Of course I like Star Trek
. I was only three when it first aired, so I didn't see it until it was in syndication and I was nearly ten; but from early on I was a genuine fan. I knew all the episodes. I built models of the ships. I read (and still possess) the paperback adaptations by James Blish. I even bought fold-out technical plans of the Enterprise.
I was never a Trekkie, however; never deep in the lore.
My first and truest passion was for Space: 1999.
But even when I was twelve I recognized how dumb that show could be. Then I loved Star Wars.
What nerd could do otherwise! But I was never drawn into its universe — and by the time of Empire
I really didn't care.Space: 1999
is that first crush you never disavow, much as it embarrasses you; Star Wars
is that heady fling that quickly leaves you cold.
And Star Trek
is that steady friend you eventually disregard. Back in the day I even looked forward to watching Voyager
; only with Enterprise
did my interest fade.
In recent years I have tried to re-watch the various Star Trek
series. I am surprised by how much I don't care for TNG
, even if I target the "best" episodes. I tried to finally finish that Xindi arc in Enterprise
— and sputtered out again. I'm not even inclined to bother with Voyager
The Original Series, on the other hand...
During an evisceration of the latest atrocity from Star Trek: Discovery
, the eviscerating YouTuber made a passionate contrast to the TOS
episode Journey to Babel.
I hadn't seen that episode in eons, so I went to Netflix and watched it.
I enjoyed it.
And it's not one I've seen very often. I was reminded of my sporadic desire to binge TOS
, to just start at the start and watch them all. Since TOS
became streamable I've watched some of my favorites — like Errand of Mercy
; Mirror, Mirror
; and A Taste of Armageddon
— but I guess I was put off by slogging through the likes of The Way to Eden
But seeing Journey to Babel
suggested I might find more good than bad among the less-remembered episodes; and rather than bias my choices I might just go for the binge.
Immediately, however, on surveying the first episodes of season one, I was not enticed. The Cage,
maybe, although I prefer that embedded in The Menagerie
; and sure, Where No Man Has Gone Before
; but The Man Trap
, Charlie X, The Naked Time
... I dunno. It already felt like a slog.
Then something occurred to me: Is this the proper order of the episodes
? Something felt imbalanced, like the dregs were above the froth. I might not be a Trekkie but my gut was saying: This isn't right
. So I went to the handy-dandy internet to investigate the proper ordering of TOS
I soon found a list that went not by original airdate but by stardate.
And dang if that order isn't better
. I suppose some deep part of me recognizes the correctness of this order; a sounder narrative flow, such as there was. Stardate, it seems, is a better indication of an episode's time of production
. Or maybe this order just seems balanced better between the surely good and the surely bad. Anyhow, I like it.
I'll let you know how the bingeing goes.
|STAR TREK TOS SEASON 1|
|× AIRDATE||✔ STARDATE|
|1||the cage||1||the cage|
|2||the man trap||4||where no man has gone before|
|3||charlie x||7||mudd's women|
|4||where no man has gone before||11||the corbomite maneuver|
|5||the naked time||2||the man trap|
|6||the enemy within||3||charlie x|
|7||mudd's women||6||the enemy within|
|8||what are little girls made of?||5||the naked time|
|9||miri||14||balance of terror|
|10||dagger of the mind||17||the squire of gothos|
|11||the corbomite maneuver||8||what are little girls made of?|
|12||the menagerie 1 & 2||9||miri|
|13||the conscience of the king||10||dagger of the mind|
|14||balance of terror||13||the conscience of the king|
|15||shore leave||16||the galileo seven|
|16||the galileo seven||20||court martial|
|17||the squire of gothos||12||the menagerie 1 & 2|
|19||tomorrow is yesterday||18||arena|
|20||court martial||27||the alternative factor|
|21||the return of the archons||19||tomorrow is yesterday|
|22||space seed||22||space seed|
|23||a taste of armageddon||21||the return of the archons|
|24||this side of paradise||23||a taste of armageddon|
|25||the devil in the dark||25||the devil in the dark|
|26||errand of mercy||26||errand of mercy|
|27||the alternative factor||28||the city on the edge of forever|
|28||the city on the edge of forever||29||operation: annihilate!|
|29||operation: annihilate!||24||this side of paradise|