The Best of Star Trek OS and TNG V2s
The recently released second volumes of “The Best of Star Trek The Original Series” (OS) and the Next Generations each include four excellent episodes of two rare shows that are both classic and cult series.
The TNG set is receiving top billing despite being based on OS. This is because this release convinced me to buy this series on DVD. All four episodes, like most TNG series, were very well-produced in every sense and gave the audience something to think about.
The first episode, which was titled “Relics,” brought Scotty the engineer from the OS roughly 75 years forward into the era of TNG. I can relate to technology passing him by enough to erode his self-esteem and a scene in which he appeared on the bridge of the original Enterprise was wonderful. Further Scotty providing the identification number of his ship and adding vehemently that there was no A,B,C, or D was the best line of the episode and one of the best of the series.
“Cause and Effect” guest-starred my favorite Trek character the omnipotent Q and gave the viewers a good look at the past of Captain Picard. We also got to learn more about Picard’s destiny and got to see Picard and Q share a bed.
“The Inner Light” and “Tapestry” were also very good but less compelling than the two described. However, we did learn that Kelsey Grammer apparently cannot pilot a spaceship any better than he can drive a sports car.
I will take this opportunity to once again lobby for adding the tar monster episode to a “Best of” collection. This is one of my favorites and was an early example of a series killing off a major character early in its run.
“Where No Man Has Gone Before” has the crew following an old distress signal to the edge of the universe. The experience turning two crewmembers who had highly developed ESP into super beings was good campy fun and included a wonderfully ironic, if rather grave, ending.
“Journey to Babel” introduces us to Spock’s father Sarek, depicts the challenges of diplomacy, offers two “A” stories about Sarek’s medical emergency and a sinister space ship, and teaches about the process and issues related to a planet joining the United Federation of planets (federation). Many of us can relate to McCoy’s difficulty with the Vulcan salute.
“Space Seed” introduces us to Khan, who will set off the motion picture trilogy that begins with “Star Trek II.” Seeing Ricardo Montalban, who died last January, in this role was a real treat. The episode also provided good background for the plot of “Star Trek II.”
The humorous fourth episode, “A Piece of the Action,” reinforces the importance of the prime directive that prohibits influencing the society of an alien planet. Seeing Kirk and Spock play gangster and learning that Kirk apparently cannot drive a car better than Grammer was very amusing. I especially liked the perception that the federation was a criminal mob.
I invite fellow trekkers to e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org regarding this choice of episodes and ones that they would select.
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Review by John Stahl
John Stahl is a freelance legal writer who is also a fan of classic and cult television programs. He can be reached at email@example.com.
The Best of Star Trek: The Original Series
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