September 8th is Star Trek Day! It celebrates the anniversary of the airdate of the first Star Trek: The Original Series episode, “The Man Trap,” in 1966. A few years later, in 1973, the first episode of Star Trek: The Animated Series was released on September 8th.

To celebrate Star Trek Day, The Beat is sharing some of our favorite Trek episodes and/or movies. As this list is obviously far from exhaustive, we hope you’ll share your favorites, too. Qapla’!

Tawny Newsome as Ensign Beckett Mariner, Noël Wells as Ensign Tendi, Eugene Cordero as Ensign Rutherford, and Jack Quaid as Ensign Brad Boimler of the Paramount+ series STAR TREK: LOWER DECKS. For Star Trek Day 2023
“wej Duj” Ep# 209 Photo: PARAMOUNT+ ©2021 CBS Interactive, Inc. All Rights Reserved

AVERY KAPLAN: “wej Duj,” Star Trek: Lower Decks In this standout episode of Lower Decks, we get to see more than just the lower decks of the USS Cerritos. We also get a glimpse of the lower decks on Klingon, Vulcan, Pakled, and even Borg ships. This offers a unique and enlightening glimpse of Trek alien culture. Plus, the introduction of T’Lyn (Gabrielle Ruiz)!

KELAS LLOYD: “Loud as a Whisper,” Star Trek: The Next Generation – One of the strongest Star Trek episodes to ever deal with disability, “Loud as a Whisper” deals with accommodation, accessibility, and even talking directly to a disabled person. It’s stood the test of time, and has a great exchange between Geordi LaForge (LeVar Burton) and Ambassador Riva (Howie Seago).

Anson Mount as Pike in Star Trek: Strange New Worlds streaming on Paramount+, 2023.
Photo Credit: Paramount+

KELAS LLOYD: “Subspace Rhapsody,” Star Trek: Strange New Worlds – I also want to mention a modern Trek episode, and this episode of SNW is full of joy. It’s SNW taking a risk and breaking the mold while still delivering great character moments and, of course, you haven’t heard K-pop until you’ve heard it in the original Klingon. La’an (Christina Chong) and Uhura (Celia Rose Gooding) in particular got to shine and I completely enjoyed it.

AVERY KAPLAN: “Muse,” Star Trek: Voyager – Shining Voyager, far from home, becomes the inspiration for a series of plays on a pre-industrial planet, and along the way, the story gets at the core of one of the Franchise’s most lofty goals. B’Elanna Torres  (Roxann Dawson) and Harry Kim (Garrett Wang) survive a shuttlecraft crash but must rely on the assistance of a local to return to Voy. At the conclusion of the episode, Torres is beamed away at the climax of a performance, bringing the fictional and real together.

GEORGE CARMONA 3RD: Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country – This movie has everything, political intrigue, space battle, courtroom drama, betrayal, prison break, humor, Shakespeare, and a vision for hope and peace as the Enterprise crew prevent a plot that will ensure a Federation and Klingon Empire war. And to date one of the best send-offs for a Star Trek crew as the baton is handed over to the “next generation” of Starfleet officers. 

Pictured: David Ajala as Book and Grudge the cat of the Paramount+ original series STAR TREK: DISCOVERY.
Photo Cr: Michael Gibson/Paramount+ © 2021 CBS Interactive. All Rights Reserved.

REBECCA OLIVER KAPLAN: “Stormy Weather,” Star Trek: Discovery – Flowing from the events of Disco season 2’s “An Obol for Charon,” the show’s eponymous ship gains sentience and takes the name “Zora” in “Stormy Weather,” which was directed by Jonathan Frakes. The queer AF scenes between Zora (Annabelle Frances Wallis) and Grey Tal (Ian Alexander) are particularly well done and inform the beautiful (and musical) climactic moment. Plus, both Book (David Ajala) and Queen Grudge (Leeu and Durban) get plenty of screen time. Disco will never die!

AVERY KAPLAN: “Bar Association,” Star Trek: Deep Space Nine – In this season 4 episode, which was directed by LeVar Burton, Rom the Ferengi (Max Grodénchik) becomes the face of unionization for Quark’s Bar, Grill, Gaming House and Holosuite Arcade. It’s hard to understate how excellent this episode is, which has justifiably launched a thousand memes. It isn’t just the quotable lines: every scene is filled with thematically significant dialogue and action. But still, it’s hard not to cheer when Miles O’Brien (Colm Meany) says the thing. 

REBECCA OLIVER KAPLAN: “Time Amok,” Star Trek: Prodigy – After the USS Protostar is exposed to tachyon radiation, each of the crew members is separated into a different time frame. But as they determine how to work together, even across time, this episode uses a science fiction concept to explore some very real ideas. It also elevates Rok-Tahk (Rylee Alazraqui) to all-new scientific altitudes. Plus, this episode is in the first half of Prodigy season 1, so you can catch it on video before the second half of the season is released later this month.

AVERY KAPLAN: “Carbon Creek,” Star Trek: Enterprise – Over a meal at the Captain’s Table, T’Pol (Jolene Blalock) shares a story about her great-grandmother, who spent several years on Earth in the 1950s. This was the result by a Vulcan investigation of Sputnik gone awry. The setup gives us both further insight into Vulcan culture and includes some great Easter eggs (like the allusions to I Love Lucy). Plus, the subversion of historical fact is a proud and longstanding Star Trek tradition, so revealing First Contact didn’t really happen in First Contact is a nice cherry on top.

GEORGE CARMONA 3RD: “In the Pale Moonlight,” Star Trek: Deep Space NineStar Trek is synonymous with using space and strange new worlds to explore the human condition, but DS9 breaks from tradition in this love letter to spycraft. With the backdrop of war, we see the physical, emotional and ethical cost of war as Captain Sisko (Avery Brooks) struggles with clandestine actions he’s taken with Garak (Andrew Robinson) to turn the tide of war with the Dominion. 

AVERY KAPLAN: “The Magicks of Megas-Tu,” Star Trek: The Animated Series – Happy 50th anniversary to TAS, which has rightfully been reassessed in recent years. While the show may have aired on Saturday mornings, it’s fun to imagine how this story of Captain James T. Kirk (William Shatner) speaking out on behalf of Lucifer (James Doohan) during a simulated Salem Witch Trial would be received as part of a Saturday morning line-up today. As a bonus, Mr. Spock (Leonard Nimoy) draws a pentagram on the floor of the Enterprise and uses it to cast a spell.

Watch The Beat’s San Diego Comic Con 2023 interview with Very Short Treks creator Casper Kelly. The first entry is released today!

Keep up with all of The Beat’s Star Trek coverage here.