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10 Star Trek Episodes That Could Be Made Into Movies That Would Satisfy Old And New Trekkies Alike

By 05.22.13
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Star Trek is now a blockbuster action movie franchise. It just is. There's no going back after the success of the bombastic Star Trek Into Darkness. Frequent explosions and gravity-defying action scenes are what the average viewer expects of the franchise now. Don't get me wrong, I have nothing against action -- action has always been a part of the Star Trek formula. Note I said a part of the formula.

But wait -- would it be possible for future Trek movies to provide both big action and the more intelligent, character-driven stuff the series was once known for? Could both new and old school Trekkies walk out of a new Star Trek movie feeling totally satisfied? I think it could happen if the makers of the next movie look toward these 10 Trek episodes for inspiration...

Note - I only chose Original Series and Next Generation episodes for this list. I love Deep Space Nine, but it's such a departure from the standard Trek formula that it would almost impossible to turn its best episodes into movies. As for Voyager and Enterprise, well, I don't think I need to explain why they didn't make the list, do I?

Charlie X

The crew of the Enterprise find a teenager who has been stranded alone on an abandoned planet since he was a toddler. Oh, and he also has nearly unlimited psionic powers.

For The New Fans

All the "creepy kid" pseudo-horror you can handle. Lots of scenes of Charlie stalking people and "making them go away" for "not being nice" and trying to destroy the ship. A Star Trek meets Alien meets Children of the Corn sort of thing.

For The Old Fans

Lots of characters moments and Kirk being his true goofy self as he tries to relate to Charlie. What does it truly mean to be a man?

Mirror, Mirror

Due to a transporter malfunction (it's always a transporter malfunction, isn't it?) Kirk, McCoy, Scotty and Uhura find themselves on an EVIL version of the Enterprise.

For The New Fans

In the mirror universe the Enterprise is now a warship designed for blowing s--t up! Evil and non-evil versions of the crew fight each other at every opportunity.

For The Old Fans

Goatee-sporting Spock. We're really not that hard to please.

Q Who?

This is a Next Generation episode (the first of a few on this list), but you could fairly easily swap Picard and Crew out for Kirk and company. Q is trying to prove, um, something, or maybe he's just being a dick (the more likely scenario) so he transports the Enterprise 7,000 light years away -- right into the path of the Borg.

For The New Fans

The Borg are easily the most mainstream-friendly Star Trek villains ever conceived. They're zombie Terminators that fly around in a cube-shaped Death Star. If Hollywood can't sell that to the masses, something's wrong.

For The Old Fans

Plenty of verbal jousting with Q and hey, we like The Borg too.

The Enterprise Incident

Basically a Star Trek heist movie, Kirk is transformed into a still-looks-just-like-Kirk Romulan via plastic surgery in order to steal a cloaking device. There's also a honeytrap subplot involving Spock, in which Spock is surprisingly the honeytrapper and not the honeytrapee.

For The New Fans

Oceans 11...in space!

For The Old Fans

After two fairly heavy movies, this would be the crew of the Enterprise at their swaggering, adventuring best. Also, Commander Spock, master of seduction.

The Wounded

The Enterprise is attacked by a Cardassian ship -- after managing to subdue them, Picard discovers a rogue Federation ship has attacked a Cardassian science station. The rogue ship is commanded by Captain Benjamin Maxwell, a veteran of past battles with the Cardassians, who believes the "science station" is actually a secret military base. While this episode is about the Cardassians, they could easily be swapped out for the Klingons. Or they could just introduce the Cardassians to the new movie universe because they're wonderfully evil bastards.

For The New Fans

Space battles a-plenty.

For The Old Fans

Some fairly complex political maneuvering and commentary about the hopelessness of chasing after vengeance for past wounds.

Whom Gods Destroy

The Enterprise visits Elba II, home of the Federation's home for the criminally insane. Yes, the Federation has an Arkham Asylum. The asylum is now under control of Garth of Izar, a former Captain and hero of Kirk's, who is now totally bonkers and has shapeshifting abilities.

For The New Fans

Garth of Izar has always been one of Star Trek's most underappreciated villains in my opinion. He could be as effective a movie villain as Khan if done right (Michael Fassbender would make a great Garth). Also, I'm of the opinion the public has room in their hearts for more sexy green chicks.

For The Old Fans

Plenty of verbal gamesmanship and an examination of the dangers of hero worship.

Chain of Command

Another episode about the Federation getting involved in a little espionage, but this one ends up of going in a much darker direction. Picard, Worf and Dr. Crusher are sent on a covert mission to uncover Cardassian biological weapons. Picard is captured and tortured relentlessly while Riker wrangles with the temporary captain of the Enterprise over how to respond.

For The New Fans

Plenty of action, personality conficts and some truly evil new bad guys.

For The Old Fans

This one is packed with literary references to books like Nineteen Eight-Four and tackles plenty of heavy issues including terrorism, biological weapons and the efficacy of torture. A great example of Star Trek holding a lens up today's society.

What Are Little Girls Made Of?

Nurse Chapel (remember her?) is reunited with her husband Dr. Roger Korby. Unfortunately Korby has, like so many Trek villains, succumbed to a bit of the ol' space madness and is now creating androids he plans to use to replace high ranking Federation officials. He, of course, starts with Kirk.

For The New Fans

Conspiracy plots and killer androids!

For The Old Fans

All sorts of heady questions about androids. Can they have a soul? Are human souls little more than computer programs? Basically all the questions that would later be dealt with in more depth with Data are addressed here.

Contagion

A killer computer virus destroys one Federation ship and threatens the Enterprise. The virus is somehow connected to ancient ruins found on a nearby planet. Also, those darn Romulans stick their noses into the situation.

For The New Fans

Dramatic exploding ships and mysterious ancient space ruins that are home to a Stargate-like portal.

For The Old Fans

Lots of mystery, intrigue and some fairly crunchy hard sci-fi involving computer viruses instead of usual subspace anomalies and whatnot. Some smart questions are raised about whether flying around the galaxy in giant spaceships is really all that good an idea given the fallibility of technology.

Errand of Mercy

The Federation and Klingons are on the brink of war! The planet of Organia, populated by simple space hicks lies in the path of the impending conflict. Kirk and Spock beam down to try and bring the Organians around to their side, but the Enterprise is attacked by a Klingon fleet and stranded on the surface.

For The New Fans

High stakes! War is on the horizon and the entire Klingon and Federation fleets are in a standoff! Kirk and Spock waging badass guerrilla warfare!

For The Old Fans

It turns out the Organians are not primitive, but actually highly advanced non-corporeal beings. They were never threatened by the Klingons or Federation -- they were merely confused by their childish squabbling. They then disarm both sides and force them to declare peace.

So yeah, this episode is basically the perfect balance of the "high stakes adventure" of the Trek movies and the "quirky aliens and utopian ideals" of the TV show.

Well, those are my 10 picks. Any Star Trek episodes you'd particularly like to see turned into a movie? You can even name Enterprise and Voyager episodes if you want. Go crazy!

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TOPICS#Star Trek
TAGSMoviesStar Trek Into DarknesssStar Trek: The Next GenerationStar Trek: The Original SeriesTV
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