Star Trek (1966–1969)
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A Taste of Armageddon 

Kirk and Spock must save their ship's crew when they are declared all killed in action in a bizarre computer simulated war where the actual deaths must occur to continue.

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Cast

Episode complete credited cast:
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Gene Lyons ...
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Miko Mayama ...
Yeoman Tamura
David L. Ross ...
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Sean Kenney ...
Robert Sampson ...
Sar 6
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Storyline

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 garykmcd

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23 February 1967 (USA)  »

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1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

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 »

Goofs

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 »

Quotes

Anan 7: 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.
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Connections

Referenced in Star Trek: By Any Other Name (1968) See more »

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User Reviews

Often wrongfully dismissed.
4 May 2009 | by (The San Francisco Bay Area) – See all my reviews

The few reviews of this episode have given it a dismissive treatment, and for some very superficial reasons.

Consider; the "aliens" are ostensibly Anglo North Americans who speak perfect North American English, the computers are from the age of vacuum tubes, there's little in the way of cultural adornment, and the production values, even for a classic Trek episode, seem to be a little on the low side.

But, if one merely looks at it for its gloss, then the viewer is missing the larger theme of this very profound episode (as many classic Trek episodes tend to be).

In years past when two factions contended over resources, they fought man to man. There was a sense of personal jeopardy when engaging in combat. There was a stake involved on all levels; national, communal, and personal.

In "A Taste of Armageddon", we're shown the pitfalls of automating international conflict; i.e. warfare. Or, in this case, interplanetary warfare. We're shown a society that's become heartless by trying to preserve it's social life at all costs. And this is where the episode should hit the most astute of viewers.

Today, in the United States, we live in a push button society. At the click of a mouse we can call up any fantasy we want via the computer. In the real world this kind of mechanical symbiosis is taken to the next level by calling up death with the click of a mouse by a seaman in a submarine or a remote control pilot firing a hellfire missile from a predator drone. We now pick and choose our targets, almost seemingly on a whim.

The idea is to minimize death and destruction. A kind of jujitsu approach to warfare via defanging the opposition. Anon 7 states the reasons for this approach to warfare, but Kirk reminds of what it is he and the rest of his people are afraid of.

The speech delivered at the end by Captain James T. Kirk is typical Shatner-esquire drama. The words he delivers should strike home for anyone who's ever thought of organized warfare on any level. This is the heart of the story. This is the message, and a warning for future generations.


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