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Star Trek: A Private Little War

Spock, Bones, and Kirk beam down to a planet whose inhabitants are far less technologically evolved. However, they realize that some of the planet's inhabitants are armed far beyond their natural capabilities and think that the Klingons may have gone behind the Federation's back and ignored the treaty about neutral planets.

Episode Info
Episode number: 2x19
Production Number: 60345
Airdate: Friday February 02nd, 1968

Director: Marc Daniels
Writer: Gene L. Coon
Story: Don Ingalls
Teleplay: Gene Roddenberry

Starring Roles
James DoohanJames Doohan
As Lt. Cmdr. Montgomery "Scotty" Scott
Nichelle NicholsNichelle Nichols
As Lt. Nyota Uhura
Majel BarrettMajel Barrett
As Nurse Christine Chapel
Walter KoenigWalter Koenig
As Ensign Pavel Chekov

Guest Stars

Co-Guest Stars
Booker BradshawBooker Bradshaw
As Dr. M'Benga
Janos ProhaskaJanos Prohaska
As The Gumato
Paul BaxleyPaul Baxley
As Patrol Leader
Ned RomeroNed Romero
As Krell
Gary CarpenterGary Carpenter
As Yutan (as Gray Pillar)

Bob OrrisonBob Orrison
As Villager #1 / McCoy's Stunt Double
David PernaDavid Perna
As Spock's Stunt Double
Eddie PaskeyEddie Paskey
As Lt. Leslie
Jay Jones (1)Jay Jones (1)
As Ned Romero Stunt Double
William BlackburnWilliam Blackburn
As Lt. Hadley
Bob Lyon (1)Bob Lyon (1)
As Villager #3
Regina PartonRegina Parton
As Nona's Stunt Double
Roy N. SicknerRoy N. Sickner
As Villager #2
Main Cast
William ShatnerWilliam Shatner
As Captain James Tiberius Kirk
Leonard NimoyLeonard Nimoy
As Commander Spock
DeForest KelleyDeForest Kelley
As Dr. Leonard Horatio "Bones" McCoy


Kirk, McCoy, and Spock go on a scouting expedition to the planet Neural, where Lt. Kirk conducted his first planetary survey 17 years ago. McCoy takes plant samples while Kirk and Spock examine the area, and spot the footprints of a mugato. Kirk says that when he was last there, the planet was a Garden of Eden with peaceful non-violent inhabitants with no advanced technology. They spot several villagers, carrying flintlocks and preparing an ambush against a group of hill people, including Kirk's friend Tyree. Kirk throws a rock, causing one of the villagers to fire off a shot and alert Tyree, then Kirk and Spock run to the rendezvous spot. Alerted by the gunshots, McCoy calls for beam up while Spock is shot and badly injured. They beam up just ahead of the villagers and McCoy gets the critically injured Spock to sickbay under the care of Dr. M'Benga, who interned on Vulcan...

Read the full recap
Episode Notes
This episode served as an allegory for the Vietnam War, which is mentioned briefly by Captain Kirk.

The planet name is mentioned in the script but never on-screen.

Don Ingalls is credited under his psuedonym of Jud Crucis. He was displeased with Roddenberry's changes to the script and asked for the name change. "Jud Crucis" was a pun on "Jesus Crucified."

Episode Quotes
Kirk: So they've broken the treaty.
Scotty: Not necessarily, Captain. They have as much right to scientific missions here as we have.
Kirk: Research isn't the Klingon way.

Dr. M'Benga: Don't let these low panel readings bother you. I've seen this before in Vulcans. It's their way of concentrating all their strength, blood, and antibodies onto the injured organs, a form of self-induced hypnosis.
Nurse Chapel: You mean he's conscious?
Dr. M'Benga: Well, in a sense. He knows we're here and what we're saying, but he can't afford to take his mind from the tissue he's fighting to heal. I suppose he even knows you were holding his hand.
Nurse Chapel: A good nurse always treats her patients that way. It proves she's interested.

Kirk: We're simply strangers from from one of the lights in the sky.
Nona: And you have ways as far above firesticks as the sky above our world.

Nona: There's an old custom among my people. When a woman saves a man's life, he is grateful.
Kirk: I am grateful.
McCoy: A splendid custom if not carried to extremes.

Kirk: There came a time when our weapons grew faster than our wisdom, and we almost destroyed ourselves. We learned from this to make a rule during all our travels never to cause the same to happen to other worlds... just as a man must grow in his own way and his own time.
Nona: Some men never grow.
Kirk: Perhaps not as fast or in the way another thinks he should. But we're wise enough to know that we are wise enough not to interfere with the way of a man or another world.

Krell: You are late, my friend Apella.
Apella: A quarrel by my people. A division of some skins and a hill woman taken this morning. It's hard to divide one woman.
Krell: Give her to the man who killed the most of her people. The others will see the profit in bravery. I'll make a Klingon of you yet.

Apella: I thought my people would grow tired of killing. But you were right. It is easier than trading, and it has pleasures. I feel it myself. Like the hunt, but with richer rewards.

McCoy: And what about your friend Tyree? Will he understand this balance of power?
Kirk: No. Probably not, but I'm going to have to try and make him understand. I never had a more difficult task.
McCoy: Well, Jim, here's another morsel of agony for you: since Tyree won't fight, he will be one of the first to die.
Kirk: Well, war isn't a good life, but it's life.

Kirk: Nona. Pardon me.
Nona: You are here because I wished you here.
Kirk: Oh? I thought it was my idea.
Nona: Yes. They always believe they come of free will. Tyree thought the same when I cast my first spell on him.

McCoy: Well, you got what you wanted.
Kirk: Not what I wanted, Bones. What had to be.

McCoy: Spock, are you alive?
Spock: An illogical question, Doctor, since obviously you are hearing my voice.
McCoy: Well, I don't know why I was worried. You can't kill a computer.

Kirk: Spock, ask Scotty how long it would take him to reproduce 100 flintlocks.
Scotty: I didn't get that exactly, Captain. 100 what?
Kirk: A hundred serpents. Serpents for the Garden of Eden. We're very tired, Mr. Spock. Beam us up home.

Episode Goofs
In the end credits, Janos Prohaska's character is misspelled "Gumato."

You can see Los Angeles in the background as Nona talks with the villagers and offers them the phaser.

Kirk and McCoy both consistently mispronounce the creature's name "Mugatu" throughout the episode.

What Changed in the Remastered Version
General improvements cited on the main series page. The orbital shots of Neural get a surface upgrade. A brief flyby shot of the Klingon ship is added.

Other Episode Crew

CreatorGene Roddenberry
Executive ProducerGene Roddenberry
ProducerGene L. Coon
CastingJoseph D'Agosta
Costume DesignerWilliam Ware Theiss
Make-upFred B. Phillips
Property MasterIrving A. Feinberg
OtherHerbert F. Solow (Executive in Charge of Production)
Director of PhotographyGerald Perry Finnerman
Art DirectorWalter M. Jefferies
Special EffectsJames Rugg
Main Title ThemeAlexander Courage
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