The First Annual ‘Star Trek’ Salamander Awards — Dragon Con 2022

The Salamander Awards of Dragon Con 2022. Pictured left to right is Kyle Sullivan, Sue Kisenwether, and Nick Wright.

With the permission of the magnanimous Trek Track directors (Trek Track is the popular quadrant of Atlanta’s Dragon Con that celebrates and discusses all things Trek), we kicked off the first annual ‘Star Trek’ Salamander Awards.

What are the Salamander Awards? A celebration of the best of the worst of ‘Star Trek.’ Basically, episodes or stories worthy of winning a Salamander Award are the ones that are so bad, so campy and ridiculous, that they are fun to watch.

Just to be clear, this doesn’t include episodes that are offensive to watch. For example, “Spock’s Brain” from ‘The Original Series’ would be included — it is objectively ridiculous (they stole his brain!). But “Code Of Honor” from ‘The Next Generation’ would be excluded, as there is no fun to be had there, just racist stereotypes.

With panelists Sue Kisenwether of Women At Warp and Nick Wright (Twitter) of That Scifi Guy and Trekking Through Trek, we created a list of potential episodes that are regarded as the campiest of the bunch. We pulled in suggestions from the audience, too. And with the help of our audience, through an informal show of hands or applause, we whittled our list down to just three candidates: “Spock’s Brain” from ‘The Original Series,’ “Sub Rosa” from ‘The Next Generation,’ and “Threshold” from ‘Voyager.’ With a final round of voting, specifically an informal ranked choice voting, our audience determined the singular episode of ‘Star Trek’ worthy of the 2022 Salamander Award.

Our audience selected “Sub Rosa,” an episode where Doctor Crusher has a love affair with a alien space ghost living in her dead grandmother’s candle. The Trekspertise team sat down to watch the winning episode and almost had as much fun as Doctor Crusher. Almost.

Doctor Crusher and the space ghost share an intimate moment.

This very first Salamander Awards panel was great fun. Hopefully everyone had a chance to have their voice heard. And with ranked choice voting, perhaps their votes went further than normal. And the panel would not have worked without the quick thinking of Sue and Nick, and the assistance of our Trek Track volunteers in the room, particularly Steven.

We mean to bring the second annual Salamander Awards to Dragon Con in 2023 and are working toward that end. So, if you are interested, you might ought to start a running list of candidate episodes now. See you at the next Dragon Con!

The original salamanders from “Threshold” of ‘Star Trek: Voyager.’ The name of the Salamander Awards is derived from this now classic bit of Trek camp.

Below is a list of our candidate episodes:

  • “Spock’s Brain” — TOS
  • “Wolf In The Fold” — TOS
  • “The Way To Eden” — TOS
  • “The Paradise Syndrome” — TOS
  • “Turnabout Intruder” — TOS
  • “The Omega Glory” — TOS
  • “And The Children Shall Lead” — TOS
  • “The Slaver Weapon” — TAS
  • “Then Magicks Of Megas-Tu” — TAS
  • “Sub Rosa” — TNG
  • “The Naked Now” — TNG
  • “Code Of Honor” — TNG
  • “Masks” — TNG
  • “Shades Of Grey” — TNG
  • “Justice” — TNG
  • “Move Along Home” — DS9
  • “Babel” — DS9
  • “Fascination” — DS9
  • “Profit And Lace” — DS9
  • “The Fight” — VOY
  • “Retrospect” VOY
  • “Spirit Folk” — VOY
  • “Threshold” — VOY
  • “These Are The Voyages” — ENT
  • “A Night In Sickbay” — ENT
    “Unexpected” — ENT
  • “Precious Cargo” — ENT
  • “The Trouble With Edward” — SS
  • “Anomaly” — DIS
  • “Monsters” — PIC
  • “Mugato, Gumato” — LD
  • “The Elysian Kingdom” — SNW

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Kyle Mackenzie Sullivan

Kyle Mackenzie Sullivan

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Filmmaker, Photographer, &, Armchair Anthropologist. Lover of books, languages, science & extinct nations. Creator of Trekspertise & The Wikisurfer podcast.