Tuesday, February 5, 2013

TOS: Season Three Essentials

I actually finished TOS a few days ago but, for some random reasons, it took me a while to get around to this post. Since I'm sure you've been sitting there waiting for this one, I'll get right to it. Here are my Five Essential Episodes from Star Trek: The Original Series, Season Three.

1- Spock's Brain
-Watch this one for three reasons:
First, Kirk and McCoy are driving Spock around with a remote control like a big, RC Science Officer.
Second, this is widely considered the worst episode of Star Trek ever.
Third, I disagree with the above statement and think that, at least in the abstract, this is kind of an awesome episode.
-Stand Out Line: They sucked his brains out! 
Just kidding. That's from Starship Troopers.
-Actual Stand Out Line: His brain is gone! 

2- The Tholian Web
-This episode isn't just a classic, it's a genuinely great episode.
-Bonus points for the completely fantastic space suits.
Stand Out Line: I'm sure the captain would have simply said, 'Forget it, Bones.'

3- Plato's Stepchildren
-This is not one of my favorite episodes. BUT it is a classic episode. It features the very first interracial kiss on television and that's pretty damn epic.
-Watching this episode, it's also interesting to think about the fact that it was originally written that Spock and Uhura should kiss. Instead, Shatner insisted that if anyone were to kiss Nichols, it ought to be him.
Stand Out Line: Alexander, where I come from, size, shape, or color make no difference. 

4- The Savage Curtain
-I've said it before and I'll say it again: Abraham Lincoln Fistfight.
Stand Out Line: You're the science officer. Why aren't you--well, doin' whatever a science officer does at a time like this. 

5- Turnabout Intruders
-This is the very last episode of Star Trek: TOS to air. Even at the time of filming, they knew it was over.
-Instead of getting a real series finale, you end up with this kind of strange, body-crossing episode. Even with all of that, though, this is still a pretty good one and it's interesting to watch it knowing that it was the very last one.
Stand Out Line: I love the life he led. The power of a starship commander. It's my life now.

Runners Up

Let That Be Your Last Battlefield
-This episode is iconic for all the wrong reasons. Yes, these dudes are clearly wearing make up. Yes, their costumes are a bit silly. Yes, the subject matter seems a bit dated/broad to us. But, this is a truly great "big idea" episode of Star Trek. They were really trying to do something important with their little SciFi show, they were really trying to make a difference, and it's episodes like this one that have made Star Trek an influential, important show from the beginning.

Spectre Of The Gun
-Kirk, Spock, McCoy, Scotty, and Chekov are all beamed into a crazy film-set version of the O.K. Corral. They wear leather gun holsters with their Starfleet uniforms and eventually get into a totally awesome gun fight. The look of the episode really stands out and I like the flat, story-book feel of it. Plus--cowboys in space. Can't go wrong with that.

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