It was the first 'regular' TV series episode filmed after the two TOS pilots; but the ninth episode aired due to all the effects shots needed to finish it in post.
To me, it's still the best episode of Star Trek (any series) made, because (for me) it rteally encapsulates the best of what Star Trek is in its 55 minute (uncut) run time.
- A starship going beyond to edge of known space to do Star Mapping.
- A mixed crew of compotent (but by all means NOT perfect) beings, working together to get the mission done.
- First Contact with an alien species; of superior technological capability. (We find out it's another star nation calling itself the 'First Federation; and later, that they handle first contact situations quite differently then your average United Earth/Federation ship crew would -- basically an example of "Hey, not everyone thinks like you do.")
- That, again, while not perfect, and on edge, overall, everyone on the crew works together to do what they can and eventually overcome the situation they're in (and I for one LOVE the fact that the bluff Kirk comes up with happens during and because of an argument with McCoy -- showing that reasoned discussion/conflict is not always a bad thing.)
- Also, that, in the end, even after all they've been put through at the hands of the First Federation ships; they decide to do the humane thing, take the risk; and beam over to assist the damaged First Federation towing vehicle -- and discover it was all a test; and that the First Federation does this to test new species because although they did scan all the 1701's records, you can never be sure such things are not a deception designed to .l,ull other races into a false sense of security, etc.)
This to me, is a 'Star Trek' as any Trek series episode ever got.
[ Off Topic: And (IMO) it's something TOS started to loose or discard a bit as the show went forward into its later seasons and got a little more overtly preachy -- and was completely thrown out the airlock by TNG pretty much from the start as Picard would often give long sermons on 'the right thing to do' ; and would usually (99 times out of 100) be proven correct by the end of an episode.
It's one reason I think TOS Season 1 was some of the best Star Trek done; and overall, still prefer TOS to the later 24th century era series (I actually do like a lot of 'Enterprise' because in spirit, it really did harken back to, and had more elements from/of TOS And had what I consider to be more relatable human characters, but YMMV); because in the later series, they either took some stuff way too seriously, and had characters that were at times just too 'perfect/well adjusted' to be able to make their actions and reaction believable -- but again YMMV. ]
Formerly known as Armsman from June 2008 to June 20, 2012
PWE Drone says: "Your STO community as you have known it is ended...Display names are irrelevant...Any further sense of community is irrelevant...Resistance is futile...You will be assimilated..."
The two uses aren't necessarily mutually exclusive. The Dominion tried to trigger a nova using a similar device. Also... it appears that in canon, the Romulans (at least sometimes) use it to enhance the yield of their torpedos..