Star Trek Top 50 #46: “Amok Time” (TOS)

“Live long and prosper. I shall do neither. I have killed my captain . . . and my friend.”


Star Trek: The Original Series
Written by Theodore Sturgeon
Directed by Joseph Pevney
Original Air Date September 15, 1967
Guest Stars: Celia Lovsky (T’Pau), Arlene Martel (T’Pring), Lawrence Montaigne (Stonn)

Spock has been acting irrationally. Erratic behavior, emotional outbursts, the works. He requests a leave of absence on Vulcan; Kirk wants to comply but pushes Spock for his reasons. What Kirk learns is that there’s a whole lot more going on under the seemingly impenetrable veneer of Vulcan logic and stoicism — there’s a volcanic (pun intended) rage that threatens to erupt every seven years at the time of Pon farr. Kirk offers to help Spock during the associated ritual, only to learn that he’ll have to fight his friend and first officer to the death.

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Star Trek Top 50 #47: “I Borg” (TNG)

Let me tell you something, when this “kid’s” big brothers come looking for him, they’re not gonna stop until they find him. And they’ll come looking for us, and they will destroy us. And they will not do any of the soul-searching that you’re doing now.


Star Trek: The Next Generation
Written by René Echevarria
Directed by Robert Lederman
Original Air Date May 11, 1992

One of the things that Star Trek did better than almost any other science fiction television show is it took moral quandaries and explored them from every angle — or at least as many angles as was possible in a 45-minute episode without losing the sense of action and tension and grinding the episode to a talky, preachy bore (okay, it did occasionally commit that crime). It was also great at exploring the value of life and what it meant to be human. The Next Generation did this better than any of the other Trek shows. And “I Borg” is one of the finest examples.

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ST50 #48: “The Slaver Weapon” (TAS)

Captain, he is too alien! He makes me taste yellow root munched between flat teeth!


Star Trek: The Animated Series
Written by Larry Niven
Directed by Hal Sutherland
Original Air Date December 15, 1973

Spock, Uhura and Sulu are traveling by shuttlecraft to deliver an ancient artifact, a Slaver stasis box, to Starbase 25. Along the way, they discover a second box (an incredibly rare find) in the Beta Lyrae system and set down on an ice planet to investigate. They are captured by the Kzinti, who hold the other stasis box and used it as a lure. Confiscating the Federation crew’s box, they open it to discover what appears to be a Slaver weapon. The crew must escape their captivity and prevent the Kzinti from retaining the potentially devastating weapon. In the end, it is the weapon itself which deals with the Kzinti, eliminating them.

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ST50 #49: “Bride of Chaotica!” (VOY)

The Destructo beam on my rocket ship can disable the death ray, but only if someone gets inside the Fortress of Doom and can shut down the lightning shield.”


Star Trek: Voyager
Story by Bryan Fuller; Script by Bryan Fuller, Michael Taylor
Directed by Allan Kroeker
Original Air Date January 27, 1999
Guest Stars: Martin Rayner (Chaotica), Nicholas Worth (Lonzak), Tarik Ergin (Satan’s Robot)

Voyager becomes “grounded” on a subspace phenomenon and is unable to get itself unstuck. While there, aliens that are native to the subspace region, beings from a photonic reality, detect a world that they intend to explore and make first contact. Unfortunately, the world that they detect is the photonic world of Captain Proton, Tom Paris’ holodeck program. What ensues is a 1930s style monochromatic high camp romp, with dialog, acting, and music to match.

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ST50 #50: “Remember Me” (TNG)

“If there’s nothing wrong with me, maybe there’s something wrong with the universe!” LCARS-50

Star Trek: The Next Generation
Written by Lee Sheldon
Directed by Cliff Bole
Original Air Date October 22, 1990
Guest Stars: Erik Menyuk (The Traveler)

Dr. Beverly Crusher’s world is collapsing in on her. Quite literally. People she knows and loves are disappearing, and the remaining ones have no memory of their ever existing. As the crisis increases, and the entire ship’s complement is down to just her and Picard, she goes from worried to panicky to desperately and aggressively analytical. Gates McFadden gives a fantastic performance as a woman who is losing everything around her. This story was originally conceived as the B-plot to the episode “Family” (the one in which Picard returns to Earth after his ordeal as Locutus), but it was felt that a single episode would not accommodate both storylines, so this subplot was spun out as “Remember Me” and made into the fifth episode of the season. McFadden performed all her own stunts, discovering only shortly afterward that she was pregnant.

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ST50 #51: “Shattered” (VOY)


Star Trek: Voyager
Written by Michael Taylor; Story by Mike Sussman, Michael Taylor
Directed by Terry Windell
Original Air Date January 17, 2001
Guest Stars: Manu Intiraymi (Icheb), Scarlett Pomers (Naomi), Martha Hackett (Seska)

Voyager passes by an anomaly which emits a chronokinetic surge, fracturing the ship into numerous time zones. Chakotay takes a direct hit from the surge which knocks him into a state of temporal flux. Rushed to sick bay, the Doctor injects him with a chronoton-based serum to stabilize him. As a result, he is the only one who can pass through the time barriers, aware of each different time zone. This episode was nominated for an Emmy Award for Outstanding Costume Design, and also has the distinction of being the first Star Trek episode broadcast in a new century (January 17, 2001).

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ST50 #52: “First Flight” (ENT)

“Do you remember what Buzz Aldrin said when he stepped on the moon? Nobody does — because Armstrong went first.”LCARS-52

Star Trek: Enterprise
Written by John Shiban, Chris Black
Directed by LeVar Burton
Original Air Date May 14, 2003
Guest Stars: Vaughn Armstrong (Adm Forrest), Keith Carradine (AG Robinson)

The Enterprise discovers what may be a dark matter nebula, a concentration of dark matter larger and far denser than anything ever known before. As they’re about to send a shuttle to investigate, Archer receives some bad news — that he friend and rival, AG Robinson, died in a mountain climbing accident. As Archer and T’Pol set out to chart the nebula, he recounts the story of his rivalry with AG for command of the very first warp drive flight. The episode was included on the Fan Collective DVD boxset as one of two viewer-voted best Archer episodes. In spite of that, it achieved one of the lowest viewing figures of the series, mainly due to it being in direct competition with the series finale of Dawson’s Creek.

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