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What's your favorite Star Trek episode?

The success of the latest Star Trek film has generated a renewed interest in the TV show. So we thought it would be fun to revisit a popular TechRepublic discussion in which a member asks: What's your favorite Star Trek episode?
The success of the latest Star Trek film seems to have generated a renewed interest in the TV show. So I thought it would be fun to revisit a popular discussion started in 2006 by TechRepublic member ProtiusX, who asked the community to name their favorite Star Trek episode. ProtiusX writes:

"I personally have many favorites but I think it has to be a draw between the episode where the spirit of Jack the Ripper is let loose on the Enterprise or when Kirk is forced as a thrall to fight in a death match and train with a hot chick in a shiny metallic costume and to much make up."

There are currently 272 posts in the discussion. Here's a sampling of excerpts from some of the comments:

Rob Groh: "Spock's Brain -- That has to be the most memorable of the cheesiest episodes. Synopsis: Spock's brain has been surgically removed by a woman from a race of women who couldn't figure their way out of a VB program."

DMambo (who also inquired about the difference between Trekkers and Trekkies): "I loved the one where Kirk and the gang went to the society that built their culture around a book detailing Chicago in the Roaring 20's.Kirk saying "I'm callin' you a penny-ante operator" could have only been pulled off by someone with the consummate acting skills of Mr. Wm. Shatner."

mmoran: "Squire of Gothos. Very hard to pick a once-and-for-all favorite, but I've always wondered if Trelane might have been our first glimpse (in ‘adolescent' form) of Next Generation's "Q".... ;>)"

tibor_2000: "I,ve been a Star Trek fan of the origional episodes since it aired on tv in the mid to late 60's. My two favorite episodes would be ‘City on the Edge of Forever & ‘Mirror,Mirror'. I am a retired actor now but had the pleasure of working with William Shatner as his standin in the tv movie thriller ‘The Baby Sitter.'"

NickNielsen: "The Trouble with Tribbles Followed closely by 'I, Mudd.' The cast dynamics always made for great slapstick."

So, what's your favorite Star Trek episode? After you post your answer, you might enjoy reading Jay Garmon's examination of when Star Trek jumped the shark.

About

Mary Weilage is a Senior Editor for CBS Interactive. She has worked for TechRepublic since 1999.

123 comments
rucb_alum
rucb_alum

Which is how my four-year old son described Amok Time.

harleymonk
harleymonk

As others have mentioned, I find it hard to choose: so many were excellent. That said, four favorites are the (1) "The Menagerie", which incorporated almost the entire never shown pilot "The Cage"; (2) "The Corbomite Maneuver"; (3) "Who Mourns for Adonais"; and (4) "Space Seed." For me, all of these were poignant (as were so many episodes) and superbly acted. Of course, Ricardo Montalban was magnificent as Khan, as he was in "Star Trek II, The Wrath of Khan."

rucb_alum
rucb_alum

As my then six year-old put it. He meant "Amok Time" but hadn't yet watched enough episodes to know that at least half of them had a fight. ST:TOS may only have broadcast 79 new episodes but through the 70s here in the NY Metro area WPIX ran them over and over (and over) so you got to see each one four times per year. As a result they are all now faves and I could probably tell which episode I am watching from a glimpse.

xcav8r369
xcav8r369

I only remember it from when I was really little. The Aliens called humans "Ugly Bags of Mostly water". I cannot remember anything else, but that is stuck in my brain. halp? Thx

CharlieSpencer
CharlieSpencer

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Home_Soil You have no idea how depressing it is to read 'when I was really little' and have it turn out the poster is discussing a 'Next Gen' episode and not the original series. :D :( :D

xcav8r369
xcav8r369

I have no use for anything but the original. "Ugly Bags of Mostly Water" is what the aliens called the humans.

rucb_alum
rucb_alum

There was no 'ugly bags of mostly water' quote in any TOS episode. You are recalling a Next Generation episode. My wife and I use it to refer (lovingly) to each other all the time.

BigFrankinDallas
BigFrankinDallas

The City, was the essence of Trek. Doing what's right no matter. The dangers of OD'ing on drugs even! Arena was pure right and wrong, you rooted for Kirk but then find out The Federation may have been in the wrong. Then to top it all off, an advanced species tells Kirk we may be ready, "In a thousand years or so..." Spectacular!

rmagahiz
rmagahiz

Picard's brain is hijacked by an alien probe and lives an entire lifetime in four acts. And learns to play the pennywhistle.

DukeCylk
DukeCylk

This is an awesome episode, has a very tranquil and harmless feel to it in retrospect....it is probably not a totally original concept, but the actors and writers once again as an ensemblem produced a great bit of entertainment.

Roc Riz
Roc Riz

Strange how things like that work! I loved that episode.

staffordd
staffordd

And if you go back about 80 - 100 posts, you'll see where a few of us already brought up the amazing INNER LIGHT... d.

jcommunications
jcommunications

The one where Kirk battles the Gorn. I had the little Star Trek Action figures when I was a kid (the ones that looked like Ken dolls) and The Gorn was the only bad guy I had.

dpresley_50201
dpresley_50201

"The Trouble With Tribbles" closely followed by "I, Mudd." those two episodes are the two all-time most popular from the original series. None of the series following the original had an episode that were as delightful to watch.

NEWdeep
NEWdeep

the one in which when being beamed back to the ship, kirk's entity breaks into two - a bad kirk and a good kirk -- which by themselves are weak and will die unless reunited

jacob0329
jacob0329

Tragic Commodore Decker. Kirk: "There is no third planet." Decker, anguished, "Don't you think I KNOW THAT?" Come on. That music. The menace of the thing. That 2 minute long 30 seconds (yes I timed it) before the Constellation blows up and Scotty just barely pulls Kirk off it. Shatner looking at his imminent death and snarling/pleading into the communicator "Gentlemen... Beam. Me. Aboard!" This is my favorite episode.

pyrrhus62
pyrrhus62

"The Way to Eden", hands down. Star Trek with HIPPIES! This is the episode that shows Kirk for the true Republican that he is, and it couldn't be an accident that "Herbert" sounds a lot like "pervert". And if that's not enough, you get to hear Spock jam! Yeh-Hey brotha!

fewiii
fewiii

I have alot of faves, but my personal best TOS ep is "Journey to Babel". But I also have to mention the TNG ep "The Best of Both Worlds" (I consider both parts one story). To me, it's the best of the entire Star Trek franchise. Mankind faced near-extinction, then some careful yet daring planning mixed in with a healthy dose of hope and chance, with some good-ol' fashioned human conflict (humans to the end!) thrown in to make it even more interesting, all somehow worked to bring Earth back from the brink. It reminded me a lot of what I've seen and read of the Battle of Midway in World War II, and even of D-Day. I finally must also mention Deep Space Nine, my personal favorite overall series just behind TOS. Somewhat more down-to-earth, and a bit less cheese and more grit than TNG (Sisko was flawed versus Picard, for example, and life aboard the space station was far from the near-perfect order of that aboard Enterprise NCC-1701-D; one reason I liked "Best of Both Worlds" as it dispensed a bit with that formula). Still, Deep Space Nine had it's own cheesy moments...

#1 Kenster
#1 Kenster

Of the original, that was always my favorite, it was the episode that got me hooked on the series... I really like episodes featuring Seven of Nine, I cannot help myself. The Borg were pretty good opponents.

geoffw
geoffw

Rai and Jiri at Lungha. Rai of Luwani. Luwani under two moons. Jiri of Ubaya. Ubaya of crossed roads at Lungha. Lungha, her sky grey.

sschafir
sschafir

Shaka, when the walls fell. The Beast at Tanagra! Darmok, and Jalad... on the ocean

roscoedelong
roscoedelong

Best of original "Star Trek" series. IMHO Mirror Mirror & Trouble With Tribbles. Best "serious" episode & best "comedic" episode.

MrRich
MrRich

For the line "I am for you, James T. Kirk!"

andrew.beals
andrew.beals

They really should do a Mirror, Mirror universe series.

Jordon
Jordon

Well, maybe not the best episode but Drill Thrall Shanah was hot!

NCWeber
NCWeber

It's kind of a toss up between The Trouble With Tribbles and A Piece of the Action. Vic Tayback made an excellent gangster. :)

jarmond
jarmond

I'll admit it. I dig the slash.

tfcf042796
tfcf042796

The "Space Seed" was by far my most favorite Star Trek episode! Culminating in Star Trek the Movie II "The Wrath of Khan".

rauel
rauel

I'm kind of an origins guy, and I've always felt that the second pilot "Where no man has gone Before" was just an excellent script and really exceptional acting, it's biggest drawback was that Bones wasn't there yet. And then there's the whole James R. Kirk thing - but that just makes for good trivia.

Alpha-Male
Alpha-Male

The battle with the Romulans is great....close second would be "Day of the Dove". The crew sword fighting with Klingons is something I'll never forget from my childhood.

rucb_alum
rucb_alum

As my then seven year-old once said, "The one with that fight in it." Cheers,

patricia.mccormick
patricia.mccormick

"This Side of Paradise" ~~ Spock in love expressing so much emotion.

Photogenic Memory
Photogenic Memory

"I am NOMAD!". There is something about it that I find very amusing. I don't know if it's Uhura that gets brain-wiped, Scotty getting killed, Bones arguing with it, Spock being complimented by it, Kirk getting annoyed by it, and the Enterprise getting held hostage by it at Warp 11,12,....15??!! It's truly a classic Star Trek Episode.

srmcevoy
srmcevoy

If I had to limit it to one it would be: "The way to Eden" that aired February 21st 1969, I have quoted from it in a few University Essay's seen here.

PsiFiScout
PsiFiScout

"The Ultimate Computer". It has a Battle Scene with three Star Ships in tight formation, a Computer Genius who has a breakdown, a frustrated Starship Captain who ultimately defeats his nemesis (the computer), involvement of the entire crew at one point or another, and a computer that actually "thinks". Whats not to like?

reisen55
reisen55

Classic Trek: THE DOOMSDAY MACHINE as remastered. TNG - YESTERDAY'S ENTERPRISE or THE INNER LIGHT. Voyage - END GAME MOVIES TREKS 2-3-4 and 6 are one huge story arc. TREK 8 - FIRST CONTACT. and the new one was terrific.

gdenty
gdenty

It would have to be MIRROR, MIRROR. Where Kirk and Spock are evil, but Spock's logic prevails to the end.

eM DuBYaH
eM DuBYaH

I hate to have to pick just one, in a way, they are all my favorite, but I guess the one from TOS that really stands out is "Balance of Terror".

dstack
dstack

That would have to be "The Trouble with Tribbles."

Anita Y. Mathis
Anita Y. Mathis

The tribbles weren't cute to me, but watching Kirk be forced todo something he really doesn't want to do is always funny. Spocks always cool. I know a guy whose like Spock in real life, minus the ears. Oh, and he's not half-Vulcan but sometimes I wonder.

NotSoChiGuy
NotSoChiGuy

...here are some that come to mind: TOS: The City on the Edge of Forever (I couldn't recall the name until I saw it on this thread) was a classic. I also liked the episode when Sulu was mad, and running around sword fighting on the Enterprise. The episode where Kirk and Spock fought (the spoof in 'Cable Guy' was golden) was yet another favorite. TNG: My favorite scene in all of the ST-verse was at the end of the series, when Picard finally sat down to play poker with his crew. I also liked the role 'Q' played in the finale. So, that episode ranks high for me. The episode where Worf got his revenge for the shame brought to his family name was another personal fave (Worf was my favorite character...so I'm biased towards the episodes in which he played a prominent part). DS-9: As I mentioned in another post, while I was somewhat down on this series as a whole, I did very much enjoy the episode where Garak killed off the Romulan representatives. Voyager: I really can't recall any standout episodes; more like standout scenes. For instance, seeing Species 8472 taking it to the Borg was cool, but that story arc overall was only above average to me. Another strong scene was when Cpt. LaForge was trying to stop Kim from going back in time; but again, the episode itself was only average. Enterprise: Overall, I didn't hate this series to the extent others seem to, but there really wasn't any single scene or episode that jumped out at me. Just a whole lot of of average mixed in with generous helpings of 'blah' (alien Nazis, Troi and Riker on a holodeck....c'mon now, suspension of belief is one thing, but that was taking it to the point where it became suspension of suspension of belief). That's just off the top of my head. If I went through a list of episodes on IMDB or Wikipedia, I'd probably come up with some more.

K_Green
K_Green

* Even trapped in a hostile alternate universe, the crew strive to bring about positive change * Explores one of my favorite science fiction concepts ... alternate universes. The "what if this happened differently" question makes for good learning. Current example: What if the election in Iran had not generated any controversy, but Moussavi was elected? We won't know the answer until we look back and then project forward, just as this episode does. * The episode's concept was revisited multiple times throughout the Star Trek continuum, giving us a chance to see the ramifications of the original. * We finally get to see Lt. Uhura showing the kind of strength that got her on the bridge crew of the flagship. * Who wouldn't like to occassionally have a Tantalus Field? * With the beard, Spock makes me think of Ming the Merciless. Other episodes I enjoy: The Enemy Within (S1E5) - crew at risk; Miri (S1E8) - unintentional ramifications of tampering with biology; Arena (S1E18); Space Seed (S1E22) - Khan!; Amok Time (S2E1) - going above and beyond for a friend + heartfelt joy when a friend is alive; The Doomsday Machine (S2E6) - captain willing to die to protect his crew; Wolf in the Fold (S2E14); The Gamesters of Triskelion; Patterns of Force (S2E21) - stop the Nazis and racism!; Wink of an Eye (S3E11) - what would it be like to move at blazing fast speed; Let That Be Your Last Battlefield (S3E15) - shows just how stupid intolerance is and how bad the consequences could be; Requiem for Methuselah (S3E19) - what *would* life be like if you could live forever?

pgit
pgit

http://www.ericweisstein.com/fun/startrek/APieceOfTheAction.html They build a world based on a Raymond Chandler book. It was the coolest use of the ship's phasers eve, in my opinion. Great, cheesy dialog. I have to say DS9 had the best characters, though Worf is one of the best going back to next gen. Garak, the Ferengi, Cisco, all very different from prior trek. More human, more dynamic, better situations. (though still a lot of lameness throughout. If only I could have been in on the writing...)

wazz
wazz

"Errand of Mercy" Wish all weapons of destruction could be too hot to touch today! No more wars!!