Without a doubt, my vote is for Star Trek: The Next Generation, I don’t think that any other Star Trek series can contend with the moral, political, racial, religious and personal issues which TNG presented to their audience. A reason why many none Trek/SciFi watchers don’t get into the series is that they don’t relalize that the Trek universe is just a giant metaphor of the real world, where instead of different coloured races (Black, White, Indian, Chiense…) they have different species of race (Human, Vulcan, Klingon, Romulan, Cardassian…), and not only is each race just look different, but they also have their own beliefs or religions. Much like the world we live in today, some of those races/religions are at war with each other (Cardassian vs. Bajoran), while some live in peace (Human and Vulcans). TNG quite often analyzed the differences between each race, and how their belief vary between them.
To me what alway intrigued me was the technology. This first aired in 1987! Long before computers ruled our lives, or even the Internet. But if you look at the show, computers are everywhere, where would Gene Roddenberry ever get the idea that computer would become such an intricate part of our life? They have desktop computers with flat panel screens, hand held computers (tricorders) to scan things or to do things on the go like a laptop or smart phone. Even the communicator is like a bluetooth headset, or a phone with GPS to get locations. What I find interesting is the fact that there are scientist who are trying to create things like a cloak to make things invisible, or teleporting molecules from one place to another.
The best episode ever, not only in TNG, but out of all of the other series would definiately have to be in Season 5 the episode “The Inner Light”. Where the crew discovers a strange probe, which then shoots a beam to Picard, rendering him unconscience, and he awakes in a ancient world as another person, a man named Kamin, where he procedes to live out his life with a wife, kids and grandchildren. Its is basically the life Picard was never able to have, since he dedicated his life to Starfleet. The level of storytelling in the episode is top-notch, the many trials and tribulations Picard (as Kamin) goes through living his life out as a simple man. After living his life out, Picard awakens on the Bridge of the Enterprise, only to findout that only 25 minutes have passed, but to him it has been an entire lifetime. Within the probe was a flute, which Picard learn to play while living as Kamin, where the episode ends with him playing a song which took Kamin’s lifetime to learn. Patrick Stewart delivers a great performance, as well as Margot Rose protraying Kamin’s wife. A definate compliment to this episode is in Season 6 called “Lessons”, where Picard meets a new female officer, where she catches him playing the flute and encourages him to duet with her (she plays the piano), and through music they fall in love.