Star Trek: Season 1, Episode 21

The Return of the Archons (9 Feb. 1967)

TV Episode  -   -  Action | Adventure | Sci-Fi
7.3
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Ratings: 7.3/10 from 903 users  
Reviews: 14 user | 8 critic

The Enterprise travels to Beta III to learn the fate of the U.S.S. Archon, gone missing a century earlier. One member of the landing party disappears, and one returns in a strangely ... See full summary »

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Cast

Episode cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
Harry Townes ...
Torin Thatcher ...
Marplon
...
Brioni Farrell ...
...
First Lawgiver
Charles Macaulay ...
Jon Lormer ...
Tamar
Morgan Farley ...
Karl Held ...
Lindstrom (as Christopher Held)
...
...
...
Sean Morgan ...
Lt. O'Neil
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Storyline

The Enterprise travels to Beta III to learn the fate of the U.S.S. Archon, gone missing a century earlier. One member of the landing party disappears, and one returns in a strangely blissful state. Kirk beams down with another landing party; amidst the chaos of "Festival" their hosts asks if they are "Archons." To learn more, Kirk must convince Betan citizens to disobey Landru, the man who has ruled them for 6,000 years - or find those who already resist. But with the Lawgivers everywhere, that task is going to be difficult... Written by CommanderBalok

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23rd century


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9 February 1967 (USA)  »

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1.33 : 1
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Trivia

The word Archon was the title of certain Greek heads of state, most famously in the Athenian Republic. It comes from Greek root "arch", meaning "leader, highest, chief", which can also be found in the English words monarch, hierarchy, and anarchy; all of these are present in Landru's society. See more »

Goofs

When the landing party ducks into Tamar's house during the festival, it is broad daylight. However a few minutes later when Tamar shows them to their room it is completely dark outside. See more »

Quotes

Captain James T. Kirk: You'd make a splendid computer, Mr Spock.
Mr. Spock: That is very kind of you, Captain.
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Connections

Spoofed in Sex at Six (2001) See more »

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User Reviews

 
"You will be Absorbed"
23 April 2013 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

This episode spot-on delivers a fist to the face of Religious EXTREMISM. And I hope, it broke some noses in the process.

Extremism is not limited to any particular religion, it can infect any of the worlds great religions. And much like The "Chronicles of Riddick" - If an extremist cannot convert you, they will probably try to kill you.

The idea that the absolute truth is only available to those who believe in one particular religion, is folly and fallacy, and maybe apostasy. And just like the planet Beta III in this episode, we see what happens to a society when all creative incentive is forbidden to the membership and only allowed to the leadership - The society which is based on the religion becomes stagnant.

This difficult-to-watch Star Trek Original Series episode shows how such a society will look, the membership, while outwardly proclaiming peace and Joy, have neither. They are tightly controlled, and Law is upheld by Fear Alone.

Taken one step further, the leadership of this stagnation is a machine! And so we have here the very first Computer-Confounding of James T Kirk's career. He becomes an expert in the destruction of computers using illogic, up to and including V'Ger. So maybe this is not as funny as they way he did it in "I, Mudd" - But the process he uses is very much the same.

On a Side-Note, Jon Lormer, who plays the Illusion "Dr Haskins" in "The Cage/The Menagerie" is "Tamar" - The First casualty of this episode at the hands of "Landru" (Charles Macaulay).


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