27. Star Trek: The Next Generation – introducing Ensign Ro
Other than Guinan, the most significant character addition throughout the run of TNG was that of Ensign Ro Laren.an independent thinking Bajoran character introduced in season five. What made her interesting was her mixed loyalties and tendency to not follow all of Starfleet’s rules. Series producers had planned for her character to move to DS9 until actress Michelle Forbes declined so they had to create Major Kira instead.
Michelle Forbes has the distinction of one of not that many actors to appear in “Star Trek”, the new version of “Battlestar Galactica” and “Lost”.
28. Star Trek: TOS – “The City on the Edge of Forever”
This episode is probably regarded as the best for TOS. Kirk, Spock have to travel through time to 1930s New York City to rescue Dr. McCoy who transported there because an accidental medical overdose made him unstable.
Kirk meets Edith Keeler (Joan Collins) who runs a mission to help the disadvantaged and slowly begins to fall for her. Kirk eventually learns McCoy altered the correct timeline when he allowed her to live, therefore, Kirk must allow her to die in order to restore time to its proper course.
Say what you want about William Shatner’s acting or overacting; however, he does a great job conveying his emotion here and the episode is a classic.
29. Star Trek TOS – “Arena”
Captain Kirk is forced to do battle by the aliens known as the Metrons with the captain of the alien ship who has attacked the Enterprise. Both captains are transported to a barren, rugged planet to battle to the death. Whoever wins goes free and the loser is killed and their vessel destroyed.
The battle between Kirk and the reptile captain Gorn is a TOD Trek classic. Kirk has to use his wits to assemble a medieval cannon of sorts once he finds the available raw materials scattered across the landscape.
Will Kirk prevail?
30. Star Trek TOS – “Mirror, Mirror”
In one of those classic “transport malfunction” episodes, Kirk, McCoy, Scotty and Uhura get swapped to another timeline where everyone has beards and sashes. The crew soon realizes they are not on board their own Enterprise and devise various methods of getting back through sabotage and configuring ship systems.
In this universe advancement is done by assassination and perceived weakness is immediately punished or enacted upon.
The ensuing transporter remedy is the only one which will makes things right again.
31. Star Trek TOS – “Space Seed”
One of the most recurring of Star Trek villains, Khan Noonien Singh, played by the wonderful Ricardo Montalban, makes his illustrious debut in this episode as he tries to take control of the Enterprise after being awakened from his vessel, the Botany Bay, after a 20th century sleep. His fellow comrades attempt to seize the Enterprise, but fail.
Kirk holds a trial to decide the fate of Khan and crew. It is decided they will be exiled to desolate planet Ceti Alpha V where Khan can rule his people and set up a life for him and his people on this harsh world.
Khan is not heard from again until he is discovered years later and the events of “Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan” begin.
Children always look for the approval of their fathers, even Vulcans. Mr. Spock’s father had an important role in his life, of course, and appeared throughout the entire Trek run including episodes of TOS, TNG, and four Trek films.
The conversations between them are reminiscent of any conversation between father and son. Even though Vulcans show no emotion, those scenes always seemed to provoke feelings in those who watched them.
My personal favorite Sarek moment was the episode of TNG simply called “Sarek” where the Ambassador suffered from the rare disease Bendii Syndrome, a chronic Vulcan malady where its victims slowly lose their emotional control and raw emotions can be mistakenly passed on to others.
Only through a Vulcan mind-meld with Captain Picard gives Sarek the strength to complete an important conference where his intellect is required.
Sadly actor Mark Lenard who portrayed Sarek died in 1996.
33. Star Trek TOS – “The Trouble With Tribbles”
The original Trek definitely had its sillier episodes and this was probably the silliest but most fun.
The Enterprise encounters trader Cyrano Jones who gives a furry little purring creature called a tribble to Lt. Uhura.
They multiply quickly and eat everything in sight. The crew becomes concerned by their rapid multiplication and consumption.
The grain deal with Jones falls through when many tribbles die from eating poisoned grain and the remaining live tribbles are transported on to a Klingon ship.
This episode was also featured in the famous DS9 episode “Trials and Tribble-ations” many years later.
34. Star Trek TOS – “The Menagerie”
My personal favorite TOS episode has Mr. Spock disobeying orders and bringing the Enterprise and original, and now handicapped, Captain Christopher Pike to the only planet in the galaxy which has the death penalty associated with its visitation, Talos IV.
Once his deception has been revealed, Spock begins to tell the story for the reasons behind his deeds.
The flashbacks in the episode were actually footage from the original unaired Trek pilot, “The Cage” where Mr. Spock was still serving as First Officer.
The Talosians were able to project mass illusions to monitor their captors and observe their behavior. This plays heavily into the story of the episode seamlessly incorporating the unused footage with that of the current episode.
The results are most compelling and emotional. Captain Pike ends up just where he belongs able to live out his life in peace with the person he loves.
35. Star Trek TOS – “I, Mudd”
The second time the crew of the Enterprise encounters interstellar conman Harry Mudd, he is now the supreme ruler of a planet full of androids who believe Mudd is their leader.
The androids only want to serve humanity as they believe humans are too destructive to fend for themselves. They also reveal human minds could be transferred to android bodies to achieve immortality.
The crew deduces only with extreme outbursts of extreme “illogic” will they be able to thwart their captures and escape.
The scenes of Kirk, Spock and crew dancing and making up imaginary bombs is hilarious. Any time you get to see Spock being downright goofy is something to see and remember.
36. Star Trek 2009 Opening scene
I have gone on record with my friend, Randall, being not the biggest fan of the alternate timeline modern adaptation J.J. Abrams “Trek” films; however, the opening scene featuring the birth of Kirk is truly exceptional.
The scene shows the famous captain’s parents in a harrowing scene where his father meets his doom but not before deciding what to name their child.
The greatness of a scene like that is showing aspects of characters you know and love you were not previously aware of, thus giving them more dimension and depth.
You even get to find out his namesake as well as how he got his middle name “Tiberius”.
What a great way to open the film.
37. Star Trek Into Darkness – Space Jump
With the transporters down for the count, Captain Kirk and the new version of Khan (Benedict Cumberbach) decide they need to get to get to the USS Federation Warship Vengeance the only way available, jumping through space.
Suddenly shot from the Enterprise, the two space travelers have to make their way through space dodging debris and maneuvering while staying on course for the other ship.
Kirk’s helmet must have been struck as it slowly begins to crack as they make their way closer and closer.
Will they make it in one piece with Scotty being able to open the hatch door for their arrival?
The best sequence in the film.
38. Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan – Mutara Nebula Battle
There are many examples of using space nebulas for camouflage throughout the history of Trek; however, this was the best one.
The climax of “Wrath of Khan” shows Kirk baiting Khan and crew aboard the commandeered USS Reliant to draw him into the Mutara Nebula to even the battle since shields are useless within its depths. Khan takes the bait and shields and sensors go dark.
The Reliant appears in the view screen long enough for the Enterprise to fire enough of a volley to disable to Reliant.
Khan’s ultimate revenge is to activate the Genesis Device as to destroy both vessels since the Enterprise also has a damaged warp drive and cannot flee in time.
Only through the sacrifice of the Enterprise first officer who pays the ultimate price are they saved.