The Enterprise's sensor readings indicate a planet unsuitable for any carbon-based life at the level of a developed civilization. Suddenly they get an apparition in space from someone who looks like and claims to be Abraham Lincoln. He insists on them checking him out and coming over to a small part on the planet surface (which has suddenly developed a perfect atmosphere for humans). He is received with full presidential honors and Kirk and Spock agree to beam down with him, but as they do, phasers and tricorders fail to dematerialize with them, and communicators won't work. There they meet Surak, the greatest Vulcan of all time, equally convincing. The quartet is greeted by a creature consisting of molten rock who presents them to notorious historical villains Ghengis Khan, Colonel Green, Zora and the Klingon Kahless the Unforgettable. They're told the teams represent good versus evil and must battle to the death against each other to teach the creature their concept. When Kirk ... Written by
Did You Know?
"The Savage Curtain" introduces Klingon founding father Kahless and Vulcan founding father Surak to the Star Trek universe. Kahless' history played an important role in several episodes of Star Trek: The Next Generation
(1987) and Star Trek: Deep Space Nine
(1993) (where he is regarded as a force for good, contrary to the sentiments expressed here), and Surak's history was crucial to the final season of Star Trek: Enterprise
(2001) which also gave a little bit of backstory to Colonel Phillip F. Green. Zora of Tiburon is the only "historic" figure introduced here who was not further developed in a later Star Trek series. See more
Star Trek The Original Series was notoriously inconsistent in its clues as to when it takes place. This one contains two contradictory statements within itself. Early on, Scotty says that Abraham Lincoln
has been dead for 3 centuries, suggesting that they are in the middle of the 22nd century. Later, Colonel Phillip Green is said to be from the 21st century and that his treachery happened "centuries ago." The plural reference to centuries since the 21st suggests they're past the 22nd and into at least the 23rd. See more
Captain James T. Kirk
The very reason for the existence of our starships is contact with other life. Although the method is beyond our comprehension, we have been offered contact; therefore, I shall beam down.