In 2246, an exotic fungus destroyed most of the colony's food supply, and its 8,000 inhabitants faced starvation. Kodos, implementing his own theories of eugenics, selected 4,000 of the colony's residents to be put to death, so that the remaining 4,000 might survive on the limited food supplies available. Among the dead were Kevin Riley's parents. Among the survivors were Riley, James T. Kirk, Thomas Leighton, D. Eames, and E. Molson. Of the survivors, these five and four others were eyewitnesses who could identify Kodos. At that time, Kodos had red hair with a receding hairline, a red mustache and a beard.
- "The revolution is successful. But survival depends on drastic measures. Your continued existence represents a threat to the well-being of society. Your lives mean slow death to the more valued members of the colony. Therefore, I have no alternative but to sentence you to death. Your execution is so ordered, signed Kodos, Governor of Tarsus IV."
- – excerpt from Kodos' speech to the 4,000 people he murdered
In 2266, Thomas Leighton was living on Planet Q when a troupe of itinerant actors, the Karidian Company, performed there. He became convinced that their star, Anton Karidian, was actually Kodos. Diverting the USS Enterprise on a pretense, he argued this case to Kirk, who was less certain. Kirk's subsequent research raised some issues, and when Leighton was found dead outside his home, Kirk's suspicions became stronger. He arranged for the Karidian Company to embark upon the Enterprise, so that he could study the matter more thoroughly. Attempts on the lives of Kevin Riley and Kirk himself all but confirmed Kodos' identity.
The Karidian Players were performing Hamlet, the price of their passage (so to speak), when Kevin Riley sneaked backstage. He had overheard Doctor McCoy making a medical log entry, and now also knew that Kodos might be aboard – and might be the person who poisoned him and murdered his family. He stole a phaser and sneaked backstage, but was stopped from committing the murder by Kirk, who convinced him to give up the phaser.
Karidian overheard their whispers, and during a conversation about them discovered that his daughter Lenore had been slowly murdering the witnesses who could identify him. Distraught that Lenore, the one thing in his life untouched by what he'd done was, in fact, poisoned by it, he raced after her when she snatched Harrison's phaser and ran onstage. When he realized she planned to kill Kirk, he stepped in front of the captain, and the shot meant for Kirk killed Kodos. (TOS: "The Conscience of the King")
Background information Edit
- Kodos was portrayed by actor Arnold Moss.
- Matt Groening, creator of The Simpsons, named his recurring alien characters "Kang" and "Kodos", after Kang the Klingon and Kodos the Executioner.
- Although not seen on screen, part of Hoshi Sato's bio from ENT: "In a Mirror, Darkly, Part II" – which was written entirely by episode writer Mike Sussman – revealed that Hoshi and her family were among the four thousand people who died on Tarsus IV in 2246.
- Kodos was identified by a voice print identification in this episode whereas later series, such as Star Trek: The Next Generation, typically used other methods like DNA analysis. Voice print IDs continued to make an appearance for security clearance verifications well into later productions to include Star Trek: Enterprise.
- His mirror universe counterpart appeared in the novel The Sorrows of Empire.