Now as a follow-up to my last post, here's my Top Pet Peeve with ALL of Star Trek's science fiction ideas. :-)
Yeah, the concept that some region if interstellar space may suddenly become anomalous: the laws of physics stop working, fantastic kinds of radiation appear, gates open to another dimension, "storms" happen that can destroy ships, or throw them into another quadrant or to another time, and so on and so forth.
Very few SF ideas are unique to Trek, even those that have become signatures such as teletransporters. But space-time anomalies may be the rare case, something original to Trek and mostly unique to it (I don't remember any other SF book or movie using this, though they may exist). Black holes or wormholes are not in the same category even though they share some properties, e.g. the ability to destroy ships or [in fiction] transport them somewhere/sometime else.
Trek is fantasy-SF and I'm OK with the eventual abuses of known science or even reasonable speculation; what bothers me in Trek's space anomalies is that this thing is used way too often. I haven't counted, but I'm sure the number of occurrences of this event (either as a critical part of the plot, or just as "background" detail) should amount to more than a hundred, all series counted.
The other factor that makes this plot device irritating is that it's such poor SF. Unfortunately, actual interstellar space is immensely empty and immensely boring. But in Star Trek, space is something full of natural accidents: the equivalent of earthquakes, volcanos, hurricanes, maelstroms, thunderstorms, wildfires, clouds of locusts, minefields, quicksands, the four horsemen of the apocalypse, etc.
Indeed it seems every time the writers were out of ideas, somebody jumps with the tired "what if a space-time anomaly appeared just next to ou ship/space station, and..." (insert random crazy idea). This is well-known as a "_Deus Ex Machina_", a mechanism that allows anybody to start (or solve) a story, with little effort or talent.
Enough ranting! Let's play a game: invent your own Star Trek episode plot. Write your own as a reply, +1 those you like. I'm starting with four entries.