Star Trek (1966–1969)
18 user 5 critic

The Return of the Archons 

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.



(teleplay by), (story by) | 1 more credit »

Watch Now

With Prime Video





Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Brioni Farrell ...
First Lawgiver
Charles Macaulay ...
Karl Held ...
Lindstrom (as Christopher Held)
Sean Morgan ...


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


See all certifications »


Official Sites:



Release Date:

9 February 1967 (USA)  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


The absorption console that Marplon uses appears later, with modifications, as Norman's relay station in Star Trek: I, Mudd (1967), a control panel on Memory Alpha in Star Trek: The Lights of Zetar (1969), the housing for the cloaking device in Star Trek: The Enterprise Incident (1968), and the Elba II force field control panel in Star Trek: Whom Gods Destroy (1969). See more »


Kirk seems overly impressed with the projected image of Landru while in Reger's safe place. Spock tells Kirk it's a projection, and Kirk seems amazed that there is no receiving apparatus at their location. However, Kirk's own transporter aboard his ship can transmit matter and even living things across vast distances with no apparatus at the receiving end. See more »


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


Referenced in The Omega Man (1971) See more »


Theme From Star Trek
Written by Alexander Courage
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

Imagine How Boring This Planet Is
28 April 2014 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

The story opens with Sulu and one of those expendables exploring what appears to be sort of an old Western town (that's probably where the set came from). They are pursued by guys in monk's cloaks. They cower in a doorway as one of these guys shoots Sulu with a bamboo pole. He immediately starts grinning as Kirk simultaneously beams him up. The next part of the show has them trying to rescue the other guy. Sulu is under house arrest. The kicker is that this planet is full of benevolent (to a fault) people who walk around in a giddy daze, greeting each other. But at the "Red Hour" everyone goes berserk. There is murder and rape and all manner of violence. If you are lucky enough to survive you hop up, dust yourself off, and head for home or wherever. This a world dominated by an an entity called Landru (didn't he used to coach the Dallas Cowboys? Just kidding). He can inflict great pain on those who defy him. It is up to Kirk and Spock to figure out who he is and what to do. This is another episode where a computer somehow wields great power. It won't be the last.

2 of 4 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for: