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Fun Friday–Five Favorite Star Trek Episodes

Friday, May 8, 2009


WOOHOO!!! At last, the long awaited day has arrived—the new JJ Abrams version of Star Trek opens today! Though I’ve never been a fan of the Original Series (you know, the one with Kirk and Spock), the reason I’m so excited about a film that explores TOS’s characters’ origins is because WILLIAM SHATNER ISN’T IN IT! (Or if he is, it’s just a little surprise cameo that I haven’t heard about.) Oh, and there’s the little added benefit that KARL URBAN IS IN IT! So I thought for Fun Friday I’d list my top five favorite Star Trek episodes (encompassing the entire universe/all shows).


UPDATE, 4:00 P.M.
Just got home from seeing the new Star Trek movie and it was FABULOUS. Sure, it might not have been true to the original timeline of the Original Series, but you know what, it was so good, I didn’t even care. I’ve know from my avid viewership of LOST over the past five seasons that JJ Abrams, Damon Lindelof, and Bryan Burk do great work together, but I was a bit leery of this film after having been so disappointed in Cloverfield. However, I need not have worried. It was really a celebration of all that was good about the Original Series, an homage to all of their commonly used phrases (β€œI’m a doctor, not a physicist!”), a reimagining of the Star Trek world as we know it, a great action film, and a comedy to boot.

My main problem with it—Karl Urban doesn’t get enough screen time. But that’s made up for by how fabulous and brilliant Zachary Quinto is as young Spock.

Oh, and I almost forgot to mention . . . about halfway through, when I heard a certain piece of music, I knew that the original music for the movie had to have been composed by none other than Michael Giacchino, the genius behind the music on LOST. How did I know? Because the piece was so similar to the “trekking” theme on LOST (you know, whenever they go out exploring or on a trek somewhere on the island) that it couldn’t be anyone but Michael Giacchino.

Now, if you’re not very familiar with the series, you may not get some of the humor that’s in it—for example, when Scotty mentions that he tried to beam Admiral Archer’s prized beagle from one planet to another. For the uninitiated, this line would fly by unnoticed. But it’s a reference to Scott Bakula’s character, Captain Archer, from the last TV series, Enterprise, who had his beagle, Porthos, on board ship with him. But don’t let that deter you from seeing it. Even if you’ve never seen an episode or movie before, I think you’ll still enjoy it.


tribble-trialsandtribbleations15. Trials and Tribble-ations (Deep Space 9) Back when the franchise was celebrating its 30th anniversary, Deep Space 9 and Voyager were both on the air and both programs did crossover episodes where the main characters from the current show were “Forrest Gumped” into an Original Series episode. Of any of the Original Series eps that I’ve seen, “The Trouble with Tribbles” is my favorite. On DS9, Sisko, Dax, Worf, Julian, Odo, and O’Brian go back in time when a disgraced Klingon spy goes back in time to alter the events that led to his downfall—which just happened to be the events in “The Trouble with Tribbles.” It’s so fun to see them “interacting” with the original characters and in the old costumes with the old props!

killinggame4. The Killing Game (Parts 1 & 2) (Voyager) Though it took Voyager about three years to get really good (and it took the departure of Kes and the addition of former-Borg Seven of Nine to the crew to really get it going), this mid-fourth season two-parter was wonderful in that it took the actors out of the roles that were familiar to us and put them into new roles—when their own memories/personalities are blocked and they’re cast as characters in a World War II scenario on the holodeck by the Hirogen, a race intent on hunting down and killing as prey every other species it runs into.

ds9_dorn_farrell_wed3. You Are Cordially Invited… (Deep Space 9) I believe this was the first wedding between main characters in any of the series, and it was definitely the first episode out of the lot to center around two of the main characters getting married to each other. It’s no secret: Worf is my absolute favorite Star Trek character, so any episode focusing on him was going to make me happy. But in addition to that, I loved the storyline between Worf and Dax—unlike the ill-conceived romantic storyline they gave him with Deanna Troi on TNG, because she was so wrong for him on so many levels—the relationship with Dax worked because she not only knew all of the Klingon rituals (and the language), she could, and would, stand up to him when need be. She could take him in hand-to-hand combat and yet still maintain her soft feminine side. Plus it was great to see the Klingon marriage rituals.

Locutus01.jpg2. The Best of Both Worlds (Parts 1 & 2) (The Next Generation) Resistance is futile. (Not.) Ah . . . the Borg. Humanoid species assimilated into a cybernetic civilization where they all become part of the hive mind. Things came to a head in the Season 3 finale when Captain Picard was assimilated by the Borg to become the liaison between the Borg and the rest of humanity as Locutus so the Borg could assimilate everyone else. The season ended with Lt. Cmdr. Will Riker firing on the Borg cube on which Capt. Picard was located . . . oh, no! We had to wait the whole summer to find out what happened! It was their first true cliffhanger season finale and probably the best two episodes out of any made in the entire history of the franchise.

1. Endgame (Voyager) Everything in the series built up to this, the final episode. And they pulled out all the stops: time travel, the Borg, the birth of a baby, mental illness, and death of beloved characters. While I’ve already admitted that “The Best of Both Worlds” is the best of the entire franchise, the reason that it’s not #1 and “Endgame” is boils down to this: “Endgame” made me cry. Voyager is my favorite series out of the entire universe (even though its episodes may not necessarily be as strong when compared to TNG) because of the cast of characters, the way they gelled, and the overall story arc: that they were 70,000 light years from home and doing everything they could to get back. Unlike TNG’s series finale, which was just a setup for the film that was already in production and not a true endcap to the series, Voyager’s final episode was actually the payoff we viewers had been craving for seven years. And it made me cry—the only other episode that ever brought a tear to my eye was the one in which Dax died in DS9 (but that was because Terry Farrell, the actress, was leaving the show to go be on Becker. That’s when I stopped watching DS9.). So, because it elicited an emotional response from me that no other episode managed to do, it gets my #1 spot.

  1. Malia permalink
    Friday, May 8, 2009 11:23 am

    Totally agree with you on Voyager and Endgame. The movie is good but it sort of takes some things out of the time line and that was disappointing. I hope you enjoy it!


  2. Friday, May 8, 2009 11:52 am

    Please let there be others out there who’ve never seen an episode of Star Trek so I don’t feel so in the dark with this post πŸ˜€


  3. Friday, May 8, 2009 12:29 pm

    I know we watched this growing up (the original), and I remember bits and pieces, but I am more familiar with the Next Generation. That was the big show to sit and watch in college. πŸ™‚

    And now that I’m a mom, watching Reading Rainbow, it still cracks me up seeing LeVar.


  4. Friday, May 8, 2009 12:48 pm

    Jennifer, I don’t think I’ve ever watched a Trek episode all the way through – does that help? πŸ˜‰


  5. Friday, May 8, 2009 4:17 pm

    I LOVE Star Trek – its one of the few good memories that I have of my dad – so while I get disgusted by some of their thinly veiled digs at Christianity, it will always hold a spot in my heart.

    I too loved Trouble and Tribbelations as well. You mentioned that Voyager had a similar episode… but I don’t remember that. Which one was it?


  6. Friday, May 8, 2009 4:21 pm

    Leslie, the Voyager ep is where Tuvok starts hallucinating about the time when he served under Captain Sulu. Tuvok and Janeway do a mind-meld and they go back onto Sulu’s ship during the events of the sixth TOS movie, The Undiscovered Country.


  7. Friday, May 8, 2009 4:53 pm

    Oh yeah! I completely forgot about that! I always thought that was hilarious because he was the same actor but it was (originally) two different roles. I thought it was neat how they tied it together.


  8. Renee permalink
    Friday, May 8, 2009 9:18 pm

    I think the new Star Trek movie looks terrific, I must say however, that my favorite series was Voyager. I loved Captain Janeway and I think Jeri Ryan was an awesome Seven of Nine and the Doctor always cracked me up! I MISS it *boohoo* 😦


  9. Mike permalink
    Friday, May 8, 2009 10:14 pm

    Great picks. I was sad to see DS9 end. Plan to see the new Star Trek next week!!

    Re: top episdoes, I was always partial to time travel:

    I thought “All Good Things” was a great ST:TNG episode: Picard is diagnosed with a debilitating brain disorder, but starts experiencing shifts into three main time periods: 25 years into the future, a few days before the Enterprise-D is sent on its mission to Farpoint station, and the present.

    “The City on the Edge of Forever” – Dr. McCoy is transported back through a timetunnel, which changes history. In an attempt to rectify the problem, Spock and Capt Kirk go back in time just before McCoy entered in an attempt to figure out how to fix the problem, and they find themselves in 1930’s New York. While their, they meet up with an attractive, influencial social worker (played by Joan Collins). The away team because she didn’t, it will set off a catastrophic chain of events. In the end, Capt Kirk must choose between saving her and saving history.


  10. Friday, May 8, 2009 11:53 pm

    Hey, Jennifer…I haven’t seen any, either. πŸ˜‰ Although I know so much about it through my parents, who “lived” through it that I could probably explain it all to a person (same with Star Wars…I know, GASP! πŸ˜‰ ) even though I’ve never seen it. Hope that makes you feel batter. πŸ˜‰


  11. marcie permalink
    Saturday, May 9, 2009 3:02 am

    Ive never ever been a trekkie, not watched any other Star Trek in full except for the original (and to me Lost in Space was right up there with it) and Enterprise. If it weren’t for Enterprise I wouldn’t even be writing this now. Its Jonathan Archer’s love for his beagle that he had with him on Enterprise that makes ENTERPRISE the BEST Star Trek out of the whole lot equal with the original. Enterprise was a very human Star Trek with all the elements of a Star Trek series.
    The only thing that would make me see this new ST movie would be if Scott Bakula made a cameo appearance in it.


  12. Saturday, May 9, 2009 10:39 am

    Confession: I’ve never seen an episode of Star Trek. Ever. But I too can’t wait to see the movie. I hope to go see it with my roommate this weekend. Thanks for the heads up that it’s very worth seeing! πŸ™‚


  13. Saturday, May 9, 2009 3:44 pm

    My dad loved the original Star Trek, and I enjoyed watching TNG with him. The episode in which Denise Yar died made me cry. (“Skin of Evil”) I get very attached to strong female characters and hate when they die, in books as well! (Still haven’t forgiven JK Rowling for a certain female character’s death in the end of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows)


  14. Gail permalink
    Sunday, May 10, 2009 1:18 pm

    Just started reading “Stand-in-Groom” and am already in love with the book! I am also excited to hear your review of the movie. Can’t wait to see it! I am also not a fan of the original series, but love the rest (even though I’ve only seen the 1st season of Enterprise so far). My top 3 favorite episodes:

    1: TNG : Timescapes – this is when the Enterprise is caught in some kind of time warp where time stops moving while they are engaged with a Romulan war bird. Picard, Deana and LaForge come back and have to figure out what is going on.

    2: DS9: Trials and Tribbulations – it is just fun!

    3: TNG: Lower Decks – love seeing how the rest of the crew lives.


  15. The Damsels permalink
    Sunday, May 10, 2009 6:15 pm

    Ruth πŸ˜€ This is good I don’t feel so “un-informed now πŸ˜€


  16. Monday, May 11, 2009 4:23 pm

    Just saw Star Trek last night at the IMAX. First time I’ve seen a regular movie at the IMAX (rather than an IMAX educational movie). I’m glad we paid a few bucks more to see it there…it was a very immersive experience.

    I was really, really impressed with Urban. I was surprised by the casting choice and wasn’t sure he could pull it off, but he was fantastic as Bones.

    MOST surprising casting choice overall, though, was Tyler Perry!


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