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Bad Trek

This is a page devoted to Bad Trek. Some Bad Trek is bad in the sense that watching it is a form of cruel and unusual punishment. Other Bad Trek is hilariously bad, a good bet for Ed Wood marathons. I have listed what I believe to be some of the worst episodes of all time. Next to the episode is some explanation of why is sucks, and whether it is unwatchable or just laughable.

Star Trek: (original series)

The Alternative Factor: The plot is lame, and drags on, Lazarus is not compelling, and the science fiction behind it is so incredibly ridiculous that only a group of actors could believe it. This episode has some real laugh-out-loud moments, as when Spock starts in, perfectly seriously, describing the "universe of matter and universe of antimatter." Kirk then takes this leisurely stroll in the universe of anti-matter. I kept saying "don't breathe, Kirk! Don't breathe!"

Who Mourns for Adonais?: The special effects are ridiculous (a giant hand from space - wooo), but I hesitate to recommend this episode for MST3K parties because the drive-by sexism in this episode is pretty extreme. What Lt. Palmer sees in Apollo is anyone's guess. Also, the woman who plays Palmer looks absolutely terrible in that Theiss number. Apparently she was a very modest woman, who even wore a bathrobe between takes (to Shatner's disappointment, I guess), and she looks positively pasty. One last thing - this episode launched a long-standing Trek Cliché (TM); "the gods" actually turn out to be aliens who demand to be worshipped, but (hu)mankind has outgrown them.

The Changeling: No, it's not the shapeshifters, it's a twenty-first century space probe that has returned to exterminate everything imperfect - ie, the crew of the Enterprise. The FX are pretty goofy. You can even see the string that Nomad hangs from. In some scenes it even wobbles or swings. Plus, technomagic! Scotty killed and brought back to life! Uhura's memory wiped and she regains full function in two weeks! Also has the infamous "she is woman" quote. (Of course, the true Trek rationalizer will tell you that Spock meant "woman" as in "female human". After all, this is the guy who gets ticked when you call him a "man." Whatever, it's still drive-by sexism.) Oh, and then Spock mind-melds with a robot. Right.

Catspaw: Don't expect this ep to make much sense. Its main entertainment value is in getting particularly drunk/high and making bets with your friends about what weird stuff the episode will do next. The ultimate Star Trek Halloween episode, according to Trek Navigator.

The Omega Glory: One of the worst Star Trek episodes of all time. Worse than "Spock's Brain" in some sense for its sheer audacity. It was penned by none other than Eugene Wesley Roddenberry (who had a hand in many, much better episodes, to be fair), which is more proof that Gene was only human after all. Anyway, it's a ridiculous kind of cold war, racist morality play, with blond neaderthals or "Yangs" fighting a war against literate, but stereotypically made-up asians or "Khoms" on some backwater planet. Kirk teaches the Yangs about truth, justice and the American Way. It's so blatantly racist and STUPID that it may be hard to laugh at. I was a too ticked to find it funny last time I saw it.

Spock's Brain: I don't hate this episode the way old-school Trekkies do, but it is pretty darn silly. Sexy, though--mm, go-go boots. (The old-schoolers hate it for reasons to involved to explain. Those born after 1969, though, can just enjoy the cheesiness of it all.) Most famous line "Brain and brain. What is brain?" although I prefer McCoy's "His brain's gone!" Plenty of drive-by sexism too, but in this case it adds to the ridiculousness.

And the Children Shall Lead: I've never seen this, but it's usually rated as one of the worst TOS episodes. Like many really bad episodes, it's also a favorite of K/S fans. Go figure.

Plato's Stepchildren: I'm afraid this is more of a wince a minute episode than a laugh a minute. I felt embarrassed for the characters and the actors watching this episode. The one highlight is the dwarf, Alexander. This episode is remembered for having "the first interracial kiss on television" but it really shouldn't be. Ugh.

Requiem for Methuselah: a lame-brained gimmick (Flint) who belongs in a comic book for 10 year olds, a captain way out of character, and homosexual subtext. TNG redid this episode as "Lal." I suggest you watch that excellent episode and forget this one exists.

The Way to Eden: I haven't been unlucky enough to see it yet, but it's supposed to suck. Has gratuitous hippy sing-along scenes. I wouldn't know.

The Cloud-Minders: This episode just tanked. Stupid plot premise, ridiculous solution, Spock acting like an idiot - in fact he has a quote that goes something like "extreme female beauty is frequently disturbing" (the actress really wasn't all that, anyway). I'll pass.

Star Trek: The Next Generation
I can't list every awful episode here - out of seven seasons, there are a lot. Here are the ones that come to mind.

The Naked Now: rip off a plot from a beloved TOS episode and you get one truly awful hour of TNG. What's really funny is realizing that Picard endangered the ship by attempting to argue with Wesley "hic" Crusher, instead of telling him directly what their situation was.

Symbiosis: "But I don't understaaaaand, Tasha!" - "I hope you never do." Awww. This episode could have been a good episode - Crusher and Picard's argument about how to handle the situation once they realized what was going on showed promise (although I though Crusher wimped out too easily), but the "Just Say No" speech was just too much. Now, a character like Yar *could* have talked about how she was addicted to (valium, alcohol, glue, whatever) and about how it was an escape in a hopeless world, and how sometimes withdrawal was scarier than the drug itself - maybe we could have had some honesty, but instead we got a message beat over our heads.

Justice: Wesley sentenced to death for walking on a plant! Must see stoopid Trek.

The Royale: Once decried as "the worst Star Trek episode ever," in retrospect the main problem with this episode is that it just puts you to sleep.

Shades of Gray The first and hopefully last Star Trek clips episode. Riker has a series of extended flashbacks, which saved Paramount a lot of money on this episode!

Ménage à Troi: Lwaxana and Deanna Troi captured by Ferengi. Picard must win them back. Tries to be funny and succeeds - in the wrong way. What I mean is, if you look at it as "Bad Trek" it's pretty good. If you're expecting "Yesterday's Enterprise," prepare to be disappointed.

Devil's Due: -And the moral of this episode was? -"It's bad to use your superior technology to fool people." Real profound (snigger). Plenty of sexism, with Picard playing a male chauvinist (usually he leaves that to Riker). The people on the planet seem to be real chumps, and the displays of "powers" are pretty silly, to say the least.

The Outcast: aka "The Gay Episode." Poorly written, with a conclusion so obvious you could practically walk Riker through his scenes. The producers wimped out and cast all the Jen'aii as women. And instead of dealing with homosexuality directly, they do a sort of funny role reversal which lets everyone off the hook and allows some truly homophobic stuff into the episode.

Sub Rosa: TNG as a bad romance/horror story. No thanks.

Genesis: This is one of the most hilarious Bad Trek episodes of them all. It probably would have been a good trek comedy, but freshman director Gates McFadden played it serious and the result is truly Bad Trek. Worf rampaging down the halls of the Enterprise! Troi becomes an amphibian, Riker reverts into a Neanderthal and no one notices the difference! Barclay as a spider! -Data, of Troi: "In a fundamental way, she is no longer human." -Us: "She was never human, you malfunctioning toaster!" Hilariously bad. Great for parties.

Deep Space Nine: I missed a lot of DS9 while Babylon 5 was on the air, so I've probably missed some, but here goes.

If Wishes Were Horses: Don't watch this episode. Ugh. Incredibly stupid. Rumpelstiltskin, 21rst century baseball hero Buck Bokai and Bashir's Fantasy Dax appear on the station. A scene where Jadzia and Fantasy Dax meet is supposed to be funny but isn't. Then there's this lifeform, that turns out to be a child or a puppy dog or something which is messing up the station. You can't always judge episodes by their titles, but in this case, you can.

Take Me Out To The Holosuite I think this episode turned around and redefined bad. After two seasons of real quality, we get this racist, silly, trivial episode. Why is Sisko trying to settle an immature grudge against a former classmate in the middle of a war? Dumb. The only bright side to this episode (besides the spectacle of Vulcans in baseball uniforms with stitched IDICs on the caps) is that it reminds me of a really funny K/S baseball story in First Time 54.

Voyager: Whole *seasons* of Voyager are Bad Trek, but here are a few gems. Oh yeah - funny that most of these eps were written by none other than Brannon Braga. Hmm.

The 37's: A "high concept" episode that could have been very good - if it weren't for the fact that the entire episode keeps making logical mistakes. A truck, just floating in space? And then, although it's been at -273 C for over 400 years, it starts? Starfleet officers held hostage by a rube with a pistol? It just goes on and on. This is a good episode for a MST3K party. Watch some MST3K (now on video!) to get into the proper mood, then fire 'er up and start adlibbing along.

Threshold: The worst Voyager episode of all time, it drags on and on until you fall asleep, but has a ROtFL surprise ending. Which is taken completely seriously. Best lines: "Which one is the Captain?" - "The female, of course."

Future's End: explains why Kirk's ship has analog instead of digital instruments. In our universe, transistors were developed by solid state physicists in the 60's and paved the way for the computer revolution. In the Star Trek universe, digital technology was introduced in 1979 by way of a time-travel accident. Bwah-hahaha! Then there's Rain, who claims that helm-boy Tom is so much more dedicated and loyal than people in her time. (She's obviously kissing butt, but Tom buys it). Oh, and then there's that non sequitor, a totally gratuitous scene with a militia in Arizona. Apparently the producers were trying to make a statement about . . . something. Nearly two hours of silly trek.

11:59: Some people liked this episode, but I thought it sucked through and through. Sorry, but whole episodes devoted to Kathryn "Soap Opera Star" Mulgrew and her Ultimate Hetero persona just get on my nerves. Plus, it seemed strange that in an episode set next year, all the cars and most of the sets looked 15-20 years old. Even the sports bar looked like 1990. And let's not mention that dumb photo scene at the end.

Timeless While I'm on the subject of overrated Voy eps, Timeless sucked too. Yadda yadda LeVar Burton ... I think he's great too, but let's get real, this episode was a boring, pointless exercize in boring acting. It's time for Garrett Wang to get a real job. I'm thinking nurse. His soporific personality would be perfect for it.

Blink of an Eye: Actually better than Wink of an Eye (which is what Braga was going to name this episode, having never even HEARD of the TOS ep), this episode suffers from numerous 4th grade arithmatic/pocket calculator math mistakes, plus some major physics blunders.

Spirit Folk: Just when you thought VOY couldn't get any dumber, and the Holodeck had been done to death, now Holodeck characters can turn off the safeties by shooting holographic bullets at an access panel. This episode will probably stand as the worst Star Trek episode of all time.

Enterprise: Want to know a secret? Watching paint dry (and I have done this) is more entertaining than an hour of Enterprise. In fact, without the 20 minutes of commercials in an Enterprise hour, it's not watchable at all. I tried downloading Ent eps on p2p two years ago and starting feeling the urge to gouge my eyes out after 10 minutes or so of pure, un-commercial-interrupted Braga-Berman blandness.

That said, some of the special effects are watchable (especially the Andorians), and there was a memorable episode where Frances Park let her hair down. The Vulcans are all terrible--who knew Vulcans were so hard to play?

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Page created 2.23.00 by Berli, last updated 1.7.04. Copyright 2000-2004.