The Conscience of the King

Trivia, Quotes, Notes and Allusions

Quotes (11)

  • McCoy: When the man on top walks along his street, the chain of command is often a noose. Spock: Spare me your philosophical metaphors, Doctor.

  • McCoy: What if you decide he is Kodos? What then? Do you play God, carry his head through the corridors in triumph? That won't bring back the dead, Jim. Kirk: No. But they may rest easier.

  • Karidian: Did you get everything you... wanted, Captain Kirk? Kirk: If I had gotten... everything I wanted... you might not walk out of this room alive.

  • Lenore: There is no mercy in you. Kirk: If he is Kodos, then I've shown him more mercy than he deserves. And if he isn't... then we'll let you off at Benecia, and no harm done. Lenore: Captain Kirk. Who are you to say what harm was done? Kirk: Who do I have to be?

  • Kirk: You'll never get off the ship. Lenore: Then it will become a floating tomb, drifting through space with the soul of the great Karidian giving performances at every star he touches.

  • Lenore: Star light, star bright. I wish I may, I wish I might. Do you remember that, Captain? Kirk: It's very old. Lenore: Almost as old as the stars themselves.

  • McCoy: This is the first time in a week I've had time for a drop. Would you care for a drink, Mr. Spock? Spock: My father's race was spared the dubious benefits of alcohol. McCoy: Oh. Now I know why they were conquered. What are you worried about? Jim generally knows what he's doing. Spock: It was illogical for him to bring those players aboard. McCoy: Illogical? Did you get a look at that Juliet? That's a pretty exciting creature. Of course your, uh, personal chemistry would prevent you from seeing that. Did it ever occur to you that he might like the girl? Spock: It occurred. I dismissed it. McCoy: You would.

  • McCoy: In the long history of medicine no doctor has ever caught the first few minutes of a play.

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Notes (7)

  • To further enhance the Hamlet theme of the episode, additional footage with references to that play were shot, including scenes of an inter-galactic alien entity that roamed the corridors of the ship as an allusion to the ghost of Hamlet's father. Due to the already-long running time of the episode, these scenes were cut from the final print.

  • This is the only episode of original Star Trek where the Enterprise's observation deck is seen.

  • Features recycled Mojave matte painting from "The Cage," this time it's used for Planet Q.

  • Originally, Bruce Hyde was cast for this episode as a character named "Lt. Robert Daikan." Only after his casting did someone remember he had played Kevin Riley in "The Naked Time" and had the part rewritten. This is the second and last time the character appears.

  • The music played during Dr. Leighton's get-together is a cocktail remix of Alexander Courage's Star Trek theme.

  • The ship's theater is a recycle of the Engine Room.

  • This is the final appearance of Grace Lee Whitney in production order as Janice Rand until the 1979 Star Trek movie.

Trivia (15)

  • As soon as an attack was discovered on the Enterprise, security would have been assigned to Karidian, who Kirk suspects of the murders. This would have cleared him of involvement in the later attempt.

  • The comparison between Karidian's voice and Kodos's should have been done instantly by the computer. There is no explanation for the delay.

  • At the end of the episode, when Lenore runs from backstage onto the stage, her hair went from perfectly coiffed, to a mussed mess in seconds.

  • When Lenore steals the security officer's phaser, she doesn't change the setting on it before firing. Standard procedure would have had the weapon on a stun setting, which wouldn't have killed Karidian. So why did he die?

  • Trivia: When Kirk is looking for the overloading phaser, he calls for a "double red alert". There is no other instance in Star Trek of such a status.

  • It seems a little odd that Dr. McCoy, the ship's chief surgeon, is sitting in sick bay getting drunk. He's not on shore leave and if he wanted to have a drink or two, why not do it in his quarters? It seems rather unprofessional, to say the least.

  • After the phaser blows up, you can see the sign on Kirk's quarters, his room number is "3F 127", in "The Man Trap", Dr. McCoy's quarters were also number "3F 127".

  • After Lenore kills Karidian, there is a couple of close-ups of him on the ground where he is obviously breathing.

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Allusions (1)

  • Title:
    Referencing a line in Shakespeare's Hamlet: "The play's the thing wherein I'll catch the conscience of the king." (Act 2, Scene ). This is the play the Karidian players perform for the Enterprise crew, and at the same time subtle foreshadowing of the final scenes of the episode, between Karidian and his daughter.