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(written from a Production point of view)
The Enterprise is captured by Trelane, the childish ruler of Gothos.
En route to the Beta VI colony, the USS 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, Captain Kirk also disappears. Being informed of this by navigator DeSalle, Spock orders all reverse power.
Spock and the crew of the Enterprise conduct a sensor sweep of where Kirk and Sulu could be. The bridge crew conclude, since they can find absolutely no trace of them on the Enterprise, 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. "Hip-hip hoorah. And, I believe, it is pronounced "Tally-ho".", Spock reads. Spock orders a beam down, and a landing party consisting of DeSalle, Jaeger, and McCoy discover 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. "They're like waxworks figures", McCoy notes. Almost as soon as the missing officers are discovered, the door slams shut, 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 firm control of the situation. When Kirk demands to Trelane that they are to leave immediately and go back to the Enterprise, Trelane transports him to the outside of his castle, which is filled with toxic gas, as a demonstration of his "authority". When Trelane returns Kirk to his home a few seconds later, the captain is choking and coughing. Trelane makes it quite clear that the landing party is not leaving. "Now, you will behave yourselves hereafter, won't you? Or I shall be very, very angry", Trelane threatens.
On the Enterprise, Spock has Scott beam up everything that is considered a life form within the life-supporting zone the planet. In Trelane's castle, McCoy informs Kirk that he is receiving a transporter signal through his communicator. The landing party is about to be beamed up to the ship. Trelane, furious that his "guests" are departing, shouts to Kirk, "Wait, I won't have this! I haven't dismissed you yet! Stop! I won't have this!" Back aboard the Enterprise, an escape attempt is then underway. However, this only lasts a few brief moments before Trelane appears on the bridge. He immediately develops a dislike for Spock, since Kirk announced Trelane's "party" was over thanks to Spock prior to being beamed up. "I have a perfectly enchanting sojourn on Gothos planned for all of you", he states. Suddenly, Kirk, Spock, McCoy, Uhura, DeSalle, Jaeger, Sulu, and Yeoman Ross find themselves in Trelane's drawing room, with a large dining table set up. DeSalle tries to attack Trelane but is frozen. After Kirk demands Trelane release him, he does. "We haven't even got our phasers", Sulu quietly reminds the navigator.
Several mistakes and incongruities, including a fire without heat and food and brandy without taste, convince Kirk that Trelane is not omnipotent and knows only the forms of Human society, not the substance, 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 had enough and is fairly sure that Trelane's mirror is his source of power, the captain challenges him to a duel. "And captain... I never miss", Trelane tells Kirk while aiming his pistol at the captain's head.
During the duel, Trelane fires his gun into the ceiling and invites Kirk to shoot at him. "And now, captain, my fate is in your hands." Kirk takes aim at Trelane and instead 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. Trelane is enraged. "Go back! Go back to your ship, all of you! And prepare, you're all dead men. You especially, captain." Trelane goes toward his mirror and disappears. Kirk flips open his communicator and contacts the Enterprise to beam all of them up.
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 as the planet Gothos appears directly in the path of the ship. Kirk immediately orders Sulu to turn the Enterprise hard to port to avoid a collision. Kirk wonders if the Enterprise has been going in circles, but Sulu's instruments show that they're on course for Beta VI. Gothos appears in front of the ship again and Sulu executes a hard turn to starboard this time to avoid the collision again. Spock compares their situation as a "cat and mouse game" with Kirk lamenting that they're the mouse. Gothos appears in front of them again but this time Trelane becomes wise to their tactics and continuously moves the planet in front of the Enterprise no matter which way she turns. Finally, Kirk realizes he must confront Trelane and orders the Enterprise to accelerate into orbit so he can beam down, but before he can, Trelane snatches the captain down to the surface and into his kangaroo court where a bewigged Trelane has established himself as a judge, and this time, his instrumentality is unbreakable. Trelane plans to execute Kirk for the crime of opposing him. "You will hang by the neck captain, until you are dead, dead, dead!"
But it is all too easy for the powerful alien. "That's your problem, Trelane. Everything is easy. It's given you a bad habit. You not aware of it but you have it," Kirk tells him. "Eh?", Trelane asks. Seizing on this, Kirk suggests Trelane needs a challenge, and offers to provide one, suggesting a hunt. Trelane is delighted at the prospect and readily agrees.
Trelane hunts Kirk for a time, and 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, who appear as disembodied, hovering glowing green lights. It seems that Trelane is essentially a naughty child who has overstepped his bounds, especially how he treats his "pets". His parents, telling Trelane that it is "time to come in now", apologize to Kirk, free the Enterprise and take Trelane away to be disciplined. Trelane's parents vanish and Kirk regains contact with the Enterprise.
Later, Spock asks Kirk what he should describe Trelane as. Kirk tells him to classify him as a "small boy - and a very naughty one at that." He tells Spock that Trelane probably engaged in the same "mischievous pranks" the Vulcan did as a young boy. Spock is confused by this classification, so Kirk continues. "Dipping little girls curls in inkwells. Stealing apples from the neighbor's trees. Tying cans on...", at which point Spock expresses complete incredulity. "Forgive me, Mr. Spock. I should have known better", Kirk remarks. Spock says he shall be delighted, then raises an eyebrow before returning to his station. The Enterprise then enters orbit of Beta VI.
- "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."
"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."
- - 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 broke it! You broke my sword!"
- - Trelane, to 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
Story and scriptEdit
- Paul Schneider originally wrote this episode as an anti-war statement, and got his inspiration by seeing children playing war. 
- 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 nine hundred 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. 
- In the closing credits of the show, the title for Script Supervisor is misspelled "SCPIPT SUPERVISOR".
Sets and propsEdit
- 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.
- 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 was the reuse of the humanoid bird creature costume, fleetingly and partially seen in the Talos zoo in "The Cage". 
- 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 charactersEdit
- 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".
- A continuity error occurs when the landing party exits the transporter room and we see Leslie taking over transporter controls, yet in the next shot he is sitting in the captain's chair as they enter the bridge.
- 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.
- Due to Campbell's injury, the episode finished shooting going one day over schedule, resulting in seven filming days. (These Are the Voyages: TOS Season One)
- 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." 
- This episode marks the first appearance of Michael Barrier as Lieutenant Vincent DeSalle, whose first name was pulled from the episode's final draft of the script. The character returns later in "This Side of Paradise" and "Catspaw". While DeSalle serves as a navigator in this episode, he is a biologist in "This Side of Paradise" and assistant chief engineer in "Catspaw".
- 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".
- William Campbell's first wig was a French hairpiece. He demanded that an English barrister's wig be found to fit his character. Shatner complained that precious production time is going to be wasted for something he found to be a minor and unimportant detail. Director Don McDougall didn't want a conflict with the series star, so he called producer Gene Coon to the set to arbitrate the matter. Coon decided in favor of Campbell, and filming was halted until the English wig was found. (These Are the Voyages: TOS Season One)
- 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."
- 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.   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.
- William Campbell recalled the part of Trelane as "It was just a great role. It was sensational. I'll never forget it." and "It would be very easy for any actor who had any training to play the Squire of Gothos. The character was so well written and, of course, it was the show". (These Are the Voyages: TOS Season One, p. 389, 393)
- Story outline by Paul Schneider: 11 August 1966
- First draft teleplay by Schneider: 11 October 1966
- Second draft teleplay: 18 October 1966
- Staff rewrite: 26 October 1966
- Final draft teleplay by Gene L. Coon: 26 October 1966
- Additional revisions: 28 October 1966, 31 October 1966, 1 November 1966
- Filmed: 28 October 1966 – 7 November 1966
- Original airdate: 12 January 1967
- Rerun airdate: 22 June 1967
- First UK airdate: 1 November 1969
Video and DVD releasesEdit
- Original US Betamax release: 1985
- UK VHS release (two-episode tapes, CIC Video): Volume 10, catalog number VHR 2275, release date unknown
- US VHS release: 15 April 1994
- UK re-release (three-episode tapes, CIC Video): Volume 1.7, 4 November 1996
- Original US DVD release (single-disc): Volume 9, 21 March 2000
- As part of the TOS Season 1 DVD collection
- As part of the TOS Season 1 HD DVD collection
- As part of the TOS Season 1 Blu-ray collection
Links and referencesEdit
- Nichelle Nichols as Uhura
- George Takei as Sulu
- James Doohan as Scott
- Michael Barrier as DeSalle
- Venita Wolf as Teresa
- William Blackburn as Hadley
- Eddie Paskey as Leslie
- Barbara Babcock as Trelane's mother (voice)
- Bart LaRue as Trelane's father (voice)
- Frank da Vinci as Brent
- Unknown actors as
alligator-like creature; apple; ball; Beta VI; bird-like creature; Bonaparte, Napoléon; "Bones"; brandy; cat; cat-and-mouse game; Cinderella; conspiracy; court; Crusades; desert; dizziness; drawing room; dueling pistol; dune; Earth; ego; energy; female; field-of-honor game; fire; fireplace; French; French language; gender; general; geophysics; German; German language; glass; 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; mirage; mirror machine; mouse; Nubian; oasis; oxygen; palate; palm tree; Persia; powerful and godlike beings; prank; Quadrant 904; Queen of Sheba; red alert; Sarek; Sheba; silica; slipper; soldier; Spacefleet Command; squire; star desert; stardust; straw; subspace radio; Surak; sword; tornadic storms; Towers of Ilium; transporter system; treason; trial; Vulcan; waxworks figure; war galley; water; wine; wood; wood nymph
- "The Squire of Gothos" at StarTrek.com, the official Star Trek website
- "The Squire of Gothos" at Memory Beta, the wiki for licensed Star Trek works
- "The Squire of Gothos" at Wikipedia
- "The Squire of Gothos" at MissionLogPodcast.com, a Roddenberry Star Trek podcast
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"This Side of Paradise"