Star Trek: Season 3, Episode 15

Let That Be Your Last Battlefield (10 Jan. 1969)

TV Episode  |   |  Action, Adventure, Mystery
7.2
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Ratings: 7.2/10 from 902 users  
Reviews: 16 user | 2 critic

The Enterprise encounters two duo-chromatic and mutually belligerent aliens who put the ship in the middle of their old conflict.

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Title: Let That Be Your Last Battlefield (10 Jan 1969)

Let That Be Your Last Battlefield (10 Jan 1969) on IMDb 7.2/10

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Storyline

While on a mission of mercy, the Enterprise comes across a shuttle craft stolen from Starbase 4. Its occupant is Lokai, a humanoid who is exactly half black and half white. Soon his pursuer, Commissioner Bele, arrives on board demanding that Lokai be turned over to him for transport to their home planet where Lokai has been convicted as a terrorist. Both men have extraordinary powers and it turns out that the pursuit has lasted 50,000 years. Their hatred of one another is racially based and, despite attempts by Kirk and others, they are not prepared to reconcile. The pursuit ends on their home planet where they learn the fate of their races. Written by garykmcd

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10 January 1969 (USA)  »

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1.33 : 1
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Trivia

First use of the self-destruct sequence in the series, later used in Star Trek III: The Search for Spock (1984) and the subsequent Star Trek television series. See more »

Goofs

Captain Kirk calls a red alert, and the klaxon is heard and the red light is shown going on and off. When Bele appears, the alert is no longer heard, though the red light is still shown. After the commercial break, the red alert can be heard again, even though the "emergency" is over. See more »

Quotes

Lokai: You monotone humans are all alike. First you condemn and then attack!
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Connections

Spoofed in The Simpsons: The Man Who Came to Be Dinner (2015) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Red Alert - Self-Destruct Sequence in Progress!
3 March 2007 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

I was prepared to vote lower on this overbearing, transparent commentary on racism until I viewed it again: there are some compelling scenes, it turns out, mostly courtesy of actor Gorshin (better known as the Riddler on the "Batman" TV show) as Commissioner Bele. He does overact as he spews his venomous hatred to anyone within earshot (anyone within a light year, it seems like), but it's a curiously appropriate performance - apropos the wild, irrational tone put on display for the taken aback Enterprise crew. Bele grits his teeth, chews up phaser blasts, and appears ready to hurl physical bile past his abused larynx due to so many years of pent-up fury (very many years, it's revealed - see below). The crew, of course, are well evolved beyond the petty prejudices we see here and so we see things from their aghast perspective. Bele is, for purposes of this story, the half-black: the upper class establishment figure of his alien planet, used to putting certain people in their place. But, the story doesn't take sides; Lokai, the half-white - the pursued lower class persecuted figure - doesn't come off looking any better. He seems most content being the center of attention, displays similar prejudice against mono-colored peoples and probably wouldn't mind sacrificing thousands of his 'followers' if it made him look heroic in the end. Though a product of the relevant sixties, this hasn't dated as much as one would think.

There's a reason, by default, that this episode may not rate higher: with no one to root for, the story lacks a focal point or someone we can relate to. We listen to both Bele & Lokai angrily espouse their views throughout the episode, reminding us of various speeches by political leaders, but, in the end, it all comes off as pointless ranting and babbling - neither one is worth listening to. It's a 'message' episode, watch out. And, in this case, the message seems to be that if you're filled with hate, you'll end up running around the Enterprise corridors to no purpose. That's it, after 50,000 years? I would've preferred a number of 50 years or even 50 centuries, but, according to this episode, these two guys have been running around the galaxy since Cro-magnon man first developed on Earth. I suppose this extreme length of time was meant to stress the futility of their irrational hatred or to lend a cosmic slant to their never-ending antagonism, but come on, Trek. So these guys are immortal, have personal force shields and Bele can control the ship with his mind. Were all their race so accomplished? We'll never know. This episode does have the marvelous self-destruct sequence initiated by Kirk, in which Spock & Scotty join in to voice the self-destruct codes. This sequence manages to squeeze out every bit of suspense possible for such a televised few minutes and foreshadows the now-famous sequence later duplicated in the 3rd Trek film, "The Search For Spock." Knowing what we do now about that movie, the countdown to doom in this episode is all the more chilling.


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