Day of the Dove

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"Day of the Dove"
Star Trek: The Original Series episode
Episode no. Season 3
Episode 7
Directed by Marvin Chomsky
Written by Jerome Bixby
Featured music Fred Steiner
Cinematography by Al Francis
Production code 066
Original air date November 1, 1968 (1968-11-01)
Guest actors
Episode chronology
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"Spectre of the Gun"
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"For the World Is Hollow and I Have Touched the Sky"
List of Star Trek: The Original Series episodes

"Day of the Dove" is the seventh episode of the third season of the science fiction television series Star Trek, first broadcast November 1, 1968 and repeated June 17, 1969. It was written by Jerome Bixby and directed by Marvin Chomsky.

In this episode, an alien force drives the crew of the Enterprise into brutal conflict with the Klingons.


On stardate 5630.3, the Federation starship USS Enterprise receives a distress call from a human colony on Beta XII-A. Captain Kirk beams down with a landing party but finds no evidence of a human settlement. Moments later a landing party from a crippled Klingon ship, led by Commander Kang, beams down to the planet and capture Kirk and his men.

Kang denies attacking any human colony but asserts that his ship was fired upon unprovoked by the Enterprise, and he demands that Kirk surrender his ship. Suddenly Ensign Chekov accuses the Klingons of having killed his brother, Piotr, however Kang takes this as an opportunity and tortures Chekov with an agonizer until Kirk gives in. Kirk pretends to agree and surrender quietly, however, he manages to trigger a security alert to First Officer Spock on the bridge just before beaming up. When Kirk's team, along with their captors, returns to the Enterprise, Kang and his crew are "held" in the transporter beam, rematerializing later and finding themselves surrounded by an armed security force. The Klingons surrender.

Undetected by the crew, a strange swirl of energy sneaks aboard the Enterprise. The entity interfaces with the ship's main computer, and suddenly the Enterprise jumps into warp at maximum speed on an uncontrolled heading to the edge of the galaxy. Fear and anxiety begin to rise as the ship races out of control. Emergency bulkheads begin to close throughout the ship isolating the majority of the crew away from the conflict and evening out the number of Enterprise personnel with the Klingons.

At the same time, mysterious racks of bladed weapons appear throughout the ship and the crew's phasers disappear, replaced by swords and knives. The crew and the Klingons both now armed with the primitive weapons, a savage melee breaks out between them. Kirk manages to fight his way back to the bridge where Spock reports that he has detected an alien presence that seems to have taken over the ship. Spock begins to work on a way of getting rid of it.

Meanwhile, the Klingons have taken over engineering and begin to shut down life support to the rest of the ship; however, their attempts are futile and life support is restored completely on its own. Also, inexplicably, severely injured crew who fought during the skirmish find their wounds have rapidly healed, keeping both sides of the battle on a matched footing. Kirk and Spock surmise that the alien intruder is playing some kind of twisted wargame, but its motives are unknown.

Kirk wants his crew to stop fighting, but they find themselves uncontrollably driven to violence through fearful paranoia. Kirk and Spock decide to try to reach Kang, in order to alert him to the situation, and to reason with him. Meanwhile, Mr. Chekov roams the ship seeking revenge for the murder of his brother Piotr - even though Lt. Sulu points out that Chekov is an only child. When Chekov finds the Klingon female Mara, who is Kang's wife and science officer, he threatens to rape and kill her. Mara is rescued by Kirk and Spock who manage to knock Chekov out.

Mara remains wary of Kirk's help. She tells him she has heard that Klingons that are captured are put into Federation concentration camps for later execution or experiments. Kirk tries to calm her down telling her there are no such camps, and that an alien force is behind what is going on. Mara still refuses to believe Kirk; however, the alien entity finally makes an appearance just outside Sickbay. The being lingers for a moment and then vanishes through a bulkhead. Spock believes the entity may be feeding off everyone's negative emotions, especially fear and anger. He suggests it may have faked the colony distress call and set up this battle between the crew and Klingons so that it has a convenient source of nourishment.

Having seen the alien herself, Mara is finally convinced and leads Kirk to Kang, who remains holed up in engineering. Mara tries to explain the situation to her husband, but Kang doesn't believe it and demands a final duel to the death with Kirk. The two ship captains begin their swordfight and soon the entity appears to feed off their anger.

Despite the presence of the being, Kang continues fighting. Kirk, however, struggles to ask Kang if he would like to spend the next thousand lifetimes satisfying the alien's twisted desires. Mara also convinces her husband to lay down his arms. Kang now realizes the fight is pointless and agrees to a truce. To combat the alien entity, the Klingons and Enterprise crew begin to show goodwill and positive emotion toward each other. This finally drives the weakened alien from the ship.

40th Anniversary remastering[edit]

This episode was remastered in 2006 and aired January 5, 2008 as part of the remastered Original Series. It was preceded three weeks earlier by the remastered version of "A Taste of Armageddon" and followed a week later by the remastered version of "Who Mourns for Adonais?". Aside from remastered video and audio, and the all-CGI animation of the USS Enterprise that is standard among the revisions, specific changes to this episode also include:

  • The planet Beta XII-A has been given a more realistic earth-like appearance.
  • New scenes and more dramatic shots of the Klingon battle cruiser have been added, including replaced footage of the ship as it explodes above the planet.


Zack Handlen of The A.V. Club gave the episode an 'B-' rating, describing it as having potential, but being hampered by a script that fails to act on that.[1]


  1. ^ Handlen, Zack (January 8, 2010). ""Day Of The Dove"/"For The World Is Hollow And I Have Touched The Sky"". The A.V. Club. Retrieved September 7, 2010. 

External links[edit]