I'm going to "dis" this episode much to the chagrin of most Star Trek fans for the following reason. So the cloaking device gives the Romulans an unfair advantage over the Federation of Planets. Shouldn't some other diplomatic option be done before risking war with the Romulans by invading their space and getting involved in some kind of CIA like plot to steal the cloaking device? Isn't faking it by making Captain Kirk into some kind of arrogant maverick risky? For the Romulans to believe that a Vulcan would take sides against Kirk is hard to swallow. Finally, the episode feels forced in that it's only intention is to see how William Shatner looks in Romulan ears. The whole episode feels manipulated only for that purpose. As Spock has once said, military secrets are fleeting and the Federation of Planets would have duplicated the device on their own inventions without coming up with the complicated plot of this episode to acquire it. But no Star Trek is without merit. It's Joanne Linville that saves this episode. A female Romulan commander gives the episode an allure. I enjoy her attraction to Spock and her willingless to drop her military mind just to have Spock as her mate. However, this episode goes against Spock's commitment to "not bluff" and I find it working against his character to go along with the whole charade. That's the problem with the episode...too much of the whole operation being a charade just too get their hands on the device.
Loved the scam Spock pulled on the Romulan commander. Who knew he could be such a Casanova? I found this script to be believable and I bought it. Some of them were quite weak in the third season which surprised me because they were so lucky to even have a show at that point. You'd think they would have come out with some really strong scripts. This, "The Tholian Web" and "All our Yesterdays" were the best from the third season. Loved Scotty's reaction to seeing Kirk with pointed ears. Loved those square drinking glasses too.
With a name inspired by the 1968 "Pueblo Incident", where the Navy ship Pueblo strayed too close to North Korea and was seized by its communist government, this espionage episode is like a James Bond story, with action, romance, a disguise, and a twist... but with the pieces assembled in a way that plays against expectations. For once, Nimoy gets to play the romancer while Shatner gets to wear the pointy ears and upswept eyebrows! In fact, this one is really a Spock episode, with Kirk's McGuffin chase clearly secondary.
Joanne Linville guest stars as the Romulan Commander, bringing a Kate Mulgrew-like sexiness to an older and more commanding female part than TOS usually includes. (Linville was forty when the episode was She and Nimoy (three years her junior) work well together, setting up a chemistry between Spock and the Romulans that works well for nearly fifty more years.
In fact, everyone seems to have a good time, making it easy to overlook how terrible "the good guys" are acting when you look at it from the perspective of a foreign government. But the joy of this episode isn't in the story but the teleplay, which is packed with emotion and excitement. (There's even a new score by Alexander Courage, the composer of the TOS theme song, to heighten the drama... though he overdoes his staccato hits). And despite being contrary to the usual values of Starfleet and Gene Roddenberry (or maybe because of it), the offbeat episode is a fan favorite that often cracks top ten lists.
Remastered Verson: CBS greatly improves this episode, with the CGI ships capable of telling the story much better than the original models. This, of course, is the episode that establishes that the Romulans have borrowed (or stolen) Klingon ship designs, which was necessary after the original Romulan model was lost as well as a cost saving decision that allows this episode and "Elaan of Troyius" to share effects. (Interestingly, these two episodes in their original form represent the first time these Klingon ships are seen up close. The remastered project, of course, sprinkles them into the first two seasons). The upgraded version of "Enterprise Incident" not only has the Klingon ships referenced in the dialogue, but throws in some classic Romulan ships as well, giving us the best of both worlds.
It\'s a good covert operation when the Enterprise crosses the neutral zone, and Captian Kirk acts like he is insane just to get the colking device from the Romulans, and Mr. Spock and the Romulan commander have a small affair. Great, excellant, out standing, awesome, supurb, fantastic, wonderful, beyond the norm, one of the best works done by Gene Roddenberry, beyond classic, beyound good. I the cast of that episode, but it was and still is one of the best episodes I have ever seen. Thank you so much, Gene, crew and cast for the episode 51 ( The Enterprise Inncident ).
Thank you again. A.J.
An erratic acting Captain Kirk orders the Enterprise into the Neutral Zone, where the ship is surrounded by Romulan warbirds. Kirk is charged with espionage - but there is much more to the situation than first appears. One of the season's better offerings
After the dire "Spock's Brain", things pick up considerably with this great instalment, which probably stands as one of the third season's best.
This episode would have made a much better season opener than "Spock's Brain"; it has an infinitely better story, and a strong Spock plot – one of the reason's "Spock's Brain" was selected to air first.
Anyway, Kirk is acting erratic and tense, but from the outset you know that there's more to the situation than that. As it turns out, it is a case of a Federation plot to steal a Romulan cloaking device. The plot unfolds very well, and has several good twists.
For a Romulan, the Commander (Joanne Linville) is very appealing, and Linville plays the part both powerful and seductive at the same time.
This is also a good episode for Mr. Scott, who has several good moments to shine. Scotty is one of my favourite characters, and it's good to see him have his moment in the spotlight.
As is very often the case, the Enterprise comes across new technology that is never used again; in this case, they secure the Romulan cloaking device, and hook it up to the Enterprise to make their escape, but the technology is not incorporated into subsequent episodes. One must assume that it did not meld well with Federation Starships!
One thing I will say is that the preview trailer, featured (as with all episodes) on the DVD release, does spoil the story somewhat, and if you are going into the episode without knowing the outcome, I would strongly recommend not viewing the trailer until afterwards, so as not to spoil the story.
All-in-all, this is a very good episode by third season standards, even if you do have to suspend your belief at a couple of points. It doesn't quite make a perfect 10 for me, as there are a couple of spots where the story sags slightly, but it is still an extremely good episode. It's a shame more of the third season episodes weren't of this standard.
This to me is the best episode I have ever seen. It starts out with Dr. McCoy talking medically about the captain. Then goes to the bridge where he acts erratically. He then sends the ship into Romulan space and gets charged with espionage which he denies. Spock says he had no authority to do this. Bones comes on the ship and they tell him about the Federation going for the device that makes the ship invisible. Spock while on the ship betrays Jim (which makes him very mad not surprisingly). Jim attacks Spock and Spock gives him 'The Vulcan Death Grip' which makes him appear dead. It was actually a nerve pinch to simulate death. He goes back to ship and gets his ears bobbed to make him look like a Romulan. He then goes back to the Romulan ship gets the clocking device and returns to the Enterprise with it. Scotty puts it on their sensors. While all this happening Spock is giving his right to speak speech. He is beamed back to the ship with the Commander. Then as they are about ready to be destroyed they disappear and are safely taken back to their Federation space.
This episode has always stood out in my mind-ever since I first saw it way back in the 70's. The opening segment with that image of the Enterprise surrounded by three Romulan bird's of prey (using Klingon design) is so iconic and representative of Star Trek TOS. I'm not quite sure why, in the Remastered and Enhanced version of the episode, the scene has been redone so that there are only two Klingon-design ships-one of them, presumingly the Commander's flagship, is still the old flat iron design reminiscent of a ship from some old Buck Rogers/Flash Gordon serial. I feel prompted to pose the question to the remasterers, "Why do you think the Romulans adopted the Klingon design in the first place?" Because their ships were so stupid-looking, that's why. Also, artistically, the change just spoils the balance, the composition of the image.
Returning to the episode itself-it's one of those episodes that broke new ground in serialized storytelling. You are gripped from the very beginning by McCoy's voice-over expressing his concerns over Captain Kirk, who's been showing signs of increasing tension and emotional stress. Our hold on familiarity in a strange situation (i.e., the 23rd century)-our unwavering faith and trust in the captain of the Enterprise-is shaken, perhaps for the first time. And for more than twenty minutes or so, we are kept off balance, and left wondering what the hell is going on.
Forget that the cloaking device generator Kirk steals from the Romulan vessel looks not unlike the V'ger-robot from Season 2, Episode 3, "The Changeling." Remember-it's the 1960's we're talking about. It's called "recycling."
I wish more TNG and later stories were like this one. Thoughtful, action based, and slave to contemporary fashion.
Now I like to nitpick, so I do find it odd that the Romulans would transport over two higher ranking officers as hostages (after all, they are not the ones in the wrong here!), but it wouldn't have been much for the Enterprise clothiers to have knitted up a Centurian uniform if they had to anyway.
But that's the only one worth mentioning. The performances all around are terrific and the plot - to go in to Romulan space to steal a new piece of technology (a cloaking device) in order to maintain a balance of power is terrific, and highly entertaining. The subplot discussing the Romulan Commander's and Spock's shared roots is also, forgive me, fascinating and leaves one wanting for more. Maybe that's why I enjoyed TNG's "Unification"...
If only the reference to "Romulans using Klingon design ships" idea had been remembered for other season 3 stories as in those stories everybody instantly jumps to the concluson of "Klingons!!!"...
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