Most Underrated Episode?

Discussion in 'Star Trek - Original Series' started by CrazyMatt, Jul 14, 2014.

  1. CrazyMatt

    CrazyMatt Captain Captain

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2013
    Location:
    Trying to focus....
    We've had plenty of discussion here regarding Star Trek's most popular and well respected episodes. But what about those episodes of Star Trek that are high quality but are traditionally underrated?

    What Star Trek episode do you think is most underrated and why?
     
  2. Commishsleer

    Commishsleer Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2013
    Location:
    CommishSleer
    I think Plato's Stepchildren is underrated and is one of my favourite episodes.

    I know everyone complains about the 'horsey scene'. It doesn't worry me. They were supposed to be being tortured and embarrassed.
    I thought there were some great performances in this episode and you could see how close Spock, Kirk and McCoy were.

    Of course there were some bad parts as there are to all things - Uhura being frightened again, Kironide just being 'forgotten' after the end of the episode and aliens knowing about Plato. Sigh.

    While I'm here I'll put in a vote for 'The Empath'. Again another great episode focusing on the relationship between Kirk, Spock and McCoy. McCoy was kick ass in this episode.
     
  3. T'Girl

    T'Girl Vice Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2009
    Location:
    T'Girl
    The Alternate factor. While not in my personal "top ten," the episode has some interesting moments and generally something to say. Yes, the execution could have been better, and replace antimatter with a different term, but there are far worse episodes.



    :)
     
  4. BillJ

    BillJ Fleet Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Jan 30, 2001
    Location:
    alt.nerd.obsessive.pic
    "The Omega Glory"

    Interesting story with great performances by Shatner and Woodward. I don't even mind the American flag and don't believe it is all that hard to explain.
     
  5. Push The Button

    Push The Button Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2013
    Location:
    Smithfield, Rhode Island USA
    Spectre of the Gun
    The Return of The Archons
    The Empath
     
  6. M

    M Vice Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2007
    "The Empath" was were my thoughts went first. But to be honest, I think amoung fan cirlces it is almost universally hailed as one of the best episodes of the third season. So I don't really think it's underrated all that much.

    "This Side of Paradise" on the other hand gets almost no talk at all, while I'd easily rank it amoung the series' best. It's got a pretty setting, an out-of-the-norm story for Spock and great performances by Frank Overton, Shatner and Nimoy. So yeah, I think it's definitely underrated.
     
  7. ZapBrannigan

    ZapBrannigan Commodore Commodore

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2013
    Location:
    New York State
    "Spock's Brain" is by far the most underrated episode. It's got good action, good pacing, good guest stars, and great music. Yet vast numbers of fans have dumped on it over the years.
     
  8. Push The Button

    Push The Button Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2013
    Location:
    Smithfield, Rhode Island USA
    The best part of Spock's Brain is the group discussion on the bridge with Sulu, Uhura, Kirk and Chekov giving his powerpoint presentation on the Sigma Draconis system up on the main viewscreen, with a rare POV from behind the captain's chair. Great stuff.
     
  9. The Old Mixer

    The Old Mixer Clean Old Mod Moderator

    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2002
    Location:
    Somewhere in Connecticut
    "The Way to Eden"--fun and entertaining, and the concept behind the space hippies is valid for the setting.
     
  10. plynch

    plynch Commodore Commodore

    Joined:
    Apr 28, 2007
    Location:
    Outer Graceland
    I echo This Side of Paradise. It's great! Better than stilted snoozer Balance of Terror, which gets all the love. (flinches in anticipation of thrown object)

    The acting is great, that Final Spock scene with Leila about self-made purgatories or whatnot: supersad!

    I think Is There in Truth is highly underrated. No one seems to hate it, but it's got an interesting, character-driven story with a real alien life-form. The story is very Sturgeonesque to me.
     
  11. BillJ

    BillJ Fleet Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Jan 30, 2001
    Location:
    alt.nerd.obsessive.pic
    I like them both. But then there aren't too many TOS episodes that I dislike. :lol:

    +1
     
  12. ZapBrannigan

    ZapBrannigan Commodore Commodore

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2013
    Location:
    New York State
    I can't see that "This Side of Paradise" counts, because I've always loved it and thought everybody else did.

    So, true, it doesn't get a lot of threads (I posted one but can't find it now), but it wasn't underrated as in, people ever thought it was bad. It's a great episode and everyone says so.
     
  13. Marsden

    Marsden Commodore Commodore

    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2013
    Location:
    Will be Celebrating Spocktoberfest this year!
    I've heard people complain about The Savage Curtain, but I love it. It's one of my all time favorites.
     
  14. Captrek

    Captrek Vice Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    May 24, 2009
    The Galileo Seven, The Conscience of the King, and I, Mudd are among my favorites but not usually listed by others among the best episodes,

    If the films count, The Final Frontier.
     
  15. T'Girl

    T'Girl Vice Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2009
    Location:
    T'Girl
    Learned some interesting (and disturbing) things about the Federation.



    :)
     
  16. Ssosmcin

    Ssosmcin Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2002
    Location:
    ssosmcin
    Spock’s Brain will always have the stigma of “worst episode of the series,” but there are far worse in my mind. This one has the distinction of being the episode fans were “rewarded with” for all of their writing and picketing efforts to save the series. I can imagine fans gearing up for the premiere of their favorite show were expecting a triumphant return. Instead, they probably said, “all of that work…for THIS?!” Had the season premiered with Spectre of the Gun or The Enterprise Incident (if they were ready), Spock’s Brain may have been regarded as a wacky, just “not good” episode.

    For me, it’s a ton of fun and a guilty pleasure for many of the reasons you mentioned, Zap. You and I are spot on target for the appreciation of the sets and music.
     
  17. TREK_GOD_1

    TREK_GOD_1 Commodore Commodore

    Joined:
    May 24, 2006
    Location:
    Escaped from Delta Vega
    +1.

    The episode was a fine mix of the eerie (the fate of the Exeter), the brutal (every physical conflict played realistically), and as you note, Shatner and Woodward delivered great performances--well matched as strong, leading personalities.

    No matter what one thinks of the parallel earth part of the story, the plot is grim with no easy "out" for the heroes.
     
  18. plynch

    plynch Commodore Commodore

    Joined:
    Apr 28, 2007
    Location:
    Outer Graceland
    "Underrated" = forgotten/overlooked, to me. This Side of Paradise seems overlooked on this BBS. The ones people hate just don't seem right for an "underrated" thread, since they're so often thought of and discussed. YMMV.
     
  19. KirkusOveractus

    KirkusOveractus Captain Captain

    Joined:
    Mar 27, 2009
    Location:
    Ambler, PA
    One for me is "A Taste of Armageddon". It seems to get overlooked quite a bit, but the acting is strong by all in that episode (including some great moments with Scotty) and a great message about machines running a civilization to the point of obeying whatever they say (registering "hits" on cities, etc.)

    It also has a great balance of wanting to preserve your life or blindly follow what generations before have done, just because that's what they did.

    For me, it's one of the best TOS episodes, actually one of the best in all of Trek. It would also have made a great feature film, given a good amount of material to show how much more the machines were in the Eminians' culture.
     
    HuckleCat likes this.
  20. Wingsley

    Wingsley Commodore Commodore

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2007
    Location:
    Wingsley
    ^ Ditto on "A Taste of Armageddon"; a seriously underrated TOS outing. I enjoyed the conflicts between Fox and Scott, Kirk and Anan 7, and even got a chuckle out of the brief confrontation between the regal-but-suicidal Mea 3 and Yeoman Tamura. "Taste" was one of those first-year stories that showed that while the Federation has high principles and they want to "try to take it easy", if you mess with them, they take care of business.

    I also feel the same way about "Dagger of the Mind". My mother used to work in the dietary department of a local state mental hospital. She knows many of the patients there are not capable of caring for themselves, yet the de-institutionalization of the last 50+ years is putting more and more of those patients out on the street. "Dagger" seemed to speak to me about man's inhumanity to man, about how our generation is mistreating some of our weakest, most marginalized citizens. By showing Kirk being subjected to the Neural Neutralizer, it was like a microcosm of what was wrong at Tantalus, which itself was a statement on how we neglect or abuse the mentally ill. And the image of Noel kicking the agressor-security goon back into the electric substation to be burned to death was powerful; like she became a proxy for the infirmed patients of "Devil's Island", defending herself to stop their criminal enterprise. And I always loved the way Spock took charge and started ripping the place apart and even the redshirts were cornering the henchmen at gunpoint. (I'm looking forward to STAR TREK: NEW VOYAGES/PHASE II's adaptation of the 1970's prose short-story "Mind Sifter" with great anticipation, BTW.)

    I think all of TOS' second year is seriously underrated. Some people trash it because it used levity, but I thoroughly enjoyed it. "Metamorphosis" was one of the best stories of TOS, and I'm shocked at how underrated it is; the story goes directly to what TOS intro-monologue said it was all about. "Bread and Circuses" is my all-time favorite TOS story. Again, Kirk and company must deal with hostile aliens, but even while at gunpoint they keep it cool and do not overreact. Kirk even commends Scotty for the harmless EMP blackout. The story's cleverly layered religious message resonates with me to this day. "Obsession" remains outstanding as the best "the captain has issues" stories of any of the STAR TREK series. The story, the acting and the "creature" concept still blow me away! And "The Ultimate Computer" is still relevant in its subject matter, over 45 years after it first aired.

    Of all the "Kirk's girlfriend comes calling" stories, "Elaan of Troyius" is the best. At least there's a sci fi plot mixed in with the captain's dalliance this time. And yes, I enjoyed the disarm-the-bomb/restore-the-engines/deal-with-the-Klingons subplot as well. Not as richly layered and dramatic as the excellent "A Private Little War", but still an outstanding Cold Warrior's story.

    "Is There in Truth No Beauty?" is a romantic tale on many levels that seems to get recognized by the fans, but only sparingly. This never fails to amaze and disappoint me. Both "Is There in Truth No Beauty?" and "The Tholian Web" deal with the very sci fi notion that deep space is a place far removed from humanity's conventional three-dimensional thinking, forcing the Enterprise crew to "think outside the box" in order to survive. Fans seem to want to concentrate on some "transwarp" angle, or casting the Tholians as scheming villains, but that wasn't what those stories were about. They were about confronting the unknown (both within and the Great Beyond) and having to use their intellect to cope in a place far removed from their previous experience.

    "That Which Survives", "Let That Be Your Last Battlefield", "The Lights of Zetar" and "Requiem for Methuselah" all had romanticized themes that seemed the characterize TOS' third year. They also exhibited the show's growing range of subject matter and story types. Despite obvious lapses in production values in these shows, they still seem underrated.
     
    Last edited: Jul 16, 2014
    HuckleCat likes this.