Thursday, January 16, 2014

Star Trek TOS 'Balance of Terror'

Star Treks Balance of Terror was directed by Vincent McEveety in 1966 creating a gripping 'battle of wits' trek thriller. The Enterprises battle strategist, Captain James T. Kirk engages a Romulan aggressor in a high stakes game of cat and mouse.

Defending the Federation of planets is a tricky job for anyone which is why our military 'Starfleet' has a network of starships and starbases loaded with superior FIREPOWER! YESSS! Now we can sleep safe and sound at night. Or so we thought...

When the USS Enterprise NCC 1701 responds to a Federation outpost in distress no-one knows what to expect. Its red alert, all hands battle stations! At first its unclear who the intruder is... for some weird reason a mysterious force obliterates four out of seven Earth outposts along the Neutral Zone in sector Z-6.

The Neutral Zone intruders are obviously very stealthy and powerful. The poor devil pleading with Captain Kirk is Commander Hansen who doesn't want to die. His fears sum up precisely what everyone on the bridge of the Enterprise is feeling and in a flash the enemy strikes again!

'No identification. No answer to our challenge. Only a glimpse of it. Then they fired something at us, some form of high-energy plasma. Fantastic power. And then the whole vessel disappeared. But it's out there somewhere. Our sensors show that much. Enterprise, something coming on our viewing screen, coming at us fast.'

So now after 100 years of Peace the Federation is teetering on the brink of war with the Romulan Star Empire! Captain Kirks' hesitation tells us the attackers identity is still unconfirmed. The spaceship silhouette is so obviously ROMULAN but then thats Star Trek affliction and addiction for you.

Isn't it great when Captain Kirk decides to follow the Romulan battleship on the quiet? The Enterprise's stand in navigator, Mister Stiles isn't impressed. Kirk's has to work out a plan of action on the double.

'If he has sensors, I want him to think we're a reflection, an echo.' says Kirk ordering a parallel course which doesn't win any brownie points with Stiles. To spice up things  the Romulans superior spy technology gives their 'Bird of Prey' the ability to dodge Starfleet sensors. However its Mr Spock who observes a curious weakness about the Romulans cloaking device delivering lots of dramatic tension to the space battles in this classic episode.

Mark Lenard (famous for playing Spocks Dad, Sarek) makes his first Star Trek appearance in this epic space chase through the stars. Don't be fooled by the pointy ears either, Lenard's character is the cunning Romulan Commander! 'I regret that we meet in this way. You and I are of a kind. In a different reality, I could have called you friend.'

Whos' side were you rooting for? the Federation, the Romulan Star Empire, the USS Enterprise NCC 1701 or the Romulan Bird of Prey?

Live Long and Prosper Trekkers!!


Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

The Ferengi! They are all about profit. Wait, that wasn't one of the answers...

Spacerguy said...

Its cool when the two ships play dead in space, the crews actually whisper!

HoldFast said...

Best line of the entire series, "He's a Sorceror this one!"

Tony Laplume said...

Imagine if Khan had said that to Kirk?

Maurice Mitchell said...

One of the greatest episodes of TOS. I vote for the Bird of Prey. It's so cool.

Susan Kane said...

Of course, I always go with the side of good. But, dang it, Mark Lenard is terribly noble.

Spacerguy said...

Yeah! Its a great line Holdfast.
Khan and Kirk were evenly matched Tony,
Cool choice Maurice. I wrote an in depth account on the Enterprises stealth manoeuvres but merde, its gone missing! I will find it.
I think the 'whispering' goes back to the old submarine days Susan, which explains why the two spaceships were (illogically, hehe) on silent running.

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