The Original Series

STAR TREK: THE ORIGINAL SERIES

The show that changed television forever.

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Gene Roddenberry created Star Trek: The Original Series after years of picking up great ideas and storing them for later. Roddenberry was a prolific, award-winning writer who had a vision for what the future could look like for humanity. In Roddenberry’s future, there was no hunger, no racism, no sexism… and no money. In the 23rd Century, humanity had changed, thanks to technology and by pushing itself to the brink of destruction (with the struggles over eugenics and a third world war). Humanity matured, and our mission was beyond Earth. In Roddenberry’s vision, we worked to learn and better ourselves, rather than for riches or things.

When Star Trek debuted in 1966, it was a thunderbolt. Something which television audiences had never seen before, and would only enjoy for three short seasons. Heavily influenced by the film The Forbidden Planet and science fiction in novels, Star Trek gave audiences a view of the future where humans could travel faster than light; they had weapons that could disintegrate enemies; there were alien species who they encountered regularly; and they had access to scientific knowledge and technology beyond a layman in the 1960s wildest dreams.

Captain James T. Kirk was a passionate young leader, not unlike President John F. Kennedy. Though Kirk (artfully played by the great William Shatner) is accused of bedding more aliens than he negotiated with, the captain proved time and again that he was a capable leader for his crew of 400. His first mate, too, became a star. Leonard Nimoy’s Spock, might have seemed devilish back when Trek debuted, but now he is a mainstay of popular culture.

Gene Roddenberry, Star Trek's creator. Courtesy of CBS / Paramount
Gene Roddenberry, Star Trek’s creator. Courtesy of CBS / Paramount

The gadgets and ships, however, were just props. What made Star Trek truly different was the sharp contrast of the makeup of the crew of the U.S.S. Enterprise, and the morality tales each episode wove. Without making a fuss, Roddenberry placed an African American female and an Asian male as part of the bridge crew. And gosh, they seemed normal compared to the alien with the ears. To have Uhura and Sulu (and later Chekov) interact with all the rest of the crew without a second thought was a huge deal.

For three years, and 79 episodes, Star Trek thrilled audiences the world over. When it aired its last show, Roddenberry moved on and swore that he was done with the show. But thanks to persistent fans and letter writing campaigns, Trek came back for a while as an animated series, then permanently with The Motion Picture in 1979. For the next 40 years, fans have enjoyed an almost uninterrupted stream of Trek on television, in film, on paper (comics and novels), in video games and even in real life.

The Original Series

Check out our archive of reviews and rankings of each of The Original Series episodes.

Season 1Season 2Season 3
No.Episode NameAir Date
1The Man TrapSept. 8, 1966
2Charlie XSept. 15, 1966
3Where No Man Has Gone BeforeSept. 22, 1966
4The Naked TimeSept. 29, 1966
5The Enemy WithinOct. 6, 1966
6Mudd’s WomenOct. 13, 1966
7What Are Little Girls Made Of?Oct. 20, 1966
8MiriOct. 27, 1966
9Dagger of the MindNov. 3, 1966
10The Corbomite ManeuverNov. 10, 1966
11The Menagerie, Part 1Nov. 17, 1966
12The Menagerie, Part 2Nov. 24, 1966
13The Conscience of the KingDec. 8, 1966
14Balance of TerrorDec. 15, 1966
15Shore LeaveDec. 29, 1966
16The Galileo SevenJan. 5, 1967
17The Squire of GothosJan. 12, 1967
18ArenaJan. 19, 1967
19Tomorrow Is YesterdayJan. 26, 1967
20Court MartialFeb. 2, 1967
21The Return of the ArchonsFeb. 9, 1967
22Space SeedFeb. 16, 1967
23A Taste of ArmageddonFeb. 23, 1967
24This Side of ParadiseMar. 2, 1967
25The Devil in the DarkMar. 9, 1967
26Errand of MercyMar. 23, 1967
27The Alternative FactorMar. 30, 1967
28The City on the Edge of ForeverApr. 6, 1967
29Operation: Annihilate!Apr. 13, 1967
No.Episode NameAir Date
30Amok TimeSept. 15, 1967
31Who Mourns for Adonais?Sept. 22, 1967
32The ChangelingSept. 29, 1967
33Mirror, MirrorOct. 6, 1967
34The AppleOct. 13, 1967
35The Doomsday MachineOct. 20, 1967
36CatspawOct. 27, 1967
37I, MuddNov. 3, 1967
38MetamorphosisNov. 10, 1967
39Journey to BabelNov. 17, 1967
40Friday’s ChildDec. 1, 1967
41The Deadly YearsDec. 8, 1967
42ObsessionDec. 15, 1967
43Wolf in the FoldDec. 22, 1967
44The Trouble with TribblesDec. 29, 1967
45The Gamesters of TriskelionJan. 5, 1968
46A Piece of the ActionJan. 12, 1968
47The Immunity SyndromeJan. 19, 1968
48A Private Little WarFeb. 2, 1968
49Return to TomorrowFeb. 9, 1968
50Patterns of ForceFeb. 16, 1968
51By Any Other NameFeb. 23, 1968
52The Omega GloryMar. 1, 1968
53The Ultimate ComputerMar. 8, 1968
54Bread and CircusesMar. 15, 1968 
55Assignment: EarthMar. 29, 1968

No.Episode NameAir date
56Spock’s BrainSept. 20, 1968
57The Enterprise IncidentSept. 27, 1968
58The Paradise SyndromeOct. 4, 1968
59And the Children Shall LeadOct. 11, 1968
60Is There in Truth No Beauty?Oct. 18, 1968
61Spectre of the GunOct. 25, 1968
62Day of the DoveNov. 1, 1968
63For the World Is Hollow and I Have Touched the SkyNov. 8, 1968
64The Tholian WebNov. 15, 1968 
65Plato’s StepchildrenNov. 22, 1968
66Wink of an EyeNov. 29, 1968
67The EmpathDec. 6, 1968
68Elaan of TroyiusDec. 20, 1968
69Whom Gods DestroyJan. 3, 1969
70Let That Be Your Last BattlefieldJan. 10, 1969
71The Mark of GideonJan. 17, 1969
72That Which SurvivesJan. 24, 1969
73The Lights of ZetarJan. 31, 1969
74Requiem for MethuselahFeb. 14, 1969
75The Way to EdenFeb. 21, 1969
76The Cloud MindersFeb. 28, 1969
77The Savage CurtainMar. 7, 1969 
78All Our YesterdaysMar. 14, 1969 
79Turnabout IntruderJune 3, 1969

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