Memory Alpha

A Private Little War (episode)

  • 1.2 Act One
  • 1.3 Act Two
  • 1.4 Act Three
  • 1.5 Act Four
  • 2 Log entries
  • 3 Memorable quotes
  • 4.2 Filming
  • 4.3 Continuity
  • 4.5 Apocrypha
  • 4.6 Production timeline
  • 4.7 Video and DVD releases
  • 5.1 Starring
  • 5.2 Also starring
  • 5.3 Guest stars
  • 5.4 Featuring
  • 5.5 Uncredited co-stars
  • 5.6 Stunt doubles
  • 5.7 References
  • 5.8 External links

Summary [ ]

On a scientific mission to Neural , a primitive, pre- first contact planet protected by the Prime Directive , Spock , Kirk , and McCoy are doing some minor research on indigenous plant life and chemical compounds . Spock finds large footprints of the mugato , a white ape-like creature. Kirk remembers his first planetary survey as a lieutenant thirteen years prior on this very planet. Spock comments on the qualities of the planet, how Earth -like it is. Kirk notes that the inhabitants have stayed at the same technological level for centuries, and that bows and arrows are still the tools of hunting. He also explains that the people are peaceful and never fight amongst themselves.

Kirk and Spock hear yells from some of the inhabitants and run over to see what is going on. It is obvious the men are not holding bows and arrows, but flintlock firearms . Kirk explains that it would be impossible for them to have invented these types of weapons in the duration since his previous visit.

Coming toward them is a band of men, one of whom is Tyree , the man Kirk lived with while on his original mission. They are walking directly into a trap set by the armed men. Warned by Spock that the use of his phaser is expressly forbidden, Kirk throws a stone and distracts one of the men, causing him to fire his weapon and give away his position. The other men scatter for cover, as do Kirk and Spock. The armed men make chase and McCoy quickly prepares the USS Enterprise through his communicator for the landing party 's return. Spock is shot in the back by one of the flintlock guns and goes tumbling to the ground. Kirk hurries to the aid of the wounded Spock, whose pale blue uniform shirt is stained with green blood , helps him back to his feet and they run to McCoy. The three of them beam up, leaving the armed men wondering where they could have gone.

Act One [ ]

The landing party arrive back on the ship, with Dr. Joseph M'Benga and Nurse Chapel waiting in the transporter room ready to treat Spock. " Lucky his heart is where his liver should be or he'd be dead now ", McCoy says. As they hover over Spock, a red alert is called by Lieutenant Uhura ; a Klingon vessel is approaching. Before leaving for the bridge with Montgomery Scott , Kirk asks McCoy about Spock's condition, and he can only reply, " I don't know yet, Jim. "

Kirk arrives on the bridge. Ensign Chekov explains that the Klingon ship does not know of their presence, since the Enterprise is holding the planet between them. Uhura offers to contact Starfleet , but Kirk warns that it could give away their position and alert the Klingons.

Kirk begins to contemplate the likelihood that the inhabitants of the planet could have developed firearms in the few years since they started forging iron . Scott, Chekov, and Uhura on the bridge offer explanations as to how it could have happened progressively but Kirk abruptly cuts them off. He later apologizes, stating to them that he's worried about Spock.

Spock's condition is poor because there are no replacement organs available to treat him. They are forced to wait and see what happens. However, Spock is also in excellent hands with McCoy's immediate subordinate, Dr. M'Benga, who has considerable experience in treating Vulcans , having interned in a Vulcan ward. Kirk explains to McCoy that they must go down to the planet, together, overruling McCoy's preference to treat Spock personally by reminding him of his own recommendation of M'Benga, and must discover what has happened with the disparity in weapons. While asking Scott to have the ship's stores prepare period clothing, Kirk is warned that Enterprise may have to leave orbit to avoid being discovered. They set a time for a rendezvous.

McCoy and Kirk, wearing their Neural-style clothing, beam down to the planet. McCoy reminds him of their orders. Kirk recalls it was his own recommendation not to permit contact with the inhabitants.

As the men walk, Kirk is attacked by a mugato , an ape-like creature with white fur and a large horn on its head. He is bitten and suffers from the effects of its poison fangs. McCoy pulls out his phaser and vaporizes the mugato. Rushing to Kirk's side, McCoy's small collection of medical supplies will not be sufficient to save his life. He attempts to contact the ship but to no avail – it has left orbit. Kirk tells him to get Tyree's men, the Hill People , who have already found them.

McCoy explains to them that they must take Kirk to Tyree or he will die.

Act Two [ ]

Tyree's men bring Kirk and McCoy into their camp.

Tyree and his wife, Nona follow some men with guns. She explains to him that they must obtain the same " fire sticks ", making them strong and able to take the enemy's houses and supplies. Tyree is sure that the enemies will someday return to peace again. She does not agree.

She brags that she is a kahn-ut-tu , valued by men because they aid in achieving power. Tyree claims he accepted her because she cast a spell on him. She explains about many spells that she uses to keep him. She pulls out a sprig of leaves and rubs them on his face and arm, driving the plant's contents into his skin. He is obviously affected by its presence. He grabs her and kisses her intensely.

They are interrupted by a scout, Yutan , from the camp requesting their presence. Tyree is dazed by the plant but Nona heads back. She asks Yutan to bring Tyree when his head has cleared.

McCoy notes Kirk's struggles. Hoping to keep him warm, he uses his phaser to heat rocks in the cave where Kirk lays. As he is heating the last of three stones, Nona returns and sees him firing the weapon. She is surprised and awed. She steps out of the cave, avoiding being seen by McCoy.

As Tyree returns to camp, Nona asks him to explain who these men are before she will help them. Tyree tells her that he promised Kirk silence. She says she is his wife, and that she too will remain silent or Kirk will die without her help.

Back on the Enterprise , Nurse Chapel takes Spock's hand as she watches the medical panel. Dr. M'Benga walks in and Nurse Chapel quickly puts Spock's hand down. M'Benga comforts her and assures her that Spock is concentrating on his healing and that is why his readings are so low. It is self-induced hypnosis . He says that Spock is aware of them and what they are saying but that he cannot show it. He also says that Spock probably knows she was holding his hand. Nurse Chapel looks at him in surprise, then in embarrassment.

Tyree and Nona enter the cave. She pulls out a Mahko root and holds it above Kirk's chest. It moves in her hand. McCoy asks what it is. Nona replies that few know how to use it.

She offers Tyree her knife, and he cuts the palm of her hand. She puts the root on Kirk's bite, then places her hand over the root. Her blood and Kirk's blood mix through the Mahko root. Nona flails about as if she is seeing what is going through Kirk's mind and his knowledge. Tyree softly pounds on a drum. The poison is extracted and Kirk regains his consciousness, then promptly falls asleep. McCoy removes the root showing that the injuries have been completely healed. Nona claims that Kirk belongs to her now.

Tyree explains to McCoy that legend says that no man can refuse a woman who is joined with a man in this way.

Act Three [ ]

McCoy wakes up to find Kirk missing, but discovers that Kirk is sitting in the next room. As he rouses Jim, Tyree stands. Kirk and Tyree are reunited. Kirk remembers nothing since the animal attack, but knew that Tyree would find a kahn-ut-tu to heal him.

Kirk asks Tyree to tell him about the weapons the enemy has acquired. Tyree assures him that he will hear everything.

Back on the Enterprise , Spock's readings fluctuate, but have improved. Dr. M'Benga tells Spock that someone will constantly be at his bedside. M'Benga tells nurse Chapel that if Spock awakes, she is to do whatever he asks.

Tyree tells Kirk that the "fire sticks" arrived about a year ago, and that the villagers are producing them. McCoy asks if any strangers have been seen with them. Tyree answers in the negative. Kirk then asks if they can spy on the enemy during the night. Tyree warns about the Mugato, which travel at night. Since McCoy killed one earlier, its mate will not be far.

Nona walks to the table, alluding to the fact that Kirk and McCoy have enough tools and strength to make Tyree a very powerful man on Neural. Kirk explains to her that they are simply visitors from another village. She interrupts him and claims that they come from the sky and that they have powers far above "fire sticks". Tyree warns her to not speak about any of this with anyone. Nona claims that the act of kindness she did brings her the right to be rewarded. Kirk admits he is grateful, but explains that his people's weapons grew faster than their wisdom. This leads to his vague explanation of the Prime Directive .

Nona assumes that this implies that Kirk will not help them. She is disgusted. Tyree understands the issue and yet refuses to kill anyone. McCoy mentions to Jim that it could be the Klingons who have dabbled in this conflict, and that there may be a way to balance things out. But that possibility disturbs Kirk.

Tyree, McCoy and Kirk make their way to the other village. Kirk knocks out a guard and Tyree takes the man's gun.

Krell, 2268

Krell discusses giving more "fire-sticks" to Apella

An enemy villager named Apella walks into a room with a Klingon, Krell , inside. The Klingon tells him to bring in the man who did the most killings because he is to be rewarded as an example to the others. He offers the man another improvement to the flintlock weapon. He mentions other improvements that will make the weapon more effective and more accurate.

McCoy and Kirk continue their spying. They find coal for forging, and sulfur which is used in making gunpowder . They enter the building and find the forge, some drill points, and barrels of extremely high quality, none of which could have been manufactured by the planet's inhabitants. It is further proof that the Klingons have been providing these weapons.

Krell and Apella (2268)

Krell and Apella

Voices can be heard outside, forcing Kirk and McCoy to hide. The Klingon man and Apella enter, discussing the rewards for bravery and conquest. Krell assures that rewards will be granted, including power over the planet, and making Apella a governor in the Klingon Empire someday.

As the men are talking, McCoy's tricorder is somehow activated, its high-pitched whirring sound announcing their presence. Kirk leaps from behind the forge and attacks Krell, causing him to discharge the flintlock rifle he carries. It fires harmlessly into the floor. A fight ensues, and though they defeat Apella and the Klingon, they are caught at the door by two more men with rifles.

Act Four [ ]

They escape by clubbing the men with fists and gun barrels. As they run, voices cry out that intruders are in the village. The men are chased through the streets of the village, with the villagers firing their flintlocks at the fleeing Kirk, McCoy, and Tyree.

In sickbay, Spock partially arises from his hypnosis. He calls to Nurse Chapel and asks her to strike him. At first she refuses, but does so to appease his request. Spock barely feels her first few strikes; he asks her to hit him harder. He explains that the pain will help him return to consciousness. She then hits him repeatedly, much harder.

Just then, Scott enters the room and, assuming Spock is under attack, restrains Nurse Chapel. Dr. M'Benga runs into the room and pulls Spock into a sitting position. He slaps Spock in the face with great swings. After several strikes, Spock catches his hand and explains that he is sufficiently revived.

Witnessing this bizarre ritual, Scott questions the practice. Spock and M'Benga tell him that it is a natural Vulcan response to self-healing.

On the planet, Kirk explains to Tyree and his men how to use a flintlock weapon and how to work the trigger and hammer. Tyree brings the weapon to his shoulder and fires it, shattering a clay cup on his first shot.

McCoy requests to speak to Kirk about this new development. He is intensely upset that Kirk has now introduced these weapons to both sides in the battle. Kirk defends the decision. McCoy reminds him about the power that Nona supposedly has over him. Kirk explains that they must equalize the fighting forces, even though McCoy is worried about a never-ending war. They discuss the 20th century Brush Wars on Earth, and how it led to the balance of power. They struggle with their decisions, but know there is no better way. Since Tyree refuses to fight, they hope to convince Nona to sway him.

Spock returns to the bridge as the Enterprise re-enters orbit. They are approaching the rendezvous time. They also detect that a Klingon is beaming back to his ship.

Kirk follows Nona to a waterfall but she believes that she willed Kirk to be there. She pulls out the same leaves she used on Tyree and begins tempting him. Kirk simply wants to talk. He is obviously affected in the same way as Tyree, who happens upon the two of them. His jealousy is aroused, but Kirk walks away from Nona only to return to her. Tyree raises his gun and cocks the hammer. Kirk and Nona kiss, but Tyree can't bring himself to fire. He throws the weapon to the ground and runs into the trees.

As Tyree flees, a mugato appears and makes its way to attack Kirk and Nona. Kirk is dazed by the effects of the leaves and cannot help her. The animal pushes her around repeatedly but Kirk finally pulls out his phaser to vaporize the creature. As he is still recovering, Nona hits him on the head with a stone and takes the weapon.

Tyree returns to the camp. McCoy notices he no longer has his gun. After asking him about it, McCoy asks him to take him back to where he left it. When they arrive, they find Kirk rubbing his head and still fighting off the effects of the plant.

Nona runs to the enemy villagers. She asks them to take her to Apella, because he will know how to use the new weapon. She brandishes the phaser and shows it off to them. The men know she is a kahn-ut-tu , and they only want her for themselves. They surround her and she begins to fight them.

McCoy offers to give Kirk an injection from his hypospray . He refuses and discovers that his phaser is missing. They realize that Nona has taken it.

Nona tells the villagers that the weapon she holds is more powerful than their "fire sticks". They continue to fight her. As the fighting continues, Tyree, McCoy and Kirk catch up to them. Tyree calls out to Nona. The villagers think it is a trap set for them. They stab Nona and throw her to the ground.

A gunfight ensues, and McCoy is struck in the arm but it is only a simple nick. Tyree and Kirk fight the men. A distraught Tyree catches his wife's assailant and bludgeons the man to death with a rock, only stopping when Kirk physically restrains him. McCoy informs them that Nona is dead .

Tyree is angered and asks Kirk for more weapons. He no longer has a desire for peace. McCoy returns the phaser to Kirk. They are upset about the outcome, but there was no other option.

Kirk calls to the ship, and Spock responds. McCoy is almost surprised to hear that Spock is alive, but then tells him that a computer could never die.

Kirk asks Scott to construct a hundred flintlock rifles for the people. Scott is confused about the request, but Kirk changes his request to, " Serpents, serpents for the Garden of Eden. " He adds, " We're very tired, Mr. Scott. Beam us up home. "

The Enterprise leaves Neural's orbit and heads off into space.

Log entries [ ]

  • Captain's log, USS Enterprise (NCC-1701), 2268

Memorable quotes [ ]

" And you have ways as far above firesticks as the sky above our world. "

" Blast it, do something! He's dying! "

" We once were as you are – spears, arrows. 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. "

" I'll make a Klingon of you yet. "

" What are you doing, woman?! "

" I thought my people would grow tired of killing. But you were right. They see that it is easier than trading and it has pleasures. "

" Jim, that means you're condemning this whole planet to a war that may never end! It could go on for year after year! Massacre after massacre! "

" A balance of power. The trickiest, most difficult, dirtiest game of them all, but the only one that preserves both sides. "

" Well, war isn't a good life, but it's life. "

" Touch me again and this small box will kill you. "

" Well, I don't know why I was worried. You can't kill a computer. "

" A hundred what? " " A hundred ... serpents. Serpents for the Garden of Eden. "

Background information [ ]

  • The first draft script was completed on 30 August 1967 . The episode was filmed late September .
  • Although the script specifies that the planet is named " Neural ," that name is never mentioned in the episode itself. Similarly, Krell 's name is never mentioned, either.
  • In Don Ingalls' original story outline, the Klingon antagonist was Kor from the episode " Errand of Mercy ". In a May 26, 1967 memo, Bob Justman criticized this point, writing, " Here we are in the outer reaches of our galaxy and who should Captain Kirk run into, but good old Kor – an adversary that he has encountered before and with whom he has been unable to get very far. Just think of it – billions of stars and millions of Class M-type planets and who should he run into, but a fella he has had trouble with before. No wonder Kor doesn't recognize him at first. The coincidence is so astounding, that he must feel certain that it couldn't possibly have happened. " In Don Ingalls' second draft story outline, the character's name was changed to Krell . [1] [2]
  • This episode was intended as a comment on the ongoing Vietnam War. ( Star Trek 30 Years )
  • The original writer of this episode, Don Ingalls, put the pseudonym Jud Crucis on it after Gene Roddenberry rewrote it. Ingalls' original contained many more overt Vietnam analogies than what finally appeared. According to Allan Asherman 's The Star Trek Compendium this script referred to Apella as a "Ho Chi Mihn-type" and the tribesmen wearing Mongolian clothes. Though friends with Roddenberry since their days as LAPD officers, Ingalls did not like the changes, and the pseudonym was his wordplay on "Jesus Crucified."
  • The original script called the creature a "gumato", but DeForest Kelley kept saying it wrong, so it was changed. ( citation needed • edit ) The credits still retain the original name. Stock footage of the White Rabbit 's footprints from " Shore Leave " were used for the mugato prints.

Filming [ ]

  • Despite directing ten episodes of the series previously, this is the first time Marc Daniels got to film on location with Star Trek . The majority of the episode's location scenes were filmed at the Bell Ranch , separating the San Fernando Valley (in Los Angeles County) from Simi Valley (in Ventura County), with additional filming at Paramount Pictures ' B Tank , where the village set stood, previously built for another production. ( These Are the Voyages: TOS Season Two , pp. 378-382)

Continuity [ ]

  • This is the only episode in Season 2 to not have a happy ending music.
  • This is the only episode in which Spock and Kirk are both incapacitated in two separate incidents with different causes for an overlapping time period.
  • George Takei ( Sulu ) does not appear in this episode.
  • This episode marks the first of two appearances of Booker Bradshaw as Doctor Joseph M'Benga . The next one occurs in " That Which Survives ".

Apocrypha [ ]

  • In the comic book " The Order of Things " in the Blood Will Tell miniseries, the story is told from the Klingon point of view.
  • The novel Serpents in the Garden , which takes place just prior to Star Trek: The Motion Picture , has Kirk returning to Neural to investigate the increasing Klingon presence there.
  • The background book Worlds of the Federation reports that, in the aftermath of the Enterprise 's departure, the Hill People and village people splintered into five separate factions, all fighting each other.
  • A cat version of "A Private Little War" was featured in Jenny Parks ' 2017 book Star Trek Cats .

Production timeline [ ]

  • Story outline "Ty-Ree's Woman" by Don Ingalls: 30 April 1967
  • Story outline "A Private Little War": 1 June 1967
  • Revised story outline: 5 June 1967
  • Second revised story outline: 10 June 1967
  • First draft teleplay: 7 August 1967
  • Second draft teleplay: 30 August 1967
  • Final draft teleplay by Gene L. Coon : early- September 1967
  • Revised final draft by Gene Roddenberry : 20 September 1967
  • Second revised final draft: 25 September 1967
  • Additional page revisions: 26 September 1967 , 27 September 1967 , 28 September 1967
  • Day 1 – 29 September 1967 , Friday – Desilu Stage 9 : Int. Bridge , Transporter room , Sickbay
  • Day 2 – 2 October 1967 , Monday – Bell Ranch  : Ext. Forest , Clearing , Ambush trail
  • Day 3 – 3 October 1967 , Tuesday – Bell Ranch  : Ext. Mugato attack site , Waterfall
  • Day 4 – 4 October 1967 , Wednesday – Bell Ranch  : Ext. Tyree's camp , Clearing
  • Day 5 – 5 October 1967 , Thursday – Desilu Stage 10 : Int. Cave
  • Day 6 – 6 October 1967 , Friday – B Tank : Ext. Village , Int. Workshop
  • Original airdate: 2 February 1968
  • Rerun airdate: 23 August 1968
  • First UK airdate (on BBC1 ): 6 July 1970
  • First UK airdate (on ITV ): 9 January 1983
  • Remastered airdate: 17 May 2008

Video and DVD releases [ ]

  • Original US Betamax release: 1986
  • UK VHS release (two-episode tapes, CIC Video ): Volume 24 , catalog number VHR 2359, 2 April 1990
  • US VHS release: 15 April 1994
  • UK re-release (three-episode tapes, CIC Video): Volume 2.6, 2 June 1997
  • Original US DVD release (single-disc): Volume 23, 5 June 2001
  • As part of the TOS Season 2 DVD collection

Links and references [ ]

Starring [ ].

  • William Shatner as Capt. Kirk

Also starring [ ]

  • Leonard Nimoy as Mr. Spock
  • DeForest Kelley as Dr. McCoy

Guest stars [ ]

  • Nancy Kovack as Nona
  • Michael Witney as Tyree
  • James Doohan as Scott
  • Nichelle Nichols as Uhura
  • Ned Romero as Krell
  • Majel Barrett as Nurse Chapel

Featuring [ ]

  • Walter Koenig as Chekov
  • Booker Bradshaw as Dr. M'Benga
  • Arthur Bernard as Apella
  • Janos Prohaska as The Gumato
  • Paul Baxley as Patrol Leader
  • Gary Pillar as Yutan

Uncredited co-stars [ ]

  • William Blackburn as Hadley
  • Roger Holloway as Roger Lemli
  • Jeannie Malone as villager
  • Bob Orrison as villager
  • Eddie Paskey as Leslie
  • Roy Sickner as villager
  • Neural Hill People patrol 1 and 2
  • Neural Hill People woman 2 and 3
  • Neural village guard 1 and 2
  • Neural village patrol 1
  • USS Enterprise medical technician

Stunt doubles [ ]

  • Jay Jones as stunt double for Ned Romero
  • Regina Parton as stunt double for Nancy Kovack
  • Stunt double for DeForest Kelley
  • Stunt double for Leonard Nimoy
  • Stunt double for William Shatner

References [ ]

20th century ; 2255 ; 2267 ; advice ; agony ; ambush ; ammunition ; answer ; antibody ; antitoxin ; anvil ; ape-like ; arrow ; Asian continent ; balance of power ; barrel ; battle stations ; beast blood ; " Bones "; bow and arrow ; box ; bravery ; breechloader ; brother ; Brush Wars ; carbon ; carnivore ; cave ; century ; chance ; choice ; chrome steel ; class M ; coal ; coincidence ; cold rolling ; communicator range ; compassion ; compliment ; computer ; consciousness ; contact ; coranalin ; costume ; culture ; cure ; custom ; D7-class ( unnamed ; day ; debate ; distant orbit ; dizziness ; dream ; drill point ; drum ; Earth ; Earth-like ; emergency ; Enterprise , USS ; evil ; fang ; fear ; firearm ( gun ); fire stick ; flintlock ; forge ; fragrance ; free will ; friend ; friendship ; furnace ; Garden of Eden ; gentle ; giant power ; goods ; governor ; groove ; gun barrel rod ; gunpowder ; gunshot wound ; hammer ; hand ; hand laser ; head ; heart ; herb ; Hill People ; Hill People woman, captured ; home ; home base ; homemade ; hour ; house ; Human (aka Mankind ); hunter ; hunting ; hybrid ; idea ; internship ; interstellar war ; inhabitant ; intruder ; iron ; job ; judgment ; Kahn-ut-tu ; kiss ; Klingon ; Klingon Empire ; Klingon way ; knowledge ; land ; landing party ; Latin language ; lead projectile ; leader ; leaf ; legend ; light ; liver ; logic ; machine gun ; madness ; massacre ; Mahko root ; medic ; mile ; mind ; minute ; name ; Neural ; Neural village ; night ; night of madness ; nurse ; orbit ; order ; organ ; organic compound ; pain ; palm ; pan (firearms) ; panel ; patient ; people's exhibit ; phaser ; physiology ; pig iron ; place ; plan ; planet ; planet survey ; plant ; poison ; powder horn ; pressure packet ; Prime Directive ; priming powder ; print ; problem ; profit ; promise of silence ; question ; recorder tape ; red alert ; remedy ; rendezvous schedule ; rendezvous time ; report ; research ; rifled barrel ; risk ; root ; rule ; scanner tape ; scientific mission ; self-healing ; self-induced hypnosis ; ship's store ; shock ; sister ; serpent ; skin ; sky ; sleep ; smell ; social development ; solution ; soil culture ; soul ; space ; spear ; spell ; starbase near Neural ; Starfleet ; Starfleet Command ; status quo ; sterilite ; stranger ; strength ; striker ; subspace message ; sulfur ; superstition ; status quo ; thing ; trading ; trap ; treasure house ; Treaty of Organia ; tricked ; trigger ; Tyree's camp ; venom ; victory ; village ; village furnace ; villager ; Vitalizer B ; voice ; Vulcan ; Vulcan (planet); Vulcan ward ; Vulcans ; walking ; war ; water ; weapon ; wisdom ; witch ; year ; yellow alert

External links [ ]

  • " A Private Little War " at Memory Beta , the wiki for licensed Star Trek works
  • " A Private Little War " at Wikipedia
  • " A Private Little War " at MissionLogPodcast.com , a Roddenberry Star Trek podcast
  • " A Private Little War " at the Internet Movie Database
  • 1 Daniels (Crewman)

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Star Trek: The Original Series

“A Private Little War”

2.5 stars.

Air date: 2/2/1968 Teleplay by Gene Roddenberry Story by Jud Crucis Directed by Marc Daniels

Review by Jamahl Epsicokhan

Review Text

A lot of good work is evident in "A Private Little War," in which a primitive world on which Kirk once studied has experienced a sudden, unnatural advancement in technology. One side has received firearms which they can't possibly have built. A closer survey reveals that the Klingons have delivered weapons to a set of villagers who have opened attack on their neighbors. Kirk comes to the conclusion that arming the other side with equal weaponry may be the only choice to save them from annihilation. Meanwhile, Kirk finds himself under the spell of Nona (Nancy Kovak), who saved Kirk's life and now hopes he will repay her by arming the village with superior weapons.

This episode sometimes serves as an explicit Vietnam commentary, going so far as to mention the war specifically when Kirk and McCoy discuss the morality of Kirk's plan for armament. Meanwhile, Spock's life hangs in the balance aboard the Enterprise after having been shot on the planet surface. There are a lot of pieces to this episode—perhaps too many (Nona's bizarre spell coming across as the most unnecessary). The episode sometimes lacks focus, but the implications of the ending are too interesting to be ignored. The eruption of violence provides an indictment of an entire situation that has lost control, where placing blame is merely pointless. Even so, Kirk's actions lack personal consequences and the ending wraps too quickly. The underlying meaning contains intelligence, but the story's pursuit of its questions is shaky.

Previous episode: The Immunity Syndrome Next episode: Return to Tomorrow

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Comment Section

58 comments on this post.

I love this episode- it has so many great elements: 1. The 'slapping of Spock' scene- hilarious! 2. A great 'Trekkian dilemma' with no 'good choice' at the end. 3. A heartfelt and reasonable explanation of the Price Directive from Kirk. 4. A sexy lady. 5. An awesome alien monster- plus two fight scenes with said monster! 6. The classic fight music and a big brawl. 7. McCoy saying: "She's dead." I really loved this episode.

DutchStudent82

Am I the only one that found there would be a second solution? *totally eliminate the village (and with them remove all knowledge of making guns) *this needs to be done by cover up, so they use the enterprise to cause a MASSIVE disaster that looks like a natural disaster that wipes out the village. *the woman needs to die too (her idea of "war and killing" even without the tools to do that, is contamination, she has to be eliminated. *capture and kill all klingons, near (and if neccecairy go to war over this, but hope they back off) *place a permament space station in orbit of this planet to monitor it's progress and to quarentine it (nobody will land on it ever again) -> while no issue for the foreseable future their technological progress makes it neccecairy, replace the space station with more stealthed observation methods. But my line of thinking is clearly not the "cold war era" thinking when this was made.

I agree with Jammer that this episode is interesting but all over the place. The big overriding metaphor (which is one that the series returns to quite often) is that of a Garden of Eden, and so Nona pretty clearly plays Eve -- which is the episode's weakest point. I grant the original series a certain amount of leeway given the restrictions placed on the show by the network (like eliminating the Number One character), but this episode is ridiculous: Nona is a misogynistic caricature, a witch who not only beguiles men with her wiles and is the *real* malevolent force pushing men to violence, but even betrays her side when it becomes slightly inconvenient. Say what you will about the gender dynamics in "Macbeth" -- but Lady M doesn't suddenly decide to throw her lot in with Macduff midway through. It would be one thing if I thought the episode were portraying Nona in a complex light -- showing, perhaps, how difficult her life is, and why she desires advancement so badly -- and in moments it does do this; the war that has started is beginning to have big amounts of sexual violence, with women as trophies (c.f. the scene between the Klingon and village leader), and where even Nona's attempt to betray her side to help the village leads to them attacking her. So there is some indication of what it is that Nona wants to escape through acquisition of power, but it's overall a rough portrayal. It doesn't help that she is also a darker-skinned, dark-haired woman who lures the bleach-blonde innocent, peaceful dudes into violence and depravity. But I guess "the garden of Eden" is the central parable they wanted, so they went with that. There is some interesting tragedy here. Guns and weaponry are superficially the roles of the snake in the garden, as Kirk says explicitly, but really it's Kirk and the Klingons who play this role in general; Nona/Eve wants to go along with the power, Tyree/Adam really doesn't -- but through Nona/Eve eventually becomes corrupted. The big tragedy for *Tyree* specifically, and Kirk as well, is that Tyree's eventual transformation into a bloodthirsty warrior (at least, as implied by his last scene) happens because he loved a woman who was obsessed with power, who herself ends up being destroyed by it -- that the villagers are too stupid to realize that Nona is trying to give them ultimate power, means that she's got a bit of a tragic fate, too, since her grand (if evil) plans are too big for the villagers to comprehend and even her phaser ends up proving no defense against her. That's maybe the anti-war message amidst all the chaos: when war comes, even the biggest weapons are no actual defense; they are something of a defense, but they're not everything. War poisons everything. I think it's noteworthy too that the Klingon's cynical, mustache-twirling EVIL manipulation of the villagers into seeing the bright side of killing has some connection to Kirk's presiding over his peaceful friend being extraordinarily blood thirsty at the end. Kirk doesn't *want* Tyree to lose his innocence, but that is kind of the consequence of his line of thinking. And there is the question of whether in helping to make it easier for Tyree to live, he's destroying his soul and goodness in the process. I think the reason for Nona's magic spell in the episode is to make us really question Kirk's actions and logic. Kirk's concept of the balance of power is something that McCoy objects to on pretty reasonable grounds. Yes, it's wrong for the villagers to massacre the hill people, but is starting an arms race really the solution? What are the alternatives? There is a tiny hint of Col. Kurtz "Heart of Darkness"-esque madness to Kirk becoing embroiled in this conflict, as an outsider to this culture who ends up training people to be a certain kind of warrior, and while this episode never goes as far as Conrad did (or Coppola would, in Apocalypse Now), the idea that Kirk is actually at least a little bit made mad or irrational by the locals suggests, maybe, the impossibility of having actual perspective when effectively "adopting" a culture. There's some colonial guilt in there, or maybe some racism and sexism (again: Kirk is *literally bewitched!*). It's hard to parse this episode, and I will probably leave the more specific political implications to people who aren't me. Why does Kirk just beam up at the end? Is he going to do anything about the Klingons arming the villagers on the planet? Does the planet have any people on it besides one set of villagers and one roughly equally-sized group of hill people? Is Kirk actually going to beam down those weapons when he just decides to beam up at the end? The episode's failure to resolve even these simple questions makes it all the shakier as an allegory. Still, it has enough interest to be worth watching -- if with some healthy skepticism. Probably 2.5 stars.

Actually, I should add that the episode's ending really does work for me -- well, not Kirk zipping away in such a way as to make it unclear whether he beams the weapons down, but before that -- is that it does walk that balance of showing the destruction that Kirk's choices have wrought without condemning those choices. It's rare to see an effective portrayal of a no-win scenario (one of Kirk's real Kobayashi Maru situations), and the final moment of Tyree going into something like berserker rage demanding more weapons is haunting me a few days after watching the episode. I would go up to 3 stars, but I have a feeling that the episode can only maintain a solid "good" rating while I'm not actually watching it.

Oh yeah, what the heck was with those Mugato? Really pointlessly overloaded episode.

I too found the Mugato ridiculous, but I think it does serve a certain function in the story. The Mugato seems to be the only natural predator of the hill people. In the beginning of the episode, Kirk even says something like "It'd Paradise here, if it were not for the Mugato." But when the villagers are equipped with firearms, they become much bigger threats to the lives of the hill people, even though they are of the same species. So I guess the Mugato's purpose in the story is to remind us of the dangers of nature to man, which are no match to man's own danger to himself when he turns to violence and war.

Abridged synopsis: On The Planet of Men Wearing Really Bad Wigs, Kirk is bitten and poisoned by a white gorilla wearing a party hat and is subsequently cured by a dog turd.

Unspeakably terrible episode, utter garbage. One of TOS's very worst. We need not speak of the atrociously bad acting or hilarious wigs or Evil Temptress with Fake Nails. The thing I find the most offensive though is the bogus handwringing at the end where Kirk comes to the conclusion, and the episode seems to agree with him, that the only way to save Tyree's people is to enter a proxy arms race with the Klingon-supported viilagers. Evidently, do to nothing would result in the annihilation of the hill people and would presumably deal a blow to Federation interests in the sector. My main problem with this scenario is that the episode wants to convince us that there are only two solutions: either the total annihilation of one side or the balance of power/proxy war. I call total BS on that. Kirk never for a second considers alternatives. Why not open a dialogue with the Klingons? Whether it works or not, there's nothing lost by trying, right? Or how about quarantining the planet? If the Federation is really about "freedom and democracy and all those nice things" (to quote Colonel Tigh), why not refuse the game outright and prevent Klingons from supplying one side? Or why not try to mediate in some capacity between the warring sides and offer them something more appealing than weapons in exchange for cooperation? I'm not saying these things would necessarily have worked, but the point is there are legitimate options to consider before condemning the damn planet to ever-escalating war and bloodshed. What we have here is a heavy-handed message on the evils of the Cold War and balance of power. But what's even worse is that the episode is actively saying that war is inevitable and in fact preferable to whataver alternatives there may have been. A strangely cynical and misguided episode, to be sure. 1.5 stars.

All of you don't understand what happens if Nona lived,she would have ordered kirk to kill Tyree ,then made him her husband and went to the ship with him,for life.

Can we just call this episode A Silly Little War instead? There was just too much going on: random attacks from the absurd looking Mugato, the sinister schemings of the Sexy Midriff Witch, dealing with the Klingons, Super Important Cold War Allegories!, Kirk being put under the spell of the Sexy Midriff Witch, Spock and Chapel's BDSM roleplay, and Tyree's inconsistent conversion from pacifism to aggression (but not, unfortunately, from bad acting to good acting). Some of the plot seemed worth exploring, but all the random junk, most of which wasn't needed at all, simply got in the way and made it kind of absurd to watch. For all the talk about pacifism in Star Trek, the episode was intelligent enough to understand that this is a messy situation. Let's be honest, the Klingons weren't going to back down; if things continued the way they were going, the peaceful villagers were going to be wiped out or conquered. And, as Bones so wisely pointed out, because of Tyree's pacifism he would probably be one of the first to go. A speech wasn't going to solve the problem; the main bad guy even said that his people had started to enjoy the killing. The war was going to continue, whether Kirk liked it or not. I liked the intensity of his conversation with Bones. Bones was absolutely convinced Kirk was making the wrong decision, so Kirk challenged him to come up with a better one. And Bones didn't have an answer to that. It was ugly, and you could see Kirk's ruefulness at the end when he started waxing poetic about the end of the Garden of Eden. This part of the episode had potential; this part was worth exploring. But it just was buried underneath all that other stuff. It also doesn't help that, for all Kirk's complaints that there is no other solution, the other one is kinda obvious (as others pointed out). Presumably, Kirk's mission was successful in exposing Klingon interference on the planet. We can presume also that, once exposed, the Klingons abandoned their plan (since war didn't break out at this time). The Federation, then, can fire phasers on stun onto the Klingon allies from orbit (as seen in A Piece of the Action), and then beam down a troop of redshirts to confiscate all of the weapons and means of producing them. Maybe even have Kirk or another Starfleet captain make a speech to the leader that worse will happen if he tries to reproduce what he learned. Voila, problem solved. No need to escalate the weapons each side has, and all done with minimal interference. Just fixing the contamination the Klingons made. Kirk's dilemma ends, and everyone goes home happy. But then Kirk can't angst about his decision, so we had to pretend not to notice. Meanwhile, I have to question Dr. M'Benga's professionalism. So Spock's survival is dependent on being smacked back into reality. Does he explain this to Chapel, despite having adequate time to? Nope, he just gives her vague instructions and leaves, even though he knows its an awkward situation. Obviously it was done for our benefit, not Chapel's. Except the payoff is just dumb and ridiculous anyway, so why bother? Also, as an aside, the time between the dawn of the iron age and flintlocks was 12 centuries Uhura? The iron age started around 1200 BC, and muskets around 1500. Just a bit more than 12 centuries...

Why do you protect James kirk,Nona had all the men under her power,all Tyree wanted was to be put under spell's, when Tyree said you will not speak of this to other's, Nona said I will not if I am made to understand, when yutan came he told Nona not excuse me he said forgive me,kirk was hers that's why she was waiting for him she wished him there,do a story about Nona had she lived.

Okrad Del Diablo

Mmmmmm Nona.... usually takes more then T&A of a sexy chick to beguile me, but she would be worth some pain (giving and taking it). Damn I love sexy, determined, manipulative ladies with attitude and ambition! :) Fun to be around, and she'd keep me on my toes. Refreshing change from all the lovey-doey miniskirt honeycakes on the Enterprise. Now THEY are sexist, in my view. Nona is not. She has her agenda, she thinks for herself, she is ambitions (and genuinely wants to protect her people I believe)... and atop of that, she is drop-dead gorgeous. I'm not surprised all the losers in her village couldn't handle her, including Tyree. For a 1960 american show, I have to say I'm very surprised by her character. Awesome! Wouldn't mind if she did some actual ass-kicking too (she looks athletic enough), but I suppose thats too much to expect from the time-period of the show. "I have the wrong husband!" damn right you do, babe! You need a right kind of man for you, not a pacifist pussy who would rather die then fight back and protect his people. Thats why she ran over to the opposing tribe, she got fed up by all the passivity. And in the end she was the catalyst that got Tyree to act. Too bad it cost her her life. Also love the Spock-slapping. Not NEARLY hard enough, but I liked it! I'd have bitch-slapped the jerk so hard he'd be spitting blood by the end hehe. 3 stars. 2 for Nona, 1 for the right message in the end, about the need to maintain the balance of power and respond to violence with violence. One of the few times Trek's pacifist bullshit didnt prevail, but reality did. -1 for Nona getting killed. *cries*

Fodder for Right Wing snowflake Trek fans, of which there are many. Makes them feel like the "cucks" they think they're not while they watch the rapey hill people molest the hot girl they imagine as their wife. I agree with Paul on this one. It's patently ridiculous that Starfleet would arm a bunch of villagers in a proxy war with the Klingons. The logistics alone don't make sense. Not even Section 31 would be that daft. This is the single worst episode of the original 79. Give me Spock's Brain or the stupid hippie episode all day everyday instead of this steaming turd.

There's an awful lot going on in this episode that interferes with the main idea of Kirk establishing a "balance of power" -- essentially starting an arms race as what he thinks needs to be done. I enjoyed the episode for its many allegories -- Garden of Eden, Vietnam War etc. Good debate between Kirk and McCoy about the "balance of power" and the helpless feeling he has in the end when he asks Scotty to make 100 rifles/snakes. Are there other solutions? Perhaps. But they may take much more time and it's pretty clear that Tyree's people are in grave danger. Nona is an interesting character -- conniving although we can probably understand her motivations for 1) survival and 2) desire for power. Tyree's transformation can be believable -- from pacifist to warrior because his wife is killed. As for the Mugato (or Gumato as its referred to in the ending credits), that's one of the added pieces that could be cut out. So it leads Nona to cure Kirk and cast a spell on him -- it ties in a loosely with the overall plot but I think it's extraneous. But I suppose it's good to show alien animal life which doesn't come up too often in TOS. As for Spock's recovery, I guess it was meant to make this a Kirk/McCoy episode. The Spock recover mainly provided a bit of TOS-style humor which I always appreciate. "A Private Little War" gets 3 stars -- it's a legit 60s Trek tale about nothing good about war, difficult or impossible decisions, and some good philosophical considerations. The execution was a bit helter-skelter and kind of like "Friday's Child" but definitely a pretty interesting episode.

Rahul, my main problem with this episode stems from the fact that I can't ignore real world politics analyzing it, especially considering its on-the-nose allegory of the Cold War. Frankly, the very same vomit-inducing sentiment is alive and well in this day. I DESPISE beyond words the fake self-proclaimed liberal and neoliberal human rights and democracy chest-thumping while "crying" about necessary evils of supporting vilest scum and reducing whole regions to ash. We love life and human dignity so much that we simply must, in order to defend it!, napalm and agentorange everything, arm Pinochet's death squads, support medieval headchoppers in Saudi Arabia and so on and so forth. This ep wants to cry over evils of war and basically supports it at the same time without stopping for a second to consider alternatives. It's an awful thinly veiled imperialist BS we can see in contemporary geopolitics all the time.

In a season full of lightweight adventure and character pieces up to this point, it's refreshing to have a slight return to the Trekkian pacifist ideals of Season One in "A Private Little War." One of Roddenberry's best writing efforts on the series, this episode fleshes out the Prime Directive more clearly and with greater nuance than any show up to this point, and the haunting ambiguous ending lingers more than most TOS episodes of similar content. I give this one 3 or 3 1/2 stars. The Vietnam allegory and anti-war message works more strongly here because the payoff isn't easily earned; the idealism here doesn't end in a glib gambit (ala "A Piece of the Action" most recently) but in an anguished decision that Kirk realizes is a compromise of limited potential. Very rare on TOS to see Kirk find something less than the ideal solution, but this episode -- much like "Immunity Syndrome" last week -- presents a Kobayashi Maru no-win scenario that requires some sacrifice. The kitchen sink approach here makes it a fast and fun episode to watch: We have the Klingon-Federation Cold War wrestling for political influence over a developing planet, much like "Friday's Child" earlier this season but with weightier and stronger plotting, as the Klingons here are actively interfering in the culture's development (rather than merely bargaining for its cooperation) by stoking a proxy war. We have the Mugato, the hill people, and the city dwellers. We have the appealing Tyree and his alluring witch doctor wife. We have Spock's illness with the great Chapel slapping scene, plus the welcome debut of Dr. M'Benga in sickbay. Overall, the stakes feel higher in this one than "Friday's Child," and the moral debate without any obvious solution (Kirk is moved to arm Tyree not merely by affection for his friend: Do we arm the other side or allow them to be slaughtered so the Klingons take over the planet?) lingers in its impact. By the end of the episode, we feel like the whole situation is now a mess, and the crew is powerless to fix it -- the haunting final scene with Tyree hits hard. It's not the best Trek episode ever, but it's quite possibly the most nuanced and thoughtful Prime Directive story on TOS, and combines colorful adventure with anguished moral challenges. Good stuff.

This goes out to Okrad Del Diablo: What the heck is wrong with you? Did this episode get your rocks off or what? Real creepy. This goes out to William B: So if a female is portrayed as the villain, that's misogyny? Get over yourself.

Why didn't they just consult their history archives rather than get involved in an arms race? "Captain, I have consulted the archives. It transpires that Captain Archer and the crew of the NX-01 faced a similar situation a century ago." "I don't have time for a history lesson, Spock." "Indeed. Captain Archer moved an entire encampment a few feet to one side. When the confused Klingons beamed down, the villagers then stood up for themselves, claiming they were no longer afraid of 'bullies'." "Sounds like a risky plan, Mr Spock. What happened?" "The Klingons returned in force three days after the NX-01 had departed and bombarded the planet for six hours." "I saw Archer's statue last time I was on Earth. This explains why he was scultped with his pants around his ankles."

I didn't like it. Confusing mess of a plot and while I don't mind an "up in the air" ending, this one just felt like a cheat. An impossibly huge mess was made, leaving no choice but to simply abandon it. Below average.

People below the age of 40 or so, both men and women, are sometimes puzzled by what they see as the strident tone of feminists, and they think that feminists of days gone by just didn't know how to stand up for themselves and live their own life. Why did they have to FIGHT about everything? The people who don't get why feminists had to fight did not grow up in a time when shows like this, that were still new or in their first round of reruns at the time, communicated "obvious" assumption that a woman could not be a leader in her own right, even if she was intelligent, knowledgeable, and strong. She could only act through a man, and she usually did so by means of distasteful manipulative behavior, and was often on the "wrong" side. There was no standing up for yourself and living your own life. That was for men. Women were supposed to find a man to hitch their lives to, and hope that he was intelligent, knowledgeable, and strong enough to give her a good life.

@ Trish, It's easy to read sexism in an episode like this. After all, why not? A woman is in it who's told she can't lead because she's a woman. But hold on - it also shows her outrage at this and makes it clear that she's been the one with the power all along, stringing along the men. She is also personally the one who changes the stakes at a certain point. Sure, she may be a 'villain' in a plot-driven sense, but is her wiley way a bad trait, or one forced on her by those who wouldn't give her any other avenue? I think these questions need to be asked. The overt plot is about a proxy war - two sides, Klingon and Federation - with the local population doing the fighting basically on behalf of the greater powers. Those who actually 'do the war' are the weak ones in the schema. Maybe that's just like how the men fight Nona's battle for them. If that comparison is intended between the Klingons/Federation and Nona, who are the ones behind the scenes pulling strings because they don't have permission to engage directly, then Nona is actually portrayed as the powerful one. And that would indeed be a feminist message. All depends on the interpretation, no?

@Peter G. The issue I'm pointing out is that in that "universe" (not the Trek universe specifically, but the "real" world view of the time), her lack of "any other avenue" was not being critiqued or challenged by the storyteller, but simply presumed as the way things were. I remember back in college when we studied Euripides' play Medea, and the professor pointed out to us that her speeches that might seem to us to have justified her actions and made her the heroine would not have been intended that way at the time. She was not supposed to be a heroine you would love, but a villainess you would "love to hate." Nona, too, is a villainess in the story. Some of us may understand her character's outrage now, and even at some level cheer for her behind-the-scenes machinations, but that is a revisionist approach to the narrative. I'm glad you see it that way NOW, but in its time, the presumptions woven into the episode (which remember was within a series that was very self-consciously modern and progressive from its creator's point of view) were exactly the kind of attitudes that feminists were fighting against, and that would never have simply faded away without a fight. The feminists who seem so strident from today's perspective were in a battle for their lives, that is, for the lives they wanted to live, not the lives the Nonas of their real world had. It was also a battle for the lives of not only women who would come after them but of men who would come after them as well, lives in which the kind of revisionist reinterpretation of stories like this one would seem natural.

@Trish Very interesting read. The scheming women, the gay coded villains. Heteronormativity... *sigh* Simpler times. ;) I also like the hopeful spin that you put on it.

Harry's Swollen Throat

Am I the only person annoyed af at Kirk. Every damn woman no matter who they are he gets in their pants. I want to face palm myself so hard. Also not great to make Nona the main focus. Was rooting for her to die within the few seconds I saw her lol. Would have liked more klingon action than anything. What even is a prime directive these days....sigh....

Was going to jump into the discussion of Nona's portrayal in this but Trish said it all better than I could so I'll just say I'm glad I'm not the only one who thought Kirk's "cure" looked like dog poop.

Here we have a right good set-up, an interesting analogy, some great moments by the Big 3 and a smart black doctor who the characters don't make odd remarks about. Plus, we even get some Klingon shenanigans and gorgeous Trek girl. This has the framework for a classic TOS episode. Unfortunately, Nona the Trek girl is just a plastic villain (who I guess serves as an Eve metaphor in the garden of Eden?) without complexity. They could've made Nona interesting in a number of ways like: a) Making it clear she wanted to seize Tyree's power and start some sort of matriarchy; b) make her an agent of the Klingons helping to instigate a doomed fight; or c) she really loved Tyree and wanted him to become the strong leader her people needed. Of course, I could let the Nona stuff go because the underlying Prime Directive conflict is an interesting one. Unfortunately, Kirk's solution feels oddly on the wrong side of history. I don't know if NBC was unable to show it, but the U.S. policy of containment in Vietnam was not working in 1968. A few months after this episode airs, the Tet offensive will make it clear that maintaining a "balance of power" in Vietnam was an untenable solution. Of course the Trek writers couldn't have known exactly how Vietnam would develop, but they probably should've stayed away from advocating military policies about an escalating conflict. Another possibility is the episode wasn't about Vietnam at all and the writers were inspired by another proxy war where containment kind of worked... like Korea? Still, pretty spotty. Anyhow, I can understand why arming peaceful people in a larger conflict might be the right thing to do in certain circumstances. And okay, Kirk is torn up over having to do it. So, although the policy presented appears to be a bad one, at least we know the characters also didn't like it much either. Considering the good moments and morally difficult dilemma, I guess I will go ahead and maintain the balance of power in my rating award this 2 stars.

@ Chrome, I hear you on some of these objections. For my part Nona annoyed me as a kid, since she comes off as so antagonistic and manipulative. However looking back I wonder whether there isn't something deeper to be found there. Basically she wants a strong leader, yes, a 'real man', and also one she can manipulate. A man of peace wouldn't have much room for her type of thinking, whereas an emotionally agitated and movable man would. To me this says something about how men of peace might come off to others who are expecting the "strong man". For instance, could a moderate and peaceful person have taken over Saddam's Iraq back in the 90's? Or would that have been rejected by all involved as weak and that person been deposed? It begs the question of not just which approach is enlightened, but which will actually work. No point putting a 'man of the future' in power if in the present they cannot possibly rule successfully. I think Hamlet is all about that. In an less developed society you can't have a peaceful person at the helm. And maybe Nona is our vehicle to that realization, especially as she's the female presence which, reputedly, is more attracted to the alpha type than the 'decent person.' Or at least that is an impression we may get observing the success powerful men and celebrities get in the romance department. My point is that maybe all signs point towards "nice guy can't lead us" in a more primitive society. Regarding the proxy war aspect, I'm not sure about your conclusion that it should be seen as a failure of a policy. The cold war setting is established by the Organian Treaty, and so Kirk has to choose between letting Tyree's people be run over, or to arm them and give them a chance. Now in the actual Cold War the situation was IMO more like both sides were pillaging the Third World and using the 'war' as a cover. But in our Trek context we know Kirk wouldn't do that, and that he legitimately just wants them to be able to defend themselves. The proxy war in this case isn't necessarily about containment of the Klingons from expanding as an empire, but could be seen as just trying to help these people. Part of our backstory is Kirk's personal friendship with Tyree. Given a choice between watching them die or helping by arming them, I'm not so sure that arming them is illogical. I think maybe the motive matters a lot. Protecting a vulnerable people is really a different objective than using some other people to fight a war for you that you don't want to fight directly, using them as canon fodder. Don't you think?

@Peter G Actually, I don’t have any issue with Nona’s character; in fact I rather like her. I just don’t think her motivations were fleshed out very well. Unfortunately, without more information, the episode makes her a shallow harbinger of evil when, as you described, it should be more complex than that. The problem with saying that Kirk was "just trying to help" is that Kirk on his own accord would not help the Hill people and the episode addresses that. If the Village tribe (why don't these groups have names?) developed guns on their own, then it's implied Kirk would leave the Hill people to their fate and let them die. It's not until Klingon interference is confirmed that Kirk is forced to get involved as a matter of duty. This makes it look like Kirk's interests are in line with Starfleet's and the burden he has to bear is for Starfleet's cause - i.e. winning or maintaining balance against the Klingons. One thing the episode gets right, as I mentioned, is that it doesn't look like Kirk wanted to get involved in arms escalation in the first place. The episode also removes Spock from the discussion and therefore logic from Kirk's position and implies he's under some sort of drugged influence that impairs his judgment. So, I don't think the episode really wants to make us to believe Kirk was 100% doing the right thing. It's more like Kirk was in the classic JFK position where his liberal ideals to help the little guy and Democracy sound good in theory, but in hindsight we can see that the Nixon/Bones position of not getting involved in a hopeless fight (even for a just cause) was the stronger position.

@ Chrome, I might have to re-watch for tone, but I don't recall ever getting the impression that we're meant to feel that Kirk made a mistake at the end. I don't think he was happy to have to intervene in this manner, but I don't recall anything indicating any awareness that he was making an error. "It's not until Klingon interference is confirmed that Kirk is forced to get involved as a matter of duty. This makes it look like Kirk's interests are in line with Starfleet's and the burden he has to bear is for Starfleet's cause - i.e. winning or maintaining balance against the Klingons." But I think this is a Prime Directive thing. He would have let them kill each other under normal circumstances due to the PD. What changes is that the Klingons interfere on one side. Technically that should not alter the Fed position that intervening is a breach of the PD; I don't think the PD has 'unless' clauses. So I suppose it's my interpretation that Kirk's personal friendship is what pushes him over the edge and makes him feel that it's just unacceptable to follow the letter of the law and let his friend's people die due to Klingon interference. Kirk's solution seems to me like the best he can do to re-establish non-interference. In effect, to try to match and therefore undo the Klingon interference in this culture. But I don't think it's to serve Starfleet's agenda in defeating Klingons; I think it's to fix a PD violation, even though technically it was the Klingons who violated it. I think the spirit of arming both sides is something like recognizing that what happened is not fair, and not representative of letting a culture evolve on its own. He needed to arm Tyree's side to give them a chance to settle their cultural dispute on their own terms. I see it as trying to re-establish normal cultural development there.

Yeah, Peter, I don't think there's any doubt Kirk is unhappy arming the people here. He's despoiling what he used to think of as the "Garden of Eden", after all. He even has to give the order twice to Scott at the end who is confused about why Kirk would be asking for a bunch of weapons. The way Kirk's friendship with Tyree plays into this is that he's able to help Tyree man up and be able to defend himself in war. Kirk says this isn't the best life for Tyree, but at least it's a *chance for life* for him and his people. The PD doesn't apply here because the Klingons already messed with the natural development of the people. Kirk's solution is supposed to correct that interference. But as the episode discusses, it seems likely to lead to escalation and ramped up interference by Starfleet. Maybe in the Star Trek universe, escalation never happens and the Klingons back down, but in the parallel real world conflict *this episode mentions specifically* that wasn't the case.

@ Chrome, "The PD doesn't apply here because the Klingons already messed with the natural development of the people. Kirk's solution is supposed to correct that interference." I'm citing the PD because I think the spirit of the PD is what's in play here - to give them a chance at a normal development, or as close to one as is possible at this point. TOS did more actually than the later series did to not only spell out the PD, but also to spell out that as a law it requires on-the-fly interpretation and that it's never black and white (which on TNG they often make it). A Captain is uniquely in the position to determine the best way to maintain its spirit when the letter of it is no longer possible (see A Piece of the Action for another example of a zany way to try to follow the spirit of the law). I brought it up because this is a viable alternative as a theory for why Kirk helps, as opposed to the more realpolitik interpretation that the Federation was being just like the U.S. in the Cold War. "But as the episode discusses, it seems likely to lead to escalation and ramped up interference by Starfleet. Maybe in the Star Trek universe, escalation never happens and the Klingons back down, but in the parallel real world conflict *this episode mentions specifically* that wasn't the case." I agree that the prognosis doesn't look good for paradise on this planet. The bottom line is that the Klingons ruined it, and the only thing left to do is salvage whatever scraps of it remain. The reason I keep mentioning the friendship is that I think it demonstrates that there can be reasons for arming a people other than to manipulate them into your own private conflicts. It might well be possible to do 'cold war type stuff' but in a spirit of friendship, depending on context. The best Kirk could do here to maintain balance was a least of evils choice, no question about that. My only contention is that I don't think it was necessarily an error, nor does it have to be seen as done for the purpose of having a proxy war against the Klingons.

@ Peter G. Always enjoy your comments/posts......never NOT insightful and thougtful.! For TOS APLW, you recently wrote in part, "It begs the question of not just which approach is enlightened, but which will actually work." A interesting little truth bomb. BTW, I don't know why the comments from today are not listed here. I saw them in the Comment Stream. I refreshed this page., but nothing. What am I missing?

Never mind. Found them. Doh.

Thanks Jay Marks!

EventualZen

Forgive my puerile adolescent comment but that Nona is a babe, she's so seductive: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rCJ1Fs5YQtE 3/10 The Klingons are providing increasingly advanced weaponry to primitive tribes & Kirk is injured on the planet. The discussion of the Vietnam war and the importance of balance of power were good but this episode didn't have anything else to offer & didn't feel like sci-fi. The whole Spock being injured b-plot was pointless. You could argue this episode is pro 2nd amendment rights because Kirk says both sides should have equal weaponry, however I may be stretching the definition a bit too far there.

A Private Little War Star Trek season 2 episode 19 "The Cardassians might involve themselves in other people's civil wars, but we don't. The Prime Directive applies, Ben.” - Admiral Chekote, Starfleet Command, Deep Space Nine’s “The Circle” 2 1/2 stars (out of 4) Looking back, I gave “The Gamesters Of Triskelion” 2 1/2 stars and called it the inspiration for Discovery; and "The Immunity Syndrome” 2 1/2 stars and called it the inspiration for TNG. So it seems only fair that I give "A Private Little War” 2 1/2 stars also, and back up my claim that it forms the basis for Deep Space Nine. The People’s exhibit 1, the quote from The Circle included at the top. To say that Star Fleet was invested in the Bajorans is something of an understatement. The Bajorans were practically the alien-race du jour both towards the end of TNG (including with Ro Laren and Ensign Sato), through all of DS9, and for the first season or two of VOY (before Seska went full Cardi B.). And yet, when the Cardassians start supplying weapons to one Bajoran faction (through the Kressari, if I recall) precipitating a civil war, Star Fleet orders Sisko not to get involved. Of course, at this point, Sisko is just a Commander. Not a Captain, like Kirk. That Kirk reaches the opposite conclusion is not surprising. That Captain’s chair is a funny thing. By the time Sisko makes Captain, and is faced with an equally dark dilemma, there seems very little question as to how far he’ll go. Thus “In the Pale Moonlight” - about as murky as Star Trek is likely to get - is the true heir to “A Private Little War”. Overall, this TOS hour cannot hold candle to that one - one of DS9’s best outings. But A Private Little War did have a few things going for it that DS9 did not. Nona, for one. Thank you @EventualZen for that link. Nancy Kovack was absolutely dazzling. Her role was incredible. She reminds me of one of the greatest actresses in Europe in that era, Florinda Bolkan, who played a very similar witch-like role in The Last Valley (1971), opposite Michael Caine and Omar Sharif. https://youtu.be/_EvH7FSigqI?t=395 A six and a five. God, they don’t make movies like that any more! In that movie too, the Nona-like character ends up dead. But boy-oh-boy did she live. Praise Garak as much as you like, but he’ll never be as sexy as Nona. It is interesting that TPTB chose to include a rape scene for Nona in this episode, so soon after Uhura was raped in “Triskelion”. Then again, the episode is about war, and rape and war go hand in hand. I agree with everyone who said that Spock and Chapel’s slap-fest was unnecessary. Not unwanted or unappreciated. But maybe this episode could have used a little more focus on the planet, without the cut-backs. In at least a two Klingon episodes, we were treated to a little more of the Klingon side, notably in "Errand of Mercy” and also, frankly, in "The Trouble with Tribbles”. This episode too could have used a little more focus on the Klingon side of this civil war. The episode also suffers from some telling-not-showing. Maybe they were running out of money - the whole episode, practically, being shot outdoors. But I would have wanted to see the villagers go on a hunt, and maybe kill their first victim (one of those annoying gorillas?). I would have liked to see what the woman who the Klingon awarded to the man with the highest kill-count felt about her new predicament. 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. That scene should have taken place in front of the men. We should have seen how the “hill woman” reacted. That would have put Nona’s rape and murder in a little more perspective when it happens at the end of the hour. The ending continues to shock us 50 years on, long after the Vietnam war has come to an end. We're now 20 years into the endless war of our era. We're very tired, Mister Spock. Beam us up home.

Nice to see this situation at least addressed and debated but certainly lacking any deeper reflection. Generally (making me wonder why everyone celebrates Gene Roddenberry to this day) - of course the Klingons are the bad guys and catalyst again, motive not required. - no issue that Kirk har its personal hatred against Klingons as a race. - of course there must be a female love interest/catalyst but the rest of the relevant cast be men *sigh* This episode: 1. Kirk messed with the planet before the klingons. 2. Kirk, Spock and Bones messed some more with it accidentally (saving mountain people, letting phasers lie around, getting phasers known, getting mountain people violent etc. THAT is what the prime directive is for: not just not do evil but not to mess around with simplistic societies as no one can tell what will come from it. 3. Who says this world would have remained peaceful if left alone? Is Kirk a trained anthropologist now? Is it sensible to believe that at no point someone on the planet would have seen an advantage in violence and others adapt it? What do the combined historians of the Federation societies think about this? Because if it was inevitable, the question would not be assisting an as race but keeping the klingons from interfering. 4. Resettling those exposed to weapons technology to another M class planet or take them out of the equation otherwise might have been a solution. 5. Giving Bones and finding another solution not a minute of thought and saying there is no other solution. You never were a great brain, Kirk, were you?, but all of Starfleet? In its serial format this may have been a novel show and it brought on some great episodes and thought feeders over the decades but it also sadly a d unjustly overshadows many good and more deeply thought through but isolated works of science fiction.

A strange little episode to review. There's a quite deep philosophical and political undercurrent to it, forming Roddenberry's anti-Cold War message, most especially the conflicts in Korea and Vietnam, with the "Villagers" being the North, and the "Hill People" being the South, while the Klingons represent the Communist East arming the Northerners, and the Federation NATO. Ultimately, just like the real world conflicts, here it remains unresolved, though Kirk's 'Balance of Power' practicality wins out over McCoy's non-aggression anti-war idealism. I think we are meant to sympathise more with McCoy's philosophy than Kirk's (well, I did!), particularly in the character of the Hill People and their reluctance to be drawn into warlike modes of behaviour. There is also an interesting contrast between Spock's very disciplined Vulcan 'self-healing' technique, and the (portrayed-as-hokum?) 'Witch doctor' healing methods on the planet involving herbs, roots, and incantations... which actually do succeed in curing Kirk's injuries! Interestingly, McCoy's very efficient and effective deputy on board is given an African name - coincidence or deliberate? Two things severely spoiled this otherwise interesting episode: one was Nancy Kusack's utterly OTT acting particularly when healing Kirk, plus her character's inconsistency (how would a strong medicine woman be so easily overpowered by the rival tribe?). The other... well, need I even say it!? Even allowing for the limited 60s special effects, the 'monster' with the poison fangs was a joke. It would make even a 60s sci-fi producer wince. I could see that on a comedy spoof, but on a Trek episode? Come on!! I could make a better 'monster' from what's lying around in my living room.

@Tidd Nona was played by Nancy Kovack (Mrs. Zubin Mehta). @Mal (Dec. 21, 2020) "Nancy Kovack was absolutely dazzling. Her role was incredible. She reminds me of one of the greatest actresses in Europe in that era, Florinda Bolkan, who played a very similar witch-like role in The Last Valley (1971), opposite Michael Caine and Omar Sharif." I agree with you about Nancy Kovack's onscreen presence. Always liked her. In an amazing coincidence, I received an ancient book about historical movies (G. M. Fraser Hollywood History of the World) from a friend last week. Yesterday, I opened the book at random to page 108 and learned that Michael Caine was in a movie called The Last Valley in which he played a mercenary during the Thirty Years' War. 8 hours later I chanced upon and read your 2020 post that mentioned that same movie, followed the link and watched the whole thing. You were really on target about Florinda Bolkan and what she exudes in the context of the witch woman ethos, vis-a-vis Nona. Love is a wondrous, but a dangerous thing. h/t

@Sigh2000, that is remarkable Serendipity. I'm glad it led you to watch The Last Valley - a genuine classic! When I go back and read the last lines of my 2020 review, it sends chills up my spine, "The ending continues to shock us 50 years on, long after the Vietnam war has come to an end. We're now 20 years into the endless war of our era. We're very tired, Mister Spock. Beam us up home." The 20-year endless war is now at an end. But we are still very tired, Mister Spock. Maybe even more so than we have ever been before.

Tyree's turn to the dark side of his nature upon Nona's death is very powerful....we know that his planet is now doomed to fight a ceaseless brush war using those "100 Serpents in the Garden of Eden." A fantastic anti-war statement. Kirk's exhaustion is palpable....his last line "We are very tired Mr. Spock ....beam us up home." is so very memorable. @Mal: Thanks for sharing your perspectives. Liked: "The 20-year endless war is now at an end. But we are still very tired, Mister Spock. Maybe even more so than we have ever been before." Agree 100%....unnecessary conflict will always be with us. I share Kirk's exhaustion. Just knowing that change in others proceeds at a glacial pace is very tiring.

This one packs in quite a lot. There's easily enough story here for a movie. The actors playing Tyree and Nona are extremely charismatic and convincing and really lift up the story. Nona may be the most convincing witch doctor woman I've ever seen. And while she's conniving, she's not at all one dimensional. She makes good arguments. Watching her assault/near rape is very difficult. I'd give it 3+. Lots of good to offset the problems.

Funny, I didn't see the Eden parallel because it wasn't terribly explicit until the end, while the Vietnam parallel was so overriding. I suppose they did go overboard with some stuff. It's rather a stretch to connect the two themes. But if you completely miss it until Kirk's line at the end, it's not bad at all.

Nona is the best female character so far. You may see her as an "antagonist", but is she wrong? I don't think so. She is doing what she feels right, to her own best interest. Some people here were bothered by her "witch powers" but I found that most fascinating. I disagree with this episode being "all over the place" critique: for me, the mugato, the witchness, and everything else was a welcome colouring to the plot. The only thing I really cant understand is how the hell Nona managed to practically get raped while in possession of a phaser. Now, about the main plot: it seems there where other alternatives, mainly just removing the Klingon contamination, instead of "balanced contamination" of the other side, but I think this sounds doable only because the episode portraited the situation as a fight between, like, 10 guys. But I think it is suposed to be a more complicated scenario then that, such as "just removing the contamination" would not be so easy.

Oh, and it was cool to see a field mission with no support at all from the Enterprise, so we really got somme imersion on the alien culture. Spock being shooted was very surprising, and the first appearance of the mugato is able to provide a decent jump scare. Also, we get Kirk and McCoy alone, for the first time, I think, in the field — but now I got myself thinking: what would be Spock's take on this episode's dilemma?

I watch TOS episodes and occasionally think "Are we sure this is as good a show as we remember it?" Much as I love Trek, it can be ropey to say the least. As a Vietnam War allegory, I suppose this episode works. I'm not sure it works without that context 50 years later.

Yeah, it's totally dated. I mean, a scenario where a federation of great liberal powers starts feeding a weaker nation a steadily increasing supply of weapons to counter a powerful aggressor as part of a much larger political gambit is something a modern audience could NEVER relate to.

Boring. Unworkable conclusion. 1.5/4

@Marlboro : Nice take!

This was a weird one. It can also be added to the list of various revisited themes that span across season 2. A Private Little War has some in common with The Apple (theme of Eden and pre-knowledge paradise) and also with Friday's Child (theme of rival powers influencing a more primitive society). I don't think this episode quite succeeds in what it's attempting to do. This planet is certainly no paradise (Mugato monsters AND evil witches?). Why exactly are we supposed to think these wigged goofballs are living a golden life? I also don't really understand the ultimate goal of the Federation and Klingons here. Why do they even care who wins this war? What is there to be gained? It ultimately fails in its Vietnam allegory because the reason (however flawed) the US initially fought the proxy war there before getting directly involved was as a result of the domino theory and the prevention of the spread of communism throughout the world. Simply, the Soviets wanted to spread communism and their influence, while the US wanted stop its spread. Hence: proxy war between northern and southern Vietnamese. Here, there's no real reason a proxy war needs to be fought. Why would the Federation care in the Klingons wanted some random villagers in a pre-warp society to win a war? At least in Friday's Child, the Klingons and Federation were vying over a valuable resource, which is a more interesting concept. It also forced the Federation to break the Prime Directive in order to compete with the Klingons, which is some much more interesting geopolitical commentary. I don't think this episode truly works and other episodes do similar themes better, so I'll give it the "skippable" treatment.

@ Bucktown, It doesn't seem so strange that the Klingons would want supremacy on non-aligned primitive worlds. They would no doubt win mining rights and all the natural resources from that world they want, and additionally supremacy over the area containing that system as they could establish a base uncontested nearby.

@Peter G., I agree, it's not strange the Klingons are a superpower seeking hegemony within their cluster of the galaxy. If the Klingons wanted to mine or conquer territory, why not just take it rather than engage in this small technological escalation on a pre-developed world that could take decades (centuries?) to resolve. Are the Klingons just not that bad? Only a little bad?

@ Bucktown, "If the Klingons wanted to mine or conquer territory, why not just take it rather than engage in this small technological escalation on a pre-developed world that could take decades (centuries?) to resolve." I thought you might ask that, so thought about the answer in the meantime. I think what the Klingons would want is to have an established population do the mining and so forth for them, with their only commitment a small garrison to keep them in line. Maybe this is more efficient, or maybe it just makes them feel more like conquerors and less like foraging miners. After all, they could just as soon have gone after control of uninhabited planets and set up mining and bases there. I think the reason they are here is because of the native population, to subjugate them and put them to work. That the Federation is here opposing them may be a new development, i.e. the Klingons haven't adapted to this reality yet and are still using their old methods even though the mere fact of opposition by the Federation already renders their efforts useless.

@Peter G., I think you're rationale makes sense in a traditional colonization way (even it is clumsily and scantly addressed in the episode), but I'm still not sure if we can apply this extraneous calculus to what we know of the crudely war mongering Klingons. (Perhaps though I'm looking at it from the point of view of TNG and beyond's Klingons.) Nevertheless, forming an alliance with a local faction that will benefit that group, while helping exploit the out-group is certainly in the colonizer playbook. In addition, supplying the allied faction with less powerful weapons than one's own ensures that they can't use them effectively against you down the line, so that also tracks. In any event, the basic theme of the episode is Kirk's realpolitik that in order to combat a foe, equal measures must be taken to prevent your opponent's hegemony, even if it goes against one's (or a institution's) values and principals. It's basically a double defense of the Vietnam War and the larger arms race between the US and Soviets. I still don't understand though why the Federation would necessarily care about a planet not part of the Federation or in Federation space, unless they had their own non-voluntary expansionist or resource exploitation quests, which would further fly in the face of any notion the Prime Directive to say the least. Or does this all imply that the Federation is worried about being conquered by the Klingons if they get much more powerful?

I think the Federation is only doing this because of the Klingons, to prevent being overrun outright. Don't forget the TOS Klingons are the USSR, not the Vikings. They might well have visited those worlds anyhow to make peaceful relations or to study them, but not to exploit their resources directly. In Friday's Child the Enterprise does seem to need the alliance with the Capellans, who are pre-warp (no longer allowed by TNG times it would appear) for their resources. But I think they only want voluntary friendship with them.

I think the reason the Klingons are trying to insert themselves in this primitive planet through subterfuge is that they can’t risk open hostilities with the federation. Whether this is due to a balance of power, the organian treaty, the organians themselves, or some combination of those things is unclear. But what is clear is that both the federation and the Klingons are engaged in maneuvers to gain influence over various pre-warp civilizations. If you’re wondering why, perhaps it’s the same reason both the US and Japan gave a crap about midway island during WWII, what might seem ostensibly worthless may be strategically positioned or resource rich. In Errand of Mercy the Klingons tried straight conquest, but were foiled by a combination of federation combativeness and gods in disguise. With the direct strategy unsuccessful they tried a negotiated path in Friday’s Child, a “hearts and minds” approach. But the Klingons failed again when their agent in charge turned out to be terrible at his job and the Klingons turned out to have a major PR image problem. So, still unable to risk open conflict with the federation they turned to a new strategy in which they’ll secretly arm one group with an overwhelming advantage, wait until that group, “their” group, wipes out or conquers their rivals, and then move in with a monopoly on the planet’s political situation, assuming the villagers are amenable to further alliance with the Klingons. But Kirk gets wise and counters by funneling arms of his own to his ol’ buddy who he met during his study-abroad year, thus foiling the Klingons plan and introducing the concept of perpetual arms escalation all in one afternoon! Personally I think this episode works reasonably well. The character of Nona is its primary weakness, mainly because it’s hard not to see such a morally dubious female character as problematic when she’s the *only* female character around. If there had been at least one other prominent role for a woman that wasn’t an ethical black hole I think Nona might have been less polarizing. But as she stands, her hyper-manipulative behavior and her willingness to turn on her own when convenient makes her pretty indefensible. And honestly I didn’t feel she really added much to the story at all anyway. As far as the Cold War allegory goes, it’s fairly poignant, but definitely leaves a bitter taste. I for one didn’t feel like the episode was advocating for any particular position or policy, but was rather just presenting an unadorned, inherently challenging situation and leaving the audience to interpret the solution through the lense of their own particular confirmation bias. In that regard the episode succeeds pretty well. 2.5 venomous albino gorillas.

Proud Capitalist Pig

I just love a good proxy war, don’t you? Proxy wars almost always arise from standard old-fashioned cold wars, and these produce arms races, drive up defensive weaponry production, increase military budgets that keep those sweet government contracts coming, and keep the population glued to the news channels and clicking on scary headlines until they’re assaulted by ads for cereal, little blue pills, Hollywood movies and Gillette shaving cream--and therefore make a bunch of marvelous money for a whole lot of people! (Well, except for the poor backward peons who live in the countries where the aforementioned proxy war is taking place, of course. They can all just kill each other and go to hell.) The best scene in "A Private Little War" occurs early -- Kirk is waxing rhapsodic about the last time he visited this woebegone planet of peaceful villagers who wouldn't hurt a fly, living harmoniously in their Garden of Eden, when all of a sudden, as if on cue, here come the imposing natives armed to the teeth with guns and preparing an ambush. I'm sorry but I burst out laughing. Some of the commenters here are confused about why Kirk is involving himself and his crew in the Klingons’ imperialist colonization affairs in the first place, when they’re not threatening Earth in any way. Hello?! It’s about containment, folks. Remember, this was the late 1960’s. Kirk doesn’t want those stinking space commies expanding and conquering all these planets, so his solution is to arm Tyree and the hill-dwelling natives with weapons that can put up a fight against the villagers that the Klingons are arming. Simple. Clearly, “A Private Little War” is a clumsy and obvious allegory about our efforts in Vietnam around the time of the production (and earlier efforts in Korea). @Idh2023 explains the likely motives of both the Klingons and the Federation quite well in the first paragraph of their write-up, but I just think it’s even simpler than that. For bonus points, “A Private Little War” also has a little something to say about the typical fate of a Strong Independent Woman Activist who lives during such a fiasco. She’s basically eaten alive by circumstances. The voodoo witchcraft struck me as pointless, and it distracted from her *true* superpower, which is her beguiling feminine wiles and Lady Macbeth-like manipulation. But man was she hot--so I give her whole storyline a pass. "A Private Little War" may have one of the best episode titles (I love irony), but ultimately is just passable. Speak Freely: Kirk -- "Research is not the Klingon way." My Grade: C That’s right everyone! I’m back. I’ll bet you missed me.

Re watching Star Trek again. Season two had alot of skippable epusodes for me. It really bothered me how badly Chapel was written invthis episode the way M'Benga and Scotty reacted seems out of character for starfleet officers but does seem very American 1966. But maybe this is just me. In my opinion every time Scotty shows up in season two seems like bad writing for me.

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Star Trek: The Original Series

A Private Little War

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Nancy Kovack

Michael Witney

Majel Barrett

Nurse Christine Chapel

Gary Pillar

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Star Trek S2 E19 "A Private Little War" » Recap

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Original air date: February 2, 1968

Kirk, Bones and Spock beam down to a peaceful, idyllic planet where some years previous Kirk had befriended a native called Tyree (Michael Witney). Kirk intervenes when he sees a group (including Tyree) about to be ambushed by a rival group armed with flintlocks. Which is odd, because this society is supposed to still be in the Bronze Age. In the ensuing melee, Spock gets shot and has to be taken back aboard the Enterprise .

While Spock convalesces, Kirk and Bones beam back down to investigate this ongoing war. It seems those darn Klingons are at it again! They convinced one faction of natives that they could be more powerful than the others. All they needed was better weapons. As if dealing with them wasn't bad enough, there are these critters called the mugato to contend with. Kirk gets poisoned by one. Fortunately, Bones is able to get him to Tyree's tribe, where his wife Nona (Nancy Kovack) is able to heal Kirk.

Private Little Tropes:

  • All There in the Script : Krell's name is never mentioned but is shown in the script.
  • Attack on the Heart : Spock is shot through the center mass by revolutionaries on planet Neural. He only survived because his Vulcan heart is located where the Human liver is.
  • Attempted Rape : Four villagers try to gang-rape Nona, who...well, kinda fights back (for a loose definition of "fights"). Once Kirk, McCoy , and Tyree show up, however, the villagers simply kill her.
  • The Bro Code : Even Kirk must live by it! At least, he tries to.
  • Captain's Log : Used in every episode, but at one point, the narration switches to the medical log with Bones narrating since Kirk is indisposed.
  • Censor Decoy : There was a scene where Nona showed some skin getting out of the water. A flash of bare breast was there to distract the censors. Sorry boys! It didn't distract the editors for the remastered editions! Another possible example is Spock's gunshot wound. A wound that gory usually wouldn't get past the censors of the time. But, as Spock was given green blood , the censors overlooked it.
  • Crazy Jealous Guy : Tyree almost shoots Kirk when he sees Nona and a drugged Kirk making out.
  • Early in the episode, Kirk identifies Mugato tracks. Not long after, he gets attacked by a Mugato.
  • This leads to another one: after McCoy kills the mugato, Tyree tells him its mate will be nearby. Guess what shows up near the end.
  • The love herb that Nona uses on Tyree early in the episode makes an encore appearance, being used on Kirk.
  • Cruel to Be Kind : Spock needs to be put in pain to be brought out of his trance. Scotty pulls Chapel away from Spock, thinking she's gone mad, slapping her patient around. Then M'Benga steps in to apply the necessary striking until Spock stops him, saying the pain is sufficient.
  • Description Cut : Kirk describes the planet's inhabitants as simple and peaceful—right before seeing villagers with flintlocks stalking the hill people.
  • Doctor Obvious : At the end, when Kirk calls the Enterprise and a fully-recovered Spock answers. Bones: Spock, you're alive? Spock: An illogical question, Doctor, since obviously you are hearing my voice.
  • Does This Remind You of Anything? : The episode is an allegory of the then-ongoing Vietnam War .
  • Downer Ending : A vengeful Tyree demands that Kirk supply him with enough weapons to go to war, and Kirk sadly and reluctantly complies to offset the advantage the Klingons gave the other side. The episode ends with the two factions going into all out war and arms race with Kirk ordering up several hundred "serpents for the Garden of Eden", as Kirk poetically refers to the flintlock rifles.
  • Famous, Famous, Fictional : At one point it's noted that if the Klingons weren't taking things slowly they might have equipped their patsies with breech-loading rifles or machine guns or "old-style hand lasers".
  • Fascinating Eyebrow : Bones does this far more than usual during the healing ritual. Then again, with Spock out of action, someone has to pick up the eyebrow slack.
  • Femme Fatale : Nona will do anything and anyone to get what she wants.
  • Firearms Are Revolutionary : Kirk is surprised to find that a planet's people who only had bows and arrows the last time he saw them suddenly have guns. Some of his crew argue that they could've discovered them naturally, but it turns out the Klingons introduced the new tech as part of a plan to take over the planet. Paradise has been destroyed, and all Kirk can do is give them more guns to try to equalize the balance of power.
  • Bones shows a lot of concern and care for the wounded Spock and only agrees to leave him with a doctor who has worked extensively with Vulcans. At the end of the episode, they're back to snarking each other.
  • Also, when Kirk tells Scotty to take the conn so that he can go to Sickbay and check on Spock.
  • Hair of Gold, Heart of Gold : Tyree and his hunter-gatherer buddies are blond good guys, while the villagers who kill them are evil brunets. Nona also has dark hair, and has no qualms about betraying Tyree.
  • Vulcans have a version of this, which saves Spock's life. With their Mind over Matter powers, Vulcans can go into a healing trance which would focus all their mental and physical resources on repairing injuries (in this case, a bullet wound). Apparently it is a little-known ability, since Nurse Chapel seems clueless about what is happening.
  • Hit Me, Dammit! : Spock tells Chapel to hit him to bring him out of his trance. She gives him a tap that wouldn't hurt a baby. He demands that she hit him harder. She finally nerves herself up to do it, only for Scotty to walk in and stop her . Doctor M'Benga then takes over until Spock finishes pulling himself together.
  • It's Personal : This is more than a random little planet for Kirk, having spent quite some time in the past familiarizing himself with it, and becoming close friends with the tribal leader Tyree. If the Klingons spoiling this "Garden of Eden" was not enough to make it personal, the first encounter with the imported weaponry results in Spock getting shot and nearly killed.
  • Kissing Under the Influence : Nona uses a certain plant as an aphrodisiac to make men fall in love with her and do what she wants. Tyree is a sucker for it. Kirk finds it rather difficult to resist.
  • Klingon Scientists Get No Respect : "Research is not the Klingon way."
  • Lady Macbeth : Nona is constantly pushing Tyree to try to gain more power and destroy their enemies.
  • Layman's Terms : A Klingon explains that "rifled barrel" means the weapon will shoot further and more accurately.
  • Love Makes You Stupid : Tyree doesn't even try to resist Nona's charms. Not even when he sees her using them on Kirk behind his back. Not to mention seeing Nona seducing Kirk using the same aphrodisiac that she actually told him about before, and getting jealous of his drugged friend.
  • Low Culture, High Tech : The people of this planet are cave dwellers and early sedentary villagers, now armed with flintlock guns.
  • The Main Characters Do Everything : Averted in this episode, as Spock's trauma care is being handled by Dr. M'Benga, and Kirk reminds Dr. McCoy of that fact when he orders the doctor to join him in the investigation planetside.
  • Men Are the Expendable Gender : Subverted— Nona, the Femme Fatale , is stabbed to death at the climax of the episode.
  • Nubile Savage : Nona, of the furry bra and leather pants variety. Her clothes look suspiciously new and clean, and she has makeup as well. (Cosmetics go back to prehistoric times, so this isn't too unrealistic.)
  • Organ Dodge : It's a good thing Vulcans have their liver where a human would have their heart.
  • Our Monsters Are Weird : The mugato looks like a cross between Godzilla and Snowflake the Albino Gorilla. Oh, and it has a poisonous bite.
  • Palm Bloodletting : Part of Nona's healing ritual. When the ritual is finished, the wound is gone.
  • Patrick Stewart Speech : Eat yer heart out, Picard! Kirk beat you to it, pointing out how humanity was once like Tyree's people, and in time they too could emerge as a peace-loving intelligent society.
  • Proxy War : The Klingons supplying increasingly advanced firearms to one tribe of a primitive planet, to install them as a puppet leader of that world. Another tribe, one that Kirk had met years before, begins to demand similar weapons by the end, and Kirk begins arranging a Federation-aligned alliance of tribes to oppose the Klingon-controlled ones. He even references the brush wars of the 20th century as he does so.
  • Pummeling the Corpse : The previously violence-averse Tyree snaps when he sees his wife stabbed to death. In the ensuing climactic battle, Tyree rushes and quickly overpowers the man who stabbed his wife, and caves in his head with a large rock. Tyree's mind, clouded with Unstoppable Rage , does not register that his opponent is dead, so he spends the rest of the battle bashing the corpse's shattered head . Even after the battle ends, Tyree continues to bash the unresisting corpse until Kirk stops him.
  • Schizo Tech : Discussed by the main characters, along with Technology Levels , to the point of Conversational Troping . Upon first discovering that the villagers have flintlock rifles, but not knowing they were provided by Klingon arms-dealers, the crew considers whether the people of this planet might progress differently than the people of Earth. Later, upon their discovery of Klingon intervention, Uhura wonders aloud why the Klingons didn't just give the villagers more advanced weapons like phasers or "old-style hand lasers." The rationale is that the Klingons could teach the villagers how to make their own flintlocks, with the added benefit of making it less obvious that the technology had been supplied by outsiders. See Technology Uplift below.

star trek s2 e19

  • Screw the Rules, I'm Doing What's Right! : Kirk was advised to stay out of this private little war, but he didn't like the idea of Klingons instigating a war and making things uneven.
  • Stock Footage : Clips of the White Rabbit's footprints from " Shore Leave " were used for the mugato prints.
  • Technology Uplift : The Klingons drip-feeding weapons technology to one local group, with the intention that they'll take over the planet as Klingon vassals.
  • Thou Shalt Not Kill : Tyree's moral code. Until his wife is killed.
  • Too Clever by Half : Nona uses all her guile to get her hot little hands on a phaser. However, she doesn't know how to use it and is killed by a stab from a simple knife.
  • Training the Peaceful Villagers : When Kirk and Bones discover that the Klingons have been doing this, Kirk decides to train the other side to maintain the balance.
  • Bones gives this speech to Kirk when Kirk tells Tyree he will give him weapons to defend himself against his enemies. However, Bones doesn't have any better ideas.
  • Nona chews Kirk and Tyree out for not wanting to obliterate the villagers.
  • Witch Doctor : Nona uses herb lore and a bit of mysticism to heal Kirk.
  • Star Trek S2 E18 "The Immunity Syndrome"
  • Recap/Star Trek: The Original Series
  • Star Trek S2 E20 "Return to Tomorrow"

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Published Jun 20, 2024

The Official Trailer and Key Art for Season 2 of Animated Series Star Trek: Prodigy Is Here

Season 2 will premiere with all 20 episodes on July 1 exclusively on Netflix in the U.S. and select countries around the world.

Star Trek: Prodigy Season 2 header - Murf, Rok-Tahk, Dal, Gwyn, Jankom Pog, Maj'El, and Zero stand together in front of Starfleet Academy

StarTrek.com

CBS Studios debuted the official trailer and key art for the second season of the original animated kids' series, Star Trek: Prodigy . The hit series will premiere all 20 episodes on Monday, July 1 on Netflix in select countries around the world. Season 1 episodes of the series are currently available on Netflix.

In Season 2, these six young outcasts who make up the Prodigy crew are assigned a new mission aboard the U.S.S. Voyager -A to rescue Captain Chakotay and bring peace to Gwyn's home world. However, when their plan goes astray, it creates a time paradox that jeopardizes both their future and past.

The Star Trek: Prodigy voice cast includes Kate Mulgrew (Kathryn Janeway), Brett Gray (Dal), Ella Purnell (Gwyn), Rylee Alazraqui (Rok-Tahk), Angus Imrie (Zero), Jason Mantzoukas (Jankom Pog), Dee Bradley Baker (Murf), John Noble (The Diviner), and Jimmi Simpson (Drednok).

Season 2 recurring voice cast members include Robert Beltran (Captain Chakotay), Robert Picardo (The Doctor), Jason Alexander (Dr. Noum), Daveed Diggs (Commander Tysess), Jameela Jamil (Ensign Asencia), Ronny Cox (Admiral Jellico), and Michaela Dietz (Maj’el).

Developed by Emmy Award winners Kevin and Dan Hageman ( Trollhunters and Ninjago ), along with Alex Kurtzman and his team at Secret Hideout, the CG-animated series Star Trek: Prodigy is the first Star Trek series aimed at younger audiences and follows a motley crew of young aliens who must figure out how to work together while navigating a greater galaxy, in search of a better future.

"We deeply appreciate our fans who have stood by us and our passionate crew who made this all possible. The work speaks for itself, but it's the heart that will endure," said co-showrunners Kevin and Dan Hageman about the Season 2 release.

Season 2 Star Trek: Prodigy key art with Jankom Pog, Admiral Janeway, Murf, Rok-Tahk, Gwyn, and Zero crowded together on the surface of a planet

Star Trek: Prodigy received a 2023 TCA Award nomination for "Outstanding Achievement in Family Programming" along with a 2022 Children's and Family Emmy Award nomination for Outstanding Animated Series, and production designer, Alessandro Taini, won the award for Outstanding Individual Achievement in Animation.

Star Trek: Prodigy is from CBS' Eye Animation Productions, CBS Studios' animation arm; Nickelodeon Animation; Secret Hideout; and Roddenberry Entertainment. Alex Kurtzman, Heather Kadin, Aaron Baiers, Rod Roddenberry and Trevor Roth serve as executive producers, alongside co-showrunners Kevin and Dan Hageman. Ben Hibon directs, executive produces and serves as the creative lead of the animated series. Aaron Waltke and Patrick Krebs also currently serve as co-executive producers. Star Trek: Prodigy is distributed by Paramount Global Content Distribution.

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Star Trek: Prodigy will stream on Netflix globally (excluding Canada, Nordics, CEE, Netherlands, Spain, Portugal, Poland, Russia, Belarus and Mainland China) and Season 1 is currently available on SkyShowtime in the Nordics, the Netherlands, Spain, Portugal and Central and Eastern Europe with Season 2 coming soon. Season two has launched in France on France Televisions channels and Okoo.

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Star trek’s 10 greatest klingons.

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I Watched Star Trek 3: The Search For Spock & Inside Out 2 And They Paired Perfectly

Voyager’s “weakness” led to dropped b’elanna klingon storyline, says star trek writer , i’m glad john colicos changed his mind about returning as star trek: ds9's klingon.

  • Worf, a history-making Starfleet officer, is the greatest Klingon with a fierce warrior spirit and loyalty to honor and integrity.
  • Chancellor Gowron, one of the Federation's best allies, falls from grace during the Dominion War, leading to his ignominious end.
  • Lt. B'Elanna Torres struggles with her Klingon heritage but ultimately proves herself as a warrior with a heart of steel.

The history of the Star Trek universe is full of great Klingon warriors, and here are ten of the finest that Qo'noS has to offer. First introduced in Star Trek: The Original Series season 1, episode 27, "Errand of Mercy", the Klingons are the best-loved and most recognizable of the franchise's many alien races. Despite the multiple Klingon variants across almost six decades of Star Trek TV shows and movies, everyone from die-hard fans to everyday people can identify a TNG -era Klingon . They're such a part of television's cultural heritage that shows like Frasier and Night Court feature references to Klingons.

The longevity of the Klingons is thanks to the many great actors who have played members of the Empire across the entire Star Trek timeline . From John Colicos originating the character of Kor in Star Trek: The Original Series all the way to Robert Wisdom as Dak'Rah in Star Trek: Strange New Worlds , actors have found new and interesting ways to approach the classic warrior race. There's no better example of how intrinsically linked Star Trek is with the Klingons than the fact that Michael Dorn's beloved Worf is the longest-serving character in the entire franchise .

Why It Took Star Trek Almost 24 Years To Visit The Klingon Home World

The Klingons have been an integral part of Star Trek for almost 60 years, so why did it take nearly 24 years to visit their home world, Qo'noS?

10 Ma'ah (Jon Curry)

Star trek: lower decks.

Ma'ah (Jon Curry) is one of the newest additions to the Klingon canon, as he first appeared in Star Trek: Lower Decks , season 2, episode 9, "wej Duj" . Ma'ah had a meteoric rise through the ranks on the IKS Che'Ta', after he challenged his captain Dorg (Colton Dunn) to a duel for dishonorable conduct toward Federation allies. Ma'ah was later deposed as captain of the Che'Ta' by his crewmates, who wished to join Nova Fleet, commanded by Nick Locarno (Robert Duncan McNeill) in Lower Decks season 4.

*Availability in US

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"Star Trek: Lower Decks" focuses on the support crew serving on one of Starfleet's least important ships, the USS Cerritos, in 2380. Ensigns Mariner, Boimler, Rutherford and Tendi must keep up with their duties and their social lives, often while the ship is being rocked by a multitude of sci-fi anomalies. The ship's bridge crew includes Captain Carol Freeman, Commander Jack Ransom, Lieutenant Shaxs and Doctor T'Ana. This is the second animated spin-off in the franchise after 1973-74's "Star Trek: The Animated Series," but has a decidedly more adult tone and humor.

Stranded on Sherbal V, Ma'ah ended up in a brutal fight to the death with Lt. Beckett Mariner (Tawny Newsome). After calling a temporary truce, Ma'ah counseled Mariner on her internal struggle with her new promotion. A fierce Klingon warrior who also possesses emotional intelligence is hard to find , which makes Ma'ah something special in the Star Trek universe. By the end of Star Trek: Lower Decks season 4, Ma'ah and Mariner have become close friends, hopefully setting up a future appearance for the Klingon counselor in season 5.

9 Koloth (William Campbell)

Star trek: tos/ds9.

Captain Koloth (William Campbell) first appeared in Star Trek: The Original Series , season 2, episode 13, "The Trouble with Tribbles", in which he was roundly embarassed by Captain James T. Kirk (William Shatner) and the crew of the USS Enterprise. Enraged by his experiences with Kirk and the Tribbles, Koloth launched the Great Tribble Hunt , which eradicated the species from the galaxy for nearly 100 years. Koloth (this time voiced by James Doohan) again encountered Kirk in Star Trek: The Animated Series , and later confided in Curzon Dax that he regretted never meeting the Enterprise captain on the field of battle.

As well as playing Koloth, William Campbell also played Trelane in Star Trek: The Original Series , season 1, episode 18, "The Squire of Gothos".

Koloth was one of three returning Klingons in Star Trek: Deep Space Nine season 2, episode 19, "Blood Oath". The trio were reunited to seek vengeance on the Albino, who had been responsible for the deaths of their firstborn sons. Koloth fought bravely against the Albino and his troops, and honorably died in battle. As he proved against the Albino, Koloth is a great Klingon, but his quest to eradicate the Tribbles doesn't feel like an honorable pursuit for a warrior.

Star Trek: DS9 Had More TOS Tribbles Crossovers Than You Think

Star Trek: DS9's Tribbles crossover was groundbreaking but it wasn't the first time that elements from the TOS episode featured in Deep Space Nine.

8 Kang (Michael Ansara)

Star trek: tos/ds9/voyager.

Kang (Michael Ansara) was another of the three Klingons who returned for Star Trek: Deep Space Nine 's "Blood Oath" . Kang debuted in Star Trek: The Original Series , season 3, episode 11, "Day of the Dove", in which Kang and Kirk's crews' antagonism toward each other was feeding a manipulative energy being. In a rare display of cooperation between Kirk and the Klingons, he and Kang worked together to starve the creature by generating positive emotions. Kang later came into conflict with Captain Hikaru Sulu (George Takei) during the Khitomer Conspiracy, but both men emerged unscathed from the confrontation.

Star Trek: The Original Series

Star Trek: The Original Series follows the exploits of the crew of the USS Enterprise. On a five-year mission to explore uncharted space, Captain James T. Kirk (William Shatner) must trust his crew - Spock (Leonard Nimoy), Dr. Leonard "Bones" McCoy (Forest DeKelley), Montgomery "Scotty" Scott (James Doohan), Uhura (Nichelle Nichols), Chekov (Walter Koenig) and Sulu (George Takei) - with his life. Facing previously undiscovered life forms and civilizations and representing humanity among the stars on behalf of Starfleet and the United Federation of Planets, the Enterprise regularly comes up against impossible odds and diplomatic dilemmas.

Kang died alongside Koloth in battle against the Albino, and it was he who delivered the killer blow to his mortal enemy before succumbing to his injuries. A prolific character actor, Michael Ansara reflected in 1989 that it was still Kang that people recognized him for. Interviewed for Starlog #138 , Ansara talked of Kang's impact on the general public, saying:

" What's amazing is that even today, I still get recognized for that part. It is pleasurable and always positive, but surprising. I played that character almost 20 years ago, but people still remember. "

7 Kruge (Christopher Lloyd)

Star trek iii: the search for spock.

It takes a brave man to follow Ricardo Montalban's Khan Noonien Singh, but Christopher Lloyd's Kruge was a particularly dastardly villain . In Star Trek III: The Search for Spock , Kruge wanted to obtain Starfleet's Genesis Device technology. Kruge was utterly ruthless in his quest, killing anyone who had knowledge of Genesis - including his lover Valkris (Cathie Shirriff). After he arrived at the Genesis planet, Kruge destroyed the USS Grissom, and held the teenage Spock, Lt. Saavik (Robin Curtis), and Kirk's son David Marcus (Merritt Butrick) hostage.

Star Trek III: The Search for Spock

Although Kruge didn't kill Kirk's son directly , he did order the execution of the hostages, forcing David to sacrifice himself for Spock and Saavik. Kruge is arguably one of the very worst Klingon villains, as he has no redeeming features whatsoever. An opportunist who would kill anyone who stood in the way of his goals, Kruge possessed a ruthless brutality that is very Klingon. Kruge is eventually kicked off a cliff by Kirk, left to burn in the destruction of the Genesis planet at the end of Star Trek III: The Search for Spock .

Released in theaters last weekend in the UK, The Search for Spock and Inside Out 2 have much in common, making them a perfect double bill pairing.

6 General Chang (Christopher Plummer)

Star trek vi: the undiscovered country.

General Chang (Christopher Plummer) is the Klingon Empire's best Star Trek movie villain , appearing in Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country . A Klingon with a love of Shakespeare and a determination that his people shouldn't make peace with the Federation, General Chang was the Klingons' key representative in the Khitomer Conspiracy . It was Chang who allowed Chancellor Gorkon (David Warner) to be assassinated, only for the crime to be pinned on Captain Kirk and Dr. Leonard "Bones" McCoy.

Christopher Plummer's daughter Amanda played the villainous Captain Vadic in Star Trek: Picard season 3.

Once the conspiracy had been unearthed, General Chang took his Klingon bird-of-prey into battle against the USS Enterprise to prevent Kirk from notifying the Federation. Chang was killed in battle, earning him glory as a Klingon warrior. However, as he was effectively sealing the Klingon Empire's death warrant by rejecting the peace treaty, it's arguable if he was a truly great Klingon.

5 Lt. B'Elanna Torres (Roxann Dawson)

Star trek: voyager.

Following in the footsteps of Worf, Lt. B'Elanna Torres was a half-human, half-Klingon member of Voyager's Maquis crew . Torres regularly clashed with Captain Kathryn Janeway (Kate Mulgrew) throughout Star Trek: Voyager , but again, like Worf and Captain Jean-Luc Picard (Patrick Stewart) there was a mutual respect despite their occasional antagonism toward each other. Similar to Worf with his human upbringing, B'Elanna sometimes struggled to find a place for herself due to her dual heritage . This conflict became literal in the Star Trek: Voyager episode, "Faces", in which both aspects of B'Elanna Torres worked together, with the Klingon half dying in battle to save her human side.

The fifth entry in the Star Trek franchise, Star Trek: Voyager, is a sci-fi series that sees the crew of the USS Voyager on a long journey back to their home after finding themselves stranded at the far ends of the Milky Way Galaxy. Led by Captain Kathryn Janeway, the series follows the crew as they embark through truly uncharted areas of space, with new species, friends, foes, and mysteries to solve as they wrestle with the politics of a crew in a situation they've never faced before. 

Torres' internal struggle between her Klingon and human heritage resurfaced in the Star Trek: Voyager episode "Barge of the Dead". Discovering that her mother Miral is in hell, B'Elanna fights to earn her mother a place in Klingon heaven, Sto-vo-kor. However, it was revealed that Torres' determination to live life on her own was truly Klingon , a realization that ultimately saved her mother from an eternity in Klingon hell. While Torres may struggle to fully see herself as a Klingon throughout Voyager , there is no doubt that she has the heart of a warrior.

Star Trek: Voyager had many strengths, but writer Bryan Fuller explained how one of its weaknesses led to a dropped storyline for B'Elanna Torres.

4 Chancellor Gowron (Robert O'Reilly)

Star trek: tng/ds9.

Played by Robert O'Reilly , Chancellor Gowron is one of Star Trek 's best-loved Klingons . Not only did O'Reilly have a prolific career playing Gowron in 12 episodes of Star Trek , but he also adorned various bits of merchandise, including the videogame Klingon and the Star Trek: The Next Generation interactive board game. First introduced in TNG season 4, episode 7, "Reunion", Chancellor Gowron was a great ally of the Federation from his ascension to the head of the Klingon Empire to his fall from grace during the Dominion War.

Star Trek: The Next Generation

Star Trek: The Next Generation is the third installment in the sci-fi franchise and follows the adventures of Captain Jean-Luc Picard and the crew members of the USS Enterprise. Set around one hundred years after the original series, Picard and his crew travel through the galaxy in largely self-contained episodes exploring the crew dynamics and their own political discourse. The series also had several overarching plots that would develop over the course of the isolated episodes, with four films released in tandem with the series to further some of these story elements.

During his reign as Chancellor of the Klingon Empire, Gowron averted civil war, and even weathered a challenge to his position by the Klingon's mythical hero Kahless the Unforgettable. However, the infiltration of the Klingon Empire by the Changelings, and the increasing love for General Martok (J.G. Hertzler) severely dented Gowron's ego. Becoming increasingly reckless, Gowron had to be brought down by Worf during Star Trek: Deep Space Nine 's epic 10-part finale. While Gowron's death may have been ignominious, his impressive record before the Dominion War guaranteed his place in Sto-vo-kor.

3 General Martok (J.G. Hertzler)

Star trek: ds9.

General Martok (J.G. Hertzler) was the Klingon Empire's greatest military hero during DS9 's Dominion War . Among many military achievements, Martok played a vital role in retaking Deep Space Nine from the Dominion, which helped secure him the role of Supreme Commander of the Ninth Fleet. In this capacity, Martok and his fleet helped defend the Dorala system until Federation reinforcements arrived, and also scouted the Cardassian border for Dominion activity. As great a military mind Martok was, his loyalty to Chancellor Gowron began to be seen as a failing in the Dominion War's latter stages.

Star Trek: Deep Space Nine

Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, also known as DS9, is the fourth series in the long-running Sci-Fi franchise, Star Trek. DS9 was created by Rick Berman and Michael Piller, and stars Avery Brooks, René Auberjonois, Terry Farrell, and Cirroc Lofton. This particular series follows a group of individuals in a space station near a planet called Bajor.

Keen to gain some of the glory for himself, Chancellor Gowron demoted Martok and sent him on increasingly dangerous missions. Perceiving Martok as a threat to his status, Gowron wanted rid of the Klingon Empire's beloved war hero. Despite this, Martok refused to challenge Gowron, forcing Worf to fatally depose the Chancellor instead. A loyal servant of the Empire, and a decorated war hero, General Martok is one of the finest sons of Qo'noS , and was ultimately rewarded with the role of Chancellor.

2 Kor (John Colicos)

A Klingon Dahar Master , Kor (John Colicos) is the originator of the Klingons in Star Trek . Playing Star Trek: The Original Series ' first Klingon villain, John Colicos helped to define the look and mannerisms of a Klingon warrior. While there are obvious differences between the TOS Klingons and their 1990s counterparts, John Colicos as Kor originated the idea that these aren't just meatheaded warriors. Kor is cunning, charismatic, and above all, very funny indeed.

It's possible that, without the success of John Colicos as Kor, the Klingons would never have become the iconic Star Trek villains that still define the franchise nearly 60 years later. When John Colicos returned for Star Trek: Deep Space Nine 's "Blood Oath," he insisted that Kor survive to tell his story . This savvy move by the actor gave Kor further adventures in DS9 , as he sought the legendary Sword of Kahless, and finally ended his life in glorious battle against the Dominion.

Star Trek: DS9 pulled off an impressive classic Klingon reunion in "Blood Oath", but TOS actor John Colicos almost turned it down due to the script.

1 Worf (Michael Dorn)

Star trek: tng/ds9/picard.

Worf is the greatest Klingon , a history-making Starfleet officer who played an integral role against the existential threats of the Borg Collective and the Dominion. Orphaned by a Romulan attack and raised by humans, Worf often struggled to fit in with other Klingons. However, this arguably made Worf the most Klingon character in all of Star Trek . Worf is a fierce warrior, an honorable man, and a loyal subject of the Klingon Empire. However, he's not blind to the corruption and dishonor that can erode Klingon society, and he was often willing to make himself an enemy of the Empire to protect its integrity.

For example, in Star Trek: The Next Generation ' s "Sins of the Father", Worf accepted dishonor to protect the stability of the Klingon Empire. In Star Trek: Deep Space Nine season 4, Worf opposed the Klingon war against the Cardassians and was made an outcast. However, the revelations of Dominion interference later vindicated Worf's position. In his later years, the trauma and tragedy that Worf endured made him a terrific mentor in Star Trek: Picard . Now he's become an enlightened warrior poet, who isn't afraid to take arms and defend honor and integrity, Worf resembles the very best in all of Star Trek 's greatest Klingons.

Star Trek: Picard

After starring in Star Trek: The Next Generation for seven seasons and various other Star Trek projects, Patrick Stewart is back as Jean-Luc Picard. Star Trek: Picard focuses on a retired Picard who is living on his family vineyard as he struggles to cope with the death of Data and the destruction of Romulus. But before too long, Picard is pulled back into the action. The series also brings back fan-favorite characters from the Star Trek franchise, such as Seven of Nine (Jeri Ryan), Geordi La Forge (LeVar Burton), Worf (Michael Dorn), and William Riker (Jonathan Frakes).

Star Trek

star trek s2 e19

'Star Trek: Prodigy' warps into Season 2 with new Netflix trailer (video)

R esurrected by Netflix and zooming onto their streaming platform starting on July 1, 2024, the award-winning animated children's series, " Star Trek: Prodigy ," is cleared for launch and CBS Studios has just revealed the thrilling first trailer and key art for its next 20-episode mission.

This highly underrated project was developed by Emmy Award winners Kevin and Dan Hageman ("Trollhunters," "Ninjago") in collaboration with Alex Kurtzman to be the first all-ages "Star Trek" show out of spacedock, " Star Trek: Prodigy " premiered on Paramount+ in the fall of 2021 hauling a 20-episode split season that ended in December of 2022. 

The colorful kids' show centered around a rowdy gang of alien teenagers on the mining colony of Tars Lamora outside Federation space who discover an abandoned Starfleet ship, the USS Protostar, and must band together to escape from the Delta Quadrant all while learning about Starfleet during their cosmic misadventures.

Following its cancellation at its original home at Paramount+, Trekkies demanded that the series live long and prosper and mounted a serious online campaign to keep the show traveling at warp speed. Netflix thankfully came to the rescue and re-released the premiere season last Christmas to prep fans for the new adventures.

Here's the official Season 2 synopsis:

"In Season 2, these six young outcasts who make up the 'Prodigy' crew are assigned a new mission aboard the USS Voyager-A to rescue Captain Chakotay (voiced by Robert Beltran) and bring peace to Gwyn’s (voiced by Ella Purnell) home world. However, when their plan goes astray, it creates a time paradox that jeopardizes both their future and past."

"Prodigy's" stellar vocal cast includes Kate Mulgrew (Hologram Kathryn Janeway), Brett Gray (Dal), Ella Purnell (Gwyn), Rylee Alazraqui (Rok-Tahk), Angus Imrie (Zero), Jason Mantzoukas (Jankom Pog), Dee Bradley Baker (Murf), John Noble (The Diviner) and Jimmi Simpson (Drednok).

Season 2's additional voice co-stars are Robert Picardo (The Doctor), Jason Alexander (Doctor Noum), Daveed Diggs (Commander Tysess), Jameela Jamil (Ensign Asencia), Ronny Cox (Admiral Jellico) and Michaela Dietz (Maj’el).

"We deeply appreciate our fans who have stood by us and our passionate crew who made this all possible. The work speaks for itself, but it's the heart that will endure," said co-showrunners Kevin and Dan Hageman in a statement regarding the sophomore season's debut.

Landing July 1, 2024, "Star Trek: Prodigy" hails from CBS' Eye Animation Productions, Nickelodeon Animation, Secret Hideout, and Roddenberry Entertainment. Alex Kurtzman, Heather Kadin, Aaron Baiers, Rod Roddenberry and Trevor Roth act as executive producers with co-showrunners Kevin and Dan Hageman. Ben Hibon multitasks as a main director, executive producer, and series lead creator.

Key art for Netflix's "Star Trek: Prodigy" Season 2

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Captain's Log - Season 2 (2022)

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20 Episodes

S2 e1 - scotty baker - from steadicam operator to director, this is his world of star trek and beyond, s2 e2 - 10 best episodes that exemplify the ideals star trek, s2 e3 - patricia tallman - from star trek stunts to security... space has limitless roles for this actress, s2 e4 - dennis madalone - a legendary career spanning decades, s2 e5 - jeremy roberts - portraying a multitude of characters plus discussing dmitri valtane and jem'hadar, s2 e6 - assimilating the collective: 10 best borg episodes, s2 e7 - julianne grossman the familiar voice of sound advice; embodied as the u.s.s. discovery ship's computer, s2 e8 - rachael ancheril - life as a successful actress in camera-front and behind as a photographer, part 1, s2 e9 - rachael ancheril - life as a successful actress in camera-front and behind as an animal welfare advocate, part 2, s2 e10 - mark riccardi - the living legacy of hollywood stunts and beyond in star trek, s2 e11 - dan curry - visual effects producer/supervisor; emmy award winner - star trek, s2 e12 - season 2, s2 e13 - season 2, s2 e14 - season 2, s2 e15 - season 2, s2 e16 - season 2, s2 e17 - season 2, s2 e18 - season 2, s2 e19 - season 2, s2 e20 - season 2.

beginning March 1, 2022. Bryan, Lili, and Rogg returned for a second season of talk show news and interviews. Highlights were interviews and a top ten list on best Borg episodes.

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The Joy of Painting

  • Cast & crew
  • User reviews
  • Episode aired Jun 17, 1989

Mick Fleetwood and Diana Muldaur in Star Trek: The Next Generation (1987)

A midlife Betazoid condition renders Ambassador Troi hot on the hunt for romance and wedlock with Captain Picard - or any man. A midlife Betazoid condition renders Ambassador Troi hot on the hunt for romance and wedlock with Captain Picard - or any man. A midlife Betazoid condition renders Ambassador Troi hot on the hunt for romance and wedlock with Captain Picard - or any man.

  • Gene Roddenberry
  • Tracy Tormé
  • Hans Beimler
  • Patrick Stewart
  • Jonathan Frakes
  • LeVar Burton
  • 23 User reviews
  • 9 Critic reviews

Patrick Stewart and Rhonda Aldrich in Manhunt (1989)

  • Captain Jean-Luc Picard

Jonathan Frakes

  • Commander William Thomas 'Will' Riker

LeVar Burton

  • Lieutenant Geordi La Forge
  • (credit only)

Michael Dorn

  • Lieutenant Worf

Marina Sirtis

  • Counselor Deanna Troi

Brent Spiner

  • Lieutenant Commander Data

Wil Wheaton

  • Wesley Crusher

Diana Muldaur

  • Doctor Katherine Pulaski

Majel Barrett

  • Lwaxana Troi …

Robert Costanzo

  • Slade Bender

Carel Struycken

  • Chief Miles O'Brien

Robert O'Reilly

  • Antedian Dignitary

Wren T. Brown

  • Transporter Pilot
  • Crewman Nelson
  • (uncredited)
  • All cast & crew
  • Production, box office & more at IMDbPro

Did you know

  • Trivia Mick Fleetwood : The Fleetwood Mac legend appears under heavy make-up as an Antedian dignitary.
  • Goofs In The Big Goodbye (1988) , Picard coughed immediately after lighting a cigarette - a normal reaction for a non-smoker. This time he puffs away without any problem. This may merely be an indication that, after playing Dixon Hill in several (not shown) adventures, Picard has either gotten used to smoking, or at least learned how to puff a cigarette without inhaling the smoke, thus avoiding the coughing. It's also possible that the holodeck has been configured to produce smoke that's only visual and not irritating to Picard.

Counselor Troi : [to Picard] My mother is beginning a physiological phase. It's one that all Betazoid women must deal with as they enter midlife.

Commander William T. Riker : Yes, it's something Troi warned me about when we first started to see each other. A Betazoid woman, when she goes through this phase... quadruples her sex drive.

Counselor Troi : Or more.

Commander William T. Riker : Or more? You never told me that.

Counselor Troi : I didn't want to frighten you.

  • Connections Featured in Avatar Review (2010)
  • Soundtracks Star Trek: The Next Generation Main Title Composed by Jerry Goldsmith and Alexander Courage

User reviews 23

  • Benjamin_Cox
  • Jun 18, 2024
  • June 17, 1989 (United States)
  • United States
  • Official site
  • Paramount Studios - 5555 Melrose Avenue, Hollywood, Los Angeles, California, USA (Studio)
  • Paramount Television
  • See more company credits at IMDbPro

Technical specs

  • Runtime 45 minutes
  • Dolby Digital

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