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The Enterprise plays host to Ambassador Bem, an arrogant member of a neutral race. However, Bem endangers all of their lives when he conducts a test of suitability upon Kirk and Spock during an exploratory mission on a primitive planet.

Episode Info  

Episode number: 2x2
Production Number: 22018
Airdate: Saturday September 14th, 1974

Director: Bill Reed (1)
Writer: David Gerrold

Guest Stars
James DoohanJames Doohan
voiced Commander Ari bn Bem
Nichelle NicholsNichelle Nichols
voiced Alien Entity
Main Cast
William ShatnerWilliam Shatner
voiced Captain James Tiberius Kirk
Leonard NimoyLeonard Nimoy
voiced Commander Spock
James DoohanJames Doohan
voiced Lt. Cmdr. Montgomery "Scotty" Scott, Lt. Arex
Nichelle NicholsNichelle Nichols
voiced Lt. Uhura
George TakeiGeorge Takei
voiced Lt. Hikaru Sulu


The Enterprise is conducting exploratory missions and playing host to Ambassador and Honorary Commander Ari bn Bem, a representative of a recently contacted alien species, the Pandroisans. The ship arrives at Delta Theta III, a newly discovered Class M planet with possible aboriginal inhabitants. Kirk takes down a landing party of himself, Spock, Sulu, and Scotty, to plant monitoring devices. He warns the landing party to beam up immediately at any signs of trouble. They go to the transporter room where Bem is setting the beamdown coordinates. He insists on going with them and Kirk is surprised, noting he's spent the last six missions in his quarters. He warns that the mission could be hazardous but Bem insists on going...

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Episode Notes
As per the DVD, David Gerrold chose the name "Bem" because it's a common movie acronym for "Bug-Eyed Monster."

Although the series isn't considered canon as a whole, David Gerrold's selection of "Tiberius" as James Kirk's middle name has been accepted as official and used in subsequent movies.

Episode Quotes
Kirk: We're dealing with possibly a very dangerous planet.
Commander Ari bn Bem: Patience. Every planet is dangerous to the ignorant. This one has decided that the nexus is now.

Spock: It appears to be a native food-gathering party.
Kirk: Yes, and the food they have gathered is Bem.

Commander Ari bn Bem: Kirk Captain?
Kirk: Shut up. We're rescuing you.

Commander Ari bn Bem: You are interfering with observations.
Spock: This is how you observe, by being captured?
Commander Ari bn Bem: As logical a way as any, Spock Commander.
Kirk: I don't think Starfleet would approve.

(after they've been captured)
Kirk: How come we always end up like this?
Spock: I assume that's a rhetorical question, not requiring an answer.
Kirk: I was just expressing my curiosity at our ability to get into these kind of situations.
Spock: Fate, Captain. Fate.
Kirk: Fate, Spock?
Spock: I believe that is the correct Earth term.
Kirk: Why don't you try your, uh, Vulcan Nerve Pinch?
Spock: Captain, I am only a Vulcan. There are limits.

Commander Ari bn Bem: Sir, this one does not demean oneself by the use of casual violence to accomplish goals.
Kirk: Oh.
Commander Ari bn Bem: But you may demean yourself if you wish.

Kirk: There are times, Mr. Spock, when I I think I should have been a librarian.
Spock: The job of librarian would be no less challenging, Captain, but it would undoubtedly be a lot less dangerous.

Scotty: Have you found the captain yet?
Arex: I have located emanations that could be Caption Kirk's and another set that could be Mr. Spock's, but the sensory anomaly has interfered with our detection devices so that positive identification remains impossible.
Uhura: Which means?
Scotty: I think he said, "Maybe."

Commander Ari bn Bem: This one wishes you... what is the Earth word? "Luck." You will require it.

Commander Ari bn Bem: You do not demand punishment?
Alien Entity: Punishment? What is punishment? Revenge? Intelligent beings need no revenge. Punishment is necessary only where learning cannot occur without it. You are behind that. My children here are not. That is why you must leave so as not to corrupt their development with concepts that they are not yet ready for.

Spock: Fascinating, Captain. A highly advanced alien entity using this particular system as a laboratory for guiding another race to intelligence. Almost a god, you might say.
Kirk: Mr. Spock, the difference is meaningless. In comparison, we're all still children.
Commander Ari bn Bem: In this one's case, Kirk Captain, this one is still an eggling.

Other Episode Crew

CreatorGene Roddenberry
ProducerLou Scheimer  |  Norm Prescott
Associate ProducerD.C. Fontana
MusicNorm Prescott  |  Ray Ellis
Story EditorD.C. Fontana
Art DirectorDon Christensen
Supervising DirectorHal Sutherland
Background ArtistBoris Gorelick  |  Don Peters (1)  |  Tom O'Loughlin  |  Pat Keppler  |  Curt Perkins  |  Janet Brown (2)  |  Rolando Oliva  |  Maurice Harvey  |  Paul Xander
Production ManagerRock Benedetto
Executive ConsultantGene Roddenberry
Special EffectsReuben Timmins
Editorial SupervisorJoseph Simon  |  Doreen A. Dixon
Camera SupervisorR.W. Pope
LayoutJim Willoughby  |  Cliff Voorhees  |  Robert Kline (2)  |  Virgil Raddatz  |  John Perry (1)  |  Carol Lundberg  |  Malcolm Weizer  |  George Goode  |  James Koukos  |  Wendell Washer  |  Wes Herschensohn  |  Ken Leonard  |  Maria Bennett  |  George Wheeler  |  Tom Burton  |  Lorna Smith  |  Les Kaluza  |  George Jensen  |  Dick Hall (1)  |  Warren Marshall  |  Christopher Lane (1)  |  Martin Muller  |  Glen Keane
Key Assistant AnimatorMike Hazy  |  Bill House
StoryboardPaul Fennell  |  Dale Hale  |  Sherman Labby  |  Jack Miller (1)  |  Michael O'Connor (5)  |  Louise Sandoval  |  Ken Southworth  |  Dawn Huntley
Director Of ColorErvin Kaplan
Key LayoutAlberto De Mello  |  Herb Hazelton  |  Kay Wright
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