Star Trek: Season 1, Episode 13

The Conscience of the King (8 Dec. 1966)

TV Episode  -   -  Action | Adventure | Sci-Fi
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Ratings: 7.3/10 from 1,037 users  
Reviews: 14 user | 10 critic

While Captain Kirk investigates whether an actor is actually a presumed dead mass murderer, a mysterious assailant is killing the people who could identify the fugitive.



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Title: The Conscience of the King (08 Dec 1966)

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Episode complete credited cast:
Arnold Moss ...
Barbara Anderson ...
William Sargent ...
Dr. Tom Leighton
Natalie Norwick ...
Martha Leighton
David Somerville ...
Larry Matson (as David-Troy)
Karl Bruck ...
Marc Grady Adams ...
Hamlet (as Marc Adams)
Bruce Hyde ...


Capt Kirk is informed by an old friend, a colonial governor, that a Shakespearean acting troupe on his world is led by a man once known as Kodos the Executioner. Kodos had most of his colony killed when food supplies ran short rather than have so many starve. The only surviving witnesses to his actual appearance are Kirk, his friend, and a young crewman on the Enterprise. Kirk dismisses his friend's accusations until he turns up murdered, and his crewman nearly so. Karidian denies he's Kodos. Is he telling the truth? If so, who is behind the murders? Written by Tony-B4

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


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Release Date:

8 December 1966 (USA)  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


In an never-filmed scene from the script, Yeoman Rand interrupted Kirk and Lenore on the observation deck to bring Kirk a report. This was incorporated into a 1994 Star Trek comic book story, "The Dream Walkers". See more »


Mr. Spock reports that Governor Kodos had his 4000 victims killed efficiently and "without pain." The brutally half-destroyed face of Dr. Leighton, also attributed to Kodos, seems to be at odds with this claim. See more »


Karidian: I am an actor. I play many parts.
Captain James T. Kirk: You're an actor now. What were you twenty years ago?
Karidian: Younger, Captain. Much younger.
See more »


Referenced in The Simpsons: Treehouse of Horror (1990) See more »


Beyond Antares
Music by Wilbur Hatch
Lyrics by Gene L. Coon
Performed by Nichelle Nichols
Harpsichord by Marl Young
Guitar played by Laurindo Almeida
See more »

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User Reviews

A troupe of strolling players
13 December 2014 | by (Buffalo, New York) – See all my reviews

The Enterprise is sent for under false pretenses by scientist William Sargent. A theatrical troupe is performing MacBeth and it's nice to see he's still appreciated in the future. Sargent is sure that the lead actor Arnold Moss is the notorious Governor Kodos who committed a genocidal massacre on an earth colony. And Captain Kirk and Lieutenant Riley on the Enterprise are some of the few survivors left who could remember the mass murderer.

But William Shatner's also mixing business with a little pleasure as he romances Moss's daughter Barbara Anderson who seemingly has no idea of who or what her father could be.

Shatner's also getting understandably obsessed, so much so that an unheard of alliance between the bickering Leonard Nimoy and DeForest Kelley concerning Shatner's normal undeviating devotion to duty.

Of course there's something amiss when Sargent is killed and Bruce Hyde playing Lieutenant Kevin Riley is nearly poisoned.

Some nice guest star turns from both Arnold Moss and Barbara Anderson before she became a policewoman on Ironside. Anderson especially goes into an incredible mad act.

This one is one of the best from season one.

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