Tuesday, September 3, 2019

Westerns, a Heist and More… 13 Obscure but Amazing Star Trek Episodes

(Guest Post by Jared)

Star Trek is one of the largest franchises in history, spinning off multiple movies and six – soon to be eight - television show. While it's best known for being futuristic political science fiction, through the years it has explored dozens of genres. We've had plenty of comedies, romantic comedies, even an episode where the Captain and crew rip off a casino! As a lifelong Trekkie here are some of the most obscure Star Trek episodes you've probably never seen!

Comedies

1. 'Qpid' (The Next Generation, 1991)

When Captain Picard is reunited with an old flame, Vash, the antihero Q sends the entire crew into a Robin Hood fantasy where they take up the roles of the heroes. Picard becomes Robin Hood and learns he has until the next day to rescue Maid Marian (Vash) or she'll be killed. We get to see the futuristic crew fight with swords and bows instead of phasers and it's exactly as hokey and fun as it sounds!

2. 'Trouble With Tribbles' (The Original Series, 1967)

AND

3. 'Trials And Tribble-ations' (Deep Space Nine, 1996)

One of the most iconic episodes from The Original Series was "The Trouble With Tribbles" a comedy about some pesky alien critters. Later the crew of Deep Space Nine were sent back in time to the events of this episode with Kirk, Spock and the original Enterprise. It's fun because they use green screen to put the new crew into scenes from the original episode. Both episodes have become iconic, and are incredibly fun to watch back-to-back.

4. 'Message in A Bottle' (Voyager, 1998)

Voyager is unique because on their first mission an alien kidnapped them and then died before he could return them home, and as a result the entire show is about the crew exploring new places and cultures as they begin their 75-year journey back to Earth. In the fourth season Voyager finally was able to make long distance contact with home, letting them know they were alive. Andy Dick guest stars as EMH-2 and his scenes and interaction with the Voyager EMH are some of the funniest in all of Trek.

5. 'Little Green Men' (Deep Space Nine, 1995)

The Ferengi characters were perfectly used as comedic breaks during the high war and religious drama that made Deep Space Nine great. In this episode Quark, his brother Rom, and nephew Nog accidentally travel back in time to 1947 Roswell and become the little green men that have been immortalized by conspiracy theorists around the world. Maybe instead of raiding Area 51 in September watch this episode to learn what Area 51 is all about!

6. 'Take Me Out To The Holosuite' (Deep Space Nine, 1998)

Captain Sisko was a lifelong fan of baseball, and throughout the series we occasionally saw references to his love of the game. In 'Take Me Out to the Holosuite,' he is challenged by a rival from his youth to a game of baseball, one Captain’s crew against the other. Sisko and his son teach their shipmates how to play, but they stand no match to the physically superior Vulcan crew. Watching these aliens and humans attempt to play baseball is one of the most funny and oddest things to ever happen in Star Trek.

Westerns

7.  'A Fistful Of Datas' (The Next Generation, 1992)

Holodecks often play a pivotal role on Trek, and in this episode Troi, Worf, and his son Alexander become trapped in an Old Western story because of some experiments Data is running in another part of the ship. In order to escape alive they must play out the Western. Fun fact: this episode was actually directed by Patrick Stewart!


8. 'North Star' (Enterprise, 2003)

Star Trek Enterprise was a prequel series that took place before the stories of Captain Kirk and his Enterprise; it took fans to the beginning of Starfleet and the Federation. In this episode Archer and his crew come across a human colony living far from Earth, still living out the Old West ways. These humans had been taken from Earth and brought to this planet as slaves hundreds of years earlier, but their ancestors had fought back and destroyed the alien oppressors

Casino Heist

9. 'Badda-Bing, Badda-Bang' (Deep Space Nine, 1999)

Another obscure holodeck episode involves Captain Sisko and his crew robbing a Vegas casino! This time there's no malfunction, but when the crew is visiting their favorite program (a recreation of 1950s Las Vegas) for some relaxation their favorite hangout is bought by gangsters and the entire vibe changes. They decide the best way to get rid of the gangsters is to steal from them before any money can be given to their investors and then leave the holographic gangsters to the mob.

War Dramas


10. 'The Killing Game: Parts 1 & 2' (Voyager, 1998)

You guessed it....another holodeck episode, although this time there's no malfunction. The ship has been taken over by aliens, and they've erased the crew's memory and forced them to run out holodeck programs so they can practice their "hunting" by chasing and murdering the crew in a WWII story where they play out the parts of the French Resistance and their American allies. This episode has a ton of action, some decent comedy, but best of all it has Klingons fighting Nazis.

11. 'Storm Front: Parts 1 & 2' (Enterprise, 2004)

An ongoing arc through Enterprise was the temporal cold war where aliens from the far future were manipulating the time stream and changing the past to suit their needs. At the end of the arc the Enterprise crew is thrown back in time to World War II, but find a very different world than what their history remembers. In a The Man In The High Castle-like twist, it's one where the Nazis are winning, have invaded New York, and all with alien technology!

12. ‘Memorial’ Voyager (2000)

The crew randomly starts to have memories resurface of a dark planet and an intense personal war.  As they begin to investigate how someone could have recruited them for a secret war and then wiped all their memories of it they find something even more surprising. This is a great episode that shows how dark war is for both sides and deep those wounds can go.

13. ‘The Seige of AR-558’ Deep Space Nine (1998)

Deep Space Nine already has the reputation for being the darkest of the franchise and there are so many episodes that feature the dark parts of the Federation’s war with the Dominion, but this episode is one of the very best because of Aron Eisenberg’s performance as Nog. Eisenberg has stated that because of Nog’s leg amputation storyline he has become a fan favorite among veterans at Trek Conventions.