Star Trek: Season 1, Episode 18

Arena (19 Jan. 1967)

TV Episode  |   |  Action, Adventure, Mystery
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Reviews: 15 user | 9 critic

For bringing hostility into their solar system, a superior alien race brings Captain Kirk in mortal combat against the reptilian captain of an alien ship he was pursuing.



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Episode complete credited cast:
Jerry Ayres ...
Lieutenant Kelowitz
Tom Troupe ...
James Farley ...
Lt. Commander Lang
Carolyne Barry ...
Metron (as Carole Shelyne)


When a reptilian alien race known as the Gorn destroys an Earth colony, the Enterprise comes under attack by the Gorn vessel. Captain Kirk soon gives chase to the Gorn ship, leading them to an unexplored solar system, gradually (and dangerously) increasing speed. Kirk prepares to destroy the Gorn ship until another race of powerful aliens called the Metrons stops them and forces both captains to face off in mortal combat. The main purpose of this one-on-one duel is to solve their dispute, the winner will be released and the loser will be destroyed along with his ship and crew. Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


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Release Date:

19 January 1967 (USA)  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


Captain Kirk's chase of the Gorn ship is reminiscent of Captain Ahab from Herman Melville's "Moby Dick," a metaphor used quite frequently in Star Trek productions. See more »


(at around 37 mins) As Kirk is preparing to fire a mortar round at the Gorn, a stage hand's shadow is seen moving across the actors. See more »


[first lines]
Captain James T. Kirk: You'll enjoy Commodore Travers. He sets a good table.
Dr. McCoy: I wonder if he brought his personal chef along with him to Cestus III.
Captain James T. Kirk: Probably. Rank hath its privileges.
Dr. McCoy: [they both chuckle] How well we both know that!
See more »

Crazy Credits

The closing credits are set against a combination background of stills from that episode and previous episodes. See more »


Referenced in Flat Earth Clues: Introduction (2015) See more »

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User Reviews

What happened to the Gorns?
17 January 2015 | by (Buffalo, New York) – See all my reviews

Some aliens have destroyed a Federation colony with a Pearl Harbor style attack and the Enterprise is in pursuit. But the whole thing is halted by a super race known as the Metrons. They whisk the captain of the alien ship and William Shatner down to an uninhabited earth like planet for single combat. Single combat without the use of their futuristic weapons though.

If I was laying odds I wouldn't give much chance for Captain Kirk's survival. He's facing a Gorn, a reptile looking creature that's big and slow and strong. Whoever wins gets to take his ship and crew home and the other gets destroyed.

The Metrons look like our conception of angels in western tradition. These folks don't serve a universal Deity however. But they're way in advance of us or the Gorn.

Super beings the Enterprise contacted before and would again in Star Trek prime. But we never see the Gorn again in any Star Trek show. I think the writers thought them too difficult to work with in putting together a plot. Aliens we meet later on were far more erudite.

Secretly I think the Metrons were rooting for Kirk. But they sure didn't make it easy for him.

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