Star Trek: Season 3, Episode 2

The Enterprise Incident (27 Sep. 1968)

TV Episode  -   -  Action | Adventure | Sci-Fi
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Ratings: 8.6/10 from 980 users  
Reviews: 9 user | 3 critic

An apparently insane Capt. Kirk has the Enterprise deliberately enter the Romulan Neutral Zone where the ship is immediately captured by the enemy.


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Episode complete credited cast:
Richard Compton ...
Technical Officer
Robert Gentile ...
Mike Howden ...
Romulan Guard
Gordon Coffey ...
Romulan Soldier


The Enterprise deliberately crosses the Neutral Zone, on Kirk's orders, into Romulan space and is promptly surrounded by Romulan warships, each equipped with a "cloaking device" that renders it undetectable. Spock betrays the apparently irrational and paranoid Kirk to the Romulan commander, a woman who is obviously attracted to Spock. A deadly game between Kirk, Spock and the Romulans risks not only the Enterprise but the tenuous cease-fire between the Romulans and the Federation. Written by Tom D.

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Release Date:

27 September 1968 (USA)  »

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Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


First broadcast episode of Star Trek (1966): The Original Series to feature the D7 Klingon battle cruisers. Although the episode Star Trek: Elaan of Troyius (1968) was produced 3 months before this episode, and technically the first to feature the D7s, this episode was aired on TV first, since NBC changed the airing order for all the episodes. For the Remastered series in 2006, digital shots of the D7s were inserted into scenes in the episode Star Trek: Errand of Mercy (1967), which now officially makes that episode to be the first to have the D7s. See more »


The Enterprise crew are shocked to learn that their surprise capture may be due to a new cloaking technology possessed by the Romulans. Kirk and crew already encountered cloaked Romulans two years earlier in Star Trek: Balance of Terror. However, the cloaking technology in Star Trek: The Enterprise Incident is new because it is improved. The Enterprise was still able to track a Romulan ship, though not accurately, in "Balance of Terror" and cannot detect them at all with this improved version. See more »


[first lines]
Dr. McCoy: [voice-over] Enterprise Medical Log, stardate 5027.3, Dr. Leonard McCoy recording. I'm concerned about Captain Kirk. He shows indications of increasing tension and emotional stress.
Chekov: I have completed the assignment, Captain: a theoretical incursion...
Captain James T. Kirk: Yes, Mr. Chekov, I can read, and as usual, your theoretical evaluations do not tally with mine. Return to your duty, and I'll let you know when your work is satisfactory. Mr. Spock, full sensor scan on the region, please.
Spock: I did give a ...
See more »

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User Reviews

The Mission of the Enterprise is Impossible
6 January 2007 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

The "Mission:Impossible"-style entry of the original series, dealing with espionage and subterfuge and con games of galactic proportions. This is the return of the Romulans ("The Deadly Years" doesn't really count) after their smashing debut in "Balance of Terror." It's small wonder that this race is a favorite among Trek fans; both their original episodes are particularly strong. At the start of the episode, we learn, via an echoing voice-over from McCoy, that Kirk has been behaving oddly, as if the stress of command had taken its toll. Indeed, when I first saw this as a kid, I thought, by the end of the first act, that - yep, Kirk's lost it; he's really sailed over the edge in this one; all those conflicts with Klingons, Kelvans, crazy computers, space amoebas, cloud creatures, disembodied brains, doomsday machines and Tribbles have finally produced some post-traumatic stress syndrome in the poor captain's psyche. Yep, it was only a matter of time - Kirk isn't invincible, after all. It was a great set-up: both on the audience and on the soon-to-be hapless Romulans. They're cool here, as to be expected, but when up against the likes of both Kirk & Spock in full 'special mission' mode, they have no chance. These two have altered the cultures of entire planets, after all.

This episode also represents an interesting insight into the culture and social politics of our sixties decade. Here we meet a commander, of either captain or commodore rank, who is (surprise) female; this was unprecedented back then, yet she is on the Romulan (the enemy) side. On our side, the Federation, females up to this point filled such occupations as yeomans and nurses only, with the occasional prosecutor and communications assist. This appeared to be all that was allowed by the powers-that-be until then, as indicated by the rejection of the 2nd-in-command female officer from the first pilot, "The Cage." So, it seems as if Roddenberry and the writers sneaked in this high-ranking female because a supposed villainess or enemy of high rank was deemed acceptable by decision makers - let the enemy indulge in these strange promotions and see what happens. Well, as it happens, it worked against the Romulans: it was unusual to see Spock in the role of seducer, the part usually played by Kirk (who also reverted to his crazy-eyed bonkers routine here, recalling the excesses of such episodes as "The Enemy Within"). This was a fine thriller all-around, with unexpected twists and turns during each act, such as the unveiling of the Vulcan death grip technique, up to and including the conclusion. Oh, yeah, and Spock gets slapped again (his mom did the honors back in "Journey to Babel").

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