Star Trek: Season 3, Episode 22

The Savage Curtain (7 Mar. 1969)

TV Episode  -   -  Action | Adventure | Sci-Fi
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 6.9/10 from 706 users  
Reviews: 11 user | 2 critic

Kirk, Spock, Abraham Lincoln, and Surak are pitted in battle against four notorious villains from history for the purpose of helping a molten rock creature's understanding of a concept he does not understand, 'good verses evil'.



(created by), (teleplay), 2 more credits »
0Check in

Watch Now

$0.00 with Prime Instant Video

User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 5704 titles
created 08 Jan 2012
a list of 7207 titles
created 18 Apr 2012
a list of 24 titles
created 19 Aug 2012
a list of 80 titles
created 10 Nov 2013

Related Items

Connect with IMDb

Share this Rating

Title: The Savage Curtain (07 Mar 1969)

The Savage Curtain (07 Mar 1969) on IMDb 6.9/10

Want to share IMDb's rating on your own site? Use the HTML below.

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of Star Trek.
« Previous Episode | 78 of 80 Episodes | Next Episode »





Episode complete credited cast:
Lee Bergere ...
Barry Atwater ...
Phillip Pine ...
Col. Green
Arell Blanton ...
Chief Security Guard
Carol Daniels ...
Zora (as Carol Daniels DeMent)
Bob Herron ...
Kahless (as Robert Herron)


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 KGF Vissers

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


See all certifications »


Official Sites:



Release Date:

7 March 1969 (USA)  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


The characters of Zora and Genghis Khan have no lines. This is probably due to budget constraints, as actors with speaking parts were paid significantly more than background actors. See more »


When Kirk and Spock are making spears and Surak yells for help, there are limbs on Kirk's spear, then a few frames later it has none. See more »


Captain James T. Kirk: Scotty, beam us up fast!
See more »


Referenced in Free Enterprise (1998) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

The Surreal Life In Space
4 February 2006 | by (Canada) – See all my reviews

In theme and approach, this one is so quintessentially "Star Trek". Mind you, it's a bit too close to an old "Outer Limits" episode called "Fun & Games", but Trek's version is, arguably, the better of the two.

While searching for signs of life on an unexplored planet, the Enterprise is visited by Abraham Lincoln. Yes, that's President Abraham Lincoln, but it doesn't come off as silly as it sounds. In this story, a mysterious alien race creates a living breathing Honest Abe (a boyhood hero to Kirk) who issues an invitation to Kirk and Spock to beam down with him to the planet surface. Upon their arrival they encounter other historical figures: Genghis Khan; Kayless, the ruthless Klingon warlord; genocidal war criminal, Colonel Green; Zora, a sort of alien Dr. Mengela; and for Spock's titillation, Surak, the intellectual father of the Vulcan race.

Next enters one of "Star Trek's" wildest creations, a hulking alien made of volcanic rock. With it's multiple eyes flashing in rhythm with it's strange, tremulous voice, the creature informs Kirk and Spock that they are to be part of an experiment. An observed conflict in which they will oppose Col. Green and his associates to prove whether good or evil is the stronger philosophy. When Kirk informs their host that he and Spock refuse to participate, the alien coolly assures him, "you will decide otherwise." Suddenly the Enterprise's engines begin to overload, and Kirk is given a cause to fight for: defeat "Team Evil" or his ship and crew will be destroyed.

"Star Trek" may be an ancient, low budget sci-fi series, but the show's attention to character development really wins out over it's age and dated effects. Lee Bergere's performance in particular is one the most effective portrayals of Abraham Lincoln ever put on film. Noble and wise with a gentle wit, his Lincoln works beautifully as a character in this story of men who are forced into a conflict they want no part of. Credit is due the writers for striving to capture the kind of inner turmoil Lincoln must have experienced as president during the civil war and drawing on that to enhance the story. Example: he tells Kirk in one scene, "There is no gentle way to kill. No honourable way to destroy. There is nothing good in war except it's ending, and you're fighting for the lives of your crew." Excellently written, and believably delivered by Bergere.

Barry Atwater, who plays the Vulcan pacifist, Surak, deserves a nod as well. Not all actors wearing those pointed ears have been able to perform to the same standard that Leonard Nimoy set for playing a Vulcan, but Atwater is one actor who rose to the challenge admirably. His character's own moral conflict over the question of whether or not to fight also adds emotional depth to the story, as well as to this interesting, memorable character.

A few gripes about "Savage Curtain", (besides the fact that two of the "Team evil" characters don't have a single line of dialog):

-The occasional low rent aspects of the fight sequences. For example, the throwing around of rubbery looking rocks hurts the realism of the battle scenes. Also, the sound of their spears in flight would have been much more effective had the audio department added some better sound effects.

-Herschel Daughterty proves he's no master action director with a protracted, embarrassingly clumsy-looking shot of Mr. Spock grappling with a woman.

-When one character is taken prisoner, the director settled for the most half-hearted cries of distress ever heard. In fact, as kids, to crack ourselves up we would imitate these sad cries around the house. If you see my brother just say in a flat, disinterested tone, "help me, Spock". He'll know what you're referring to.

But those flaws aside, "Savage Curtain" is really a triumph thanks in large part to the richness of the characters as well as the quality of the performances. There are some genuinely compelling dramatic moments here, and this is what "Star Trek" did so well that other sci-fi shows of the day generally couldn't match. Sure, it wanted to be exciting and entertaining, but it also strove to be thoughtful and moving as well.

31 of 35 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Why "What Little Girls Are Made Of" is such a great ep gavbrown01
Things that bugged you when you watched as a kid flashgordan
Wink of an Eye: a particularly good ep gavbrown01
Coolest Special Effects? gavbrown01
spectre of the gun stargazer1701-1
Great lines in lesser episodes Ruddfactor-2
Discuss The Savage Curtain (1969) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for: