Star Trek Best Moments Original Series

Star Trek's 50th Anniversary: The 20 Best Moments From the Original Series

With a new Star Trek movie about to hit the Cineplex and a new series in the works to boot, the Enterprise doesn’t seem a day over 49.

But, since this year is, in fact, the sci-fi franchise’s golden anniversary, TVLine is marking the occasion by flashing all the way back to the beginning — that is, Gene Roddenberry’s beloved original series, which ran for just three seasons on NBC from 1966-69 (and then, of course, forevermore in syndicated reruns).

Specifically, we’re counting down Star Trek: TOS‘ 20 most memorable moments — no mean feat, considering that those 79 episodes introduced to the world everyone from Leonard Nimoy‘s Mr. Spock to Ricardo Montalbán’s Khan, and featured an Enterprise full of tribbles as well as a then-controversial interracial kiss between Captain Kirk and Lt. Uhura.

Click through the gallery below for our ranking of Memorable Moments, then set your phasers for “Comment!” by noting the ones you think should have placed higher (or lower), or that we missed altogether.

Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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  1. Elf says:

    My favorite TOS moment came about 12 years after the show ended. George Takei was running for city council or a similar office in Los Angeles in the late 70s or early 80s. His opponent complained that the local station showing Star Trek repeats on weekends was giving free publicity to Takei and he demanded equal time. Takei replied “Well, I think that’s fair, but only if my opponent runs through corridors with a sword shirtless.” The station ended up pulling all of the episodes featuring Sulu until the election was over so they wouldn’t have to grant the equal time request.

  2. Steve F. says:

    Personally, I would’ve rated “The City on the Edge of Forever” above “Mirror Mirror,” but that’s just me. Yes, watching Edith Keeler/Joan Collins(!) buy it – knowing that her death would prevent the Nazis winning WWII – and the crew knowing that she has to die to preserve the timeline is still heartbreaking.

    In terms of favorites, most of mine have been mentioned above; I’d also mention “Where No Man Has Gone Before” (Kirk being forced to kill his best friend after he gets godlike powers), “A Piece of the Action” (an alien race acting like they’re in Chicago circa the ’20s gangster era), and “Spectre of the Gun” (the crew has to relive the gunfight at the OK Corral… as the Clanton gang).

  3. Ted says:

    Can I just say how much I prefer the swaggering, lounge singer Klingons to the honorable warrior-samurai Klingons of the movies/later shows?

  4. Eurydice says:

    Then there’s “This Side of Paradise” with Spock affected by “love spores”, hanging upside down in a tree and laughing joyfully. Plus, Jill Ireland.

  5. clintbrew says:

    i know it not a proper star trek episode but Futurama where no fan has gone before should had been included

  6. Kate says:

    The first time I saw Quentin Tarantino he reminded me of someone and now finally I know: Charles Napier – Adam in “The Way to Eden”. Evertime I’d see Tarantino it would buzz around in my brain like an irritating fly. Glad that’s over lol.

  7. Tom says:

    Yeah, the Way to Eden is the Worst. Episode. Ever. A bunch of space hippies calling everyone ‘Herbert’ for some unclear reason? Yeah, no. I mean I hate it more than Spock’s Brain and Babylon 5’s Believers.

  8. Kevin In CT says:

    I seem to recall that Leonard Nimoy said the Vulcan “Live Long And Prosper” gesture was taken from when he was a child. there is a Jewish Holiday or special annual event in where the congregation had to turn their backs to the Rabbis while they bestowed a special blessing on the congregants. In this case Nimoy peeked and saw them with their hands raised in that fashion while delivering the blessing.

  9. Live Long and ....well, you know..... says:

    Sorry, nitpicking Trekkie here but,

    #20 The parasites were not “Denevans”, The Denevans were the population of the planet Deneva that were being taking over by the parasites

    #18 The Concert was in the mess hall/rec room, NOT sick bay.

  10. Znachki says:

    Watched TOS on its original run. Two of my most memorable aren’t on the list:
    1) “A Piece of the Action” I still comment on convoluted rules by saying, “what is this, Fizbin?”.
    2) “The Omega Glory” – which is a problematic episode for all kinds of reasons, although one must place it in its time. However, when Kirk figures out the ” ne plenista”, my 10 year old brain exploded. The Consitution?!?!!