Question about Star Trek episodes...just the good ones

Discussion in 'TV Shows' started by Todd Calhoun, Mar 7, 2005.

  1. Todd Calhoun

    Todd Calhoun Agent

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    Is there a recommended site that rates the quality of the episodes in the original series? On a lark, I started renting the episodes for my 8 year old son, and now we've watched a couple (we're going in order, and we just watched the one about the planet of kids with pubescent-onset skin disease). But I don't want to watch all the episodes, I just want the good ones. I've heard season three took a nosedive in quality, but I don't want to skip any notable episodes by mistake.

    Then we'll start on the movies, and I plan on skipping 1&5. We'll probably start with number 2 after we watch "Space Seed" (which I'll save for last).

    Then, we can start on the Next Generation (which I've never seen a single episode of), but there's no way we're going to watch all 7 seasons, so I'll need some recommendations on just hitting the high points of the series. Is there any resource for that as well?
     
  2. Lars_J

    Lars_J Stunt Coordinator

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    Todd,
    "Jammer's reviews" (http://www.st-hypertext.com/index.shtml) has lots of reviews for many series, and it has short paragraph reviews of all the TOS episodes. (scroll down to the bottom of the main page, and click on a season)

    Unfortunately he does not cover TNG (yet?), but he does have full reviews for DS9, VOY, ENT, and the movies.

    Of course, as with all reviews, it is only one guys opinion. I have yet to see a Trek site that tries to statistically compile fan opinions of each episode like the "Lurkers Guide to B5" did.
     
  3. Rob Gardiner

    Rob Gardiner Cinematographer

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    There are sites such as this one but I often find that I disagree with the ratings. Would you like some personal recommendations? [​IMG] If you're watching the first season of Star Trek TOS, I think you can safely watch the entire season except The Alternative Factor and The Conscience of the King. The first season of the original show is truly one of the very best seasons of Star Trek ever made. If you want to be picky, I would go with only the following from TOS season 1 (assuming you are going in box set order):

    Dagger of the Mind
    *The Corbomite Maneuver
    *Balance of Terror
    The Galileo Seven
    Arena
    Tomorrow is Yesterday
    A Taste of Armageddon
    This Side of Paradise
    *The Devil in the Dark
    *Errand of Mercy
    *The City on the Edge of Forever
    Opoeration: Annihilate!

    * Especially good eps

    Let me know when you're ready for season 2. [​IMG]

    Oh and I recommend watching Star Trek: The Motion Picture with your son when the time comes. It has its flaws, but it achieves a sense of majesty and grandeur that has not been seen on the screen since 2001. At the very least, watch Kirk & Scotty's trip to the Enterprise via shuttlepod -- I get all tingly just thinking about it.
     
  4. Lars_J

    Lars_J Stunt Coordinator

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    I second the motion to show him ST:TMP (directors cut) as well! [​IMG]
    A severely under-appreciated film, IMO.
     
  5. Rob Gardiner

    Rob Gardiner Cinematographer

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    Recommendations for season 2:

    * Especially good
    stinkers, to avoid

    *Amok Time
    Who Mourns for Adonais?
    The Changeling
    *Mirror, Mirror
    The Apple
    *The Doomsday Machine
    I, Mudd (
     
  6. Rob Gardiner

    Rob Gardiner Cinematographer

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    TOS Season 3:

    Spock's Brain
    *The Enterprise Incident
    Spectre of the Gun
    *Day of the Dove
    *The Tholian Web
    Plato's Stepchildren
    The Empath
    Whom Gods Destroy
    The Lights of Zetar (worse than Spock's Brain!!)
    The Savage Curtain
    *All Our Yesterdays (always thought this one was fun)
     
  7. RickER

    RickER Producer

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    EEEeeekkk!!...you need a line through Plato's Stepchildren. In my opinion of course. [​IMG] Enjoy the series. I was about 8 when i feel in love with Trek. And a thrid vote to watch The Motion Picture.
     
  8. Joseph Bolus

    Joseph Bolus Cinematographer

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    Here's the "High Points" of TNG (IMO, of course!)

    Season 1:
    Encounter at Farpoint ***
    The Big Goodbye ***
    Datalore ***
    Home Soil **1/2
    Skin of Evil ** (Only due to its connection with Season 3's "Yesterday's Enterprise")
    Conspiracy ****

    Season 2:
    A Matter of Honor ***
    The Measure of a Man ****
    Pen Pals ***
    Q Who? (Introduces the Borg) ****
    The Emissary ***

    Seasons One and Two of TNG were a little weak [​IMG].

    Season 3:
    The Entire Third Season is great; but especially catch:
    The Ensigns of Command ****
    Who Watches the Watchers? ****
    Deja' Q **** (This is the funniest ever Q ep!)
    Yesterday's Enterprise ****
    Sins of the Father ****
    Captain's Holiday ****
    Tin Man ***1/2
    Sarek ****
    The Best of Both Worlds Part I ****

    Season 4:
    The Entire Fourth Season is great; but especially catch:
    The Best of Both Worlds Part II ****
    Family ****
    Reunion ****
    Future Imperfect ****
    Final Mission ****
    Data's Day ****
    Half a Life ****
    In Theory ****
    Redemption, Part I ****

    Season 5:
    The Entire Fifth Season is great; but especially catch:
    Redemption, Part II ****
    Darmok ****
    Ensign Ro ****
    Disaster ****
    Unification Parts One and Two **** (Spock!)
    Ethics ****
    The First Duty ****
    The Perfect Mate ****
    I, Borg ****
    The Inner Light **** (Many consider this to be the best episode of the Series.)

    Season 6:
    Relics **** (Scotty!)
    Chain of Command Parts I and II ****
    Tapestry ****
    Birthright Part II ***1/2
    Starship Mine ***1/2 (Sort of like "Die Hard in Space!")
    Lessons ***1/2
    The Chase ***1/2

    Season 7:
    Gambit, Parts One and Two ***
    Attached ***
    Parallels ****
    Lower Decks ****
    Preemptive Strike ****
    All Good Things ... ****

    Live Long, and Prosper!
     
  9. Linda Thompson

    Linda Thompson Supporting Actor

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    they convey, as well as the overall theme of the episode, all add up to a very classy example of psychological horror and cruelty taken to a psychological extreme to me.

    Your mileage obviously varies considerably, but I love this hard-hitting episode...and Alexander's ultimate decision.

    Also notable is the fact that this episode includes the first inter-racial kiss ever shown on network television.

    Just my opinion, of course... [​IMG]
     
  10. Jack Briggs

    Jack Briggs Executive Producer

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    As you can see from this thread, there are many outstanding seasons of Star Trek and the two immediate spinoff series. If you must know what to avoid, just consider Voyager and Enterprise (though one hears that the final series' fourth season amounts to a rebound).
     
  11. Joseph Bolus

    Joseph Bolus Cinematographer

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    While Voyager can be considered "mostly average" Star Trek for the majority of its seven year run, I thought it did have a handful of outstanding episodes. The main problem with Voyager is that it had, on average, only one good epsiode out of every six. And of those remaining five, at least three would be dreadful!

    But, FWIW, here's the episodes of Voyager that I enjoyed:

    Season 1:
    Caretaker ***
    Faces ***1/2

    Season 2:
    Death Wish ***
    Lifesigns ****
    Tuvix ***1/2

    Season 3:
    Flashback (Sulu!) ***1/2
    Future's End, Parts I and II ***1/2
    Blood Fever ***1/2
    Distant Origin ***
    Scorpion Part I ****

    Season 4:
    Scorpion Part II ****
    Day of Honor ***
    Message in a Bottle ****
    Living Witness ****

    Season 5:
    Drone ****
    Timeless ****
    Gravity ***1/2
    Dark Frontier Parts One and Two ***
    11:59 ****
    Equinox Part One ***

    Season 6:
    Equinox Part Two ***
    Barge of the Dead ****

    Season 7:
    Endgame Parts One and Two ***
     
  12. Kenneth

    Kenneth Supporting Actor

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    I would put "The Offspring" on my best season 3 TNG list. I have always found the that episode to be very powerful.

    Kenneth
     
  13. James Landau

    James Landau Stunt Coordinator

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    Here are my Star Trek: TOS recommendations:


    Great episode, must see!
    Stinker episode, avoid
    ***Best episode of the season


    Season 1:

    The Corbomite Maneuver
    The Enemy Within
    Charlie X
    Balance of Terror
    The Conscience of the King
    The Galileo Seven
    The Menagerie, Part 1
    The Menagerie, Part 2
    Shore Leave
    Arena
    Tomorrow Is Yesterday
    A Taste of Armageddon
    Space Seed
    This Side of Paradise
    Errand of Mercy
    The City on the Edge of Forever***
    Operation: Annihilate!


    Season 2:

    Friday's Child
    Amok Time
    The Doomsday Machine***
    Wolf in the Fold
    The Apple
    Mirror, Mirror
    I, Mudd
    The Trouble with Tribbles
    Bread and Circuses
    Journey to Babel
    A Private Little War
    Obsession
    The Immunity Syndrome
    A Piece of the Action
    Patterns of Force
    The Ultimate Computer
    The Omega Glory
    Assignment: Earth


    Season 3:

    Spectre of the Gun
    Elaan of Troyius
    The Paradise Syndrome
    The Enterprise Incident
    And the Children Shall Lead
    Spock's Brain (horrible plot but redeemed somewhat by the presence of the lovely Marj Dusay)
    The Empath
    The Tholian Web***
    Day of the Dove
    Plato's Stepchildren (story drags but redeemed somewhat by the always charismatic Michael Dunn)
    Wink of an Eye
    That Which Survives
    Whom Gods Destroy
    The Lights of Zetar
    The Way to Eden (worst episode of the series)
    All Our Yesterdays
     
  14. Sam Favate

    Sam Favate Lead Actor

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    I must disagree with the negative review of The Conscience of the King. It's a great episode, one of the first that lets us into Kirk's character and background.

    Mark Altman and Ed Gross wrote a book some years ago called Trek Navigator that contained capsule reviews of all TOS and TNG episodes and most DS9 and some Voyager. It's a handy little book for going through the shows and catching some real gems. And the book is available used for about $1.

    http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg...glance&s=books
    or
    http://tinyurl.com/4qfo6
     
  15. Joseph Bolus

    Joseph Bolus Cinematographer

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    Kenneth: As I stated, the entire TNG Third Season was very strong; but you're right in that "The Offspring" is at least as good as Tin Man, so I should have included it.

    Really, TNG's Third, Fourth, and Fifth Seasons, in totto, probably represent the most consistent stretch of quality episodes in the Trek "Anthology Story Framework" universe.

    Of course, nothing can touch Deep Space Nine's Seasons 3-7 for the most consistent stretch of "Linear Story Framework" Star Trek.
     
  16. Ric Easton

    Ric Easton Cinematographer

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    Well, whaddya know... A real Star Trek appreciation thread! I agree with most of the recommendations. I think my personal favorite of all time is TNG's "The Inner Light" But, not going in blind. Only after you've developed an appreciation for the Picard character. Which by the fifth season you should have done in spades.

    With the release of Enterprise on DVD there will be 28 seasons of the various Treks. If I watch two episodes a week, it will take me about 7 years to get thru them all. Well, maybe I'll skip "Spock's Brain", and "Shades of Grey"!

    Ric
     
  17. RickER

    RickER Producer

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    One thing i always liked about the 3rd season of Trek, and maybe why it was always played more than the other seasons locally, was the "look". The uniforms fit cleaner, the hair wasn't slicked down. And most of the effects looked really good. And all was done on a MUCH lower budget than the 2 years before. Linda, you know how that part of Plato's Stepchildren made you feel. Does the same to me, Maybe thats why i don't like that one. For some reason i always wondered if the actors were thinking no one will ever see this again. It is interesting how people can see the same thing but have different reactions. Course one thing is for sure, we all do LOVE Star Trek. Now bring me my animated Trek DVDs! [​IMG]
     
  18. Tony Whalen

    Tony Whalen Producer

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    Same here. While it's a slower episode, I found the background it gives on Kirk to be worth it. Now that I'm a bit older, it DOES bug me a little that Kirk hits on the female lead for the episode, considering her character's age. But this IS Kirk we're talking about. [​IMG]

    Likewise, I'm surprised that folks look negatively on "Plato's Stepchildren". I always thought it was a good episode, and I agree with Linda about the discomfort it causes.

    Other than that, I pretty much agree with folks and their thoughts on the best vs. the worst of TOS. I'd add "Mirror, Mirror" to the must-see list though. That's a personal favorite of mine. [​IMG]
     
  19. Jack Briggs

    Jack Briggs Executive Producer

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    I agree with Ric Easton about "The Inner Light" -- in my opinion, Star Trek's finest-ever hour.
     
  20. Nelson Au

    Nelson Au Executive Producer

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    I think the list of best episodes would have to be tailored for an 8 year old in mind.

    If we focus on TOS, when I was 8, I saw Plato's Stepchildren for the first time on first run NBC. I still remember it. But my strongest memory is seeing Doomsday Machine and Immunity Syndrone. I think it was because they were action oriented and had visuals that made an impression and stuck. But even then I was into Star Trek so I was able to follow it for the most part.

    I think though that of the first season, I'd only avoid 2 shows, What are Little Girls Made of and Alternative Factor. That's my opinion. Rob's list is a good start, but I also feel The Conscience of the King was a very strong show, if you're an older viewer, that is, at least High School age.

    On a side note, I've own all the Paramount Home Video editions, video, laserdisc and the first batch of DVD's. In all that time, I've always watched in broadcast order or randomly. With the new season box sets, watching in Production order, I definitely noticed a shift in the second year, the first half was much stronger then the second year and certain shows have similar stories one after the other; ie: visiting Earth like worlds. Bread and Circuses and Patterns of Force.

    And I'm now going through the 3rd year box set and I've gained a new appreciation for shows I avoided, like Is there in Truth No Beauty. I get that one now. Spock's Brain, Way to Eden and And the Children Shall Lead are still definite misses.

    Another thing is that the first and third year had a lot of really great musical scores. The second year had many good musical pieces and defined Vulcans and sensitive scores such as Metamorphasis.

    I agree Ric, a real appreciation thread!
     

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