S3 Spectre of the Gun
The Enterprise has orders to make contact with the inhabitants of the planet Theta Kiokis II, they are known as the Melkotians and it seems not a great deal is known about them. When they approach the system a buoy approaches and blocks the path of the ship and they are warned not to advance but Kirk ignores it and proceeds towards the planet. Kirk, Spock, Scotty, Chekov and McCoy beam down to the planet but their destination is unlike anything they expected and then a voice announces their punishment for trespassing on the world and as Kirk was their commander he will be the source of their doom. The next second the landing party find themselves in a wild west town and the role playing begins but with deadly consequences.
Spectre of the Gun for my money is a very good episode of the original Star Trek and for once really benefitted from having such a tight budget, they simply could not provide a fully featured sets for the Melkotian world nor the western town so we got a lot of fog and some simple set fronts for Tombstone with piecemeal additions. The whole look worked so well both as an alien viewpoint of a human centric location but created from the minds of alien creatures they did not fully understand.
The idea behind the episode worked as well, it was simple but effective. We get the Federation once again putting Starfleet into a position that goes beyond diplomacy and allowing the crew of the ship to suffer the consequences. The action of Chekov was a little silly even for the role the ensign was expected to play on the show but I suppose it was used to emphasise the deadly aspect of the predicament they were in. Spock being the only crewman able to 100% know they were really not in any serious danger was cool as was the mind meld being used to implant this certainty into the rest of them. Kirk refusing to kill the tools of the Melkotians opened the door to diplomatic contact but really the choice not to kill something that really didn't exist was not that impressive but hey happy ending and no one died, that's a result for all the red shirts on the ship:)