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John Byrne
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Joined: 11 May 2005
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Posted: 25 July 2020 at 1:29pm | IP Logged | 1 post reply

TOS from Worst to Best

Typically, this list arrives at some of its “worst” by judging the Past by the standards of the Present. But it also sins in missing the deeper layers of some stories. And, of course, “The City on the Edge of Forever” gets the arbitrary #1 spot. Sorry, Harlan. Great story—if not really yours—but not great STAR TREK. Plays more like a TWILIGHT ZONE or OUTER LIMITS tale.

Oh, and count the number of times the episodes are actually described incorrectly!

(Anybody who describes “Let that Be Your Last Battlefield” as a “powerful allegory” is in serious need of a dictionary.)

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Michael Roberts
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Posted: 25 July 2020 at 3:20pm | IP Logged | 2 post reply

Anybody who describes “Let that Be Your Last Battlefield” as a “powerful allegory” is in serious need of a dictionary.

——-

That alone tells me that I can skip the list. Maybe they thought allegory was a type of sledgehammer?
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Doug Centers
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Posted: 25 July 2020 at 3:54pm | IP Logged | 3 post reply

Sheesh, by no means is THE MAN TRAP perfect but 20 something spots below THE EMPATH and CATSPAW. Maybe I just have a warm spot for it since it was the first episode I remember watching.

My personal favorite made their #4 (I know, they're not exploring strange new worlds).
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Rick Senger
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Posted: 26 July 2020 at 1:36pm | IP Logged | 4 post reply

The stuff in the middle is always debatable. But...

"Wolf in the Fold" is the 4th worst episode?
"The Man Trap" is the 6th worst?
"Miri" is the 10th worst?
"The Cage" is worse than "And the Children Shall Lead," "The Empath," and "Obsession"? Does this unaired pilot largely re-used in "The Menagerie" really belong on this list anyway?
"The Galileo Seven" is the sixth best episode all-time?
"The Apple" is better than "Errand of Mercy," "The Menagerie," and 21 spots better than "Where No Man Has Gone Before?"
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Eric Sofer
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Posted: 26 July 2020 at 2:46pm | IP Logged | 5 post reply

Such lists are always subjective. I find it easiest to go with my list, and leave everyone else's aside - unless I need a laugh.

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Jason Scott
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Posted: 28 July 2020 at 1:09pm | IP Logged | 6 post reply

I've seen worse lists. I kinda agree with the bottom 30, (other than the overloading phaser scene, I never liked The Man Trap) and their top ten is full of classics. Everything else is quite subjective.

In fact the most annoying thing for me was the placement of the photos. As for the most part they don't really correspond with where the episodes are placed at all. I was all set to kick up a fuss for where Arena & Amok Time were, until I realised they were much higher up!
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John Byrne
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Posted: 28 July 2020 at 1:32pm | IP Logged | 7 post reply

...other than the overloading phaser scene, I never liked The Man Trap...

•••

I am completely blanking on this. Overloading phaser?

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Doug Centers
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Posted: 28 July 2020 at 4:15pm | IP Logged | 8 post reply

I don't recall that either.
But I do remember a phaser set to overload hidden in Kirk's quarters in, possibly, Conscience of the King.
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Jonathan A. Dowdell
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Posted: 28 July 2020 at 9:04pm | IP Logged | 9 post reply

When you read some of his synopses it’s almost like he didn’t watch the episodes? 
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John Byrne
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Posted: 29 July 2020 at 6:05am | IP Logged | 10 post reply

Over the decades I have come to think of "The Corbomite Maneuver" as the "best" TOS episode.

It is, after all, pretty much the only one that encompasses all the tropes: they really are going "where no man has gone before", the interpersonal dynamics of the crew play as if they've been going on for years (even tho this was the first episode filmed), Spock is cool and logical without being a cartoon (and no "super-Spock"), the menace is alien and nearly incomprehensible, and Kirk wins the day with his smarts. Nice!

This episode also has the "unusual casting" that was meant to be a standard. but dropped away rather quickly. A child cast as a mature alien is quite brilliant.

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Rick Senger
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Posted: 29 July 2020 at 1:18pm | IP Logged | 11 post reply

The only unusual phaser-related thing I recall from THE MAN TRAP was the bullet ricochet sound they used when Crater was stunned. That sound effect was rightly kiboshed subsequently.
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Shaun Barry
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Posted: 01 August 2020 at 9:56am | IP Logged | 12 post reply


Thanks for the brief overview above, Rick... I now know I don't even need to review the full list, 'cause those entries you noted are bullsh_t!



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