Star Trek: The Original Series

"Day of the Dove"

3 stars

Air date: 11/1/1968
Written by Jerome Bixby
Directed by Marvin Chomsky

Review by Jamahl Epsicokhan

The mutual distrust between the Klingons and the Federation becomes the center of attention for Kirk when he takes Klingon prisoners aboard the Enterprise for trespassing in Federation space and attacking a Federation outpost. Once aboard the ship, an alien entity that thrives on hostility allows the opposing forces to lock into a repetitive cycle of combat—allowing an equal number of Kirk's men for every Klingon on board to fight above decks in a sort of arena of violence.

"Day of the Dove" isn't great, but it's good—showing more promise than many third-season offerings. Michael Ansara as Kang provides a good adversary for Kirk, as the distrust between the two sides elevates into an all-out battle of swordplay, courtesy of the animosity-inducing alien presence.

The "violence is bad" message is pretty obvious, but it manages to work fairly well in the story's context. I particularly liked the scene where Kirk and his crew come to realize that they're feeding off racially motivated hatred, even if it was a little overplayed. The end provides a classic Trek solution, where the two sides end hostilities to be rid of the alien entity's cycle of pointless bloodshed. Not groundbreaking, but respectable.

Previous episode: Spectre of the Gun
Next episode: For the World Is Hollow and I Have Touched the Sky

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43 comments on this post

Mon, Nov 26, 2012, 11:24am (UTC -6)
Just caught this one the other day. One of the funniest things is spotting the normal TOS extras (the guy who alternates with Chekov/Sulu, Spock's stand-in, the big guy who was Kirk's bodyguard in "Mirror, Mirror") appear as Klingons.

It's a pretty good episode, though I couldn't quite figure out why the alien's ability to mess with people worked faster on some people than others. Chekov is almost instantly affected, then McCoy, then Kirk, Spock and Scotty.

And was there actually a colony on Beta XII-A?
Wed, May 29, 2013, 2:59am (UTC -6)
What if they gave a war and no one came?
Tue, Oct 29, 2013, 2:21am (UTC -6)
This is a 4-star episode IMHO. An away team redshirt made it through an entire episode without dying, the foundation for what the Klingons became was laid out, we saw the first site-to-site transport, and the sword fighting scenes were classic. What's not to love?
Fri, Dec 13, 2013, 2:14am (UTC -6)
I haven't seen this episode yet, but I wonder why nobody complains about repetitive storylines in TOS when people were ravaging Voyager every week. TOS had two tricks: stick an away team in a recreation of Earth's past, and have supreme beings making everyone fight each other. It's a bit like Time Team crossed with a bunch of schoolboys who put a wasp in a jar with a load of ants.
Sat, Feb 15, 2014, 12:23pm (UTC -6)
@ NoPoet, this s exactly why I'm having so much trouble with season 3 of TOS. I've seen too many of the same plots and at this point, they just leave me cold.
Jo Jo Meastro
Mon, Feb 17, 2014, 4:42am (UTC -6)
I pretty much fully agree with the review; good and a very respectable effort, but not quite ground breaking.

Although I do think the episode deserves some brownie points for giving us a memorable Klingon villain with genuine charisma, depth of character and intelligence (TOS Klingons normally lack all three!). And praise for the effective anti-war sentiment showing us the hideous nature of hatred and those in power who feed on it.

3 stars is my rating too. One scene which really surprised me was when Checkov nearly raped Kangs' wife, I didn't think TOS could go that dark! A scene showing Checkovs' remorse and apology for that incident would have been nice even if he wasn't in control of his actions, it would make for a good character moment.
Wed, Feb 19, 2014, 3:30am (UTC -6)
Although I enjoy TOS , NoPoet is right. There are an awful lot of 'superior being judging humanity and/or making them fight each other' plots, and 'going into the past , in whatever era we have standing sets on the Paramount lot' plots
Sun, Mar 16, 2014, 1:13am (UTC -6)
I agree with NoPoet about TOS in general. It's a dated show with it's share of shortcomings. This episode, however, is one of its best as far as I'm concerned. It also reminded me a bit of the DS9 episode "Battle Lines" as well perhaps "The Last Outpost". Plus we also got to see Klingon women for the first time. Fun episode.

One minor detail that threw me off was when the Enterprise fired on the damaged Klingon ship and destroyed it. Why did this need to happen? My impression was that this action would backfire since the evidence of the initial attack on the Klingon ship would be destroyed, thus increasing the suspicion that it was a Federation attack. Of course, it didn't play out that way.
Mon, Mar 17, 2014, 4:47pm (UTC -6)
@Alex I think Scotty mentioned in dialogue that the Klingon ship was emitting too much radiation and becoming a danger to the area.
Wed, Apr 16, 2014, 3:01pm (UTC -6)
I agree with the 3 / 4 stars given. I think Michael Ansara was one of the high points of the episode, and the other was the 2nd most famous Klingon proverb - Only a Fool Fights in a Burning House.
William B
Thu, Sep 18, 2014, 7:30pm (UTC -6)
A nice spiritual sequel to "Errand of Mercy." In "EoM," the mounting tensions between the Federation and the Klingons were defused by the incorporeal Organians; in this one, the tensions are stoked by an incorporeal being. I guess the question, in analyzing the episode, is what, if anything, the "war monster" entity represents. Two possible answers come to my mind:

1) the semi-literal one: the "war monster" represents human interests who profit from war -- arms dealers, governments who stay in power by manufacturing conflicts, what have you. In fact, there are many industries that do benefit from war. The thing is, the people who benefit from war are very often not the soldiers who are fighting it. Kirk's final speech to Kang -- "Be a good soldier! Don't question orders!" -- suggests this idea: Kirk and Kang, and their respective crews, are convinced by mind control (which maps onto propaganda) which exploits their emotional weaknesses to push them into neverending conflict, which goes from generation to generation, and benefits not the fighters but the masterminds.

2) the very abstract one: the "war monster" represents the human aggressive impulse as a rule. When people get enraged, and when they get trained to fight, eventually fighting and the hatred of one's enemy becomes habitual. Its reason for existing is pretty clear -- as animals, competing for resources, fighting was a matter of survival, and emotional/instinctual charge to fight and continue fighting would help survive. But taken out of its proper context, this can "take over" otherwise rational people entirely, as happens here with the human and Klingon crews, unless they can correctly identify and fight against this impulse. People are responsible for their actions -- but the things carried out by fighters in the frenzy of war are so often so far from what those same people do in peacetime, that it is clear that it is sometimes difficult to keep perspective when in the emotional thrall of combat mentality. The way the creature ramps up aggressive and vengeful impulses, to the point of having Chekov nearly rape the Klingon science officer (!!!), represents this well.

I think both levels are suggested by the episode, and it makes it a fine allegory. If peace were completely easy to maintain, there wouldn't be war; it requires effort to fight against internal or external signals that stoke conflict. This works as a sequel to "EoM" because this time Kirk has taken the lesson from the Organians and now applies it to his own life -- he is now able to convince Kang (and himself) to stand down, rather than having to be forced to stand down.

The episode does introduce, as Adara points out, the concept of Klingon honour, though a little indirectly. We also get our first picture of female Klingons, and I like that she's a high-ranking officer -- and a science officer, which puts her into direct analogue to Spock. (Funny moment: Kirk and Spock's awkward little glance when Kang says that she is his wife and science officer.) Kang is charismatic and a good match for Kirk -- in terms of strategy and eventually in terms of reasonability. I like how he even uses his own biases against the alien -- they need no incentive to hurt humans! And I like "only a fool fights in a burning house."

Execution-wise, I can't escape the general feeling I have from other season three episodes that there's not quite enough material for an hour-long show. I think the choice to show the violence monster energy cloud in the teaser detracts a little, because it becomes abundantly clear from the very first moment that something is affecting people. But I still think it's an effective story. 3 stars -- one of the better and more essential s3 outings.
Tue, Mar 3, 2015, 9:30am (UTC -6)
Great episode.
Strength: Showing how easily buried suspicions can be manipulated into overt hostility for an outsider's benefit, a metaphor that should have been plate-glass-clear to anyone alive when the show was aired.
Weakness: Scene-stealing and line-counting. Prime example: Corridor scene with Kirk, Spock, Mara. So many of Kirk's or Spock's lines regarding insight into Kang's motivations and likely reactions would have made much more sense coming from Mara (a fellow Klingon, a fellow officer and his WIFE, for cryin'out loud) -- especially once she realizes (and she clearly realizes) Kirk and Spock are looking for a way to end the fight on the best terms for both sides. But she's reduced to cutaway "hey, here's a cute alien babe" shots. She should have had a lot more to do with how this episode resolved itself. But Nimoy and (especially) The Shat were no doubt counting lines again.
Mon, Aug 31, 2015, 9:55pm (UTC -6)
Michael Ansara! (Cochise!!)

Allow me to borrow a line from Ricardo Montalbán: "Excellent. Excellent."
Wed, May 11, 2016, 9:08am (UTC -6)
Sometimes I watch an episode, then come here to check out the analysis... and wonder if I've watched the same episode as everyone else. I thought this one was pretty horrible. I was laughing through most of it for the bad acting and worse dialogue. Everyone seemed so over the top. And I know that it was supposed to be the effect of the alien presence, but what about The Naked Time? That was a similar kind of thing, and though the acting there was also a bit over the top, it was fun and engaging and very well done.

But in this one... Chekov was just a maniac; Shatner was at his most self-parodying; Nimoy was patently done with the whole thing (though he gave a decent performance, his delivery lacked its usual crispness); and Kelley was just a joke.

Even though we have the luxury of witnessing the end result of their progression, the Klingons in blackface were a bit hard to watch. Not only did it look like their faces were smeared with liquid poo, the whole concept of the Klingons at that time seemed inherently racist.

And this episode seemed extra sexist, even for Star Trek. Not just Chekov's attempted assault on Mara, but the way she was treated in general. Shatner yanked her around the whole time, even when she was cooperating. And apparently while the alien made the men aggressive, it just turned Uhura into a whiny mess. The whole thing left a bad taste in my mouth. Finishing this season is going to be a grind, if - as has been mentioned here - this is one of the best offerings of season three.
Trek fan
Fri, Feb 3, 2017, 2:47am (UTC -6)
Love this episode -- the whole thing has an edgy, dark, gangbusters feel to it. I especially like the way the racial nastiness of the Enterprise crew gradually builds from subtle "did I really just see that?" moments into all-out bigotry. Somewhat shocking to see this behavior on idealistic Star Trek, even if it happens to (mostly) be caused by a malevolent alien entity stoking the hatred, but it really underlines the anti-bigotry message nicely when the crew realizes how ugly they've been. Good to see the screenwriters acknowledge racial bigotry explicitly rather than burying it more deeply in sci-fi metaphor as in some other episodes.

I also like the humane way the crew tries to reason out a way to fight the creature, seeking a truce with the Klingons. And speaking of the Klingons, I love Michael Ansara as Kang, a worthy adversary who isn't above reason -- a quality I fear the Klingons lose somewhat from TNG forward when they become stereotyped as always willing to fight no matter what. I appreciated the character of Kang's wife, clearly a competent crew member, as the first Klingon woman on Trek. And you've gotta love the laughing scene at the end, with Kang's slightly harder-than-necessary slap on Kirk's back and Kirk's stifled reaction to it.

There's a particularly strong ensemble feel to this episode, with all 7 main recurring characters getting little moments in the plot: Scotty's anti-Spock tirade and finding of the claymore; Sulu walking around doing war strategy while holding a Japanese sword; Uhuru bursting into a rant about the downed communications; McCoy's anti-Klingon bloodlust tirade in response to sickbay casualties; Chekhov's desire to revenge an imagined brother and his shocking assault on Kang's wife; Spock losing his emotional cool almost imperceptibly at first in response to Scotty baiting him; and William Shatner hitting all the best mannerisms in one of his most stylized go-for-broke performances as Kirk.

All in all, I would give this one 3 1/2 or maybe even 4 stars, as it's a classic Trek story at its finest. While the theme of "we can all get along in the future despite our differences" is a frequent theme of Trek episodes in all the various series, I think the execution here is particularly strong, elevating this treatment above some better-regarded variations on the formula from earlier in the series. It's entertaining and gripping at the same time to see how the two crews gradually just tear into each other.

Finally, what makes this one particularly unique in my mind is that the Federation and Klingons make peace on their own initiative, a contrast to "Errand of Mercy" where powerful aliens forced them to do so. This voluntary truce with the Klingons does not happen anywhere else in TOS,. Also, together with "Errand of Mercy" and "Trouble with Tribbles," this is one of only three TOS "Klingon episodes" where the Klingons emerge as fully-fleshed corporate adversaries, as compared with other Klingon shows like "Friday's Child" where we only see one unnamed Klingon character. That's why DS9 was wise to bring back Kang, Koloth, and Kor from the three strongest TOS Klingon episodes for "Blood Oath."
Wed, Mar 15, 2017, 8:30pm (UTC -6)
Sorry, I'm gonna gave to go against the grain here. I felt the episode was a wasted opportunity, and I think it comes down to one problem: the mind control. It's a tricky thing to work with, trying to work with characters when they aren't really themselves. Take Conundrum, for instance. Whatever you think of the plot, the mind control aspect was well done, leaving it at nothing but amnesia. Thus, there was real tension on whether their true character would break through in time. The Mind's Eye had a deeper mind control, but it was only one character so we could still see the rest of the characters work. And watching a mind controlled LaForge was a nice change of pace. But here? The power of the mind control was completely arbitrary. And thus, it wasn't a satisfying conclusion. Or even a satisfying journey.

I mean, look at Spock and Scotty and Kirk. They would flare up and get emotional, and then calm down. So, ok, fine, maybe it just amplifies the latent feelings you have, keep you off your game. Like Naked Time or something. Except, wait, they can also completely alter your memories. Chekov remembered an entire freaking brother that he doesn't actually have! Kirk remembered an entire colony that didn't exist. If this alien being can do that, surely it can do more to manipulate the emotions of the crews. It's implied that Mara gained false memories of Federation personnel torturing and killing others. Couldn't the alien have implanted more memories of atrocities in everyone's mind, make them both think that they are at a state of war with each other rather than a truce? Do something similar to what was done to Chakotay in Nemesis? The episode strongly implies that it has that power, creating Piotr out of nothing, but it doesn't seem to bother. Instead, it apparently had no hold on Kirk for nearly the entire episode.

Hmm, well, maybe it depends on the willpower of the person. Hey, it makes sense that maybe a hothead like Chekov would be more amenable to the mind control than a cool character like Kirk. I could buy that, except why is Bones so affected? Yes, he's emotional, but he also has shown no real animosity toward the Klingons before, and certainly isn't a warmonger. I'd think Scotty would be going off the bend before Bones, but the episode said otherwise. And even Spock got more into it than Kirk did. So maybe the aliens could impact anyone. Then why didn't it focus more on Kirk? Why was Kirk allowed to be cool-headed there at the end?

And more importantly, if the alien isn't influencing everyone that much, how much of what happened really comes from our characters and how much from mind control? Hopefully a fan favorite like Chekov isn't really a rapist, but, well, how can we be sure?

In the end, we aren't really watching our favorite characters. We're watching puppets. Sometimes. And our characters sometimes. And it's not clear which is which, and why they are only puppets sometimes. That's a sign of bad plotting.

Meanwhile, of course, the episode was trying as hard as possible to be a message show, but naturally it failed miserably. How can you be an anti-war episode when everyone is being brainwashed? It reminds me a lot of Nemesis (again, the Voyager episode, not the movie), where a complicated situation is ignored in favor of a silly message. I mean, did you listen to Kang? "Nobody tells ME when I get to kill humans!" Is that really a message of peace? Ah, whatever...

But like I said, this was a wasted opportunity. The idea of a game of wits and game of strength against Kirk and a worthy Klingon opponent is certainly exciting. We never had a true evenly matched episode with the Klingons, so it would have been interesting. And keep the alien influence, but no mind control. Have the alien setup the conflict by framing each side, much like the start of the episode, but for real this time. And keep trying to keep the conflict going. And Kirk and Spock could realize the problem halfway through, and try to get through to the Klingons that they have a common enemy. In the end, Kirk's bravado at trying to get a truce would be enough to convince Kang, as it is here. We could have a very similar story, but without the mind control. Instead of arbitrarily hoping that the alien emphasis would be forgotten for long enough to get the fighting to stop, we could wonder about the true character of both sides. Instead of being contrived, it would be real. Instead of stupid tricks from the alien to keep the battlefield even, the threats could be suspenseful. This episode should have been a classic, should have been better than Balance of Terror. What a shame.
Sun, Mar 19, 2017, 10:42pm (UTC -6)
Skeptical, it seems you're draining the enjoyment of it by trying to rewrite the episode. The first I do is remember that these were quickly produced shows..and even so said more than 99% of series since. having Chekov be the "rapist" is just convenience - There's no character development from show to show. For instance sometimes Spock's a hard ass, sometimes he's easygoing. The flow is not there, and the there were different writers from week to week.

So taking this on it's own merits, it's an excellent episode. Kang and his wife were well cast and had a chemistry. Of course Kirk is less affected. He always is the last to pass out, the first to wake up...annoying as hell I agree but that's the way it is. Spock is supposed to be superior physically and mentally but only is when the story demands it.

"Trek fan" has it right in the analysis.
Thu, Apr 6, 2017, 6:48pm (UTC -6)
Day of the Dove must have been something to watch when it first aired in 1968 given that America was still sinking in the quagmire of Vietnam. Hearing Dr. McCoy spout like a hawkish madman, "Who cares what started it, Mister Spock. We're in it!" was so relevant back then and sadly to some extent, relevant now. I can forgive a few weak points of the story knowing that many other TV shows of the 1960s would never have touched topics like that.

Also, the quiet somber music in parts of this episode worked really well.
Peter G.
Tue, May 23, 2017, 9:57am (UTC -6)
I guess I had to watch all of these again as an adult, because I realize now this episode is, again, all about the Cold War, and again, there is a very subversive message here. The context of the episode is a dangerous adversary, but in a state of tentative peacetime without direct and open conflict. And the events of "Day of the Dove" consist of a malevolent entity desiring both sides to fight each other on equal footing, with no end in sight, where the only possible winner is the entity which reaps the spoils of their struggle. I now see this episode as showing that both sides in the Cold War were being played against each other, manipulated by interested parties to further the purposes of private interests. Whether not not this would be an entirely accurate reading of what was going on in the 60's, nevertheless I think the episode's point is that fighting just because you are given an enemy and the means to fight is insane. Sure, there will be all kinds of justifications given for why the fight is necessary (and I imagine the Vietnam War in particular was on the writer's mind), but just like Chekhov's reasons, they will prove in the end to be hollow and often even made up.

An interesting point to note is that the episode's theme is *not* one of peace. The episode paints a scenario where both sides are being scammed into fighting each other, but doesn't speak against fighting for correct purposes, such as self-defence. Certainly in the early wars with the Klingons the Federation wasn't being manipulated but was simply defending itself. Even Kang at the end says something interesting (just before smacking Kirk on the back 'jovially'), which is that Klingons need no spurious reasons to hate humans, which means they actually do have good reasons to hate them, but won't fight merely because they're commanded to by some third party. So the message to me reads not as a pacifist one, but as one where, when the idea of war looms, we should identify whether interested parties have instigated the conflict. If they have, we know who the real enemy is.
Fri, Jun 23, 2017, 3:25pm (UTC -6)
"Day of the Dove" is an OK episode - some non-corporeal alien that feeds on hatred and violence creates situations for Klingons and the Enterprise crew to fight. Kind of reminds me of "Wolf in the Fold" where an alien feeds on fear.
Hard to know where to draw the boundaries between what the alien can conjure up and what it can't. It pulled off some pretty incredible feats, but ultimately is defeated once the Enterprise crew and Klingons stop fighting.
In any case, the message behind this episode is the strength of it -- the need to find peace, war can get you nowhere, and how difficult it is come to peace when indoctrinated to be at war.
Ansara as Kang does a solid job - like Colicos doing Koor in "Errand of Mercy" which established the truce between the Klingons and the UFP.
The Enterprise crew (other than Kirk and Spock - for the most part) are forced to act out of character due to the alien - so this actually proves to be a negative to this episode as opposed to one where their character develops -- like Scotty telling Spock "Transfer out. Freak!"
My rating: 2.5 stars -- some interesting situations to demonstrate a simple but difficult message to enact. It is a bit hokey though and heavy-handed in delivering its message.
Mon, Mar 18, 2019, 11:59am (UTC -6)
One of my favorite episodes,the idea that there could be a creature that actually feeds on hated.My only complaint is that the creature shouldnt have been revealed that early in the episode.
Thu, May 23, 2019, 1:56am (UTC -6)
Plusses: Getting a bit of emotion out of Spock. Michael Ansara.

Minuses: Boring because of repetitive stretches and its insanely obvious predictability. Who didn't know, right from the beginning, when Kirk was remembering things differently from Kang, where this was going?

Below average.
Sarjenka's Brother
Tue, Jul 30, 2019, 5:38pm (UTC -6)
I think this episode helped cement forever the legacy of the Klingons just as "The Enterprise Incident" cemented the legacy Romulans. So just on that alone, "Day of the Dove" is an important episode, even if it isn't Top 10 material on its own.

"Enterprise Incident" is the stronger of the two, but both really give us our best looks at these two races to date.

I'm not sure how much a new Trek would have picked up on these two races without these third season episodes that really gave the Klingons and Romulans the feel of ongoing threats to the Federation.

I have often wondered why "Next Gen" went with the Klingons as the new allies. In TOS, it's clearly the Romulans who have the mantle of noble, worthy adversaries with some admirable traits.

At least they kept the Romulans as the more intellectual of the two empires.
John E Brengman
Mon, Nov 4, 2019, 7:43pm (UTC -6)

Couple things ...

1): Spock confirmed the existance of the Beta XII-A colony. The alien could not negate physics, otherwise the ship's phasers would not have destroyed the Klingon ship.

2): actually, McCoy was affected quite quickly. In the turbolift, he started making a racial comment. "What proof do we need? We know what a Klingon is."

John B.
Fri, Jun 5, 2020, 9:52am (UTC -6)
It is fun to see tensions escalate so quickly and there's plenty of Cold War allegory to be found between the Feds and the Klingons. I also like the way the episode makes fun of saber rattling by giving each character believably high stakes *dialog* but with no real stakes involved. It shows how hollow blustery rheteric alone is. In the information age where people get to tweet whatever violent message they want without thinking, I think this feels especially poignant.

I agree with Rahul that having the main cast acting out of character denies the episode some character truths. For example, while Chekov and Bones become hyper-aggressive quickly, it's hard to believe that - even subconsciously - these two are repressing their true violent feelings and the alien's illusion lets them express that. But, I suppose this doesn't matter since the big picture is more important than individual character stories here.

3 stars.
Peter G.
Fri, Jun 5, 2020, 10:15am (UTC -6)
@ Chrome,

Having watched this ep for years and years, I never got the impression that the intent was to show that these were their secret hatreds coming to the surface. It always looked to me like the entity was actually creating the feelings in them, but which they would attribute to themselves. If we're going to call the episode poignant, it would be especially so if the premise is that a third party fills people with hatred towards each other, and they think these feelings are their own.

That said, if we did want to read the episode as showing the feelings coming on some level from the crew, we could still suggest it's the repressed hatreds in our genes and human history coming out; maybe akin to what happens in All Our Yesterdays to Spock. It doesn't necessarily have to mean that Chekhov and Bones have personally felt those on some level in their own lives.
Sean J Hagins
Tue, Nov 10, 2020, 7:16am (UTC -6)
I remember this episode as a kid mainly for the swordfights and the laughing scene at the end. But it really is a good episode! It shows how evil fighting and war are and how both sides are manipulated into it. This really is great classic Trek. And it doesn't need flashy effects to do it. Another thing, it gets the message across without unnecessary blood and gore. Note that not a drop of blood is shown-even with the crewmen who were stabbed.
Sun, Jan 10, 2021, 8:56pm (UTC -6)
Mediocre 2 1/2 star episode at best - I agree with @Rahul and @Skeptical.

War bad. Peace good.

This episode aired 4 days before the 1968 presidential election at the height of the Vietnam war. "Anti-war" was the politics de jure of its day. But I wonder if seeing the same message again and again, week after week, in Star Trek was a lot more palatable back in the 60's before the internet and social media?

Today, when we get politics all the time, day and night, a non-political show might be a breathe of fresh air. But in the 60's, it might have been Star Trek that really stood out as unique and refreshing with an overt political message?

As a bard once said, maybe I was born too late,

Few points on what makes "Day of the Dove" particularly derivative:

- Dude, we just had aliens take over the ship and make crew members act weird, like a couple weeks ago, and the result ("And the Children Shall Lead") was abysmal! Why inflict this on us again?

- Dude, we just had the whole peace is good shtick last week ("Spectre of the Gun"). And we get it, peace is good, fighting is bad. But how about a few good stories too, from time to time? You know, when you take a break from pontificating from your soap box.

- Dude, do you guys love rape or what? As I wrote in my review of Private Little War ( ), we've now had the rape of Uhura in "Triskelion" and the rape of Nona in "Private". I think nurse Chapel is feeling left out - why don't you rape her too? We have like 20 episode left, there is time!

One interesting thing is that two of the key actors from "Day of the Dove" got much better roles in Babylon 5.

Of course Chekov plays the wonderfully complicated telepath Bester in B5.

And Michael Ansara (Kang) plays the incredible technomage Elric in Babylon 5.

Given what JMS may have done with Miranda and Kollos ("Is There In Truth No Beauty?") with his characters Lyta and Kosh - and now seeing how JMS took Michael Ansara and Walter Koenig to whole new levels - was JMS basically riffing off of Season 3 TOS when he decided to make B5? If so, he did an even more amazing job than I gave him credit for.

No wonder Majel decided to play tribute to her husband on Babylon 5 instead of on Star Trek,

Londo: He was a great man.

Majel: Yes. Yes, he was. But greatness is never appreciated in youth, called pride in midlife, dismissed in old age
and reconsidered in death. Because we cannot tolerate greatness in our midst, we do all we can to destroy it.
This place has become a memorial
to his unfinished work.

Babylon 5 - a memorial to Gene's unfinished work, after Gene walked away from TOS in season 3? A fascinating thought.
Tue, May 4, 2021, 3:42am (UTC -6)
Sorry, but I just wasn’t impressed. The plot was predictable, the execution laughable in places, and it’s worth 2 stars.

Good and bad regarding the Klingons: we begin to see the essentially Viking nature as it emerges in TNG, which establishes them as ruthless enemies, “worthy opponents” of the Federation. But blacked up actors in an episode that makes the iniquity of racial hatred one of its central themes? Surely the point would have been more forcibly made if the Klingons had all been played by - for example - African Americans?

The behaviour of the alien was poorly handled too: from flitting around the ship avoiding being seen, it later decides to linger in a corner while Spock analyses its weaknesses. Pfffft.

It’s an episode with potentially a very interesting theme, but so badly executed it’s laughable. Spectre Of The Gun may have been an obvious money-saver, but it was a more enjoyable watch.
The Man
Sat, Jul 16, 2022, 9:51pm (UTC -6)
@Trek fan and Spock's reaction to the slap on the back is hilarious. Can't tell if it was truly Spock or Leonard Nimoy.
Tue, Jul 26, 2022, 8:54pm (UTC -6)
So, did the Organians decide that swordplay was permitted, or was this episode's alien stronger than they were?

Or did the "Organian Treaty" basically take all the fun out things, so now we just pretend it never happened?
Peter G.
Wed, Jul 27, 2022, 9:40am (UTC -6)
To be fair, the Klingons and Federation in this instance were being manipulated by an exterior alien force. I'm sure the Organians understood :)
Wed, Jul 27, 2022, 11:14am (UTC -6)
The Organians work in mysterious ways.

Ayelborne in Errand of Mercy: "It is true that in the future, you and the Klingons will become fast friends. You will work together."

Kang and Kirk joining forces to defeat the alien is just the first step towards the future alliance between the Federation and Klingon Empire.
Wed, Jul 27, 2022, 12:10pm (UTC -6)
Maybe 2.5

Watched again last night

Some of Kirk’s lamest pontifications woodenly delivered
Maybe it’s just a symptom of 3rd season malaise

What’s with all the sword fighting ?
Wed, Jul 27, 2022, 12:36pm (UTC -6)
"What’s with all the sword fighting?"

It's a more violent way to kill and a more excruciating way to die and thus more appetizing to the alien entity.
Wed, Jul 27, 2022, 9:04pm (UTC -6)

No one was killed in any of the sword fights
The alien needed everyone to continue fighting to generate negative feelings to feed its energy and control

One of the redshirts injured in an early fight was healed quickly and joined the next fight

Kirk even stated that if both sides continued to fight it could go on for thousands of years
Imagine that
Thu, Jul 28, 2022, 11:48am (UTC -6)
The alien entity cured the injured redshirt, right? The alien can transmute matter, both inorganic items like the swords, and organic matter to heal the redshirt. That's part of the "thousand years" thing. It's not the killing it's interested in, it's the emotions that the violence generates that it wants. A fight to the death is bad enough, but the entity wants something worse: an unending cycle of violence that even death doesn't end.

P.S. I thought Peter G's comments above were Interesting.
Mon, Aug 1, 2022, 6:00am (UTC -6)
Interesting premise, really dumb script. I guess that's season 3 motto.

And I'm sorry for DeForest Kelley, having to go to the studio for his character to say that "Yeah, out already!" in the end haha
Mon, Aug 1, 2022, 6:33am (UTC -6)
One of my favorite episodes. In the middle of the action Kelley delivers a tour de force speech against what he feels are an overly pacifistic Kirk and Spock. Recommended viewing. Really scary stuff. That part of the script is just fine. The acting is great.
matt h
Sun, Nov 27, 2022, 12:02pm (UTC -6)
Yet another science fiction story where scientific exploration yields the discovery/ conclusion that evil is the result of possession/undue influence of a supernaturally-powered evil being. See the Jack the RIpper episode (forgot the title). AND subtly the story "Who Goes There"?
Fri, Apr 28, 2023, 8:20pm (UTC -6)
"Kirk even stated that if both sides continued to fight it could go on for thousands of years
Imagine that"

And what of Lazarus?
Thu, Jul 27, 2023, 12:57am (UTC -6)
Day of the Dove is a pretty good, very TOS, heavy message episode. For the most part I think it gives a lot to the franchise in terms of fleshing out the Klingons and pushing the often deeply subversive roots of TOS further along. It’s ultimately a pretty strange outing, in a similar vein as The Naked Time, where our characters are totally out of character half the time, making it difficult to judge. Plus the ending where the power of laughter is used to chase the monster away was a pretty silly scene. But I think as a whole it’s a fairly strong episode.

It’s easy to settle on the idea that this one is just a simple message of make peace, not war. But I think that’s a bit glib. I think the fuller idea at work here is not just about how great peace is, but rather a message about conformity, reason, and understanding. Not just the general concept of understanding, but actual understanding, as in, know what you’re fighting about. Don’t just blindly accept the conflict, or as Kirk chides kang, don’t just be “a good soldier.” In the context of the Cold War, with Vietnam raging on seemingly endlessly, that notion being broadcast on national television starts to enter some pretty heavy territory. But additionally, I think there’s also a meditation going on here about the internal conflict that everyone faces between the right choice and the easy choice. There’s negativity in everyone, even if it’s only potential, thoughts might pop in your head involuntarily that you’d never let represent your personality, or emotional reactions to things might take a dark turn against your better judgment, so it’s up to you to make the right choice, the reasoned choice, to acknowledge and overcome the struggle within between your better self and the ugly aspects of your mind. In the end peace is that choice. But I think this episode is more about reason and resisting group think in order to better be positioned to make that choice possible.

One part of this episode that was odd is how all over the place the entity’s powers were. I think the idea is that this being was capable of inflating the potential for negative emotions in people to the point of manufacturing hostile feelings and even wholesale ideas out of that rudimentary mental clay. But it could also transmute actual matter into different things, like phasers into swords, unless of course that was all illusory. Its abilities were a little over the top I thought, which made some parts of the episode hard to trust. For example, did they actually blow up the Klingon ship, or was that another mental fabrication like the phantom colony and Chekhov’s brother?

All in all a fun episode.

2.5/4 fancy antique claymores.
Boimler's Other Clone
Wed, Nov 8, 2023, 12:28am (UTC -6)
Like many a TOS episode (or any Trek series, really) I find it helpful to regard this as Shakespearean drama. It seeks to touch on shared human experience while entertaining. It is both broad and poignant. It is throughly of its time and it's utterly timeless. It is as hokey as it is sharp.

Being third season TOS, it's perhaps bit more hokey than sharp. But take it for what it is.

The mere fact that the racial prejudice and warmongering messages resonate today as much as they did in the late 1960's is all the explanation anyone needs for the staying power of Star Trek.

As a fan of all things Trek, I enjoyed rewatching this classic episode by thinking about how it influenced the return of Kang and the plot of "Battle Lines" in DS9.

Given how high the highs of Trek can be, I can't give more than 2.5 out of 4 stars. But it's a worthy re-watch and a notable chapter of Trek lore.

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