Star Trek

Spectre of the Gun

Season 3, Ep 6, Aired 10/25/68
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  • Episode Description
  • When coming to an exaphobic isolationist planet, Captain Kirk and his landing party are punished for trespassing. They are sentenced to death in a surreal recreation of the Gunfight at the OK Corral with the landing on the losing side.

  • Cast & Crew
  • James Doohan

    Lt. Cmdr. Montgomery "Scotty" Scott

  • Ron Soble

    Wyatt Earp

  • Walter Koenig

    Ensign Pavel Chekov

  • Bonnie Beecher


  • Nichelle Nichols

    Lt. Nyota Uhura

  • Fan Reviews (6)
  • You had to be there...

    By shootist, Jun 14, 2012

  • Once you get past the fact it's a Western...

    By Gislef, Jun 18, 2007

  • The Enterprise landing party is sentenced to death for refusing to wear cowboy hats

    By hrtonslv, Dec 24, 2006

  • Kirk and other members of the Enterprise crew find themselves on a world surrealistically mirroring the old west, where they are meant to be killed in the famous gunfight at the O.K Corral.

    By Celedorian, Dec 17, 2010

  • Punishing the Enterprise for trespassing, an alien being puts Kirk, Spock, McCoy, Scotty and Chekov in a re-enactment of the Gunfight at the O.K. Corral, in which they are on the losing side. Not as much fun as it should be...

    By Jay-Spacedust, Dec 16, 2008

  • Trivia & Quotes
  • Quotes (16)

    • Spock: True telepaths can be most formidable.

    • Spock: Captain. This afternoon you wanted to kill. McCoy: But he didn't kill, Mr. Spock. Spock: But he wanted to, Doctor. Kirk: Mr. Spock, you're exactly right. Spock: Mankind... ready to kill. Kirk: That's the way it was back in 1881. Spock: I wonder how humanity managed to survive. Kirk: We overcame our instinct for violence.

    • Spock: Physical reality is consistent with universal laws. Where the laws do not operate, there is no reality -- we judge reality by the responses of our senses. Once we are convinced of the reality of a given situation, we abide by its rules.

    • Spock: Physical laws simply cannot be ignored. Existence cannot be without them.

    • Melkotian: Captain did not kill. Is this the way of your kind? Kirk: It is. We fight only when there's no choice. We prefer the ways of peaceful contact. I speak for an alliance of fellow creatures who believe in the same thing. We have sought you out to join us. Our mission is still one of peace.

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    Notes (4)

    • Originally it was intended for the role that Chekov played was to be played by another crewman and doesn't come back to life in the end.

    • Rex Holman, who plays Morgan Earp, would later appear in the fifth Trek movie as J'Onn.

    • DeForrest Kelley gets to play both sides of the fence - in the 1957 movie Gunfight at the O.K. Corral he played Morgan Earp.

    • This episode was written by Gene L. Coon under the pseudonymn Lee Cronin.

    Trivia (10)

    • Although the Earps and Doc Holliday walk four abreast, and even in a march (synchronized steps), the positions of the men in the line shift from scene to scene. Doc Holliday, for example, starts at the left end (as you look at them), moves one position right, and is on the right end as the four gunmen arrive at the Corral.

    • Maybe the whole thing is some weird test, but if the Melkotians' whole illusion thing can be dispelled by disbelief of the setting's realism... why is the whole thing so... unrealistic? Buildings have no wall, physical laws don't apply, etc. You'd think the Melkotians would want to make the setting as realistic as possible so the Enterprise people wouldn't disbelieve it and prevent their execution.

    • The gunfight at the O.K. Corral took place behind the O.K. Corral, not in it.

    • Maybe it's just a Melkotian/alien thing, but they don't seem to be in any big hurry to wipe out what they consider a "disease." They just let Kirk & Co. wander through their Tombstone movie set for a number of hours doing nothing. Even if they want to kill Kirk with something from his own memories, why don't they just plant him and the others down seconds before the Shootout begins? Instead they create a whole cast of irrelevant characters (Behan, Ed, Sylvia, the dental patient) for the landing party to interact with but who have nothing to do with killing them.

    • The Gunfight at the O.K. Corral took place at 2:47 p.m. in the afternoon, not 5:00 p.m. as indicated here.

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    Allusions (2)

    • McCoy: Taos Lightning There actually is such a thing - according to one recipe it was made with two quarts alcohol, a few burnt peaches, and a plug of black tobacco (rattlesnake heads added according to preference), all put together in a keg and filled with five gallons of water and left to sit. Yum. Some accounts say it was whiskey rather than bourbon though.

    • The Earps: Triplet Brothers
      In one interesting regard, this episode is actually more historically accurate then most movies revolving around the famous shootout - the Earp brothers were practically triplets, and this resemblence further bosltered their almost supernatural reputation. Deliberately or not, the three actors who play the Earps here, Rex Holman, Charles Maxwell, and Ron Soble, all bear a strong resemblence to each other.

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