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(written from a production point of view)

The Enterprise is captured by Trelane, the childish ruler of Gothos.



En route to the Beta VI colony, the USS Enterprise must pass through a void, or "star desert" – a region of space where solar systems are not common, roughly 900 light years from Earth. While there, they discover a rogue planet comprised primarily of iron-silica. Captain Kirk says they have no time to investigate and asks Uhura to notify the discovery, but she replies there's subspace interference. Sulu prepares to steer around it when he suddenly vanishes. Seconds later, the captain also disappears. Being informed of this by navigator DeSalle, Spock orders all reverse power.

Act One[]

Spock and the crew of the Enterprise conduct a sensor sweep of where Kirk and Sulu could be. The bridge crew conclude, since they can find absolutely no trace of them on the Enterprise, that their two missing officers have to be on the planet even though it is extremely inhospitable. Despite this, it appears to host some form of life and someone transmits a clear, if somewhat archaic, greeting. "Hip-hip hoorah. And, I believe, it is pronounced 'Tally-ho'," Spock reads. Spock orders a beam down, and a landing party consisting of DeSalle, Jaeger, and Dr. McCoy discover a zone of Earth-like conditions, and within it, a large fortified manor (or small castle). Inside is a collection of bizarre artifacts and decorations – and the frozen forms of Kirk and Sulu. "They're like waxworks figures", McCoy notes. Almost as soon as the missing officers are discovered, the door slams shut, and a harpsichord begins to play; seated there is a foppish figure in a blue coat and ruffled shirt. He later introduces himself as General Trelane (retired), the Squire of Gothos.

Trelane then releases Kirk and Sulu from their frozen state. Though friendly enough at first, Trelane does not hesitate to make it clear that he is in firm control of the situation. When Kirk demands to Trelane that they are to leave immediately and go back to the Enterprise, Trelane transports him to the outside of his castle, which is filled with toxic gas, as a demonstration of his "authority". When Trelane returns Kirk to his home a few seconds later, the captain is choking and coughing. Trelane makes it quite clear that the landing party is not leaving. "Now, you will behave yourselves hereafter, won't you? Or I shall be very, very angry", Trelane threatens.

Act Two[]

On the Enterprise, Spock has Scotty beam up everything that is considered a life form within the life-supporting zone on the planet. In Trelane's castle, McCoy informs Kirk that he is receiving a transporter signal through his communicator. The landing party is about to be beamed up to the ship. Trelane, furious that his "guests" are departing, shouts to Kirk, "Wait, I won't have this! I haven't dismissed you yet! Stop! I won't have this!" Back aboard the Enterprise, an escape attempt is then underway. However, this only lasts a few brief moments before Trelane appears on the bridge. He immediately develops a dislike for Spock, since Kirk announced Trelane's "party" was over thanks to Spock prior to being beamed up. "I have a perfectly enchanting sojourn on Gothos planned for all of you", he states. Suddenly, Kirk, Spock, McCoy, Uhura, DeSalle, Jaeger, Sulu, and Yeoman Ross find themselves in Trelane's drawing room, with a large dining table set up. DeSalle tries to attack Trelane but is frozen. After Kirk demands Trelane release him, he does. "We haven't even got our phasers", Sulu quietly reminds the navigator.

Several mistakes and incongruities, including a fire without heat and food and brandy without taste, convince Kirk that Trelane is not omnipotent and knows only the forms of Human society, not the substance, and further lead him to conclude that some agency is assisting Trelane – a machine of some type. Kirk ponders on what kind of a machine could do all of these things and Spock speculates that the machine would need the ability to turn energy into matter using Trelane's thought waves. Thus Kirk decides the machine must be destroyed in order for them to leave. While Trelane flirts with Yeoman Ross, Kirk has had enough and is fairly sure that Trelane's mirror is his source of power, the captain challenges him to a duel. "And, Captain… I never miss", Trelane tells Kirk while aiming his pistol at the captain's head.

Act Three[]

During the duel, Trelane delopes (throws away his shot) and invites Kirk to shoot at him. "And now,Captain, my fate is in your hands." Kirk takes aim at Trelane and instead shoots the large mirror behind Trelane. Kirk's guess is right; intricate machinery behind the mirror is destroyed, and much of Trelane's creation collapses, enabling the landing party to escape and flee Gothos. Trelane is enraged. "Go back! Go back to your ship, all of you! And prepare, you're all dead men. You especially, Captain." Trelane goes toward his mirror and disappears. Kirk flips open his communicator and contacts the Enterprise to beam all of them up.

The respite is brief. The Enterprise flees in the direction of Beta VI, but Trelane reveals that his power is more extensive than yet displayed as the planet Gothos appears directly in the path of the ship. Kirk immediately orders Sulu to turn the Enterprise hard to port to avoid a collision. Kirk wonders if the Enterprise has been going in circles, but Sulu's instruments show that they're on course for Beta VI. Gothos appears in front of the ship again and Sulu executes a hard turn to starboard this time to avoid the collision again. Spock compares their situation as a "cat and mouse game" with Kirk lamenting that they're the mouse. Gothos appears in front of them again but this time Trelane becomes wise to their tactics and continuously moves the planet in front of the Enterprise no matter which way she turns. Finally, Kirk realizes he must confront Trelane and orders the Enterprise to accelerate into orbit so he can beam down, but before he can, Trelane snatches the captain down to the surface and into his kangaroo court where a bewigged Trelane has established himself as a judge, and this time, his instrumentality is unbreakable. Trelane plans to execute Kirk for the crime of opposing him. "You will hang by the neck, Captain, until you are dead, dead, dead!"

Act Four[]

But it is all too easy for the powerful alien. "That's your problem, Trelane. Everything is easy. It's given you a bad habit. You're not aware of it, but you have it," Kirk tells him. "Eh?", Trelane asks. Seizing on this, Kirk suggests Trelane needs a challenge, and offers to provide one, suggesting a hunt. Trelane is delighted at the prospect and readily agrees.

Trelane hunts Kirk for a time, and soon enough captures him. As Kirk is about to be killed, he calls Trelane's bluff, takes Trelane's sword and breaks it over his knee, slaps him twice across the face, and starts to scold him. Trelane is enraged, and he tells Kirk that he didn't play the game right. Suddenly, a female voice – which seems to be everywhere, but is neither loud nor strident – says "Trelane!"

Trelane's parents then appear as disembodied, hovering, glowing green lights against a treetop. Trelane stands in a pool of light, like an actor in a theater spotlight, as he argues with them. Kirk listens to every word of their argument, and he learns that Trelane is really a spoiled child, and his parents tell him that he is "disobedient and cruel" – especially with how he treats his "pets." Trelane's parents tell him several times to come along, but he keeps refusing. The light eventually shrinks and vanishes, and so does Trelane, and his parents apologize to Kirk. He asks them "Who are you? Who is Trelane?" – but they don't answer his questions. Instead, the parents tell him that he must forgive their child, and it was their fault for indulging him too much, and Trelane will be punished. Trelane's parents explain to Kirk that they wouldn't have allowed Trelane to intercept the Enterprise, had they known how vulnerable Humans really were. They also tell Kirk that they will maintain the planet's life-support systems until Kirk leaves, and to please accept their apologies. Trelane's parents then vanish, and Kirk regains contact with the Enterprise.

Later, Spock asks Kirk what he should describe Trelane as. Kirk tells him to classify him as a "small boy – and a very naughty one at that." He tells Spock that Trelane probably engaged in the same "mischievous pranks" the Vulcan did as a young boy. Spock is confused by this classification, so Kirk continues. "Dipping little girls curls in inkwells. Stealing apples from the neighbor's trees. Tying cans on…", at which point Spock expresses complete incredulity. "Forgive me, Mr. Spock. I should have known better", Kirk remarks. Spock says he shall be delighted, then raises an eyebrow before returning to his station. The Enterprise then enters orbit of Beta VI.

Log entries[]

Memorable quotes[]

"I can't imagine a mirage ever disturbing those mathematically perfect brain waves of yours."

- McCoy, to Spock on describing the star void as a desert

"Do you know that you're one of the few predator species that preys even on itself?"

- Trelane, to Kirk

"Wait! I won't have this! I haven't dismissed you yet! Stop! I won't have this!"

- Trelane

"I object to you. I object to intellect without discipline. I object to power without constructive purpose."

- Spock, to Trelane

"Why, Mr. Spock, you do have one saving grace after all – you're ill-mannered!"

- Trelane, in response

"Fascinating is a word I use for the unexpected. In this case, I should think interesting would suffice."

- Spock to McCoy, on Trelane's flawed recreations

"Oh, the remarkable treachery of the species!"

- Trelane, after Kirk destroys the mirror machine

"Turn in your glass slippers. The ball is over."
"Gladly, Captain."

- Kirk and Teresa Ross, on the bridge

"Cat and mouse game."
"With us as the mouse."

- Spock and Kirk, as the planet of Gothos chases the Enterprise

"You will hang by the neck, Captain, until you are dead, dead, dead!"

- Trelane, sentencing Kirk

"So this is victory! It has a sweet taste."

- Trelane, cornering Kirk

"You broke it! You broke my sword!"

- Trelane, to Kirk

"You always stop me when I'm having fun!"

- Trelane, to his parents

"I was winning. I would have won… honest."

- Trelane, to his parents before being taken away

"They're beings, Trelane. They have spirit. They're superior."

- Trelane's Father, on Humans

"My father is from the planet Vulcan."
"And are its natives predatory?"
"Not generally – but there have been exceptions."

- Spock and Trelane

"Who are you? Who is Trelane?"

- Kirk, to Trelane's parents – but his questions are never answered

Background information[]

Production timeline[]

Story and script[]

  • Paul Schneider originally wrote this episode as an anti-war statement, and got his inspiration by seeing children playing war. [1]
  • De Forest Research, Inc., the company who reviewed scripts for clearances and other related matters, noted in their commentary on the line "Then you've been looking in on doings nine hundred years past": "Other scripts have placed Star Trek c. 200 years in the future, e.g. "Shore Leave". That places this reference in the 13th century."
    • In the Star Trek Sci-Fi Channel Special Edition, Leonard Nimoy notes that figured the other way, this would put Star Trek in the 27th century. [2] (Technically it would be 28th century as Trelane knows of Alexander Hamilton's death in a 1804 duel and forces a Richard Strauss composition from 1880 both of the 19th century).
  • Trelane's words on meeting Yeoman Ross, "Is this the face that launched a thousand ships, and burnt the topless towers of Ilium? Fair Helen, make me immortal with a kiss" are a slight misquote from Christopher Marlowe's 17th century play Doctor Faustus. [3]
  • Barbara Babcock (Trelane's mother) and Bartell La Rue (Trelane's father) were uncredited on-screen, despite having dialogue.

Sets and props[]

  • An M-113 creature is among the trophies on display in Trelane's castle. When McCoy (the creature's last defender in "The Man Trap") sees it, he does a double-take. During the scene, the howling music theme from that episode is heard.Trelane vaporizes it with the phaser
Humanoid bird, Trelane's study

Bird creature

Cast and characters[]

  • Leslie (Eddie Paskey) is in the captain's chair when the crew first escapes Trelane. Leslie appears in the big chair one more time, in "The Alternative Factor".
  • According to an interview with William Campbell in The World of Star Trek (5th ed., p.87), in his fight with William Shatner in the forest, he fell down and dislocated his shoulder. Fortunately, as he flung his arm up in his instinctive reaction to the excruciating pain, the shoulder popped back into its socket. This is confirmed: When Kirk swings on a tree branch and knocks the sword out of Trelane's hand, Campbell is seen to grimace at the sudden pain in his arm.
  • Due to Campbell's injury, the episode finished shooting going one day over schedule, resulting in seven filming days. (These Are the Voyages: TOS Season One, 1st ed. p. 392)
  • In The World of Star Trek (5th ed., p.86), Campbell recounts that producer Gene L. Coon pushed for his casting as Trelane, as he had seen him in other projects, and thought Campbell would make a great "English fop" and would be nice in "comedic sinister" role. However, casting director Joseph D'Agosta had doubts about his abilities in such a role, so Campbell had to read for the part.

Though D'Agosta's original choice for Trelane was Roddy McDowall, when Campbell went for his audition, he had just read one paragraph, when D'Agosta broke it up, saying "Go straight to wardrobe. He's perfect for the part." [5]

  • This episode marks the first appearance of Michael Barrier as DeSalle. The character returns later in "This Side of Paradise" and "Catspaw". While DeSalle serves as a navigator in this episode, he is a biologist in "This Side of Paradise" and assistant chief engineer in "Catspaw".


  • William Campbell's first wig was a French hairpiece. He demanded that an English barrister's wig be found to fit his character. Shatner complained that precious production time is going to be wasted for something he found to be a minor and unimportant detail. Director Don McDougall didn't want a conflict with the series star, so he called producer Gene Coon to the set to arbitrate the matter. Coon decided in favor of Campbell, and filming was halted until the English wig was found. (These Are the Voyages: TOS Season One, 1st ed., p. 391)
  • Trelane's coat was a costume piece not designed by William Ware Theiss, but rented from the "Western Costume" company. The same coat can be seen in the Gilligan's Island episode "Lovey's Secret Admirer" and The Monkees episode "The Prince at the Pauper". [6]
  • A 27 October 1966 memo from Robert H. Justman to Gene Coon stated in part: "If we transport McCoy, Jaeger and DeSalle down to the surface of Gothos in the orange space suits that we used in "The Naked Time", then the audience will take a full half hour to stop laughing from what our people look like."


  • A brief split-screen effect allows bars to appear and block Kirk's escape towards the end of the episode without having to rely on editing.
  • When first encountered, Trelane is "playing" the Sonata in C Major, K.159 by Domenico Scarlatti. [7][8](X) The second tune that Trelane plays after showing the flags to Captain Kirk and stating "Can't you imagine it, Captain? The thousands of men marching off to their deaths, singing beneath these banners. Doesn't it make your blood run swiftly?" is Sonata in G minor, K.450 by Domenico Scarlatti. The tune Trelane has Uhura play on the harpsichord is Roses from the South by Johann Strauss II.
The Squire of Gothos credits spelling error

The word "SCRIPT" is misspelled

  • In the closing credits of the show, the title billing for Script Supervisor is misspelled "SCPIPT SUPERVISOR".


  • The preview contains a captain's log recorded solely for the preview, and which never featured in the actual episode: "Captain's log, stardate 2126.1. We are weaponless and powerless. Unwilling guests of the creature who calls himself Trelane."


  • William Campbell recalled the part of Trelane as "It was just a great role. It was sensational. I'll never forget it." and "It would be very easy for any actor who had any training to play the Squire of Gothos. The character was so well written and, of course, it was the show". (These Are the Voyages: TOS Season One, p. 389, 393)

Video and DVD releases[]

Links and references[]


Guest star[]



Uncredited cast[]


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Unreferenced materials[]

encephalograph; fireworks display; Independence Day; perchlorate; telescopes

External links[]

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