Balance of Terror - episode #9

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Balance of Terror - episode #9

Post  BoG on Wed Mar 10, 2010 6:18 pm


BALANCE OF TERROR (1st season, episode #9)
Directed by Vincent McEveety / writer: Paul Schneider Like a Star @ heaven Air Date: 12/15/66

Now arrive...the Romulans. And they do not bring gifts. No, they bring war. War! There's a lot of history in this episode. According to this one, Earth fought the Romulans 100 years earlier in a conflict now known as The Romulan Wars. After 5 years of ship-to-ship fighting (where neither side saw a visual of each other), a treaty was signed and a 'Neutral Zone' was established, a boundary between us and the Romulan Empire. Now, in this episode, the treaty appears to be broken as our outposts, set up on asteroids, are attacked by a weapon of immense power. Yes, the Romulans are back, testing their new war toy, and we're in trouble. Kirk has some decisions to make, such as figuring out how to avoid a... hm, an interstellar war, maybe?
_____

This was essentially a remake of the 1957 war film The Enemy Below, replacing ship destroyers & U-boats with starships. What impressed me was that this episode didn't shy away from the grim aspects of war; the writers & actors weren't kidding around here, preparing for, potentially, another years-long conflict, such as the great scene of Kirk sitting down with his key officers for a war council. The buck stops with him and his decisions will have long-reaching ramifications. Then begin the cat-and-mouse games in outer space between two starships; yet, which is the mouse? There's also a subplot involving bigotry, showing that not all of today's poor attitudes have disappeared by the 23rd century. Again, this all resembles a World War II scenario, including the mistrust that many Americans felt back then towards Japanese-Americans. More, this issue of prejudice would be revisited less subtly in the 6th Star Trek film, The Undiscovered Country.


On the Romulan side, actor Mark Lenard makes his 1st appearance in the Trek universe as the Romulan commander. He's terrific in the role, not war-hungry as we might expect, the usual unexpected curves in Trek scripts. Lenard returned in the 2nd season as a Vulcan, Spock's father, so he's quite versatile. He even played a brief role as a Klingon commander in the first Trek film, Star Trek the Motion Picture. We all have to give credit where credit is due: Lenard was the actor who set the tone in portraying Romulans, elderly Vulcans and the new breed of Klingons! Quite a range. He may have been one of those actor's actors - unheralded and not recognized much outside the Trek universe. The Romulans next appeared in the 3rd season episode The Enterprise Incident (not counting their ships' appearances). A fairly gripping, tense episode. BoG's: 9/10

remastered trailer:



Last edited by BoG on Sat May 02, 2015 10:45 pm; edited 3 times in total
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Balance of Terror full episode

Post  BoG on Sun Mar 28, 2010 7:02 pm

CLASSIC TREK QUOTES:
Kirk: "After a whole century, what would a Romulan ship look like, Mr. Stiles? I doubt if they'll radio and identify themselves."
Stiles: "You'll know, sir; they're painted like a giant bird of prey."
Kirk: "I had no idea that history was your specialty."
Stiles: "Family history. There was a Captain Stiles in the space service then; two commanders, several junior officers – all lost in that war, sir."
Kirk: "Their war, Mr. Stiles . . . not yours. Don't forget it."


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Kirk: "I wish I were on a long sea voyage somewhere; not too much deck tennis, no frantic dancing – and no responsibility. Why me? I look around that bridge, I see the men waiting for me to make the next move. And Bones – what if I'm wrong?" (rising)
McCoy: "Captain..."
Kirk: "No, I don't really expect an answer."
McCoy: "But I've got one; something I seldom say to a... customer, Jim. In this galaxy, there's a mathematical probability of three million Earth-type planets. And, in all the universe, three million million galaxies like this. And in all of that – and perhaps more – only one of each of us. . . . Don't destroy the one named 'Kirk'."

Kirk thinks he has problems?
The Romulan commander looks like he really regrets getting out of bed that stardate...

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