Star Trek

Season 1 Episode 14

Balance of Terror

Aired Unknown Dec 15, 1966 on NBC



  • Trivia

    • Lt. Uhura takes over for Stiles at the navigator's station, but at the end of the episode she opens a hailing frequency from that station, not her normal communications post.

    • When the Enterprise is hit by the Romulan weapon, the bridge and crew are thrown to the viewer's left. Except two. Kirk (who was standing next to the railing between the command level and Spock's station) should have fallen on the railing, but instead turned and fell toward the navigator. Uhura was at her post and should have been thrown into her console or maybe over closer to Spock. Instead, she got up, ran across the bridge and hit the wall next to the engineering station.

    • Trivia: Romulan Time (Cycle): A cycle is a time period similar to the Earth hour. We are told that there is no motion on the Romulan sensors for 20 cycles, Kirk
      also logs that they were motionless for 9 hours 47 minutes giving a cycle no
      more then 29.35 earth minutes. For the Romulan Day see the Star Trek: The Next Generation episode "Unification Part II."

    • When the Romulans attack Outpost 4 a second time the outpost is sending Enterprise its sensor readings. However the screen switches back to the interior of the outpost, then back to show the ship disappearing even though the outpost is being destroyed at the same time.

    • In the briefing room while discussing what to do about the Romulan ship there is a book on the table in front of Kirk. Before the long exchange between Spock and Kirk & McCoy the book is turned so the camera sees only the binding. After this exchange the book has moved so that the camera sees the long bottom/top and part of the binding despite no one having made any motions to move it.

    • At the beginning of the episode, Kirk says "Since the days of wooden vessels, shipmasters have had one happy privilege--that of uniting two people in the bonds of matrimony." According to "The Straight Dope" columnist Cecil Adams, this is a commonly-held fallacy and sea captains in the British, Soviet, and American navies have never held such powers.

    • On the map of the area, in the Romulan Star Empire, the two planets were Romulus and Remus, but the map reads Romulus and Rom II.

    • Commander Hansen didn't have any braid on his sleeves.

    • Whenever Kirk orders the crew to fire phasers; the exterior shots show the ship firing torpedoes, and torpedo explosions flashing out in space.

    • At the beginning, in the chapel, you could hear the red alert siren but the panel didn't light up.

    • Commander Hansen stated that "Outposts 2, 3 & 8 where destroyed" yet earlier on this episode, the map on the viewscreen had only 7 outposts.

    • When they showed the Romulan ship on the Enterprise, if you look closely, the stars are exactly the same as they were on the space station's view screen.

    • Enterprise still gets video from Outpost 4 for several seconds after it is completely obliterated.

    • Why doesn't the Enterprise dodge the plasma beam? They just keep backing up, and it just keeps coming. Move up, down, or sideways--it's called "evasive maneuvers."

    • When Spock is running to phaser control, the red alert panels aren't flashing despite the red alert noise blaring away.

  • Quotes

    • Kirk: (on shipwide intercom) All hands, prepare to attack. (to McCoy) I hope we won't need your services, Bones.
      McCoy: Amen to that. You're taking a big gamble, Jim.

    • Tomlinson: (to Angela Martine) Happy wedding day - almost.
      Angela: You don't get off my hook this easily. I'm gonna marry you, mister, battle or phaser weapons notwithstanding.
      Tomlinson: In the meantime I'm still your superior officer, so get with it, mister.

    • Romulan Commander: A message was dispatched. You've broken the Rule of Silence!
      Decius: Only in code, Commander. To inform our Praetor of this glorious mission.
      Romulan Commander: Your carelessness might have ended this "glorious mission"! You are reduced two steps in rank! Return to post!
      Centurion: (after Decius leaves) Take care, Commander. He has friends, and friends of his kind mean power, and power is often dangerous.

    • Stiles: Spock...He saved my life after I...
      Spock: I saved a trained navigator so that he could return to duty. I am capable of no other feelings in this matter.

    • Romulan Commander: First study the enemy. Seek weakness.

    • Romulan Commander: Another war...must it always be so? How many comrades have we lost in this way?... Obedience. Duty. Death, and more death...

    • Kirk: Leave any bigotry in your quarters; there's no room for it on the bridge.

    • Spock: Earth believes the Romulans to be warlike, cruel, treacherous, and only the Romulans know what they think of Earth.

    • Stiles: I doubt they'll identify themselves. They're painted like a giant bird of prey.
      Kirk: Is history your specialty?
      Stiles: Family history. A Captain Stiles was in the space service, and several officers--all lost in that war, sir.
      Kirk: Their war, Mr. Stiles. Not yours. Don't forget it.

    • Uhura: Cryptography is working on it, sir.
      Stiles: Give it to Spock.
      Kirk: I didn't quite get that, Mr. Stiles. Repeat it.
      Stiles: I was suggesting that Mr. Spock could probably translate it for you, sir.
      Kirk: I assume you're complimenting Spock's abilities.
      Stiles: I'm not sure, sir.

    • Romulan Commander: Danger and I are old companions.
      Centurion: We've seen a hundred campaigns together, and still I do not understand you!
      Romulan Commander: I think you do. No need to tell you what will happen. The Earthman will follow; he must. And when he attacks we will destroy him. Our gift to the homeland: another war.

    • Spock: If Romulans are an offshoot of my Vulcan blood, then attack becomes even more imperative.
      McCoy: War is never imperative.
      Spock: It is for them, Doctor. Vulcan, like Earth, had its aggressive colonizing period, savage even by Earth standards. If Romulans retain this martial philosophy, then we dare not show weakness.

    • McCoy: Something I seldom say to a customer, Jim. In this galaxy, there's a mathematical probability of 3 million Earth-type planets. And in all of the universe, 3 million million galaxies like this. And in all of that, and perhaps more, only one of each of us. Don't destroy the one named Kirk.

    • Romulan Commander: I regret that we meet in this way. You and I are of a kind. In a different reality, I could have called you friend.
      Kirk: What purpose will it serve to die?
      Romulan Commander: We are creatures of duty, Captain. I have lived my life by it. Just one more duty to perform.

    • Kirk: Since the days of wooden vessels, shipmasters have had one happy privilege--that of uniting two people in the bonds of matrimony.

  • Notes

    • When the series was remastered in the fall of 2006, this episode was chosen for the first one for "treatment" and released into syndication.

    • This episode would be referenced in the Taxi episode "Jim Saves the Network". Jim Ignatowski (played by Christopher Lloyd, who would later go on to play a Klingon Commander in the movie Star Trek III) states that his favorite show was Star Trek. The only episode he didn't like was "the episode with the Romulan Commander. "It wasn't the actor's fault, they just gave him things to say that no Romulan would ever say."

    • The Enterprise's hunt of the cloaked Romulan ship was inspired by the film The Enemy Below, where a World War II American destroyer hunted a hard-to-detect German U-boat.

    • First appearance of the Romulans, an enemy race that D.C. Fontana thought were more dynamic villians than the Klingons.

    • Last episode in which the character of Yeoman Rand appears.

    • Mark Lenard, who played the Romulan commander will later play Sarek (Spock's father). He would also play a Klingon commander in the Star Trek: The Motion Picture.

  • Allusions

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