20. Tomorrow Is Yesterday
WHY WE LIKE IT: Made Star Trek IV possible.
WHY WE DON'T: The plot is a total mess (not a good sign for future time travel stories). Attempts at humor are just that - attempts.
REVIEW: It all starts out interestingly, with a very different teaser. You don't even realize you're watching Star Trek until its final seconds, and none of the regulars make an appeance until after the credit sequence.
They give Scotty, Sulu and Uhura stuff to do, which is good, and some of the ideas are interesting, such as the basic premise, but aside from that, this is a dreadful mess. To start with, the crew is not working at peak efficiency. They get thrown into the past by accident, get seen by accident, destroy a plane by accident, and then on purpose, they keep showing two 20th-centurians all sorts of things they shouldn't. They don't try to isolate Chistopher and the Sargent from Spock, give them information about the future (and Christopher's OWN personal future) at every turn, etc. Spock makes a fact-checking mistake, security lets Christopher sneak out, and Kirk keeps arguing with his seductive computer as Christopher laughs at him.
Speaking of which, if there's humor to be had with the female computer voice, I've yet to grasp it. It's not only ridiculous and insulting by today's standards, but also fits badly with the tone of the overall episode. Well, the tone is all over the place, to be frank, the base personnel being particularly silly. The episode even features the weirdest, most slapsticky fight choreography in all of Trek.
Finally, a couple words on the time travel elements. They just don't make sense. Not the last time that happens in Trek, but the major reset button at the end is particularly bad. How is history erased this way with Christopher not remembering anything, but the crew of the episode remembering everything? Would beaming you into yourself do anything like this? It just doesn't work.
LESSON: There's a manned Saturn mission that should be on the drawing board even as we speak.
REWATCHABILITY - Low: I hear this is a well-liked episode, but while it isn't unentertaining, it's just silly pablum with little common sense applied and the characters looking incompetent.