Star Trek is at its best when its pushing boundaries with its storytelling. That is not simply limited to the actual stories it's telling, but also the means by which it delivers them. The Original Series was famous for its morality plays, and the clever use of the relatively small budget it had to work with.
The Next Generation fared slightly better in some respects, but even when it tried to cost-cut, it could actually deliver some of the most powerful moments in television. Trek could delve into murky, morally dubious places, and could rise to the highest heights, shaking the ceilings of every theatre Broadway has to offer.
Across all of the series and nearly sixty years of stories, these are the ten most utterly unique episodes from The Cage to Hegemony, so see if your favourites are anywhere on the list, and let us know over on socials if they're not.
10. The Menagerie
The Menagerie, also known as the episode where the crew get together to watch a movie, was significant in a number of ways in 1966. First, it was the first and only two-part episode in The Original Series' entire run. Second, it consisted heavily of footage that had been reused from The Cage.
Though Jeffrey Hunter did not return to reprise the role of Christopher Pike, Sean Kenney sat in his place. From there, a tale of loyalty and Vulcan subbornness plays out over both parts. It would be easy to write this episode off as filler - and, to be fair, there is a large amount of time dedicated to watching Pike's adventure on Talos IV - but the framing is what truly makes it stand out.
The Cage, though it hadn't been aired at that point, showed the audience a very different Spock, along with a different atmosphere on the Enterprise itself. Though William Shatner's Kirk and Hunter's Pike never shared any scenes, it is fascinating to see the juxtaposition of their command styles, with Commander Spock serving as the intermediary. The Menagerie also offered us the iconic bleep-boop chair, as well as those beautiful Original-style dress uniforms.