Let’s get the hell out of here
For clarification: does
mean that it’s ok to post spoilers openly, or that spoiler tags should be used?
I’d say openly. To be fair we’ve prob seen them all before. Twice. At least.
Feel free to spoil away. The warning is in the title for the unwary.
Anyone who has got this far and has ignored the warning can’t complain too much about spoiling an episode of a TV show that was first broadcast 50 years ago.
Then I’ll only complain a little.
What are the 3 best episodes from each season of each series (except Voyager and Enterprise :P) that everyone MUST have seen?
Edited to add episode descriptions
TOS series 1:
Balance of Terror (Enterprise vs Romulan Bird of Prey, basically submarine thriller)
Devil in the Dark (The Horta, Bones says "I’m a doctor, not a bricklayer)
The City on the Edge of Forever (Kirk and Spock travel back in time, Kirk falls in love with Joan Collins)
TOS series 2:
Amok Time (Spock enters Pon Farr, he and Kirk fight)
Mirror Mirror (Alternate universe, evil goatee Spock)
and there’s a lot of options for the third one, so let’s say The Trouble with Tribbles
TOS series 3:
The Enterprise Incident (Kirk disguises himself as a Romulan to steal a cloaking device)
Let That Be Your Last Battlefield (Black/White aliens hate each other)
Not sure for a third one. Maybe Day of the Dove (Kirk and Klingons are coerced to fight by alien who feeds on rage), or The Tholian Web (Enterprise trapped in space net)?
If anyone suggests Spock’s Brain or Elan of Troius, I think we can agree that they should be banned
I saw the Cage before I saw the Menagerie. Poor old Captain Pike…
Edited to add episode descriptions
TNG series 1:
The Battle (A Ferengi captain gifts Picard’s old ship to him as a trap)
Conspiracy (Mind control bugs try to take over the Federation)
The Neutral Zone (frozen 21st century humans found and thawed out during the first contact with the Romulans in 50 years. Also, the first hints of the Borg)
(though in all honesty, I’d prefer to take no choices from series 1 and redistribute those to later years)
The Measure of a Man (Picard and Riker find themselves on opposide sides of a case establishing if Data is sentient or not)
Q Who (Q sends the Enterprise to the Delta Quadrant where they get attacked by the Borg)
Peak Performance (Ferengi gatecrash a Wargame between Enterprise and an old jury-rigged ship commanded by Riker)
Deja Q (Q has his powers stripped and decides to join the Enterprise’s crew)
Yesterday’s Enterprise (The Enterprise C accidentally travels into the present during its final battle, changing the course of history)
The Most Toys (Data is abducted by
one annoying Star Trek Fan a man obsessed with owning unique items)
(I’m going to put in as a separate choice between series 3 and 4 for Best of Both Worlds I and II and Family)
Brothers (Dr. Soong summons Data home to give him an emotion chip, but Lore also shows up)
Final Mission (Picard and Wesley get stuck on a desert planet during Wesley’s last misison before leaving for Starfleet Academy)
The Wounded (O’Brien’s old CO from the Cardassian War goes rogue, and the Enterprise has to hunt him down)
Darmok (Picard must communicate with an alien who speaks in metaphor)
I, Borg (The Enterprise encounters a lone Borg and must decide whether to use it as a weapon to destroy the Collective)
The Inner Light (An alien probe from a dying world beams the memories of of one member of its race into Picard’s mind)
Chain of Command I and II (Picard gets captured on a covert mission while Riker clashes with Dick Jones from Robocop)
Tapestry (Picard is critically injured and Q brings him back to a critical moment in his youth and gives him a chance to change things)
Frame of Mind (Riker is performing in a play where he’s being interrogated. Or he’s actually being interrogated. Or maybe he’s in an asylum?)
The Pegasus (Riker’s former CO enlists the Enterprise to retrieve a classifed item from their last mission together, which opens a whole can of worms)
Lower Decks (A group of four ensigns are contrasted against the command staff)
Parallels (Worf keeps hopping between alternate universes)
Battle Lines (A runabout carrying Bajor’s religious leader crashes on a planet trapped in perpetual war)
Duet (A Cardassian arrives at the station who may or may not be a war criminal, Kira investigates)
In the Hands of the Prophets (manipulation abounds during the election for a new Bajoran religious leader)
The Maquis I and II (Sisko must deal with Federation colonists who begin fighting the Cardassians in the new demilitarised zone)
The Wire (Bashir tries to help Garak when an Obsidian Order implant in his brain starts to deteriorate)
The Jem’Hadar (Sisko, Quark, Jake and Rom first encounter the Dominion’s army on a camping trip in the Gamma Quadrant)
Defiant (Riker arrives on the station, abducts Kira and steals the Defiant)
Improbable Cause/The Die is Cast(The Obsidian Order and Tal’Shiar lead a mission to the Gamma Quadrant to destroy the Founders. Garak is givein a chance to return home, but must torture Odo to do so)
The Adversary (Sisko is promoted to Captain and a Changeling sabotages the Defiant)
Series 4: (this took me almost an hour to pick 3 episodes, more than TOS and TNG combined. I fully expect other people to have wildly different choices, DS9 series 4 is that good)
The Visitor (an aged Jake Sisko tells the story of his life after his father disappeared)
Hard Time (O’Brien is convicted of espionage and has the memories of 20 years in prison implanted in his head.)
The Quickening (Bashir attempts to cure a plague the Dominion have used to punish a rebellious world)
Trials and Tribble-ations (DS9’s 30th anniversary episode. The Defiant is sent back in time to the TOS episode The Troubles with Tribbles. The DS9 crew interact with the Enterprise crew, and Sisko must find an exploding Tribble before it’s used to kill Kirk. Seriously)
Rapture (Sisko finds an ancient city on Bajor and begins to see visions that tell him Bajor must not join the Federation. Also, the First Contact uniforms make their debut)
In Purgatory’s Shadow/By Inferno’s Light (Worf and Garak travel to the Delta Quadrant after Garak recieves a transmission from his old mentor, believed killed in the failed assault on the Dominion homeworld. At the same time, a massive Dominion fleet is spotted heading towards the wormhole)
Waltz (Sisko and Dukat are trapped on a desolate planet together, wyhile Dukat falls further into the psychosis that begun during the Federation’s recapture of DS9)
Far Beyond the Stars (Sisko finds himself living the life of a black SF writer in the 1930s, trying to write stories abut Deep Space Nine, but the racism of the era blocks his opportunities)
In the Pale Moonlight (Sisko enlists Garak to help bring the Romulans into the war on the Federation’s side)
Treachery, Faith and the Great River (A Weyoun clone tries to defect to the Federation, leading he and Odo to be hunted by the Jem’Hadar. Meanwhile O’Brien and Nog do some horse trading to find a part for the Defiant)
Chimera (Odo encounters another changeling who was sent out but never rejoined the Great Link. their meeting leaves him conflicted about life with Solids vs rejoining the Link)
What you Leave Behind (The Dominion War reaches its climax, but Sisko’s final challenge awaits him on Bajor, and the crew of DS9 prpare to go their separate ways)
I haven’t watched a lot of DS9 other than series 6 and 7 (a buddy told me to start there), but those episodes are absolutely superb.
I might have picked The Siege of A558 in Season 7. It’s about as dark as Star Trek has ever got…Into Darkness is a like a kid’s cartoon in comparison.
I’d recommend anyone on the shelf to start with series 4, which is arguably called the single best year of Star Trek episodes ever.
I was humming and Hawing about the Siege of AR-558 all right. It’s got some great moments, and lead to one of the better Vic Fontaine episodes (It’s Only a Paper Moon, in which Nog retreats into Vic’s Holosuite program while convalescing from his injuries). It was amusing to see Bill Mumy show up on the other space station show, and the final battle scene is quite effecting in a Western kinda way.
I think for me it was Tucco out of Breaking Bad being one of the Starfleet troops stationed on the planet. There was a real sense of desperation and that the happy, IDIC, thing might work on board a shiny starship but not here. I also liked that the main cast members beamed down weren’t the fighters. They were the people for whom this was going to be a challenge.
I will take a look at Season 4 then and work forward. Thanks Lorcan.
Having just finished Balance of Terror, are we sure three episodes per season is enough?
It made me want to inject every episode ever made straight into my veins.
It’s a good one isn’t? I love how Kirk is so uncertain in that episode. He’s at risk of bringing the Federation to war…(edited to say bringing the Federation to war instead of to work)
I don’t normally notice the lighting, but the lighting on Kirk in that episode really helped to sell his mood.
I am liking the choices so far. DS9 was my favourite series due to it being serialised rather than returning to the status quo at the end of every episode. I’m also a fan of the novels that picked up after the show was finished. It seems that most of my suggestions have already been made. I agree the Siege of A558 should be included. One episode I liked which wasn’t on the last was ‘For the Uniform’ where DS9 have to deal with a traitor and we see an Excelsior Class ship in the 24th century. However people would likely need to watch most of the season to understand the back story. I’d also suggest ‘Little Green Men’ where Quark and Nom accidently crash in Roswell in the 50s.
If we were to brave Voyager then my suggestions would be:
Futures End Parts 1 and 2 - A 20th century Earth businessmen is exploiting 29th Century technology from a crashed timeship and the crew need to stop him.(A very Khanless 20th Century I might add).
Flashback - Tuvok has a trip and memories return of his time working on the Excelsior under Captain Hikaru Sulu.
Relativity - Seven is recruited by a timeship to return to Voyager pre-launch to prevent it from being destroyed.
Equinox Parts 1 and 2 - The crew encounter another Federation ship in the Delta Quadrant that’s gone to extreme measures to speed up their journey home.
Message in a Bottle - The Doctor is transmitted via an alien satellite network to a Starfleet ship at the edge of the Delta Quadrant and finds himself in the middle of a hijack with only a newer model EMH for back-up.
Pathfinder - Lieutenant Reginald Barclay is working at Starfleet HQ on the Pathfinder project. He has become a recluse, living in a simulation of Voyager and her crew. He believes he has found a way to communicate them but needs to convince Admiral Paris.
If we were to brave Enterprise my only suggestion would be:
In a Mirror Darkly - Set entirely in the Mirror Universe the I.S.S Enterprise crew discover the U.S.S. Defiant from TOS episode ‘The Tholians Web’ and then a power struggle ensues.
I will try and watch Balance of Terror at some point this week.
Oh, those lists were only my recomendations, please feel free to make a full list of your own.
For the Uniform and Little Green Men were high on my list of considerations. For the former I felt it was lacking because we hadn’t seen Eddington since he left DS9, but suddenly Sisko is hell-bent on catching him. It would have worked a lot better if there’d been an episode or two with them facing off in between the two.
@SimonJones and I have discussed the “Series 8” novels a couple of times in the past, so you’re in good company on that one too!
I finished The Enemy Within last night which had a few good moments but overall I found it really dull.
“I want to live!!!” Is still an exceptional scene though and there was a couple of other pretty strong moments involving Shatner.
I rather enjoyed Mudd’s Women, I remember it from years ago but I couldn’t remember what happened and it kept me guessing right to the end as to where it was going. The guy playing Harry Mudd was great and his totally over the top pantomime performance was a big factor in my enjoyment of the episode. Funny that it’s the lowest rated on IMDB from what I’ve watched so far.
If I don’t get to Balance of Terror by the weekend I’ll stick it on out of order.
The destruction of the USS Kelvin in 2009’s Star Trek deprived James T. Kirk (Chris Pine) of his father, but the cataclysmic event had even farther-reaching consequences. It helped create the alternate reality in which J.J. Abrams and Justin Lin have carte blanche to muck about with the space-time continuity as part of the newly established Kelvin timeline. These deviations are far from the first or only ones in the franchise. The shows and the Prime timeline films also saw plenty of alterations to the fabric of reality, which we’ve enumerated ahead of the release of Star Trek Beyond, which hits theaters July 22.
I’d bring the Federation to work if I could. Maybe I could do a Star Trek themed night. Do 18-25 year olds like Star Trek? I’m so detached from my audience, all I know is that the crapper the music, the more they seem to like it.
Anyway, yes, I haven’t watched Balance Of Terror in around eight or nine years and had forgotten just how engaging it was. The ‘shushh. lets all be quiet in space in case they hear us’ parts still annoy me, it pushes the destroyer/submarine metaphor just a little too far, but that’s always been my only real qualm with this episode.
I picked up on the lighting, too. It’s very in your face in this episode, especially when used on Kirk and works really well. Nimoy is fantastic, especially in his reactions, and Spock is wonderfully used, especially when he agrees that attacking is the best course, when you expect his to be the voice vying for peaceful resolution.
There’s very much an ‘I, Claudius’ tone to the Romulan scenes which helps the episode as it’s genuinely well written. If it wasn’t those scenes could have been a real mess. It’s easy to see why they ended up bringing Lenard back again to play a different character, he’s excellent.
I loved how Kirk just outs bigotry right on the bridge in front of everyone, what a legend.
Also, Yeoman Rand does some serious creeping in this episode.