The Klingons, the Organians and a treaty that really doesn’t do anything.  Originally broadcast on March 23, 1967 this is Errand of Mercy.

The Episode:

Captain’s Log Stardate 3198.4

The Klingons threaten the planet Organia as negotiations between the Federation and Klingon begin to fail. Kirk and his crew arrive on Organia to help prevent a Klingon occupation even though the Organians do not want help. Kor the Klingon arrives and takes Kirk and Spock prisoner sparking a potential war between the Klingon fleet and the Enterprise.  Just as things come to a head, the Organians reveal their true selves, stopping the battle and preventing the two sides from being able to fight.  They inform Kor and Kirk that the ongoing hostilities between the Klingons and the Federation will not come to an end advising that, in the future the Federation and the Klingons will not only be friends but allies.  

With the war averted, the Enterprise and Kor’s fleet go their separate ways. 

Is this a ‘Good’ Episode:

One thing that is abundantly obvious about this episode, especially when considering the timeline in which it was aired, is the analogy that this story presents.  You have to remember, in the late 60’s the cold war between the US and Russia had escalated significantly with a great fear rising that Russia would eventually attack and take over.  With this in mine, it is clear that the Klingons represent the ‘destructive’ Russian threat while the Federation are the ‘benefactors’ aka The United States.  It is clear that both Kirk and Kor fully believe in their own cultures ideologies almost to a fault. Kirk is fully convinced that the Federation is the only choice the Organians have in face of an invasion as, from Kirk’s position, the Federation will provide while the Klingons will only take.  Ironically, the Organians have nothing to fear as they are, secretly, a far superior race determined to keep the peace.

While the real world analogy is ever-present, the problem with this episode in context within the series itself.  You see, while it establishes the Klingons as a long time enemy of the Federation, this episode is in fact the first appearance of the Klingons which somewhat lessens the resolution of a peace treaty between the two species.  If the Klingons had been introduced earlier and had been a continued threat, I think this episode would have had a much greater impact.  That being said, now that Discovery and Enterprise exist, they actually help give this specific episode a bit more weight.  

One thing I love about this episode is that Kor, played by the great John Colicos, is one of the first Klingons we meet and he returns, not only in the Animated Series but in three episodes of Deep Space Nine in full forehead makeup and all!  This episode really showcases Colicos’ acting ability and he really comes across as a legitimate threat to Kirk, Spock and the crew.  

Overall, not a bad story but one that is only more impactful now with added history than it really was when it first aired.  Worth watching? Sure, if you remember the context it came from, or if you happened to watch Discovery and Enterprise prior to this one.

Gleanings and Cool Bits:

  • Sulu takes command for the first time in the series.
  • It is interesting to note that Kirk mentions believing that they were the most powerful beings in the universe and being rather humbled by the Organians. Did he forget about Gary Mitchell, Charlie X and Trelane already?
  • We learn that Vulcans have a tendency to become merchants.
  • The sash worn by Kor is nearly identical to the one used by Worf in the first season of Star Trek the Next Generation. 
  • It is established that the Klingons have a Mind Scanner device that they use for interrogation.
  • Kirk’s reputation is apparently well known through the Klingon Empire as Kor mentioned a hope to meet him in battle one day.

Thanks for reading the Retro TV Review,  I look forward to discussing the rest of the series with you, one episode at a time every Monday, Wednesday and Friday!  Next Review:  The City on the Edge of Forever

For more reviews I have a weekly series called Key Movies Of My Life that comes out every Thursday and for more retro TV goodness check out the rest of the Retro TV Reviews here.

As always, please feel free to comment below and share your experiences with these episodes as well. If you just happened by, tell me what you think! Don’t Forget To Follow me if you like the blog!

Late To The Game 1/31/2022

I dont know, but I am getting some significant Ni No Kuni vibes from Spock’s outfit. I have to wonder if this episode was the inspiration for Oliver’s outfit.

Special Thanks to Memory Alpha as they are one of the best sources for details on Star Trek information available.  Although I have a pretty deep knowledge on the subject, they have proven invaluable as a regular resource.

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