Season 4 of Star Trek: The Next Generation
seemed like the year of family. After quickly resolving the breathtaking cliffhanger of "The Best of Both Worlds," the show took pains to show some of what the Federation was fighting for. We meet Picard's brother, Data's father, Tasha's sister, and Worf's adoptive human parents, plus an old flame with a surprise son in tow. The Klingon heritage subplot that begins here and builds to the cliffhanger finale ("Redemption") would continue to the show's end and through into Worf's reappearance in Deep Space Nine.
The year also explored the implications of Data, Lwaxana Troi, Geordi, and Dr. Crusher being in love, while Miles O'Brien (given a first name at last) married Keiko. There were old friends revisited: the ubiquitous Q in a hilarious Robin Hood romp ("Qpid"), perennial screwup Reg Barclay ("Nth Degree"), and even the mysterious Traveler from season 1's "Where No One Has Gone Before" (played by Eric Menyuk, who was nearly cast as Data). There were new races introduced who would have an important bearing on Trek's destiny: the Cardassians and the Trill. Most of all, though, there were the one-off stories that impressed: "Clues," with its memory-loss mystery; "Night Terrors," with some genuine frights; and "Identity Crisis," with possibly the only time Trek technology really helped Geordi solve a puzzle. Then right at the end, reinforcing the year's familial theme, Denise Crosby returned as her own half-Romulan daughter! --Paul Tonks
All 26 episodes from the fourth season of the first 'Star Trek' spin-off. In 'The Best of Both Worlds 2' Picard has been assimilated by the seemingly unstoppable Borg, and Riker risks destroying his friend and captain when he launches an attack on the enemy cube. 'Family' sees Picard recuperating from his ordeal back on Earth with his resentful older brother, while Worf receives a visit from his adoptive human parents and Wesley views a message from his late father. In 'Brothers' Data takes control of the Enterprise when he is summoned by his 'father', Dr Noonian Soong, in order to be fitted with an emotion chip. 'Suddenly Human' finds Picard attempting to decide what to do with a teenage human boy who has been raised by a group of Talarians. 'Remember Me' sees Beverly convinced that people are going missing from the Enterprise as a result of her son Wesley's warp field experiments. 'Legacy' finds the crew embroiled in civil war when they visit the home world of Ishara, the sister of their deceased colleague Tasha Yar. In 'Reunion' Worf is reunited with his former mate, K'Ehleyr, and son Alexander when Picard is asked to intercede in the Klingon accession. 'Future Imperfect' sees Riker recovering consciousness after succumbing to a strange gas, only to discover that he is apparently fifteen years into the future and now an admiral, about to arrive on a Romulan warbird. In 'Final Mission' Wes Crusher is accepted to Starfleet Academy and takes Picard on one last away mission. 'The Loss' has ship's counsellor Deanna Troy lose her empathetic powers just as the Enterprise approaches a race of two-dimensional lifeforms. 'Data's Day' sees the android first officer recounting his typical day, describing his attempts to understand a variety of human emotions as he helps Chief Miles O'Brien prepare for his impending wedding. 'The Wounded' finds Picard forced to intervene when a renegade captain launches an attack on the Federation's former enemies, the Cardassians. In 'Devil's Due' the population of Ventax II turn to Picard for help when the 'god' Arda arrives to enslave them - according to the terms of a contract they made with him for one thousand years of peace. 'Clues' sees the entire Enterprise crew (except Data) lose one whole day of memory after passing through a wormhole. In 'First Contact' Riker is stranded on a planet whose inhabitants are fearful of and even hostile towards alien life forms. 'Galaxy's Child' has Geordi disappointed when his alterations to the Enterprise do not meet with ship designer Leah Brahms' approval. 'Night Terrors' sees the crew plagued by hallucinations when they become trapped in a space rift. 'Identity Crisis' finds Geordi compelled to return to a planet he once visited as part of a survey team when all the other members of the team vanish. In 'The Nth Degree' Barclay's intelligence is rapidly enhanced, and it continues to grow by the minute, causing him to try and bring the Enterprise to the centre of the galaxy. 'Q-Pid' has both Q and Vash return, this time in a recreation of the Robin Hood legend, where Picard is Robin, Vash is Marion, Q is the Sheriff, and Worf, despite his protestations, is one of the merry men. In 'The Drumhead' a Klingon working on board the Enterprise is found to be in league with the Romulans; this leads the respected-but-bigoted Admiral Satie to start a witch-hunt for other conspirators. 'Half A Life' sees the Enterprise crew encounter a race who decree that ritual suicide should be undertaken by all those reaching the age of 60. 'The Host' finds Dr. Crusher falling under the spell of a Federation ambassador, but when he is injured and needs her medical attention, she makes a discovery which causes her feelings to change pretty quickly. 'The Mind's Eye' has Geordie kidnapped by the Romulans and brainwashed into the assassination of a Klingon governor. 'In Theory' sees Data encounter more illogical human emotions when an Enterprise cadet falls in love with him. Finally, in 'Redemption', the Klingon Empire is teetering on the brink of civil war and the Romulans are taking more than a passing interest in the power struggle.