In a section of unexplored space, the Enterprise comes across a marker of sorts that will not let it pass. They destroy the marker and move on but soon find themselves in conflict with an unknown alien who accuses them of trespassing and tells them they have only 10 minutes to live. Kirk decides it's time to play a little poker and literally bluff his way out of the situation by telling the alien that the Enterprise has a device on board that will destroy the alien as well as the Enterprise. The bluff works but the alien turns out to be something quite unexpected. Written by
Did You Know?
This is the earliest episode of the main series (excluding the two pilots) to be filmed. See more
When Balok begins his 10-minute countdown of the Enterprise's destruction, McCoy enters the bridge wearing a standard long-sleeve uniform shirt. Shortly after this, camera cuts around the bridge include one focused on Spock and McCoy standing by the science station, with McCoy wearing his short-sleeve medical tunic. Then, when Lt. Bailey has his frantic outburst, McCoy goes to him to calm him, wearing the long-sleeve shirt again. See more
Four minutes, thirty seconds.
You have an annoying fascination for time pieces, Mr. Sulu.