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?


The colony where the story opens is called Cestus 3, a name which foreshadows the main theme. A cestus was a Roman boxing glove fitted out with deadly weapons such as spikes, and used by gladiators in the arena. See more »


Captain Kirk refers in his log to the Arena planet as an "asteroid" which it clearly isn't. 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!
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Crazy Credits

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

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User Reviews

Not one of the first seasons finer moments
24 March 2007 | by (Vulcan) – See all my reviews

I enjoyed this episode much more when I was a kid, growing up on Star Trek.

The episode that brought us the memorable fight between Kirk and a 6' tall scaled down version of Godzilla (The Gorn Captain) is not one of the better thought-out first season episodes. It starts out strong - somebody has completely destroyed a federation outpost and Enterprise detects an alien vessel while the landing party is stuck on the surface. A brief engagement is followed by a long pursuit, as Kirk's desire for revenge mounts. Finally, both ships are stopped by yet another omnipotent advanced culture, The omnipotent alien power (The Metrons) exsplain that violence is not tolerated in their system and that the Gorn and Star Fleet are therefore unwelcome. And Kirk and his counterpart on the Gorn ship are transported to a planet to settle their dispute with hand-to-hand combat. To the victor goes life. To the loser - death for the entire crew. The Metrons have apparently adopted pacifism, but have no qualms about hypocrisy. Kirk's character is also somewhat inconsistent throughout this episode. The Gorn's lizard body suit is pretty cool looking, but his costume, as well as that of the Metron is straight out of Flash Gordon. Despite its high rating among some fans, I consider this episode somewhat dispensable.

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