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Star Trek Re-Watch: “What Men Dare Do”

“What Men Dare Do”
Written by K.C. Hunter and Benny Russell
Directed by Allen Smith

Season 2, Episode 13.5
Production episode: 2×19
Original air date: April 1, 1968
Star date: 3253.6

Mission Summary:

In full dress uniform, Captain Kirk and Mr. Spock await a special guest in the transporter room: Commodore Robert April, the first captain of the Enterprise. We learn that he just celebrated his thirtieth anniversary in Starfleet. To reward his exemplary service, they’ve promoted him to Federation Ambassador and assigned him to a diplomatic desk job on a planet. Kirk warmly welcomes the ambassador, praising his handling of an early encounter with the Andorians, while Spock greets him as an old acquaintance. They apparently met when Captain Pike assumed command of the ship, and April comments, “Heard about that nasty business on Talos IV. Thanks for taking care of Chris.”

The captain and first officer take him on a tour of the much-altered ship. Spock helpfully lists each aspect of the ship that has changed since his command, from the wall panel circuitry to the turbolift hydraulics couplings. April notes that he Spock is “as Vulcan as ever,” and gives Kirk a knowing look. When they reach Engineering, Mr. Scott runs through some of the overhauls he has completed, and April compliments him on “keeping the old bird flying.” They eventually make their way to the Bridge, where April nostalgically fondles the console buttons on the captain’s chair as Kirk sits in it. It’s been a long time. April offers the captain some advice:

APRIL: Don’t let them promote you, Jim. Don’t let them transfer you. Don’t let them do anything that takes you off the bridge of this ship, because while you’re in that chair, you can make a difference.

Soon a large blue planet fills the viewscreen. They have arrived at their destination, the Federation planet Risa. As they prepare to head to the transporter room, Uhura anxiously warns the captain that a Klingon vessel is in orbit around the planet, too.

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