Saturday, September 24, 2011

Classics: Star Trek - The Unspeakably Awful

I decided to break form covering individual TNG episodes as was on the schedule thanks to my sister's little link post regarding the 10 dumbest Trek episodes to die on the cutting-room floor.

So what follows are my personal selections for the 10 worst Trek episodes of all time.  Next week...the 10 best!

1) Star Trek: Voyager - 2:15 - Threshold (Rating: 0.0)

Bar None...the worst Star Trek episode of all time.  Worse than Spock's Brain.  Worse than Profit and Lace.  Worse than A Day in Sickbay.  Worse than them all.  And the reason: the episode made no gosh darned sense whatsoever, and it wasn't because it was all in someone's wasn't was just no good really bad writing for no reason.  You can't do something that's literally be everywhere all at once...and evolving as a result of doing the impossible makes even less sense, especially when the evolution appears to take you entirely in the wrong direction on the evolutionary ladder and progresses you to a creature that is evidently alien.

2) Star Trek (Original Series) - 3:20 - The Way to Eden (Rating: 0.3)

This episode commits the sin of being, at the same time, boring, utterly pointless, horribly acted...nothing, in short, goes right.  And the worst part about this is that you can't, while reading the script, find the seed of an idea that would make the producers believe that something worthwhile might come from it.  You literally cannot defend this episode without becoming completely irrational.

3) Star Trek Enterprise - 1:13 - Dear Doctor (Rating: 0.5)

Now this is an episode that some fans ardently defend...but those folks are, for lack of a more tactful word, idiots.  Or evil.  But I don't think you want to be either, so please, for your own sake...don't defend this evil work.  This episode actually argues in favor of committing mass genocide because (wait for it) the folks they might save might be mean to some other folks on their world.  If I understand the Enterprise writers, the Prime Directive means: "You can save lives as long as you're just doing science to solve a problem, but don't you dare save lives if they might be mean to other lives!"  REALLY?  In their minds, it's immoral for the US to give antibiotics to Haiti if they might go to war with the Dominican Republic some nebulous time later.  I could have understood if there was imminent war and the other side might become truly dangerous, but this was a maybe.  This was...they MIGHT...SOME something bad.

4) Star Trek Deep Space Nine - 6:23 - Profit and Lace (Rating: 1.0)

This episode throws back all progress of reasonable feminists at least a hundred years with its' ludicrous gender-bending insanity.  Quark supposedly becomes a female just by undergoing a temporary sex change operation...and the female he becomes is - while still intelligent - reduced to bouts of hysteria, clumsy physical comedy and servile, witless interpersonal banter.  The coup de gras for me is at the close of the episode when Quark, now returned to his normal appearance, finally treats Impella fairly at his establishment...only to "come to his senses" and persue cheap oomox.  Because...ya know...only a woman could possibly ever treat another woman with respect - that has nothing to do with the person's unique identity at all.  It's all gender.  Wow.  Just wow.

5) Star Trek The Next Generation - 1:10 - Angel One (Rating: 1.0)

Talking about setting back about an episode about a world run by women where they immediately (and irrationally) enslave all men and become a dictatorial force to rival Stalin.  And Riker's reaction when he sees to do their leader and then cluck his tongue at her later?  PLEASE.  Otterly repugnant episode in every way.

6) Star Trek Nemesis (ST #10 - Rating: 1.0)

Never...ever...turn your cinematic franchise over to two untested novices who don't have a demonstrated record of understanding their characters.  Nemesis utterly and completely fails to understand even one of its' characters...and what's worse, it fails to understand Star Trek's fans.  The way they handled Data's death, for example - not only was it totally unnecessary, but the reaction of the Enterprise crew was *completely* unsatisfactory to the fans.  And the whole movie is filled with this kind of  flagrant disregard for the fans, disrespect for the characters, and disinterest in logical plot construction.  It's worse than Star Trek V...and Star Trek V was pretty bad.

7) Star Trek Deep Space Nine - 5:7 - Let He Who is Without Sin (Rating: 1.0)

Let he who knows how to write craft the first script.  All this is is an hour of senseless whining, straw-man bashing and decadence on a scale far beyond anything ever produced in Trek lure when it comes to sexuality.  Ironically, it rather sharply makes the point of its' supposed bad takes a truly fat and decadent world to produce people as selfish and narrow-minded as Dax.  All of this comes with character assassination (Worf, Leeta...even Quark!), and a total lack of jeopardy added in.  Never have I so desperately been rooting AGAINST a supposedly good relationship as I was watching this episode.

8) Star Trek (Original Series) - 3:6 - Spock's Brain (Rating: 1.0)

The point is solely for camp value.  This script is every bit as senseless and inane as Threshold.  It just...seems funnier somehow.  "Brain and brain...what is brain?!"  WTF?  LOL  Aside from laughing at how bad this episode is...there's just no recovering from the bizarre and inconsistent plot and the downright GOOFY acting.

9) Star Trek The Next Generation - 2:22 - Shades of Grey (Rating: 1.0)

Worst. Clip show.  EVER.

10) Star Trek The Next Generation - 3:8 - The Price (Rating: 1.0)

I actually had to think hard about whether I was going to pick this one, Meage a Troi, or Voyager's Macrocosms...or Enterprise's A Night in Sickbay...or a dozen other candidates that didn't make this cut...but in the have to make a choice.  I chose The Price for being easily the creepiest romantic story Trek ever attempted.  Why anyone...ANYWHERE...would fall for a guy who behaved the way our antagonist does in this script is beyond me.

Talk amongst yourselves...I'm sure you can come up with many bad episodes I missed.


  1. I pretty much agree with your selections here -- although I don't think I've ever seen Angel One or The Price, so I'll have to trust you on those. :)

    By the way, last night, I thought of another good Trek-related article idea: "The 10 Most Overrated Trek Episodes." A few candidates for that list immediately sprang to mind the moment the concept occurred to me. (Like Far Beyond the Stars.)

  2. I'd have to think about that one...I can think of two or three...

    "Far Beyond the Stars" (DS9 season 6)
    "Where Silence Has No Lease" (TNG season 2)
    "A Night in Sickbay" (ENT season 1) (nominated for a Huge...a FRAKKIN' HUGO!!)
    "The Neutral Zone" (TNG Season 1)

    You might know better for TOS...

    I'd have to think a bit regarding Voyager as I don't know much about fan reaction to that franchise.