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Star Trek TOS essential episodes?

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1 Star Trek TOS essential episodes? on Sat Apr 11, 2015 1:30 am

Arche told me to ask here, so I will. I don't want to watch all of a show with such spotty quality, so if any Trek experts want to suggest a list of all the essential viewing episodes of TOS, that would be appreciated Very Happy!

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2 Re: Star Trek TOS essential episodes? on Sat Apr 11, 2015 11:10 am

In production order, with really good must-see episodes highlighted thusly.

Where No Man Has Gone Before
Balance of Terror
What Are Little Girls Made Of?
The Conscience of the King
The Galileo Seven
Court Martial
The Menagerie, Part 1 & 2
The Squire of Gothos
A Taste of Armageddon
Space Seed
The Devil in the Dark
Errand of Mercy
The City on the Edge of Forever
Who Mourns for Adonais?
Amok Time
The Doomsday Machine
Wolf in the Fold
The Changeling
Mirror, Mirror
The Trouble With Tribbles
Bread and Circuses
Journey to Babel
The Gamesters of Triskelion
The Immunity Syndrome
A Piece of the Action
By Any Other Name
Patterns of Force
Spectre of the Gun
The Paradise Syndrome
The Enterprise Incident
And The Children Shall Lead
Spock's Brain (note: This is a terrible episode, but hilariously terrible, hence the recommendation)
Is There In Truth No Beauty?
The Tholian Web
Let That Be Your Last Battlefield
Requiem for Methuselah
The Savage Curtain (another bad but good)

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3 Re: Star Trek TOS essential episodes? on Sun Apr 12, 2015 8:26 pm

Thanks a bunch.

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4 Re: Star Trek TOS essential episodes? on Sun Apr 19, 2015 4:27 pm

You know what, thanks for that list. I'm a huge fan of TNG and I like DS9 a lot as well, but TOS' dated look has always scared me off. I've seen a couple of episodes here and there, but have never really given the series the attention it deserves. I might go through the show with this list in mind and focus on the essential episodes. I might finish watching Blake's 7 first, though. Not sure yet. I just don't like the new lead character introduced in season 3. I'll have to see.

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5 Re: Star Trek TOS essential episodes? on Sun Apr 19, 2015 5:29 pm

I want to get into Star Trek tbh and would appreciate a tng and ds9 list if anybody can be bothered too. I'll try and give the tos list a go too.

By the way, has anybody seen the Star Trek cartoon. Came across it on YouTube once and wished I was on acid.

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6 Re: Star Trek TOS essential episodes? on Fri Jan 08, 2016 8:31 pm

The City on the Edge of Forever is a must see.

I just had to find somewhere to make a second post so mods can delete my spam posting at their leisure but my favorite episode in DS9 and perhaps of all time is: In the Pale Moonlight.

(also your welcome for necro everyone)

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7 Re: Star Trek TOS essential episodes? on Fri Jan 08, 2016 8:47 pm

Give me a few days to compile that TNG/DS9/TAS list. Yes, there are some episodes that deserve to be seen in the animated series.

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8 Re: Star Trek TOS essential episodes? on Tue Jan 12, 2016 3:22 pm

The_Siege_of_AR-558 DS9 episode but at this point you are getting deep into character arcs and need to be viewing the series in order.

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9 Re: Star Trek TOS essential episodes? on Tue Jan 12, 2016 4:59 pm

A TNG and DS9 list would be LARGE from me. I can still do it if you really want.

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10 Re: Star Trek TOS essential episodes? on Tue Jan 12, 2016 11:56 pm

umm... not sure what the OP wants.

I want the LoreRunner list so I can argue with you why my list is superior to yours.

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11 Re: Star Trek TOS essential episodes? on Thu Jan 14, 2016 11:24 am

Measure of a Man
Pen Pals
Q Who?
Peak Performance
Who Watches the Watchers?
The Enemy
The Defector
Yesterday's Enterprise
The Offspring
Best of Both Worlds
The Wounded
First Contact
The Drumhead
Cause and Effect
The First Duty
I, Borg
The Inner Light
Quality of Life
Chain of Command
Ship in a Bottle
Frame of Mind
The Pegasus
Lower Decks
Journey's End
Preemptive Strike
All Good Things

The Homecoming
The Circle
The Siege
Necessary Evil
Blood Oath
The Jem'Hadar
Improbable Cause/The Die is Cast
The Adversary
The Way of the Warrior
The Visitor
Hippocratic Oath
Starship Down
Homefront/Paradise Lost
Rules of Engagement
For the Cause
To the Death
Broken Link
The Ship
...Nor the Battle to the Strong
Trials and Tribble-ations
The Darkness and the Light
For the Uniform
In Puragtory's Shadow/By Inferno's Light
Doctor Bashir, I Presume
Ties of Blood and Water
Soldiers of the Empire
Blaze of Glory
A Call to Arms
A Time to Stand
Rocks and Shoals
Sons and Daughters
Behind the Lines
Favor the Bold/Sacrifice of Angels
Statistical Probabilities
The Magnificent Ferengi
Wrongs Darker Than Death or Night???
In the Pale Moonlight
The Sound of Her Voice
Tears of the Prophets
Treachery, Faith, and the Great River
Once More Into the Breach
The Siege of AR-558
Field of Fire
Inter Arma Enim Silent Leges
Penumbra/Til Death Do Us Part/Strange Bedfellows/
The Changing Face of Evil/When It Rains.../Tracking Into the Wind/
Extreme Measures/The Dogs of War/What You Leave Behind

Heroes and Demons
Death Wish
The Thaw
Distant Origin
The Gift
The Raven
Year of Hell
Message in a Bottle
The Killing Game
The Omega Directive
Living Witness
Hope and Fear
Nothing Human
Bride of Chaotica!
Dark Frontier
Tinker Tenor Doctor Spy
Dragon's Teeth
One Small Step
Blink of an Eye (Really, just read Dragon's Egg)
Life Line
The Void
Author, Author

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12 Re: Star Trek TOS essential episodes? on Thu Jan 14, 2016 12:27 pm

Honestly Dragoon's list pretty much summarizes mine. I'd only vary like, a tiny bit from that one. Like for example; Tattoo!!?

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13 Re: Star Trek TOS essential episodes? on Thu Jan 14, 2016 12:43 pm

I put Tattoo and Wrongs Darker Than Death or Night on there as a couple of examples of episodes where Trek writers can be so blind or dense to what they're writing that it results in some truly offensive works.

Although, I could throw Threshold up on the list for the sheer bad=unintentional comedic value.

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14 Re: Star Trek TOS essential episodes? on Thu Jan 14, 2016 3:54 pm

Umm I have minor variation on SilverDragonRed's list.

Use that list.

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15 Re: Star Trek TOS essential episodes? on Thu Jan 14, 2016 3:57 pm

TNG: Up The Long Ladder

That episode ROCKS.

DS9: The Sound of Her Voice

I just love this one.

Other than bolding those on Dragon list I think he is on point.

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16 Re: Star Trek TOS essential episodes? on Thu Jan 14, 2016 4:49 pm

Here's a list my uncle made for me.

Encounter at Farpoint, parts 1 & 2 (Not good but needed)
(*skipped character development from bad episodes - Tasha Yar and Data have sex. Tasha has fight to the death with another woman)
The Battle
Skin of Evil
Where Silence Has Lease
The Measure of a Man
Elementary, Dear Data
Pen Pals
Q Who?
Who Watches The Watchers
The Enemy
The Defector
Deja Q
Yesterday’s Enterprise
The Offspring
Sins of the Father
Hollow Pursuits
The Most Toys
Best of Both Worlds, parts 1 & 2
Remember Me (*optional, but I like it.)
The Wounded
First Contact
The Nth Degree
The Drumhead
Redemption, parts 1 & 2
Ensign Ro
Unification, parts 1, 2 & 3
Cause and Effect
The First Duty
I Borg
The Inner Light
Time’s Arrow, parts 1 & 2
Realm of Fear (*optional, but has Barcley in it.)
Chain of Command, parts 1 & 2
Ship in a Bottle
Face of the Enemy
Starship Mine
Lessons (*optional, just above average)
Descent, parts 1 & 2
The Pegasus
The Lower Decks
All Good Things, parts 1 & 2

What do you guys think?

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17 Re: Star Trek TOS essential episodes? on Wed Mar 02, 2016 11:50 pm

I honestly had to go look up a couple of these to remember what they were about. This is a good list but I would have to include more episodes. I am sifting through series now to confirm how many I would add here.

EDIT: I was wrong. Couple of my pick hits that I thought were missing are on your list.

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18 Re: Star Trek TOS essential episodes? on Wed Mar 02, 2016 11:58 pm

Journey's End

That is the only one I could find that I would add just reading through episodes. I am now starting Farpoint pilot to watch the series again.

EDIT: Not sure on names yet but I would include any episode with Reginald Barclay and/or Q.

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19 Re: Star Trek TOS essential episodes? on Fri Jun 03, 2016 8:18 pm

Thanks for the list

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20 Re: Star Trek TOS essential episodes? on Tue Aug 15, 2017 6:04 pm

Impossible! Hi guys, tricky question. Actually I'd argue for anything that shows something substantial about the characters in TOS given that some much of it is a straight-up adventure with philosophical underpinnings.

I'd probably add 'Galileo Seven' to Lorerunner's list because we see Spock as leader for the first time and maybe even 'Paradise Syndrome' because we see Spock minus the Vulcan if that makes sense.

I'd say The Animated Series should be included with 'The Lorelei Signal' because we see Uhura assuming command, rescuing the guys and the women being generally awesome - I'm a girl, as a seven year old seeing that for the first time on Saturday morning TV, that was so cool. Add 'Yesteryear' for the Spock development and 'The Counter-Clock Incident' for backstory on the Enterprise and the message.

What some of you say about DS9 is very true - I'd focus on Bajoran politics, Bajoran-Cardassian relations, the Dominion arc and then feed in the occasional character story or something that leads up to other things, especially one episode per main character :

Season 1
1 - ‘Emissary’ I and II
3 – ‘Past Prologue’ (Bajoran politics and gets Kira's arc underway)
15 - ‘Progress’ (Bajoran politics)
19 – ‘Duet’ (Bajoran politics)
20 – ‘In the Hands of the Prophets’ (Bajoran politics)

Season 2
21 to 23 – ‘The Homecoming’, ‘The Circle’ and ‘The Siege’ (Bajoran politics)
25 – ‘Cardassians’ (Bajor and Cardassia)
27 – ‘Rules of Acquisition’ (Dominion)
28 – ‘Necessary Evil’ (Occupation and Odo-Kira)
32 – ‘The Alternate’ (Changeling lore)
40 and 41 – ‘The Maquis’ (Cardassian politics and Voyager tie-in)
42 – ‘The Wire’ (Cardassians and Garak character)
44 – ‘The Collaborator’ (Bajoran politics and the Occupation)
46 – ‘The Jem’Hadar’ (Dominion)

Season 3
47 and 48 – ‘The Search’
51 – ‘Second Skin’ (Bajor, Cardassia and Kira)
52 – ‘The Abandoned’ (Changeling lore)
53 – ‘Civil Defence’ (Occupation and Dukat)
66 and 67 – ‘Improbable Cause’ and ‘The Die is Cast’ (Cardassia, Dominion and Garak-Odo)
69 – ‘Shakaar’ (Bajoran politics)
72 – ‘The Adversary’ (Changelings, Dominion)

It gets harder to cut episodes after Season 3.

Season 4
73 and 74 – ‘The Way of the Warrior’ (Klingons! Worf!)
75 – ‘The Visitor’ (it adds nothing to the ongoing arcs, but its just such a gorgeous story it should be included)
77 – ‘Indiscretion’ (Dukat and Kira)
78 – ‘Rejoined’ (Trill culture)
83 and 84 – ‘Homefront’ and ‘Paradise Lost’ (Dominion arc and impact on Federation)
86 – ‘Return to Grace’ (Dukat and Kira)
89 – ‘Accession’ (Bajoran culture, Sisko as Emissary)
91 – ‘Hard Time’ (O’Brien torture)
94 and 95 – ‘For the Cause’ and ‘To the Death’ (Maquis)
96 – ‘The Quickening’ (Dominion politics and Bashir character development)

Season 5
99 – ‘Apocalypse Rising’ (Changelings! Klingons!)
100 – ‘The Ship’ (Dominion internal organisation)
102 – ‘Nor the Battle to the Strong’ (Federation-Klingon War)
104 – ‘Trials and Tribble-ations’ (Tribbles! Worf! Kirk! Classic Klingons!)
106 – ‘Things Past’ (Occupation)
111 – ‘For the Uniform’ (Maquis)
112 and 113– ‘In Purgatory’s Shadow’ and ‘By Inferno’s Light’ (Dominion and Cardassia)
114 – ‘Doctor Bashir, I Presume?’ (super-Bashir!)
119 – ‘Soldiers of the Empire’ (Martok and Worf BFFs! Important for later on)
121 – ‘Blaze of Glory’ (Maquis and Dominion)
124 – ‘Call to Arms’ (Dominion War starts)

Season 6
125 to 130 – ‘A Time to Stand’, ‘Rocks and Shoals’, ‘Sons and Daughters’, ‘Behind the Lines’, ‘Favour the Bold’ and ‘Sacrifice of Angels’ (Dominion War!)
134 – ‘The Magnificent Ferengi’ (the best use of Ferengi EVER and Iggy Pop!)
135 – ‘Waltz’ (Sisko-InsaneDukat-KiraForceGhost!)
137 – ‘Far Beyond the Stars’
141 – ‘Wrongs Darker Than Death or Night’ (Occupation and Kira-Dukat)
143 – ‘In the Pale Moonlight’ (Romulans! Dominion War)
146 – ‘Valiant’ (Dominion War)
150 – ‘Tears of the Prophets’ (Dominion War, Sisko as Emissary, Dax!)

Season 7
151 – ‘Image in the Sand’ (Sisko as Emissary)
156 – ‘Treachery, Faith and the Great River’ (Odo-Weyoun and Nog!)
158 – ‘The Siege of AR-558’
160 – ‘It’s Only a Paper Moon’ (poor Nog! One of the best uses of the Holodeck period, good use of Vic Fontaine and War IS Hell)
166 to 169 – ‘Inter Arma Enim Silent Leges’, ‘Penumbra’, ‘’Til Death Do Us Part’, ‘Strange Bedfellows’ (politics of war and the Breen)
170 to 176 – ‘The Changing Face of Evil’, ‘When it Rains….’, ‘Taking Into the Wind’, ‘Extreme Measures’, ‘The Dogs of War’, 'What You Leave Behind I and II' (Dominion War ends, Kira on Cardassia, InsaneDukat, Sisko as Emissary)

By my reckoning that's 79 episodes of 176 that a viewer really should see just to understand the show and get the most out of it - that's a lot I would argue. I doubt you'd need to see nearly as much of Voyager or even TNG to get the essence of those shows, because they just aren't that tightly connected.

Can anybody think of any glaring omissions?

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