I’m going to come back after each season for a quick review, and then to produce an overall ranking, from best to worst.
So, the first year of Star Trek. Was the promise there?
In spades. This is really really good science fiction TV. Better than I expected really. The show settles down remarkably quickly, although the mythology and background takes longer to coalesce. With things like the Federation showing up late, and the Klingons not until the last few episodes, it’s only a distant relation of the shows that would come later.
There are surprisingly few missteps – not one pure stinker (although there is Mudd’s Women), and even though they were making it up as they went along there isn’t too much that feels discordant compared to later Star Trek.
And the good episodes are very very good. There are at least half a dozen excellent episodes here. Star Trek was off to an excellent start here, certainly a much better start than The Next Generation managed in its first season.
Oh, and that Red Shirt thing? Totally a myth so far. Sure, there are usually a couple of background security people who beam down with the Captain, but far more often than not they make it through the whole episode. I’m assuming it’s something that’s a bit clearer in later seasons, but in the whole season I only counted 2 ‘pure’ Red Shirts.
Also, the ‘Kirk the interstellar Lothario’ thing isn’t really present yet – he has a few love interests, but so do Spock, McCoy and even Sulu. Certainly no ‘alien girl of the week’.
So, the ranking so far is:
1. TOS Season 1
(OK, that’ll look a little more impressive in a few months time).
That’s 1,450 minutes down, 31,695 to go. 4.37% complete.