March 31, 2009

The best animated Star Trek

As long-time readers know, Kiowa science-fiction writer Russell Bates co-wrote How Sharper Than a Serpent's Tooth, an episode of the animated Star Trek. The Star Trek franchise won its only series Emmy--for children's programming--when this episode was submitted for consideration. It's probably the greatest achievement by a Native on Star Trek and the greatest achievement of Bates's career.

Recently, David Wise, the non-Native co-writer of this episode, responded to an old posting about it:Russell co-wrote an episode that is still remembered and discussed today, 35 years after it first aired. He played a crucial part in the only Emmy the original "Star Trek" ever won.You can follow the link to see what I said about that. But since Bates and Wise keep talking about their achievement, I feel free to offer a reality check.

The viewers at have rated all the animated Trek episodes:

Star Trek: The Animated Series

I'd say they rightly picked Yesteryear and the The Slaver Weapon as the two best episodes. Here's how they rated them all, including the one by Bates and Wise:  1 Yesteryear  9.26
2 The Slaver Weapon 8.38
3 Albatross 8.17
4 The Pirates of Orion 8.03
5 The Practical Joker 7.99
6 The Survivor 7.85
7 The Jihad 7.80
8 Beyond the Farthest Star 7.77
9 The Eye of the Beholder 7.70
10 More Tribbles, More Troubles 7.63
11 The Time Trap 7.62
12 The Counter-Clock Incident 7.56
13 The Terratin Incident 7.49
14 The Ambergris Element 7.49
15 One of Our Planets Is Missing 7.33
16 The Infinite Vulcan 7.10
17 Once Upon a Planet 7.10
18 The Lorelei Signal 7.06
19 How Sharper Than a Serpent's Tooth? 7.06
20 Mudd's Passion 6.98
21 Bem 6.11
22 The Magicks of Megas-Tu 5.98
I'd say this ranking is very accurate. Does anyone want to disagree?

So Bates and Wise wrote a mediocre episode of Trek. Maybe the animated series would've won an Emmy if any episode had been submitted. Or maybe the series won a youth-oriented Emmy precisely because the episode was so simple and childlike.

Below:  Ensign Dawson Walking Bear.

No comments: