The Federation clashes with the Klingon Empire over mining rights to Capella IV. A sudden coup between its warrior-minded inhabitants forces Kirk's party to flee with the now dead leader's pregnant wife.



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Episode complete credited cast:
Cal Bolder ...
Ben Gage ...
Kirk Raymond ...
Duur (as Kirk Raymone)
Bob Bralver ...
Grant (as Robert Bralver)


The Federation is in competition with the Klingons for an alliance with the inhabitants of Capella IV. The Capellans are a warrior tribe and there is dissension among them as to who to sign the mining rights treaty with. McCoy is familiar with their customs having once spent several months there. When a Capellan, who clearly favors the Klingons, stages a coup, Kirk, Spock and McCoy flee with the now dead leader's wife, who is about to give birth. Meanwhile, the Enterprise receives a distress call from a Federation vessel under attack and, with Scotty in command, leaves orbit. Written by garykmcd

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Release Date:

1 December 1967 (USA)  »

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Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


The name of Tige Andrews's character Kras is never spoken. He is only called "Klingon." See more »


When Kirk is fighting a Capellan guard to save Eleen, there is a series of sudden cuts that disrupt continuity. See more »


Maab: The Earthmen?
Eleen: Dead. I killed them as they slept.
See more »

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User Reviews

Kirk & Spock in Trek's Land of the Giants
8 October 2006 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

The title refers to the original hard luck kid, a child of misery. In this case, it's the unborn child of a ruler who has just been killed in a coup; hence, the child's life is forfeit, before it even begins. This is the alien culture to which Kirk, Spock and McCoy beam down as guests and end up as fugitives. Overall, this is a good example of Roddenberry's vision, that of meeting and dealing with other planetary cultures. Writer Fontana managed to create a warrior-race here with truly alien morals, customs and sensibilities (in our eyes), a culture which seems very cruel and so high on testosterone that even Kirk looks somewhat fragile in many scenes. There's even a cool new weapon invented for this episode, the kligat (oops, sounds like Klingon). Of course, except for their average height of 6 and a half feet, the natives here are probably just a throwback to ancient Earth cultures, such as the Vikings or those barbaric hordes which threatened Rome on occasion. Although, this culture of '10 Great Tribes' also reminds one of Earth's past royalty, where-in royal heirs were sometimes assassinated at early age - notably in Rome itself. This may make them obvious allies of the Klingons, one of whom shows up here to bedevil Kirk (following "Errand of Mercy"). But, as is usual for Trek episodes, the story doesn't follow the obvious path.

It turns out, these Capellans are much more honorable than the average Klingon of the original series and this all gets spelled out by the conclusion. Interestingly, McCoy is the resident expert on these people, due to spending time on the planet in the past. His retort to the Klingon during a key meeting scene is a near-classic Trek moment. The story is hampered by a limited, plodding plot line and a female queen/spoiled brat (Newmar) who is definitely an acquired taste - some viewers may find her amusing, a la the later "Elaan of Troyius" - and most will be annoyed. Most of the 2nd half consists of our heroes scrambling among rocks and hills to stay out of reach of the trailing alien posse. The story is also filled with silly moments and contrivances. Kirk fights one of the lethal male Capellans during the takeover coup as both McCoy & Spock stand a couple of feet away looking quite bored. The Klingon (actor Andrews of "Mod Squad" fame) has the new ruler in his pocket and then throws it all away near the end for no real reason except a bad temper and no patience. And why did the Klingons send only one agent, anyway? Seems like they were too sneaky for their own good. Then there's the whole 'kootchy-koo' scene I always try to forget. I did like Scotty's latest turn commanding the Enterprise; his 'fool me once, fool me twice' line is a good moment for the actor, Doohan.

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