Star Trek (1966–1969)
22 user 6 critic

Spectre of the Gun 

As punishment for ignoring their warning and trespassing on their planet, the Melkot condemn Capt. Kirk and his landing party to the losing side of a surreal recreation of the 1881 historic gunfight at the OK Corral.



(created by), (as Lee Cronin)

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Episode complete credited cast:
Charles Maxwell ...
Charles Seel ...
Bill Zuckert ...
Ed McCready ...
Abraham Sofaer ...
Melkotian (voice)


When the Enterprise trespasses into uncharted territory, Kirk, Spock, McCoy, Scott and Chekov are transported to a location that has all the trappings of the American Old West. It's October 26, 1881, and Kirk soon realizes they are in Tombstone, Arizona, on the day of the famed gunfight at the OK Corral between the Clanton gang and the Earps - with Kirk and company representing the ill-fated Clantons. If history is to be repeated, they will fairly all be killed so must use whatever resources availed to them to defeat the threat and survive. The solution, however - and the only way of escape - lies within them. Written by garykmcd

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Release Date:

25 October 1968 (USA)  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


Rex Holman (Morgan) later played the settler J'onn in Star Trek V: The Final Frontier. See more »


After realizing who they all are, a bar fight that ends with a shooting occurs. The external shots of the bar from the crew's perspective show no one in the bar. As soon as they enter, the bar is teeming with people. See more »


Capt. Kirk: Who do you think I am?
Ed: Ike Clanton. Who do YOU think you are?
Capt. Kirk: Well, I know this is hard to understand, but I'm Captain James T. Kirk of the spaceship Enterprise. These men are part of my crew. We're not really here. We're from the future.
[Ed starts to laugh]
Capt. Kirk: We haven't been born yet!
[Ed laughs heartily]
Capt. Kirk: Feel the material in my shirt. And now feel the material in your own shirt. Do you notice any difference?
Ed: Nope.
Capt. Kirk: [getting exasperated] Do these clothes look like yours?
Ed: Mmm, not exactly.
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References Hour of the Gun (1967) See more »

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User Reviews

"For violating Melkotian space.........."
10 May 2014 | by (Buffalo, New York) – See all my reviews

Once again Star Trek writers went back into an earth identification to come up with a story about that great western event the gunfight at the OK Corral in outer space. To be fair here this was a race that had great power of illusions and set this all as a trap for the cast members and crew of the USS Enterprise.

The Melkotians whom we get a glimpse of and who Abraham Sofaer gives voice to have had a strict isolationist policy having ventured forth into the universe and not liking what they see. So when the Enterprise comes calling on a diplomatic mission like Commodore Perry was in Japan the aliens take their weapons, give them old Colt 45 six guns and set them down in a replica of Tombstone, Arizona where everyone calls, Kirk, Spock, Chekhov,Scotty, and McCoy the names of the participants in the famous gunfight with the Earp family.

Sad to say that Blazing Saddles came around a half dozen years later and seeing the 'Tombstone set' I was reminded of the fake town that Cleavon Little had the townspeople of Red Rock make. It does take away from the serious aspect of the episode, but not exactly Gene Roddenberry's fault.

Of course they pass the Melkotian test, but as to how, let's say that Leonard Nimoy's abilities as a Vulcan come in mighty handy here.

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