Star Trek (1966–1969)
20 user 5 critic

The Conscience of the King 

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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Episode complete credited cast:
Yeoman Rand
William Sargent ...
Natalie Norwick ...
Martha Leighton
David Somerville ...
Larry Matson (as David-Troy)
Karl Bruck ...
King Duncan
Marc Grady Adams ...
Hamlet (as Marc Adams)
Bruce Hyde ...


Captain Kirk is informed by his old friend, Dr. Thomas Leighton, that the head of a Shakespearean acting troupe on his world was once known as Kodos the Executioner. As Governor of Tarsus IV, 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, Leighton, and a young crewman on the Enterprise. Kirk dismisses Leighton's accusations until he turns up murdered, and his young crewman nearly so. The head of the Shakespearean acting troupe, Anton Karidian denies that he's Kodos. Is he telling the truth? If so, who's behind the murders? Written by Tony-B4

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


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Release Date:

8 December 1966 (USA)  »

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Did You Know?


Joseph Mullendore's score for this episode would be heard again in Star Trek: Court Martial (1967), Star Trek: Shore Leave (1966), Star Trek: Space Seed (1967), Star Trek: The City on the Edge of Forever (1967), and in the teaser of Star Trek: The Return of the Archons (1967). See more »


Riley wears a gold uniform shirt indicating he's a member of the Command Division. However, he is seen serving both the Communications and Engineering Departments, and should be wearing a red Ship's Services Division shirt. See more »


Lenore Karidian: And this ship... All this power, surging and throbbing yet under control. Are you like that, Captain? All this power at your command, yet the decisions that you have to make...
Captain James T. Kirk: Come from a very human source.
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Referenced in The Simpsons: Treehouse of Horror V (1994) 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
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User Reviews

My Point of View
5 January 2016 | by See all my reviews

I am going to review a different angle on this episode. Costumes and hairstyles. This is just a fabulous episode for those of us into fashion. The mini mini skirts and glittering hosiery. The tall tall hair styles achieved with many hair pieces. Fur and jewels on men and woman. And those mod mod prints that hint at Pucci as the designer. The sixties had a space age feel to fashion so it has a great futuristic feel to it while being very much still the sixties.

Another part of the plot that I liked especially well was having Spock at the forefront of the plot. He is baffled by the captains behavior and starts to unravel the mystery. I think Spock was at his best in this. Of course I am a huge mystery fan so this episode appealed in that aspect.

And it should be mentioned that Uhuru sings a strange spacey song while playing her autoharp like instrument.

The glorious color of this episode was a special treat too as I saw these episodes in black and white originally. That violet sky was a great touch.

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