Welcome to Bare-bones Star Trek, a journey through what Trek would be using today’s season guidelines.
Over the next few weeks, I will be doing something that I think is particularly interesting: Stripping down all of Star Trek into Discovery like seasons. No fillers, just plot you could say. For now, I will be going through The Original Series. Some of the episodes could be switched to later seasons and I may expand the series in number of seasons if I feel that the story is imperative to the rest of what we know. We will also be looking at The Animated Series as a part of TOS. This will go through production order instead of air-date order.
I will also explain why I have included that particular episode in this list. Now, this by no means is the end all, be all list. This is just my personal list as to what Star Trek would look like in this season format. I am using the episode number instead of air date to avoid confusion in universe.
Pilot: Where No Man Has Gone Before
This is an easy choice to keep. It establishes most of “The Main Seven” of the show. As for key beats, it shows Kirk having to deal with the unknown, making a command decision that leads to the death of his best friend, and establishing his command style.
While it doesn’t have all the characters in the proper places, or in McCoy’s case at all, it does show most of them already on the ship. It also gives you a feel for how the rest of the series will go.
Episode 2: The Corbomite Maneuver
I decided to add this one as it gives us everyone in their proper place and gives insight to Kirk’s command style. He does take others’ input, but will not bow to it. It also shows us the seeding of what becomes the trinity of Kirk, Spock, and McCoy.
We also get to see that, while crew-members make mistakes, Kirk knows that his crew can get the job done. It establishes that they are in fact on a mission of peace and exploration. We get to see that Kirk is not above bluffing his way out of danger.
Episode 3: Balance of Terror
This was a rather easy one to keep. Without this, we wouldn’t have the Romulans. This shows the tactics used by both the Federation and Romulan Star Empire.
This episode also shows us that Kirk is a man who will not stand for prejudice of any kind. It showcases what becomes a staple of Star Trek by giving us how we should be.
Episode 4: Dagger of the Mind
I have included this episode for the character building aspects. It may not be the best episode from the first season, but it allows us to see how Kirk could be if he didn’t have his Starfleet duties.
Episode 5: Miri
This episode also adds to Kirk’s character. We also get the chance to see how the crew works together to solve the crisis.
We get to see Kirk’s compassion and how he deals with some sticky situations. He shows that he cares for the crew.
As for the team building portion, we see how Spock and McCoy start to interact and get to their typical banter.
Episode 6: The Conscience of the King
This was another easy one to add. This episode has great backstory to Kirk. It allows us to see what defines him as a person and a captain.
We also get to see that even though time may have passed, he will still do whatever he can to protect his friends and crew. We also see that his compassion again when he refuses to let Lieutenant Riley kill an innocent man, but rather have him arrested to stand trial for his crimes.
Episode 7: The Galileo Seven
This is the episode I choose for the one before the mid-season break. It gives us a bit of how Spock began to be as a leader. This showed him as using only logic to make decisions. He would learn from this and start to go with his gut. (This is better exemplified in the eNovella Miasma.)
We also see more of McCoy’s style and showing that he is the id to Kirk’s ego and Spock’s super-ego. He is part of the reason Spock decides to do the one thing that winds up saving them.
Episode 7: The Menagerie, Part 1
What better way to enter the mid-season break than a two-part episode? It is very regrettable that The Original Series only had one such set of stories. The Menagerie also allows us know more about Spock’s past.
This is another example of the trinity growing. Kirk and McCoy are at odds with their emotional connection to Spock while knowing that something is not quite right with him and that he may very well be executed for what he is doing.
We get to see others who are a part of the Federation and how court proceedings take place for them. I chose to not include Court Martial at this time for this very reason.
This concludes the first half/chapter of the first season Star Trek: The Original Series. I will continue in the coming weeks to fill out the rest of TOS. If you think I’m off on a few or have anything to share or add, let me know on Facebook, Twitter, or in the comments below.