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"Best Episode of Star Trek, Season 1?" Topic

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08 Jun 2017 12:07 p.m. PST
by Editor in Chief Bill

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Personal logo Editor in Chief Bill The Editor of TMP Fezian19 Sep 2016 2:25 p.m. PST

Which episode is the best, in your opinion?

Ghostrunner19 Sep 2016 2:30 p.m. PST

Balance of Terror

-Decent suspense throughout

-Antagonist more that a screaming lunatic

-Incredible special effects for the era

Gear Pilot19 Sep 2016 2:36 p.m. PST

2nd Balance of Terror

Volstagg Vanir19 Sep 2016 2:37 p.m. PST

One episode?
The first season of TOS has (IMHO) some of the defining episodes of the entire franchise,
and I think any one episode would miss the scope of what ST was about…

How about a top five?

Best Cold War parable: "Errand of Mercy" & "Balance of Terror" (tie)

Best First Contact SF: "The Devil in the Dark" & "The Corbomite Maneuver" (Tie)

Best use of Ricardo Montalban as a GMO Sikh : "Space Seed"

Wackmole9 Supporting Member of TMP19 Sep 2016 2:47 p.m. PST

"The City on the Edge of Forever"

Chalfant19 Sep 2016 2:48 p.m. PST

I would have to look up all episodes for season 1, not expert enough… but… Balance of Terror is a well done episode, and Space Seed is terrific. Ahhh… The Enemy Within, I have found that to be an interesting episode, though perhaps not William Shatner's finest moment of acting. City on the Edge of Forever maybe?

Yeah, hard to pin down.


mad monkey 119 Sep 2016 3:01 p.m. PST

Balance of Terror.

John Treadaway19 Sep 2016 3:02 p.m. PST

There are so many good ones I can't choose. Worst episode might be easier….

It's not like it's third season where it's starting to struggle…

John T

TNE230019 Sep 2016 3:06 p.m. PST

Corbomite Maneuver
City on the Edge of Forever


Dynaman878919 Sep 2016 3:08 p.m. PST

Lots of good ones but I would have to go with City on the Edge of Forever. Good time travel causality wrapped up in a good dose of character development. It is hard to make the audience care about a guest star and this one managed to do it.

Personal logo ACWBill Supporting Member of TMP19 Sep 2016 3:09 p.m. PST

Devil in the Dark

thorr66619 Sep 2016 3:13 p.m. PST


Personal logo Jeff Ewing Supporting Member of TMP19 Sep 2016 3:17 p.m. PST

Another vote for "City…," although all the ones mentioned are very good.

robert piepenbrink Supporting Member of TMP19 Sep 2016 3:19 p.m. PST

If I were pinned, "City on the Edge of Forever," but Volstagg's right. The franchise has run for 50 years on the momentum of the first two seasons, and many answers are defensible.
(Don't laugh. Sherlock Holmes has gone on for more than a century on the basis of two short story collections and three short novels. It is truly said that if Holmes wasn't killed at the Reichenbach, he was certainly never the same again.)

Captain Gideon19 Sep 2016 3:20 p.m. PST

The Doomsday Machine.

Personal logo gamertom Supporting Member of TMP19 Sep 2016 3:22 p.m. PST

This is a hard one as there were several outstanding episode that first season. To me it's close between between Balance of Terror and The City on the Edge of Forever. Balance of Terror essentially was a great remake of the movie, The Enemy Below (which I'm surprised doesn't get more mention on TMP) while I view The City on the Edge of Forever being more original in its plot. So ultimately, back me into a corner, I'll go with The City ….

Hey You19 Sep 2016 3:44 p.m. PST

Mudd's Women. You gotta love Leo Walsh.:)

Coyotepunc and Hatshepsuut19 Sep 2016 4:01 p.m. PST

Balance of Terror, or Arena.

Arena gets a lot of flak due to the Gorn costume, but there is a LOT in that episode besides a guy in a rubber suit.

malleman19 Sep 2016 4:01 p.m. PST

I always liked A Taste of Armageddon for the look and Arena because of the and the fight scene and the bamboo cannon. Errand of Mercy is up there as well as Balance of Terror.

Ghostrunner19 Sep 2016 4:13 p.m. PST

The Doomsday Machine.

That was second season.

DOUGKL19 Sep 2016 4:39 p.m. PST

Balance of Terror even though it was lifted from a movie. But a very good movie.

14th NJ Vol Supporting Member of TMP19 Sep 2016 4:42 p.m. PST

City on the Edge of Forever

Personal logo Florida Tory Supporting Member of TMP19 Sep 2016 4:53 p.m. PST

Ii have another vote for Balance of Terror.

Ghostrunner19 Sep 2016 5:45 p.m. PST

Balance of Terror even though it was lifted from a movie. But a very good movie.

The Enemy Below

Excellent movie.

Perris070719 Sep 2016 7:28 p.m. PST

Balance of Terror. Yep.

Norrins19 Sep 2016 10:04 p.m. PST

The Galileo Seven for me. Great character driven piece.

Dave Jackson Supporting Member of TMP20 Sep 2016 4:23 a.m. PST

Balance of Terror

Hafen von Schlockenberg20 Sep 2016 6:52 a.m. PST

City has been a fan favorite since first airing. I still remember the delight and sense of anticipation I felt when the Guardian spoke--"Got to be Ellison!"

It went on to win the Writers Guild award (for Ellison's script) and the Hugo.

A print was shown to a packed film room at Discon II, the World Science Fiction Convention in 1974(this was before VCR's,remember--and before widespread syndication--anyone remember those days?). At the climactic moment,somebody got so excited,or clumsy,that they pushed or tripped over the projector cart,yanking the image off the screen and over to the side wall,to the groans and roars of outraged fans,including me. But at least I got to see it again.

And I also got to hear Roger Zelazny talk.

Personal logo javelin98 Supporting Member of TMP20 Sep 2016 7:40 a.m. PST

"A Taste of Armageddon" is one of my favorite episodes of the whole series. "Balance of Terror" was also excellent, especially Mark Lenard, who had amazing gravitas.

Patrick Sexton Supporting Member of TMP20 Sep 2016 7:44 a.m. PST

There are many excellent episodes but my vote will go to Balance of Terror.

forrester20 Sep 2016 1:07 p.m. PST

I had to look up an episode list, not being completely sure which stories were in which season..but it was quickly obvious that nearly all my personal favourites are in Season 1.
One of the TV channels in the UK recently showed back to back favourite stories, as voted for, and the two I caught were unsurprisingly "City on the Edge of Forever" and "Balance of Terror".

USAFpilot20 Sep 2016 5:36 p.m. PST

Several good ones in season one, and I will also go with "Balance of Terror". I thought the sub plot of the yellow shirted helmsman's racism against Vulcans was interesting. He was a racist, but turned out to be a good guy too. One of my complaints about modern Hollywood is the cookie cutter characters of all good or all bad. I like nuanced characters; good guys with serious flaws is much more interesting then the super men.

Old Contemptibles Supporting Member of TMP20 Sep 2016 10:56 p.m. PST

Balance of Terror

Personal logo Parzival Supporting Member of TMP21 Sep 2016 1:55 p.m. PST

Balance of Terror, for the reasons mentioned above. It also features the Enterprise as an active combat vessel, not simply transportation to the next interesting story/plot point.

But as others have said, 1st season is a hard year to pick any one as "best."

Personal logo 20thmaine Supporting Member of TMP21 Sep 2016 4:08 p.m. PST

I like Galileo 7 as well, but it does cause a thorny problem when the transporters break down from that point onwards:

Scotty : "Cap'n, I canna beam ya up from your awful danger"
Kirk : "Ok Mr Scott, have a shuttle sent down to save us"
Scotty: "I'm sorry Cap'n, I canna make out what you're saying"
Kirk : "A shuttle. A SHUTTLE ! Send a blasted shuttle down"
Scotty : "Wha? Cap'n you're communication is breaking up"
Kirk : "I swear Mr Scott, when I get back to the enterprise I'm going to……."

Ghostrunner21 Sep 2016 6:56 p.m. PST


Winston Smith22 Sep 2016 1:01 p.m. PST

I never watched it until it was in syndication, so all the seasons seem to blur together. I don't remember any outstanding ones, but I can tell you a few dumb ones.
The Yangs and Combs with the i plegnista was pretty dumb.
And then there was the one where they were competing with the Klingons to win the dilithium mining concession. A Klingon stabbed someone in the back because that's what Klingons do. And a baby was named after McCoy. Lame.

malleman22 Sep 2016 3:15 p.m. PST

Tuesday's Child? Mah-Koi was the baby's name and it is a classic. Kirk and Spock with homemade bows and arrows, it doesn't get much better!!

Omega Glory is the one with the Yangs and Kohms was kind of Pre Prime Directive.

I am not sure if we are talking about the same TV series :)

Old Contemptibles Supporting Member of TMP22 Sep 2016 8:29 p.m. PST

"Balance of Terror" is closely based on the film "The Enemy Below" (1957), with the USS Enterprise cast as the destroyer and the Romulan vessel, using a cloaking device, as the U-boat. I think you could say the entire cloaking a ship idea came from that movie. It is reported that Gene Roddenberry later paid a fee to the estate of Gary Cooper, who owned the rights to the film.

My wife would choose "City on the Edge of Forever" which was written by the great Harlan Ellison who actually hated the episode and refused to comment on it, because Gene Rodenberry change the story in a final re-write. It's an excellent episode. Balance of Terror is the only episode I own. I think it is the best episode of the original series.

Old Contemptibles Supporting Member of TMP22 Sep 2016 8:43 p.m. PST

The "Balance of Terror" episode had Mark Lenard playing the Romulan commander. He is the only actor that I know of that played the roles of a Romulan, Klingon and a Vulcan during the entire Star Trek franchise.

Scorpio23 Sep 2016 7:28 a.m. PST

When this poll runs, please only list episodes from season one.


A lot of people's suggestions above (like The Doomsday Machine) are not from season one, and thusly should not be included in the poll. I know that's how TMP rolls, really but this one is pretty straightforward.

Hafen von Schlockenberg23 Sep 2016 7:39 a.m. PST

Rallynow --Oh,Ellison's commented--big time:


I have the 90's edition. "Vitriol" is a little too mild a word;I think he used Alien blood in the ink. I could feel my fingers burning.

Captain Gideon23 Sep 2016 8:43 a.m. PST

Scorpio I forgot I'm human.

Balance of Terror is another of my Favorite episodes.

Pyrate Captain26 Jan 2017 4:39 p.m. PST

BoT. A wargame crowd-pleaser.

Personal logo 20thmaine Supporting Member of TMP26 Jan 2017 5:44 p.m. PST

Devil in the Dark is another all time classic – "dammit Jim I'm a doctor not a bricklayer"

Hafen von Schlockenberg26 Jan 2017 6:19 p.m. PST

Oho, this is back,is it?
Well,as it happens, I saw "Charlie X" last night for the first time in years. How did I forget Yeoman Rand in her pink nightgown? First episode my 15 year old self saw,IIRC. It has to go on the list.


RIP, lady.

Hafen von Schlockenberg27 Jan 2017 4:54 p.m. PST


I just noticed something about that pic--KIRK is the one looking at her face!

Who'da thunk?

Pyrate Captain31 Jan 2017 7:47 p.m. PST

Balance of Terror. The Enemy Below in space.

PVT64127 Jun 2017 8:04 a.m. PST

Balance of Terror!

Old Contemptibles Supporting Member of TMP28 Jun 2017 7:28 p.m. PST

Good lord, this thread is from 2016!

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