Star Trek First Generation Companion

by Otoboke | created - 19 Sep 2018 | updated - 11 months ago | Public

An episode-by-episode, movie-by-movie guide to the original Star Trek productions encompassing Star Trek TOS and movies I through VI. Watching only the episodes and films listed as Recommended or Strongly Recommended will cut TOS down to 39 episodes and 4 out of the 6 movies. As a whole, this equates to roughly 40.5 hours viewing time as opposed to an unfiltered 81 hours, a 50% reduction.

Bare in mind that this list is pretty much useless to most people. Just about the only thing that Trekkies have in common is that they disagree on what makes for a good Star Trek episode. This is just one voice in a chorus of many, many differing opinions.

First and foremost, I do not consider myself a traditional Trekkie. I do not hold bad episodes of Star Trek above most other TV shows. I'll watch a particularly juicy episode of a trashy reality TV show over The Way to Eden any day of the week. I'm a fan of good drama, and imaginative, daring sci-fi. Star Trek as a whole delivers on these qualities every now and then, but mostly flirts with them. I suspect there aren't many people out there that view BSG and Babylon 5 as superior to Star Trek, but also view TOS as being equal if not better than TNG or any modern Trek. So yeah, enjoy, for what it's worth!

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1. Star Trek: The Original Series (1966–1969)

TV-PG | 50 min | Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi

In the twenty-third century, Captain James T. Kirk (William Shatner) and the crew of the U.S.S. Enterprise explore the galaxy and defend the United Federation of Planets.

Stars: William Shatner, Leonard Nimoy, DeForest Kelley, Nichelle Nichols

Votes: 67,849

Here's a quick-reference Skip List for those who don't want to scroll through all the episodes below.

R+ = Strong Recommendation R = Recommendation S = Skip It * = Caution

Following this is my own personal score, which is out of 100. Note that some episodes noted as R+ may have lower scores than those rated R. This is purely due to Significance ratings, which determine whether the episode is essential viewing in terms of characterization or universe-building details important to appreciating later stories.

Season 1 --- 1 The Man Trap (R+* 67) 2 Charlie X (R 76) 3 Where No Man Has Gone Before (S 42) 4 The Naked Time (R+ 81) 5 The Enemy Within (R 71) 6 Mudd's Women (S 43) 7 What Are Little Girls Made Of? (R+ 80) 8 Miri (R* 76) 9 Dagger of the Mind (R+ 92) 10 The Corbomite Maneuver (S* 65) 11 The Menagerie: Part I (R+ 68) 12 The Menagerie: Part II (R+ 71) 13 The Conscience of the King (R+ 87) 14 Balance of Terror (R+ 94) 15 Shore Leave (R* 51) 16 The Galileo Seven (R+ 90) 17 The Squire of Gothos (S* 67) 18 Arena (S* 41) 19 Tomorrow Is Yesterday (R 70) 20 Court Martial (R+ 86) 21 The Return of the Archons (S 63) 22 Space Seed (R+ 82) 23 A Taste of Armageddon (R 87) 24 This Side of Paradise (R 71) 25 The Devil in the Dark (R 75) 26 Errand of Mercy (R+ 70) 27 The Alternative Factor (S 23) 28 The City on the Edge of Forever (R+ 92) 29 Operation - Annihilate! (S* 63)

Season 2 --- 1 Amok Time (R+ 97) 2 Who Mourns for Adonais? (S 32) 3 The Changeling (R 69) 4 Mirror, Mirror (R+ 82) 5 The Apple (S 31) 6 The Doomsday Machine (R+ 100) 7 Catspaw (S 33) 8 I, Mudd (S* 50) 9 Metamorphosis (R+ 82) 10 Journey to Babel (R+ 91) 11 Friday's Child (S 31) 12 The Deadly Years (R* 70) 13 Obsession (R+ 80) 14 Wolf in the Fold (S 56) 15 The Trouble with Tribbles (R+ 96) 16 The Gamesters of Triskelion (S 27) 17 A Piece of the Action (S* 65) 18 The Immunity Syndrome (R+ 90) 19 A Private Little War (S* 55) 20 Return to Tomorrow (R 72) 21 Patterns of Force (S 42) 22 By Any Other Name (R 71) 23 The Omega Glory (S 24) 24 The Ultimate Computer (R 72) 25 Bread and Circuses (S 53) 26 Assignment: Earth (S 10)

Season 3 --- 1 Spock's Brain (S 50) 2 The Enterprise Incident (R 79) 3 The Paradise Syndrome (S 41) 4 And the Children Shall Lead (S 17) 5 Is There in Truth No Beauty? (S 63) 6 Spectre of the Gun (S* 48) 7 Day of the Dove (S* 28) 8 For the World Is Hollow and I Have Touched the Sky (S* 65) 9 The Tholian Web (R+ 87) 10 Plato's Stepchildren (S 48) 11 Wink of an Eye (S* 51) 12 The Empath (S 53) 13 Elaan of Troyius (S* 45) 14 Whom Gods Destroy (S 44) 15 Let That Be Your Last Battlefield (R 74) 16 The Mark of Gideon (S 41) 17 That Which Survives (S 34) 18 The Lights of Zetar (S 49) 19 Requiem for Methuselah (S 61) 20 The Way to Eden (S 5) 21 The Cloud Minders (R 70) 22 The Savage Curtain (S 18) 23 All Our Yesterdays (R 78) 24 Turnabout Intruder (R 78)

The Feature Films --- 1 The Motion Picture (R 72) 2 The Wrath of Khan (R+ 81) 3 The Search for Spock (R+ 81) 4 The Voyage Home (R+ 77) 5 The Final Frontier (S 51) 6 The Undiscovered Country (S* 33)

2. Star Trek: The Original Series (1966–1969)
Episode: The Man Trap (1966)

TV-PG | 50 min | Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi

Dr. McCoy discovers his old flame is not what she seems after crew members begin dying from a sudden lack of salt in their bodies.

Director: Marc Daniels | Stars: William Shatner, Leonard Nimoy, Jeanne Bal, Alfred Ryder

Votes: 3,468

Strongly Recommended (with caution)

My rating: Good (+1) Trekkie consensus: Poor (-1) Balance: Neutral (0)

Significance: Major Notes: It's the first broadcast episode of the show, and it actually does a decent job of introducing the characters and themes you'll be encountering from here on in. It will also break you in to the show's pace which is far slower than modern TV shows. You might get restless, but stay with it!

3. Star Trek: The Original Series (1966–1969)
Episode: Charlie X (1966)

TV-PG | 50 min | Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi

Captain Kirk must learn the limits to the power of a 17-year-old boy with the psychic ability to create anything and destroy anyone.

Director: Lawrence Dobkin | Stars: William Shatner, Leonard Nimoy, Robert Walker Jr., DeForest Kelley

Votes: 3,252

Recommended

My rating: Good (+1) Trekkie consensus: Average (0) Balance: Positive (+1)

Significance: None Notes: An episode that gets better the more you see it. Especially impressive if you trudge through season three's factory-line productions and revisit the show's earlier, more experimental days.

4. Star Trek: The Original Series (1966–1969)
Episode: Where No Man Has Gone Before (1966)

TV-PG | 50 min | Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi

The flight recorder of the 200-year-old U.S.S. Valiant relays a tale of terror--a magnetic storm at the edge of the galaxy!

Director: James Goldstone | Stars: William Shatner, Leonard Nimoy, Gary Lockwood, Sally Kellerman

Votes: 4,185

Skip It

My rating: Poor (-1) Trekkie consensus: Poor (-1) Balance: Negative (-2)

Significance: None Notes: The first episode produced for the series after being green-lit. Characters are malformed, performances are largely obtuse, and it's burdened with a gruesomely slow pace. Come back to it just for kicks at some other point, if you must.

5. Star Trek: The Original Series (1966–1969)
Episode: The Naked Time (1966)

TV-PG | 50 min | Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi

The crew is infected with a mysterious disease that removes people's emotional inhibitions to a dangerous degree.

Director: Marc Daniels | Stars: William Shatner, Leonard Nimoy, Stewart Moss, Majel Barrett

Votes: 3,054

Strongly Recommended

My rating: Good (+1) Trekkie consensus: Average (0) Balance: Positive (+1)

Significance: Major Notes: Lots of characterization present here, and it's a lot of fun to boot. Like Charlie X, it gets better with time and a stronger familiarity with the crew.

6. Star Trek: The Original Series (1966–1969)
Episode: The Enemy Within (1966)

TV-PG | 50 min | Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi

A transporter malfunction splits Captain Kirk into two halves: one meek and indecisive, the other violent and ill tempered. The remaining crew members stranded on the planet cannot be beamed up to the ship until a problem is fixed.

Director: Leo Penn | Stars: William Shatner, Leonard Nimoy, DeForest Kelley, Grace Lee Whitney

Votes: 2,922

Recommended

My rating: Good (+1) Trekkie consensus: Average (0) Balance: Positive (+1)

Significance: None

Notes: Your enjoyment of this one largely depends on how much you like Shatner as Kirk. If you've found yourself cringing at his style rather than delighting in its bravado, you might just want to skip this one.

7. Star Trek: The Original Series (1966–1969)
Episode: Mudd's Women (1966)

TV-PG | 50 min | Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi

The Enterprise picks up untrustworthy entrepreneur Harry Mudd accompanied by three beautiful women who immediately put a spell on all the male crew members.

Director: Harvey Hart | Stars: William Shatner, Leonard Nimoy, Roger C. Carmel, Karen Steele

Votes: 2,860

Skip It

My rating: Poor (-1) Trekkie consensus: Abysmal (-2) Balance: Highly Negative (-3)

Significance: Minimal Notes: Introduces Harry Mudd, who will show up a few more times, as well as being referenced here and there throughout the franchise. His character's most recent appearance in 2017's Discovery is the only reason I'm listing the significance of this as minimal, as none of his episodes in TOS or TAS are really worth the time.

8. Star Trek: The Original Series (1966–1969)
Episode: What Are Little Girls Made Of? (1966)

TV-PG | 50 min | Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi

Nurse Chapel is reunited with her fiancé; but his new obsession leads him to make an android duplicate of Captain Kirk.

Director: James Goldstone | Stars: William Shatner, Leonard Nimoy, Michael Strong, Sherry Jackson

Votes: 2,703

Strongly Recommended

My rating: Good (+1) Trekkie consensus: Average (0) Balance: Positive (+1)

Significance: None Notes: Rather hokey and silly, but I'm a sucker for cloning/android plots. The love triangle aspect is fun too, and Andrea is, well, easy on the eye, we'll say.

9. Star Trek: The Original Series (1966–1969)
Episode: Miri (1966)

TV-PG | 50 min | Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi

The Enterprise discovers a planet exactly like Earth, but the only inhabitants are children who contract a fatal disease upon entering puberty.

Director: Vincent McEveety | Stars: William Shatner, Leonard Nimoy, Kim Darby, Michael J. Pollard

Votes: 2,705

Recommended (with caution)

My rating: Good (+1) Trekkie consensus: Abysmal (-2) Balance: Negative (-1)

Significance: None Notes: People hate this one mostly because of the kids who, yes, can be grating, but there's some fantastic performances here from the central cast and the two main guest stars, plus some tense scenes of internal conflict that you won't see very often on Trek. Some of the romantic undertones are a bit weird to begin with, sure, but it ends up being quite sweet and affecting.

10. Star Trek: The Original Series (1966–1969)
Episode: Dagger of the Mind (1966)

TV-PG | 50 min | Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi

Kirk and psychiatrist Helen Noel are trapped on a maximum security penal colony that experiments with mind control and Spock must use the Vulcan mind-meld to find a way to save them.

Director: Vincent McEveety | Stars: William Shatner, Leonard Nimoy, James Gregory, DeForest Kelley

Votes: 2,547

Strongly Recommended

My rating: Great (+2) Trekkie consensus: Poor (-1) Balance: Positive (+1)

Significance: None Notes: This one's a bit of a slow-burner, but it's a fascinating psychological thriller all the same. I don't really understand the indifference it tends to get. Oh, and Helen Noel. Come on.

11. Star Trek: The Original Series (1966–1969)
Episode: The Corbomite Maneuver (1966)

TV-PG | 50 min | Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi

After the Enterprise is forced to destroy a dangerous marker buoy, a gigantic alien ship arrives to capture and condemn the crew as trespassers.

Director: Joseph Sargent | Stars: William Shatner, Leonard Nimoy, Anthony D. Call, Clint Howard

Votes: 2,871

Skip It (with caution)

My rating: Good (+1) Trekkie consensus: Average (0) Balance: Positive (+1)

Significance: None Notes: Some psychological warfare makes this one sporadically engrossing, but I can't stand the conclusion. It's a gimmick that gets worse the more you see it. Still, this is considered something of a classic, so you might want to watch it just so you know.

12. Star Trek: The Original Series (1966–1969)
Episode: The Menagerie: Part I (1966)

TV-PG | 50 min | Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi

Spock kidnaps the crippled Capt. Pike, hijacks the Enterprise and then surrenders for court martial.

Directors: Marc Daniels, Robert Butler | Stars: William Shatner, Leonard Nimoy, Jeffrey Hunter, Susan Oliver

Votes: 2,823

Strongly Recommended

My rating: Good (+1) Trekkie consensus: Good (+1) Balance: Positive (+2)

Significance: Major Notes: TOS's only two-part story is not only rich in backstory for Spock and the Enterprise, but it serves up some solid characterization and an intriguing plot to boot. This is why I consider the actual pilot, The Cage, to be superfluous to any viewing. It's all in here and framed in such a manner that makes it more interesting and connected to the actual series.

13. Star Trek: The Original Series (1966–1969)
Episode: The Menagerie: Part II (1966)

TV-PG | 50 min | Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi

At Spock's court martial, he explains himself with mysterious footage about when Capt. Pike was kidnapped by powerful illusion casting aliens.

Directors: Robert Butler, Marc Daniels | Stars: William Shatner, Leonard Nimoy, Jeffrey Hunter, Susan Oliver

Votes: 2,725

Strongly Recommended

My rating: Good (+1) Trekkie consensus: Good (+1) Balance: Positive (+2)

Significance: Major Notes: See above.

14. Star Trek: The Original Series (1966–1969)
Episode: The Conscience of the King (1966)

TV-PG | 50 min | Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi

While Captain Kirk investigates whether an actor is actually a presumed dead mass murderer, a mysterious assailant is killing the people who could identify the fugitive.

Director: Gerd Oswald | Stars: William Shatner, Leonard Nimoy, Arnold Moss, Barbara Anderson

Votes: 2,480

Strongly Recommended

My rating: Great (+2) Trekkie consensus: Average (0) Balance: Positive (+2)

Significance: None Notes: A unique story with some brilliantly written and performed scenes with rich dialogue. Some might say it's slow-paced and rather insignificant, but I enjoy it thoroughly and think it's one of Trek's finest hours. Ronald D. Moore once noted it as his favorite episode of TOS for a reason.

15. Star Trek: The Original Series (1966–1969)
Episode: Balance of Terror (1966)

TV-PG | 50 min | Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi

The Enterprise must decide on its response when a Romulan ship makes a destructively hostile armed probe of Federation territory.

Director: Vincent McEveety | Stars: William Shatner, Leonard Nimoy, Mark Lenard, Paul Comi

Votes: 3,320

Strongly Recommended

My rating: Great (+2) Trekkie consensus: Great (+2) Balance: Highly Positive (+4)

Significance: Major Notes: Introduces one of the franchise's most popular and time-tested villains, the Romulans. It's basically a much better version of the Corbomite Maneuver in terms of its psychological warfare plot, but also has the added benefit of being significant and full of rich characterization, all of which is performed brilliantly. Definitely a highlight of the series.

16. Star Trek: The Original Series (1966–1969)
Episode: Shore Leave (1966)

TV-PG | 50 min | Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi

The past three months has left the crew of the Enterprise exhausted and in desperate need of a break, but does this explain McCoy's encounter with a human-sized white rabbit or Kirk ... See full summary »

Director: Robert Sparr | Stars: William Shatner, Leonard Nimoy, Emily Banks, Oliver McGowan

Votes: 2,641

Skit It (with caution)

My rating: Average (0) Trekkie consensus: Good (+1) Balance: Positive (+1)

Significance: None Notes: Many people love this episode for its light-hearted charm, but I just find it be a rather hit-and-miss absurdist comedy that never really goes anywhere interesting. Fret not, however, there are much better examples of Star Trek letting its hair down to come.

17. Star Trek: The Original Series (1966–1969)
Episode: The Galileo Seven (1967)

TV-PG | 50 min | Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi

The Galileo, under Spock's command, crash-lands on a hostile planet. As the Enterprise races against time to find the shuttlecraft, Spock's strictly logical leadership clashes with the fear and resentment of his crew.

Director: Robert Gist | Stars: William Shatner, Leonard Nimoy, Don Marshall, DeForest Kelley

Votes: 2,526

Strongly Recommended

My rating: Great (+2) Trekkie consensus: Good (+1) Balance: Highly Positive (+3)

Significance: Minimal Notes: Develops the character of Spock extremely well and the recent HD remaster edition has one of the best action sequences in the series. Some aspects of it (the aliens) are notoriously bad, but there are just too many great moments here to let those get in the way of what is otherwise flawless TV.

18. Star Trek: The Original Series (1966–1969)
Episode: The Squire of Gothos (1967)

TV-PG | 50 min | Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi

A being that controls matter and creates planets wants to play with the Enterprise crew.

Director: Don McDougall | Stars: William Shatner, Leonard Nimoy, William Campbell, DeForest Kelley

Votes: 2,465

Skip It (with caution)

My rating: Average (0) Trekkie consensus: Average (0) Balance: Neutral (0)

Significance: None Notes: William Campbell and his character are a blast here, but it's kind of one-note and leads to a conclusion that's more meh than wow, especially when you've seen it already.

19. Star Trek: The Original Series (1966–1969)
Episode: Arena (1967)

TV-PG | 50 min | Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi

For bringing hostility into their solar system, a superior alien race brings Captain Kirk in mortal combat against the reptilian captain of an alien ship he was pursuing.

Director: Joseph Pevney | Stars: William Shatner, Leonard Nimoy, DeForest Kelley, George Takei

Votes: 2,655

Skip It (with caution)

My rating: Poor (-1) Trekkie consensus: Good (+1) Balance: Neutral (0)

Significance: None Notes: One of the most famous episodes of TOS, but it's really plodding and its alien of the week is laughably ineffectual. Again, the conclusion by now is trite and rote. You've seen it before and done better in more convincing episodes. I almost have to recommend it just because it's something of a cultural phenomenon, but honestly, you're better off saving 50 minutes of your time for something more worthwhile.

20. Star Trek: The Original Series (1966–1969)
Episode: Tomorrow Is Yesterday (1967)

TV-PG | 50 min | Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi

The Enterprise is thrown back in time to 1960s Earth.

Director: Michael O'Herlihy | Stars: William Shatner, Leonard Nimoy, Roger Perry, DeForest Kelley

Votes: 2,518

Recommended

My rating: Good (+1) Trekkie consensus: Good (+1) Balance: Positive (+2)

Significance: None Notes: The first of many time-travel episodes. Good fun, as long as you suspend your disbelief in a standard orbit.

21. Star Trek: The Original Series (1966–1969)
Episode: Court Martial (1967)

TV-PG | 50 min | Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi

Kirk draws a court martial in the negligent death of a crewman.

Director: Marc Daniels | Stars: William Shatner, Leonard Nimoy, Percy Rodrigues, Elisha Cook Jr.

Votes: 2,339

Strongly Recommended

My rating: Great (+2) Trekkie consensus: Average (0) Balance: Positive (+2)

Significance: None Notes: Star Trek court drama. Another first that will be repeated in some form or another quite a lot. Many fans consider this something of a bum-note and rather dry, but I find it well written, fascinating and Cogley is a breath of down-to-earth air.

22. Star Trek: The Original Series (1966–1969)
Episode: The Return of the Archons (1967)

TV-PG | 50 min | Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi

Seeking the answer to a century-old mystery, Kirk and crew encounter a vacantly peaceful society under a 6000-year autocratic rule that kills all those it can't absorb.

Director: Joseph Pevney | Stars: William Shatner, Leonard Nimoy, Harry Townes, Torin Thatcher

Votes: 2,266

Skip It

My rating: Average (0) Trekkie consensus: Poor (-1) Balance: Negative (-1)

Significance: None Notes: I don't hate this one as much as most do, but yes, it is quite ridiculous in terms of its plot. A certain cliche pops up here at the end which you'll either love or hate, but will most certainly get tired of by the time season three comes around, if you watch them all. Most of my meager enjoyment here comes from McCoy who is my favorite of the TOS characters, but you should skip this one all the same.

23. Star Trek: The Original Series (1966–1969)
Episode: Space Seed (1967)

TV-PG | 50 min | Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi

While on patrol in deep space, Captain Kirk and his crew find and revive a genetically engineered world conqueror and his compatriots from Earth's 20th century.

Director: Marc Daniels | Stars: William Shatner, Leonard Nimoy, Ricardo Montalban, Madlyn Rhue

Votes: 3,251

Strongly Recommended

My rating: Good (+1) Trekkie consensus: Great (+2) Balance: Highly Positive (+3)

Significance: Major Notes: Sets up the plot of the second film some 15 years later. Aside from that, it offers a gripping plot with some wonderful scenes of conflict. I'm not as crazy about Khan as most fans, but I can't deny that this episode is worth watching, regardless of its significance.

24. Star Trek: The Original Series (1966–1969)
Episode: A Taste of Armageddon (1967)

TV-PG | 50 min | Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi

Kirk and Spock must save their ship's crew when they are declared all killed in action in a bizarre computer simulated war where the actual deaths must occur to continue.

Director: Joseph Pevney | Stars: William Shatner, Leonard Nimoy, David Opatoshu, Gene Lyons

Votes: 2,442

Strongly Recommended

My rating: Great (+2) Trekkie consensus: Good (+1) Balance: Highly Positive (+3)

Significance: None Notes: I love the plot in this one. It's a ridiculous but brilliant premise and thankfully is brought to fruition excellently.

25. Star Trek: The Original Series (1966–1969)
Episode: This Side of Paradise (1967)

TV-PG | 50 min | Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi

The Enterprise investigates a planet whose colonists should be dead, but are not.

Director: Ralph Senensky | Stars: William Shatner, Leonard Nimoy, Jill Ireland, Frank Overton

Votes: 2,403

Recommended

My rating: Good (+1) Trekkie consensus: Average (0) Balance: Positive (+1)

Significance: None Notes: I consider this the much more palatable sibling of Shore Leave. Watching Spock break character and seeing Kirk alone on the Enterprise are just two of many reasons why I find this one a lot of fun. This adds to the characters and their relationships in ways Shore Leave tried but failed. The premise is dumb, but it leads to interesting and unique results.

26. Star Trek: The Original Series (1966–1969)
Episode: The Devil in the Dark (1967)

TV-PG | 50 min | Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi

The Enterprise is sent to a mining colony that is being terrorized by a mysterious monster, only to find that the situation is not that simple.

Director: Joseph Pevney | Stars: William Shatner, Leonard Nimoy, DeForest Kelley, Ken Lynch

Votes: 2,596

Recommended

My rating: Good (+1) Trekkie consensus: Great (+2) Balance: Highly Positive (+3)

Significance: None Notes: A unique alien this time around coupled with a unique conclusion makes this one very interesting. There are large stretches of it however that plod along, so I don't quite enjoy it as much as others.

27. Star Trek: The Original Series (1966–1969)
Episode: Errand of Mercy (1967)

TV-PG | 50 min | Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi

With a war with Klingons raging, Kirk and Spock attempt to resist an occupation of a planet with incomprehensibly placid natives.

Director: John Newland | Stars: William Shatner, Leonard Nimoy, John Abbott, John Colicos

Votes: 2,368

Strongly Recommended

My rating: Good (+1) Trekkie consensus: Great (+2) Balance: Highly Positive (+3)

Significance: Major Notes: Introduces one of the series' most represented races alongside the Vulcans, the Klingons. They look nothing like they do in other productions, but they're well established as a force to be reckoned with here in their debut. Some people LOVE Klingons, but I'm definitely more in the Romulan camp when it comes to TOS-era villains. Most of the time, I find them one-dimensional and dull. Still, this is an entertaining outing and just about as significant as it gets for Star Trek.

28. Star Trek: The Original Series (1966–1969)
Episode: The Alternative Factor (1967)

TV-PG | 50 min | Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi

Existence itself comes under threat from a man's power-struggle with his alternate self, with the Enterprise's strained dilithium crystals presenting his key to a final solution.

Director: Gerd Oswald | Stars: William Shatner, Leonard Nimoy, Robert Brown, DeForest Kelley

Votes: 2,303

Skip It

My rating: Abysmal (-2) Trekkie consensus: Abysmal (-2) Balance: Highly Negative (-4)

Significance: None Notes: Not the worst thing the series ever done, but certainly up there. If it wasn't for the endless stretches of bad effects, it might be somewhat tolerable, but trust me, it's definitely not worth your time as it is.

29. Star Trek: The Original Series (1966–1969)
Episode: The City on the Edge of Forever (1967)

TV-PG | 50 min | Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi

When a temporarily insane Dr. McCoy accidentally changes history and destroys his time, Kirk and Spock follow him to prevent the disaster, but the price to do so is high.

Director: Joseph Pevney | Stars: William Shatner, Leonard Nimoy, Joan Collins, DeForest Kelley

Votes: 3,949

Strongly Recommended

My rating: Great (+2) Trekkie consensus: Great (+2) Balance: Highly Positive (+4)

Significance: Minimal Notes: We go from one of the worst to one of the best in an episode that many hold as their favorite out of all the TV shows. I recommend putting its reputation to the back of your mind, however. It's hardly epic or groundbreaking, but finds its strength in the characters and its fantastical plot which boasts a heart-wrenching conclusion. That and we get a completely insane McCoy, which is a delight in and of itself.

30. Star Trek: The Original Series (1966–1969)
Episode: Operation - Annihilate! (1967)

TV-PG | 50 min | Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi

The Enterprise crew attempts to stop a plague of amoeba-like creatures from possessing human hosts and spreading throughout the galaxy.

Director: Herschel Daugherty | Stars: William Shatner, Leonard Nimoy, DeForest Kelley, James Doohan

Votes: 2,144

Skip It (with caution)

My rating: Average (0) Trekkie consensus: Average (0) Balance: Neutral (0)

Significance: Minimal Notes: The minimal significance comes from the fact that a family member of Kirk is involved in the proceedings (in a minor way) here. It's never referenced again, but you feel like it probably should have been, all things considered. Other than that, this is a fine episode, but rather forgettable all the same.

31. Star Trek: The Original Series (1966–1969)
Episode: Amok Time (1967)

TV-PG | 50 min | Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi

In the throes of his Pon Farr mating period, Spock must return to Vulcan to meet his intended future wife, betrothed from childhood.

Director: Joseph Pevney | Stars: William Shatner, Leonard Nimoy, DeForest Kelley, Celia Lovsky

Votes: 2,834

Strongly Recommended

My rating: Great (+2) Trekkie consensus: Great (+2) Balance: Highly Positive (+4)

Significance: Major Notes: Another episode that develops Spock a great deal, but it also does a lot more for Vulcan society in general and the relationship between Kirk, Spock and McCoy. Plus, it's a thrilling, tense, intriguing and emotional hour, with some pretty good action, too. This one definitely merits its status as a classic and is the first of my three perfect-tens, all coming from the mixed bag of season two.

32. Star Trek: The Original Series (1966–1969)
Episode: Who Mourns for Adonais? (1967)

TV-PG | 50 min | Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi

A powerful being claiming to be the Greek god Apollo appears and demands that the crew of the Enterprise disembark onto his planet to worship him.

Director: Marc Daniels | Stars: William Shatner, Leonard Nimoy, DeForest Kelley, Michael Forest

Votes: 2,395

Skip It

My rating: Poor (-1) Trekkie consensus: Poor (-1) Balance: Negative (-2)

Significance: None Notes: Although season two starts off with a unique and daring episode, this one, which falls back on old cliches from the first season, never goes anywhere remotely interesting. Even worse, the performances are wooden and stoic and it's all rather forced. This is a theme with season two, some fantastic and daring episodes, some mundane and formulaic ones.

33. Star Trek: The Original Series (1966–1969)
Episode: The Changeling (1967)

TV-PG | 50 min | Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi

A powerful artificially intelligent Earth probe, with a murderously twisted imperative, comes aboard the Enterprise and mistakes Capt. Kirk for its creator.

Director: Marc Daniels | Stars: William Shatner, Leonard Nimoy, DeForest Kelley, James Doohan

Votes: 2,152

Recommended

My rating: Good (+1) Trekkie consensus: Good (+1) Balance: Positive (+2)

Significance: None Notes: Some people criticize this one for being a bit silly in terms of plot and the unique photography styles implemented, but I find it very endearing and thought-provoking. Nomad is deliciously callous, as a single-minded maniacal computer should be. One of the better Kirk Vs. Computer episodes.

34. Star Trek: The Original Series (1966–1969)
Episode: Mirror, Mirror (1967)

TV-PG | 50 min | Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi

A transporter accident places Captain Kirk's landing party in an alternate universe, where the Enterprise is in the service of a barbarically brutal empire.

Director: Marc Daniels | Stars: William Shatner, Leonard Nimoy, DeForest Kelley, BarBara Luna

Votes: 3,077

Strongly Recommended

My rating: Good (+1) Trekkie consensus: Great (+2) Balance: Highly Positive (+3)

Significance: Major Notes: Establishes the mirror universe which will show up throughout the franchise's history. Plays out a lot like The Naked Time where characters' darker sides are explored, though in a more fantastical setting and plot with a lot less comedy in favour of action, adventure and suspense.

35. Star Trek: The Original Series (1966–1969)
Episode: The Apple (1967)

TV-PG | 50 min | Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi

Primitive inhabitants of Gamma Trianguli VI worship a God who orders them to kill visitors, from the Enterprise.

Director: Joseph Pevney | Stars: William Shatner, Leonard Nimoy, DeForest Kelley, Keith Andes

Votes: 2,076

Skip It

My rating: Poor (-1) Trekkie consensus: Abysmal (-2) Balance: Highly Negative (-3)

Significance: None Notes: Hokey story about a primitive culture who routinely make sacrifices to some sort of a god. Some nice scenes, but they don't make up for the meager plot which is stretched way too thin to be satisfying.

36. Star Trek: The Original Series (1966–1969)
Episode: The Doomsday Machine (1967)

TV-PG | 50 min | Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi

The USS Enterprise encounters the wrecked USS Constellation and its distraught commodore who's determined to stop the giant planet-destroying robot ship that killed his crew.

Director: Marc Daniels | Stars: William Shatner, Leonard Nimoy, DeForest Kelley, William Windom

Votes: 2,692

Strongly Recommended

My rating: Great (+2) Trekkie consensus: Great (+2) Balance: Highly Positive (+4)

Significance: None Notes: A perfect episode in every way and my absolute favorite from TOS. Suspense, conflict, action and drama that plays off established characterizations superbly. There's not a low point in this one, it's simply pitch-perfect and is undeniably one of Trek's finest hours over the course of its 50-year history.

37. Star Trek: The Original Series (1966–1969)
Episode: Catspaw (1967)

TV-PG | 50 min | Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi

Very alien visitors to our galaxy attempt to connect with human consciousness but miss, winding up tapping into the regions of human nightmares instead.

Director: Joseph Pevney | Stars: William Shatner, Leonard Nimoy, DeForest Kelley, Antoinette Bower

Votes: 2,100

Skip It

My rating: Poor (-1) Trekkie consensus: Abysmal (-2) Balance: Highly Negative (-3)

Significance: None Notes: There's a unique atmosphere present in this one, but the whole thing is a jumbled mess that ends with Kirk and Spock being chased by a giant cat that doesn't look all that great. It's more fantasy than sci-fi, and hokey fantasy at that.

38. Star Trek: The Original Series (1966–1969)
Episode: I, Mudd (1967)

TV-PG | 50 min | Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi

Harry Mudd returns with a plot to take over the Enterprise by stranding the crew on a planet populated by androids under his command.

Director: Marc Daniels | Stars: William Shatner, Leonard Nimoy, DeForest Kelley, Roger C. Carmel

Votes: 2,208

Skip It (with caution)

My rating: Average (0) Trekkie consensus: Average (0) Balance: Neutral (0)

Significance: Minimal Notes: Again, the significance here is that Harry Mudd is present. If you already skipped Mudd's Women, then you may as well skip this middle-of-the-road comedy romp even though it's superior by just a bit. It's good for a cheap laugh or two, but otherwise it's all a bit empty and silly.

39. Star Trek: The Original Series (1966–1969)
Episode: Metamorphosis (1967)

TV-PG | 50 min | Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi

While returning to the Enterprise aboard the shuttlecraft, Kirk, Spock, McCoy and a seriously ill Federation diplomat find themselves kidnapped by an energized cloud.

Director: Ralph Senensky | Stars: William Shatner, Leonard Nimoy, DeForest Kelley, Glenn Corbett

Votes: 2,137

Strongly Recommended

My rating: Good (+1) Trekkie consensus: Average (0) Balance: Positive (+1)

Significance: Minimal Notes: Establishes a minor character in Trek's historical lore. It's not all that important though. Why I recommend the episode is because of its unique poetic style and romantic overtones which are enveloped in a surreal and mesmerizing atmosphere. It's almost dream-like. This isn't Kirk Falls In Love With A Hot Alien, it's far more interesting and thoughtful than that and wouldn't feel out of place among the new-agey episodes of Trek from the 90s.

40. Star Trek: The Original Series (1966–1969)
Episode: Journey to Babel (1967)

TV-PG | 50 min | Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi

The Enterprise hosts a number of quarrelling diplomats, including Spock's father, but someone on board has murder in mind.

Director: Joseph Pevney | Stars: William Shatner, Leonard Nimoy, DeForest Kelley, Jane Wyatt

Votes: 2,353

Strongly Recommended

My rating: Great (+2) Trekkie consensus: Great (+2) Balance: Highly Positive (+4)

Significance: Major Notes: Catspaw 2.0 is murder-mystery done right. By injecting political intrigue and some nice moments between the central characters amidst the surmounting chaos, this one holds the attention from beginning to end while also establishing a couple of alien races and Federation concepts you'll hear and see from here on in. Plus, Kirk dropkicks a wall. Need I say more?

41. Star Trek: The Original Series (1966–1969)
Episode: Friday's Child (1967)

TV-PG | 50 min | Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi

The Federation clashes with the Klingon Empire over mining rights to Capella IV. A sudden coup between its warrior-minded inhabitants forces Kirk's party to flee with the now dead leader's pregnant wife.

Director: Joseph Pevney | Stars: William Shatner, Leonard Nimoy, DeForest Kelley, Julie Newmar

Votes: 1,992

Skip It

My rating: Poor (-1) Trekkie consensus: Poor (-1) Balance: Negative (-2)

Significance: None Notes: Guest character Eleen pretty much sums up this episode. It's got some bravado and looks to it, but the more you dig, the less you find. The comedy here involving McCoy and Eleen is pure gold at times, but it's stuck inside a plot which drags on and on nowhere interesting. Oh, and those costumes. Wow.

42. Star Trek: The Original Series (1966–1969)
Episode: The Deadly Years (1967)

TV-PG | 50 min | Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi

A landing party from the Enterprise is exposed to strange form of radiation which rapidly ages them.

Director: Joseph Pevney | Stars: William Shatner, Leonard Nimoy, DeForest Kelley, Charles Drake

Votes: 1,998

Recommended (with caution)

My rating: Good (+1) Trekkie consensus: Poor (-1) Balance: Neutral (0)

Significance: None Notes: I'm not sure if this was ever intended to be a comedy, but it's downright hilarious. The premise and plot are without a doubt ludicrously absurd, but it leads to some fantastic character moments that play to the crew's dynamics well. Its only blight is a superfluous and talky hearing that takes up a good chunk of time and goes over what we already know rather obnoxiously. Otherwise, I love this one and find it a lot of fun. Just be wary that it is insanely dumb, though, and is definitely a guilty of pleasure of mine that many find intolerable!

43. Star Trek: The Original Series (1966–1969)
Episode: Obsession (1967)

TV-PG | 50 min | Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi

Capt. Kirk obsessively hunts for a mysterious cloud creature he encountered in his youth.

Director: Ralph Senensky | Stars: William Shatner, Leonard Nimoy, DeForest Kelley, Stephen Brooks

Votes: 1,912

Strongly Recommended

My rating: Good (+1) Trekkie consensus: Good (+1) Balance: Positive (+2)

Significance: None Notes: A nice psychological drama with some truly scary scenes. Trek resorted to formless beings quite a lot in its early years for budget reasons and they always came off as somewhat tame, but there's something about this one that is really quite terrifying and menacing. The real draw however is in the episode's focus on Kirk's psychological state and how it affects his command as those closest to him question his judgement. Again, it plays off the dynamics well, just as all the best episodes do.

44. Star Trek: The Original Series (1966–1969)
Episode: Wolf in the Fold (1967)

TV-PG | 50 min | Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi

Kirk and the Enterprise Computer become detectives after Scotty is accused of murdering women on a pleasure planet.

Director: Joseph Pevney | Stars: William Shatner, Leonard Nimoy, DeForest Kelley, John Fiedler

Votes: 2,008

Skip It

My rating: Average (0) Trekkie consensus: Average (0) Balance: Neutral (0)

Significance: None Notes: I'm not a big mystery guy. In order for it to work, the endless scenes of back-and-forth dialogue needs to be clever and sharp, and the conclusion needs to be just as inventive. Wolf In The Fold does neither of these things all that well, but it's nice to have Scotty in the spotlight and when the mystery eventually unfolds, the drama and tension is gripping.

45. Star Trek: The Original Series (1966–1969)
Episode: The Trouble with Tribbles (1967)

TV-PG | 50 min | Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi

To protect a space station with a vital grain shipment, Kirk must deal with Federation bureaucrats, a Klingon battle cruiser and a peddler who sells furry, purring, hungry little creatures as pets.

Director: Joseph Pevney | Stars: William Shatner, Leonard Nimoy, DeForest Kelley, William Schallert

Votes: 2,946

Strongly Recommended

My rating: Great (+2) Trekkie consensus: Great (+2) Balance: Highly Positive (+4)

Significance: Major Notes: Establishes the cutest little fur-balls in the galaxy, who will come back a few more times in future shows. This is the last of my perfect-tens, and in contrast to the earlier two, this is the perfect example of Star Trek letting its hair down and having some fun. Not only does it have many excellently performed comedic scenes, but it also tells a nice little story bundled with captivating interactions between the central cast and a couple of memorable guest stars. Scotty's initiation of a bar brawl and subsequent reprimand remain as two of my favorite scenes from the whole of TOS.

46. Star Trek: The Original Series (1966–1969)
Episode: The Gamesters of Triskelion (1968)

TV-PG | 50 min | Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi

Kirk, Uhura and Chekov are trapped on a planet where abducted aliens are enslaved and trained to perform as gladiators for the amusement of bored, faceless aliens.

Director: Gene Nelson | Stars: William Shatner, Leonard Nimoy, DeForest Kelley, Joseph Ruskin

Votes: 2,049

Skip It

My rating: Poor (-1) Trekkie consensus: Poor (-1) Balance: Negative (-2)

Significance: None Notes: Ah, the one with the porn-star warrior princess. There are about five or ten minutes of excellent stuff here, stuffed inside some of the most ridiculously laborious plotting and action seen in TOS. Remember how great that action score from Amok Time was when you first heard it? It was already getting a bit old by now, but Triskelion murders it, over and over. It's like they found Angelique Pettyjohn, put her in as little clothing as possible, nodded in satisfaction and got to work on a script overnight.