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For bringing hostility into their solar system, a superior alien race brings Captain Kirk in mortal combat against the reptilian captain of an alien ship he was pursuing.


Joseph Pevney


Gene L. Coon (teleplay by), Fredric Brown (story by) | 1 more credit »




Episode complete credited cast:
William Shatner ... Capt. Kirk
Leonard Nimoy ... Mr. Spock
DeForest Kelley ... Dr. McCoy
George Takei ... Sulu
James Doohan ... Scott
Nichelle Nichols ... Uhura
Jerry Ayres Jerry Ayres ... O'Herlihy
Grant Woods ... Kelowitz
Tom Troupe ... Lt. Harold
James Farley James Farley ... Lang
Carolyne Barry Carolyne Barry ... Metron (as Carole Shelyne)
Sean Kenney ... DePaul


When a reptilian alien race known as the Gorn destroys an Earth colony, the Enterprise comes under attack by the Gorn vessel. Captain Kirk soon gives chase to the Gorn ship, leading them to an unexplored solar system, gradually (and dangerously) increasing speed. Kirk prepares to destroy the Gorn ship until another race of powerful aliens called the Metrons stops them and forces both captains to face off in mortal combat. The main purpose of this one-on-one duel is to solve their dispute, the winner will be released and the loser will be destroyed along with his ship and crew. Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


TV-PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Did You Know?


Star Trek: Deep Space Nine: Family Business (1995) relates that by 2371, Terran colonists were once again living on Cestus III, suggesting that the Federation and the Gorn Hegemony made peace after Kirk's experience. See more »


As Kirk finally gets an idea of what to do and as the crew is now watching, Kirk gets up and comes from behind a rock, but at first it is kind of a white ghost image that you see and then suddenly you can see that it is Kirk. See more »


[first lines]
Captain James T. Kirk: You'll enjoy Commodore Travers. He sets a good table.
Dr. McCoy: I wonder if he brought his personal chef along with him to Cestus III.
Captain James T. Kirk: Probably. Rank hath its privileges.
Dr. McCoy: [they both chuckle] How well we both know that!
See more »

Crazy Credits

The closing credits are set against a combination background of stills from that episode and previous episodes. See more »

Alternate Versions

Special Enhanced version Digitally Remastered with new exterior shots and remade opening theme song. Highlights include a wider angle on the Cestus outpost showing more destruction (and removing an oddly-placed chunk of metal in the foreground) and the never-before-seen Gorn ship. See more »


Featured in Trek Nation (2011) See more »


Music credited to Alexander Courage, although it strongly resembles the main title music for 'Hollow Triumph (1948)' by Sol Kaplan
Sung by Loulie Jean Norman
See more »

User Reviews

Kirk And The Gorn
4 January 2017 | by Rainey-DawnSee all my reviews

Season 1, episode 18. Kirk and crew arrive at the Cestus III Outpost only to find it is destroyed. Kirk, Spock, McCoy and a couple of crew members beam down and find one survivor who says attacked by an unknown enemy and they are still under attack. While on the planet, the Enterprise is being attacked and cannot immediately beam the team back up to the ship. There is a break where the Kirk and away team are able to beam aboard their ship. The Metrons introduce themselves and give a "trial by combat" ultimatum to the Enterprise and Kirk is then sent a barren planet where is to face the Gorn. The Gorn are not just lizard-like creatures but they are also intelligent, strong combatants. The Gorn Kirk is forced to fight in order to survive is a starship captain. The Metrons told Kirk there are weapons on the planet he can use and he must find where or what these weapons are in order to stay alive.

This is one of the more popular episodes and rightfully so - it's very entertaining to watch Kirk vs The Gorn.


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Release Date:

19 January 1967 (USA) See more »

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