Star Trek (1966–1969)
7.3/10
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22 user 4 critic

Let That Be Your Last Battlefield 

The Enterprise encounters two duo-chromatic and mutually belligerent aliens who put the ship in the middle of their old conflict.

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Storyline

While on a mission of mercy, the Enterprise comes across a shuttle craft stolen from Starbase 4. Its occupant is Lokai, a humanoid who is exactly half black and half white. Soon his pursuer, Commissioner Bele, arrives on board demanding that Lokai be turned over to him for transport to their home planet where Lokai has been convicted as a terrorist. Both men have extraordinary powers and it turns out that the pursuit has lasted 50,000 years. Their hatred of one another is racially based and, despite attempts by Kirk and others, they are not prepared to reconcile. The pursuit ends on their home planet where they learn the fate of their races. Written by garykmcd

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TV-PG | See all certifications »
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10 January 1969 (USA)  »

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4:3
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Trivia

Several shots of the main viewer from the rear of the bridge are recycled shots that show Hadley in Chekov's position, but we hear Chekov's voice and see him in the closeup. See more »

Goofs

One of the key points to this plot is Kirk not knowing how to handle Bele and Lokai as he is unsure which of them is telling the truth. However, Spock's Vulcan mind meld may have solved this issue. It was never mentioned. See more »

Quotes

Spock: Change is the essential process of all existence
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Connections

Referenced in That '70s Show: Red's Birthday (1999) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Red Alert - Self-Destruct Sequence in Progress!
3 March 2007 | by See all my reviews

I was prepared to vote lower on this overbearing, transparent commentary on racism until I viewed it again: there are some compelling scenes, it turns out, mostly courtesy of actor Gorshin (better known as the Riddler on the "Batman" TV show) as Commissioner Bele. He does overact as he spews his venomous hatred to anyone within earshot (anyone within a light year, it seems like), but it's a curiously appropriate performance - apropos the wild, irrational tone put on display for the taken aback Enterprise crew. Bele grits his teeth, chews up phaser blasts, and appears ready to hurl physical bile past his abused larynx due to so many years of pent-up fury (very many years, it's revealed - see below). The crew, of course, are well evolved beyond the petty prejudices we see here and so we see things from their aghast perspective. Bele is, for purposes of this story, the half-black: the upper class establishment figure of his alien planet, used to putting certain people in their place. But, the story doesn't take sides; Lokai, the half-white - the pursued lower class persecuted figure - doesn't come off looking any better. He seems most content being the center of attention, displays similar prejudice against mono-colored peoples and probably wouldn't mind sacrificing thousands of his 'followers' if it made him look heroic in the end. Though a product of the relevant sixties, this hasn't dated as much as one would think.

There's a reason, by default, that this episode may not rate higher: with no one to root for, the story lacks a focal point or someone we can relate to. We listen to both Bele & Lokai angrily espouse their views throughout the episode, reminding us of various speeches by political leaders, but, in the end, it all comes off as pointless ranting and babbling - neither one is worth listening to. It's a 'message' episode, watch out. And, in this case, the message seems to be that if you're filled with hate, you'll end up running around the Enterprise corridors to no purpose. That's it, after 50,000 years? I would've preferred a number of 50 years or even 50 centuries, but, according to this episode, these two guys have been running around the galaxy since Cro-magnon man first developed on Earth. I suppose this extreme length of time was meant to stress the futility of their irrational hatred or to lend a cosmic slant to their never-ending antagonism, but come on, Trek. So these guys are immortal, have personal force shields and Bele can control the ship with his mind. Were all their race so accomplished? We'll never know. This episode does have the marvelous self-destruct sequence initiated by Kirk, in which Spock & Scotty join in to voice the self-destruct codes. This sequence manages to squeeze out every bit of suspense possible for such a televised few minutes and foreshadows the now-famous sequence later duplicated in the 3rd Trek film, "The Search For Spock." Knowing what we do now about that movie, the countdown to doom in this episode is all the more chilling.


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