Thursday, May 23, 2013

Favorite Star Trek Episodes

The good thing about all this Star Trek stuff, is that it put me in a mood to watch the original series.  Along with Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea, it was THE formative television show of my early life.  Perhaps more so, because when my family moved away from Los Angeles, we no longer had a station that showed Voyage, but Star Trek was still on pretty much constantly.

My favorite episodes:

1.  Bread and Circuses
2.  Shore Leave
3.  Mirror, Mirror
4.  Errand of Mercy
5.  Journey to Babel
6.  Balance of Terror
7.  The City on the Edge of Forever
8.  The Trouble with Tribbles
9.  The Enterprise Incident
10.  The Day of the Dove

Bread and Circuses has been my all-time favorite ep for thirty plus years.  Not an ep normally mentioned, but it hits everything I love.  I love the 20th Century Roman planet, with its Jupiter 8 cars and gladiatorial games broadcast on television.  I love Flavius.  I love the despicable Proconsul and his genuine respect for Kirk.  I love Spock and McCoy being particularly snarky with each other.  I love that they got to sword fight.  I love their costumes.  I love Kirk and how he handles everything (and the fact that he gets a machine pistol to wield).  I love Scotty (who, as we all know, really runs the Enterprise).  But most of all, I love Merik.  Merik, played  by William Smithers, is very nearly my favorite guest character on ANY television show.  He has a lovely redemption arc.  But the excellent screenwriting and excellent acting really illuminate his character with remarkably little screen time, when you think about it.  It's all the little things Smithers does that make his character particularly real to me. I don't actually know why Merik appealed to me so strongly when I was a kid.  But appeal he did, and he and his episode have never stopped being my favorite.


  1. We LOVE the original Star Trek series at our house! Even my thirteen-year-old daughter loves them. My favorite episodes are the Tribbles one, of course, and I think it's called "A Piece of the Action" where they go to a planet that is like the 1920s and run by gangsters. LOVE that one!

    1. Yes! A Piece of the Action is sooooo much fun. That would be in my 11-20 grouping. Not quite a top favorite, but a great episode. I love when Kirk is trying to drive the car.

  2. I'm pretty sure I have never seen an entire episode of Star Trek in my entire life! But I wanted to tell you that I was watching an Audie Murphy movie last night, and one of the co-stars in it was DeForest Kelly. My husband announced, "Oh, that's McCoy from Star Trek." He was a very nasty villain in the movie, which I assume he was not in the series.

    Did you even know he had a film career? (Well, at least 1 film anyway?)

    1. Not one episode, eh? But sci fi isn't your thing, so I can understand that!

      Yep, I've seen him in quite a lot of films, and guest starring in a lot of other television shows. One of the first things I saw him in besides Star Trek was as Morgan Earp in Gunfight at the OK Corral. And yeah, he played a lot of villains back in the day. Always tripped me out when he popped up in a movie! But it was never as weird catching him as it was when we caught an older pre-Star Trek movie or television show with Leonard Nimoy. Very hard to shake the Spock image!

    2. And I had the hardest time watching anything with Shatner in it for a while -- like that ep of "Big Valley" where he's not precisely a good guy. Tripped me out for the longest time, and then suddenly it became one of my faves.

      You're making me want to figure out my 10 fave eps now.

    3. Okay, I've got them! Here they be:

      1. Court Martial
      2. Mirror, Mirror
      3. The City on the Edge of Forever
      4. Day of the Dove
      5. Shore Leave
      6. A Piece of the Action
      7. I, Mudd
      8. Balance of Terror
      9. The Tholian Web
      10. For the World is Hollow and I Have Touched the Sky

      Looky! We have 5 overlaps! In rather different order, but hey. We both have Mirror, Mirror close to the top!

  3. TOS is one of my favorite topics. I usually work in some ST reference on my blogposts. I haven't sat down and decided what my top 10 episodes are. Here are a few of my top picks, not necessarily in order:

    The Balance of Terror
    Enterprise Incident
    Mirror, Mirror
    The Omega Glory
    The Doomsday Machine

    Bread and Circuses is definitely in the top third. I quite enjoyed it as a kid. Ancient Rome and gladiators were super cool to me then.