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Star Trek: The Corbomite Maneuver

While exploring an unknown sector of space, the Enterprise encounters a gigantic spaceship that immobilizes the Federation starship and threatens to destroy it. With minutes ticking away to destruction, Kirk must attempt to bluff the enemy into letting them go before time runs out.

Episode Info
Episode number: 1x10
Production Number: 6149-03
Airdate: Thursday November 10th, 1966

Director: Joseph Sargent
Writer: Jerry Sohl

Starring Roles
DeForest KelleyDeForest Kelley
As Dr. Leonard Horatio "Bones" McCoy
Grace Lee WhitneyGrace Lee Whitney
As Yeoman Janice Rand
George TakeiGeorge Takei
As Lt. Hikaru Sulu
James DoohanJames Doohan
As Lt. Cmdr. Montgomery "Scotty" Scott
Nichelle NicholsNichelle Nichols
As Lt. Nyota Uhura

Guest Stars
Anthony D. CallAnthony D. Call
As Dave Bailey
Clint HowardClint Howard
As Balok

Bruce MarsBruce Mars
As Crewman #1
Majel BarrettMajel Barrett
voiced Crew woman
Sean Morgan (1)Sean Morgan (1)
As Crewman #5
Ted CassidyTed Cassidy
voiced Balok Puppet
Vic PerrinVic Perrin
voiced Balok
Ena HartmanEna Hartman
As Crewwoman #2
George BochmanGeorge Bochman
As Crewwoman #4
Gloria CalomeeGloria Calomee
As Crewwoman #3
John Gabriel (2)John Gabriel (2)
As Crewman #2
Mittie LawrenceMittie Lawrence
As Crewwoman #1
Main Cast
William ShatnerWilliam Shatner
As Captain James Tiberius Kirk
Leonard NimoyLeonard Nimoy
As Commander Spock


The Enterprise is mapping uncharted space while the captain gets his quarterly physical. Spock picks up an unidentified object approaching the ship at warp speed and orders the ship to red alert. McCoy notices the red alert signal but doesn’t mention it to Kirk until he completes the physical. Captain Kirk is not amused and checks in, and Spock informs him the object is a spinning cube-shaped object...

Read the full recap
Episode Notes
This episode marks the first appearances of DeForest Kelley (Dr. Leonard H. "Bones" McCoy) and Nichelle Nichols (Lt. Nyota Uhura) on the series.

Ted Cassidy (Voice of Balok puppet) would later play Ruk in "What Are Little Girls Made Of?".

Episode Quotes
Bailey: It's blocking the way!
Spock: Quite unnecessary to raise your voice, Mr. Bailey.

Kirk: You could see the alarm lights from there McCoy. Why didn't you tell me?
McCoy: Finally finished a physical on you, didn't I. What am l, a doctor or a moon shuttle conductor? (after Kirk leaves) If I jumped every time a light came on around here, I'd end up talking to myself.

Bailey: Raising my voice back there doesn't mean I was scared or couldn't do my job, it means I happen to have a human thing called an adrenaline gland.
Spock: It does sound most inconvenient, however. Have you considered having it removed?
Bailey: Very funny.
Sulu: You try to cross brains with Spock, he'll cut you to pieces every time.

Bailey: I vote we blast it!
Kirk: I'll keep that in mind, Mr. Bailey... when this becomes a democracy.

Spock: Has it occurred to you that there's a certain... inefficiency in constantly questioning me on things you've already made up your mind about?
Kirk: It gives me emotional security.

Kirk: Aren't you the one who said a little suffering is good for the soul?
McCoy: I never say that!

Kirk: Dr. McCoy, I've heard you say that Man is ultimately superior to any mechanical device.
McCoy: No, I never say that, either.
Kirk: I could've sworn I heard you say that.

Kirk: What the devil is this? Green leaves?
Rand: It's dietary salad, sir. Dr. McCoy changed your diet card. I thought you knew.
McCoy: Your weight was up a couple of pounds. Remember?
Kirk: Will you stop hovering over me, Yeoman?
Rand: I'll change it if you don't like it.
Kirk: Bring some for the doctor, too.
McCoy: No, no. I never eat until the crew eats.

Kirk: If I get my hands on the headquarters genius that assigned me a female yeoman...
McCoy: What's the matter, Jim, don't you trust yourself?
Kirk: I've already got a female to worry about. Her name is Enterprise.

Kirk: You know the greatest danger facing us is ourselves, and irrational fear of the unknown. There is no such thing as the unknown. Only things temporarily hidden, temporarily not understood.

Sulu: 4 minutes, 30 seconds.
Scotty: You have an annoying fascination for timepieces, Mr. Sulu.

Kirk: This is the Captain of the Enterprise. Our respect for other life forms requires that we give you this... warning. There is one critical item of information that has never been incorporated into the memory banks of any Earth ship. Since the early years of space exploration, Earth vessels have had incorporated into them a substance known as... corbomite. It is a material and a device which prevents attack on us. If any destructive energy touches our vessel, a reverse reaction of equal strength is created, destroying...
Balok: You now have two minutes.
Kirk: ...destroying the attacker. It may interest you to know that since the initial use of corbomite more than two of our centuries ago, no attacking vessel has survived the attempt. Death has... little meaning to us. If it has none to you then attack us now. We grow annoyed at your foolishness.

Spock: I regret not having learned more about this Balok. He was reminiscent of my father.
Scotty: May heaven have helped your mother.
Spock: Quite the contrary. She considered herself a very fortunate Earth woman.

McCoy: What about your crew?
Balok: (laughing hysterically) I have no crew, Doctor. I run everything... this entire complex, from this small ship.

Balok: You represent Earth's best, then?
Bailey: No, sir, I'm not. I'll make plenty of mistakes.
Kirk: But you'd find out more about us that way, and I'd get a better officer in return.
Balok: I see. We think much alike, Captain, you and l.

Episode Goofs
The reading goes off my scale...
Spock comments that the mass of the Fesarius is too large for his instruments to measure. On a ship sent to map stars and planets (in fact, this is what they were doing when they encountered the Fesarius), this seems unlikely. Scientists can estimate the masses of large stellar objects now by calculating from the object's gravity. Spock also seriously understates the size of the Fesarius at "a mile in diameter." Each of the smaller spheres of which it is composed is larger than the Enterprise. If the Enterprise is 300m (as has been stated), then the Fesarius would have to be on the order of 6km in diameter, or just over 3.5 miles.

Cultural References
Balok: In your culture, he would be Mr. Hyde, to my Jekyll.
In 1886, Robert Louis Stevenson first published a novella entitled (The) Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde which told the story of a doctor whose mysterious formula transformed him into an evil, superhuman madman named Edward Hyde. Thematically, the story refers to concepts of good versus evil and perhaps even to multiple personality disorder: Dr. Jekyll was a kindly man while Mr. Hyde was a sociopath at his best, a psychopath at his worst. "Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde" has since generalized to refer to any pair of beings, one deemed good and one deemed evil who are closely related or even the same individual at different times.

Episode References
Kirk would use the word corbomite and the basic idea in the second season episode "The Deadly Years."

What Changed in the Remastered Version
The "marker buoy" cube gets an upgrade; the colors are brighter and the transitions from sharp to blurry are more distinct. The colors also reflect from the front of the Enterprise saucer - a nice touch. New angles appear, including a view of the cube from a position between the engine nacelles. The Fesarius received a nice upgrade, with facets added to the glowing spheres to suggest their size, and a visible substructure contributing to a solid look and feel. A scale error between the Fesarius and Balok's small pilot vessel was corrected. The breakaway scene when the Enterprise frees itself from Balok's tractor beam now more accurately reflects the maneuver attempted.

Other Episode Crew

CreatorGene Roddenberry
CastingJoseph D'Agosta
Costume DesignerWilliam Ware Theiss
Make-upFred B. Phillips
GripGeorge Rader
Property MasterIrving A. Feinberg
GafferGeorge H. Merhoff
OtherHerbert F. Solow (Executive in Charge of Production)
Special EffectsJames Rugg
Main Title ThemeAlexander Courage
Missing Information
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