Star Trek Anniversary Top #20: Dennis Fischer's List


[John’s Note: This list of top 20 Star Trek episode comes from film book author and scholar Dennis Fischer.]




1. “The Cage”/ “The Menagerie” --Roddenberry's original pilot was neatly incorporated into a compelling two-part episode which still limns the dangers of living in a virtual reality and still has something to say.

2. “The City on the Edge of Forever” --Ellison's script presented a terrific dramatic situation--Kirk has to decide to sacrifice the woman he loves to save Earth's timeline.

3. “Where No Man Has Gone Before” --If humans got psionic powers, how would they treat mere humanity?

4. “Balance of Terror”--The Enterprise is attacked by Romulans which could trigger an unwanted war.  How will Kirk handle the situation?

5. “Amok Time” --The logical Mr. Spock has his logic ripped from him due to a Vulcan biological urge.  How will Kirk cope when he is drawn into conflict with his own First Officer and best friend?

6. “The Doomsday Machine” --The Enterprise comes across a commander (William Windom) whose crew was killed by a planet destroyer and is an almost unstoppable killing machine. Will the Enterprise be next?

7. The Trouble With Tribbles” --Heinlein's Martian Flatcats reconceived as tribbles, the nonaggressive menace in Star Trek's best humorous episode.

8. “Mirror, Mirror” --In a parallel universe, the Enterprise crew sees what life would be like a ruthless version of the Federation.

9. “This Side of Paradise” --Alien spores release inhibitions, allowing Spock to experience love for the first time.

10. “Space Seed”--Genetic supermen from the past take over the Enterprise and must be defeated.

11. “The Conscience of the King”--Kirk plays Hamlet as he has to decide what to do if the actor he is seeing is really Kodos the Executioner.

12. “Arena” --Kirk is caught in a conflict with an alien species and learns that the Federation may have inadvertently annexed their territory.

13. “Errand of Mercy” --Superior aliens stop a conflict between the Federation and the Klingons.

14. “The Devil in the Dark”--An apparently rock-dissolving monster is really just a mother protecting her brood.

15. “Journey to Babel”--We met Spock's parents as a spy sabotages a diplomatic mission

16. “Shore Leave”--Sturgeon creates a paradise planet where people's desires are materialized.

17. “The Squire of Gothos”--An immature alien with great powers wants to play at war.

18. “The Enemy Within”--A transporter accident causes two Kirks to appear, one a Jekyll and the other a Hyde.

19. “Requiem for Methuselah”--The crew meet a man who has lived many lifetimes and been an important artist on Earth.

20. “Metamorphosis”--An alien falls in love with the inventor of warp drive and is reluctant to let him go. 

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