One of my all-time favorite shows is Star Trek. The colors, the acting, the costumes, the occasionally cheesy effects & action, the characterizations, the sets, the desire for acceptance, peace, hope, prosperity, tolerance, everything. On September 8th, 1966, the first episode of any Star Trek ever appeared on television. It was and is still such a ground-breaking show and has since come onto the screen in a variety of ways (new TV series, cartoons, films, etc) and it has been loved and followed by millions of people.
I could watch the original series over and over again. Actually, I do watch the series over and over again. In honor of the birth of Star Trek 50 years ago, I give you 5 of my favorite episodes. If you've never seen Star Trek, start with one of these and you won't be disappointed.
5. The Trouble With Tribbles
One of the most iconic episodes, The Trouble With Tribbles is filled with goofy comedy and occasional zingers. The crew finds itself at the clutches of.. well.. super cute, adorable, fluffy guinea pig, Ewok looking creatures. And as always, the crew plots and overcomes it. It's almost as if Star Trek parodied itself. This light-hearted comedic episode sends this one to the Star Trek vault as a cult favorite.
4. A Piece of the Action
Is this truly one of the best episodes of Star Trek? No. Absolutely not. There are a few better episodes that I could see taking #4's spot easily but I had to include this one. Kirk & Spock as gangsters? Yes please. The plot is mediocore at best, depending on the silliness of the action, and Kirk seems to get kidnapped a multitude of times. But the comedic performance and Spock in a pin-striped suit saying youse makes this worthy of a watch. As does the inability to drive, the confusion of the 1920s, and the dynamic of Kirk & Spock. Sure, the accents are a little cringe-worthy but hey, the awkwardness & campiness of this whole episode is what I love.
3. Mirror, Mirror
Another great episode is Mirror, Mirror. Are you seeing a pattern yet? I tend to have an obsession with Spock being anything different than Spock (i.e. Spock in a goatee, Spock with a cute tribble, Spock in love, Spock in a pin-striped suit.. anything that makes him seem less serious always gives me a giggle). Goatee aside, this episode is brilliantly done. "The Mirror Universe" is where alternate realities become.. well.. reality. The Crew goes into this reality (where the peaceful Federation is now a warmongering, militaristic Terran Empire) while their evil doppelgangers take control of the Enterprise in the regular universe. It's also interesting to see how similar Mirror Spock and regular Spock are after all.
2. Balance of Terror
These last two were difficult to decide which one belongs where. This episode, Balance of Terror, is full of tension as the Romulan leader and Captain Kirk play a game of cat-and-mouse with one another. This episode also introduces the Romulans and reveals Vulcans & Romulans are actually distant cousins. The leader also plays Spock's father throughout the series and movies. More than the space combat though, this episode showcases emotions, the good and the bad, at the beginning and the end of this episode.
1. The City on The Edge of Forever
One of my favorite episodes, this shows a different side of Captain Kirk that we don't always see since he's most often womanizing. It takes place in New York City during the Depression Era 1930s. One of the main issues of the episode is Kirk unexpectedly falls in love with a beautiful pacifist, later to find out by Spock she may not be around much longer and also leaving her fate up to Kirk himself. She is basically a key with two options. Her life which will unleash the Nazis and allow them to take over the world or her death - allowing them to someday be defeated. Kirk is faced with a horrible decision and this episode is horrendously beautiful.
Remember folks, trek yourself before you wreck yourself & live long and prosper! What's your all-time favorite Star Trek episode?