Season 3 of Star Trek Discovery has just launched over on CBS All Access. The show comes out weekly, and that means a lot of fans are going to be craving more Star Trek between episodes, and a lot of others will be waiting for the whole series to be available to binge. To hold folks over in the meantime, and to celebrate the Halloween season, I’ve put together a curated playlist of Star Trek episodes.
These episodes will 100% make for a fun binge with a regulated flow of spoopieness! Enjoy!
The “Catspaw” Episode In Star Trek
The Original Series, Season 2 Episode 7
First, we’ll start the evening off with the series that started it all. In this episode, Kirk, Spock, and Bones investigate a straight up haunted medieval castle. The castle is complete with witches and black cats and skeleton-filled dungeons. There’s a lot of camp to enjoy in this episode, which makes it perfect for settling in for a nice evening of shows. But, as the night goes on, things WILL get weird and actually creepy.
The “Thaw” Episode In Star Trek Voyager
Voyager, Season 2 Episode 23
In our next episode, Janeway and crew delve into a matrix-like mind palace. The idea of being stuck within a computer program is creepy enough on its own. But the creepiness it cranked up even higher considering the background of the mindscape is filled with performers from Cirque du Soleil. Oh, and these performers are constantly contorting themselves around and laughing.
All of this happens while obnoxious, oppressive carnival music blares over the dialog. Your response to this episode will vary greatly depending on how you feel about clowns and circuses, but even if those aren’t particular phobias for you, there’s plenty of “mind-bleepery” in here to start putting an edge on this Halloween (ish) Star Trek marathon.
The “Observer Effect” Episode In Star Trek Enterprise
Enterprise, Season 4 Episode 11
I haven't totally been loving my rewatch of Enterprise, but this episode got its hooks into me! It starts off innocently enough, with Tucker and Travis discussing some of the finer points of chess in the mess-hall. However, the spookiness gets locked in before the (terrible, horrible, no good, very bad) theme song kicks in.
The two crew members start talking about humanity in the third-person while discussing how someone – maybe everyone – is going to die. Any time crew members get taken over by outsiders you know you’re going to get some real creepy vibes. This episode also gets bonus points in being horrifying in 2020 for focusing on humanity's attempts to deal with a mysterious disease, too. Topical!
The “Empok Nor” Episode In Deep Space Nine
Deep Space Nine, Season 5 Episode 24
This is another take on the “haunted house” idea, except for this time it’s a space station that is almost completely identical to the one the rest of the series takes place on. Seeing sets that are so familiar tweaked to be terrifying really dials up how uncomfortable this episode is. Garak, O’Brien, Nog, and a Starfleet team try to avoid psychopathic murderous aliens lurking in the dark. We’ve had spoopy episodes so far, but make sure it’s nice and dark when this episode starts playing, because it introduces jump scares into the evening.
The “Context is for Kings” Episode In Star Trek Discovery
Discovery, Season 1 Episode 3
This is the first episode where Burnham steps foot on the Discovery, so she and viewers are constantly feeling out of place and out of sorts. Things really dial up when the crew goes to investigate an accident on Disco’s sister-ship, the Glenn. It’s dark, it’s scary, it’s ominous, and there are some bodies ripped apart.
It doesn't stop there! Other bodies have been twisted into horrifying positions! Eventually, our characters end up trapped by a massive monster. Discovery often goes out of its way to establish a unique identity for itself in the Star Trek franchise. However, this episode absolutely borrows heavily from the one we just watched, but with special effects and scares amped up for modern viewing.
As a bonus: since this is the first episode on the Discovery, it makes for a decent way to try to get new viewers interested in Star Trek: Discovery.
The “Genesis” Episode In Star Trek: The Next Generation
The Next Generation, Season 7 Episode 19
While The Original Series came first, The Next Generation is the gold-standard of Star Trek for a lot of fans. It seems only fitting to end the night laughing at one of its worst episodes. Proving that the writers had a weak-grasp on the concept of “science”, this episode has the members of the crew “deevolving” into all sorts of weird monstrosities.
That is, until Picard and Data return from an away mission to find the Enterprise full of fish-people and lizards and werewolves and all sorts of ridiculous nonsense. This is a wonderful end for the night, because it’s got a great balance of the creepy atmosphere that they were going for and unintentional laughable nonsense to take the edge off. It can help everyone relax a bit before calling it a night and crawling off to bed. Sweet dreams!
Listen to Troytle and some of his friends talk about all sorts of Star Trek on their NSFW podcast, Too Young For This Trek.