I'm also a big fan of "The Lights of Zetar" and "All Our Yesterdays."
+1; +1 (=+2?).
I go back and forth on "The Alternative Factor," but I never think it's very good.
I've always loved it, do think it's very good, and am puzzled that the majority of fans do not.
Let This Be Your Last Battlefield.
Being black, I never understood why most people's interpretation of this one generally tends to limit it to race. It's about more than that. In my view, the episode works better as a metaphor of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict of the past decade if anything.
The last lines stuck with me the most:
Spock: All that matters to them... is their hate.
Uhura: Do you suppose that's all they ever had, sir?
Captain Kirk: No. But that's all they have left.
It's definitely one of my favorites, and again, I'm bemused that others don't like it. It has very literate dialogue and is poignant. Maybe Loki and Bele chew up the scenery a bit, but they are characters whose culture has known nothing but hatred and bigotry for generations! Your link to the Middle East is certainly apt for that very reason, and is a fresh take on it for me. Thanks.