Here we are folks, the first installment of the year long Star Trek celebration. So, unless you didn’t see the itinerary in the intro post earlier this month, we’re looking at my favorite episodes from The Original Series.
10. The Tholian Web (Season 3) – Season three, the show’s final season, had a couple of bad episodes, not made better, when Gene Roddenberry role as showrunner was reduced, and was replaced with Fred Friedberger. But of those episodes, this was one of the better. The Enterprise is searching for it’s fellow sister ship, the Defiant, they come across the ship, but it turns out to be a trap set for by The Tholians. The landing party, lead by Kirk escape, save for Kirk himself. The episode continues years later in the Enterprise episode, “In a Mirror, Darkly”, but we’ll get to that.
9. Enemy Within (Season 1) – After an accident in the Transporter Room, the Transporter accidentally creates two Captain Kirk’s. One act like a normal person, while the other is pure evil. There’s not much to say about it, it’s nifty action, suspense, and William Shatner at his hammiest.
8. The Menagerie (Season 1) – In the shows first and only two-parter, we introduced (at the time of it’s airing at least) to the Enterprise’s preceding Captain, Christopher Pike. In the episode, Pike suffers severe injuries that not only leaves him paralyzed, but mute and has him inside a brain operated wheelchair, where he can only communicate through a blinking light (1 blink: yes, 2 blinks: no). Spock kidnaps Pike and sets the Enterprise on course to the forbidden planet, Talos IV, a planet he and Pike visited in the past. The episode uses footage from the original pilot episode, “The Cage”, which at the time was never seen on TV
7. Corbomite Maneuver (Season 1) – While not a very well known episode, but you may have seen this guy in the closing credits of almost every episode of TOS. The Enterprise comes across a powerful alien, they think he’s a stereotypical green alien, but he’s actually a little kid. That’s Clint Howard by the way as Balok. This episode also marks the first episode to feature DeForest Kelly, Nichelle Nichols, and the late Grace Lee Whitney as Bones, Uhura, and Janice Rand, respectively.
6. City On The Edge of Forever (Season 1) – If you never seen this episode, you may have heard it referenced on Animaniacs in their parody of Star Trek, referencing the ending of the episode, don’t worry, I won’t mention it here. So, it’s a time travel episode, where Kirk and Spock travel to 1930’s New York to find Dr. McCoy, who accidentally stumbles into a sentient time portal. This was written by Harlan Ellison, and is seems to be one of the more popular time travel episodes in The Original Series.
5. The Doomsday Machine (Season 2) – The Enterprise is investigating a solar system that was completely destroyed, save for it’s sun and a starship, the Constellation Most of the episode’s credit goes to it’s guest star William Windom, who gave an outstanding performance as Commodore Decker. OK, so I’ve been trying to avoid talking about the whole Remastered Series thing, since everyone has their opinions about the newly enhanced visuals. Personally, I liked the new visuals, they looked fantastic in this episode, and the additional effects were only minor.
4. Amok Time (Season 2) – Spock requests for time off after some uncharacteristic behavior on his part. He returns to Vulcan (against Kirk’s orders) to partake in a brutal, and unusual mating ritual with a woman he was betrothed to as a child. This episode several firsts, the first appearance of Pavel Chekov, first time DeForest Kelly’s name appears in the opening credits, and of course the first appearance of Spock’s homeworld, Vulcan. It was also the first time Star Trek aired on the Friday Night Death Slot, which would spell it’s eventual doom, in season 3. Also if you never seen the episode, you may have heard this music.
3. Balance of Terror (Season 1) – This episode deals with the franchise’s first contact with the Romulan Empire and the first exploration into the Romulan Neutral Zone. The episode also deals with Racism between a helmsman and Mr. Spock, and makes references to the ever-elusive Earth/Romulan War, a subject that has been alluded to for years, but nothing has ever come of it since, save for expanded universe stories, but those aren’t canon.
2. Mirror, Mirror (Season 2) – After attempting to negotiating with a race of aliens for Diithium, Kirk, Scotty, McCoy, and Uhura attempt to leave a planet in the middle of a freak ion storm, and are transported to an alternate reality where the crew of the Enterprise are evil, and the Federation is a ruthless empire. This was very well written, and features a great speech from Kirk to Mirror Spock, a speech so great, that it can’t be spoiled.
1. Space Seed (Season 1) – The Enterprise comes across a freighter from the 90s, the freighter contained 84 genetically-modified superpeople in suspended animation, one of whom would go on to the most famous villain in The Original Series, Khan Noonien Singh. This was originally planned as a cost-saving, bottle episode, and ended up going over budget, but despite that they managed to produce an amazing episode. And of course, this episode gets picked up in what many consider to be the best Star Trek movie, “The Wrath of Khan”.
The Galileo Seven (Season 1)
The Ultimate Computer (Season 2)
The Trouble With Tribbles (Season 2)
Let That Be Your Last Battlefield (Season 3)
Charlie X (Season 1)
And that was the first installment of the Year of Star Trek celebration, next month we’ll do another top 10, but for now, let’s celebrate the blog’s third anniversary (despite being late).