Star Trek: The Original Series

“Friday's Child”

2 stars.

Air date: 12/1/1967
Written by D.C. Fontana
Directed by Joseph Pevney

Review Text

Just how much treachery and deception can fit into a single hour of Trek? That seems to be the most useful question to ask of "Friday's Child," an episode full of double-crosses and marginally clever traps and tricks.

The plot involves Kirk, Spock, and McCoy (and a soon-to-be-dead red-shirt) beaming down to Capella IV to negotiate a deal for minerals with the warlike tribes living there. The Klingons, however, are also there to negotiate, and the treachery between the Klingons and the Capellas—and even a struggle within the Cappella tribes' own hierarchy—quickly becomes a free-for-all. The landing party escapes imprisonment, but not before the show begins suffering from the fact it seems D.C. Fontana kept randomly inserting "[FIGHT SCENE]" into the script. Meanwhile on the Enterprise, Scotty chases a distress signal from a freighter. The signal turns out to be a Klingon forgery intended to lure the Enterprise away from Capella so the Klingons can thwart the landing party and plunder the minerals, but Scotty discovers the trick in time.

The editing technique with the cross-cutting storylines is rather annoying, switching back and forth so frequently that it's hard to care much about either storyline. The episode benefits from some great lines and sarcastic looks from Mr. Spock, and also some chemistry between McCoy and the pregnant Eleen (Julie Newmar), but it's not enough to save an hour so lacking in direction that it becomes a disjointed sum of its parts. What a shame to waste such effective outdoor photography.

Previous episode: Journey to Babel
Next episode: The Deadly Years

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Comment Section

63 comments on this post

    Am I crazy? Friday's Child is one of my favorite episodes. First of all, this is McCoy at his "take no b.s." best and I agree that McCoy and the chief's wife have chemistry. I also found the customs of the clan to be really interesting.

    Also, why only 3 stars for "Amok Time"? I've never met anybody who didn't love that episode.

    I think you're too hard on this one, Jammer. The fight scenes are over the top, but I actually enjoyed Scotty's part of the plot very much. And the Big Three chemistry is good.

    The episode is hokey (and suffers from some continuity mistakes) but it's not boring. To rate this the same as "The Apple" -- which is really boring and lame -- is overly harsh.

    One of the things that gets me in general is the occasional lack of discipline among the Enterprise crew. They land on the plant, Redshirt sees a Klingon, and he just steps out and fires? Doesn't wait for an order or anything? It doesn't seem very Kirklike to allow that sort of thing.

    Strange that the Prime Directive doesn't seem to exist in this episode. The Capellans clearly don't seem warp capable.

    That wouldn't prevent the Klingons from being there, of course.

    I had the same reaction as Strider. The redshirt's reaction was completely indefensible, but Kirk acts as if it was totally reasonable.

    You can see how much reinterpretation the Klingon species receives later on in the Star Trek Universe by looking at this episode. The concept of honor is wholly absent from the Klingon parts of the script and there were several instances where the character is fearful, irrational and impotent.

    If TOS didn't need villains so badly, we may never have seen the Klingon species develop.

    Two stars for the chaos.

    This episode did not make one iota of sense to me.

    Where was the prime directive?

    And why would the Klingons even bother to negotiate with a primitive species like that?

    Weak, as most episodes that deal with "primitive cultures" are.

    @Moonie: Presumably, the Klingons would have had to deal with the Capellans, who were quite formidable even if they were backward. Remember, this is before Klingons lived for battle. TOS Klingons were more like TNG Romulans or Cardassians.

    But the Prime Directive issue is certainly hard to figure, though this is far from the only example of TOS forgetting it existed.

    There are some good things to this episode -- I agree that there is chemistry between McCoy and Eleen, for instance. The reappearance of the Klingons here is what actually establishes them as recurring villains -- and while that strictly speaking could have happened in "any" episode, I think that it's important that it happens in a semi-serious context again before the Klingon threat gets threaded into the comedy in "Tribbles." The Scotty story is too long and protracted (especially so soon after a similar "Scotty investigates, very slowly" subplot in "Metamorphosis") but basically decent, with a good use of the "fool me once..." adage by Scott. So that's good.

    The episode really is *so* all over the place. Jammer's statement that it's as if FIGHT SCENE was randomly inserted all over the script is right on. In general, this episode feels like a filmed first draft -- with huge sections of the plot either unexplained (dropping us in the middle of a Capella uprising somewhere in the first act, why the new Tier decides to let Eleen live when it's against the rules and she's just lied, why Eleen lied about killing the Earthmen, why Kirk starts shooting at the Capellans at all at the end) or halfheartedly described in a log entry (such as Kirk's saying that Eleen hates her unborn child in a log). The editing is frequently terrible, with unusually bad continuity and some shots with odd, washed-out colours. Behaviour is all over the place -- what's up with Kirk's defeatist revenge at the end, or, as discussed, the crewman's randomly getting ready to shoot a Klingon and Kirk et al.'s non-reaction to it? And there are other things that might not, strictly speaking, be errors, but are just so *weird*, like the suggestion that McCoy has spent three months with these people before this episode (, between last episode and this one? or pre-series? or, what?) which quickly becomes irrelevant to the plot, or the way in which Scotty's log entry is filmed with Scotty standing up, delivering the log entry, and signing a pad in the middle of it, instead of the usual voice-over (the style which is still used for Kirk's voice overs).

    More generally, the episode has one of the least cohesive narratives up to this point in TOS (obviously, season three this problem more and more); the initial goal, to sign a trade treaty, gets ditched very early on and then the plot becomes merely a halfhearted "Kirk et al. must escape" scenario, wherein it's actually really unclear what the Capellan's emotional reason for pursuing Kirk is anyway, besides "they like rules," and the Klingon keeps stirring up trouble. Even this overarching desire -- get back to the ship -- sort of dissipates once Scotty arrives with a landing party, and the Capellans suddenly drop their desire to kill the humans, presumably because they're outnumbered now?, and they inexplicably sign a mining treaty at the end after all that. The Enterprise plotline seems to be building, eventually, to a fight with the Klingon cruiser, which gets resolved offscreen with the Klingons apparently backing down. The pregnancy at least gives some mild sense of focus to the proceedings, even if it leads to some annoying moments and some particularly unconvincing labour pains from Newmarr.

    Anyway, I guess I'd say that it's not boring -- I *enjoyed* watching it more than "Catspaw," even to take recent episodes. But it's *such* a mess. 1.5 stars, I think.

    I love Jammer's reviews. Often so spot on. But I do agree with Paul that you were too hard on this one. I find I enjoy watching this episode again and again. I'm not sure why. Maybe for one thing, like Grant said, the chemistry between McCoy and the chief's wife. Mac-coy, the child is yours. I love that. And the colorful visuals of the Cappelan village and clothing. And the unremitting evil of the early Klingons. And I gotta say, the Cappelans are not boring. A very different brutal culture. Lots of great humor and writing here too. Overall, one of my favorite TOS episodes.

    So many unanswered questions. First, why would they beam down armed with phasers? They were there to negotiate, not fight. And just how many people did the Tier rule? How big was his territory? Was it the only territory on the planet with access to the minerals? If Maab was one of the Tier's highest ranking subordinates, wouldn't he be off somewhere else in what must have been a huge domain, acting as a kind of governor? And what did McCoy do on that planet for three months - spend the entire time trying to change their minds about medicine and hospitals? And though he knew the culture, how come McCoy didn't seem to actually know any individuals on the planet? Scotty was lured away by a false distress signal, only later realizing that the enterprise was mentioned by name, when there was no reason a freighter would have known the enterprise was in that sector. So basically, Scotty screwed up. And when they reached the place the ship was supposed to be, there was absolutely no physical evidence to support that a vessel had been there, much less been under attack. And STILL, Uhura wondered if the distress call could have been legit. By the way, it was never explained why, when a federation freighter would not have known that the enterprise was in the area, how the Klingons got this information. The Klingon ship was so far away, checkov couldn't even be sure they WERE Klingon ships, much less read the name on the ship!

    But the most inexplicable aspects of this episode came near the end. Why didn't the Klingon have any backup? His ship was nearby. And why did Maab commit suicide? He acted as though the only way to defeat the Klingon was to lure him into the open so that one of the warriors could get him with that thrown weapon. But the Klingon was barely under any cover at all, and was already wounded. And he wasn't even that far away. And he was just one guy. And when the Klingon was killed, everyone seemed to relax, as if there was no reason to fight anymore. The natives seem to have forgotten that Kirk and Spock shot, and presumably killed, a couple of the natives by then. Now, recall at the beginning of the episode, a redshirt who drew his weapon was instantly executed. So how come when Scotty shows up with a weapon drawn, he is not similarly killed? And why did Scotty beam down in the first place? Wouldn't it have been easier to simply beam the landing party up?

    I didn't understand why the parrot-tops were beefing with other. Fight seemingly happen with no motive and there doesnt seem to be a moral side to root for in this whole mess. The Klingon is so "un-Klingon". There's nothing menancing or sinister about him.

    The only thing worth watching is the very pregnant Eliene and very take no BS McCoy slap each other into mutual respect.

    There's a little something about a fake distress call with our crew on the Enterprise but it's hardly worth mentioning.

    This episode is one big eye roll. Cliches piled upon cliches abound, along with poor editing, poor pacing, poor acting by the "natives," terrible costume design (is this where Bob Mackie got his inspiration for Carol Burnett's "Went With the Wind" drapery-still-on-the-curtain-rod dress?)... And on and on. Two stars is way too generous for such a big pile of something unmentionable in polite company. Nothing anyone said or did made any sense. Shatner was pretty wooden throughtout, especially in his reaction to the death of the redshirt. And how did that guy, "young and inexperienced" (and apparently mentally incapacitated) as he was, make it out of Star Fleet Academy, much less onto the Federation's flagship??

    PS, trust Kirk to bring fists to a knife fight, yet not receive so much as a scratch.

    I give this mess two smelly toes down.

    I dunno guys, I enjoyed this one a lot. Frankly, a lot of the complaints seem quite unearned.

    Why is that redshirt putting his gun out so bothersome? Militaries and police put huge emphasis on avoiding this. Doesn't change the fact that it still happens. And I don't remember Kirk overly defending him either, he simply didn't think he deserved to die over it. This is Kirk we are talking about here, he takes these things very personally. Why beam down with phasers? Because negotiating or not, these locals have been establsihed as being easy to turn hostile. Klingons probably knew about them, because they were in contact with the locals and they knew they were already coming ect.

    I do think locals looked absolutely ridiculous, even by TOS standarts.

    Red shirt attempts to attack Klingon with possibly lethal force, without the slightest provocation. Kirk says it was self defence, not sure how that would stand up in court !!

    Sometimes you just have to forget about what the Klingons should be or look like., forget the prime directive for all we know this world was contacted before the prime directive. Then this is very entertaining with the lovely julie newmar as an added treat. As for the red shirt his phaser was on stun its not like anybody was going to die through his mistake - except him unfortunately!

    Finally will anybody read this? 2009 - 2017 and still more comments! Maybe they'll continue until 2050 and the first warp drive according to metamorphesis :)

    Of course people will still read the comments, Why. Isn't that the entire point of being a Star Trek fan, to obsess over a show that ended 50 years ago? There's always more things you could say about these shows...

    In any case, glad I wasn't the only one utterly confused by everyone's motivations in this episode.

    Well, actually, I'll give them some credit. Eleen did have something of a character arc... maybe. I'm assuming that her hitting Bones over the head and then lying about everyone being dead was just her trying to save their lives. She was nobly sacrificing herself for her baby and for her new respect for Bones. Beforehand, she was caught up in her people's ways - ways of rigid, inflexible rules that must be followed with complete honesty. Now, even though she knows she should die and that the Enterprise crew should die, she saw enough of an alternate way to want something different. Again, I'm assuming those were her thoughts. The episode certainly didn't make it clear, and everyone else's motivations are so suspect that it's hard to think of any subtlety in this episode.

    Why did Maab decide that this was the right time to start an insurrection against the boss? We saw some disagreements between them at first, but why did it suddenly boil over when Kirk arrived? It didn't even seem linked to the mining negotiations. And why did Maab suddenly decide to let Eleen live? After all, she lied, right in front of him. If she needed a character arc to learn that the rules could be bent sometime, why did Maab suddenly decide he could bend the rules too? Doesn't that go against their entire culture?

    And why did they suddenly decide they were ok with Kirk and company? Shouldn't they be killing Scotty fo pulling a gun on him? Shouldn't they still be inflexibly trying to kill Kirk and Spock? Why the sudden change of heart, other than the fact that the episode needed to wrap up in 3 minutes?

    But perhaps most bizarrely of all, why did Kirk decide, out of the blue, to get revenge on the Klingon? He and Spock were sitting there, their lives threatened, their mission in tatters, a baby to protect, and Kirk just decides on some revenge killing for fun? Does that sound like the calm, collected Starfleet captain we all know? And why did Spock seem to just go with it? Wouldn't that be illogical?

    Also, just how deadly could these ninja throwing stars be if Kirk and Spock could beat them with homemade bows and arrows?

    And last but not least, why did they make the Klingon so annoying? OK, fine, I take back what I said earlier. I can see why Kirk would drop the mission to kill this guy, and I can see why Maab would break the rules to kill this guy. He was just that unpleasant of a character. And I don't mean that in a good way, of making a villain villainous enough to root against him. He was just a whiny moron who you wanted to shut up every time he appeared.

    Hard to believe, but I don't think I've ever seen this episode before. I loved it--like "Spock's Brain", it's so bad that it's good--just cheesy, campy fun. "I'm a doctor, Man, not an escalator!" Hahahahahahahaha. And the Capellans uniforms--OMG--lavander, orange, blue fake fur--hilarious. Especially the leader, whose uniform was trimmed with what looked like gold drapery fringe. Spock, Kirk, Mack-Coy, Scotty...all great. Uhuru, Sulu, Chekhov--professional and fun to watch as usual, through all the ridiculous plot nonsense. Julie Newmar as Eleen--wow--what a pretty woman. And a sleazy, rotten Klingon for us to hate. What more could one want? This one is a keeper for me.

    The Klingon reminded me more of a Ferengi, opportunistic but foolish.

    I'm enjoying rewatching the entire series, glad I found this blog to help clear some stuff up.

    Hello Everyone!


    Welcome aboard! :D

    And... I'd not thought of that. Lying like a Ferengi, scheming like a Romulan. Yes, not very Klingon-like at all.

    Have a great day... RT

    I rewatched this ep the other day. The last time I saw it, I must have been eight - all I remembered was the blade-disk thingy killing the guard at the beginning (who didn't even make it past the opening credits!) and Kirk using his communicator to set off a rockslide - very clever idea, that last one - I hope we see this again in Star Trek Discovery.

    Now that I'm an adult, I see this ep a lot differently. Still a fun way to pass the time, with some hilarious lines and interactions between the characters but not very noteworthy overall.

    -Scotty: "Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me." Chekov: "I know that saying. It was invented in Russia."
    -McCoy: "I'm a doctor, not an escalator!"
    -Spock: "Fortunately, this bark has suitable tensile cohesion." Kirk: "You mean it makes a good bowstring?" Spock: "I believe I said that."
    -Spock: [sarcastically] "I think you're both going to be insufferably pleased with yourselves for at least a month. Sir!"

    I think "Friday's Child" is all about action for the purpose of action but one good thing about it is the good moments with the Big 3 on the planet as well as having the rest of the important Enterprise crew (minus Chapel) all involved in the plot on the ship -- Chekov, Sulu, Uhura, and Scotty all had parts to play/enough lines to say.

    McCoy and Eleen's interaction was pretty good. Kirk/Spock had some good lines re. the baby -- that was all the kind of stuff that makes 60s Trek so enjoyable for me.

    As for the plot, @Skeptical raises a lot of valid questions/speculations. So many twists and turns in this one -- I was surprised Eleen said the baby/Big 3 are all dead at her hands (presumably to protect them from the warriors/Klingon). Then I assume Maab sacrifices himself so another one of his men can kill the Klingon (I don't get that at all). As for Kirk and the revenge comment, no idea where that came from.

    The Klingon (did he even have a name?) was treacherous as could be -- but that was well portrayed. The viewer surely would like to see him killed and I think this is entirely consistent with how a Klingon would act under the circumstances. They are supposed to be evil and masquerade under a facade of honour. Just not sure why he didn't have any cavalry of his own.

    I'd rate "Friday's Child" 2.5 stars. A fun, unpredictable episode that made good use of the outdoor environment, some interesting characters but some flaws in continuity and plot cohesion. Nothing too profound here.

    I loved this episode. It's hilariously straight faced, with Bones slapping a pregnant woman, the absurd aliens, the cowardly Klingon, and of course those scenes in which Kirk gets to re-enact Rambo First Blood. It felt like a swashbuckling, colonial, nautical adventure written in the 1800s.

    Interesting how some of the series regulars (Uhura and Sulu, at least) are heard pronouncing Klingons as Klin-gon (sounding almost like Klee-gone). Whenever an extra of the week says it that way, I just assumed they weren’t familiar with the show and had only read the script and never heard the dialog.

    It happened enough in this episode that I wondered if someone like the director or some other crew person (maybe Roddenberry’s ever-present and meddlesome lawyer) decided it should be pronounced that way and was giving notes about it.

    Ah, "Friday's Child," a classic TOS military adventure show in the mold that later became popular on DS9. Much like "A Private Little War" later this season, but perhaps not as good, we find the Federation and Klingons fighting their Cold War by proxy here as they compete for influence over strategic planets. This one is memorable for the colorfully violent Capellan giants and their boomerang weapons, some great dialogue, and a good showcase for McCoy in his relationship with the queen played by the legendary Julie Newmar. I give it 3 or 3 1/2 stars, not quite 4 since the Klingon agent makes a weak foil, but it's still entertainingly alien.

    I also like the shipboard scenes in this one: Rather than repetitive cuts to the ship searching for the landing party, as often happens on these two-tiered TOS stories, we get Scotty leading the ship (good bits for Chekov, Sulu, and Uhura here as well) against a Klingon battle cruiser making threatening maneuvers to bait them. The whole Klingon thing seems a bit underwritten here, as a reference back to the Organian peace treaty (see "Tribbles" for that) would have been a helpful reminder that the two sides cannot engage in open warfare. And the unnamed Klingon agent isn't a strong villain in the mold of the classic Kor, Koloth, and Kang trinity who set the mold for great TOS Klingons. But the military posturing of the two sides works here and the Klingon is clearly a spy-provocateur in the mold of Soviet KGB agents, whichmakes sense to me as I'm sure even the Klingons (at least on TOS) have their version of a secret police.

    And I have to say the McCoy stuff with the equally irascible/stubborn queen and her baby is fun. Newmar and Kelley create a believable chemistry in the picturesque (and rare for Trek) outdoor location scenes; when McCoy slaps her back, Kelley manages the delicate balance of playing the scene humorously (with a self-satisfied little smirk to match her own) rather than abusively, giving it a tough love feeling. The reaction of Spock and Kirk to this budding relationship is priceless.

    Finally, I love the Western-style adventure pursuit through the canyons (neat bit with the communicator avalanche) and the final fight scene where the Capellan leader shouts defiantly at the Klingon to meet him in battle manfully right after he gives the queen her life back. This Klingon agent is particularly devious and sneaky, perhaps even "dishonorable" to a later Trek sensibility, but he does serve his "boo hiss" function well and we are happy to see him go at the end. Again, I don't mind him one bit, as I think the stereotypes on Trek (every person we see from an alien species must act the same from TNG onward) get too rigid at times. There's also a certain inconsistency or even hypocrisy to the Klingon honor thing: They like to claim great ideals (i.e. "Klingons don't take prisoners") that we constantly see Klingons breaking when convenient to serve their thirst for glory and victory. This inconsistency in the half-baked Trek ideology for the Klingon ethos, exposed in this episode, isn't so much inappropriate as jarringly honest.

    They chucked out the story in favour of fight scenes and not very well directed fight scenes.
    There was times the actors just stood there looking like they didn't know what to do.
    But i did like the costumes and the scenery.

    That poor redshirt didn't even make it past the teaser.

    That "communicators trigger landslide" function would have come in handy in future episodes. Too bad we never saw it in TNG

    Wow. This episode didn't age very well, did it!?

    I mean, the doctor repeatedly taking the alien pregnant woman's multiple clear statements of "no" as "yes" to him touching her, and him angrily responding that he'll damn well touch her any way he wants... and then doing so even after she finally slaps him two times in response to him forcibly touching her against her will, and then....the doctor slaps her in the face right back...!!! Whiiich actually totally wins her love, though, because, the 60s.

    Bones even doubles down on his assaulting-pregnant-ladies bit later, telling Kirk that he'll keep it in his permanent repertoire.

    That's not chemistry you guys...that's Stockholm syndrome! First for the old Tier, then for McCoy. This poor chick. No wonder she's bonkers.

    All that said, I totally agree with lizzzi. This episode is so bad it's good. I mean you can't get this many episodes deep without knowing a certain sexist idiocy will be constantly afoot in this show. It was the 60s after all. Those parts are...deeply cringey, yes. But truly, in a less horrific way, so is the hideous costume design, and the goofy fight scenes, and the absolutely perplexing character writing, it's all just so delightfully terrible and campy that this episode is a must-watch.

    ...Just please, for the love of God, don't take any sort of life lessons from this particular episode (unless it's about what NOT to do).

    5/5 entertainment value, 1/5 for quality (1 star was well and truly earned by OUTDOOR scenery!)

    What "chemistry" is totally depends on the user. It's not always lovey-dovey romance stuff that gets people off. I've personally encountered women who would get off of being slapped. I don't see that as necessarily pathological. This episode is arguably ahead of its time.

    Note: This is not to say anything about McCoy's conduct, which is of course non-consensual.

    "Note: This is not to say anything about McCoy's conduct, which is of course non-consensual."

    You people have got to get over yourselves and understand context a little better.

    @Yams, Luthor, Peter G. --

    McCoy is the expert on the Capellans -- it was established at the start of the episode that he had spent some time among them and was briefing the senior officers on their customs, warlike behavior etc.

    As for his interaction with Eleen - as I said before their interaction was one of the better points of this episode. One should assume he knows how to deal with a pregnant Capellan female and doing what is best for the baby's survival. Above all else he puts his hippocratic oath.

    The Capellans are a more primitive society and Eleen feels very duty bound but McCoy is, I believe, toeing the line between treating her as she might be treated by a Capellan male and trying to save the baby.

    Specific to Yams' comments re. "hideous costume design, and the goofy fight scenes, and the absolutely perplexing character writing, it's all just so delightfully terrible and campy" -- you miss the point completely about TOS, though you're entitled to your opinions.

    TOS didn't have the budgets other Treks did -- the costumes for an alien warrior tribe, I thought, were appropriate. The fight scenes were excessive in this episode, but reasonably enacted for the 60s - and I'm not disappointed in them today. The important thing is that the viewer understands what is going on.

    And I certainly don't think this episode is "delightfully terrible and campy". It isn't a very strong episode for sure but it's definitely not terrible ("Spock's Brain" is terrible) and it's not campy like so many VOY episodes are, for example.

    I think "Friday's Child" does a better-than-mediocre job of portraying tribal warfare/treachery and not to mention the theme of a superior power (Klingons/Federation) trying to win their allegiance/mining rights through different tactics. It's an entertaining hour of Trek but not a particularly profound one.

    Great review Jammer, and yes, this is so bad, it's good, almost like a spoof. Editing is quite terrible; some of the scenes work well when considered alone, but sequences are sloppy. Red-shirt is on the right side of the four standing, and in the next shot, half a second later, he is second from the left trying to aim at the Klingon.

    The stunt man for the Klingon looks nothing like him (see when the Capellan's kleegat hits him, did they really need stunt men by the way just for that scene, he is standing and screaming essentially, facing the camera). Julie Newmar's acting is off too.

    If you read Star trek books, Akaar (the newborn baby) turns out to be a quite important and well-developed character, appearing in multiple DS9 relaunch novels.
    The red shirt is Robert Bralver who has quite impressive resume as actor, stunt man, and director. He represents the emblematic red-shirt in this one, no doubt :)))

    No, did not like this one.

    McCoy and the pregnant lady added some fun and amusement, but it was otherwise totally boring and ineffective.

    Goofy costumes aside, the Capellans made for one of the more interesting one-time-visited alien races in all of Trekdom.

    I think they could make a compelling villains-you-respect race in the Prime Universe set in the decades after DS9 and Voyager.

    At that point, they've had a couple of centuries of being exploited for their minerals and they've decided to give up their tents and head for the stars. As a space-faring race with technology equal to the Federation, they could easily emerge as worthy rivals to the Federation, Klingons and Romulans.

    @ Sarjenka's Brother

    I also liked the portrayal of the Capellans -- a fearsome tribe with strict customs. Didn't think their costumes were goofy though.

    But the Capellans are not inherently villains. Only because the Klingon was interfering was there dissension in the tribe and toward the Federation. But, presumably if there are different tribes of Capellans, maybe their analogues in the 24th century could be the Kazon.

    On the topic of TOS S2 villains, I think what would be more interesting and plausible (since the Capellans are a tribe and are probably between 1 and 2 millenia of being a space-faring race) is if the modern-day Romans from "Bread and Circuses" or the Nazis from "Patterns of Force" (in a few centuries) developed into space-faring races -- basically bringing fascism into the 23rd and 24th centuries. But then again, this has already largely been done with the Romulans/Klingons/Cardassians.

    I understand many of the critical comments made here, but I enjoyed this episode very much. There are some segments which are truly classic, especially involving Bones and Scotty. 'A few involving Spock, too.

    - unnecessary dying

    - behaviours and attitudes constantly changing and shifting

    - klingon not klingon like at all. Didn't fight honourable and quite a coward.

    - what's an inexperienced officer doing on an away mission. Bruh.

    - no continuity of characters. Just no sense at all.

    I would give 2 stars because it HAD potential.

    I generally enjoyed this episode. I also really like Capella, which is
    now nicely visible in the evening sky. Spring is coming. Anyway:

    Right after Babel, we are back to the "Earth Federation" trying to
    secure those minerals for their colonies. I don't know about the Prime
    Directive though. The Capellans might well be warp capable or at least
    aware of their planet's position in interstellar relations, and still
    choose to live on simple soundstages with a couple of drapes and
    employ edged weapons as part of their culture. For what it's worth,
    materialising aliens are not a big deal to them; they greet them with
    a simple "So you're the earth vessel?"

    The wide-spread notion that redshirt deaths are generally shrugged off
    might be a bit unfair after all. This far in the series, Kirk
    routinely mourns and "demands an explanation" for his crewman's death;
    he even does so in this case, where his party is clearly the one at
    fault. He promptly gets his explanation from McCoy, who dryly points
    out that this idiot just needlessly caused an interplanetary
    incident. Well, to the young guy, a Klingon might be a terrifying
    alien, maybe like a Borg (you do tend to kill those on sight). But I
    can't say that they have done much to earn that reputation; the one
    here certainly doesn't.

    The Klingons are still sneaky and dishonorable here, eventually
    backing away from the fight in space as well. That's interesting given that in the
    beginning, the Klingons seem to be at an advantage precisely because
    they are cultually closer to the Capellans. - However, it is
    believable that a single Bird of Prey or "small scout ship"/glowing
    paperclip would be seriously outgunned by the Enterprise. Still in
    STIII, a fully armed Constitution class vessel coming at you is a
    thing to be very nervous about. (Obviously, by that time, the Klingons
    would choose to die in the fight.)

    DC Fontana's script has another one of those remarkably hard cuts that
    she already employed twice in Babel, and that most of you were put off
    by. I call it some refreshingly dynamic pacing, maybe even somewhat
    ahead of its time. It also works in this case: we can all figure out
    that there's a coup by Maab's people, no need to spell it out.

    I also rather enjoyed Julie Newmar's display of regal arrogance,
    putting a good measure of Catwoman in her always-sexy voice when she
    declares that "it is my right to see him die". Her exact motivations
    remain unclear throughout though, like pretty much everyone's.

    Yeah, and Scotty is probably a tad too smug when he explains to
    everyone on the bridge how *he* just fell for a ruse, abandoning his
    captain in the process; the story sounds accordingly different in his
    report to said captain when he finally returns. And finally, their
    very cavalry-like appearance, while okay as a joke, felt rather
    unneccessary to me. Kirk had almost got it there. Just one
    three-minute Kirk speech about how honoring proper succession demands
    Junior is now in charge, everyone voluntarily drops their weapons
    and bows to the baby, boom, you're done.

    You can boil what is fun in Friday's Child down to a 30 second clip

    Now that I've saved you 50 minutes of your life, you are free to spend that time searching for Julie Newmar's Playboy spread on the interwebs.

    Wait a minute-how can the red shirt reach for his weapon when the organians made that impossible? I'm so confused.

    Was this one of the first trek episodes that starts with a meeting of the senior staff?

    Shoot Out At The OK Capella. (Yawn).

    Potentially this could have been a good episode - the Bedouin type sets were pleasing and the cultural politics of the initial scenes interesting, especially the way McCoy interprets every situation. But once I’d seen this:
    REDSHIRT (chosen for a diplomatic mission, and yet, against all prior warnings) “A Klingon!” (draws weapon despite no threat whatsoever... dies),
    I just knew it was going to turn out bad.

    This was essentially the ‘Wild West’ episode and there’s even a reference to “the cavalry coming over the hill to rescue....”. Just a series of random fight scenes interspersed with Scotty realising unbelievably slowly that they have been tricked by a false distress signal.

    The episode is partly redeemed by “MAKK-oi”’s scenes with the girl. A doctor who is not an escalator, huh? If not for those scenes it would not even deserve the 1.5 stars I’ll give it.

    The original red shirt on the planet did not immediately draw his weapon to fire on the Klingon. Capt. Kirk clarified that he only drew it defensively. It was the Klingon who attacked first.

    Only 2 stars for Friday’s Child and 3 stars for the awful “I Mudd”? Jammer, you’re losing it...

    Considering I wrote this in 1998, if I was losing it then, I must be in real trouble now. :)

    One other tiny nit (besides how two starship crew members turned out to be spectacular bowmen despite their wobbly arrows) — where exactly did that distress call come from? The crew went to where the alleged freighter said it was, but did the signal originate from that general direction and range? Surely it would be a giveaway if the signal came from the somewhere close to the Klingon ship, and I doubt it came from elsewhere in the Empire considering that the poor Klingon fellow was down there all alone!

    (The Enterprise only made warp 5 or 6 going to and from that location — I don’t think the writers ever agreed on what top speed was considering so many urgent journeys were made well below it.)

    Also useful that Starfleet personnel keep copious earplugs on their person at all times … and that McCoy kept all his medical gear despite handing in their communicators.

    I like this episode, but my one complaint out of the entire thing is, why did Mr Scott have to be so disrespectful on Sulu, saying he knew the speed of a freighter. Well la di da. If I were Sulu, I'd never offer information again.

    I don't think I ever before happened to notice the knowing smile on Chekov's face after he has claimed credit for his homeland for a common saying. Sulu and Scott at first scowl, then realize he is joking. They are all in the joke together. Chekov isn't the russo-centric jingoist that his "invented in Russia" shtick often suggests. It's a running gag that he's in on.

    >...and it's not campy like so many VOY episodes are

    I'm curious to here which Voyager episodes you think are campy? I never felt any Trek made after TOS/TAS felt campy, except may be “Threshold”.

    I was bored by this episode as a boy, was bored as a teenager, and was bored as a near-60 man.

    This is an excellent adventurous episode. One of my favorites when i watched this on television as a boy, seen in re-runs after school. There seems to be a lot of incorrect assertions being made in these comments. Imo the prime directive isn't necessarily violated- Kirk has proof the Klingons are interfering with the Capellans. A coup is taking place as the younger Maab dethrones the old king Akaar, who has a history of working with the Federation. The Klingons are obviously sewing seeds of discontent with Maab, so the Federation may be obligated in some capacity to protect its interests and the people of CapellaIV.
    It is shown in the script that Maab's mindset is evolving:
    "MAAB: Perhaps to be a teer is to see in new ways. I begin to like you, Earthman, and I saw fear in the Klingon's eye.
    KRAS: We had an agreement.
    MAAB: That too may change, Klingon. "

    So, changing his mind about Eleen isn't exactly wishy-washy, Maab has simply expanded his viewpoint in the new role of high teer. He sees himself as a dutiful leader, of all his people, rather than a faction and also sees he's been duped by the Klingon. This episode is a good one, maybe top 10 good, and it's held up well for many, many viewings for me.
    Here is one of the greatest exchanges of any you will ever see:
    "AKAAR: I am the teer Akaar. I lead the Ten Tribes of Capella.
    (A heavily pregnant woman enters and sits.)
    AKAAR: And this is Eleen, a young wife to give an old man a son to rule these tribes.
    KIRK: I'm Captain Kirk. First of all, I must protest the killing of my crewman.
    AKAAR: If it was your man, wasn't it his privilege to die for you? I do not understand.
    MAAB: Their customs are different, Teer.
    KRAS: And different from those of my people, too, Teer. The sight of death frightens them.
    MCCOY: Let me take this, Jim. What Maab has said is true. Our customs are different. What the Klingon has said is unimportant, and we do not hear his words. I just called the Klingon a liar.
    MAAB: Laughter, Teer? Is not the Klingon an honoured guest also?
    AKAAR: It was the Earth people who first bargained for our rocks.
    MAAB: Is it not best to have two who bargain for the same goods?
    AKAAR: It is I who speak for the tribe, Maab.
    MAAB: I speak for many, Teer. Hear the words of the Klingon.
    KRAS: What do Earth men offer you? What have you obtained from them in the past? Powders and liquids for the sick? We Klingons believe as you do. The sick should die. Only the strong should live. Earthmen have promised to teach the youth of your tribes many things. What? What things? Cleverness against enemies? The use of weapons?
    ELEEN: The Klingon speaks the truth, Akaar.
    KIRK: The Earth Federation offers one other thing, Akaar. Our laws. And the highest of all our laws states that your world is yours and will always remain yours. This differs us from the Klingons. Their empire is made up of conquered worlds. They take what they want by arms and force.
    MAAB: Good, good. Let the Klingons and the Earthmen offer us amusement. Capellans welcome this.
    AKAAR: The Earth men have different customs, but never have they lied to our people.
    MAAB: There are those of us who won't bargain with Earthmen, Akaar.
    AKAAR: Do you say you will fight me, Maab?
    MAAB: Let that be your choice, Teer.
    (Maab, Kras and the Orange man leave.)
    KIRK: We need our communicators, those devices on our belts. If there's a Klingon ship somewhere
    AKAAR: The sky does not interest me. I must consider the words I have heard.
    ELEEN: Leave him. "

    Why the redshirt immediately draws is hinted at in the scene directly before that, where Kirk lectures Scotty about Klingon's being sighted in this sector. The implication is that just the sight of a Klingon means you may face incident. McCoy reaffirms the redshirts actions by noting the Klingons are our sworn enemies. So although Kirk half-heartedly explains that he was young, the insinuation is that the redshirt was spot on. However i have always found that scene a bit odd. It mainly serves to give us a first taste of the usage of the Capellan kligat, a deadly weapon. Which is again used in the death scene of Maab, which I found to be most excellent.
    Friday's Child offers adventure, drama, intrigue, and a bit of comedy. Kirk, Spock, and Bones are great together in this one. The Capellan culture is one of the most awesome the Enterprise crew encounter, with their unique customs, dress, and names with double vowels. Friday's Child S2 E11- 01DEC1967, is similar to another of my favorites , Private Little War S2 E19- 02FEB1968. The former starring the sexy Julie Newmar and the latter starring Nancy Kovack in the role of Nona which has to be one of the most sexually erotic characters ever created...woww

    Lyle said: "Nancy Kovack in the role of Nona which has to be one of the most sexually erotic characters ever created"

    Here's some Nona cheesecake for you, Lyle:

    My question is a lot like Jammer’s, but nastier -- Just how much treachery and deception can be packed into a single hour and yet still be completely uninteresting and meaningless? I couldn’t have cared less about anything I was watching here. “Friday’s Child” (probably named after the far superior W.H. Auden poem) was literally painful to sit through, just like a root canal, an airline delay or a Nancy Pelosi lecture.

    Those Capellan men with their silly JoJo Sliwa hairdos and frou-frou frocks amount to nothing more than your typical warring thugs fighting over dick size and street cred. If they didn’t have such a valuable mineral no one would give a shit about their stupid backward planet, except perhaps for the slight entertainment value to be had from their constant brawling (I could see it being on some futuristic version of Pay-Per-View). "Are you children?" Eileen shouts at them. Yeah, pretty much.

    And while The Klingon does make use of a delightful sneer, he doesn’t have an ounce of the charisma that John Colicos’ Kor from “Errand of Mercy” had. What a letdown.

    Of course, one great attribute of “Friday’s Child” (or maybe it’s two attributes) is that it features the venerable sexy smokeshow Julie Newmar as aforementioned Eileen. Her presence alone basically nets the episode ten bonus points -- five points per tit.

    Speak Freely:

    McCoy -- “Captain, I’m going to fix that woman’s arm. They can only kill me once for touching her.”

    My Grade: D-

    Fun fact, that is what Jammer had to say about this family pig, when he gave him money.
    "Thanks for your support and your contributions in the comment threads!"

    So true. Five coffees per tit!

    Yes @ProudCapitalistPig, this is one of the many TOS episodes with a stunningly beautiful woman -- gotta hand it to TOS for having more hotties in its 79 episodes than any other live action classic Trek series did even with far more episodes. Julie Newmar...

    But I'd take watching this episode any day over a Nancy Pelosi lecture -- it's not even close!

    --@ Rahul
    --"I'd take watching this episode any day over a Nancy Pelosi lecture"

    Point taken! I suppose that was a bit unfair even to "Friday's Child."

    --"this is one of the many TOS episodes with a stunningly beautiful woman"

    Looking forward to more hotties!

    It was neat to see Sulu's targeting scanner display deploy out of the helm console.

    I'm uncertain exactly why, but this one has grown on me as I've grown. As a kid, Friday's Child seemed boring, but later I found the clash of cultures interesting. and the Capellan traditions more believable. The screenplay creatively differs from TOS standards, for example, here McCoy opens the episode, the Capellans though relatively primitive seem formidable, especially when armed with their inventive kligat weapon, then there's a faked distress signal, a pregnancy, and some memorable dialogue. The all-too-rare outdoor filming lends a touch of authenticity. 3 of 4 stars is much higher than I'd have given this one decades ago.

    It's the pace of this episode that makes it work. In that context, it works brilliantly... That is the entire point...

    D.C. Fontana does not mince words nor too many notes...

    This is easily a 3-star episode despite the goofy-ass costumes. You MUST look at the context.

    Friday’s Child is an odd episode. In many ways it’s sort of a continuation of Errand of Mercy, with the federation and Klingon empire competing over another small planet with precious resources, but where Errand had a ton to say about imperialism and arrogance this episode seems to have other ideas on its mind that never fully come to the surface. The possible Cold War allegories are somewhat pushed to the side and instead I think we’re supposed to be focused more on eleen and her baby. What, if anything, the episode is trying to say however sort of stumbles across the finish line.

    The heart of the episode feels like the relationship between McCoy and eleen, and the good doctor’s efforts to get her to accept help that she claims to not want. It’s a bit of a confused muddle of competing elements. On the one hand we have an alien culture with very different values that eleen is committed to. McCoy is the most familiar with where she’s coming from, but he’s also very committed to his own values as a medical professional and is walking a bit of a fence between the two. He wants her to see herself and her baby through his own moral prism, but he’s using her own capellan cultural tropes to get there, including smacking her around. It’s a weird combo of respect for another culture being used to undermine that culture. Technically the ethical thing to do would be to accept eleen’s disdain for her child and desire to be left alone, but doing so would almost certainly mean infanticide and eleen’s possible murder. So what’s a doctor to do? Unfortunately this all takes care of itself when eleen pops out her kid and does an about face on her whole situation, which I found to be an abandonment of the more interesting culture clash dilemma in favor of a more family friendly wrap up.

    Speaking of that capellan culture, it’s also a bit problematic. These people are all about honesty, honor, and integrity, well, except when it suits them not to be. Treachery and backstabbing seem to be totes cool if you can get away with it, which leaves me feeling like the best federation strategy here might be to get them some dictionaries so they can look up the definition of these words their supposed to be super about. Then again, maab does sacrifice himself to lure out our Klingon baddie, so perhaps he was engaging in one last act of redemption to make up for his conniving and throwing his lot in with the demonstrably dishonorable Klingon? I’m not really sure, it’s all a bit tough to figure.

    Some other thoughts:
    - It was a scripting error to have that redshirt die right out of the gate. I mean, it’s cool to establish just out serious and dangerous the capellans are, maybe have redshirt hurl an insult at Mr. Klingon and get knocked out or sent back to the ship in disgrace, but that dude whipping out his phaser like that when everyone else seemed to be pretty relaxed just felt stupid. Like, dude, read the room. I imagine McCoy probably gave the whole team a PowerPoint rundown on the do’s and don’t’s of dealing with seven foot tall super warriors, so the scene just plays out like that security officer was a complete idiot.
    - You have to wonder why the Klingon was running solo, no Klingon henchmen in sight. That, coupled with the fact that the Klingons were resorting to fake distress calls and subterfuge implies that maybe he was going a bit rogue here? Maybe his superiors didn’t know about or approve of his actions?
    - I’m torn on Kirk’s whole vengeance thing. I guess he hates Klingons *that* much, which I suppose is an acceptable character flaw, but it also seems unprofessional.
    - Outdoor locations are nice.
    - Capellan outfits are, um, interesting…

    Anyway, 2/4 kleegats to the chest.

    Don't really like this episode. The big three having now been credited in the show's opening sequence, now need excuses to take most of the screen time. Beaming down to a planet and then being deprived of their communicators and therefore losing contact with the ship, thus requires the 3 to improvise a solution to their dilemma. This time, the Enterprise actually leaves the planet despite losing contact with command crew 3 and receiving an obviously faked call for assistance, which Scotty would normally have detected but for the plot device. It's too bad the conflict with the Klingon ship could not have been developed a bit with Scott in charge (instead of just dropping it midstream) ...... because.... then we would have had to endure less of the ridiculous inhabitants of the planet acting bewildered as though they were shooting a Western and had lost their horses. Obviously, the outdoor shooting location costs a lot so there is no budget for sci-fi or (even more expensive) horses. These planets with primitive societies always talk with strange utterances, leaving out prepositions to seem naive and ignorant, and act like knuckledraggers limited by their life perspective on the planet. As opposed to the superpowerful aliens whom when in human form appear as frail benevolent Thespians because they don't need to be brutes. So the, um, Capellians, are sword and knife tossing primitives, yet appear to have a fine draperies manufacturing plant nearby despite having no windows. The baby stuff was meant to be cute because what else was a doctor going to do on the planet without his medical kit, which magically appears later. You can't expect him to make his own bow and arrow out of twigs and leaves then deploy the weapon with tactical proficiency. And who wouldn't want to get their hands on Julie Newmar, at least this time it's not Kirk getting the privilege. This episode just tries to cram too much stuff into a lackluster story, no wonder they needed a half dozen fight scenes to keep the audience from dozing off.

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