In honor of George Takei receiving the 2012 LGBT Humanist Pride Award, to be given at the AHA’s 71st Annual Conference in New Orleans, we asked HNN readers to share their favorite Star Trek episodes with us!
Here were the top suggested Star Trek titles:
1. The Inner Light
2. The Trouble with Tribbles
3. The City on the Edge of Forever
4. Let That Be Your Last Battlefield
5. Naked Time
6. I, Mudd
7. Who Watches the Watchers
8. Errand of Mercy
9. The Visitor
10. Measure of a Man
Susan Sackett, longtime assistant to Gene Roddenberry and co-writer of the Star Trek episodes “Menage a Troi” and “The Game” writes:
My favorite episode is “Who Watches the Watchers,” from the Next Generation. I use it in my talks about “Humanism in Star Trek” because it comes closest to expressing humanistic philosophy.
Janet J. Asimov, whose husband was science fiction writer and past AHA president Isaac Asimov, has been watching Star Trek and its spinoffs for many years. She writes:
I’ve seen every single show umpteen times, and am happy that I had a chance to live in that optimistic universe all these many years.
For the original series, my favorites tend to be the funny ones, like “A Piece of the Action” or “The Trouble with Tribbles” or “I, Mudd” or the ones in which Spock has a lot to do, like “The Naked Time,” “Journey to Babel,” “Mirror, Mirror” or “The Tholian Web.” I think the favorite show for most people is “The City on the Edge of Forever,” but I know that Harlan Ellison, whose name is on it, hated what Roddenberry did to it. I still like it—Harlan’s version was wrong—but my all-time favorite of the original series is “Is There in Truth No Beauty.” If you’ve never seen that, try it, for there’s much wisdom in it. Jean Lisette Aroeste wrote it, and therefore must be responsible for this bit of dialogue: “The glory of creation is in its infinite diversity … and in the way our differences combine to create meaning and beauty.” This is based on the IDIC philosophy—“infinite diversity in infinite combinations.” Maybe Roddenberry invented that.
As I said, I love all the Star Trek series, but my favorite show of all the series is from The Next Generation. Do not miss “Measure of a Man.” It’s about whether or not the android, Data, is a person or property. There’s an important bit of dialogue about racism between Picard and Guinan (played to the hilt by Whoopi Goldberg).
Finally, HNN reader Scooter Crone writes in:
Favorite Star Trek episodes: “A Taste of Armageddon.” The writers anticipated the neutron bomb, i.e., one that destroys life while sparing property, by a decade! And “Let That Be Your Last Battlefield.” What a performance by Frank Gorshin! And writing a perfect antidote for racism at the very height of civil unrest in the US—amazing!
Thanks again to everyone for submitting their favorite Star Trek episodes! And we hope to see you at the AHA’s 71st Annual Conference in New Orleans where you can meet George Takei himself! Learn more at www.americanhumanist.org/conference.