travel, touching crew moments, action, a complex problem, and of course a return to show's premiere plot with a visit from Q, it is certainly a classic episode.
Picard ends up jumping through time, to the past and the future, allowing us to re-visit familiar faces from the Enterprise’s early days and go 25 years into the future to glimpse what might become of our beloved characters. Of course in the end Picard’s efforts save the whole of humanity (as it should be) and the series closes on a friendly poker game played by the main characters, allowing us to see them happy and together one last time. This episode also won a Hugo Award for best dramatic presentation in 1995, and it's easy to see why.
And since there's not enough space to cover all the greats, honorable mentions go to these classic episodes: "Darmok," "The First Duty," and "Cause and Effect."