Greetings, all! Hope this finds you healthy and hanging in there!
As these necessary distancing days wear on, I’ve settled into a routine of alternately exercising, apartment cleaning (kind of a new experience!), continuing to bond with the squirrel quaranteammates outside and, of course – binge watching stuff.
I’ve been sampling current fare (yes, like “Tiger King”). But I also felt this serious need to circle back to my old friend, Star Trek!
Over a year ago, I’d set myself the goal of rewatching every original series (“TOS”) episode but, typically, I didn’t find the time. I couldn’t have guessed that my schedule would open wayyy up after that – oh, OR that I’d become a member of Starfleet!
Well, you know – sort of.
Anyway, I meant the result to be a TOS Top 10 list – but I had a hard time paring something so beloved down quite that far. Everyone’s got a different measure (Mike?), and this is just my personal take, divided into several categories (because while no one asked, hey, I’ve got the time!).
Okay, so here it is – “Amy’s Top 10-ish Treks”! There are some spoilers, but I’m gonna guess that if you’re still reading at this point, nothing will be news (and really, this one’s for you)!
Of course, I love the dynamic between Kirk, Spock and McCoy – but many of my favorite eps include love for crew members whose names aren’t in the opening titles!
“The Naked Time” – Yes, he navigates and he tells time, but can Sulu ever swashbuckle too!
“Mirror, Mirror” – Uhura proves that without that thingy in her ear, she can disarm someone of a phaser or just be disarming as the need arises!
‘The Trouble with Tribbles” – Wherein we discover precisely what it takes (as well as what it doesn’t) to make Scotty throw down with a Klingon!
“Where No Man Has Gone Before” – Tweaks to uniforms and job titles would follow, but this series pilot (the second one) introduces life all around the ship I’d come to know and love!
Yeah, some special effects and sensibilities of the original series are of an age but, for me, so much holds up for all time – especially in some “bottle eps” (episodes of a series where productions save a buck by mainly using existing sets and keeping things simple). For Star Trek, they’re proof that you don’t even need an exotic planet – just great characters and stories!
“Balance of Terror” – A taut, terrific cat and mouse duel between the Enterprise and a Romulan ship.
“The Doomsday Machine” – The marvelous William Windom drags the Enterprise along as he goes full Captain Ahab in pursuit of a planet killing device.
“Court Martial” – I’m not simply suggesting that you watch this ep where Kirk is on trial for his career. I demand it!
“Journey to Babel” – The Enterprise becomes a hub of intergalactic intrigue and Vulcan angst.
“Space Seed” – Which guest character has proved so compelling that they keep bringing him back? “Khaaaaaan!!!”
“THAT MAN ON THE BRIDGE” EPS:
Spock is such a “fascinating” character – and episodes like “This Side of Paradise” and “Amok Time” that delve into his conflicted but ever-loyal soul are among my favorites. And I adore curmudgeonly McCoy with his penchant for calling “shenanigans” on everything from Spock’s stoicism to using a transporter. But my heart has always belonged to Kirk – so he gets a category of his own! Some of my favorite episodes are those where he’s put on his heels and must make difficult – sometimes devastating – decisions en route to saving the day.
“Errand of Mercy” – Kirk brashly kicks butt and takes Klingon names through the whole ep before humbly acknowledging he might have had his eyes on the wrong prize.
“Arena” – Kirk proves himself both by dredging up a little practical knowledge to defeat a foe, and then by letting him walk (walk verrry slowly).
“Elaan of Troyius” – Kirk’s will to protect his ship and crew can even overcome a love potion that goes to 11.
“City on the Edge of Forever” – Boy journeys back in time and meets Girl, then must choose to lose Girl or set Earth on a terrible new course.
“Bread and Circuses” – Kirk keeps his crew from becoming gladiatorial combat fodder and still finds time to entertain the ladies!
“By Any Other Name” – Great ensemble stuff like Scotty’s taking one for the team by drinking an alien under the table! But I especially love the moment when, given the chance to stop galactic invaders by destroying the Enterprise and all aboard, Kirk holds out for a better “scenario”.
So there it is – the result of my “Great Star Trek Rewatch” (and I thank you for your indulgence)! It truly felt like reconnecting with an old friend. And because reality isn’t that fun a space to be in right now, I’ll share a recent experience that was next door to a dream come to life for me!
I’ve been enjoying a new “career” as a background performer, and last year I went off to a routine costume fitting for a job – which turned out to be for Star Trek: Picard! There I was – a lifelong Trek fan being measured for my very own Starfleet uniform! When I caught myself in the mirror, I could see my shoulders straighten, and I swear I instantly became wiser and more courageous!
But trivial trivia aside for a moment – isn’t that happening for real all around us just now? Whether in uniforms or PPE’s or ordinary clothes, people are finding the strength within to step up and save lives, and to keep others supplied and safe.
I sure do salute and thank them!
As I’ve shared before, Star Trek has been part of my life for as long as I can remember. In these frankly dreadful times, I find myself by turns craving escape, enlightenment, adventure, comedy, inspiration and reconnection – and I happen to find them all in this one show.
Your list or favorite series might be different. But whatever gets you through these days is a good thing. And may you find your way as pleasant!
Also, do please remember for as long as this takes:
Live long distance – and prosper!
*So everything pictured in this post (everything but the squirrel!) was gifted to me by a lifetime’s worth of kind and dear friends that I am so very blessed to have!
It took me a long time to realise that star trek 1 was probably the most influential thing in my growing up as a kid. It gave me a moral compass and a taste for backless dresses!
That’s great! And yes – I don’t think many shows could have had such a profound and positive influence on our ethics – AND our fashion sense! 😉 Thanks for reading – and glad to hear from a fellow fan!
We keep the house pretty clean but you know you’ve been inside TOO LONG when you’ve cleaned the baseboards with Q-tips for the third time. 🙄 What would Scotty do?
For whatever reason, we don’t have squirrels in our backward like we did at our old place. We do have a pudgy (and getting pudgier) woodrat. 🙂 Since we’re home a LOT more now, the bird feeders never run dry – thus providing our woodrat with an endless buffet of dropped seeds, corn, and peanuts. This is going to be one sad rat when the quarantine (and the buffet) ends. 😦
Sounds like you’re definitely spoiling your neighbors! And I can’t say that I’m quite as ardent a cleaner. Since I bet you’d pass the white glove test at this point, I’m sure Scotty would say it’s time for a wee nip of the good scotch! Cheers and take care!
Darn it! Now you’ve got me looking at baseboards… 😉
don’t know the ep name, but I always liked the one where Kirk et al end up at the OK corral. Where Spock has to explain to them that the homemade tranquilizer must work but doesn’t. The boys just have to channel John Lennon and realize that “nothing is real,” though there’s nary a Strawberry Field in sight. And in true 60s counter vision style, the Earps are not heroes, but murderous psychos.
Ah – ‘Spectre of the Gun’. I like your application of a 60’s mindset! I’ll just say Strawberry Fields – and Star Trek – forever! 😉
Always good to reconnect with the old series. We are rewatching That 70s show, as we always like to end the day with a laugh. What a hoot. Gotta keep Star Trek in mind. Thanks for sharing Amy. Allan
You know, I didn’t watch ‘That 70’s Show’ but being (ahem) of a certain age, I bet I could relate! Glad for the suggestion – and thanks for reading!
Next on your list is Dr Who (the reboot, of course)
Ooo – that’d be a good one! Afraid I haven’t watched since the Tom Baker days so I know I’ve missed a few Drs! Thanks for the tip!
My fave is Tennant
Good to know! I’ve always liked his voice!
He carries the humor and melancholy of the doctor well. Matt did a decent follow up. I liked the dynamics of him with Amy and Rory. Peter Capaldi was an intense doctor—an angry doctor. Love the River Song episodes. I even listen to the audio plays of her. Have fun!
Many thanks – I’ve got some serious work to do! 😃
How did I not know I needed this column? It might not surprise you to learn that I have had at one point in my life most of the books pictured above — even the Federation Trading Post catalog. And Evelyn gave me a “Star Trek (Next Generation) Host a Mystery Dinner” game for Christmas. So this one gives me fond memories. Thanks!
So nice to hear from you, Jon! And nope – not surprised that the show is a constant in your life too (I’m intrigued by that game!). Even in college when we used to choose episodes to watch on those new VCR thingies, ‘Star Trek’ played a role. (Speaking of roles – your Lamplighters turn was classic!) Hope you and yours are well – thanks for responding and take good care!
Also, about that game – I think it was the Borg in a Jeffreys Tube with a candlestick! 😉
Or was it Q on the holodeck with a left-handed spanner? (Stopping…)
Ooh now I gotta rewatch me some episodes!!! You called out some good ones. Thanks for this post, it made me smile.
Glad to be of service! Hope you enjoy – and be well!
We have all gone “boldly where no man has gone before” – Namely to our couches in search of an “all clear” from the TV. Stay well.
Ha – indeed! Full speed ahead and stay well too! And thanks for reading!
I have been watching a re-run of the Time Tunnel recently. Like Star Trek I had very happy memories of it. At first I thought why didn’t this generate the same kind of enthusiasm that Star Trek did and why didn’t it develop the same kind of spin-offs and later episodes. It was a similar age with
a similar sci-fi vibe.I soon discovered why – it is nowhere near as good, in fact the stories are often a bit lame and formulaic and clearly sometimes are based on whatever selection of stock footage became available. But still I have enjoyed them despite their shortcomings.
You know, I’d never heard of that series! It was pretty close to the same time but, as you say, maybe there’s a reason it didn’t become a classic. Would still love to check it out though. Thanks!
Hello fellow treky,
Hey there! Thanks for beaming over!
Glad I did
As chance would have it last night the Horror Channel was showing “City on the Edge of Forever”, which you mention above and which I haven’t seen since I was kid. I have fond memories of seeing it (but strangely never caught it on the very frequent re-runs) but probably never registered that Joan Collins was in it providing the jeopardy. But what an excellent episode all round. Similar in its subject to the Time Tunnel but vastly superior in every way, an excellent piece of television. Thanks to your blog I was able to catch up with it.
Great timing! And yes – that’s a lovely Joan Collins pre-shoulder-padded outfits! (I also liked her dual roles in an episode of ‘Man from Uncle’ – another 60’s favorite!). I think it’s a very powerful episode. Thanks for sharing that you caught it and for your thoughts!
Seem as though mask have become our new way of life.😱
Indeed. But I do think it’s going to be very important for a time – anyway, I’m saving on lipstick… 😷
LOL! I never thought of what lipstick companies may be experiencing.
🙏 🌹 🌹 🌹 🙏