Shuttle Pod 35: The Best of the Weird

There are good Star Trek episodes, there are bad Star Trek episodes. There are forgettable Star Trek episodes, and then there are the just plain weird ones. This week, the Shuttle Pod crew chose three of the weirdest episodes of Star Trek on television to rewatch and analyze.

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For Volume 1 of what is sure to be an ongoing series, “Best of the Weird”, we watched the Original Series episode, “The Lights of Zetar“, Deep Space Nine‘s “Move Along Home” (Allamaraine!), and The Next Generation‘s “Masks” (aka Data and Picard partake in a fancy dress sex party).

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“Move Along Home” and “Masks” just suck–there’s nothing “best” about them.

I actually like Move Along Home. The part where Quark says you mean they were never in any real danger? And the the alien looks at him like he’s an idiot – “It’s only a game!!!” I just thought it was fun and the premise that something that seemed dangerous was pretty harmless and a cultural misunderstanding was very Star Trek to me. I quote this episode a lot. Alamarain when I win something. 4th Shap when I level up or get a small victory in life. I don’t get the hate for this one. Masks I just well… It’s just bizarre…

Yup, you found three stinkers. I blame all three on writer/producer fatigue. DS9 was new, but the creative minds were firmly in late TNG mode, when situations outweighed character development.

Off topic, perhaps: Kayla, is there currently a site for posting Trek fanfic? The ones I find seem to be dead. Is that a CBS Bigfoot thing? Will/can TM post fanfic?

Hi CmdrR – we don’t currently have an outlet for hosting fanfic. I wonder if there is somewhere on TrekBBS for posting? I’m surprised to hear there is not currently an outlet for that. Seems the Trek universe is ripe for it.


One other thing to note about this episode is that Jeremy Tarcher was Shari Lewis’ husband. This was the first Trek epiosde written by a husband and wife team.

With due respect to Lambchop, all are poor episodes, though “Zetar” may actually be the best of them. Memory Alpha was a decent enough concept, at least.

Future weirdness roundups? ‘Phantasms,’ ‘Dark Page,’ ‘Eye of the Beholder.’ Take your pick — 3 TNG dregs that depend on psycho-drama… and fail miserably.

Psycho drama! Could do a podcast on psycho dramas. Or mind rape eps. Way too much mind rape in Star Trek.

“Frame of Mind,” OTOH, was fairly brilliant. If you’re going to do an entire podcast about off-format (i.e. “weird”) episodes, why not feature a good one?

I agree Voyager’s The Thaw is a good weird episode to discuss. It has an interesting concept, but it’s really Michael McKean’s show all the way. It’s one of those that either lives or dies based on the guest performance.

I don’t know how weird this episode is, but “False Prophets” (VOY) was odd to me. Especially when they used Neelix as the Grand Nagus. I just always think about the work that Ethan Phillips had do to for that episode. Also, any episode (ouside of DS9) with Ferengi has great potential for being weird.

my suggestions for weird episodes part 2:

TOS: The Alternative Factor
TNG: Samaritan Snare
DS9: The Muse
VOY: The Fight
ENT: Dead Stop

I recently rewatched “Move Along Home” and it wasn’t as bad as I remembered. When it first aired I was bothered that the first aliens through the wormhole (other than Tosk and his hunters) were kind of silly. Major lost opportunity

What about “The Game” for TNG? Recently rewatched it. While not a bad episode with the Crusher-Lefler dynamics, the tech device really pissed me off.