Star Trek: The Animated Series: Season 2, Episode 1

The Pirates of Orion (7 Sep. 1974)

TV Episode  |  TV-Y7  |   |  Animation, Action, Adventure
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Ratings: 6.6/10 from 130 users  
Reviews: 1 user | 2 critic

The medicine required for Spock who has contracted a fatal disease is stolen by Orionian pirates.


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Title: The Pirates of Orion (07 Sep 1974)

The Pirates of Orion (07 Sep 1974) on IMDb 6.6/10

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Episode cast overview:
Capt. Kirk (voice)
Mr. Spock (voice)
Dr. McCoy (voice)
Sulu / Huron lieutenant (voice)
Uhura (voice)
Nurse Chapel / Library computer / Huron lieutenant (voice)
Scott / O'Shea / Arex / Orion captain / Transporter chief (voice)


The medicine required for Spock who has contracted a fatal disease is stolen by Orionian pirates.

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23rd century | See All (1) »



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Release Date:

7 September 1974 (USA)  »

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Technical Specs


| (technicolor)
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Did You Know?


Writer Howard Weinstein was 19 years old, making the him youngest writer in the "Star Trek" universe. Weinstein adapted a short story that he had written for his high school's science fiction magazine and mailed it to the show's producers. See more »


Everyone pronounces the Orion Pirates as OH-ree-an pirates instead of oh-RYE-an Pirates, as they are called in all other Star Trek productions involving this group. See more »


Dr. McCoy: Jim, choriocytosis is a strange disease. In races with iron-based blood, it's practically nothing, but in others...
Capt. Kirk: [interrupting] Get to the point, Bones.
Dr. McCoy: Spock has contracted the disease. It's fatal to Vulcans.
See more »


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

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User Reviews

Superb Little "Star Trek" Adventure
21 April 2010 | by (New York, USA) – See all my reviews

Excellent "Star Trek" installment here any way you slice it, and one of the more successful episodes from the short lived Animated Series adventures from 1973/1974. It is easy to dismiss the series but by golly there is some decent Star Trek to be had in the scant 22 episodes produced, and this is one of my favorite examples to point to.

First time writer Howard Weinstein and series creator Gene Roddenberry dug back into the Original Series and its traditions to craft a tightly wound story hinging on one of the show's favorite standby plot devices: Spock's Vulcan physique, specifically Vulcanian sensitivity to a particular space virus that doesn't effect humans but is fatal to Vulcans. Only a rare drug found on few worlds can save him, and a rendezvous with a dilithium freighter is arranged to give Spock a fighting chance to survive.

Wouldn't you know it, the pesky Orions from "Journey To Babel" are back, with a small pirate vessel intercepting the freighter, making off with the precious drug, and setting off a classic Trek race against time to track down the pirates & retrieve the drug before Spock goes belly up. Which isn't quite as easy as it sounds, with the Orion's custom of suicide before capture and their use of an asteroid field of unstable explosive planetoids to elude the Enterprise raising the ante to even stakes against a fully armed Federation warship.

It all leads up to a fairly tense personal confrontation between Captain Kirk and the Orion commander that is played totally seriously with the threat of death & destruction for all. Pretty advanced viewing for a children's show, as concepts like dying in a huge explosion, one's duty to their world, and ritualistic suicide customs being raised. Even the Orion bad guys come off pretty good, the commander matter-of-factly stating in a superbly written scene that Orion's neutrality comes before the well being of his ship or its crew, and it is not the ravings of a madman.

The episode is fast paced, adventuresome, filled with technical lingo that never goes over the head of even the youngest viewer, and most importantly *feels* like a real Star Trek episode. And indeed the usual emphasis on eye popping animated space creatures & situations where the writers could indulge their fantasies without fear of budget constraints is set aside for a sort of hard edged functional feel. This could just as easily been a live action Original Series episode, where many of the Animated Series episodes could not have been staged as they were drawn & rotoscoped.

So here is a great example of the Animated Series delivering classic Star Trek by any other name (pun intended). It is a shame that Mr. Roddenberry and his marketing directors chose to de-canonize the Animated Series, a situation that was only set to rights after his passing and the restructuring of the Star Trek franchise. Some of the Animated Series adventures are marvelous examples of the best of what the whole concept of Star Trek had to offer, and it is gratifying to see episodes like this finally receiving the attention they were due.

7/10; Even non-fans will find this installment entertaining, and it so involving you may even forget you are watching a cartoon.

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

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