Originally Posted by horatio
Most people like TNG from the third season onward but I like the second season for "lonely out there exploring the unknown" episodes like Where Silence Has Lease or Time Squared or the slightly surrealistic The Royale.
Similar with DS9, like in TNG more plot-driven shows emerged in the third season but the second season features some wonderful episodes about the Bajoran-Cardassian part of the show which got a bit lost in later seasons.
VOY is a bit harder, but IMO the third season is not better than the second. The show became a bit darker in the 'Nekrit Expanse' part of the third season, but I don't think that the episodes became better (or worse) on average because of this.
The series in question did have good individual episodes in that range, few as they were, but they were overall inferior to what came later in their respective runs.
VOY in season 3 for me is where the crew finally got cohesive, and lost the Maquis angle (it was a weak idea to begin with.)
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