Star Trek (1966–1969)
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The Return of the Archons 

Seeking the answer to a century-old mystery, Kirk and crew encounter a vacantly peaceful society under a 6000-year autocratic rule that kills all those it can't absorb.


Joseph Pevney


Boris Sobelman (teleplay by), Gene Roddenberry (story by) | 1 more credit »

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Episode cast overview, first billed only:
William Shatner ... Capt. Kirk
Leonard Nimoy ... Mr. Spock
Harry Townes ... Reger
Torin Thatcher ... Marplon
DeForest Kelley ... Dr. McCoy
Brioni Farrell ... Tula
Sid Haig ... First Lawgiver
Charles Macaulay Charles Macaulay ... Landru
Jon Lormer ... Tamar
Morgan Farley ... Hacom
Karl Held Karl Held ... Lindstrom (as Christopher Held)
George Takei ... Sulu
James Doohan ... Scott
Nichelle Nichols ... Uhura
Sean Morgan Sean Morgan ... O'Neil


The Enterprise travels to Beta III to learn the fate of the U.S.S. Archon, gone missing a century earlier. One member of the landing party disappears, and one returns in a strangely blissful state. Kirk beams down with another landing party; amidst the chaos of "Festival" their hosts asks if they are "Archons." To learn more, Kirk must convince Betan citizens to disobey Landru, the man who has ruled them for 6,000 years - or find those who already resist. But with the Lawgivers everywhere, that task is going to be difficult... Written by CommanderBalok

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


TV-PG | See all certifications »


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Release Date:

9 February 1967 (USA) See more »

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Did You Know?


The so-called "Red Hour" (or Festival) is actually 12 hours long (6:00 P.M. to 6:00 A.M.). See more »


During Kirk's final star-log entry, we cut from a shot of the view-screen to an opposite viewpoint and see Kirk standing in front of the helm, whereas in the previous shot he wasn't there. See more »


Mr. Spock: How often mankind has wished for a world as peaceful and secure as the one Landru provided.
Captain James T. Kirk: Yes. And we never got it. Just lucky, I guess.
See more »

Alternate Versions

Special Enhanced version Digitally Remastered with new exterior shots and remade opening theme song See more »


Featured in Young Sheldon: Spock, Kirk, and Testicular Hernia (2017) See more »


Theme From Star Trek
Written by Alexander Courage
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User Reviews

The Red Hour, Landru & Absorption
5 January 2017 | by Rainey-DawnSee all my reviews

Season 1, episode 21. A century earlier the U.S.S. Archon disappeared near the planet Beta III and the Enterprise investigates. A search party goes down but only Sulu returns to the ship but acting very strange. Kirk gathers another party to beam down the surface and finds all the inhabitants are acting as strange as Sulu. The party runs into a girl who says her father will give them a place to stay at his tavern about that time the red hour began. The party ends up in that tavern and meet the girl's father Reger. From there Kirk and Spock start asking Reger and his friend, Tamar, questions about what is going on. They mention the name Landru but cannot say more... Landru overheard and sent in his men to kill Tamar. From there Reger is trying to help Kirk and crew from being absorbed by Landru. They are caught and Landru tries to absorb them one by one. McCoy is absorbed but Kirk and Spock pretend to be. It's up to Kirk and Spock to solve the mystery of Landru and save the rest of his crew from being absorbed or destroyed.

The mystery of Landru makes for quite an interesting episode. The ending is good - watching Kirk and Spock destroy Landru with only words quite literally.


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