One more Star Trek movie nerd's surprising list of the franchise's best moments
My turning point came not long after the last Trek series, Enterprise, debuted on TV and I realized that the guys entrusted with guiding all things Star Trek were strangling the concept with a too-narrow view of what was possible on the show.
At a time when movies were bursting with eye-popping effects and shows such as Lost and the reimagined Battlestar Galactica were redefining the shape of science fiction on television, even this longtime Trek nerd felt the whole universe was a bit dated and out of step; a pair of parachute pants in an iPod world.
So I'm looking forward to today's debut of Abrams' Star Trek reboot with purposefully lowered expectations. With luck, he'll have crafted a glittery thrill ride with a bit of the charm from the old series rolled inside.
As with any great TV series, Trek worked best when it focused on the characters -- this amazing collection of personalities topped by the coolest alien and most intrepid captain in science fiction history. That Trek producers managed to clone that vibe again in the syndicated Next Generation series was a feat too often unappreciated.
Anyways, as Abrams takes the franchise to a new frontier, here's this Trek nerd's list of his favorite moments.
Next Generation: Chain of Command
For me, the best Trek episode ever. Enterprise Capt. Jean-Luc Picard is taken prisoner and tortured, while his ruthless replacement turns over the ship's happily efficient family to get Picard released. Best-ever performances from both Patrick Stewart and Ronny Cox as the new captain.
Next Generation: Best of Both Worlds 1 and 2
Renowned for Trek fans as the episodes where super-baddies The Borg nearly destroy Earth, it's also the episode where Picard becomes a Borg and his Enterprise family attempts to kill him to stop the enemy. (I seem to love the episodes where the family is turned against itself.)
Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan
One of the thee Trek films I can still stand to watch in entirety, this is the last hammy gasp from both William Shatner and Ricardo Montalban as classic rivals James T. Kirk and Khan.
Star Trek Classic: Amok Time
Everybody picks the Tribbles or interracial kiss episodes when talk turns to classic Trek. But this episode packs in all the reasons we really liked the show. Spock gets to kick butt when his mating instincts kick in, there's a hilarious fight scene complete with badly edited stuntmen sequences and Kirk's inexplicable ability to beat a guy stronger than him. And the classic fight music = Trekkie heaven.