Ways to Stream: Best episodes per season

Net streaming and the DVD box set are beautiful things. They give you the chance to experience an entire series from go to whoa in a short time, without waiting on TV stations programming choices, which are random at the best of times. But what do you do once you’ve watched a box set worth of TV? Do you ever watch it again? If it’s a complete fave, then maybe. For example I can’t remember the amount of times I’ve watched Buffy The Vampire Slayer in its entirety. But it’s quite an investment of time. Depending on the show, if it’s say Battlestar Galactica or X Files, it could stretch out to five or eleven seasons worth of viewing. And, if you’re buying the show on DVD (or paying a streaming service) it’s quite an investment in money. In my opinion, with most shows, once is enough. That’s enough to satisfy your curiosity about a show and to enjoy it thoroughly.

But of course if you want to dig a little further into a show, if you find there’s some real standout episodes in there amongst the average ones (and let’s face it, the overall quality of most shows is variable), then one solution I have found is to compile or playlist the best episodes for each season. Now this may be difficult with a show like Battlestar Galactica, where there’s a continuing story arc, so I’m mainly talking about shows that are more ‘stand alone’ in their episodes. I’ve done the best of thing for a number of shows, especially the Star Trek franchise. My favourite version of the Trek is The Next Generation, with Jean Luc Picard and Data and all them. The last time I watched it in its entirety I made note of what I considered to be the best episodes and burnt them to various seasons collections. Of course, if you’re streaming, you can also just tag the ones you love. Here’s a list of some of them for your perusal…

Season Two

Measure Of A Man

Pen Pals

Q Who

Season Three

Yesterday’s Enterprise

The Offspring

Hollow Pursuits

Season Four

First Contact

The Drumhead

The Host

Season Five

The Game

Cause And Effect

I Borg

Season Six

Tapestry

Schisms

Ship In A Bottle

Season Seven

Inheritance

Parallels

Genesis

In addition to these I made a number of other collections based around sequel episodes. Star Trek has had a number of them from each incarnation, which is one reason why I like it. I like it when there’s some sort of follow-through with stories that beg for continuation. This was the case for me with my favourite TNG episode, season five’s The Inner Light, which the next season was given a distinctive sequel in The Lesson episode. An added bonus to that ep was its inclusion of the Australian actress Wendy Hughes as Jean Luc’s love interest. Other such Trek sequel combo’s I’ve put together have been the following…

The Best Of Both Worlds parts one and two, plus Family

Time’s Arrow parts one and two

Encounter At Farpoint, and All Good Things (the first and last episodes ever)

…and this amazing sequel combo of an Original Series ep with a Deep Space Nine ep, which fans will know as a mind-blowing episode…

The Trouble With Tribbles, and Trials And Tribblations

As you can see, the possibilities for combining best of eps just from the world of Trek are quite various. And I haven’t even started on Voyager or Deep Space Nine. Well they’re a project for another time, when I’ve got the time!