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Star Trek - Original Series The one that started it all...

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Old September 24 2012, 05:18 PM   #1
Grant
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Vintage lists of best episodes?

I remember in the 1970s when they would talk about the besgt TOS episodes it was always "City", "Amok", "Doomsday", "Menagarie", "WNMHGB" etc.

But does anybody know of top 10 or best of list(s) from that era? I was curious if episodes had fallen out of favor or increased in popularity.

Thanks.
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Old September 25 2012, 12:37 AM   #2
KeepOnTrekking
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Re: Vintage lists of best episodes?

Trek #7 published a fan poll on various subjects including best episodes. It was reprinted in The Best of Trek in April 1978. The results were:

1. The City on the Edge of Forever
2. Amok Time
3. Journey to Babel
4. The Menagerie
5. The Trouble with Tribbles
6. Shore Leave
7. Balance of Terror
8. The Enemy Within
9. The Naked Time
10. Mirror, Mirror
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Old September 25 2012, 03:55 AM   #3
Mr_Homn
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Re: Vintage lists of best episodes?

KeepOnTrekking wrote: View Post
Trek #7 published a fan poll on various subjects including best episodes. It was reprinted in The Best of Trek in April 1978. The results were:

1. The City on the Edge of Forever
2. Amok Time
3. Journey to Babel
4. The Menagerie
5. The Trouble with Tribbles
6. Shore Leave
7. Balance of Terror
8. The Enemy Within
9. The Naked Time
10. Mirror, Mirror
All of them are worthy candidates for top ten. Except Shore Leave. I can't see how that would be in anyone's top ten, let alone come out in top ten from a poll. Not a bad episode, but not top ten material. There are too many superior episodes. Doomsday Machine for example.
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Old September 25 2012, 04:40 PM   #4
Grant
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Re: Vintage lists of best episodes?

KeepOnTrekking wrote: View Post
Trek #7 published a fan poll on various subjects including best episodes. It was reprinted in The Best of Trek in April 1978. The results were:

1. The City on the Edge of Forever
2. Amok Time
3. Journey to Babel
4. The Menagerie
5. The Trouble with Tribbles
6. Shore Leave
7. Balance of Terror
8. The Enemy Within
9. The Naked Time
10. Mirror, Mirror
Wow, you are the man. I really thought I wouldn't get any response!

That's a great list that would probably be similar to one in 2012!

Not one of them is bad by any stretch. My list wouldn't include Enemy Within or Trouble but still a very good list.
Shore leave in another 'fun' episode like Trouble and I prefer it, but probably not my top ten.

Thanks for finding that!
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Old September 26 2012, 10:33 AM   #5
SonicRanger
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Re: Vintage lists of best episodes?

See, this is really interesting... No "Space Seed," as many of us have wondered regarding its prestige before TWOK.
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Old September 26 2012, 05:49 PM   #6
Gary7
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Re: Vintage lists of best episodes?

The lists will always change, because the audience and their perspectives change over time. There are TOS episodes I didn't like back a couple of decades ago, but now consider them worthwhile. And, I've added a few more to the "never watch again" list.
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Old September 26 2012, 05:57 PM   #7
Greg Cox
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Re: Vintage lists of best episodes?

SonicRanger wrote: View Post
See, this is really interesting... No "Space Seed," as many of us have wondered regarding its prestige before TWOK.
I noticed that. I've always suspected that TWOK elevated the stature of "Space Seed" to some degree.
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Old September 26 2012, 07:09 PM   #8
Grant
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Re: Vintage lists of best episodes?

I always felt 'Space Seed' was at least a 'top 15' episode. I think the guest performances mean more to me than other factors.

Decker-Windon
Khan-Montalban
Cap Tracy-Woodward
Charlie-Walker Jr.
Rom Comm-Lenard
Mitchell/Dehner-Lockwood/Kellerman
Pike/Vina-Hunter/Oliver
Sarek/Amanda--Lenard/Wyatt
Kang--Ansara
T'Pring/T'Pau--Martel/Lovsky

etc, etc.

I don't know if 'Seed' is a top 10 episode, but Khan is a top 10 performance.
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Old September 26 2012, 08:46 PM   #9
Neutral Zone
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Re: Vintage lists of best episodes?

I think most of the episodes are great, so I when I try to make out a list of my top ten I can never quite make up my mind. But I can always say which I believe to be the worst and then work my from there. I always start with 'Spocks Brain and then Charlie X.
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Old September 27 2012, 02:06 AM   #10
KeepOnTrekking
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Re: Vintage lists of best episodes?

Here's another favorite episode poll conducted in the "mid-1970s" by Carole Brownlee that was later published in Bjo Trimble's column in Starlog#65:

1. Balance of Terror
2. (tie) Mirror, Mirror
2. (tie) The City on the Edge of Forever
4. The Trouble with Tribbles
5. Journey to Babel
6. The Doomsday Machine
7. Amok Time
8. The Menagerie
9. A Piece of the Action
10. The Tholian Web
11. The Devil in the Dark
12. The Naked Time
13. Day of the Dove
14. Shore Leave
15. The Enterprise Incident
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Old September 27 2012, 08:20 AM   #11
SonicRanger
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Re: Vintage lists of best episodes?

Again no "Space Seed" on the list. This again supports the idea that Harve Bennett just picked an episode he thought could have a sequel rather than choosing a "fan favourite."

Just think... Maybe if he'd chosen "Charlie X," that episode would be on all the modern top-10 lists.
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Old September 27 2012, 10:25 PM   #12
KeepOnTrekking
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Re: Vintage lists of best episodes?

Trek conducted a second poll in the mid-eighties which was published in The Best of Trek #10 in June 1986:

1. The City on the Edge of Forever
2. Amok Time
3. Balance of Terror
4. All Our Yesterdays
5. The Menagerie
6. The Enemy Within
7. The Trouble with Tribbles
8. A Piece of the Action
9. Shore Leave
10. Space Seed
11. Mirror, Mirror
12. Assignment: Earth
13. Arena
14. The Enterprise Incident
15. The Empath
16. Friday's Child
17. The Devil in the Dark
18. This Side of Paradise

I'd say The Wrath of Khan and Ann Crispin's Yesterday's Son made a definite impression on how some looked at certain episodes in a new light.
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Old September 28 2012, 07:06 AM   #13
JimZipCode
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Re: Vintage lists of best episodes?

Gary7 wrote: View Post
There are TOS episodes I didn't like back a couple of decades ago, but now consider them worthwhile.
One episode where that has happened to me is Taste of Armageddon. That was utterly unremarkable when I was growing up, but when I saw it again within the last 3 to 5 yrs, it was much better than I remembered. It gets better the more I think about it.

I've even started to put it in a new category: the best examplar of the "good Star Trek episode". Maybe I'll start a new thread about this.



SonicRanger wrote: View Post
See, this is really interesting. No "Space Seed," as many of us have wondered regarding its prestige before TWOK.
KeepOnTrekking wrote: View Post
I'd say The Wrath of Khan and Ann Crispin's Yesterday's Son made a definite impression on how some looked at certain episodes in a new light.
Greg Cox wrote: View Post
I've always suspected that TWOK elevated the stature of "Space Seed" to some degree.
Totally. No one ever thought Space Seed was one of the very best Trek episodes, or a fan favorite, before Wrath of Kahn. A good, solid episode, sure: but only that. Maybe not even in the top ten of its own season.

Wikipedia sez that Harve Bennett watched all the original episodes, decided the first movie lacked a real bad guy, and decided that Kahn would be the perfect enemy. The thing that jumps out, 30 years later – heck, it jumped out then – is that Ricardo Montalbán was a star. Fantasy Island was right in the middle of its run. The "rich Corinthian leather" commercials were on the air. Montalbán was a recognizable commodity, a big asset to a movie deal. Exactly what a studio would like to see when putting together a package to fund a project; esp a sequel to a movie that disappointed at the box office.

It's pretty obvious why Bennett chose Kahn to be the bad guy for the new movie. Nothing to do with how beloved or not Space Seed was at the time.
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Old September 28 2012, 10:19 AM   #14
SonicRanger
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Re: Vintage lists of best episodes?

^^ Interesting observation about the potential influence of books at the time too.
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Old September 29 2012, 02:57 PM   #15
Therin of Andor
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Re: Vintage lists of best episodes?

SonicRanger wrote: View Post
Again no "Space Seed" on the list. This again supports the idea that Harve Bennett just picked an episode he thought could have a sequel rather than choosing a "fan favourite."
According to articles of the day (I became an avid fan of TOS via TMP and TAS, so followed the making of ST II closely), it was never mentioned as a "fan favourite", but because it was a solid episode that seemed ripe for a sequel.

"Shore Leave" often appeared on those early lists because it was an outdoors episode. Lots of comedy and drama, but some stunning, colourful cinematography for color TV in the old "Africa, USA" recreational area.
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