- MA files from this episode (21) • MA remastered files from this episode (13)
- Template:Titles/Arena yields Arena (TOS 1x19)
For general discussion on this episode, visit the TOS forum at The Trek BBS.
Worth noting is that the original Brown story does NOT end with a merciful Human hero sparing the life of the enemy alien: He just blows him away. -<unsigned>
- Urm... okay. That would have beeb interesting to see. :P Would you mind sharing the source of this information? Perhaps then it can be added as background info. --From Andoria with Love 04:56, 11 Dec 2005 (UTC)
- The original source is "Arena" by Fredric Brown (the short story was published before it was used as a script).. i have a reprint in an early Starlog issue -- but since it is a reprint i think the original publication date would be the most relevant. -- Captain Mike K. Barteltalk 15:08, 11 Dec 2005 (UTC)
I have removed the notation which said
- As a tribute to Star Trek, a variation of this story was developed into the Blake's 7 episode, Duel.
I moved this information and reworded it in the section that talks about similarities to Brown's story and the Outer Limits episode. While it may not even be necessary to list it, the similarities are strong enough to note it. However, unless someone has reference to back it up, we can't assume this was a tribute to Trek or a blatant rip-off. So it's better to say nothing and just note that it was made.Scott son of Pete 15:30, 3 September 2008 (UTC)
2 New Background Notes Edit
A couple of new notes have been added to the background:
- The sequence of lights below the bridge viewscreen is much slower and clunkier in the long shots than in the close up shots.
Can someone confirm this one? I am leaving it alone for now.
- Kirk is at his Kirkest at the beginning of this episode - dodging explosions on the ground while simultaneously giving orders for the space battle above via communicator!
I am removing this one. I feel it adds nothing, and is poorly written. It is just the type of note we have been talking about getting rid of in the forums. --OuroborosCobra 03:01, 25 June 2006 (UTC)
Background notes Edit
Cleanup. Here's the removals:
- Brown's story involved a Human pilot -- Carson -- of a scout ship (part of a Human armada massing to fight off an alien invasion of the Solar System), being forced by omnipotent aliens to fight a member of the invading race (called both "Outsiders" and "Rollers," due to their beachball-like appearance with extendable/retractable cilia-like limbs) in an enclosed dome approximately five hundred feet wide at all points, filled with blue sand, rocks and scraggly bushes and vines, divided down the middle by an invisible forcefield which will only allow inanimate objects and dead beings to pass through. The unseen omnipotent aliens declare the race of the loser will be totally destoyed. Totally naked, with no weapons, they throw rocks at each other. Carson takes a hit on his calf which soon is infected. He keeps as far from his side of the forcefield as he can so the Roller cannot hit him again, but the alien builds a small catapult to hurl larger stones. Eventually Carson discovers that unconscious living beings can also pass through the forcefield after he finds a lizard-like creature the Roller killed and threw through the forcefield to his side was not actually dead, but unconscious. Carson devises a plan--he makes a spear from a scraggly bush, holds it tightly against his body with one hand, leans against the forcefield, and bashes himself on the head with a rock. Unconscious, he falls through the forcefield to the other side, luckily comes to right away, fights the Roller, finally runs his spear through it, killing it. Immediately, he is back in his ship, where he discovers that the entire Outsider/Roller race was annihilated by one blast from a Human ship's laser which "jumped" from ship to ship, destroying them all. He almost believes it was all a dream until he finds tell-tale scars on his body from his time in the arena.
The previous note had already established the similarity. I don't think we need a huge, unreadable paragraph as further proof.
- The overhead shot of the destroyed outpost that closes the teaser and opens Act One is one of the series' most impressive camera shots.
Excuse me? In what other episode did the camera crew use a crane (or moving the camera to the top of the fort set, either way, gaining great elevation) to shoot a scene? This is the only overhead shot in the series that I can remember. If you wish to add "technically impressive", fine, but this took extra work by the director to pull off and deserves mention. Further, by simply removing that part of the paragraph, you rendered the rest of it completely confusing, with no reference to the content of the comment.
- All that is needed is a note saying that the two are similar, not a long drawn out explantaion of the other strory, and where in particalar they are similar. Also, what is this you are talking about cranes and such? I don't see anything about that in the note I removed. Furthermore, I did not remove "part of a paragraph", I removed an entire note, or "paragraph". --OuroborosCobra talk 23:25, 2 September 2006 (UTC)
- Oh, sorry, you are talking about the second note I removed. Been so long since I did this edit I forgot what it was that I did. As for the edit you are talking about, whether you like it or not, calling a shot "the most impressive" is flat out opinion. Other people may find other shots in the series to be more impressive (don't argue why you think this one is, as it does not matter why you do). Now, if this was the only one to use a crane or something, that would be noteworthy, but that is not what the note read, and there was no way for me to know that is what was meant. I don't have TOS on DVD, so I cannot confirm that this is the only crane shot. I would be opposed to something getting put back unless we knew it was the only one. As for the rest of the paragraph there, it reads just fine without the "most impressive shot" part. The rest of that paragraph is fact, not opinion. --OuroborosCobra talk 23:40, 2 September 2006 (UTC)
- Granted, I am late in coming to this discussion, but there are a few points worth noting about the genesis of this teleplay. First, the third and fourth acts of the script bear are marked (if not plagiaristic), resemblence to Frederic Brown's short story "Arena". (I am not casting aspersions here, as Coon passed away dedades ago and his side of the story cannot be told. Still, it is possible that a young man could have read this story and forgotten it, only to incorporate into an original work.) It is really for an individual to review the material and form an opinion. Next, it was the first script submitted by Coon (as the newly installed producer), to be filmed. Whether the similarties between Brown's story and the episode were coincidental is really a matter of --well-- opinion. It might be that Coon innocently replicated Brown's story, or perhaps it was something more sinister. (See, e.g., Rod Serling's The Comedian.) Finally, there can be no doubt that Brown was given a "story by" credit, despite the fact he neither submitted a treatment nor was he even aware that Star Trek claimed any connection to his work until after Coon had completed the script. (Cf. Inside Star Trek: The Real Story.)
- The real question here is whether Memory Alpha is exceeding its mission by making comment about the history of any given production. For example, it is permissible to note that the pilot film "The Cage" was the basis of "The Menagerie, Part I", and that "The Omega Glory" was initially rejected as the second pilot. Similarly, should we not discuss the beginnings of any production, so long as the article can be supported by evidence?
- It may be that a separate category dealing with popular culture, criticism, and analysis is needed. If not, then a consensus regarding the scope of "Background" will need to be reached. For my part, my intention was to reserve my commentary on the article as written for Talk:Arena, when I discovered this discussion. Seeing what has already been written, though, I think it may be time to decide what "supportable" criticism and analysis can be presented on MA as oppossed to that which is simply out of bounds..--GNDN 01:22, 14 October 2006 (UTC)
- Actually, according to Inside Star Trek: The Real Story, once the similarities were noted, Brown was called and his story was bought. So, he was aware that ST was "adapting his story." We know the full story behind it, he proabbaly never did, but you cannot say he was not aware that ST made any connection to his work. Sir Rhosis 15:19, 14 October 2006 (UTC)
- You are quite correct, but the contact and the sale was made after the script was written. Brown could have declined to sell the story or taken other action. Again, I don't believe that Coon intentionally plagiarized Brown's story, but the similarties are too overwhelming to ignore. Coon and Norway Productions did the right thing by reaching out Brown. --GNDN 19:22, 14 October 2006 (UTC)
Strange Ghost imageEdit
Did anyone else notice the strange ghost image of the Metrons clothing about a foot to the left of him when he was talking to Kirk? What caused that? Wheatleya 21:35, 14 June 2008 (UTC)
- I know little about such things, but most knowledgeable people I've heard talk about it say that it was simply lens flare from the costume the actress playing the Metron wore. Did they remove it in the remastering, anyone? Sir Rhosis 12:09, 15 June 2008 (UTC)
- As far as I can see, what you describe is still there in the remastered version - I haven't seen the original, so it may have been toned down. Since there's also sparkling to the Metron's upper left (our upper right), I had figured what was to its right (our left) was intentional. Izkata 11:53, May 25, 2012 (UTC)
"We are the Metrons." - The Metrons, their inimitable but perfunctory greeting
I have a very similar greeting clearly in mind...:D Jackoverfull 23:38, 2 March 2009 (UTC)
Removed pov Edit
- An identical translating device is seen later in "Metamorphosis". It seems logical that the Federation used the Metron technology to design their own, or at least one based on it.
Firstly, this is a pov, secondly, maybe the metrons gave kirk a device similar to one that he was used too (and the gorn didn't have similar devices). – The preceding unsigned comment was added by Jackoverfull (talk • contribs).
- I've added the note back but removed the speculation — Morder 16:16, 3 March 2009 (UTC)
- you're right, that's better.
- I forgot to sign... Again.
Jackoverfull 16:24, 3 March 2009 (UTC)
MythBusters Tests Kirk's canon. Document? Edit
2009: Mini Myth Mayhem episode: Result = Busted. Bamboo wasn't strong enough to contain the explosion, 32 experimental formulations with the raw ingredients failed to yield the commercial grade gunpowder that was needed for the proper explosive force. Even with the Bamboo reinforced at the bottom and using commercial grade powder, bamboo still shatters, "killing" their Kirk stand-in dummy. Question: (How?) Does this real world information fit in the article? -- 05:15, December 29, 2009 (UTC)
- It doesn't belong here, but it would be relevant to Star Trek parodies and pop culture references (television).– Cleanse ( talk | contribs ) 05:35, December 29, 2009 (UTC)
Thanks. Will add there! --05:58, December 29, 2009 (UTC)
Slow Motion Edit
I had always heard that the reason the fight scene was so slow was because they had initially wanted to film at a higher film speed but due to budget constraints simply asked the actors to move slower. Is this not true? – The preceding unsigned comment was added by 18.104.22.168 (talk).
- While Kirk is climbing the rocks after first meeting the Gorn, shadows can be seen from the reflectors used to illuminate the set. They are from two directions and inconsistent with the sunlight.
- In a few explosion scenes, strange shadows can be seen between the blasts and the camera. It is possible that there were shields placed in front of the camera to protect it from the explosives and these were pulled away immediately afterward by the crew.
- Because of an imperfect matting process, the bright blue line around the main viewing screen wobbles and fluctuates for much of the episode.
- I've removed another nitpick (with accompanying picture), from the script section. (which really would be the wrong section anyway for the note). Anyway, the removed stuff: -- Capricorn (talk) 20:42, May 2, 2015 (UTC)
- In the closing credits of the show, the title for Script Supervisor is misspelled "SCPIPT SUPERVISOR". This typo continues for several episodes within the closing credits.
"Gunnery Officer"? Edit
This term is listed in the references, but I checked the transcript here and found no mention of the word. Would this be referring to when Spock says that "Sulu is an experienced combat officer"? --LauraCC (talk) 15:51, June 3, 2015 (UTC)
I removed just a mess of stuff:
- The Outer Limits did a story similar to "Arena," entitled "Fun and Games" (with Theo Marcuse, Jack Perkins, a voice-only performance by Bob Johnson, and directed by Gerd Oswald). The BBC series Blake's 7 also filmed a variation of this premise in the first year episode "Duel."
- "Metron" is similar to Metatron, an angel in Judaism. The name means "instrument of change" in Greek. The name of the planet, Cestus III, refers to gladiatorial combat. A cestus is a type of boxing glove, consisting of strips of iron wrapped in leather, which gladiators wore in the arena.
- Vic Perrin's dialogue as the Metron has a few phrases that are quite similar to his "Control Voice" narration on The Outer Limits.
- Captain Kirk wears flat-soled, laced boots rather than the regular leather versions worn by the cast. Possibly the change was made for safety reasons given the many scenes in which Shatner scrambles over rocky ground.
- Kirk also wears previously unseen white undergarments during the location segments on the asteroid. The long-sleeved shirt can be viewed just under the cuff of Kirk's tunic when he's using the recorder-translator. The "long johns" can be seen above the boots when Kirk is crouched on a rock. Given that this segment was filmed in November, the undergarments could be thermal, or perhaps padding for the fight scenes.
- The Enterprise's three double phaser bursts, which Sulu says constituted a full discharge of phaser banks, fire from an unusual location in this episode – not from near the glowing dome at the bottom of the saucer, but from much higher up, closer to where Matt Jefferies originally located the main phaser banks in his early diagrams of the ship. These schematics appeared as display diagrams in other episodes and also on the sides of the early AMT Star Trek model kits.
- The area of Kirk's fight with the Gorn, in front of a jagged rock face known to fans as "Gorn Rock",  was also seen in the film Bill & Ted's Bogus Journey. The two main characters in that film, after watching "Arena" on television, also visited Vasquez Rocks, California. Furthermore, the diner in Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back is called the "Arena Diner", named after this episode since that particular scene in the film was also filmed in Vasquez Rocks. In the 1998 movie Free Enterprise, two of the characters goof around there in Trek-style costumes. The rocks also appear in an homage to this scene in Paul with Simon Pegg playing Kirk and Nick Frost as the Gorn (and wearing a Gorn mask). They leave quickly when tourists to Vasquez Rocks see them acting out. The entire first three seasons of Mighty Morphin Power Rangers had the command center at the top of the cliff.
- In the CBS sitcom "The Big Bang Theory" episode "The Bakersfield Expedition",  the main male characters – Leonard, Sheldon, Raj, and Howard, dressed as Picard, Data, Worf, and a Borg – stop at the Vasquez Rocks on their way to Comic Con in Bakersfield to take pictures in character. (Unfortunately, Leonard's car is stolen while they aren't looking.)
- The History Channel show How William Shatner Changed the World saw Shatner return to Vasquez Rocks in a sports car and revisit some of the very rocks where he battled the Gorn.
- The fort set (Cestus III), retouched here with science-fiction trappings and location signs, can be seen in several early episodes of The Wild Wild West, most prominently in the episode "The Night of the Sudden Plague." It also is an important part of the coincidentally-titled Mission: Impossible episode, "Trek." This set was directly adjacent to Vasquez Rocks – so close that in an episode of Bat Masterson, entitled "Dagger Dance" (1961, with Byron Morrow) both the fort and the distinctive peaks of Vasquez Rocks appear in the same shot. In some shots Vasquez Rocks can be seen from the set in "Arena" itself. The fort set plays a major role in the 1964 Bonanza episode "Alias Joe Cartwright." The fort's walls and crenelations are clearly visible throughout the episode. The Vasquez Rocks area is used for the traveling segments back and forth to town. According to Eddie Paskey's website, it was also used for the film Beau Geste.  According to Jerry L. Schneider's "Vasquez Rocks" web page on Movie Making Locations, the fort was built in the mid 1950s for the television show Tales of the 77th Bengal Lancers from Screen Gems, a Columbia Pictures subsidiary, erected at a cost of US$117,843.17. The set was torn down several years after the filming of "Arena", and the area is a parking lot across from the Vasquez Rocks Natural Area.
- Filmation, who produced Star Trek: The Animated Series, went on to produce the hit cartoon He-Man and the Masters of the Universe (1983-85), which used many modified TAS character and set designs, a number of sound effects also utilized in both TOS and TAS, as well as having several Trek-similar story lines. The most notable of these is a second season episode called "The Arena", where a god-like entity forces He-Man and Skeletor to do battle, very similar to the Trek episode "Arena".
- In the Big Bang Theory episode "The Apology Insufficiency," Sheldon's guilt-riddled dream includes a Gorn sitting on the living room couch, and in "The Transporter Malfunction," which included the voice-over of Leonard Nimoy as a Spock action figure, Sheldon dreams he and Spock have a conversation, and ends with Sheldon being chased by a Gorn.
- In the 1970s, the Mego toy company produced a "Gorn" action figure doll. However, unlike the TV character, the toy was dressed in the same costume used for the "Klingon" doll. Also, the head was the same one used for the Marvel Comics doll "The Lizard," except the Gorn head was molded brown to match the costume.
- Bobby Clark, one of the performers who played the part of the Gorn captain, visited a Star Trek sound stage 38 years later for the filming of Captain Archer's fight with the Gorn Slar in the Star Trek: Enterprise episode "In a Mirror, Darkly, Part II". That episode was the first appearance of the Gorn in live-action Trek since "Arena."