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Startrek The Original Series Episode Guides Section

     Episode Guides Home : Startrek The Original Series : Season 1 Episode 14

Balance of Terror

Episode:  
   14
Season:  
   1
Air Date:  
   15-December-1966
Director:  
   Vincent McEveety
Written By:  
   Paul Schneider
 
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  Synopsis
 
StarDate: 1709.2

The marriage of Angela Martine and Robert Tomlinson is interrupted when a Romulan warbird attacks and destroys Outpost 4, which guards the Neutral Zone between Federation and Romulan space. Kirk learns that the Romulan ship has also destroyed three other outposts and is now running at full speed towards home.

The U.S.S. Enterprise pursues the warbird, hampered by the fact that the Romulans have constructed an invisibility screen which shields them from view. While the screen protects the Romulans from detection visually, it also prevents them using their weapons or visual aids. The Romulan Commander, therefore, isn't sure whether his radar is detecting a Federation ship in pursuit or a harmless space echo.

The U.S.S. Enterprise is able to pick up a visual from the Romulan bridge, which shows the previously unseen Romulans to look very much like Vulcans. This sparks an old prejudice in Lieutenant Andrew Stiles, whose family fought in the Romulan wars. He is instantly suspicious of Spock, whose physical characteristics are remarkably similar to the Romulans they are chasing.

After every attempt to lose the U.S.S. Enterprise fails, the Romulan Commander is forced to turn and fight. Both ships are damaged; when the U.S.S. Enterprise's phaser banks are damaged, they emit a poisonous gas which disables Stiles and Tomlinson, who are manning the weapons. In a tense race against time, Spock manages to fire the only remaining phaser manually, disabling the Romulan ship. The Vulcan manages to save Stiles, but Tomlinson is killed. Stiles, realizing by Spock's actions that his bigotry was misplaced, admits that he was wrong.

The Romulan Commander contacts the U.S.S. Enterprise and, in a stirring moment, tells Kirk that under other circumstances, he suspects they might be friends. Rather than let himself and his ship be taken prisoner, the Romulan self-destructs the warbird.

 
  Cast
 
William Shatner as James T. Kirk
Leonard Nimoy as Spock
DeForest Kelley as Leonard H. McCoy
James Doohan as Montgomery Scott
Nichelle Nichols as Uhura
George Takei as Hikaru Sulu

 
  Guest Cast
 
Mark Lenard as Romulan commander
Lawrence Montaigne as Decius
Grace Lee Whitney as Yeoman Rand
Paul Comi as Lt. Andrew Stiles
John Warburton as Centurion
Stephen Mines as Spec. Robert Tomlinson
Barbara Baldavin as Spec. 2/C Angela Martine

 
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