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is investigating the distress call of the Earth colony Beta 12A. When they arrive, they find that all 100 men, women, and children are nowhere to be found. Kirk's suspicion of Klingon foul play is confirmed when a Klingon Battlecruiser approaches and accuses the Enterprise
of the murder of 400 of their crewman. Kirk is forced to act fast as the Klingons get the early upper hand.
Friday November 01st, 1968
7/10 (1 Vote cast)
Starring RolesGuest StarsCo-Guest StarsUncredited
On Beta 12-A, Kirk takes down a landing party with McCoy, Chekov, and Johnson after getting word that a Federation colony there is under attack. They investigate and find no trace of the colony, and assume the neighboring Klingons destroyed it. They're unaware that an energy ball is hovering just out of sight. In orbit, Spock detects an approaching Klingon ship but as they look on, internal explosions break out aboard it. On the planet, Captain Kang and an assault team silently beam down and then take Kirk and his men hostage, accusing them of attacking their ship unprovoked. Kirk denies any involvement but Kang insists they were attacked and prepares to torture them until they surrender the Enterprise
. Chekov screams in rage, saying the Klingons killed his brother Piotr at another colony, and Kang chooses him as the first torture victim. Kirk finally yields and offers to surrender the ship, insisting that there will be no tricks once aboard. He signals the Enterprise
but sends a secret signal. They beam aboard... but Scotty has divided the beam and held the Klingons in transit. They call in the ship's security, materialize the Klingons, and take them prisoner. They then beam over the rest of the Klingons from the doomed ship and offer them the "hospitality" of the ship's lounge for confinement...Read the full recap
Mara (Susan Howard) was the first female Klingon seen on Star Trek.
The agonizor used by the Klingons to subdue Chekov is a re-use of the prop designed for the same function in "Mirror, Mirror
Matt Groening, creator of The Simpsons named one of his alien invaders, Kang, after the character from this episode.
Bantam Books published a series of novelizations called "foto-novels," which took photographic stills from actual episodes and arranged word balloons and text over them, to create a comic book formatted story. The tenth installment was an adaptation of this episode
John Colicos was originally going to return as Commander Kor for this episode. He was heartbroken when another commitment made this impossible. Joseph Campanella was then considered for the role, but Michael Ansara was ultimately chosen.
In the film Koyaanisqatsi, the scene of Mara and Chekov can be seen for an instant in the fast montage of television images.
Footage of the Klingon ship is reused from "Elaan of Troyius" which aired after this episode.
Kang: Instruct your transporter room to beam us aboard.
Kirk: Go to the devil.
Kang: We have no devil, Kirk. But we understand the habits of yours. I shall torture you to death, one by one, until your noble captain cries "enough."
Chekov: Filthy Klingon murderers! You killed my brother Piotr. The Arcanis 4 research outpost. 100 peaceful people massacred! Just like you did here. My brother--you killed him.
Kang: And you volunteer to join him. That is loyalty.
Scotty: And there's too much radiation coming from that Klingon ship. It's a hazard to the vicinity.
Kirk: Prepare to destruct.
Kang: Completing the job you started?
Kirk: You wouldn't be standing here if I had.
Mara: We are 40 against 400.
Kang's Officer: "Four thousand throats may be cut in one night by a running man."
Kirk: We must talk to Kang, bury the hatchet.
Spock: An appropriate choice of terms.
Spock: Easy, Mr. Scott.
Scotty: Keep your Vulcan hands off me. Just keep away! Your feelings might be hurt, you green-blooded half-breed!
Spock: May I say that I have not thoroughly enjoyed serving with humans? I find their illogic and foolish emotions a constant irritant.
Scotty: Then transfer out! Freak!
Spock: I, too, felt a brief surge of racial bigotry -- most distasteful.
Mara: We have always fought. We must. We are hunters, Captain, tracking and taking what we need. There are poor planets in the Klingon systems. We must push outward if we are to survive.
Kirk: There's another way to survive--mutual trust and help.
Scotty: But she can't guarantee that Kang will stop to listen, right, Mr. Spock?
Spock: No one can guarantee the actions of another.
Kirk: Have any more of your men died? We can't be killed. There's an alien aboard. It wants us alive.
Kang: No doubt you will reassemble after I have hacked you to bits!
Kang: Out! We need no urging to hate humans, but for the present, only a fool fights in a burning house! Out!
During the fight in the corridor after the entity changes the weapons into swords, a prop on the wall comes loose and falls to the floor. When Chekov comes back a few minutes later, it's back in place.
When Chekov attacks Mara, he ends up with his makeup on her hands.
Despite the fact he's not part of the group that fights its way in, Sulu appears in Engineering for a split second.
In one scene, Chekov attacks a Klingon guard escorting Mara to the life support circuits on deck 6. Kirk and Spock rescue Mara, but take no notice of the unconscious, or dead, guard.
While a prisoner, Mara says there are 40 Klingons. However, later Spock says their are 38 Klingons.
Jerome Bixby's original draft had the Klingons and Enterprise crew driving the entity away by having a peace march! While this was current in 1968, it would have badly dated the episode today. A complete review of the original script can be found here
It's established that Kang's cruiser carried a crew of 400+ when he says "400 of my crew dead". The actual complement may be closer to 440 because Mara says there were "40 (Klingon survivors) against 400 of them (Enterprise crew)".
This is the only time Mr. Sulu works in a Jefferies tube.
Captain Kirk and Kang seemingly met before as they were aware of each other's names.
This is the first and only time that intra-ship beaming occurs in the original series.
This is the first and only time where the transporters beam up more then six people at one time.
What Changed in the Remastered Version
General improvements cited on the main series page. The orbital shots of Beta 12A get a surface upgrade. The shots of the Klingon in ship in orbit are upgrades, with small explosions seen. Its destruction at the hands of the Enterprise is equally impressive. The alien F/X is not upgraded, however.
Jerome Bixby seems fascinated by the usage of the transporter. In "Mirror, Mirror" he had it act as a gateway to a parallel universe. Here, he uses it in two ways that it is otherwise never used in the original series. In the first instance, they use the transporter to beam someone from one point to another within the Enterprise. In the second, they use a "wide beam" to transporter nine people simultaneously (we don't see how they materialize on the six pads aboard the ship, however). Neither of these is unreasonable, and in fact intraship beaming would become commonplace in later series. It's interesting to see Bixby, who had only a few science fiction works, so casually set aside the limits of the transporter that many other writers abided by.