The Most Generic STAR TREK Episode...

Discussion in 'Star Trek - The Original & Animated Series' started by Farscape One, Feb 19, 2019.

?

Which is the most generic STAR TREK episode?

  1. THE RETURN OF THE ARCHONS

    6 vote(s)
    42.9%
  2. FRIDAY'S CHILD

    8 vote(s)
    57.1%
  1. Farscape One

    Farscape One Commodore Commodore

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2017
    This was inspired by the VOYAGER thread.

    With the TNG list on its final poll, and ENTERPRISE now at the halfway point, I felt it was time to go back to the beginning.

    So here is the list, in production order...

    THE CAGE
    WHERE NO MAN HAS GONE BEFORE
    THE CORBOMITE MANEUVER
    MUDD'S WOMEN
    THE ENEMY WITHIN
    THE MAN TRAP
    THE NAKED TIME
    CHARLIE X
    BALANCE OF TERROR
    WHAT ARE LITTLE GIRLS MADE OF?
    DAGGER OF THE MIND
    MIRI
    THE CONSCIENCE OF THE KING
    THE GALILEO SEVEN
    COURT MARTIAL
    THE MENAGERIE PART I
    THE MENAGERIE PART II
    SHORE LEAVE
    THE SQUIRE OF GOTHOS
    ARENA
    THE ALTERNATIVE FACTOR
    TOMORROW IS YESTERDAY
    THE RETURN OF THE ARCHONS
    SPACE SEED
    THIS SIDE OF PARADISE
    THE DEVIL IN THE DARK
    ERRAND OF MERCY
    THE CITY ON THE EDGE OF FOREVER
    OPERATION -- ANNIHILATE!

    CATSPAW
    METAMORPHOSIS
    FRIDAY'S CHILD
    WHO MOURNS FOR ADONAIS?
    AMOK TIME
    THE DOOMSDAY MACHINE
    WOLF IN THE FOLD
    THE CHANGELING
    THE APPLE
    MIRROR, MIRROR
    THE DEADLY YEARS
    I, MUDD
    THE TROUBLE WITH TRIBBLES
    BREAD AND CIRCUSES
    JOURNEY TO BABEL
    A PRIVATE LITTLE WAR
    THE GAMESTERS OF TRISKELION
    OBSESSION
    THE IMMUNITY SYNDROME
    A PIECE OF THE ACTION
    BY ANY OTHER NAME
    RETURN TO TOMORROW
    PATTERNS OF FORCE
    THE ULTIMATE COMPUTER
    THE OMEGA GLORY
    ASSIGNMENT: EARTH

    SPECTRE OF THE GUN
    ELAAN OF TROYIUS
    THE PARADISE SYNDROME
    THE ENTERPRISE INCIDENT
    AND THE CHILDREN SHALL LEAD
    SPOCK'S BRAIN
    IS THERE IN TRUTH NO BEAUTY?
    THE EMPATH
    THE THOLIAN WEB
    FOR THE WORLD IS HOLLOW AND I HAVE TOUCHED THE SKY
    DAY OF THE DOVE
    PLATO'S STEPCHILDREN
    WINK OF AN EYE
    THAT WHICH SURVIVES
    LET THAT BE YOUR LAST BATTLEFIELD
    WHOM GODS DESTROY
    THE MARK OF GIDEON
    THE LIGHTS OF ZETAR
    THE CLOUD MINDERS
    THE WAY TO EDEN
    REQUIEM FOR METHUSELAH
    THE SAVAGE CURTAIN
    ALL OUR YESTERDAYS
    TURNABOUT INTRUDER


    I will begin by giving you "A TASTE OF ARMAGEDDON". The idea of two civilizations at war for 500 years and the people just killing themselves because a computer told them they were a casualty in that war is very unique. I loved Kirk's solution.
     
    Spectre Of The Fun likes this.
  2. Kor

    Kor Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2001
    Location:
    Dahar Master final exams
    I'll go with ERRAND OF MERCY. The Klingons were a new and interesting adversary, a force to be reckoned with. It was also rather humbling for Kirk to be made to realize how eager he was to go to war.

    Kor
     
    Spectre Of The Fun likes this.
  3. Marsden

    Marsden Commodore Commodore

    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2013
    Location:
    Thulcandra
    By generic you mean most typical or even plain? Nothing to see here, as it were. Meh.
    So I should pick one that isn't meh, thereby whittling it down to the most meh episode remaining.

    I pick Balance of Terror.

    Introduction of the Romulans and a great running battle between to crafty captains, something sorely lacking in most star wars where they drive right up to each other and shoot until somebody blows up.
     
  4. Neopeius

    Neopeius Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Nov 3, 2001
    Location:
    OSF Headquarters
    Given that Balance of Terror is a direct lift of The Enemy Below, I think it scores high in the generic.

    I have a unique vantage, living as I do in the era just before Star Trek. So I'm going to pick an episode that is different from everything I'd seen before: Movies, Outer Limits, Twilight Zone, Dahl's and Karloff's shows (can't remember their names now).

    I also kind of feel this should be done by season -- because the later seasons have to be unique not only from what came before but from prior Treks. Unless, of course, I'm missing the whole point of this exercise.

    Anyway, as the most unique of the 1st Season, I'm going to go with Space Seed. All the other eps before it, while many are excellent (and some better than Space Seed), they are reminiscent of something I'd seen prior. Space Seed is a wholly space-borne episode, at a time when spaceship shows were rare; it involved the Enterprise meeting another spaceship, from our future (so two futures intersecting). It wasn't horror or a monster show or a military/courtroom drama dressed up. It wasn't a twist-ending. Just pure space-based SF.

    God, I can't wait to get to September '66!!!
     
    Spectre Of The Fun likes this.
  5. ZapBrannigan

    ZapBrannigan Commodore Commodore

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2013
    Location:
    New York State
    You guys are naming iconic episodes, not generic ones.

    "The Apple" is the most generic episode, in the sense of having rolled off the assembly line with no higher purpose or meaning than to fill a week in the broadcast schedule. It's not extremely bad, and it's not very good.
     
  6. Poltargyst

    Poltargyst Captain Captain

    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2014
    Farscape One's op seems to expect that I would know the point of the exercise. But I don't read the other Star Trek boards, I haven't seen this exercise before. Perhaps Farscape could explain the exercise?
     
  7. Phaser Two

    Phaser Two Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2016
    Location:
    Los Angeles
    I'm with you. I want to participate but I don't know the framework.
     
    Spectre Of The Fun likes this.
  8. Spectre Of The Fun

    Spectre Of The Fun Lieutenant Red Shirt

    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2018
    Location:
    Marooned in the American Midwest.
    I am confused and I agree with Zap. Although I like people's posts nobody but Zap seems to be making a generic case.

    I vote for Obsession. It's Season Two coming in the middle at the end of the great Gene Coon era. Bob Justman said the show had to be entertaining with likable characters to stand a chance of staying on the air. I would say this is generic TOS--fast paced, entertaining, making good use of the likable main characters, one guest star, The Enterprise, one alien planet set doubling for two planets and a monster of the week.

    I actually love the episode but because it is a bit generic I could show it to a TOS virgin.

    Zap I really like the Apple. Love the Prime Directive debate and Kirk embarrassing Spock, McCoy and Martha Landon by pushing along Landon's "how is it done" queery. I like Checkov having a love life with Landon. Killing all four red shirted security guards was too much and the desperately needed Motion Picture body armour might have saved Hendorff and Marple. Overall I like it but you make the right case if we understand this game correctly.

    If you are capable of time travel can I go back with you? Can we go to London? I want to see the Who when they were still playing in small clubs and music halls and mini skirts when they were just coming into fashion.

    Do you have a color TV set to watch trek when it first comes over the airwaves?
     
    ZapBrannigan and Phaser Two like this.
  9. Phaser Two

    Phaser Two Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2016
    Location:
    Los Angeles
    Yeah. Is generic bad or good? :shrug:
     
    Spectre Of The Fun likes this.
  10. Spectre Of The Fun

    Spectre Of The Fun Lieutenant Red Shirt

    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2018
    Location:
    Marooned in the American Midwest.
    I take it as not bad but not exceptional--representative of the show's strengths and conforming to the basic premise.

    There was a thread like this in the General Trek forum and where it came to TOS the de facto leader of this BBS--none other than Lord Garth chose For the World is Hollow and I have Touched the Sky. That's as a good choice for this exercise as any.
     
  11. Myko

    Myko Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2004
    Location:
    Stockholm, Sweden
    The premise of the Voyager version was to find the most generic episode by eleminating every non-generic episode, so that whichever episode remained had to be the most generic. We're supposed to list the iconic episodes.

    City on the Edge of Forever is obviously not generic, so that's what I cross off the list.
     
    Spectre Of The Fun likes this.
  12. ZapBrannigan

    ZapBrannigan Commodore Commodore

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2013
    Location:
    New York State
    Oh, we're supposed to pick off what's not generic and get down to what is by elimination. I didn't get the game. I'd say "Mirror Mirror" is the least generic episode.
     
    Spectre Of The Fun likes this.
  13. Farscape One

    Farscape One Commodore Commodore

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2017
    The lack of explanation is my fault. My apologies.

    The first thing to do is copy the episode list, then delete what you consider to NOT be generic or done before in the franchise. Given this is the first series, that can prove a bit challenging.

    Each person after someone posts also copies the previous list, until it gets whittled down to the final two episodes that have not been voted off. Then, I will post a poll on those final two to see what is considered the most generic episode.

    Another criteria some have used... an episode that is so bad that the level of its badness is not matched, or at least very rare.
     
  14. Phaser Two

    Phaser Two Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2016
    Location:
    Los Angeles
    Okay . . . my question remains. Is generic bad or good?
     
  15. Farscape One

    Farscape One Commodore Commodore

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2017
    Given the two finalists for both TNG and VOYAGER, it leans more toward the bad side.
     
  16. Sakonna

    Sakonna Captain Captain

    Joined:
    Dec 15, 2015
    Location:
    Sakonna
    I wonder if the negative connotation of "generic" misleads people a little. Maybe these are better called... the most typical episode? The most conventional episode?
     
  17. Farscape One

    Farscape One Commodore Commodore

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2017
    Interesting thought. I hadn't considered that, I just went with 'Generic' because that was what the VOYAGER one was called.

    Maybe keeping that line of thinking in this thread will help.
     
  18. Sakonna

    Sakonna Captain Captain

    Joined:
    Dec 15, 2015
    Location:
    Sakonna
    OK, I think I've reconciled this list to remove all the "most distinct" episodes people named, but not the "most generic/typical/conventional" episodes. @Farscape One you probably want to check my work... (and maybe edit the first post on the thread to add the parameters, so it's easy for any newcomers?)

    THE CAGE
    WHERE NO MAN HAS GONE BEFORE
    THE CORBOMITE MANEUVER
    MUDD'S WOMEN
    THE ENEMY WITHIN
    THE MAN TRAP
    THE NAKED TIME
    CHARLIE X
    WHAT ARE LITTLE GIRLS MADE OF?
    DAGGER OF THE MIND
    MIRI
    THE CONSCIENCE OF THE KING
    THE GALILEO SEVEN
    COURT MARTIAL
    THE MENAGERIE PART I
    THE MENAGERIE PART II
    SHORE LEAVE
    THE SQUIRE OF GOTHOS
    ARENA
    THE ALTERNATIVE FACTOR
    TOMORROW IS YESTERDAY
    THE RETURN OF THE ARCHONS
    THIS SIDE OF PARADISE
    THE DEVIL IN THE DARK
    OPERATION -- ANNIHILATE!

    METAMORPHOSIS
    FRIDAY'S CHILD
    WHO MOURNS FOR ADONAIS?
    AMOK TIME
    THE DOOMSDAY MACHINE
    WOLF IN THE FOLD
    THE CHANGELING
    THE APPLE
    THE DEADLY YEARS
    I, MUDD
    THE TROUBLE WITH TRIBBLES
    BREAD AND CIRCUSES
    JOURNEY TO BABEL
    A PRIVATE LITTLE WAR
    THE GAMESTERS OF TRISKELION
    OBSESSION
    THE IMMUNITY SYNDROME
    A PIECE OF THE ACTION
    BY ANY OTHER NAME
    RETURN TO TOMORROW
    PATTERNS OF FORCE
    THE ULTIMATE COMPUTER
    THE OMEGA GLORY
    ASSIGNMENT: EARTH

    SPECTRE OF THE GUN
    ELAAN OF TROYIUS
    THE PARADISE SYNDROME
    THE ENTERPRISE INCIDENT
    AND THE CHILDREN SHALL LEAD
    SPOCK'S BRAIN
    IS THERE IN TRUTH NO BEAUTY?
    THE EMPATH
    THE THOLIAN WEB
    FOR THE WORLD IS HOLLOW AND I HAVE TOUCHED THE SKY
    DAY OF THE DOVE
    PLATO'S STEPCHILDREN
    WINK OF AN EYE
    THAT WHICH SURVIVES
    LET THAT BE YOUR LAST BATTLEFIELD
    WHOM GODS DESTROY
    THE MARK OF GIDEON
    THE LIGHTS OF ZETAR
    THE CLOUD MINDERS
    THE WAY TO EDEN
    REQUIEM FOR METHUSELAH
    THE SAVAGE CURTAIN
    ALL OUR YESTERDAYS
    TURNABOUT INTRUDER

    And I have removed "Catspaw," the only Halloween episode! (Or holiday themed episode of any type, really)
     
  19. Phaser Two

    Phaser Two Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2016
    Location:
    Los Angeles

    Thanks. I'm not trying to be difficult, but if it's a positive concept, then it's the most emblematic episode of TOS? The one that best exemplifies what the series is all about? Just looking for clarification. "Generic" to me definitely has a negative vibe.
     
  20. Sakonna

    Sakonna Captain Captain

    Joined:
    Dec 15, 2015
    Location:
    Sakonna
    @Farscape One can correct me if I've interpreted this wrong, but I thought the intent was more neutral. In theory we end up with the most regular episode, the most standard episode -- so there's not really a value judgment of the final episode built into the game itself. Building towards the "most generic" also allows the actual eliminations to be more interesting -- better to have the eliminations be "this is why this episode stands out to me" rather than "this is why this episode is undistinguished."

    And of course the game becomes what the players make of it. Sometimes people eliminate episodes for memorably bad qualities, other times for memorably good qualities, and sometimes just for something that's memorably different/strange/weird. Depending on how that unfolds, we may end up with good or bad episodes at the end, and I'm always intrigued to see which is the case, because the game isn't specifically steering it one way or another (though in both VOY and TNG the final episodes were weaker ones)

    I admit to being baffled the first time I noticed this in the Voyager forum, my thought being "isn't the problem with Voyager that [almost] all of it is generic?"