Star Trek: Season 1, Episode 21

The Return of the Archons (9 Feb. 1967)

TV Episode  |   |  Action, Adventure, Mystery
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Ratings: 7.3/10 from 1,112 users  
Reviews: 15 user | 10 critic

Seeking the answer to a century-old mystery, Kirk and crew encounter a vacantly peaceful society under a 6000-year autocratic rule that kills all those it can't absorb.



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


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

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

23rd century | See All (1) »


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Release Date:

9 February 1967 (USA)  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


When the landing party are enquiring about rooms Tula asks are you from the valley in a Welsh accent. See more »


After the away-team discover the stunned Lieutenant O'Neil, one of them nearly stumbles over the extended foot of a "stunned" woman who adjusts her foot for him. See more »


Mr. Spock: How often mankind has wished for a world as peaceful and secure as the one Landru provided.
Captain James T. Kirk: Yes. And we never got it. Just lucky, I guess.
See more »


Spoofed in Sex at Six (2001) See more »

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User Reviews

Sure it's stupid and often makes no sense, but I still enjoyed the episode
6 December 2006 | by (Bradenton, Florida) – See all my reviews

The idea of a planet where everyone is "absorbed" and become like one giant group of cooperative zombies is pretty cool, so the basic concept isn't bad. And the idea that this Landrew character is sort of like "Big Brother" and watches and controls everything is also pretty exciting. However, the execution of the episode isn't all that great--particularly the whole "red hour" segment. At the red hour, every one of the very peaceful and placid people of the planet become raving maniacs and run amok--this NEVER was explained and didn't fit into the plot at all. I really think they added it because someone thought the episode was dull and thought "let's add a cleaned-up version of an orgy to keep the viewers awake". Well, it just irritated me. And, overall, the episode was very watchable but far from memorable. The show just needed more fun and energy.

11 of 21 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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