Star Trek: Season 1, Episode 10

The Corbomite Maneuver (10 Nov. 1966)

TV Episode  -   -  Action | Adventure | Sci-Fi
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Ratings: 8.2/10 from 1,231 users  
Reviews: 15 user | 10 critic

After the Enterprise is forced to destroy a dangerous marker buoy, a gigantic alien ship arrives to capture and condemn the crew as trespassers.



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Title: The Corbomite Maneuver (10 Nov 1966)

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Episode complete credited cast:
Anthony D. Call ...
Dave Bailey (as Anthony Call)


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 garykmcd

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


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Release Date:

10 November 1966 (USA)  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


This is the fourth episode in which Captain Kirk appears bare-chested. See more »


When Kirk, McCoy and Bailey are in the transport room ready to beam over to the alien ship, they are bent over with their hands on their knees. When they arrive McCoy has his hands off his knees and slightly to the side. See more »


Balok (voice): [over intercom] Your recorder marker has been destroyed. You have been examined. Your ship must be destroyed. We make assumption you have a deity, or deities, or some such beliefs which comfort you. We therefore grant you ten Earth time periods known as minutes to make preparations.
See more »


Featured in Pioneers of Television: Science Fiction (2011) See more »

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User Reviews

When All Else Fails, Bluff Your Way Out Kirk-style
27 June 2006 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Technically the first episode filmed after the 2nd pilot, "Where No Man Has Gone Before," this comes across as almost experimental, a dry run for the rest of the first season. You see rarely seen angles, such as from behind Kirk as he exits the turbolift onto the bridge. Though overall the episode comes across as not very eventful by the standards of most Trek episodes, its strengths are showcasing various crew members and their reactions to the presumed threat they face. Exploration is the key factor, as will be usual: the Enterprise is in an unknown sector of space and suddenly blocked by some revolving cube device. Forced to destroy this after it starts emitting radiation, Kirk now faces a choice or path - proceed further to face possible other dangers or turn around. We get a case study of how starship captains earn their pay - the buck seems to stop with him and his next decision could have long reaching ramifications. Within the possibilities of exploration, the theme here is the unknown: how do we, as a species, face it? Do we go on, advance, taking that risk, or do we stop and perhaps stagnate?

But despite grandiose ideas about mankind's future in exploring the galaxy, it boils down to the human equation of how men & women react and interact aboard such a ship. Guest star Call is excellent as the young navigator whom Kirk perhaps promoted too quickly. His nervous breakdown on the bridge is beautifully played. Then McCoy & Kirk get into it as the ship and crew have maybe three minutes of life to go, arguing over the distressed crewman. Even Spock seems uneasy as he fails to find an alternative for the now edgy Kirk, again a well-acted scene. It comes across as very true-to-life, a realistic study of people under tremendous pressure. Kirk's tactic of bluffing a far superior enemy shows, in the first of many such instances in the series, just how quickly and cannily Kirk thinks on his feet and why he is captain. No one aboard, including Spock (who prefers chess to poker) would have come up with such a play. That all being said, this episode is probably best remembered for that long shot of the colossal ship Fesarius approaching the Enterprise. With some of the best dramatic Trek score blaring away at us, it still gives me goose bumps.

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