Errand of Mercy
War is brewing between the Federation and the Klingons, and the fate of an undeveloped race – the Organians – hangs in the balance. But there’s more to the Organians than meets the eye, as the Enterprise learns in “Errand of Mercy.”
Tags: Errand of Mercy, Gene L. Coon, John Colicos, John Newland, Klingons, Kor, Organia, peace treaty, The Original Series, The Original Series Season 1, TOS, war
This just in :
This episode from season one was the last to be added to the Special “Origins” disc that was released as an JJTrek Tie-in. All the episodes on this disc were introduced by the son of the Great Bird of the Galaxy – Mission Log’s very own – Rodd Roddenberry .
I wonder how Starfleet and the Federation would have reacted if Kirk did wear his diplomat hat and somehow broker a truce with the Klingons? Would he have been whisked off the Enterprise and given an ambassador smock and told to hobnob with the Galaxy? Or would he have been reprimanded for not playing soldier?
It has been a strange journey for a kid who grew up watching ST:TNG around the dinner table to finally sit down and watch the TOS and find amazing episodes like this.
First, it was a minor revelation to realize that script called Klingons simply as “Oriental, hard-faced” which Colicos then suggested adapting into the “vaguely Asian, Tartar appearance” of a Genghis Khan. Those Mongol invasion really left an imprint on the Western psyche.
Even more importantly this episode has what is likely my single favorite exchange in Star Trek:
Kirk: Even if you have some power that we don’t understand, you have no right to dictate to our Federation…
Kor: Or our empire!
Kirk: …how to handle our interstellar relations! WE HAVE THE RIGHT —
Organian: To wage war, Captain? To kill millions of innocent people? To destroy life on a planetary scale? Is that what you’re defending?
All the madness of the Cold War summarized as the sheer madness it was, all the arrogance and jingoism deflated in a few simple sentences. For all the talk of “legitimate grievances” and “disputed areas” revealed as macho posturing.
It is akin to M*A*S*H’s view of war where war was reduced to simple reality of explosions forcing chunks of metal into young men where doctors have to pull them out again. All the political rhetoric in the world cannot change that fact.
As I write this in 2016, the American political elites are happily engaging in another Cold War with Russia. Has nothing been learnt? Was Q right?
Q: [Humans] slaughtered millions in silly arguments about how
to divide the resources of
your little world. And four hundred years before that you were
murdering each other in quarrels over tribal god-images. Since there
are no indications that humans will ever change.
Hear hear – absolutely agreed.
The other Information Society song that you almost certainly know is 1991’s hit single “Think”. I thought of “What’s On Your Mind” IMMEDIATELY when Spock said “Pure Energy”.