Star Trek: The Animated Series: Season 2, Episode 2

Bem (14 Sep. 1974)

TV Episode  |  TV-Y7  |   |  Animation, Action, Adventure
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The Enterprise crew is being observed as their suitability to meet with advanced civilizations.


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Title: Bem (14 Sep 1974)

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Episode cast overview:
Capt. Kirk (voice)
Mr. Spock (voice)
Dr. McCoy (credit only)
Sulu (credit only)
Uhura / Alien Entity (voice)
Nurse Chapel (credit only)
Scott / Ari bn Bem / Arex (voice)


The Enterprise crew is being observed as their suitability to meet with advanced civilizations.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

23rd century | See All (1) »



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Release Date:

14 September 1974 (USA)  »

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Technical Specs


| (technicolor)
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Did You Know?


This takes place in 2270. See more »


Entity: Punishment? What is punishment? Revenge? Intelligent beings need no revenge. Punishment is nessessary only where learning cannot occur without it. You are behind that.
See more »


Featured in Drawn to the Final Frontier (2006) See more »

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User Reviews

Star Trek: Bem
18 December 2013 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

The Enterprise is studying a planet yet charted, carrying along a passenger (an alien commander named Bem (voiced by James Doohan)) that causes Kirk and Spock much headache once they transport to the surface. On the uncharted planet are "aboriginal" lifeforms, primitive to a point (they do have tepees, fashioned spears, and wooden "holding cells" for uninvited visitors, yet these creatures don't seem to be hostile as much as cautious and untrustworthy), "under watch" by a "paternal" god-like entity that exists as a type of protection for her "children" (the entity is voiced by Nichelle Nichols). Bem is from a type of species that acts unpredictably (and can "split" into several "pieces" that seem to function through the commandment of the head's brain!!!), judging the human decisions and reactions of Kirk (considered a top officer and elite among his peers) as evidence for whether or not the Federation will have further dealings with its kind. How Kirk and Spock escape from the capture of the planet's entity and inhabitants will indicate to Bem if the Federation should be considered worthy of future relations. Being used as experiments in Bem's study of them doesn't sit well in Kirk, while Spock finds his behavior fascinating. Like the original series before it, this '74 cartoon featured stories similar in nature: how will Kirk and company avoid/avert dangerous situations and enhance their stature among newly discovered (or known) species. Sometimes situations develop where the Enterprise and crew are pulled into danger not of their own making: in the case of this episode, Bem drags Kirk and Spock into a conflict with a species that could have been avoided through peaceable introduction. Bem splits from the group (both literally and figuratively), with Kirk and Spock having to follow after him. Bem is their responsibility and gets purposely captured just to see if Kirk and Spock could not only rescue him but to investigate how they would interact with the inhabitants. Ultimately, Bem finds itself wrong and speaks of "disassembling" (or destroying itself) but the planet's protective entity (it has the power to "halt" any species on the planet and destroy their threatening weapons if so choosing) isn't about to allow such a rash self-destructive decision just because it made bad mistakes/choices. The writing, like on the show, for the cartoon wasn't too dumbed down which is nice. Intelligent results exist due to the characters involved coming to an agreement and talking out their issues (the planet is to be "quarantined" and left alone so that the Enterprise and crew can leave without harm) reasonably. Maybe the show might be a bit over the head of some children, but intelligent writing in a cartoon is refreshing. Star Trek fans will enjoy this, I think, and that's what matters in the end.

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