Favorite Star Trek The Original Series episodes

Discussion in 'Visual Arts' started by wayneklein, Nov 16, 2018.

  1. wayneklein

    wayneklein Forum Fool Thread Starter

    Going through the Original Series lately and thought that season one was extremely good, the second season was very good and the third was mediocre to bad.

    Each season though had its highlights:

    Season One:
    The Man Trap
    Charlie X
    Where No Man Has Gone Before
    The Naked Time
    Mudd's Women
    Dagger of the Mind
    The Corbomite Maneuver
    The Menagerie
    Conscience of The King
    Balance of Terror
    Tomorrow Is Yesterday
    Shore Leave
    The Squire of Gothos
    Tomorrow Is Yesterday
    Space Seed
    This Side of Paradise
    Errand of Mercy
    The City on the Edge of Forever

    Season Two:
    Amok Time
    Who Mourns for Adonais
    The Changeling
    Cats Paw
    Mirror Mirror
    The Doomsday Machine
    I Mudd
    The Deadly Years
    Journey to Babel
    Wolf in the Fold
    The Trouble with Tribbles
    A Piece of the Action
    Assignment Earth

    Season Three:
    The Enterprise Incident
    Is There No Truth in Beauty?
    Spectre of the Gun
    The Empath
    Whom Gods Destroy
    Requiem for Methuselah
    The Savage Curtain
    All of Our Yesterdays

    The third season had a higher proportion of down right awful episodes and Fred Freiberger wasn't interested in humor in the series but he certainly made some really funny (unintentional) episodes.

    Any thoughts and any that are your favorites?
  2. LC2A3

    LC2A3 Well-Known Member

    I like the one with ron howards brother. Cant believe they just let that crewman go off with him...
  3. Solaris

    Solaris a bullet in flight

    New Orleans, LA
    I agree with a lot of your picks, and would probably say that Season 2 is the strongest overall, though I think I could watch almost anything from the first two seasons anytime. Special notice for City on the Edge of Forever, which is one of the best pieces of writing on Trek ever. When Kirk says at the end, "Let's get the hell out of here," I really feel it.

    For the third season, I would add The Tholian Web. That one always haunted me as a kid. And while, yes, there were clunkers in the third season, there were also some really powerful episodes. All Our Yesterdays was outstanding. I also like Wink of an Eye.
  4. shnaggletooth

    shnaggletooth Senior Member

    Here's my personal TOS "A" list, posted on a usenet group a while ago:

    A+: "The City On the Edge Of Forever"

    A: "Balance Of Terror"
    "Mirror, Mirror"
    "The Doomsday Machine"
    "Journey To Babel"

    A-: "Where No Man Has Gone Before"
    "The Enemy Within"
    "The Corbomite Maneuver"
    "The Menagerie, I and II"
    "Space Seed"
    "The Devil In The Dark"
    "The Trouble With Tribbles"
    "Return To Tomorrow"
    "The Ultimate Computer"
    "Assignment: Earth"
    "The Immunity Syndrome"
    "The Enterprise Incident"
    "Day Of The Dove"
    "The Tholian Web"
    "The Empath"
    "All Our Yesterdays"
    steveharris likes this.
  5. Veni Vidi Vici

    Veni Vidi Vici Forum Resident

    Chicago, IL
    Balance of Terror
    The Doomsday Maxhine
    The Ultimate Computer
    Operation: Annihilate!

    I think the episodes involving epic space battles really stood out for me as a kid watching it on the BBC in the early seventies. The flying brain suckers were definitely the scariest aliens...
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  6. wayneklein

    wayneklein Forum Fool Thread Starter

    How did I miss that? I agree Tholian is among the best episodes and has held up well except for the scenes where the crew members go crazy. Wink of An Eye I was on the fence about but I agree it should be included.
    Solaris likes this.
  7. wayneklein

    wayneklein Forum Fool Thread Starter

    One of the few episodes where Kirk expresses grief on a personal level.
    Last edited: Nov 17, 2018
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  8. Vidiot

    Vidiot Now in 4K HDR!

    Hollywood, USA
    Hands down, Harlan Ellison's "City on the Edge of Forever." Although Gene Roddenberry feuded a bit with Harlan in the 25 years following the episode, even Gene had to admit that was most likely the best episode they ever did. I can remember seeing that the first time it aired, and I was just gobsmacked -- partly because at the end, Kirk just says, "let's get the hell out of here," at a time when "damn" and "hell" were extremely rare on television.


    The drama, the tragedy, the occasional humor, the irony, and the inevitability of the ending were just amazing. It's often been imitated, but that is a hard, hard, episode to beat. And some really witty, clever dialogue, too, with some unexpected plot twists and a good examination of the problem of past events changing the future. I actually prefer the rewritten produced version to Harlan's original script, which I think was more wrenching but also kind of veered away from the regular Star Trek characters more than I cared for. But Harlan was a brilliant, brilliant writer.
    Dinstun, unclefred, Solaris and 12 others like this.
  9. Grey Alien

    Grey Alien Forum Resident

    What's the one where Kirk thinks he's a horse or some animal and Spock is desperately trying not to break in to laughter?
  10. Dude111

    Dude111 An Awesome Dude

    I cant decide..... I love them all!!

    City on the edge of forvever

    I cant decide dues!!!
  11. Erik Tracy

    Erik Tracy Meet me at the Green Dragon for an ale

    San Diego, CA, USA
    I can't pick just one; that's a kobayashi maru! :D

    City on the Edge of Forever is top tier - and a cheap excuse for me to dust off this cheesy picture of me from the 90's at a Star Trek Exhibit that was in San Diego which I dragged the family to:

    You can see my mini 'communicator' on my belt.o_O
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  12. m5comp

    m5comp Classic Rock Lover

    Hamilton, AL
    I love TOS, but it would be easier for me to list the episodes I don't like (very few). One of my favorites is "The Ultimate Computer", which inspired my SHF user name (it's short for "M5 Computing").
    Veni Vidi Vici likes this.
  13. ShockControl

    ShockControl Bon Vivant and Raconteur!

    Lotus Land
    I like the one where the things that look like frozen steakums fly through the air and attach themselves to crew members.
  14. HGN2001

    HGN2001 Mystery picture member

    Too many favorites. I even like some things about the bad episodes!

    For example, everybody pretty much hates "Spock's Brain", but there are some nifty things to latch onto in that episode. Seeing the full bridge with Kirk walking past the viewscreen is a first in that episode. And as always, the colors are spectacular throughout the episode.
    Luke The Drifter and wayneklein like this.
  15. Daniel Plainview

    Daniel Plainview God's Lonely Man

    My three favorite episodes are:

    The Doomsday Machine
    Balance of Terror
  16. mdent

    mdent Forum Resident

    New England
    I've watched all the episodes multiple times!

    Three of my favorites:
    Mudd's Women
    Space Seed
    The Trouble with Tribbles
  17. Erik Tracy

    Erik Tracy Meet me at the Green Dragon for an ale

    San Diego, CA, USA
    Aside from City on the Edge of Forever, some of *my* favs are:
    * The Corbomite Maneuver (LOVE the scene where they are all under extreme stress at the countdown and Spock, Kirk, and McCoy have the chess vs poker exchange).

    * Conscience of the King; no space battles, but the dialog/story is strong.

    * Amok Time; the set colors are *amazing*, another strong 'holy trinity' episode
    Spencer R likes this.
  18. Heavy Music

    Heavy Music Forum Resident

    Plato's Stepchildren

  19. mBen989

    mBen989 Forum Resident

    Scranton, PA
    Shall we agree "Spock's Brain" is good for all the wrong reasons? ("What is brain?")
  20. Spencer R

    Spencer R Forum Resident

    Oxford, MS
    Metamorphosis is my favorite episode. The relationship between Cochrane and The Companion is a powerful allegory for interracial marriage, which was then a contemporary issue, or perhaps even looks ahead to the controversy over gay marriage. In a broader sense, the relationship between the human and the alien embodies perhaps Trek’s biggest theme, which is that the crew of the Enterprise and the Federation bring together people of all different backgrounds and races, and even an alien in Mr. Spock, and their ideals and common goals transcend their differences. There is a bit of a cop-out in the end, as the Conpanion inhabits the body of a beautiful human woman, so the “mixed-breed” nature of its and Cochrane’s relationship conveniently goes away, but there is at least an interesting twist in that this costs them the immortality that they had when the Companion was an energy being.

    It’s a also a visually beautiful episode, where the set designers make a virtue out of the necessity of having no money to build sets, but manage to make the stark, empty solid color backgrounds that they are forced to use interesting in their own right and evocative of an alien world. It’s a trick they pulled off again in the Old West episode and many others. Now in the movies and Star Trek Discovery they have all the CGI power in the world to make dazzling backdrops, but the people who worked on the original series somehow accomplished more with styrofoam rocks, plastic plants, and daring use of simple sets and bold colored lighting.

    I also love the episode in Season 3 where Spock and Kirk beam aboard the Romulan ship, and Wink of an Eye, where Kirk enters the world of the time-accelerated aliens. The Empath is another interesting episode that pushes the boundaries of what a TV show in the 60s could get away with, I suspect.
    Last edited: Nov 17, 2018
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  21. greelywinger

    greelywinger That T-Rex Guy

    Dayton, Ohio USA
    I must've seen every episode countless times. These are the ones that stand out in my memory.
    If I had to pick an episode to watch and thoroughly enjoy (these would be it).

    Season 1
    Balance of Terror
    The Squire of Gothos
    The Return of the Archons
    Space Seed
    The City on the Edge of Forever

    Season 2
    Amok Time
    Mirror, Mirror
    The Trouble with Tribbles
    A Piece of the Action
    By Any Other Name
    Bread and Circuses

    Season 3
    The Enterprise Incident
    For the World Is Hollow and I Have Touched the Sky
    Let That Be Your Last Battlefield
    Requiem for Methuselah
    All Our Yesterdays

  22. wayneklein

    wayneklein Forum Fool Thread Starter

    I know (and you probably do too given that you knew Harlan) that one of the biggest issues was the rewriting done by Roddenberry (although the scene that bothered him the most with the McCoy accidental injection was D.C. Fontana's) when Roddenberry had told him that Harlan could do his own rewriting. Roddenberry's assertion that Harlan had Scott selling drugs was completely wrong if you read Ellison's original script. The fact that there was some drug abuse on the Enterprise just offended Roddenberry's concept about how his crew didn't have major character flaws (OK, they occasionally argued and bickered but hey they loved each other). The episode IS a great episode which goes to show just how strong Harlan's original concept and writing was for the episode. It was displaced by "The Trouble with Tribbles" as the best episode (you could do much worse than being displaced by David Gerrold). I had the same reaction to "The City on the Edge of Forever" as a kid as well. I watched it again recently and it holds up amazingly well. Now "Turnabout Intruder" on the other hand smells as ripe as my son's dirty socks that sat in his backpack for a week. The third season had so many stinky episodes it wasn't even funny. It's amazing how the series could easily go from one extreme to another within a couple of seasons. I will give "Turnabout Inturder" (the misspelling wasn't an accident) it's due--it is funny as hell at times and Shatner seems like he's in a high school production of "A Few Good Men". He could give some nicely nuanced performances and go to the other extreme of swallowing the scenery whole. By contrast, his delivery of the last line in "City" is perfect.
    Vidiot likes this.
  23. wayneklein

    wayneklein Forum Fool Thread Starter

    It's right up there with "Turnabout Inturder" in hilarity. Perhaps we should call it "Spock's Bran" which leads to "Turnabout Inturder" in the end. A pity that "Mystery Science Theatre 3000" doesn't do TV shows.
    mBen989 likes this.
  24. Vidiot

    Vidiot Now in 4K HDR!

    Hollywood, USA
    Harlan told me (and many others over the years) that whenever he caught Roddenberry saying this at a convention or in an interview, he would fire off an angry letter to Gene and he would immediately apologize, admit that it was actually another crew member -- a new character -- who was selling the drugs aboard the Enterprise, and not Scotty. And then a few months later, Roddenberry would again tell somebody that the original script had "my Scotty selling drugs." But I think the Star Trek creator was upset at even the idea that somebody might be selling drugs at all on a spaceship 300 years from now (despite the fact that some Vietnam War soldiers were addicted to drugs overseas). I think the rewrite was better: that McCoy accidentally injected himself with a hypo of medicine intended for somebody else, and he got a massive overdose that made him crazy enough to beam down to the planet.

    Bob Justman has some good stories I had never seen before in his book Inside Star Trek, and he insists that if they had shot "City on the Edge of Forever" the way Harlan Ellison write it, it would've cost a million bucks. I don't think that's quite accurate, but it would've been much more costly than a regular episode (and maybe even run 90 minutes long). I think both the show and Harlan suffered from the author subsequently walking off and steadfastly refusing to ever work for Roddenberry again.
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  25. Scooterpiety

    Scooterpiety Current operator of the Freedonia peanut stand

    They always reminded me of fried eggs!
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