If you just haven’t had enough pandemic in your life, allow us to offer more. Star Trek has explored the topic quite thoroughly with a series of pandemic-themed episodes.
As some might say…
“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times…”
These—the immortal words of Charles Dickens—could be used to describe 2020 (and now 2021). On the one hand, COVID 19 has been on the forefront of everyone’s minds. But in the same moment, economic shifts have created space for some to revitalize the concepts of work, creativity, and playtime.
Thanks to the kindness and retrospection of @realGulDukat (“Dukat”, of course, being a fictional character from Star Trek: Deep Space Nine), the world now has The Complete Guide To Pandemic Focused Episodes in Star Trek. This Twitter user took some time at the very beginning of the pandemic in 2020 to document a thorough list of all Star Trek episodes that focused on the pandemic, as a way of helping the Trekkie community.
Attention Bajoran Workers, my administration has compiled a guide for all disease focused @StarTrek episodes to alleviate the strains of interplanetary quarantine and improve morale and productivity. Please distribute widely.
— Gul Dukat (@realGulDukat) March 15, 2020
Here is the compilation, categorized by each Star Trek series:
Pandemic Episodes from Star Trek The Original Series (TOS):
TOS – 1×5 – The Naked Time – virus that causes the crew to lose their inhibitions
TOS – 1×8 – Miri – virus that makes humans act like children
TOS – 1×25 – This Side of Paradise – hippie spores
TOS – 3×21 – Requiem for Methuselah – crew gets rigelian fever
Pandemic Episodes from Star Trek The Next Generation (TNG):
TNG – 1×3 – The Naked Now – drunk disease
TNG – 1×21 – Symbiosis – planet has plague, other planet has cure but supply chains break down
TNG – 1×24 – Conspiracy- mind control parasites!
TNG – 2×7 – Unnatural Selection – old age disease
TNG – 3×25 – Transfigurations – enterprise TNG – 4×18 – Identity crisis – no summary
TNG – 7×6 – Phantasms – parasites
TNG – 7×19 – Devolution disease
Pandemic Episodes from Star Trek Deep Space 9 (DS9):
DS9 – 1×4 – Babel – language disease
DS9 – 2×13 – Armageddon Game – O’brien and Bashir help a race eradicate the last of a engineered disease.
DS9 – 4×3 – Hippocratic Oath – O’brien and Bashir get captured by enemies with a chronic genetic addiction. Bashir wants to cure them. O’brien wants to escape
DS9 – 4×23 – The Quickening – Bashir tries to cure a virus inflicted on the population centuries ago
Pandemic Episodes from Star Trek Voyager (VOY):
VOY – 1×4 – Phage – introduction of the Viddians that are suffering from an aggressive leprosy like disease call the Phage. This is an ongoing plot point*
VOY – 2×25 – Resolutions – Janeway and Chakotay contract an incurable virus
VOY – 3×2 – Flashback – Mental parasite
VOY – 3×12 – Macrocosm – MACRO VIRUS!
VOY – 3×20 – Favorite Son – Harry Kim gets a DNA mutation disease
VOY – 3×26/4×1 – Scorpion – Harry Kim gets infected by alien cells in the B-Plot
VOY – 4×7 – Scientific Method – Crew is afflicted with several strange diseases
VOY – 5×16 – The Disease – Harry Kim gets an STD
VOY – 7×6 – Critical Care – The Doctor is kidnapped & sold to a planet fighting a pandemic
VOY – 7×13 – Prophecy – Voyager finds a ship of Klingons with an incurable disease VOY –
7×20 – Friendship One – Mass radiation sickness
Pandemic Episodes from Star Trek Enterprise (ENT):
ENT – 1×3 – Strange New World – spores
ENT – 1×12 – Dear Doctor – Enterprise has to help a global pandemic
ENT – 2×14 – Stigma – T’Pol is diagnosed with a psychic STD
ENT – 3×8 – Twilight – Archer gets brain parasites
ENT – 4×11 – Observer Effect – Enterprise Crew has to combat a lethal virus sweeping the ship
ENT – 4×15 & 4×16 – Affliction & Divergence – Klingon flu sweeps across planets
Star Trek: Discovery is a great show, but it hasn’t been around very long, so it didn’t make the list. There are some that are kind of close, like Season 3 Episode 8 “The Sanctuary,” which partially talks about a plague of locusts, and Season 3 Episode 5 “Die Trying,” which is about a health crisis and a mystery of someone who died.
In case you’re wondering, back in April Patrick Stewart said that he didn’t want Star Trek: Picard to have a pandemic storyline, TrekMovie reported. He said, in part: “I would not encourage that. This is a disturbing and frightening and sad time for many thousands of people. I would feel uncomfortable if we were to make this a theme of the second season. It is too sensitive, too upsetting, too frightening, than some of the other issues that we have dealt with, which are much more of a political nature.”
There you have it, folks: a binge-worthy list for all of sci-fi fandom. We hope this helps you pass the time. Stay safe, and remember to give our friend @GulDukat a follow on Twitter. And if we missed any episodes, please let us know in the comments.
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