Star Trek: The Original Series – Top 10 of Season 1
Star Trek The Original Series focuses on the adventures of Captain James T. Kirk & the U.S.S Enterprise, a interstellar spacecraft from Earth’s Starfleet Command. The 5 year mission of the Enterprise is “to explore strange new worlds, to seek out new life and new civilizations, to boldly go where no man has gone before.”
This has been a great time watching the first season of the original series(TOS)! When I was younger I remember my parents watching The Next Generation(TNG), and I remembered the 2009 one being good. However with the release of Into Darkness. I decided to re-watch Star Trek (2009) and then see Into Darkness, and boy did I become obsessed. Since the moment I left the theater that day; My mind has been nothing but Star Trek. I was craving more of what I witnessed in those two movies, so the decision to watch the original series was an obvious one. I can say that when I watched the first 3 episodes I was slightly put off. My expectations were indeed through the roof, but it was just taking a moment for the show to get into the flow of things and because I already knew TNG was great. However episode 4 The Naked Time reeled me in and I’ve been watching Star Trek religiously ever since. It is a great show, with some thought provoking episodes. A lot of people look at me like I’m crazy since I hold this show up so highly and well the episodes my be pretty crazy in terms of the stories, but it doesn’t undermine the brilliancy of the creator Gene Roddenberry. His vision for the future was just on another level. When the future is spoken about today, I always here negativity. It was great to see a positive outlook. Watching this show makes me sad that I’ll never live to see the day of possible travels through the universe exploring strange new worlds, and seeking out new life and civilizations. So i’ll just keep living in fantasy with all these episodes and my imagination. I also wrote a post on Misconceptions of Star Trek
Well here are my 10 favorite episodes from the original series.
10- A Taste of Armageddon
Kirk and Spock must save their ship’s crew when they are declared all killed in action in a bizarre computer simulated war where the actual deaths must occur to continue.
This was a pretty cool episode. It was interesting to hear the thoughts given about war, and how the computer simulated wars were to preserve the civilization, even though many people were sent to disintegration chambers. Scottie also gave an awesome performance in command.
“Death, destruction, disease, horror. That’s what war is all about, Anan. That’s what makes it a thing to be avoided.”
9 – Dagger of Mind
IMDb – “Kirk and psychiatrist Helen Noel are trapped on a maximum security penal colony that experiments with mind control and Spock must use the Vulcan mind-meld to find a way to save them.”
This was a good episode. I loved the whole mystery behind the penal colony before they ended going down there. Kirk has his mind set on the fact the penal colony is a great place for the sick minds, while Spock and McCoy speculate otherwise.
“Interesting. You Earth people glorify organized violence for 40 centuries, but you imprison those who employ it privately.”
8- Court Martial
Kirk draws a court martial for negligence after the death of a crewman during an ion strorm. Kirk believes that his actions were correct but the strong evidence pitted against him said otherwise.
This was great episode! I could not predict what was going to happen next. All the talk about Machines being held above the rights of humans just made me think of how in the present day we have all these machines that dictate our lives. We use them to spy on people, store information, and attempts to make robots. It’s just so cool that this episode is sort of a prelude to the future. Genius from Roddenberry once again.
“A hundred decisions a day, hundreds of lives, staked on you making every one of them right. You’re played out, Jim. Exhausted.”
7 – Operation Annihilate
IMDb – “The Enterprise crew attempts to stop a plague of amoeba-like creatures from possessing human hosts and spreading throughout the galaxy.”
This is the last episode of season 1. This episode left me craving more and more Star Trek. There was a lot risk at hand in this episode that left Kirk in a position to make life or death decisions involving the lives of his nephew, Spock, and a whole civilization. I was completely stuck on how they would make it out this. Good way to end the season on a high.
“Captain’s log, stardate 3289.8. I am faced with the most difficult decision of my life. Unless we find a way to destroy the creatures without killing their human hosts, my command responsibilities will force me to kill over a million people.”
6 – Space Seed
IGN – “The Enterprise comes across the derelict vessel Botany Bay adrift in space, and Kirk awakens its crew from suspended animation in order to prevent their deaths. Bad idea. It turns out they are genetically-enhanced supermen from the Eugenics Wars of the 1990s (remember them?) led by Khan Noonien Singh”
This is arguably the most famous Star Trek episode for many reasons but mainly because this led to Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan. Ricardo Montalban made a guest appearance as Khan. Now I have not seen the movie yet (though I have seen Into Darkness), but I loved Montalban’s menacing performance. I was on the edge of my seat waiting for Khan to just completely man handle the whole crew. Khan was intelligent and to learn of his background and his reasons for his behavior made it all the more interesting. This may have been the only episode in season with such a single predominate figure as the villain. This may be pushed to 4 after I see The Wrath of Khan.
“The battle begins again, only this time it’s not a world we win. It’s a universe.”
5 – The Enemy Within
IMDb – “A transporter malfunction splits Captain Kirk into two halves: one meek and indecisive, the other violent and ill tempered. The remaining crew members stranded on the planet cannot be beamed up to the ship until a the problem is fixed.
Shatner gave a great performance in the contrasting roles of “Good” Kirk and “Evil” Kirk. I loved the whole idea that you need both of these within onself to exist properly. There was some great dialouge between Kirk and Spock, and some interesting choices from Evil Kirk.
“You can’t afford the luxury of being anything less than perfect. If you do, they lose faith and you lose command.”
4 – Tomorrow Is Yesterday
The Enterprise is accidentally thrown back in time to 1960s Earth. Upon their arrival, USAF Captain John Christopher spots them in the sky. In the light of this sighting his ship becomes damaged and the Enterprise rescue him, and must return back to present day all while trying to remove Captain Christophers knowledge of the Enterprise.
Yeaaaahuh! Another time travel episode. While writing this I learned this episode was originally going to be the second part of The Naked Time, but ended up becoming it’s on stand alone episode. The prospect of that is mouth-watering but i’m content with how things worked. It was nice to see the Enterprise on earth for the first time, even though it was back in the past. This is a great episode; loved the story. I can’t remember the dialogue too well (it’s been a while) but I enjoyed how they had to figure out how to make it back to the future, but return the USAF Captain without him remembering. Few chuckles in this episode too!
“Maybe I can’t go home, but neither can you. You’re as much a prisoner in time as I am.”
3 – The Naked Time
IGN – “When the crew becomes contaminated with the Psi 2000 virus, their inner-selves begin to reveal themselves through acts of uninhibited emotion: Spock’s half-breed identity crisis, Sulu’s secret swashbuckler, Kirk’s love of his ship over all else, and so on. Meanwhile, the Enterprise becomes locked in a death-spiral heading for a planet’s surface. Can the drunken crew of the Enterprise save themselves in time?”
This is episode 4 of the season and officially the episode that completely caught my interest in the series. The first 3 episodes were alright… They did not seem to have gotten into the flow of things quite yet, however in this episode the crew starts to reveal themselves. The contamination would spread from one person to another and each person had all these weird hidden emotions. It is one of my favorites for this reason. This episode is a great way to learn the characters. A lot of great dialogue that was just music to my ears. If that’s what you are into than I definitely recommend, and if not this episode is very entertaining as well!
“What are we doing out here in space. Good? What good? We’re polluting it; Destroying it. We’ve got no business out here.”
2- Errand of Mercy
IMDb – “With a war with Klingons raging, Kirk and Spock attempt to resist an occupation of a planet with incomprehensibly placid natives.”
On the brink of a war with the Klingons the federation must go to Organia to explain to the Organians the posing threat the Klingons have on their planet. Strangely though the Organians claim they have nothing to worry about. This causes time to be wasted and Spock and Kirk are stuck on the planet with a ton of Klingons establishing control. This was the best representation of Star Trek for season 1. This had a little bit of everything from the entire season. This is also the introduction of the Klingons. The make up was a little poor for them but it was good enough to understand based on how militant they were. This episode was very exciting with the fighting, special effects, and good banter between Kirk and Spock. The mystery behind the Organians refusel to see threat in Klingon occupation was perplexing. The ending of this episode will leave you shocked.
“Mr. Spock and I are gonna go out there and quite probably die in an attempt to show you that there are some things worth dying for.”
1 – The City on the Edge of Forever
IGN – “Kirk, Spock and McCoy wind up in Depression-era New York, where they meet the lovely and kind-hearted missionary worker Edith Keeler (Joan Collins). Kirk, of course, falls in love with her, but time travel being what it is, he learns that their very presence in the past as led to their entire future being wiped from existence” and to fix time the price to do so is high.
This was a difficult choice! I would say Errand of Mercy was a great episode, but the story behind The City on the Edge of Forever was master class. I find myself in love with all the episodes that involve time travel. The story told was beautiful, and to sum it up.
McCoy accidentally pumped an extreme amount of cortisone into him, causing him to go into a frenzy and flee the ship. Kirk and Spock follow him to the planet and discover a time portal that can send you back to anytime, but they fail in stopping McCoy from jumping through it and altering Earth’s history completely eliminating the existence of the Enterprise. They must try and land in the same era McCoy landed in. The level of uncertainty is extremely high in this episode.
This was a sad episode with probably the best ending of any Trek episode I’ve seen. I was thinking long after this episode about decisions and life in general. I highly recommend you watch this episode if you have already seen some episodes of Star Trek it will make it all the more better. For example watching The Naked Time and Errand of Mercy then finally The City on the Edge of Forever, I’m sure you will fall in love with this episode.
“He knows, Doctor. He knows.”
Also an honorable mention to – Balance of Terror, This Side of Paradise, and The Menagerie Part 1 & 2
( I haven’t watched The Galileo Seven, The Squire of Gothos, and Arena yet. I was too eager to see Court Martial & Tomorrow is Yesterday so I skipped them haha.)