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


Gene Roddenberry (created by), David Gerrold

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Episode cast overview:
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 as their suitability to meet with advanced civilizations.

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Release Date:

14 September 1974 (USA) See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Color | Color (technicolor)
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Did You Know?


Gene Roddenberry added the idea of the God-like entity to the script. David Gerrold was originally disappointed with this because he felt that idea had been used enough times on Star Trek (1966). However, he eventually became satisfied with his own final script. 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: Commander Bem, you were assigned to this ship as an independent observer yet you have spend the past six missions in your quarters. You haven't done any observing at all. Until now, when we're dealing with possibly a very dangerous planet.
See more »


Featured in Drawn to the Final Frontier (2006) See more »

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User Reviews

BEM is pretty weird...and annoying.
12 April 2015 | by MartinHaferSee all my reviews

As usual, the animation quality of the show is sub-par--even by 1970s standards (which were extremely low to begin with). The cell count (which controls the fluidity and realism of the animation) is terrible, the drawings amateurish (as if done by children) and the show is an abomination to lovers of animation. Trek fans might be more forgiving of this than most because of their love of the franchise, but objectively speaking it is a lousy looking episode.

As for the plot, a Mr. BEM is serving, temporarily, aboard the Enterprise. This weird looking alien starts behaving strangely on a landing party and he's replaced Kirk and Spock's communicators with non-working fakes. It turns out he's testing the two to determine if the Federation is civilized or not--and there is a strange disembodied voice who gets involved as well. Do they pass? And who is that weird voice?

This show is kind of weird, as Mr. BEM can split in pieces and do really weird things! As it's a cartoon, this is possible--but there is no way such a character would have been possible on the live action show! Was it good? Not especially good but watchable if you are a die-hard Trek fan. Otherwise, easy to skip--mostly because the BEM character is so stupid and annoying.

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