Star Trek: The Animated Series

How Sharper Than a Serpent's Tooth

Season 2, Ep 5, Aired 10/5/74
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  • Episode Description
  • The Enterprise crew encounters an alien who visited Earth in ancient times and became known as the Mayan god Kukulkan.

  • Cast & Crew
  • Leonard Nimoy

    Mr. Spock

  • DeForest Kelley

    Dr. Leonard "Bones" McCoy

  • William Shatner

    Capt. James Tiberius Kirk

  • James Doohan

    Lt. Cmdr. Montgomery "Scotty" Scott / Lt. Arex

  • Nichelle Nichols

    Lt. Uhura

  • Fan Reviews (2)
  • A Native American "god" captures members of the Enterprise crew in this homage to "Who Mourns for Adonais?"

    By Celedorian, Feb 26, 2011

  • While in space, the Enteprise comes in contact with the Mayan god Kukulkan.

    By GameraTrekkie, Nov 29, 2006

  • Trivia & Quotes
  • Quotes (2)

    • Spock: Vulcan was visited by alien beings. They left much wiser.

    • (Kirk is trying to reason with the Kulkukan) Kirk: If children are made totally dependent on the teachers, they'll never be anything but children.

    Notes (5)

    • Geroge Takei and Majel Barrett are credited but do not appear as Sulu and Chapel/M'Ress.

    • The animated series won an Emmy for the program as a whole. While this episode didn't specifically win an Emmy, it was the one presented to the Emmy committee as representative of the series.

    • This is the 100th appearance of Leonard Nimoy (Spock) on Star Trek.

    • In many ways this episode seems to be a rehash/homage of the original Trek episode "Who Mourns for Adonis?". Substitute politically correct Ensign Walking Bear for Chekov and even the landing party looks the same as in that episode. According to Russell Bates this was a homage to Gene L. Coon, who wrote that original Trek episode.

    • Bates & Wise were nominated for and won a Peabody award for best writing on an animated series.

    Trivia (4)

    • in the first appearance of Kulkakan's ship, when it starts to attack the Enterprise, the stars behind it all disappear, leaving total blackness.

    • In the last appearance of Kulkakan on screen, his teeth/fangs turn green for a couple seconds and then turns back to white.

    • Kirk consistently mispronounces Ku-KUL-can as "KOOK-lu-can." According to the DVD commentary, this was because William Shatner recorded his voice material separately and author David Wise wasn't present to correct him.

    • Uhura is drawn as a Caucasian in one bridge shot.

    Allusions (1)

    • Kirk: "How sharper than a serpent's tooth it is to have a thankless child..."
      The title of this episode comes from a line in Shakespeare's "King Lear" -- 'How sharper than a serpent's tooth it is to have a thankless child'. Presumably, this refers to the same theme explored in "Who Mourns For Adonais?"; that humanity has outgrown the "gods", and no longer needs them, despite what they gave it in the past.

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