Star Trek

Season 3 Episode 7

Day of the Dove

Aired Unknown Nov 01, 1968 on NBC

Episode Fan Reviews (4)

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out of 10
159 votes
  • An alien entity feeds off the hatred between the Enterprise crew and a group of Klingons.

    By bringing back the Klingons and redefining them as the noble warriors they would continue to be in the films and spinoff shows, this bottle show is one of the more popular third season offerings. Unfortunately, the somewhat thin story tips its hand early and forces us to watch the characters solve a mystery we know the answer to rather than letting us share in it.

    Gene Coon's original idea here was to do a sequel to his "Errand of Mercy", with John Colicos reprising Star Trek's first Klingon, Kor. It would provide a nice symmetry: the planet-based "Errand of Mercy" features an alien forcing Kor and Kirk to make peace; why not a ship-based "Day of the Dove" having an alien force them to fight? Unfortunately, Colicos was unavailable, so Michael Ansara fills in as "Kang". Ansara is quite different than Colicos, lacking the smirk and sly wit, but he has a commanding voice and presence that turns his character into quite a memorable Klingon nonetheless. (Eventually, the two actors, joined by William Campbell -- Captain Koloth from "The Trouble With Tribbles" -- would reprise their characters together in DS9's second season episode, "Blood Oath"). Yet surprisingly, it's Kang's wife, TOS's only female Klingon of note (played by the Susan Howard) who nearly steals the show. With Coon's script having the savvy to show people affected one at a time rather than altogether, her reaction to it all grounds the episode with a focal point leading to the climax. (Rather shockingly for Star Trek and 1960s television alike, the show takes things especially far in her encounter with Chekov; but the actress plays this and the aftermath well, and it fits with the story).

    Still, with the audience let in on the secret early and the plot running in circles, it all gets a little tedious after the first couple of acts, with the alien sabotaging the episode by having no character of its own.

    Interestingly, TNG borrows some of the plot of this episode for their first season episode "The Last Outpost", swapping out the Klingons and introduce the Ferengi. (The switch works about as well as can be expected).

    Remastered Version:

    As a ship-based episode with an alien effect that would be too time consuming to paint out and replace, there's not much for CBS Digital to do here. Dispatching with the original stock planet (a reuse of the "Operation: Annihilate!" sphere), the team replaces it with an Earth-like world, though they are sure to add some green sky in one area to match the background color of the planet stage set. (Unfortunately, the budget doesn't allow them to add clouds to this background, leaving it looking quite fake. "Spectre" has the same issue, but it gets away with it because of the nature of its story). Meanwhile, the new shots of the Enterprise are par for the course.

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