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Top 10 Episodes of Star Trek: The Original Series

Let’s face the facts. Lists of  the best episodes of television, movies, novels, Broadway musicals, burgers and fries- you name it- are completely subjective and irrelevant. Favorites, especially pop-culture favorites, are in constant states of fluctuation. Depending on the time of day or the mood one is in, a list of favorites may alter entirely. However, lists are fun and they do, at least for that particular moment, allow you to really decide, once and for…well, the time it takes you to create the list, what your favorites really are.

For those immune to Star Trek’s charms (and I understand that mindset, believe me), the original series must seem irredeemably hokey, hammily acted, and egregiously self-righteous. Centered around a crew of ethnically diverse space explorers (with one humanoid alien for good measure) and their attempts to explore the galaxy and…”boldly go” and all that, the series may seem hard to tolerate to the outside observer. Fans of the series, who treat it as some sort of sacred text and discuss it as though it’s Shakespeare or Chekhov (I know there’s a character named Chekhov on the show. That’s not who I’m talking about. Stick with me here), can stimulate resentment towards the series through no fault of its own. Sometimes, there’s nothing worse than sci-fi fans, and I say this as a sci-fi fan myself. We can be obnoxious and hideously socially inept.

However, that doesn’t mean the original Stark Trek series isn’t an incredibly smart, strong, if short-lived (it ran for three seasons, from 1966-1969), science fiction program. There are individuals who take it as a source of pride they have no familiarity with the Star Trek, which is unfortunate. The series is incredibly charming and remains incredibly well done for the time in which it was filmed.

If you have no interest in trying out a few episodes of Star Trek, there’s probably very little I can do to persuade you otherwise. However, with Star Trek: Into Darkness already out in the UK and opening in the US this week now’s as good a time as any to check out the original series.  I have compiled a list of ten episodes, ordered from my least favorite to “drop whatever it is you’re doing and see it now”, which are as good a place as any to start. You may as well watch it and see what has inspired so much obnoxiously obsessive devotion.

(Minimal spoilers present, though major spoilers are kept under wraps. Read at your own risk.)

10) All Our Yesterdays (Season 3)

ST I

There are those who would tell you to avoid the series’ problematic third season like a brutal, deadly plague that kills you slowly (and probably with boils and blinding torment), and there are very few episodes I can cite to contradict that viewpoint. However, the series penultimate episode emerges as one bright spot in a flawed, flawed, oh so flawed season.

Basically, the episode revolves around the Enterprise’s most popular trio, Captain Kirk, Vulcan science officer Spock, and ship doctor Leonard McCoy arriving on a planet, stepping through a portal, and being thrust back in time. Kirk’s medieval adventure is pretty subpar, but Spock’s and McCoy’s plot, which finds them in prehistoric times and Spock in love with Zarabeth, a young woman trapped there (who, despite the harsh snow, is scantily clad, for reasons I don’t fully understand), works beautifully. Because they are in prehistoric times, Spock’s emotional reserve begins to break down and he finds himself more prone to anger and romantically drawn to the Zarabeth.

The episode is not perfect. As I said, the plot line involving Captain Kirk and one of the worst female actors the show ever cast is pretty dull, but the plot with Spock and McCoy is pretty great. Of course, all three Enterprise crew members reunite and leave the planet before a supernova wipes it out and, of course, Spock reverts to his more familiar, emotionless, default setting, but an emotional Spock is always an interesting Spock. It’s nice to know that even as the series was uttering its final death rattles, it was still capable of producing thoughtful and lovely television moments.

Check out a trailer below:

9) Trouble with Tribbles (Season 2)

ST II

Humor is a notoriously mixed bag in the Star Trek universe. You may stumble across episodes featuring Harry Mudd as you peruse the original series’ back catalogue, for instance. I advise you to ignore these and move on quickly. However, feel free to stop and give “The Trouble with Tribbles” a shot. There is nothing even remotely high stakes going on in the episode. It mainly involves small, furry, purring balls of simulated fur animals that take the whole “be fruitful and multiply” thing waaay too seriously (yeah, there’s a plot involving poisoning a food supply and a Klingon secret agent, but that feels so perfunctory it barely warrants mentioning). It’s a pretty light episode, but the cast is more than game and acquaint themselves well with the comic material. I’ve probably watched this episode more than any other episode in the series. It’s a delightful hour of television.

Check out a trailer below:

8) Immunity Syndrome (Season 2)

ST III

This is an episode I rarely hear anyone discuss when best of Star Trek comes up in conversation. That’s a shame, because it’s awesome. Any episode that features the trio that is Spock, Kirk, and McCoy is already halfway to being great. Trios are difficult to pull off, and the original series created a likable, interesting, dynamic between these three characters. You have McCoy, who for a doctor seemed really unable to emotionally detach and really prone to angry outbursts, Spock, who was almost always emotionally detached and rarely prone to angry outbursts, and Kirk, the captain at the lead trying to establish a balance between the two. Conflicts frequently rose between the three that felt natural and interesting, but through their interactions it became obvious why Kirk would rely on them and need their friendships. They were the emotional extremes he needed to balance. McCoy was all emotion, Spock was all logic. Kirk’s job was to find a balance between the two, because somewhere between their two extremes existed the most successful leadership approach. The three of them complemented each other beautifully. This episode places a fair amount of its focus on their interactions and relationship, as well as the way in which they really do function as friends, regardless how often McCoy looks as though he really just wants to murder Spock on the spot.

Add in an energy-devouring alien amoeba presence and the scale tips into pure “fantastic” territory. It’s an exciting, cleverly constructed episode, complete with some nice character moments between the three central characters.

Check out a trailer below:

7) Doomsday Machine (Season 2)

ST X

This is another fantastically tense episode. A crazed commander, who has lost his entire crew to a planet-devouring alien and appears to be suffering severe emotional trauma as a result, takes control of the Enterprise and sends it plunging headlong towards a seemingly unkillable, alien, planet-eating machine (Don’t you hate it when that happens?).

The interesting aspect of the episode is the manner in which it goes out of its way to present Commander Matt Dekker as someone who has clearly taken leave of his senses (or they have taken leave of him. Either way), but not a villain. He’s traumatized and distraught, because his entire crew has been wiped out, but as an audience, we understand his trauma and feel a mixture of sympathy for his loss (after all, it’s hard to imagine Kirk taking the loss of his crew any better) and frustration because he cannot see the potential consequences of the cat-and-mouse game in which he engages. In the end, he loses his life to the creature, but he manages to give Kirk and the Enterprise the necessary knowledge to stop it. It’s a nice idea that the episode him allows to, unintentionally, die a heroic death and a smart, tense episode with terrific pacing.

Check out a trailer below:

6) Balance of Terror (Season 1)

ST IV

Basically functioning as a WW II submarine movie in space, “Balance of Terror” introduced us to the Romulans (think of Vulcans, only with emotions), one of the series most interesting villains. It also deals with the paranoid, destructive nature of prejudice, as it is discovered that Romulans look astonishingly like Vulcans. An Enterprise crew member begins to feel Spock may be concealing knowledge from the rest of the ship. Yet, it’s also pretty optimistic about the nature of prejudice in the future, since he seems to be the only crew member who suspects Spock of such a thing (an interesting assumption for a series set in an era of civil rights demonstrations and violent race riots). The episode also gives us a tense, battle of wills between between Kirk and the Romulan commander, who rightfully points out that under different circumstances, he could have been Kirk’s ally. The episode creates an interesting dynamic between two individuals, forced to engage in a battle when they would just as soon avoid conflict. It’s a smart, tense episode, with a villain far more complicated than one would expect from a 1960s sci-fi television series.

Check out a trailer below:

5) Devil in the Dark (Season 1)

ST VIII

Another episode in which all is not as it seems. An alien is wiping out workers on a mining colony, and the Enterprise crew is called in to destroy it, but who’s the real villain on the colony? Is it the alien or the out-for-vengeance miners?

One of the major themes of Star Trek was the concept of seeing new places and encountering new life forms (even if, as it does here, the new life form looks like an ugly carpet), and this episode conveys both the wonder of finding/understanding new life, as well as the potential for terror that can accompany such a discovery. There are some moments that border on the ridiculous (Spock’s mindmeld with what is clearly a shoddily produced stuffed animal, while shouting “PAIN” is pretty unintentionally hilarious, but full credit to Leonard Nimoy for really working hard to sell it.), but the episode’s twist on the nature of monsters in the dark, as well as the optimistic endinge, makes it a lovely episode.

Check out a trailer below:

4) Amok Time (Season 2)

ST VI

For all the talk about Spock being an alien, the series provided very little proof of what made him so different. Oh, don’t get me wrong. I know he’s got the pointed ears, the unflappable demeanor, the Vulcan mind meld, and the nerve pinch, but he seems, at least mostly, human. “Amok Time” reminds the viewer that there is more to Spock’s alien nature than meet the eye, and that lack of knowledge can make him both unpredictable and frightening. When he begins to unleash flashes of anger and aggressively demanding to be dropped off on his home planet, Vulcan, it’s cool and exciting, because it’s such a shift from the more familiar, typical Spock. What’s going on with Spock is tipped pretty quickly, but I went into the episode ignorant and that may be the best way to view it, so I’ll set specifics aside during this list. I’ll simply state that this episode gives one of the few glimpses into the workings of planet Vulcan, as well as a moment between Kirk and Spock at the episode’s conclusion that never fails to make me smile.

Check out a trailer below:

 3) Space Seed (Season 1)

ST V

Anyone with even a cursory knowledge of Star Trek can probably yell “KHAN” with mocking gusto. To many, it is the embodiment of everything that is so effortlessly mockable about William Shatner’s performance in the Star Trek universe. Well, you won’t find that iconic yell here, but you will meet the infamous Khan for the first time. He’s found, along with several other genetically enhanced individuals, on a drifting ship. Kirk, impressed with Khan’s mental prowess, completely lowers his guard and grants him an extreme amount of access to knowledge about the present and the Enterprise, and Khan uses that knowledge to take over the ship.

It’s nice for the series to introduce an adversary that is more than capable of matching wits with Kirk. There’s a point in which Kirk is only saved because a crew member who finds herself drawn to Khan still feels enough loyalty towards Kirk to help him out of a deadly situation. If not for her, he’s definitely dead. Ricardo Montalban, as the series most famous villain (though that is more connected to Wrath of Khan, far and away the best of the Star Trek movies, than this episode) makes for an appealingly icy, intelligent villain. If you’ve seen Wrath of Khan (and even casual fans usually have), this episode will add an extra layer to that film’s conflict and provide you with a sharp, effective backstory.

Check out a trailer below:

2) This Side of Paradise (Season 1)

ST IX

So, there are spores that keep people young forever and turn them into laid back, emotionally content beings. Well, the Enterprise crew will put a stop to that, won’t they? I’m only kidding. I’m sure there are reasons to justify leaving the immortality-granting pods behind. It’s just…I don’t know exactly what those reasons are.

The real reason I like this episode comes down to the relationship between Kirk and Spock. When Spock becomes infected with the spores, and finally seems peaceful and well-adjusted (for a change), Kirk takes it upon himself to “fix” him by making him the frustrated, conflicted, outsider he once was. Spock should probably just say, “don’t do me any favors,” but it’s to the show’s credit that Kirk’s plan to wipe out Spock’s emotional serenity seems as acceptable as it does. Kirk doesn’t approve of anything taking away a person’s choice, and the spores are, at the very least, doing that, even if the lack of choice seems a happier alternative to the free will Kirk offers. It’s an odd, more complicated episode that you would expect, because the episode itself questions whether or not everyone infected is really better off cured, especially Spock, who spends so much of the series as a frustrated outsider. Granted, the spore-shooting flowers look spectacularly fake, but who cares when the character drama is this strong?

Check out a trailer below:

 1) City on the Edge of Forever (Season 1)

ST VII

 (There will be spoilers below)

One of the assumptions of Star Trek is that the Enterprise crew will save the day. Granted a few “red shirts” we know nothing about and care for even less may fall during the battle, but everything will eventually be put right, and we as viewers will end the episode feeling comforted that all has been rectified. “City on the Edge of Forever” takes that idea and turns it on its ear.

After McCoy is infected with a powerful drug and runs into the 1930s era United States (There’s a bit more to the “how” of this than I’m giving you here, but it’s complicated and should probably just be seen, rather than explained.), and Spock and Kirk must journey after him. They arrive a few days before he will appear (wibbly wobbly, timey wimey), so must simply bide their time, wait for him to arrive, and try to get him back to the ship. However, while they are there, Kirk meets and falls in love with Edith Keeler (Kirk fell in love a lot on this show. He saw more action that most Studio 54 attendees.), a optimistic young woman, passionate about social causes and willing to give every down-on-his-luck individual a chance at earning his/her keep.

He then finds out that McCoy, when he arrives in the 1930s, will change history, saving Edith when she should have died, and leaving the world irrevocably altered. The answer is clear: Edith has to die.

Public perception of William Shatner’s acting on Star Trek is frequently based upon hammy line readings and strange, awkward, unnaturally placed pauses. There are certainly episodes in which those tendencies are, if slightly exaggerated for comedic effect in parody form, definitely present. Here, though, he’s fantastic. Playing both the lovesick romantic, and the devastated  wounded captain at the episode’s conclusion, he reminds the viewer how compelling he could be when he committed to the material. At the episode’s end, all he can say is, “let’s get the Hell out of here,” a rare moment of profanity in 1960s television. Granted, he’s over her loss by the next episode and she’s never mentioned again, but it’s still a strong, beautiful hour of television.

Check out a trailer below:

Star Trek is available to stream through Netflix and Amazon (free to prime members), and Hulu, as well as to purchase on DVD and Blu-ray.

Check Out Our Other Top 10 Lists for the Other Stark Trek TV Shows:

So, what do you think? Are you fans of these episodes? Are there others you think should be on the list? Did I make any mistakes in my plot synopsis (and if you caught them, what is wrong with you? You should really go outside, see the world, or even read a book.)? Let us know your thoughts in the comments!

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20 comments

  1. Back in 1991 during the 25th anniversary of the show, there were numerous lists and polls conducted of the “top 10” episodes. I recall reading that Roddenberry’s favorite was “Return of the Archons”. I also remember a televised countdown of the top ten viewers’ choice which was conducted, I believe, by one of the Trek magazines or fan clubs. Whichever it was, I recall the fans’ top ten list as follows:

    #10 A Piece of the Action
    #9 Balance of Terror
    #7 & #8 The Menagerie, parts 1 and 2
    #6 Space Seed
    #5 Mirror, Mirror
    #4 The Doomsday Machine
    #3 Amok Time
    #2 The City on the Edge of Forever
    #1 The Trouble With Tribbles

    Now, I agree with a lot of this list (mostly #1-#6) even if not necessarily in the same order. You may note that many of them are on your list as well. Interestingly, some of your alternatives are episodes that I’d swap in for a couple in that list, namely “Devil in the Dark”. “The Immunity Syndrome” (love the final comment about “You were so worried about his Vulcan eyes that you forgot about his Vulcan ears”) and “This Side of Paradise” are good too though I’m also partial to “The Galileo Seven” with the great tension created as Spock tries to apply logic to an illogical situation, then gives in to desperation at the end (but still won’t admit it to Kirk and McCoy).

    The episode on your list that I’d take issue with is “All Our Yesterdays”. As a representative of the third season, I feel that “The Enterprise Incident” is a better episode. True, it focuses more on story and less on character but it does show an interesting side of Spock we didn’t see elsewhere, namely his devotion to mission and ability to exagerrate the truth or mislead in the name of duty (ah, flash forward to his awesome comment to Saavik in The Wrath of Khan: “I exagerrated.”). Part of my dislike for AOY is that Spock’s regression into a pre-logical state doesn’t make sense. While they may be in the past, Spock himself is not a primitive Vulcan. When the crew traveled back in time in other episodes they didn’t change behavior, which is learned, after all. Spock is half-human and half-Vulcan but he chose to accept Vulcan culture as he and his mother made clear in “Journey to Babel” (she brings up the story of him coming home crying). So why this time? As they also weren’t processed for the time they were sent to, it would stand to reason that he would not have been adapted to match Vulcans of that era. He’d stand out like a logical sore thumb amidst the passionate Vulcans of that era, not begin acting like one of them. On a list of the top ten TOS episodes, this just doesn’t measure up. Note that I wouldn’t say that “The Enterprise Incident” does either; my top ten would consist entirely of episodes from the first two seasons.

    So, I’d probably list the following as my favorites:

    #10 “The Conscience of the King” – Star Trek is a part of our culture in so many ways, much like Shakespeare is as well. This story combines those two in a tale of revenge, regret, love and hate which no doubt played a role on my young mind and shaped my love of both. Kirk’s obsession with finding out the truth about Karidien and Spock and McCoy’s reactions to it show their friendship and their devotion to duty and one another and the way in which those elements could compliment and contradict one another. The tragedy of Kodos that plays itself out as the past comes back to haunt him and the blood thought wiped clean and kept away found itself once more on the hands of that which he sought to protect from it is truly a tragedy worthy of Shakespeare.

    #9 “Mirror, Mirror” – An episode which spawned four sequels in two different series (two each on DS9 and Enterprise), it’s a good episode that turns everything we know about the crew upside down and yet shows us the strengths of the characters we know even as they face a reality they don’t understand and definitely don’t fit int. Plus, it gave us a conniving (and scarred) Sulu, a traitorous Chekov and a bearded Spock who applies his cold logic in a truly cold manner! One question though, when they changed universes in the transporter, why did their clothes change?

    #8 “Journey to Babel” – Exploring more of Spock’s background, this episode also gave us more of a look at the Federation and a sense that there’s a wilder aspect to the galaxy than just the big governments of the Federation, Klingons and Romulans and assorted uncontacted planets out there (“Mudd’s Women” did this as well with the dilithium miners prospecting and Mudd essentially pimping mail-order brides). Spock’s torn allegiance between duty to Starfleet and his family as well as his strained relationship with his father provided a greater glimpse into what Vulcan family life is like. Anytime we got treated to the non-human aspects of Spock’s life it was a refreshing reminder that this was a more complex alien character than we’d ever seen on television (or the movies) before.

    #7 “Balance of Terror” – Besides introducing the Romulans, this is basically a submarine thriller set in space. Elevating it is the notion that duty and sacrifice are often senseless and cruel. Stiles’ bigotry also highlights the way in which we can become paranoid and see the enemy where none exists merely on the basis of our own narrowmindedness and unwillingness to let go of the past. Kirk’s comments to Bones on the burden of command are excellent as is McCoy’s reply. Mark Lenard’s performance as the Romulan commander is great and he creates a noble and honorable adversary with whom we sympathize

    #6 “Space Seed” – While 1996 has come and gone without a Eugenics War and Scotty’s comment about “bulky, I think they used to call them transistor units” date this episode, Khan is a great villain and, as you point out, it’s an excellent way of adding another dimension to viewing The Wrath of Khan (or vice versa, TWOK is a rare glimpse at how decisions we make can go horribly wrong and come back to haunt us).

    #5 “Amok Time” – Starting off season two with a bang, we finally got a look at Vulcan and a sense of what Vulcans really are about. Spock’s non-human side finally is front and center (aside from his usual logic) as is the friendship between Kirk, Spock and McCoy. And like you, Spock’s emotional outburst “that would have brought the house down” (as McCoy notes) still brings a huge smile to my face every time. 🙂

    #4 “Devil in the Dark” – A non-humanoid creature that defies the typical depiction of appearance (as Roddenberry once pointed out, “to be ugly is not necessarily to be evil”), it’s a story that turns the typical monster hunt on its head and sees the characters exhibit atypical yet admirable differences from the norm (the typically curious Spock insists Kirk kill the creature to save himself while the usually impetuous Kirk is hesitant and inclined to learn more about the Horta). McCoy even chimes in two of my favorite lines with “I’m a doctor, not a bricklayer” and “I beginning to think I can cure a rainy day!”

    #3 “The Doomsday Machine” – Combining a bit of Moby Dick and The Caine Mutiny (note the nod to it with Decker holding the data cards instead of Queeg’s ball bearings), it’s a tense and gripping story which even as a budget-saving episode (since aside from the planet killer visuals, no new sets were required) featuring a paper-mache funnel managed to provide an unparalled sense of awe and edge-of-your-seat drama. William Windom’s performance is also one of my favorite guest spots on the show.

    #2 “The Trouble With Tribbles” – The story is fun and showcases Shatner’s gift for humor along with presenting all of the supporting cast (except Takei who was off filming “The Green Berets” at the time) in a story that pulls off something few shows ever have, namely combining comedy, drama and science fiction without resorting to farce.

    #1 “The City on the Edge of Forever” – You summed it up well again including pointing out that Shatner can indeed act. Ellison’s script, in its original and adapted-by-Roddenberry forms, keeps the story and characters engaging in a way that few episodes of television have while providing momeents that are pure magic (Edith pointing out Kirk and Spock’s friendship, McCoy and Edith talking about where he is, Kirk and Edith talking about the stars). Of all of the 700+ hours of Star Trek, this is my favorite. I’ve seen it so many times that a couple years ago when my friend Anthony put in a random DVD, I knew the episode within the first half-second of the opening shot (“Impressive. Sad, but impressive,” he remarked).

    1. I watched “The Conscience of the King” and it’s one of the most Horrible episodes in the history of Star Trek. Kirk, man of action, takes a full 47.5 minutes to confront a mass murderer who killed in the coloney where he was a young boy. Not only that, Kirk starts hiding secrets from Spock, who starts sneaking around and spying on Kirk. Most of all, the epiiiissssoooooodddddeeeee dddddeeeevvvvveeeellllloooopppssssss vvvvvvvvveeeeeeeeerrrrrrrrrrryyyyyyyyy ssssssssslllllllllooooooowwwwwwwwllllllllyyyyyyy. NOT STAR TREK, imho.

  2. “The Galileo Seven”, “This Side of Paradise”, “The Immunity Syndrome”, “Obsession”, “Shore Leave”, “A Piece of the Action”, “The Menagerie, parts 1 and 2”, “Errand of Mercy” and “Operation: Annihilate!” would round out my top 20.

    Also note, that due to my failure to proofread I attributed McCoy’s line from “Operation: Annihilate!” to “The Immunity Syndrome” and edited out “You botched the acetylcholene test!” instead. Both are near-favorites for my top 10 and both have great lines regarding McCoy’s stubborn attempts to hide his respect for Spock.

    I need to re-read when I delete, cut and paste, and rearrange what I type to ensure I don’t do that again. My apologies for the error.

    1. Fair enough. As to your previous post, I take your point. I wanted to include one episode from season 3 on the list, basically because I felt like it, and I prefer this one to “The Enterprise Incident.” I was trying to make my list less spoilery than your’s, so I’ll go a step further and say the main thing that puts it on the list is this line: “Yes, it did happen. But that was 5,000 years ago. And she is dead now.” It’s one of my favorites in the series.
      You rchoices are good too, though I can take or leave “Conscience of the King” and I really don’t like “Journey to Babel,” but lists are subjective by their very nature. So, to each his own.

      1. Well, I put them on the list for the sake of feeling that they represent aspects of Star Trek that are essential, interesting and well done. I personally enjoy “Shore Leave” and “The Galileo Seven” more than “The Conscience of the King” or “Journey to Babel”. “Shore Leave” has good touches of humor that make me smile and that epic (I hate that word and rarely use it but this is one of the longest fights in television history so it probably applies) fight between Kirk and Finnegan is one for the record books (I hated Finnegan growing up and rejoiced every time Kirk finally kicked his butt). “The Galileo Seven”, with the conflict between the characters and Spock’s attempts to logically solve problems in an illogical situation always kept me riveted. Plus, the creatures were scary as they pounded on the shuttle and stalked crewmen in the mist, at least it was scary to me when I was young. 🙂

        Another third season episode that I would consider is “Spectre of the Gun” with the surrealism of the sets (half-constructed both as a budget-saving measure and as a plot point that the Melkots were drawing only superficial details from Kirk’s memory to create their illusion) plus the sense of urgency as time ticked down and the crew faced a seemingly inescapable fate elevated the episode.

  3. I have been reading top ten original series episodes for an hour now and why in iowa is Arena (with the gorn ) never listed? Come on ! It is classical Greek tragedy with 3 acts – the initial confrontation at the colony site and the chase scene, the Metron intervention and Kirk versus the Gorn on the mineral laden planet and that line from Spock (If he has the time, Doctor, IF he has the time) and the finale with the 1000 year old/young Metron appearing and telling Kirk that we humans are a promising species. This episode HAS to be a top 10. It has everything.Even my Latin/Greek students love this episode (when I am absent due to illness) and they get to watch it after their translation work. Face it – if modern day 15 -17 year olds think this episode (which is 45 + years old and they don’t even know Star Trek Original Series ) is awesome then it has to be a top ten. I am not wrong on this…..

  4. The Trouble with Tribbles over The Enterprise Incident? Hmmmmmmmm. Your blog, your list.

    COMMANDER: You realise that very soon we will learn to penetrate the cloaking device you stole.
    SPOCK: Obviously. Military secrets are the most fleeting of all. I hope that you and I exchanged something more permanent.
    COMMANDER: It was your choice.
    SPOCK: It was the only choice possible. You would not respect any other.
    COMMANDER: It will be our secret.

    Wow! Great stuff! Thanks so much for encouraging people to see the depth in the original series!

  5. One episode comes to mind: The Alternative Factor. Im suprised nobody else thought this episode was worth mentioning. Even though it didnt happen, everything almost blew up. Literally Everything. Hardly a mundane episode in my opinion, but thats just me.

  6. City on the edge of forever was definitely the best storyline premise but I always thought the principal acting in this episode was rather weak. Shatner and Nimoy gamely trying to look remotely interested in portraying characters from the future in 1930’s America and failing, while Joan Collins was remarkably wooden and really looked out of place in the story. She just looks so unreal.

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