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The Enterprise crew is being observed to evaluate their suitability to meet with advanced civilizations.


Gene Roddenberry (created by), David Gerrold | 1 more credit »




Episode complete credited cast:
William Shatner ... Capt. Kirk (voice)
Leonard Nimoy ... Mr. Spock (voice)
DeForest Kelley ... Dr. McCoy (voice) (credit only)
George Takei ... Sulu (voice) (credit only)
Nichelle Nichols ... Uhura / Alien Entity (voice)
Majel Barrett ... Nurse Chapel (voice) (credit only)
James Doohan ... Scott / Ari bn Bem / Arex (voice)


The Enterprise crew is being observed to evaluate their suitability to meet with advanced civilizations.

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TV-PG | See all certifications »

Did You Know?


BEM is a long standing science fiction acronym for Bug Eyed Monster. See more »


After Bem swaps the communicators for fakes, Kirk is shown using his as if it were his usual communicator. See more »


Capt. Kirk: Our phasers and communicators have been switched for phonies, and Commander Bem has run off. We've been separated from the rest of the landing party... Mr. Spock, something funny is going on.
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Featured in Drawn to the Final Frontier (2006) See more »

User Reviews

Gerrold is a master of the unusual alien
24 March 2020 | by cashbacherSee all my reviews

"Bem" is episode 18 of the Star Trek animated series and it first aired in September 1974. It was written by Hugo and Nebula winner David Gerrold, most famous for being the author of the original series episode "The Trouble with Tribbles." Like that episode, this one involved an alien creature of questionable use. Bem is from the planet Pandro, a planet recently contacted by the Federation, and his species is interested in witnessing how the captain and crew of the Enterprise conduct their missions. That mission is to a planet inhabited by reptilian creatures that have a primitive non-industrial society; therefore, their mission is to observe without being seen. Bem proves to be a nuisance, getting captain Kirk and Spock into extreme difficulty. It also turns out that the creatures are under the protection of a powerful non-corporeal entity that calls them her "children." Her words are spoken with tenderness, but she makes it clear that no violence against her charges will be tolerated. The episode has a powerful religious overtone, it is clear from the perspective of the creatures, the entity is a god. For that matter, there are hints that the crew of the Enterprise should think so too. One strong feature of the episode is the actions of Lieutenant Uhura. When Kirk, Spock and Scotty are on the surface, she directly contradicts Scotty in insisting that they must follow orders. Despite the crudity of the animation compared to what can be done now, this episode illustrates that there were things that could be done in animation that were impossible in live action. Something that makes all science fiction stories stronger if it is properly done.

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Release Date:

14 September 1974 (USA) See more »

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Technical Specs


Color | Color (technicolor)
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