Star Trek: Season 1, Episode 20

Court Martial (2 Feb. 1967)

TV Episode  |   |  Action, Adventure, Mystery
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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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Title: Court Martial (02 Feb 1967)

Court Martial (02 Feb 1967) on IMDb 7.4/10

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Episode complete credited cast:
Percy Rodrigues ...
Portmaster Stone (as Percy Rodriguez)
Samuel T. Cogley (as Elisha Cook)
Joan Marshall ...
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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Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


This takes place in 2267. See more »


When McCoy is eliminating heartbeats, he positions the device to the center of Mr. Spock's chest. It has already been established (in Mudd's Women) that Vulcans do not have their heart located at that position. See more »


[Kirk has been accused of perjury]
Captain James T. Kirk: I'm telling you, I was there, on the bridge. I know what happened. I know what I did.
Portmaster Stone: It's in the transcript! And computer transcripts don't lie! Now, I'm telling you, Captain, either you accept a permanent ground assignment, or... the whole disciplinary weight of Starfleet Command is going to light right on your neck.
Captain James T. Kirk: So that's the way we do it now? Sweep it under the rug, and me along with it? Not on your life. I intend to fight!
Portmaster Stone: Then you draw a general court...
Captain James T. Kirk: [...]
See more »


Referenced in The Hunt for Red October (1990) See more »

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User Reviews

The one with the set-up
18 July 2009 | by (Italy) – See all my reviews

Generally, Star Trek is good at drawing parallels between science-fiction and the real world. This time, however, the use of a very real situation such as a court martial to provide a little suspense doesn't really work out.

The court martial is set up by Starfleet (mentioned for the first time here) to find out if Kirk behaved improperly during a crisis. He claims he did everything by the book, but the Enterprise's computer records - unquestionable evidence by everyone's standards - seem to indicate the death of a crewman (an old friend of Kirk's, no less) was the result of the captain's negligence. Lucky for him, his lawyer doesn't trust computers, and sets out to prove something went wrong, while Spock does the same on the ship.

The outcome is pretty predictable, which is why Court Martial doesn't impress as much as previous episodes. Okay, so it's a given Kirk will never get in any serious trouble, but this time the story suffers from a clear lack of proper drama and a couple of unnecessary clichés (the prosecutor is one of Kirk's ex-girlfriends). Nevertheless, the story's examination of the man vs. machine theme is still relevant, and despite the sub-par twists, Shatner and Nimoy are always a riot.

7 of 10 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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