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Author Topic: List of Crap #113: Top 50 Star Trek Episodes Countdown  (Read 11700 times)

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Offline Pastor of Muppets

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List of Crap #113: Top 50 Star Trek Episodes Countdown
« on: November 19, 2018, 03:04:37 PM »
I worked pretty fast on this, initially saying it would be ready at the end of November, then Tuesday morning, but now I'm ready to go!


Star Trek was created in 1966 by Gene Roddenberry.  Although legendary now, the show had only modest ratings at the time and ran for only 79 episodes.  Roddenberry was inspired by the Wild West series "Wagon Train" and envisioned Star Trek as "Wagon Train.... to the stars"Since then, Star Trek has been a cult phenomenon.  Fans of the franchise are called Trekkies or Trekkers. The franchise spans a wide range of spin-offs including games, figurines, novels, toys, and comics. Star Trek had a themed attraction in Las Vegas that opened in 1998 and closed in September 2008. At least two museum exhibits of props travel the world. The series has its own full-fledged constructed language, Klingon. Several parodies have been made of Star Trek. In addition, viewers have produced several fan productions. As of July 2016, the franchise had generated $10 billion in revenue, making Star Trek one of the highest-grossing media franchises of all time.  Over time, various incarnations of the Star Trek franchise have created a combined 741 episodes over 31 seasons, and 13 feature films.

So yeah, it's pretty popular.

I don't know if the List of Crap has ever featured Star Trek before.  It seems like it would have if there were already 112 of these things.  If there were none before, let this be the first.  Over the next few weeks we will count down the top 50 episodes of all Star Trek as selected by the users of the Rifftrax Forum.  In truth it is actually 61 episodes, due to some unbreakable ties.

Well, enough talk, let's get this show on the road.
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Offline Pastor of Muppets

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Re: List of Crap #113: Top 50 Star Trek Episodes Countdown
« Reply #1 on: November 19, 2018, 03:05:11 PM »
50
For the Cause
Series: Deep Space Nine


18 Points
2 of 10 Lists.  Highest Rank: #9 by RVRII

Details
Sisko discovers that Kasidy Yates may be a Maquis smuggler; Garak takes an interest in Ziyal.

Kasidy Yates wakes up in Captain Sisko's bed, kisses him on the forehead and gets up to leave. Sisko reaches out and pulls her back into bed telling her that a meeting with her engineer can wait. Kasidy finally leaves after joking about his style of command and tells him that she will see him later. He pulls her now vacant pillow over, admires her lingering scent, and switches it with his own.
In the wardroom Commander Eddington is giving Sisko, Major Kira, Commander Worf, Commander Jadzia Dax, and Odo a briefing on very sensitive information from Starfleet Command. The Cardassian civilian government has secretly contacted the Federation Council with a request for industrial replicators to help build new power plants and factories. The Federation has agreed to provide twelve class 4 industrial replicators; however, the information must be kept secret because Starfleet Intelligence believes the Maquis may attempt to seize the replicators for themselves. Since the Klingon invasion, the Cardassian military has been unable to pay much attention to the Maquis, giving them almost free rein in the Demilitarized Zone and allowing them to build several new bases which has the possibility of driving out all Cardassian presence. Sisko orders increased security on the station until the replicators have safely passed through Deep Space 9, and has Worf take the USS Defiant to the Badlands in order to show the Maquis they're ready for trouble.
As the other officers leave the briefing Odo and Eddington stay behind to talk to Sisko. They tell him that they have reason to believe there is a Maquis smuggler on the station, although the evidence is circumstantial at the moment. Sisko presses them for a name, and the two reluctantly admit that the suspect is none other than Kasidy Yates.

Personal Thoughts

I vaguely remember this episode.  I think it was one of the earliest mentions of the Maquis, who were supposed to play a significant part in Voyager.  This was eventually dropped though.
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Offline Pastor of Muppets

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Re: List of Crap #113: Top 50 Star Trek Episodes Countdown
« Reply #2 on: November 19, 2018, 03:06:19 PM »
Ooooh..... the copy and paste from Open Office is a little rough.  Might have to do something about that later.
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Re: List of Crap #113: Top 50 Star Trek Episodes Countdown
« Reply #3 on: November 19, 2018, 03:08:25 PM »
49C
Caretaker
Series:  Voyager


19 Points
1 of 10 Lists.  Highest Rank: #7 by Lesbunny

Details

The newly commissioned starship Voyager and a Maquis raider are flung into the far reaches of the remote Delta Quadrant by a powerful entity known as the Caretaker. (Series premiere)


Unhappy with a new treaty, Federation Colonists along the Cardassian border have banded together.
Calling themselves "The Maquis," they continue to fight the Cardassians.
Some consider them heroes, but to the governments of the Federation and Cardassia, they are outlaws.

After a scrolling text introduction to the Cardassian and Federation relationship with the Maquis rebels, the opening scene shows the Cardassians pursuing a smaller Maquis spacecraft. The Maquis ship escapes into the Badlands, a dangerous nebula, where the Cardassian vessel is damaged by a plasma storm and the Maquis ship is caught in a displacement wave.

On Earth, Captain Kathryn Janeway of the Federation starship USS Voyager recruits Tom Paris, a captured Maquis, from a New Zealand prison to help track down the missing Maquis spacecraft. She's looking for her security chief, who was aboard the ship as a Federation spy at the time of its disappearance. Leaving from Deep Space Nine, Voyager journeys to the Badlands, where it is scanned by a "coherent tetrion beam" before being struck by a displacement wave that wreaks havoc on the ship.

The crew recovers to find themselves in the Delta Quadrant, over 70,000 light years from Federation space. Dead crew members include the second-in-command, helm officer, chief engineer, and the medical staff. The crew activate the Emergency Medical Hologram to treat the injured. Before they get their bearings, the crew are transported to a holographic simulation aboard a nearby array by a being called the Caretaker. Seeing through the simulation, the Voyager crew discover the Maquis, unconscious and undergoing strange medical experiments. Before they can react, the crew are subjected to the same experiments. Later, both crews awake on their own vessels and find they are each missing one crew member: Harry Kim from Voyager, and the Maquis B'Elanna Torres. Attempts to negotiate with the Caretaker are fruitless as he insists there's no time for such talk. Janeway offers to work with the Maquis leader Chakotay to find the missing people and return to the Alpha Quadrant.

The two ships follow pulses of energy sent from the array to a nearby planet. En route, they encounter Neelix, a space trader who is eager to help them out in exchange for rescuing his companion, the Ocampa Kes, from the violent Kazon that inhabit the planet's surface. Kes explains that her people live in a subterranean complex and are cared for by the Caretaker who supplies them with energy, with the only expectation in turn that they care for the beings that he sends to them, each one suffering from a strange disease that appears incurable. As the crews determine how to rescue Kim and Torres, the Caretaker realigns the array and begins firing more bursts of energy. Janeway's security chief, the Vulcan Tuvok, deduces that the Caretaker is dying and is ensuring the Ocampa are kept safe by sealing the underground complex. With time running short, a combined Away Team penetrates the shields protecting the complex and rescues Kim and Torres.

The crews again ask the Caretaker to return them to the Alpha Quadrant. He reveals that he was part of an alien race whose technology had long ago accidentally destroyed the Ocampa planet's atmosphere, leaving it an arid desert. In recompense, he and another of his race have cared for the Ocampa ever since. His companion having long moved on, he has experimented on species from distant galactic sectors with the hope of finding a compatible match so that he can reproduce and pass the responsibility to his offspring. With death almost upon him, the Caretaker initiates the array's self-destruct sequence to prevent the technology from falling into the hands of the Kazon. As the Caretaker dies, the ships are attacked by a Kazon fleet. Janeway and Chakotay coordinate a counterattack to protect the array; Chakotay sacrifices his vessel to destroy one of the Kazon ships, but damage to the array disables the self-destruct sequence. Janeway opts to respect the Caretaker's wishes and orders the destruction of the array, despite it being their only chance at returning home. With the array destroyed, the Kazon disengage, and their leader tells Janeway, "you made an enemy today".

As Voyager starts on a 75-year journey back to the Alpha Quadrant, Janeway integrates the Maquis into the Starfleet crew, with Chakotay as her second-in-command. Janeway appoints Paris as helmsman, and Neelix and Kes remain on board as guides to the local area of space.

Personal Thoughts

First episode of the series.  I remember when I first saw this and someone said they had jumped 70,000 light years, I didn't realize that was a big deal.  I really had no idea how fast the starships could go.  Janeway really was kind of an asshole stranding an entire ship full of people in the Delta Quadrant just to save a planet of strangers.
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Offline RVR II

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Re: List of Crap #113: Top 50 Star Trek Episodes Countdown
« Reply #4 on: November 19, 2018, 03:49:23 PM »
50
For the Cause
Series: Deep Space Nine


18 Points
2 of 10 Lists.  Highest Rank: #9 by RVRII

Details
Sisko discovers that Kasidy Yates may be a Maquis smuggler; Garak takes an interest in Ziyal.

Kasidy Yates wakes up in Captain Sisko's bed, kisses him on the forehead and gets up to leave. Sisko reaches out and pulls her back into bed telling her that a meeting with her engineer can wait. Kasidy finally leaves after joking about his style of command and tells him that she will see him later. He pulls her now vacant pillow over, admires her lingering scent, and switches it with his own.
In the wardroom Commander Eddington is giving Sisko, Major Kira, Commander Worf, Commander Jadzia Dax, and Odo a briefing on very sensitive information from Starfleet Command. The Cardassian civilian government has secretly contacted the Federation Council with a request for industrial replicators to help build new power plants and factories. The Federation has agreed to provide twelve class 4 industrial replicators; however, the information must be kept secret because Starfleet Intelligence believes the Maquis may attempt to seize the replicators for themselves. Since the Klingon invasion, the Cardassian military has been unable to pay much attention to the Maquis, giving them almost free rein in the Demilitarized Zone and allowing them to build several new bases which has the possibility of driving out all Cardassian presence. Sisko orders increased security on the station until the replicators have safely passed through Deep Space 9, and has Worf take the USS Defiant to the Badlands in order to show the Maquis they're ready for trouble.
As the other officers leave the briefing Odo and Eddington stay behind to talk to Sisko. They tell him that they have reason to believe there is a Maquis smuggler on the station, although the evidence is circumstantial at the moment. Sisko presses them for a name, and the two reluctantly admit that the suspect is none other than Kasidy Yates.

Personal Thoughts

I vaguely remember this episode.  I think it was one of the earliest mentions of the Maquis, who were supposed to play a significant part in Voyager.  This was eventually dropped though.
This was one of the more impactful episodes for me..
A Maquis traitor amongst the ranks that deceived DS9 for months


Offline CJones

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Re: List of Crap #113: Top 50 Star Trek Episodes Countdown
« Reply #5 on: November 19, 2018, 05:25:11 PM »
Straight off the bat we have one I don't remember. I guess I was never really a fan of the Maquis stuff. They were one of the few things to tie all three TNG-era series together though. Also, is that Clarence Boddicker from Robocop? Looks a lot like him.

I haven't seen the Voyager pilot in ages. I always found Voyager to be the most inconsistent Star Trek series, sometimes very good and very imaginative, other times just flat out stupid.


Offline Russoguru

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Re: List of Crap #113: Top 50 Star Trek Episodes Countdown
« Reply #6 on: November 19, 2018, 08:11:34 PM »
I did like Eddington and that episode pretty well. Didn't make my list but it was a good, solid episode. They crafted his character arc very well. He seemed like an officer who was very dedicated to the Federation so when he
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. We did see him one last time in "For the Uniform", which I'm guessing probably won't turn up on this list.


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Re: List of Crap #113: Top 50 Star Trek Episodes Countdown
« Reply #7 on: November 20, 2018, 12:01:00 AM »
49B
The Lower Decks
Series:  The Next Generation

19 Points
1 of 10 Lists.  Highest Rank: #7 by Johnny Unusual

Details

Four young Enterprise junior officers find their friendship strained during personnel evaluations. Two of the friends, Sam Lavelle and the Bajoran Sito Jaxa, discover that they are being considered for the same job. Joined by their friend Ben, a civilian who works as a waiter, they learn that promotions seem to be already decided on for their other two friends, Nurse Ogawa and Vulcan engineer Taurik.

Worf soon detects an escape pod inside Cardassian space, which is off limits to the Enterprise, and Geordi and Taurik work to transport the passenger on board amidst a cloak of secrecy.

Ogawa seems to be doing nicely in the evaluations as Beverly Crusher has nothing but praise for her abilities and accomplishments. She orders Ogawa not to reveal what she is about to see in Sickbay, and Dr. Crusher takes her to where an injured Cardassian has been brought on board.
Meanwhile, during a poker game, Commander Riker and Worf differ on whether Lavelle or Sito should be promoted. Captain Picard chastises Sito for her role in a Starfleet Academy scandal. She leaves the meeting exasperated, as Picard has left her without the opportunity to defend herself. Considerations of promotions are interrupted by a baffling secret mission that all but Lavelle are involved in. Left out of the loop, Lavelle becomes convinced that this is a sign that he will not be promoted.

After teaching a class, Worf tells Sito to stay and that he wants to test her. He blindfolds her and engages her in a one-on-one martial arts fight. Sito is powerless to stop Worf's attacks, adding insult to her already bruised self-esteem, but finally stands up to him, saying it's an unfair test. Worf admits that getting her to stand up for herself when she is being judged unfairly is what he intended all along. She uses her newfound confidence to confront Picard about his earlier interrogation. Picard, to Sito's surprise, admits that the purpose was to assess her personal growth, along with her readiness for a dangerous secret mission where she will pose as a Bajoran captive taken by a Cardassian named Joret Dal. He also states that he had specifically asked for her assignment to the ship so she was given a fair chance. Joret is actually a Federation operative, and he needs to get back to Cardassia. The plan is for Joret and Sito to enter Cardassian space in a "stolen" Starfleet shuttle craft that has been made to look like it was damaged from phaser fire during an escape. At the first opportunity, Joret will launch Sito back to Federation space in an escape pod. Acknowledging the risks, Sito accepts the mission and leaves to prepare.

Sito's escape pod does not return from the mission, so after waiting 32 hours, Picard orders a probe to be launched into Cardassian space, despite being warned that doing so could be considered a treaty violation. The probe detects scattered debris that appears to be the remnants of a Starfleet shuttle escape pod. The Enterprise later intercepts Cardassian communications which report that a Bajoran prisoner overpowered her Cardassian captor and attempted to leave Cardassian space in an escape pod, which was then destroyed, leaving no survivors.

Captain Picard announces the loss of a fellow crew member over the ship's general address. Lavelle receives the promotion, but he and his friends, as well as the senior crew, are downhearted. Even the emotionally distant Worf has been affected by the loss they all feel. They comfort each other, and Worf joins them as the episode concludes.

Personal Thoughts

I don't remember much about this episode.  It's a cool premise though.  Star Trek is, in a way, a workplace show.  Such shows usually feature a small group of employees among a company with dozens or hundreds of employees.  These unseen employees technically exist but the show pretends they don't.  I like the idea of stepping away from the main characters and focusing on ancillary employees.  Voyager did a similar episode entitled “The Good Sheperd”.
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Offline RVR II

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Re: List of Crap #113: Top 50 Star Trek Episodes Countdown
« Reply #8 on: November 20, 2018, 01:10:24 AM »
Lower Decks was a good episode but got bumped from my final list..
Glad it made it though!


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Re: List of Crap #113: Top 50 Star Trek Episodes Countdown
« Reply #9 on: November 20, 2018, 01:48:48 AM »
49A
Improbable Cause/The Die is Cast
Series:  Deep Space Nine

19 Points
1 of 10 Lists.  Highest Rank: #7 by RVR II

Details

This is a two part episode, although the two parts have different names.

When Garak's tailor shop explodes, Odo finds that it was destroyed by a bomb but set up to make it look accidental. He tracks down a possible suspect but before he can catch up with him, the suspect is killed when his ship blows up.

Odo studies the case further and discovers that the Romulans are behind it. They probably hired the dead suspect, and then killed him to help bury evidence. Odo digs up more information about the incident and finds that it is much more complicated than an assassination attempt on Garak. It seems the Romulans are planning to invade Cardassia and several members of the Obsidian Order, the Cardassian secret police, have been killed in mysterious mishaps recently.
Odo tries to get Garak to admit that he blew up his own shop in order to get Odo to begin an investigation. All of the Cardassians recently killed were close to Enabran Tain, Garak's mentor. Now that all of his associates are being targeted, Tain may be in danger. Odo and Garak set off to locate him.

En route they are captured by a Romulan warbird. When they are brought aboard they find that Tain is there. He tells them he ordered Garak's assassination, as well as those of the rest of his former associates. He is wiping his history clean in preparation for a power play. The Romulan Tal Shiar have formed an alliance with the Obsidian Order, and they are planning an attack on the Founders in the Gamma Quadrant. Once the Dominion is taken out, Tain plans to take control of the Obsidian Order. Since his attempt on Garak's life failed, he asks the tailor to join him. Odo is puzzled when Garak immediately agrees.

Garak and Odo have not been heard from on Deep Space Nine in several days, following their departure in a runabout to investigate an attempt on Garak's life. Bashir fears for his friend Garak; O'Brien reminds him that no debris from their runabout has been located, making it unlikely that it has been destroyed.
In Ops, the crew is alarmed when a large Cardassian-Romulan fleet decloaks. The fleet ignores the station's hails and proceed through the Wormhole to the Gamma Quadrant.

On the lead ship of the Cardassian-Romulan fleet, Enabran Tain and Garak reflect upon their past times together in the Obsidian Order, the Cardassian secret police. Garak says that he intends to use his newly regained power to exact revenge on several old adversaries, including Gul Dukat, which Tain assures him he will be in a position to do when their mission is complete. Romulan Colonel Lovok, who is immediately suspicious of Garak, informs Tain that the fleet has recloaked and has set course to the Founders' homeworld at Warp 6, as traveling any faster risks detection, even through their cloaking device, by the Jem'Hadar. Tain instructs Garak to question Odo, but Odo does not offer any additional information.

Back on DS9, the senior staff, including security chief Michael Eddington, are shown an intercepted transmission where Tain lays out his plans to destroy the Dominion with combined forces from the Obsidian Order and the Romulan Tal Shiar. While both intelligence organizations have acted outside the authority of their respective governments, neither government has chosen to intervene. Vice Admiral Toddman indicates that Starfleet is taking a similar approach, as the mission appears to have a good chance of success, and they are wary of the threat the Dominion poses if left unchecked. He instructs Commander Sisko to keep the Defiant guarding Bajor, but immediately following the briefing, Sisko asks for volunteers for a mission to take the Defiant into the Gamma Quadrant to rescue Odo, knowing they will likely be court-martialed as a result.

Tain again instructs Garak to interrogate Odo, this time using a device that inhibits his ability to shape-shift. Garak is reluctant to apply torture, but realizes that Tain will never trust him if he refuses. As the device begins to cause Odo obvious pain, Garak begs him to reveal anything of use, even if it's a lie. Odo reveals his desire to return to his people and the Great Link despite his voluntary exile, and Garak is relieved to deactivate the device.
On the Defiant, the cloak suddenly fails, and Eddington admits he has sabotaged it under direct orders from Admiral Toddman. Sisko recognizes that Eddington could not disobey the Admiral, and while frustrated, when Eddington vows to otherwise carry out his duties, Sisko allows him to resume his post. Meanwhile, O'Brien sets to work repairing the cloaking device.

The Cardassian-Romulan fleet arrives at the Founders' homeworld, finding little resistance, and opens fire. While the initial bombardment appears to have been successful, they soon realize they are reading false life signs from the planet surface, and that the mission was a trap. Suddenly, Jem'Hadar ships emerge from the Omarion Nebula and engage the fleet, vastly outnumbering them. In the resulting battle, the Cardassian-Romulan fleet is annihilated.

Garak, recognizing that the battle is lost, leaves the bridge to rescue Odo. They encounter Lovok, who reveals himself to be a Founder, and assists Odo in escaping, as "no Changeling has ever harmed another." Lovok confesses that the Founders viewed the Tal Shiar and Obsidian Order as threats and helped push Tain's plan forward in order to destroy them, and hints that the remaining threats, the Klingon Empire and United Federation of Planets, may not be so for much longer. He offers Odo a chance to return to the Link, which Odo again declines.

Garak makes his way back to the bridge to save Tain, but Tain refuses to leave, and Garak refuses to abandon him, so Odo knocks Garak unconscious and escapes with him on the runabout. They come under attack, and when all seems lost, Garak sincerely apologizes, which Odo accepts. Suddenly, the Defiant decloaks and rescues the pair, and slips away from the battle to return to the wormhole.

Back on the station, Sisko and his crew escape discipline for their actions, and Odo suggests he and Garak meet for breakfast.

Personal Thoughts

The thing I remember the most about this was the torture scene, where Garak uses a device to lock Odo into a solid form, which causes Odo tremendous pain.
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Offline RVR II

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Re: List of Crap #113: Top 50 Star Trek Episodes Countdown
« Reply #10 on: November 20, 2018, 01:55:07 AM »
Another great episode!
Yeah the lead up to the preemptive strike by the Cardassian's Obsidian Order & Romulan's Tal Shiar on the Dominion.
« Last Edit: November 20, 2018, 02:17:09 AM by RVR II »


Offline Lesbunny

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Re: List of Crap #113: Top 50 Star Trek Episodes Countdown
« Reply #11 on: November 20, 2018, 05:28:46 AM »
The more I watch Voyager, the more I enjoy it. It is probably the most inconsistent series, yeah, but it's highs are DAMN high. I also did a project for my intro to women's studies course that centered on Janeway, and rewatched Caretaker. I think a few years back when I was helping with the whole riffing of the first season of Voyager, I kind of just fell into a group mentality that it was a bad series. Giving it another chance has been a great decision for me, and it's potentially my favourite. Janeway is my fave captain, hands down, no matter how much she murdered
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Offline MartyS (Gromit)

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Re: List of Crap #113: Top 50 Star Trek Episodes Countdown
« Reply #12 on: November 20, 2018, 06:51:07 AM »
The Lower Decks is one I never rewatch, great episode up until the ending, making you like a character and them killing them at the end (off screen no less) was lazy writing, turn the episode depressing just to add extra drama.  I guess I also thought it made the regular crew look bad, a sketchy plan that put someones life at very high risk normally comes from some admiral high up in Starfleet but in this case it was Picard and the crew doing it.

The highs in Voyager never got that high for me, top episode on my big list was only able to climb to 31.  I only had a handful of Voyager episodes that made it in my top 70, but it did better than Enterprise and that surprised me.
« Last Edit: November 20, 2018, 06:59:33 AM by MartyS (Gromit) »


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Re: List of Crap #113: Top 50 Star Trek Episodes Countdown
« Reply #13 on: November 20, 2018, 07:32:32 AM »
Genuinely surprised I was the only "Lower Decks" vote.  I thought that was a favourite among fans.


Offline Lesbunny

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Re: List of Crap #113: Top 50 Star Trek Episodes Countdown
« Reply #14 on: November 20, 2018, 08:20:13 AM »
Genuinely surprised I was the only "Lower Decks" vote.  I thought that was a favourite among fans.

It almost made my list, but I cut out a lot of TNG because I don't think it's as good as most people do. it's got great moments that I expect to see here, but I feel like it's highs aren't as good as DS9 or VOY. I'm interested to see if any Enterprise or Discovery make the list, though. Enterprise seems to be remembered poorly, and Discovery is still in the finding itself phase that all sci-fi TV shows seem to go through for the first couple of seasons.