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"Star Trek" A Private Little War (TV Episode 1968) Poster

(TV Series)

(1968)

Trivia

The Mugato was called The Gumato in the original script. But DeForest Kelley kept mispronouncing it so it was changed. The closing credits still name the creature as The Gumato.
The Star Trek Universe has been known to tackle societal, political, environmental, and other types of issues throughout the history of the franchise. This one tackled the Vietnam War head-on, not only specifically pointing out the "20th-Century brush wars on the Asian continent", but also as portraying the Federation and the Klingon Empire as superpowers using an otherwise peaceful world as pawns in their struggle for power (a direct allegory of the Cold War at that time, between NATO and the Red Bloc).
(At around 17 mins) Is the first clear close-up ever of the Sick Bay panel. The vertical scales are, from left to right: Temperature - left scale in °F and right in °C -, Brain - K3 (unknown unit)-, Lungs - no units, but it seems to measure FRC (Functional Residual Capacity) in liters, Cell Rate - no units -, Blood - O5 (perhaps pressure) - and Blood - T2 × 10 (Blood transverse relaxation time - ms ×10). Center symbols: Top Circle "Respiration", second Circle "Pulse" then two legends: Adjust for Normal, Recorder.
The mugato was designed by Janos Prohaska, who had also created the Horta for Star Trek: The Devil in the Dark (1967).
First of two appearances of Booker Bradshaw as Dr. M'Benga, the expert of Vulcan physiology.
An obvious reference to the western classic cliché of white and black hats (white hat = good guy, black hat = bad guy), the use of blond hair for the 'good guys' and black hair for the 'bad guys'.
The planet they're on is named Neural in the script, but this name is never heard in the show itself.
Janos Prohaska owned the ape suit, having acquired it from a previous film project.
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."
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This is the only episode in Season 2 to not have a happy ending music.
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If, as Spock observes, the landing party's use of phasers is "expressly forbidden," it is not clear why the members were armed to begin with. The same inconsistency crops up in "The Omega Glory."
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Stock footage of the White Rabbit's footprints from "Shore Leave" were used for the mugato prints.
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This takes place in 2268.
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Booker Bradshaw also appears as Doctor M'Benga in "That Which Survives".
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In Don Ingalls' original story outline, the Klingon antagonist was Kor from the episode "Errand of Mercy".
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Ned Romero appeared in the Star Trek: The Original Series episode "A Private Little War" as Krell, the Star Trek: The Next Generation episode "Journey's End" as Anthwara, and the Star Trek: Voyager episode "The Fight" as Chakotay's grandfather.
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This episode features the last production credit for showrunner Gene L. Coon who resigned halfway through Season 2. His replacement John Meredyth Lucas struggled to come to terms with the show's unrelenting schedules and the budget cuts that Paramount was insisting on. NBC were also unhappy about the show's implications about sex, threatening the airing of a show that was already on the borderline of cancellation.
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Nancy Komack's character (Nona), displays her navel, despite the folklore that broadcast standards censors prohibited showing that part on a female.
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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.
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George Takei (Sulu) does not appear in this episode.
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Krell's name is never mentioned but is shown in the script.
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See also

Goofs | Crazy Credits | Quotes | Alternate Versions | Connections | Soundtracks

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