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  1. #1
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    Default Star Trek: The Original Series’ Essential Episodes

    This is from a story here on CBR. I agree with most of their choices, but not all.

    https://www.cbr.com/star-trek-origin...tial-episodes/

    For fans of the original series, what are your 10 essential episodes?

    Mine (in chronological order):

    The Menagerie (season 1)
    Balance of Terror (S1)
    Space Seed (S1)
    The City On The Edge of Forever (S1)
    Amok Time (S2)
    Mirror, Mirror (S2)
    Journey To Babel (S2)
    The Trouble With Tribbles (S2)
    The Enterprise Incident (S3)
    Spectre of the Gun (S3)

  2. #2
    Relaunched, not rebooted! SJNeal's Avatar
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    While I do consider myself a Trekkie, TOS is only a slot above ENT on my list. I have a hard time re-watching a lot of it, except for the "essentials". So I would actually agree with most the episodes on the CBR list (which absolutely NEVER happens!).

    Their essential TNG list, however, I had some issues with.
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  3. #3
    Mighty Member C_Miller's Avatar
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    1) The Corbomite Maneuver
    2) Dagger of the Mind
    3) The Menagerie
    4) The Balance of Terror
    5) Space Seed
    6) A City on the Edge of Forever
    7) Amok Time
    8) The Doomsday Machine
    9) Journey to Babel
    10) A Piece of the Action

    I'm really remiss to leave off Errand of Mercy, Mirror Mirror, The Galileo Seven amongst a couple of others. As I get older, TOS is the one I enjoy rewatching the most.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by caj View Post
    This is from a story here on CBR. I agree with most of their choices, but not all.

    https://www.cbr.com/star-trek-origin...tial-episodes/

    For fans of the original series, what are your 10 essential episodes?

    Mine (in chronological order):

    The Menagerie (season 1)
    Balance of Terror (S1)
    Space Seed (S1)
    The City On The Edge of Forever (S1)
    Amok Time (S2)
    Mirror, Mirror (S2)
    Journey To Babel (S2)
    The Trouble With Tribbles (S2)
    The Enterprise Incident (S3)
    Spectre of the Gun (S3)
    I'd probably sub Corbomite Maneuver for Spectre of the Gun, but otherwise, I think it's a solid list.

  5. #5
    Extraordinary Member WebLurker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by caj View Post
    This is from a story here on CBR. I agree with most of their choices, but not all.

    https://www.cbr.com/star-trek-origin...tial-episodes/

    For fans of the original series, what are your 10 essential episodes?

    Mine (in chronological order):

    The Menagerie (season 1)
    Balance of Terror (S1)
    Space Seed (S1)
    The City On The Edge of Forever (S1)
    Amok Time (S2)
    Mirror, Mirror (S2)
    Journey To Babel (S2)
    The Trouble With Tribbles (S2)
    The Enterprise Incident (S3)
    Spectre of the Gun (S3)
    I'd probably replace "Space Seed" with "A Piece of the Action" (as important as the episode is for creating Khan, I have to admit that I don't enjoy it that much and do think that Wrath of Khan gets you up to speed pretty quickly), but can't argue with those being the important ones.
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  6. #6
    X-Cultist nx01a's Avatar
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    S1
    Where No Man Has Gone Before
    The Corbomite Maneuver
    The Menagerie 1 & 2
    Balance of Terror
    Space Seed

    S2
    The Changeling
    Mirror Mirror
    The Doomsday Machine
    The Trouble With Tribbles

    S3
    The Tholian Web
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  7. #7
    Astonishing Member Exciter's Avatar
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    Balance of Terror
    A Piece of the Action
    The Trouble with Tribbles
    City on the Edge of Forever
    Mirror, Mirror
    The Doomsday Machine
    Who Mourns for Adonais?
    The Devil in the Dark
    Journey to Babel
    Arena
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  8. #8
    My Face Is Up Here Powerboy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by caj View Post
    This is from a story here on CBR. I agree with most of their choices, but not all.

    https://www.cbr.com/star-trek-origin...tial-episodes/

    For fans of the original series, what are your 10 essential episodes?

    Mine (in chronological order):

    The Menagerie (season 1)
    Balance of Terror (S1)
    Space Seed (S1)
    The City On The Edge of Forever (S1)
    Amok Time (S2)
    Mirror, Mirror (S2)
    Journey To Babel (S2)
    The Trouble With Tribbles (S2)
    The Enterprise Incident (S3)
    Spectre of the Gun (S3)
    I can't really see where Spectre of the Gun qualifies or brings anything to the table that was not already covered. Once again, "arrogant, self-righteous aliens" who seem incapable of comprehending the concept of history, progress and change and that they happen over time condemn humanity for not instantly evolving to the level they took millions of years to reach and then are shocked that humans are not the murdering barbarians the aliens thought they were, the aliens proving they are not murdering barbarians by putting people into battles to the death. That was already done in "Arena" and probably countless times before.

    I would certainly include "Errand of Mercy" where the Organians are really the advanced beings the other cosmic species pretend to be. The Organians had no intention of hurting anyone or forcing a battle. They were trying to prevent it.
    Power with Girl is better.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Powerboy View Post
    I can't really see where Spectre of the Gun qualifies or brings anything to the table that was not already covered.
    For most, you're probably right. But it's a personal favorite of mine.

    It has elements of aliens, westerns, US history, and death. I mean, Chekov was a supporting character that most cared about so the idea that he was killed was shocking to my sister and me when we first watched it (although this was years after it had first aired and was rerun in the afternoons). We were glued to the set watching that episode.

    I just remember really liking the struggle Kirk had with not only trying to find a way out of their situation, but also dealing with his personal guilt of feeling responsible for Chekov's death. And the scene between the four men right after Chekov is 'killed' was really well done. McCoy getting in Spock's face about not having feelings was nothing new but it felt more powerful because of the 'death' of a beloved crewmember.

  10. #10
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    I dunno about "essential" but being a TOS fan for literally 4 decades I certainly have my favorites:

    Season 1
    The Naked Time--First use of Time Travel in Trek, and seeing Spock cry, even after I've seen the scene 1 million times still takes me aback
    Shore Leave--Lets even characters like Sulu shine somewhat
    Arena--To this day I know how to make gunpowder (kinda) from this episode, plus it shows Kirk usually does live up to the principles of the Federation by not killing the Gorn
    Tomorrow Is Yesterday. The science is preposterous, but it gave us a terrific Kirk hand to hand fighting scene and the stock shot of Scotty hanging onto the grill by the Engines
    The City of the Edge of Forever. I've read Ellison's version and for once Roddenberry was right to re-write it.

    Season 2
    Mirror Mirror--SO MANY TROPES in this episode--plus could this be the first instance of a "multiverse" in U.S. Episodic television?
    Who Mourns for Adonis--The Ancient Gods were Aliens Trope started here, and only Kirk was have the gumption to dare Apollo to kill him (or any other member of the Landing Party)
    The Doomsday Machine--Just stellar acting--especially by William Windom
    The Ultimate Computer--Terrific Episode, that explores the Technology vs Man theme quite well

    Season 3
    Whom Gods Destroy. I dunno why but I always loved this episode. Its amazing the battle of the Hams between Shatner and Ihnat
    Last edited by TheBlackTerror; 03-03-2021 at 01:10 PM.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by nx01a View Post
    The Tholian Web
    This was on my final list of 12. I LOVE this episode.

  12. #12
    My Face Is Up Here Powerboy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by caj View Post
    For most, you're probably right. But it's a personal favorite of mine.

    It has elements of aliens, westerns, US history, and death. I mean, Chekov was a supporting character that most cared about so the idea that he was killed was shocking to my sister and me when we first watched it (although this was years after it had first aired and was rerun in the afternoons). We were glued to the set watching that episode.

    I just remember really liking the struggle Kirk had with not only trying to find a way out of their situation, but also dealing with his personal guilt of feeling responsible for Chekov's death. And the scene between the four men right after Chekov is 'killed' was really well done. McCoy getting in Spock's face about not having feelings was nothing new but it felt more powerful because of the 'death' of a beloved crewmember.
    I get that. Also, at the time, westerns were still at their height or close to it. Hugh O'Brien had left the role of Wyatt Earp on television when he did some research and found out the Earps were basically just outlaws with badges and here comes Star Trek blatantly presenting the Earps as the villains. It could be taken as a statement about the changing nature of television.

    As for other essentials, I mentioned Errand of Mercy. "Dagger of the Mind" which introduced the Mind Meld. "The Enemy Within" which was good in itself and introduced the Neck Pinch. "This Side of Paradise" was a really good insight into Spock and introduced that Vulcans were stronger than humans. I dismiss "Operation: Annihilate" because it wasn't a good episode and the whole Vulcan inner eyelid thing was a one-off deus ex machina, never used again.

    But I have to invoke "The Empath". Not an episode that shows up on most favorites lists but my personal favorite as it invokes all of the most positive character traits that Star Trek stood for.

    I also would list "Requiem for Methuselah" which had some great poetic dialogue although I think it pushed it just a bit too far right at the end.
    Power with Girl is better.

  13. #13
    Old school comic book fan WestPhillyPunisher's Avatar
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    Here's my ten essential episodes:

    SEASON 1
    Arena
    Balance of Terror
    Space Seed
    Where No Man Has Gone Before

    SEASON 2
    Amok Time
    Journey To Babel
    Mirror, Mirror
    The Doomsday Machine
    The Ultimate Computer

    SEASON 3
    The Enterprise Incident
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  14. #14
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    I'm really enjoying seeing everyone's list. It's amazing how some episodes keep showing up. But it's the differences that are really interesting.

  15. #15
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    All Star Trek shows are available on Paramount Plus, which has now launched.

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