Star Trek (1966–1969)
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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 »

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Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Harry Townes ...
Brioni Farrell ...
First Lawgiver
Charles Macaulay ...
Jon Lormer ...
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

Plot Keywords:

23rd century | See All (1) »


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Release Date:

9 February 1967 (USA)  »

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Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


This episode started out in July 1964, as a story outline by Gene Roddenberry entitled "The Perfect World" (later retitled "Paradise XML", "Visit to Paradise", and "Landru's Paradise"), which was a candidate to be the first pilot, alongside Star Trek: The Cage (1986) and "The Women". After the former was chosen by NBC, Roddenberry's story idea rested for more than two years. In August 1966, freelance writer Boris Sobelman picked up Roddenberry's original story, and developed it further, retitling it "The Return of the Archons" See more »


In the initial set-up of the story, Sulu calls the Enterprise and asks for an emergency beam-up. Why did he not just use the emergency signal as used in Star Trek: Tomorrow Is Yesterday? See more »


Bilar: Joy to you, friends.
Captain James T. Kirk: Joy to YOU.
Bilar: You be strangers. Come for the festival, are ya?
Captain James T. Kirk: Yes.
Bilar: Got a place to sleep it off yet? Go around to Reger's house. He's got rooms, but you'll have to hurry. It's almost the red hour.
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Theme From Star Trek
Written by Alexander Courage
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User Reviews

You are not of the body...
6 July 2006 | by (Granite Bay, CA) – See all my reviews

This is the word of Landru! "You will be absorbed...your individuality will merge into the unity of good."

This episode always makes me wonder if this was the inspiration for the BORG. The planet has 1 ruler/leader, who's name is Landru. But he is really just a computer. This was a common theme in the original Star Trek...computers gone awry. In the episode all citizens must become "of the body". If they aren't "of the body", they are pointed out, or busted by those of the body. Once "assimilated", all citizens feel joy, peace and contentment. The BORG obviously take this concept to another level, but the similarities are very apparent.

In the projection of Landru...he says "you are an infection" to Kirk and crew. Very Borg like indeed.

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