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Four 'Star Trek' Episodes to Watch During a Pandemic

Star Trek MoPOP

When times are a little grim and scary, some Star Trek—with its optimism and pluck and above all belief in working together for the common good—is just the balm you need.

We've chosen some episodes that look at how the oh-so-competent people of the future deal with things that invade, multiply, and disrupt the life we know and love. But don’t worry, this isn’t a trip down misery lane. No dark visions of the future here. It’s Star Trek, after all.

"The Trouble With Tribbles"

  • Original Series: Season 2, Episode 15
  • Air Date: December 29, 1967
  • Watch: CBS.com

Tribbles are cute little furballs. Sort of like kittens without legs or heads. And they multiply, and multiply, and multiply. They can literally fill up a starship in a matter of days. The cutest pandemic ever.

"Conspiracy"

  • The Next Generation: Season 1, Episode 25
  • Air Date: May 9, 1988
  • Watch: CBS.com

First season of Next Gen was rough, even die-hard fans will admit it. But this episode is a standout, about mind-controlling aliens that take over the highest echelons of Starfleet and make everyone eat live grubs. The episode seemed to be introducing a new Big Bad for Star Trek, but they never returned, more’s the pity.

"The Best of Both Worlds"

  • The Next Generation: Season 3, Episode 26 (Part 1) + Season 4, Episode 1 (Part 2)
  • Air Date (Part 1): June 18, 1990
  • Air Date (Part 2): September 24, 1990

A two-part episode about the Borg invasion of the Alpha Quadrant. Borg are basically a virus on a massive, macro scale, and instead of invading cells they invade civilizations, turning those worlds into machines that make more and more Borg. Arguably Next Gen’s greatest contribution to Star Trek lore.

"Genesis"

  • The Next Generation: Season 7, Episode 19
  • Air Date: March 21, 1994
  • Watch: CBS.com

Think a dry cough and low fever are bad? How about an illness that causes you to de-evolve into an early hominid, or an iguana, or a jellyfish? If that’s happening to you, you’ve got Barclay’s Protomorphosis Syndrome. This episode lands in the haunted starship subgenre, a theme that Next Gen couldn’t get enough of.

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About the author

Brooks Peck is the Senior Curator at MoPOP.

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