Star Trek (1966–1969)
23 user 4 critic

The Corbomite Maneuver 

After the Enterprise is forced to destroy a dangerous marker buoy, a gigantic alien ship arrives to capture and condemn the crew as trespassers.


Joseph Sargent


Jerry Sohl, Gene Roddenberry (created by)

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Episode complete credited cast:
William Shatner ... Capt. Kirk
Leonard Nimoy ... Mr. Spock
Anthony D. Call Anthony D. Call ... Dave Bailey (as Anthony Call)
Clint Howard ... Balok
DeForest Kelley ... Dr. McCoy
Grace Lee Whitney ... Yeoman Rand
George Takei ... Sulu
James Doohan ... Scott
Nichelle Nichols ... Uhura


In a section of unexplored space, the Enterprise comes across a marker of sorts that will not let it pass. They destroy the marker and move on but soon find themselves in conflict with an unknown alien who accuses them of trespassing and tells them they have only 10 minutes to live. Kirk decides it's time to play a little poker and literally bluff his way out of the situation by telling the alien that the Enterprise has a device on board that will destroy the alien as well as the Enterprise. The bluff works but the alien turns out to be something quite unexpected. Written by garykmcd

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


TV-PG | See all certifications »






Release Date:

10 November 1966 (USA) See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


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Did You Know?


Sulu has transferred to the command division from the sciences division following his premiere in Star Trek: Where No Man Has Gone Before (1966). This the first production episode in which he occupies his familiar seat at the helm. The change was made because the producers realized there's no need for an astrophysicist in every episode, yet they had to have someone sitting at the helm. See more »


When Spock puts the image of Balock on the main viewscreen, McCoy's shirt changes from a standard long-sleeved duty tunic to a short sleeve medical smock, then changes back again. See more »


Balok: We must drink. This is tranya. I hope you relish it as much as I.
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Referenced in Free Enterprise (1998) See more »


Star Trek Theme Song
Written by Alexander Courage
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User Reviews

When All Else Fails, Bluff Your Way Out Kirk-style
27 June 2006 | by BogmeisterSee all my reviews

Technically the first episode filmed after the 2nd pilot, "Where No Man Has Gone Before," this comes across as almost experimental, a dry run for the rest of the first season. You see rarely seen angles, such as from behind Kirk as he exits the turbolift onto the bridge. Though overall the episode comes across as not very eventful by the standards of most Trek episodes, its strengths are showcasing various crew members and their reactions to the presumed threat they face. Exploration is the key factor, as will be usual: the Enterprise is in an unknown sector of space and suddenly blocked by some revolving cube device. Forced to destroy this after it starts emitting radiation, Kirk now faces a choice or path - proceed further to face possible other dangers or turn around. We get a case study of how starship captains earn their pay - the buck seems to stop with him and his next decision could have long reaching ramifications. Within the possibilities of exploration, the theme here is the unknown: how do we, as a species, face it? Do we go on, advance, taking that risk, or do we stop and perhaps stagnate?

But despite grandiose ideas about mankind's future in exploring the galaxy, it boils down to the human equation of how men & women react and interact aboard such a ship. Guest star Call is excellent as the young navigator whom Kirk perhaps promoted too quickly. His nervous breakdown on the bridge is beautifully played. Then McCoy & Kirk get into it as the ship and crew have maybe three minutes of life to go, arguing over the distressed crewman. Even Spock seems uneasy as he fails to find an alternative for the now edgy Kirk, again a well-acted scene. It comes across as very true-to-life, a realistic study of people under tremendous pressure. Kirk's tactic of bluffing a far superior enemy shows, in the first of many such instances in the series, just how quickly and cannily Kirk thinks on his feet and why he is captain. No one aboard, including Spock (who prefers chess to poker) would have come up with such a play. That all being said, this episode is probably best remembered for that long shot of the colossal ship Fesarius approaching the Enterprise. With some of the best dramatic Trek score blaring away at us, it still gives me goose bumps.

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