TOS Re-Watch Archive

3

Star Trek Re-Watch: “The Return of the Archons”

“The Return of the Archons”
Teleplay by Boris Sobelman
Story By Gene Roddenberry
Directed by Joseph Pevney

Season 1, Episode 21
Production episode: 1×22
Original air date: February 9, 1967
Star date: 3156.2

Mission summary
We begin with Lt. Sulu and Lt. O’Neil, dressed for the spring production of 1776, fleeing for their lives from ominous hooded figures (it was a modern production). Sulu calls the Enterprise for an emergency beam-out but it’s taking too long, so O’Neil abandons Sulu and runs off on his own. Don’t worry, he’s a professional. The hooded figures have some form of boomstick and one points it at Sulu just as the helmsman beams away. In the transporter room Sulu’s suddenly switched gears entirely, and while he’s dressed for 1776 he’s acting like he’s in Hair. Euphoric and calm, he praises “Landru,” and describes the planet they were just on as “paradise.”

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Star Trek Re-Watch: “Court Martial”

“Court Martial”
Written by Don M.Mankiewicz and Steven W. Carabatsos (story by Don M. Mankiewicz)
Directed by Marc Daniels

Season 1, Episode 20
Production episode: 1×14
Original air date: February 2, 1967
Star date: 2947.3

Mission summary
After the Enterprise encounters another dangerous ion storm, it puts in at Starbase 11 for repairs. Unfortunately, the damage to the ship is the least of their problems; the records officer, Lieutenant Commander Benjamin Finney, was killed when Captain Kirk was forced to jettison an ion pod with him still inside. You wouldn’t believe the amount of paperwork this creates! Kirk even has to wear a fancy shirt to deliver his sworn deposition to the grim-faced Commodore Stone, who is probably the longest-surviving red shirt in Starfleet. Spock beams down with an extract from the ship’s computer logs to supplement Kirk’s report, and a moment later a girl cosplaying as Sailor Mercury bursts into the room. This is Jame (pronounced “Jamie”) Finney, and she accuses Kirk of murdering her dad. After Spock escorts the sobbing girl out of the office, Commodore Stone accuses Kirk of perjury, since the computer records indicate that the captain jettisoned the pod before calling for a Red Alert. He’s confined to the starbase while they decide whether he’ll face court martial.

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Star Trek Re-Watch: “Tomorrow is Yesterday”

“Tomorrow is Yesterday”
Written by D. C. Fontana
Directed by Michael O’Herlihy

Season 1, Episode 19
Production episode: 1×21
Original air date: January 26, 1967
Star date: 3113.2

Mission Summary
In the radar room of a U.S. Air Base circa the late 1960s, someone notices a blip: some kind of ship has entered the atmosphere “like it fell out of the sky or something.” It beeps on the radar. A UFO sighting! The captain orders someone to go up and take a closer look. As the camera cuts to the pilots getting ready to intercept and investigate, we see the tiny figure of the Enterprise, in orbit around an ancient Earth.Through a captain’s log we learn that en route to Starbase 9, the Enterprise got sucked into a “black star,” and in order to escape the strong gravitational pull they had to reverse engines at full warp power. The result? A mumblemumble gravitational slingshot effect that sent them tumbling through space-time, “to stop here, wherever we are.”

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Star Trek Re-Watch: “Arena”

“Arena”
Written by Gene L. Coon (from a story by Fredric Brown)
Directed by Joseph Pevney

Season 1, Episode 18
Production episode: 1×19
Original air date: January 19, 1967
Star date: 3045.6

Mission summary

Captain Kirk and some of his crew prepare for a fancy dinner on Cestus III, an Earth observation outpost in a largely unexplored area of space. Their host, Commodore Travers, is well known for his hospitality and they’re all looking forward to a good meal and entertainment. Instead, when they beam down they discover that Cestus III has been destroyed—and its literally cold-blooded alien attackers are still there. Since the massacre must have occurred several days before, it seems the invitation from Travers was faked to lure the Enterprise to the planet.

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Star Trek Re-Watch: “The Squire of Gothos”

“The Squire of Gothos”
Written by Paul Schneider
Directed by Don McDougall

Season 1, Episode 17
Production episode: 1×18
Original air date: January 12, 1967
Star date: 2124.5

Mission summary
The Enterprise is en route to Colony Beta Six to deliver supplies, and must first pass through a “Star Desert”—a barren section of space with no known planets or solar systems. The Star Desert seems to be a misnomer—there’s a planet right there! An iron-silica planet, totally inhospitable to life, and not shown anywhere on the star charts. Kirk doesn’t have the time to stick around and investigate, so he tells Sulu to maneuver around the planet. Sulu does so, then stumbles as if drunk, before vanishing completely. Kirk rushes to Sulu’s station and disappears himself.

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2

Star Trek Re-Watch: “The Galileo Seven”

“The Galileo Seven”
Written by Oliver Crawford and S. Bar-David
(story by Oliver Crawford)
Directed by Robert Gist

Season 1, Episode 16
Production episode: 1×13
Original air date: January 5, 1967
Star date: 2821.5

Mission summary

The Enterprise is enroute to the New Paris colony on Makus III to deliver medical supplies to victims of an ongoing plague, when Captain Kirk gets distracted by a shiny quasar, Murasaki 321. Galactic High Commissioner Ferris, a grumpy officer in fancy duds, objects to stopping to investigate, but Kirk insists his mission includes scientific study of cosmic phenomenon. They dispatch shuttlecraft 7, the Galileo, to take a closer look with seven crew members on board: Mr. Spock, Dr. McCoy, Mr. Scott, Lieutenant Boma, Mr. Gaetano, Mr. Latimer, and Yeoman Mears. It shouldn’t take long to get some readings and return to the ship and resume their journey to Makus III.

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Star Trek Re-Watch: “Shore Leave”

“Shore Leave”
Written by Theodore Sturgeon
Directed by Robert Sparr

Season 1, Episode 15
Production episode: 1×17
Original air date: December 29, 1966
Star date: 3025.3

Mission summary
The Enterprise stumbles upon a lush paradise planet, green and peaceful. Aside from strangely lacking in any animals or other life forms, the planet is reminiscent of Earth. Since the ship’s crew has had a grueling three months, Kirk agrees to survey the place as a possible site for shore leave, which is a little mysterious since there’s absolutely nothing to do down there. I guess there’s no Risa yet. Sulu and McCoy beam down to take some readings, and everything seems to check out…just a little bit too well. “It’s like something out of Alice in Wonderland,” McCoy remarks.

Then, out of nowhere, a huge white rabbit appears, checking its gold watch. “I’m late!” he cries, and runs off. The rabbit is followed by a little girl in blue. McCoy looks absolutely terrified.

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Star Trek Re-Watch: “Balance of Terror”

“Balance of Terror”
Written by Paul Schneider
Directed by Vincent McEveety

Season 1, Episode 14
Production episode: 1×09
Original air date: December 15, 1966
Star date: 1709.2

Mission summary
Captain Kirk is presiding over a non-denominational wedding ceremony of two members of his crew when an emergency calls him back to the bridge. There’s no time for romance on the Enterprise, at least not while Earth Outpost 4 is being attacked by an unknown vessel. Kirk orders condition red and the ship warps to the rescue.

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Star Trek Re-Watch: “The Conscience of the King”

“The Conscience of the King”
Written by Barry Trivers
Directed by Gerd Oswald

Season 1, Episode 13
Production episode: 1×12
Original air date: December 8, 1966
Star date: 2817.6

Mission summary
This week on Masterpiece Theater… Shakespeare’s Macbeth! We get a play within a play with this episode as Kirk and a Dr. Thomas Leighton quietly watch Anton Karidian ask, “Will all great Neptune’s ocean wash this blood clean from my hands?” (Answer: Umm, no.) Dr. Leighton is convinced that the man is actually “Kodos the Executioner,” a former governor of the Earth colony Tarsus IV who ordered the execution of 4000 individuals nearly 20 years ago. Leighton, under the pretense of having invented a synthetic food that could end famine on a nearby colony, has invited Kirk to the performance to prove his theory.

Kirk, furious at being duped, assures Leighton that Kodos is dead—his charred body was discovered after the massacre. It was never positively identified, but he’s definitely totally 100% dead…isn’t he? Leighton pleads with Kirk, the two of them being only a handful of people who ever actually saw Kodos, to expose Karidian for who he really is. Kirk firmly tells him this is nonsense and returns to the ship.

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Star Trek Re-Watch: “The Menagerie” Part II

“The Menagerie” Part II
Written by Gene Roddenberry
Directed by Robert Butler

Season 1, Episode 12
Production episode: 1×16
Original air date: November 24, 1966
Star date: 3013.1

Mission summary
The episode begins with an unusually lengthy Captain’s Log entry, recapping the incredible events of the previous episode. Then we dive back into Spock’s court-martial, now in closed session with just Kirk, Spock, Commodore Mendez, and Captain Pike in attendance. Just like Heroes, there’s no way to block the Talosian images, and no one thinks to just turn off the monitor.

Onscreen, the younger Captain Pike awakens in an episode of The Twilight Zone, inside a glass cage with hypercephalic beings studying him. They speak about him telepathically, analyzing his thoughts and predicting his actions. They say he will throw himself against the “transparency” in a “display of physical prowess,” just before he does. Pike speaks to them, insisting he’ll find a way to escape, but they ignore him as though he were a dumb creature and begin planning some experiments on him.

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