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The Squire of Gothos (episode)

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Real World article
(written from a Production point of view)
"The Squire of Gothos"
TOS, Episode 1x18
Production number: 6149-18
First aired: 12 January 1967
Remastered version aired: 21 July 2007
19th of 80 produced in TOS
17th of 80 released in TOS
39th of 80 released in TOS Remastered
17th of 728 released in all
Trelane
Written By
Paul Schneider

Directed By
Don McDougall
2124.5 (2267)
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The Enterprise is captured by Trelane, the childish ruler of Gothos.

Summary

Teaser

En route to the Beta VI colony, the Enterprise must pass through a void, or "star desert" – a region of space where solar systems are not common, roughly 900 light years from Earth. While there, they discover a rogue planet comprised primarily of iron-silica. Sulu prepares to steer around it when he suddenly vanishes. Seconds later, Kirk also disappears.

Act One

Spock and the Enterprise conduct a sensor sweep of where Kirk and Sulu could be. The bridge crew conclude that their two missing officers have to be on the planet even though it is extremely inhospitable. Despite this, it appears to host some form of life and someone transmits a clear, if somewhat archaic, greeting. Beaming down, a landing party discovers a zone of Earth-like conditions, and within it, a large fortified manor (or small castle). Inside is a collection of bizarre artifacts and decorations – and the frozen forms of Kirk and Sulu. Almost as soon as the missing officers are discovered, the door slams, and a harpsichord begins to play; seated there is a foppish figure in a blue coat and ruffled shirt. He introduces himself as General Trelane (retired), the Squire of Gothos.

Trelane is friendly enough at first, but does not hesitate to make it clear that he is in control of the situation. When Kirk tries to leave, Trelane transports him to the outside of his home, which is filled with toxic gas. When Trelane returns Kirk to his home, the captain is choking and coughing. Trelane makes it quite clear that the landing party is not leaving.

Act Two

On the Enterprise, Spock has Scotty beam up everything that is considered a life form on the planet. The landing party beam up to the ship and an escape attempt lasts a few brief moments before Trelane appears on the bridge and returns the landing party plus the bridge crew, to his drawing room.

Several mistakes convince Kirk that Trelane is not omnipotent, and further lead him to conclude that some agency is assisting Trelane – a machine of some type. While Trelane flirts with Yeoman Ross, Kirk has enough and fairly sure that Trelane's mirror is his source of power, the captain challenges him to a duel.

Act Three

During the duel, Kirk shoots the large mirror behind Trelane. Kirk's guess is right; intricate machinery behind the mirror is destroyed, and much of Trelane's creation collapses, enabling the landing party to escape and flee Gothos.

The respite is brief. The Enterprise flees in the direction of Beta VI, but Trelane reveals that his power is more extensive than yet displayed – he moves his planet Gothos several times to intercept the ship. Finally, Kirk realizes he must confront Trelane. And he does – a bewigged Trelane has established himself as a judge, and this time, his instrumentality is unbreakable. Trelane plans to murder Kirk for the crime of opposing him.

Act Four

But it is all too easy for the powerful alien. Seizing on this, Kirk suggests Trelane needs a challenge, and offers to provide one, suggesting a hunt.

Trelane hunts Kirk for a time, but soon enough captures him. As Kirk is about to be killed, he calls Trelane's bluff, breaks his sword and starts to scold him, like he would a child. Salvation comes in the form of Trelane's parents. It seems that Trelane is essentially a naughty child who has overstepped his bounds. His parents, telling Trelane that it is "time to come in now", free the Enterprise and take Trelane away to be disciplined.

Log Entries

  • "Ship's log, stardate 2124.5. First Officer Spock reporting for Captain James Kirk. We are orbiting the lone, unrecorded planet in the star desert. For four hours, we have made every possible instrument sweep, but Captain Kirk and Helmsman Sulu remain unaccounted for. I have placed the ship on red alert."
  • "Captain's log, stardate 2125.7. Science Officer Spock reporting for Captain Kirk. We've completed the fourteenth orbit of this planet without establishing contact with our missing officers or the parties sent to find them. Subspace communications remain blocked. However, by diverting impulse power to our sensors, we have made them operable and we have detected one small area on the surface which seems relatively stable."
  • "Captain's log, stardate 2126.1, delayed report. The whole bridge crew are the unwilling guests of the creature who calls himself Trelane. We are weaponless, powerless, and our only hope of escape with the Enterprise lies in playing his games. I've decided to make my move with the 'field-of-honor' game, and everything depends on my one chance with the ancient dueling pistol."
  • "Captain's log, stardate 2126.3. First Officer Spock reporting. Still no word from Captain Kirk on the surface below us. Waiting time is almost up. I will soon be forced to attempt departure, as per instructions."

Memorable Quotes

"I can't imagine a mirage ever disturbing those mathematically perfect brain waves of yours."

- McCoy to Spock, on describing the star void as a desert


"Do you know that you're one of the few predator species that preys even on itself?"

- Trelane, to Kirk


"Wait! I won't have this! I haven't dismissed you yet! Stop it!! I won't have this!!"

- Trelane


"I object to you. I object to intellect without discipline. I object to power without constructive purpose."

- Spock, to Trelane


"Why, Mr. Spock, you do have one saving grace after all—you're ill mannered!"

- Trelane, in response


"Fascinating is a word I use for the unexpected. In this case, I should think interesting would suffice."

- Spock to McCoy, on Trelane's flawed recreations


"Now, you will behave yourselves hereafter, won't you? Or I shall be very, very angry."

- Trelane, to Kirk


"Oh, the remarkable treachery of the species!"

- Trelane, after Kirk destroys the mirror machine


"Turn in your glass slippers. The ball is over."
"Gladly, captain."

- Kirk and Teresa Ross, on the bridge


"Cat and mouse game."
"With us as the mouse."

- Spock and Kirk, as the planet of Gothos chases the Enterprise


"You will hang by the neck, captain, until you are dead, dead, dead!"

- Trelane, sentencing Kirk


"So this is victory! It has a sweet taste."

- Trelane, cornering Kirk


"You always stop me when I'm having fun!"

- Trelane, to his parents


"I was winning. I would have won..."

- Trelane, to his parents before being taken away


"They're beings, Trelane. They have spirit. They're superior."

- Trelane's Father, on humans


"My father is from the planet Vulcan."
"And are its natives predatory?"
"Not generally--but there have been exceptions."

- Spock and Trelane

Background Information

Story and Script

  • Paul Schneider originally wrote this episode as an anti-war statement, and got his inspiration by seeing children playing war. [1]
  • The exact century in which Star Trek was set had not been determined during the filming of this episode. Kirk refers to people and events of the 18th and 19th century as being 900 years in the past, which could have placed the series in the 27th century or later.
  • De Forest Research, Inc., the company who reviewed scripts for clearances and other related matters, noted in their commentary on the line "Then you've been looking in on doings nine hundred years past": "Other scripts have placed Star Trek c. 200 years in the future, e.g. "Shore Leave". That places this reference in the 13th century."
  • Uhura refers to a "Spacefleet Command", even though the names Starfleet and Starfleet Command originated several episodes earlier in "Court Martial", and again in the two-part episode "The Menagerie, Part I" and "The Menagerie, Part II".
  • The plot of this episode shares many similarities with "Charlie X" in that they both feature a person of limited maturity with psychic powers who abuses them and in the end is taken away by other powerful psychic beings.
  • Trelane's words on meeting Yeoman Ross, "Is this the face that launched a thousand ships, and burnt the topless towers of Ilium? Fair Helen, make me immortal with a kiss" are a slight misquote from Christopher Marlowe's 17th century play Doctor Faustus (play). [2] [3]
The Squire of Gothos credits spelling error

The word "SCRIPT" is misspelled

  • In the closing credits of the show, the title for Script Supervisor is misspelled "SCPIPT SUPERVISOR".

Sets and Props

  • An M-113 creature is among the trophies on display in Trelane's castle. When Dr. McCoy (the creature's last defender in "The Man Trap") sees it, he does a double-take. During the scene the howling music theme from that episode is heard. It is possible that Trelane had observed Planet M-113 with his telescope at some point.
Bird creature, The Squire of Gothos

Bird creature

  • Barely visible before Trelane vaporizes it with the phaser is a strange bird-like creature with striped legs that is also in a display niche. It somewhat resembles the bird creature from the Talos zoo in "The Cage", but its exact identity is unknown.
  • The laser beacon, appearing previously in "Charlie X" and "The Galileo Seven", was reused as a sort of soldering tool by Kirk in "The Doomsday Machine". It is identified in The Making of Star Trek as an "Offensive/Defensive Ray Gun," a description later used by Franz Joseph in the Star Fleet Technical Manual.
  • In the remastered version of this episode, the appearance of Gothos was significantly improved over the original version.

Cast and Characters

  • Leslie (Eddie Paskey) is in the captain's chair when the crew first escapes Trelane. Leslie appears in the big chair one more time, in "The Alternative Factor".
  • According to an interview with William Campbell in The World of Star Trek, in his fight with William Shatner in the forest, he fell down and dislocated his shoulder. Fortunately, as he flung his arm up in his instinctive reaction to the excruciating pain, the shoulder popped back into its socket.
  • In the same book Campbell recounts that producer Gene L. Coon pushed for his casting as Trelane, as he had seen him in other projects, and thought Campbell would make a great "English fop" and would be nice in "comedic sinister" role. However, casting director Joseph D'Agosta had doubts about his abilities in such a role, so Campbell had to read for the part, which he eventually got.
  • D'Agosta's original choice for Trelane was Roddy McDowell. However, when Campbell went for his audition, he had just read one paragraph, when D'Agosta broke it up, saying "Go straight to wardrobe. He's perfect for the part." [4]
  • Spock and Kirk clearly call the meteorologist Mr. "Yay-gur", but both McCoy and DeSalle say "Jay-gur". Based on the German spelling "Jäger" (a common German surname which means "Hunter"), the correct pronunciation would be "Yay-gur".

Costumes

  • According to The World of Star Trek, production was held up in the desire to be as accurate as possible – William Campbell's first wig was a French hairpiece. He demanded that an English barrister's wig be found to fit his character.
  • A 27 October 1966 memo from Bob Justman to Gene Coon stated in part: "If we transport McCoy, Jaeger and DeSalle down to the surface of Gothos in the orange space suits that we used in "The Naked Time", then the audience will take a full half hour to stop laughing from what our people look like."

Effects

  • A brief split screen allows bars to appear and block Kirk's escape at the end of the show without having to rely on editing.
  • When first encountered, Trelane is "playing" the Sonata in C Major, K.159 by Domenico Scarlatti. [5] [6] The second tune that Trelane plays after showing the flags to Captain Kirk and stating "Can't you imagine it, captain? The thousands of men marching off to their deaths, singing beneath these banners. Doesn't it make your blood run swiftly?" Is Sonata in G minor, K.450 by Domenico Scarlatti. The tune Trelane has Uhura play on the harpsichord is Roses from the South by Johann Strauss II, complete with decorative interpolations. When Campbell is playing the instrument it is obvious he is just randomly moving his fingers over the keyboard, but this works since we learn later that Trelane is making the instrument play with his powers, not actual musical ability.

Production Timeline

Video and DVD Releases

Links and References

Starring

Guest Star

Featuring

And

Uncredited Cast

References

apple; Beta VI; Bonaparte, Napoléon; "Bones"; brandy; cat; cat-and-mouse game; Cinderella; conspiracy; court; Crusades; desert; dueling pistol; Earth; ego; energy; female; field-of-honor game; fire; French; French language; gender; General; geophysics; German; German language; Gothos; Grecian; Hamilton, Alexander; hanging; Hannibal; harpsichord; Heaven; Helen; "I'm a doctor, not a..."; Ilium; inkwell; insurrection; iron; laser beacon; life support system; light warp; logic; matter; meat; meteorology; mile; mirror machine; mouse; Nubian; oxygen; palm tree; Persia; powerful and godlike beings; prank; Quadrant 904; Queen of Sheba; red alert; Sarek; Sheba; silica; soldier; Spacefleet Command; squire; star desert; stardust; straw; subspace radio; Surak; sword; tornadic storms; Towers of Ilium; transporter system; treason; Trelane's alligator; trial; Vulcan, planet; waxworks; war galley; water; wine; wood; wood nymph

External link


Previous episode produced:
"Shore Leave"
Star Trek: The Original Series
Season 1
Next episode produced:
"Arena"
Previous episode aired:
"The Galileo Seven"
Next episode aired:
"Arena"
Previous remastered episode aired:
"Charlie X"
TOS Remastered Next remastered episode aired:
"This Side of Paradise"

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