The Best
of
Star Trek
The Original Series

V 1.2 (19 DEC 2010)

I'm sure that many of you people are now going through your Star Trek: The Original Series Blu-Ray sets, now that the complete series is available in Blu-Ray.

The Blu-Rays are technically very awesome and show off for the first time the kind of colors that the set directors and costumers were aiming for in the 1960s to exploit this newfangled technology known as “Color TV”, but could not fully show to consumers due to the limitations of NTSC.

The problem comes when you watch a couple of episodes at random, and find that many of them are just horrible.

By horrible, I don't mean in the set designs (blank backgrounds lit by multicolor spotlights) or technical ability – remember that it was the 1960s, and they were limited by their budget and the technology of the time – but rather in the writing and execution of them.

A significant portion of episodes fall into the following categories:

Even a lot of episodes which open with some promise “...we are investigating a distress signal we received...” quickly segue into something on the above list.

Even when the episode is very technically good – cultural contamination caused by a long-dead space explorer who accidentally left behind a book – the same basic theme is repeated, despite the writers only having 3 seasons and 79 episodes to work with.

A very good example of this is in the second season of TOS.

“A Piece of the Action”, the best of the “theme planet” episodes aired in January 1968. Barely little more than a month later in February 1968, they aired “Patterns of Force”, which was the same rough concept, except the cultural contamination was Nazi philosophy!

To help me solve the quandary, I enlisted the help of two different internet forums, one leaning Conservative, the other Liberal, to ensure a fair spread of episodes. They are listed below by season and by Blu-Ray Disc number.

Season One
1966-1967

Season Two
1967-1968

Season Three
1968-1969

Mudd's Women (# 2)
The Corbomite Maneuver (# 3)
Balance of Terror (# 4)
Court Martial (# 5)
Space Seed (# 6)
A Taste of Armageddon (# 6)
The Devil in the Dark (# 6)
The City on the Edge of Forever (# 7)

Amok Time
The Doomsday Machine
The Ultimate Computer
Mirror, Mirror
A Piece of the Action
The Trouble with Tribbles
I, Mudd
Obsession

The Enterprise Incident
All Our Yesterdays
Let That Be Your Last Battlefield
The Tholian Web
Is There in Truth No Beauty

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