Star Trek (1966–1969)
20 user 4 critic

The Corbomite Maneuver 

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

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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

Plot Keywords:

alien | bluff | test | human | poker | See All (139) »


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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?


Ted Cassidy, who provided the voice of Big Baloc, also played the giant android Ruk in _What Are Little Girls Made Of". See more »


Just after Kirk attempts to bluff Balok with the description of Corbomite, Spock refers to his parents in the past tense - as if they no longer exist. In Star Trek: Journey to Babel, Spock's parents actually make an appearance. See more »


Lieutenant Dave Bailey: It's blocking the way!
Mr. Spock: Quite unnecessary to raise your voice, Mr. Bailey.
See more »


Referenced in The Venture Bros.: Assisted Suicide (2010) See more »


Star Trek Theme Song
Written by Alexander Courage
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User Reviews

International Relations 101
29 May 2009 | by (The San Francisco Bay Area) – See all my reviews

Not so much a Cold War analogy as some Star Trek episodes tended to be, this particular installment of the classic 1960's Star Trek franchise dramatizes the push and pull, the ebb and flow, of two nations coming into conflict with one another, and how the game of denial, deception, and bluff (usually in the form of classic saber rattling) can remand relations to square one.

This is the genius of Star Trek. The ability to codify everyday experiences into a dramatized setting for comment. When I first viewed it I understood the underlying message, but not the entire theme and ramifications thereof. It would take another thirty years for me to go "Ah-HA! I get it now..." Oh sure, I understood the whole misunderstanding and suspicion thing, but I figured it was story filler. As it turns out, this episode, like nearly all Trek episodes, cleverly illustrates the extension of male oriented interpersonal relations manifested on a national level. A little counter to this high minded philosophizing is the introduction of a character on the bridge who represents the fear and loathing of the common man, and the innate reptile (or inner child) as he follows orders (or his inability thereof). And therein lies a whole other level of meaning above and beyond geo-politics.

Production Values; the SFX for 1960s television are what they are; i.e. not always convincing, but able to get their point across. Ditto with one artificial "alien", though this is countered by some optical effects and the overall thesping by the cast (including the voice actor for the off-screen dialog). I've not seen the remastered episodes, but, of all the classic Trek that have had their SFX and other production values tweaked for modern visual sensibilities, I'm very interested in seeing this one.


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