Star Trek: The Next Generation was my very first encounter with science-fiction. Literally, when I was five, six, maybe seven I first saw an episode of the second son of Gene Roddenberry, and from then on I was hooked. Really, my whole addiction to SF and started there.
I sometimes have to remind myself just how ground-breaking a show this was. It broke boundaries of the time in the way that the most cutting edge shows today do. And it beat Apple to the iPad by over a decade — strangely a source of no small pride to me.
It had its poorer episodes, as with all shows. But it had some real gems amongst its 178 episode run. Below are my own personal top five, and an bit by way of explanation of why I rate them so highly.