Rewatch: Star Trek – The Original Series

It’s no secret that I’m a huge Star Trek fan, so earlier in the year I began something I had been planning for a while…a rewatch of every single live action series.  Today I finished The Original Series.  Some thoughts:

  • It was tedious, like really tedious.  Part of that is simple math, the episodes run 50 minutes as opposed to the 40-42 of most hour long TV shows today.  Part of it is that so many episodes are just terrible.
  • Kirk gets a reputation for being a womanizer, but it’s not as common as you might think.  In fact, early on in the series they wanted to keep Kirk from developing too many love interests.
  • I can see why much of the cast was frustrated with their roles.  Many blame William Shatner and he certainly seems like the sort of immensely confident person that would draw ire, but Leonard Nimoy, Deforest Kelley, and Majel Barrett (who married Gene Roddenberry in 1969) get just as much screen time.
  • It’s clear they realized they had something special with Kirk, Spock, and McCoy, but I was worn out of them by the end and I knew next to nothing about Chekov, Sulu, or Uhura, and very little about Scotty.
  • Because of this, I think Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home is the most important Trek film because it spread the focus to the entire senior staff, which made later series so strong.
  • The Original Series also suffers because it doesn’t get into any of the things that make Star Trek fun and add depth to the Star Trek Universe, namely Starfleet, recurring alien societies (being more of a monster of the week type show), or the starships themselves.

My 5 Favorite Episodes:

What Are Little Girls Made Of? – Androids are pretty sweet, and I really like Sherry Jackson’s outfit.

The City on the Edge of Forever – The Guardian of Forever is one of my favorite Trek characters and this dark plot feels more reminiscent of the incredibly well crafted Deep Space 9 than the oft clumsy Original Series.

Mirror, Mirror – Bearded Spock!  Bare midriff Uhura!  Evil Twins!  There is probably no question more evocative and representative of science fiction than “what if…”

The Trouble with Tribbles – The Original Series often reserved its comedy for episode ending bits between Kirk, Spock, and McCoy which made The Trouble with Tribbles, and Scotty’s exchange with Kirk after the brawl, all the better.

All Our Yesterdays – I feel like this episode gets lost because the third season was such a mess, but I really like the premise of a doomed society not evacuating their planet, but evacuating their time period.

My 9 Least Favorite Episodes:

I’m not going to bother linking or recapping these because they fall into one of two tropes that I absolutely loathe: “only the children are left” and “alien society that replicated ______ society from earth’s past.”

Charlie X

Miri (I skipped the second half of this one.  The.  Worst.)

Who Mourns for Adonis?

A Piece of the Action

Patterns of Force

Bread and Circuses

Spectre of the Gun

Plato’s Stepchildren

The Way To Eden (This one too.  This is the poster episode for the ridiculousness of the third season.)




About Alex

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