Long before Star Trek came to streaming services, DVDs and VHS tapes were often worn out as people watched episodes again and again. Trying to narrow down the almost 800 episodes of Star Trek into ten most rewatchable is a beautifully impossible task - let's get this out there at the outset of this list!
This list in particular highlights almost every iteration of the franchise, so it will clearly be immediately dated the moment it is published. However, that is the true beauty of Star Trek. Depending on the day, preferences change, episodes rise and fall in the fandom's estimations and people will still sit there and hit play on some of these again.
It could be fair to say that some episodes have almost become cliché in how popular they have become. With almost thirty years passed since the end of Star Trek: The Next Generation (not to mention the almost fifty years passed since the end of The Original Series!), so many episodes have reached nearly iconic status (with some episodes reaching over that lip) and everyone has their favourites. Think of this as the first of many, many lists of rewatchable Star Trek episodes.
10. Balance Of Terror
This episode was one of Star Trek's earliest examples of truly brilliant writing. The classic episode introduces one of the franchise's longest running antagonists - the Romulans. They are so iconic, in fact, that they continue to pop up as villains a full fifty years later on! And it all began here, with Mark Lenard's outstanding performance as the Romulan Commander.
There are so many moments that stand out in this episode. The beautiful design of the Romulan Bird-of-Prey makes its debut, along with the re-used Vulcan design for the Romulan people. The reaction of the bridge crew to the image of, what they believe, is a Vulcan man ordering the attack on their ship is a heart-stopping moment - followed by wise words from Captain Kirk.
Leave you bigotry in your quarters. There's no place for it on the bridge.
Everything about the episode works. It is effectively a submarine battle in space, with the Romulan cloaking device giving them a distinct advantage in the battle. However, the Enterprise is the more powerful ship, leaving the two in something of a stalemate for much of the run time. Mark Lenard sells every moment of his portrayal of the Romulan Commander, showing himself to be one of the most honourable representatives of his race, while also being a brilliant military tactician.
Absolutely essential viewing for any fan, while also being thoroughly enjoyable on multiple watches.