Star Trek: The Original Series

"The Squire of Gothos"

**

Air date: 1/12/1967
Written by Paul Schneider
Directed by Don McDougall

Review by Jamahl Epsicokhan

The Enterprise is snagged by an unknown force near a barren planet, and Sulu and the captain are kidnapped. Upon beaming down to search for them, the landing party finds itself the unwilling guests of the quirky Trelane (William Campbell), a strange lifeform with unusual powers and particular tastes for being amused.

"The Squire of Gothos" is a lot like its central character Trelane: It can be fun to watch but it's ultimately undisciplined and meandering. The story provides Kirk with one obstacle after another, as he and Trelane become adversaries in a series of potentially deadly games, but few of these gimmicks enhance the storyline. More is not better. Also, this episode isn't sure if it's out-and-out comedy or something more relevant.

The ending sequence is overly obvious and overlong, with a theme (a powerful being turns out to have the mind of a child) that is little more than a rehash of the far superior "Charlie X," which had a far more sympathetic antagonist. Sure, some of the gimmicks are interesting, and Campbell does a good job with a selfish character, but it's not enough.

Previous episode: The Galileo Seven
Next episode: Arena

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6 comments on this review

Kang
Mon, Mar 11, 2013, 11:02pm (UTC -5)
I've been reading through your reviews, Jammer, and once again you've got this one pretty spot on. Personally, I'd probably add half a star as it kept me consistently entertained. There's no real depth or substance here aside from the basic theme that intelligence and power without discipline is destructive, which is applied pretty obviously. It's obvious that Gene Roddenberry drew Q from the character from Trelane, but I actually prefer The Squire of Gothos to Encounter at Farpoint, due to EaT being "a little all over the place". My major criticism of this episode would be the ending. I thought it was just a little overdone, with Trelane literally acting like a spoiled little brat. It kind of reminds me of the ending of Day of the Dove, where the crew members and Klingon's break in to bouts of laughter to rid the ship of a disruptive entity; not an episode breaker, but it did leave me with a bit of a bad taste in my mouth.
Adara
Thu, Aug 29, 2013, 2:19am (UTC -5)
It's Melllvar!
redshirt28
Sat, Apr 12, 2014, 9:39pm (UTC -5)
Review is pretty much dead on except I would not give it 2 stars... Maybe not even 1.
Thelia
Thu, Oct 16, 2014, 7:29am (UTC -5)
I have to point out that ya'll are saying that Trelane "had the mind of a child'and was "acting like a spoiled little brat",when in fact,Trelane WAS a child. His parents showed up and apologized for their child's selfish and immature behavior and even went so far as to assure Kirk that he would be punished for his bad behavior. The female parental figure even takes some of the blame saying they "spoiled" him. I think this justifies the characters' behavior completely. He acted like a child because he was a child.
Beth
Sun, Nov 30, 2014, 10:40pm (UTC -5)
I agree with the rating pretty much, but I had fun watching this episode. Trelane is a delightfully spoiled brat, and the actor plays that role well. I didn't mind the ending. Yeah, it's not as good or nearly as tragic as "Charlie X", but it was fun nonetheless.

As an aside, I'm also glad that the Wiki for "Trelane's Parents" confirmed that the voice of the father was NOT James Doohan. I'd heard that it was, but it didn't sound anything at all like his voice.
Stephen
Tue, Jul 5, 2016, 6:53am (UTC -5)
Just watched this episode last night, and it was better than I remember* (*my experience with TOS as a whole so far, really - maybe I've mellowed out, but when I watched TOS last time, and read Jammer's reviews, I thought his scores were too high, now i feel the opposite... but that was like a decade ago?).

Anyway, this time through, having watched the rest of Star Trek canon with me, my wife was apt to point out the similarities with Trelane and Q. Like Q, (in his 2nd appearance), Trelane is dressed as a French Military commander facinated by Napoleonic Era France. Also, later he plays the part of a Judge. I thought these were pretty good observations.

Finally, I would add, that in Voyager we see that the Q do have children. Could Trelane be a young Q (or even, *the* Q, as played by John De Lancie)?

Q de Lancie does, after all pull the same stunts, and is likewise reprimanded by "the Q continuum" - maybe the continuum thought his parents were doing a poor job of raising him, and took him away, or he's an adult and Q societies problem now instead of his parents.

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