Star Trek turns 50 on September 8, but the party begins right now, as we celebrate with some great moments that defined the series – and some that didn’t…
The City on the Edge of Forever (Stardate: 6 Apr 1967)
More than just a classic episode, this one’s considered one of the greatest of all time. Kirk and Spock pursue a deranged McCoy back through time to the 1930s in an attempt to undo the temporal havoc he’s caused by saving the life of Joan Collins. Now that would screw up history!
Mirror, Mirror (Stardate: 6 Oct 1967)
A transporter malfunction (does it ever work properly?) sends Kirk and co. into an alternate universe, where the Federation has become the evil Terran Empire, and the quickest way to get a promotion is to assassinate your superior officer. (Additional trips into the Mirror universe would take place in Star Trek: Deep Space Nine and Star Trek: Enterprise.)
Spock’s Brain (Stardate: 20 Sept 1968)
A female alien swipes Spock’s cerebrum, and logic dictates that Kirk retrieve it before his friend’s body dies. Fortunately Vulcans are tough, even brainless ones. Considered by fans, William Shatner and Leonard Nimoy to be one of Trek’s worst episodes ever, which means this much-maligned classic is hugely enjoyable for all the wrong reasons.
Plato’s Stepchildren (Stardate: 22 Nov 1968)
Under the influence of telekinetic aliens who’ve modelled their society on Ancient Greece, Kirk riverdances up a storm, is subjected to a mad Cossack shuffle from Spock, and plays horsey with a dwarf. But the most memorable moment from this episode is the taboo-breaking interracial kiss between Kirk and Uhura.
The Way to Eden (Stardate: 21 Feb 1969)
In another forgotten classic, a bunch of space hippies in search of paradise hijack the Enterprise and subject the crew to peace, love, weird earlobes, questionable fashion, and musical numbers. Spock jams on the Vulcan harp with a hippie girl playing a bicycle wheel. “That’s now brother, that’s real now!”