On a mission to establish diplomatic relations at Star Cluster NGC321, Kirk and Spock beam down to planet Eminiar 7 to learn that its inhabitants have been at war with a neighboring planet for over 500 years. They can find no damage nor evidence of destruction but soon learn that their war is essentially a war game, where each planet attacks the other in a computer simulation with the tabulated victims voluntarily surrendering themselves for execution after the fact. When the Enterprise becomes a victim in the computer simulation and ordered destroyed, Kirk decides it's time to show them exactly what war means. Written by
Did You Know?
This episode was assigned to be filmed as Production #23, and "Space Seed" as Production #24. However, as problems arose with the script, needed to be solved by further re-writing by Gene Coon
, the staff switched productions with Star Trek: Space Seed
(1967), whose script was in a shootable condition. This resulted in "Space Seed" being filmed first, before this one. However, the switch was so quick, they never bothered to change the production numbers, therefore it was believed for decades that this episode was filmed first. Clapperboard images from both episodes also confirm that "Space Seed" was the first to be filmed. See more
When Ambassador Fox beams down it is implied that he beamed down on his own authority without Scotty (in charge) knowing about it. Seems that a bridge officer would have immediately known if a transporter was being used without authorization. See more
Are those five hundred people of yours more important than the hundreds of millions of innocent people on Eminiar and Vendikar? What kind of monster are you?
Captain James T. Kirk
I'm a barbarian. You said it yourself.
Referenced in Star Trek: By Any Other Name