Kirk draws a court martial in the negligent death of a crewman.



(teleplay by) (as Don M. Mankiewicz), (teleplay by) | 2 more credits »

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Episode complete credited cast:
Commodore Stone (as Percy Rodriguez)
Samuel T. Cogley (as Elisha Cook)
Richard Webb ...
Hagan Beggs ...
Mike Timothy (as Winston DeLugo)
Alice Rawlings ...
Nancy Wong ...
Personnel Officer
Bart Conrad ...
William Meader ...
Captain Lindstrom
Reginald Lal Singh ...
Captain Chandra


After encountering a severe ion storm, the Enterprise visits Star Base 11 for repairs. While there, Kirk files a report about the death of crewman and former friend LCDR Finney, who was taking scientific readings in an externally mounted instrument pod before Kirk needed to jettison it for the safety of the ship. However, the computer log shows that Kirk jettisoned the pod before there was a danger, thereby revealing the captain's willful perjury and culpable negligence in crewman Finney's death. Or so it would seem. Written by Tony-B4

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


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Release Date:

2 February 1967 (USA)  »

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Technical Specs


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Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


Areel Shaw sports the only female dress uniform in the series. It has gold braid on the cuffs as well as a Starfleet breast patch, which the male uniforms do not. The hemline is also somewhat lower than the usual female duty uniforms. See more »


During the trial, only Spock and Kirk are identified by name and serial number by the computer when they take the stand. The Personnel Officer and Dr. McCoy are not - the computer starts with the witness' rank and current station. This is out of 'character' for the computer, as each person's personnel record would properly identify the person by name and rank at the beginning. See more »


Mr. Spock: Lieutenant, I am half-Vulcanian. Vulcanians do not speculate. I speak from pure logic. If I let go of a hammer on a planet that has a positive gravity, I need not see it fall to know that it has in fact fallen.
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Referenced in Star Trek: The Trouble with Tribbles (1967) See more »


Theme From Star Trek
Written by Alexander Courage
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User Reviews

The acting saves this one
5 April 2007 | by (Vulcan) – See all my reviews

What should have been one of the worst first season episodes is salvaged by solid performances by William Shatner and guest stars Percy Rodriguez and Elisha Cook Jr, good editing and directing. Cook is especially charming as the defense attorney representing Kirk in a court martial concerning the death of a Lieutenant Commander who shares a rocky history with our captain, and Shatner's acting is spot-on for this difficult episode. Daniels' directing is also fairly good, but hampered by the limitations of the plot.

The initial premise is promising. Kirk is charged with negligence in the death of a Lt Comm Finney, whose career has been overshadowed consistently by Kirk's. Kirk repeatedly claims that he jettisoned Finney's pod after declaring a red alert and telling Finney to get to safety, but the ship's video record and computer logs tell a very different story. (Incidentally, one of the most ridiculous use of props I have ever seen in ST occurs in the crucial courtroom scene involving the video logs - take a close look at the control panel Kirk uses to jettison the pod. How many pods does the Enterprise jettison in a given day, and why does the Captain do this himself from a control panel on his arm rest???).

Unfortunately, just as the full story is revealed, the episode devolves into a poorly considered, rather cliché conclusion - which I will not discuss in order to avoid a spoiler.

7 of 9 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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