BySean Erickson, writer at
Exploring the area between movie geek and film nerd.
Sean Erickson

We probably won't discover too much about exactly what [Star Trek 3](movie:817262) has planned for a while now with the movie scheduled for release at some point in 2016. But with Simon Pegg having a hand in putting together the story, there are reasons to be excited. There aren't many people of Pegg's caliber better suited to honor the legacy of Star Trek and maybe even get the ship a bit more in line to the spirit that first launched the USS Enterprise.

I know some people who are hoping that Star Trek 3 will be a return to the original series' focus on brains over brawn weren't exactly resting easy when Fast & Furious director Justin Lin was put in the director's chair, but if we look at some of the classic Star Trek storylines we can be reminded that there is a wealth of intelligent material to draw from.

The Doomsday Machine
The Doomsday Machine

“The Doomsday Machine”

What has been reported is that [Star Trek 3](movie:817262) will pick up the story of the crew of Starship Enterprise as they are in the thick of their five-year mission exploring the galaxy. What better way to lock into a great plot than to have the crew pick up a distress call that leads them to a doomsday machine?

In one of the best episodes of the original series, there is a sole survivor aboard USS Constellation that is revealed to be Commodore Decker who is the Captain Ahab to the doomsday machine's Moby Dick. If Star Trek 3 does intend to come up with a thrilling story that is more focused on suspense and strategy than gun battles, there may be no better option than adapting The Doomsday Machine for the big screen.

Balance of Terror's Romulan Commander.
Balance of Terror's Romulan Commander.

"Balance of Terror"

If Star Trek 3 intends to build of the world it has created with the first two - introducing Romulans in the first movie and Klingons in the second, it could continue this focus on the relationship between two of the biggest Federation threats by looking towards The Balance of Terror. And again, it is another template for the classic mix of suspense and intelligence that is the hallmark of Star Trek.

"Balance of Terror" is set in the Romulan neutral zone where Kirk and the crew try their best to prevent an all out war. The episode features a great cat and mouse game between the Enterprise and the rouge Romulan ship that is hidden by a cloaking device. The game of wits that ensues between Kirk and the Romulan commander is Star Trek at its best - using weapons and teamwork to ensure peace rather than destruction. Using the "Balance of Terror" template would not only make for a most excellent adventure, it would also do a fine job of expanding upon the Star Trek universe and the territories of space.

Commaner Kor and James Kirk in Errand of Mercy.
Commaner Kor and James Kirk in Errand of Mercy.

"Errand of Mercy"

There's good reason to believe that Star Trek 3 may want to deepen the story of the Klingons that appeared in Star Trek Into Darkness. If that's the case then "Errand of Mercy" is another fine template for the movie to look at. It not only introduces what could be a great ongoing enemy in Klingon Commander Kor, but it is another example of the crew of the Enterprise having to use their wits to stop a Klingon invasion of the planet Organia.

It's not the best Star Trek episode by any stretch of the imagination but "Errand of Mercy" is a twisty story full of surprises that could keep viewers guessing as well as give people a better idea of the different kinds of civilizations that can exist out in the deep space the Enterprise crew will now be in. Also, unlike the other choices here - this one has plenty of off-ship action as well with Kirk and Spock ending up prisoners of the Klingon while they're down on Organia.

The Oranians have everything under control.
The Oranians have everything under control.

"Errand of Mercy" is one of the better allegorical Star Trek episodes as well - something these new Star Trek movies could stand to use as inspiration. While many of these episodes could be painfully on the nose, Star Trek was always eager to make a point about war and violence in modern society. The fact that the Federation is eager to step in and try to help the "primitive" people of Organia who respond they they do not need help and that it is the Federation that is putting itself in danger by stepping into the middle of the situation, is exactly the kind of relevant storyline that could, and should, set Star Trek 3 apart from the other sci-fi action movies.

What do you think? Is there a classic Star Trek story that you think is better suited for [Star Trek 3](movie:817262)?


Which Star Trek episode would you rather see used for Star Trek 3?


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