A colleague of mine at Microsoft told me today about the recent send-off party for their director of research, who is being promoted. Because the guest of honor is a big fan of Star Trek, my colleague told me that they had decided to celebrate by watching the man’s favorite ST episode.

“City on the Edge of Forever,” I said.

My colleague just looked at me blankly. “Wait, how could you know that?” he asked. “Did somebody already tell you about about this?”

“No,” I said, “but it had to be ‘City on the Edge of Forever’.”

My colleague continued to look dubious, wondering whether I was putting him on by pretending to be clairvoyant.

So I tried to explain it. “Look,” I said, “I know roughly how old he is, so I know he would have been watching original Trek when he was around fifteen years old. I also know he’s a very intelligent guy, and that he still takes ST quite seriously almost half a century later. Which means that his favorite episode would have been the best one, the one that perfectly intertwines love, fate, loyalty, and speculative fiction on a metaphysical level.”

“Also,” I continued, as if that weren’t enough, “the one with an original script by Harlan Ellison.”

I’m not sure my colleague quite believed that I had worked all this out from first principles. But I am sure that it’s as obvious to some of you reading this as it was to me.

4 thoughts on “Episode”

  1. That’s interesting. For ST, that’s also my favorite, or maybe The cage if the pilot is included in ST.

    For STNG, my favorite is … I have always a problem to remember the title… The Captain Picard experienced a whole other life on a dying planet in a few hours and he got his flute.

  2. That is indeed a beautiful story. Interestingly, “The Inner Light” was the first Star Trek episode to win the Hugo for best dramatic presentation since “City on the Edge of Forever” won it twenty seven years earlier.

  3. I don’t think I could qualify as a Trekkie. I’ve never even been to a ST convention.

    Star Trek could be wildly uneven, but I always thought that the best of it was amazing.

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