Star Trek: Season 1, Episode 26

Errand of Mercy (23 Mar. 1967)

TV Episode  -   -  Action | Adventure | Sci-Fi
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Ratings: 8.3/10 from 891 users  
Reviews: 11 user | 7 critic

With a war with Klingons raging, Kirk and Spock attempt to resist an occupation of a planet with incomprehensibly placid natives.



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Title: Errand of Mercy (23 Mar 1967)

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Episode complete credited cast:
Peter Brocco ...
Victor Lundin ...
David Hillary Hughes ...
Walt Davis ...
George Sawaya ...
Second Soldier


War! The Klingons and the Federation are poised on the brink, and then war is declared. Kirk and Spock visit the planet Organia. Organia, inhabited by simple pastoral folk, lies on a tactical corridor likely to be important in the coming conflict. Whichever side controls the planet has a significant advantage. But the Organians are a perplexing people, apparently unconcerned by the threat of the Klingon occupation or even the deaths of others in their community. Finally, Kirk and the Klingon commander Kor learn why, and the reason will change Federation/Klingon relations for decades to come. Written by CommanderBalok

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


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Release Date:

23 March 1967 (USA)  »

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


John Colicos was willing to reprise the role of Governor Kor in a follow-up, but scheduling conflicts prevented this. The role of Captain Kang (Michael Ansara) in Star Trek: Day of the Dove (1968) was originally written for Kor. See more »


The Klingon military decree is written in English. Since the "universal translator" only applies to speech, the paper should be written in some alien script. See more »


Mr. Spock: Captain, our information on these people and their culture was not correct. This is not a primitive society making progress toward mechanization. They are totally stagnant. There is no evidence of any progress as far back as my tricorder can register.
Captain James T. Kirk: That doesn't seem likely.
Mr. Spock: Nevertheless, it is true. For tens of thousands of years, there's been absolutely no advancement, no significant change in their physical environment. This is a laboratory specimen of an arrested culture.
See more »


Referenced in Star Trek: Enterprise: Observer Effect (2005) See more »

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User Reviews

"What happens in space is not your business..."
7 February 2012 | by (The San Francisco Bay Area) – See all my reviews

Sayeth Kor, the Klingon garrison commander of Organia. Colicos has the most memorable lines in this episode; commenting on everything from being touched to the glory of the Klingon Empire.

The Klingons, as originally written in the Star Trek bible, were a riff on the Communist Chinese, seen from a social dynamic as one being economically aggressive at one time in history, only to have fallen from grace and embrace the share-and-share-alike servitude from Marx's mind. The Klingon Empire is described as being a military dictatorship. The Klingons are the self proclaimed conquerors of space (or will be anyway), and Organia being in the disputed region, it is one of the first planets to fall into the fray.

Kirk and Spock take it upon themselves to show the primitives how they can resist the tyranny of Klingon occupation. Kor protests and takes action.

But there's a twist here. The battlefield that would be, one inhabited by the primitives of a far flung world, has a secret that the warring parties will discover.

It's a bit of a condescending episode in terms of what causes international conflict, and on the same vein rather naive. There's a real ivory tower perspective on the part of the author of this particular episode as he imparts his personal wisdom and outlook on why countries war with one another.

But, there it is. Opposing sides stare one another in the face, ready to annihilate life on a planetary scale when something happens. There's an admonishment from an over-bearing school teacher with all of the common sense of a PTA mother who utters inane phrases to her children after they've been bullied. The concept was to show how ridiculous the exercise would be, and the bloodshed as a result.

This episode is a reflection the face between the then so called First and Second World powers, with the Third World caught in the middle. It is an unexpected twist from the Third World representative that we get the PTA mother for the episode.

As such the action in this episode is confined to Star Fleet's executive officers hailing from the U.S.S. Enterprise, our vessel and home for our favorite TV show.

The highlight is seeing Star Fleet's finest pitted against the best the Klingon Empire has to offer. Who wins? You be the judge.


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