Star Trek: Season 1, Episode 23

A Taste of Armageddon (23 Feb. 1967)

TV Episode  |   |  Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi
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Ratings: 8.1/10 from 1,124 users  
Reviews: 14 user | 9 critic

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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Title: A Taste of Armageddon (23 Feb 1967)

A Taste of Armageddon (23 Feb 1967) on IMDb 8.1/10

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Episode complete credited cast:
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David Opatoshu ...
Gene Lyons ...
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Mea 3
Miko Mayama ...
Yeoman Tamura
David L. Ross ...
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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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Trivia

Spock refers to himself in this episode as a "Vulcanian" rather than a Vulcan, one of very few times in the series where the longer synonym is spoken. Also, the Enterprise's protection is called screens rather than shields. See more »

Goofs

Ambassador Fox and his aide beam down to the planet even though the "Enterprise's" deflector screens are up - it was stated that transport could not take place under those conditions. However, Mr Scott had moved the Enterprise further out into space, in a wider orbit, where sonic disruption was impossible. The locals even acknowledged that they could not attack the ship. Therefore, it is reasonable that screens could be opened briefly for transport. See more »

Quotes

Scott: The best diplomat I know is a fully activated phaser bank.
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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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