Star Trek

Court Martial

Season 1, Ep 20, Aired 2/2/67
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  • Episode Description
  • Captain Kirk's career is at stake when he is put on trial for the loss of a crewman during an ion storm.

  • Cast & Crew
  • Leonard Nimoy

    Mr. Spock

  • William Shatner

    Captain James Tiberius Kirk

  • Stephen W. Carabatsos

  • Don M. Mankiewicz

  • Marc Daniels

  • Fan Reviews (7)
  • Captain Kirk is court martialed for causing the death of a crewman.

    By Celedorian, Sep 29, 2010

  • Almost two different shows, the beginning is excellent, the end is rushed and sloppy.

    By Mac-Ale, May 10, 2008

  • Kirk is infuriated at his court hearing because the computer neglected to mention his medal for 3rd place in the 100 yard dash from his academy days.

    By hrtonslv, Dec 25, 2006

  • Captain Kirk stands trial accused of not only negligence and incompetence, but possibly deliberately causing the death of a crewman, who had a long-running grudge against him, during an ion storm. An interesting, well written and well acted instalment...

    By Jay-Spacedust, Nov 04, 2008

  • In the name of humanity, fading in the shadow of the machine

    By amazingwebhead, Nov 10, 2007

  • Trivia & Quotes
  • Quotes (9)

    • McCoy: Dr. Leonard McCoy. And you? Areel: Areel Shaw. And I'm a friend, too--an old one. McCoy: All of my old friends look like doctors. All of his look like you.

    • Kirk: Dr. McCoy said you were here. I should have felt it in the air like static electricity. Areel: Flattery will get you everywhere. Kirk: It's been... how long has it been? Areel: Four years, seven months, and an odd number of days--not that I'm counting.

    • Kirk: What is all this?
      Cogley: I figure we'll be spending some time together, so I moved in.
      Kirk: I hope I'm not crowding you.
      Cogley: What's the matter? Don't you like books?
      Kirk: Oh, I like them fine, but a computer takes less space.
      Cogley: A computer, huh? I got one of these in my office. Contains all the precedents, a synthesis of all the great legal decisions written throughout time. I never use it.
      Kirk: Why not?
      Cogley: I've got my own system. Books, young man, books. Thousands of them. If time wasn't so important, I'd show you something--my library. Thousands of books.
      Kirk: What would be the point?
      Cogley: This is where the law is, not in that homogenized, pasteurized, synthe... do you want to know the law, the ancient concepts in their own language, learn the intent of the men who wrote them, from Moses to the tribunal of Alpha 3? Books.
      Kirk: You have to be either an obsessive crackpot who's escaped from his keeper or Samuel T. Cogley, attorney-at-law.
      Cogley: Right on both counts.

    • McCoy: Well, I had to see it to believe it. Spock: Explain. McCoy: They're about to lop off the captain's professional head, and you're playing chess with the computer. Spock: That is true. McCoy: Mr. Spock, you're the most cold-blooded man I've ever known. Spock: Why, thank you, Doctor.

    • Areel: Mr. Cogley is well-known for his theatrics. Cogley: Is saving an innocent man's career a theatric? Stone: Counsels will direct their remarks to the bench. Cogley: I'd be delighted to, sir, now that I've got something human to talk about. Rights, sir, human rights--the Bible, the Code of Hammurabi and of Justinian, Magna Carta, the Constitution of the United States, Fundamental Declarations of the Martian colonies, the Statutes of Alpha 3--gentlemen, these documents all speak of rights. Rights of the accused to a trial by his peers, to be represented by counsel, the rights of cross-examination, but most importantly, the right to be confronted by the witnesses against him--a right to which my client has been denied.

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    Notes (3)

    • Starfleet, the agency that the crew serve in is mentioned for the first time in this episode. Earlier episodes made vague and conflicting references to what service the Enterprise operated in including Space Command, Space Central, the Star Service, and the United Earth Space Probe Agency (or UESPA).

    • In this episode we get to see Kirk not only get the girl, but get the prosecuting attorney and kiss her on the bridge.

    • Dr. McCoy's handheld "medical scanners" were actually modified salt and pepper shakers. Another medical device, seen in the episode "Court Martial" is obviously a hand-held microphone.

    Trivia (29)

    • During the court martial, Spock's ranks is listed as Lt. Commander. After moving the court martial to the bridge, Spock is wearing Commander stripes.

    • It's very dramatic, but why does Stone insist on staying aboard the ship because the court hasn't reached a verdict and they want to "hear the witness out"? Finney is alive: that renders the whole trial a moot point.

    • For some reason they shut down the impulse engines. The implication is the noise would render it impossible to detect Finney's heartbeat but they display they have the ability to filter noises out, and there must be thousands of other equipment noises aboard the ship.

    • Spock testifies that only three individuals have the level of computer programming knowledge sufficient to reprogram the Enterprise computer without obvious signs. One of them is... Captain Kirk? The captain has never displayed any superior knowledge of computers in any previous or subsequent episode. In "Tomorrow is Yesterday" he is fact stumped by his computer having been reprogrammed with a female voice.

    • Cogley is waxing a bit poetic at the end, but even so, the Bible never speaks anywhere of the right for a defendant to confront his accuser, the right to cross-examination, or to a jury of his peers.

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