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

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Old July 10 2010, 09:29 PM   #1
Whill
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I need one more TOS episode for kids

Bear with me on the background to my question...

I bought my favorite TOS episodes from iTunes (remastered versions). Then I bought a couple more Klingon episodes and one that serves as a "time-travel prequel" to the ultimate TOS-tribute episode of Enterprise, for a total of 12 TOS episodes. I plan to burn these onto 3 DVD discs of 4 episodes each. Here are the 12 episodes:

"The Naked Time"
"Balance of Terror"
"Space Seed"
“Errand of Mercy”
"The City on the Edge of Forever"
“Amok Time”
"Mirror, Mirror"
"Journey to Babel"
"The Trouble with Tribbles"
"The Enterprise Incident"
“The Tholian Web”
“Day of the Dove”

I have a baby boy. Thinking ahead, I decided that I will introduce Star Trek to him with the TAS when he is old enough, so I've already bought it on DVD. Then if he likes that, I thought a great transition into TOS would be the TOS episodes that are most relevant to the TAS, like "The Trouble with Tribbles". I already have some of those episodes (above), so I decided to also buy three more TOS episodes that have TAS sequels:

"Mudd’s Women"
"Shore Leave"
"I, Mudd"

Since I can burn 4 episodes onto one disc, I will have room for one more episode on a "bonus disc" of TOS episodes for my son. Considering that my son and I will already have all 15 of the above listed episodes, my question for all of you is:

What is one more episode I can buy that kids might be interested in?

Thanks!
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Old July 10 2010, 09:35 PM   #2
ToddPence
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Re: I need one more TOS episode for kids

"The City on the Edge of Forever" is one that has a TAS sequel ("Yesteryear").
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Old July 10 2010, 09:43 PM   #3
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Re: I need one more TOS episode for kids

I do not think "Mudd's Women" is a suitable episode for kids... at least not until The Birds and The Bees talk has been accomplished.
"And the Children Shall Lead" is a kid's episode. Heaven knows very few adults can tolerate it.
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Old July 10 2010, 09:51 PM   #4
Whill
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Re: I need one more TOS episode for kids

ToddPence wrote: View Post
"The City on the Edge of Forever" is one that has a TAS sequel ("Yesteryear").
True, but I already have that one.

Sector 7 wrote: View Post
I do not think "Mudd's Women" is a suitable episode for kids... at least not until The Birds and The Bees talk has been accomplished.
I understand your point. Thanks for the feedback.

Sector 7 wrote: View Post
"And the Children Shall Lead" is a kid's episode. Heaven knows very few adults can tolerate it.
I forgot about that one. Good suggestion!

Anyone else got another one? Especially since I may not get "Mudd's Women"?
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Old July 10 2010, 10:00 PM   #5
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Re: I need one more TOS episode for kids

I think Arena is probably a good one for children, with a simple moral message about peaceful resolution of conflicts, delivered without any subtlety so it’s obvious even to children. It actually has two messages for children if they pick up on the nature of Kirk’s solution as delivering a “pay attention in school” message.

Last edited by Captrek; July 10 2010 at 10:12 PM.
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Old July 10 2010, 10:04 PM   #6
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Re: I need one more TOS episode for kids

Well, part of the problem is that Star Trek is not, and never really was, a children's program, not even in its animated form.

I suggest you start him off the same way I started off in the 70's (for the purposes of this discussion, I'm not counting the time I watched it on NBC as a toddler with my dad), in production order. "Where No Man Has Gone Before" and "The Corbomite Maneuver" are straightforward enough for a kid to get the general idea.

Sticking to your initial criteria, I still suggest "The Corbomite Maneuver". Lots of tension, a creepy big headed monster, the Enterprise blows something up, lots of stuff for a kid to enjoy. And he'll never even notice that nobody dies.
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Old July 10 2010, 10:22 PM   #7
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Re: I need one more TOS episode for kids

I do not know how you feel about the other Trek series, but TNG had a few kid-friendly episodes:
- Rascals -some of the crew become children
- Future Imperfect -an alien child is afraid of loneliness
- Disaster -Captain Picard is trapped in a turbolift with three children
- When the Bough Breaks -children are taken away from parents by aliens who cannot have children

If you want only TOS episodes, then "Miri" is another good episode with children.
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Old July 10 2010, 10:28 PM   #8
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Re: I need one more TOS episode for kids

Sector 7 wrote: View Post
I do not know how you feel about the other Trek series, but TNG had a few kid-friendly episodes:
- Rascals -some of the crew become children
- Future Imperfect -an alien child is afraid of loneliness
- Disaster -Captain Picard is trapped in an elevator with three children
- When the Bough Breaks -children are taken away from parents by aliens who cannot have children

If you want only TOS episodes, then "Miri" is another good episode with children.
Having children in an episode doesn’t necessarily make it a good episode for children, unless the children in the episode are characters to which the viewing child can relate. I doubt the children in ATCSL and Miri qualify because they don’t act like real children.

Off the top of my head, I can think of A Piece of the Action as having a child that a viewer might like to relate to (intelligent, daring, part of the Good Guys team, treated as an equal by the adults), but he’s only in one scene.

Last edited by Captrek; July 11 2010 at 05:17 AM.
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Old July 10 2010, 10:39 PM   #9
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Re: I need one more TOS episode for kids

captrek wrote: View Post
Sector 7 wrote: View Post
I do not know how you feel about the other Trek series, but TNG had a few kid-friendly episodes:
- Rascals -some of the crew become children
- Future Imperfect -an alien child is afraid of loneliness
- Disaster -Captain Picard is trapped in an elevator with three children
- When the Bough Breaks -children are taken away from parents by aliens who cannot have children

If you want only TOS episodes, then "Miri" is another good episode with children.
Having children in an episode doesn’t necessarily make it a good episode for children, unless the children in the episode are characters to which the viewing child can relate. I doubt the children in ATCSL and Miri qualify because they don’t act like real children. The episodes might even be perceived by children as insulting toward children, and therefore less enjoyable than episodes that don’t have children at all.

Off the top of my head, I can think of A Piece of the Action as having a child that a viewer might like to relate to (intelligent, daring, part of the Good Guys team, treated as an equal by the adults), but he’s only in one scene.
I, obviously, disagree. "And the Children Shall Lead" is a good episode for children. The messages are clear: don't be fooled by people who pretend to like you; be good, not bad; its OK to grieve; the adults who care about you are the good guys; etc. Is it poorly executed by adult standards? Yes. Is it good for young children? Yes.
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Old July 10 2010, 11:11 PM   #10
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Re: I need one more TOS episode for kids

It depends on the child, I guess but I found Miri pretty scary as a young child.

The first episode I remember watching was Devil In The Dark and I enjoyed it as I recall.
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Old July 10 2010, 11:20 PM   #11
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Re: I need one more TOS episode for kids

Honestly, I think you are over thinking this. My advice is to just intro it to him, in how most of us were, by random chance. I don't think the ultimate viewing line up will have that much impact on if he loves it or hates it. Only your son can choose that.

good luck

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Old July 10 2010, 11:22 PM   #12
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Re: I need one more TOS episode for kids

Personally, I wouldn't recommend either Miri or Children Shall Lead for kids; they're both terrifying, with the kids ending up crying at some point. Miri cries in terror and in CSL, they all cry in mourning. Not fun episodes.

Maybe Squire of Gothos; Tomorrow is Yesterday; Assignment Earth.
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Old July 11 2010, 12:05 AM   #13
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Re: I need one more TOS episode for kids

Jeri wrote: View Post
Personally, I wouldn't recommend either Miri or Children Shall Lead for kids; they're both terrifying, with the kids ending up crying at some point. Miri cries in terror and in CSL, they all cry in mourning. Not fun episodes.

Maybe Squire of Gothos; Tomorrow is Yesterday; Assignment Earth.
I agree with Jeri. The diseased "children" in Miri who attack the landing party and later Kirk are pretty disturbing-looking.

My episode suggestions echo some made by others: A Piece of the Action, Assignment:Earth, The Squire of Gothos, The Corbomite Manuver. My kids loved Spock's Brain early on, and then Catspaw when they got a little older.

In general, I introduced episodes as I felt my kids were ready to handle the visuals and subject matter. By this point (10 & 12), they've seen most of the TOS episodes (and many from the other series). Every child is different, and is able to understand and handle things (scary images, heavy drama, sexual innuendo, etc) at different rates than their peers. You'll know your son; introduce episodes as he's ready. Resist the temptation to show him something early because you're dying to share it with him. (This is hard; I jumped the gun a couple of times with my kids. But know that you probably aren't going to scar him for life, either.)

I'd recommend starting with more fun, action/adventure episodes, not necessarily concentrating on "message" episodes. They'll start absorbing the embedded messages as they get older; they tend to focus on the fun aspects when they're younger. And I wouldn't necessarily start with the animated episodes; good as some of them are, the originals are usually far better. Start him with the best of the best.

Good luck. Sharing your love of Star Trek with your kids can lead to many hours of fun together. Having done it, I highly recommend it!
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Old July 11 2010, 12:16 AM   #14
Whill
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Re: I need one more TOS episode for kids

Insightful response. Thanks DrCorby, and everyone.

Captain Robert April wrote: View Post
Well, part of the problem is that Star Trek is not, and never really was, a children's program, not even in its animated form.
I'm not trying to make Trek into a kids' show. I will only introduce each Trek episode as I feel my son is ready for it. I didn't get interested in TOS until junior high. I had never seen TAS until this year when I bought my son's future copy, but I think I would have liked it in elementary school.

I disagree that the TAS is not a kids' show. No disrespect to anyone that likes it, and I'm not saying there isn't any mature material in it, but it is definitely the most kid-friendly series out of the entire franchise. Yes, it may be a few steps above some other cartoons and still enjoyable to adults, but TAS is defintely closer to kid-level than TOS. And for kids, animation is inherently more interesting to watch than live action as certain ages.

Sector 7 wrote: View Post
I do not know how you feel about the other Trek series, but TNG had a few kid-friendly episodes:
- Rascals -some of the crew become children
- Future Imperfect -an alien child is afraid of loneliness
- Disaster -Captain Picard is trapped in a turbolift with three children
- When the Bough Breaks -children are taken away from parents by aliens who cannot have children
TNG is my personal favorite Trek series. Thanks for this, but I was only asking for TOS episodes here because that would be the next logical progression after TAS (most of the same main characters, with the same voices). But yes, if my son really gets into Trek then there is a whole bunch more out there.

Captain Robert April wrote: View Post
I suggest you start him off the same way I started off in the 70's (for the purposes of this discussion, I'm not counting the time I watched it on NBC as a toddler with my dad), in production order.
Thanks for your suggestion. But if he gets into TAS, then when he is a little older we'll move on to the TOS episodes that that are related to the TAS and kid-friendly episodes, and then the rest of my personal fave TOS episodes first. If he can't get enough of them, then that might be a good indication he might really enjoy the entire original series.
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Old July 11 2010, 12:18 AM   #15
Whill
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Re: I need one more TOS episode for kids

So far we've got...

TOS kid ep suggestions
"Arena"
"The Corbomite Maneuver"
"A Piece of the Action"
"Devil In The Dark"
"Squire of Gothos"
"Tomorrow is Yesterday"
"Assignment Earth"
"Spock's Brain"
"Catspaw"

suggestions with some debate
"And the Children Shall Lead"
"Miri"

Any others? Or any other discussion of these?
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