Star Trek: Season 3, Episode 7

Day of the Dove (1 Nov. 1968)

TV Episode  |   |  Action, Adventure, Mystery
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Ratings: 8.1/10 from 971 users  
Reviews: 11 user | 4 critic

Both humans and Klingons have been lured to a planet by a formless entity that feeds on hatred and has set about to fashion them into a permanent food supply for itself.


(as Marvin Chomsky)


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Episode complete credited cast:
David L. Ross ...
Lt. Johnson (as David Ross)
Mark Tobin ...


Having found a Federation colony of 100 people completely destroyed, Kirk and the Enterprise have to deal with a nearby Klingon vessel which they believe must be responsible for the colony's destruction. When the Klingon ship is disabled, they, in turn, assume they were attacked by the Enterprise. There is obvious tension between the Enterprise crew and its Klingon enemies. Unbeknown to Kirk and his Klingon counterpart, Kang, this is the work of an alien being that gets its energy from the friction and emotions between sentient beings. The natural animosities between the two parties feed its appetites. When the creature is beamed aboard the Enterprise, it purposely creates tension among the crew, to its benefit. The situation eventually forces Kirk and Kang to work together to defeat it. Written by garykmcd

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Release Date:

1 November 1968 (USA)  »

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Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


This episode was originally written with John Colicos' Kor (from Star Trek: Errand of Mercy (1967) as Kirk's Klingon adversary. Although Mr. Colicos really wanted to reprise that role, he was in Europe making Anne of the Thousand Days (1969), and was unavailable. The part was recast with Michael Ansara as "Kang". See more »


When a sword appears in Kirk's hand, it is obviously blunted and dulled. It should have been sharp and dangerous for the camera close-up. See more »


Dr. McCoy: Gentlemen, if we are pawns, you're looking at one who is extremely sorry.
Mr. Spock: I understand, Doctor. I, too, felt a brief surge of racial bigotry. Most distasteful.
See more »


Referenced in Star Trek: Voyager: Flashback (1996) See more »

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User Reviews

The Kang War - Stardate: Armageddon
20 January 2007 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

One thing about the original Trek series - it had its share of great titles, this one included. It's probably my personal favorite of the episodes from the 3rd season: it's an obvious action episode and doesn't let up for its entire length. This also contains the best Klingon interpretation on the original series, courtesy of actor Ansara. I recall reading somewhere a long time ago that Ansara wasn't the first choice for the part; well, after he got it, he just tore into it with a fearful vengeance. If the original Trek series had continued into a 4th and 5th season, this would have been the Klingon to bring back for another confrontation with Kirk and the crew. Only the Khan character from "Space Seed" presented a superior antagonist for our Starfleet heroes. Kang just oozes that tough leathery Klingon orneriness which set a new standard for how the race was portrayed (he was also one of the Klingons brought back during the later series, on DS9). He really commands our attention here with a truly charismatic portrayal by Ansara. This episode also delivers a few memorable scenes of our heroic Enterprise officers behaving in atypical fashion, recalling a few other episodes where they were subverted mentally somehow. In this case, it involved reversion to basic primal instincts such as race hatred and bloodthirst, allowing actors Kelley, Doohan, Koenig and even the usually placid Nimoy to tap into their inner rage. The intense quarrel between Spock and Scotty is especially startling.

The plot seems very simple, yet is deceptively brilliant: group two sets of warring factions (Starfleet & Klingons) into equal numbers of 38 each on a ship such as the Enterprise, remove all advanced weapons and arm each side with swords; then set them at each others throats. Then sit back and watch. One can envision an entire season of such a story, an endless tale of conflict on a drifting starship out in space. It's an early version of video games that wouldn't come about until over a decade later. Of course, this is a bit more sophisticated, a commentary on the nature of war and bigotry. It's very easy to hate such beings as the Klingons for most of us, especially in view of the way they were depicted on the original series, including in this episode. They come across as, at best, belligerent and vicious, in contrast to the more civilized Starfleet crew. But, as the episode progresses, we begin to see less and less differences, until, by the end, we also begin to wonder what these guys are fighting about; they're two sides of the same coin with minor idealogical differences, as mentioned way back in "Errand of Mercy." It's interesting to hear Kang's wife speak of the Federation's death camps and realize we'd heard pretty much the same thing about Klingons in this and earlier episodes. It's an exciting entry for the 3rd season, with excellent pacing, superb editing (Scotty thrusts with a sword and it cuts to the ship zooming towards us) and loads of tension. The ending is a bit too syrupy for my taste, but I still get a kick out of Kang's last shot at Kirk. Klingons just can't resist some of the baser things in life.

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