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A Taste of Armageddon

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"A Taste of Armageddon"
Star Trek: The Original Series episode
Episode no.Season 1
Episode 23
Directed byJoseph Pevney
Story byRobert Hamner
Teleplay by
Featured musicAlexander Courage
Cinematography byJerry Finnerman
Production code023
Original air dateFebruary 23, 1967 (1967-02-23)
Guest appearances
Episode chronology
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"Space Seed"
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"This Side of Paradise"
Star Trek: The Original Series season 1
List of episodes

"A Taste of Armageddon" is the twenty-third episode of the first season of the American science fiction television series Star Trek. Written by Robert Hamner and Gene L. Coon and directed by Joseph Pevney, it was first broadcast on February 23, 1967.

In the episode, the crew of the Enterprise visits a planet engaged in a completely computer-simulated war with a neighboring planet, but the casualties, including the Enterprise's crew, are supposed to be real.


The USS Enterprise travels to Eminiar VII in "star cluster NGC 321", bringing Ambassador Robert Fox to establish diplomatic relations. Little is known about Eminiar VII, beyond the fact that they have been at war with a neighboring planet, Vendikar.

Nearing Eminiar VII, the Enterprise receives a message from the planet warning them not to approach, but Ambassador Fox orders Captain Kirk to proceed. Kirk, First Officer Spock, and additional security personnel beam down to the planet, where they are met by representatives Mea 3 and Anan 7. During a supposed attack by Vendikar, Anan 7 explains that the war is conducted as a computer simulation, and that the Enterprise has been "destroyed" in the attack. The two planets have a treaty, according to which they must kill the "victims" of every simulated attack. The crew are therefore expected to report to Eminiar's disintegration chambers for execution, and Kirk's party is taken captive. Spock telepathically plants a suggestion in their jailer's mind, allowing them to escape.

Anan 7 uses a voice duplicator to imitate Kirk's voice and order the crew to transport down. Scotty, suspicious, has the ship's computer analyze the message and confirms it is fake. He orders shields raised. When the crew fails to transport down, Eminiar fires upon them, but the attack is deflected by the shields. Anan 7 then contacts the Enterprise, claiming the attack was due to a malfunction. Ambassador Fox, deciding to believe Anan, beams down and is taken to a disintegration chamber, where Spock and the security officers rescue him.

Kirk confronts Anan 7 but is overpowered by guards and taken to the Eminian council chamber. When Anan 7 opens a channel to the Enterprise, Kirk orders Scotty to execute "General Order 24" before being cut off. Kirk explains that he has ordered the ship to destroy everything on the planet within two hours. Panic ensues, allowing Kirk to disarm the guards. Spock arrives, and they destroy the war simulation computers. Anan 7, horrified, protests that a real war will inevitably follow, but Kirk points out that Vendikar is no doubt just as horrified, and that both sides now have an incentive to make peace. He suggests that Anan 7 call a ceasefire and begin peace negotiations, and Fox agrees to act as a neutral mediator.


The title of "Armageddon Game", a 1994 episode of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, was chosen by writer Robert Hewitt Wolfe as an homage to this episode.[1][2]

Zack Handlen of The A.V. Club gave the episode a "B+" rating. He described the story as "one of Trek's classic allegorically powerful, common sense implausible scenarios." Handlen criticised a premise that had "a few too many holes to sustain its attempts at profundity" but praised the story's ambition.[3]

In 2016, The Hollywood Reporter rated "A Taste of Armageddon" the 53rd best television episode of all Star Trek franchise television prior to Star Trek: Discovery, including live-action and the animated series, but not counting the movies.[4] Out of just the original series episodes, they ranked it the 18th best episode.[5] In 2016, Business Insider ranked "A Taste of Armageddon" the 11th best episode of the original series.[6]

In 2017, it was rated the 8th most hopeful Star Trek, which despite some grim scenes culminates in the ending of a 500-year-old war.[7] In 2017, Business Insider listed "A Taste of Armageddon" as one of the most underrated episodes of the Star Trek franchise.[8]

In 2018, Collider ranked this episode the 8th best original series episode.[9]

In 2020, ScreenRant ranked it as the 8th best episode of TOS to re-watch.[10]

In 2021, Den of Geek ranked this the number one episode of the original series.[11] That year, the episode was quoted by characters in the science fiction show For All Mankind, in the episode "Triage," where "A Taste of Armageddon" was compared to the series' alternate history Cold War setting.

See also[edit]

The Lottery: 1948 Shirley Jackson story about a population inured to follow an old tradition of human sacrifice, ostensibly for the public good.


  1. ^ Erdmann, Terry J.; Block, Paula M. (2000). Deep Space Nine Companion. Simon and Schuster. ISBN 978-0-671-50106-8.
  2. ^ "INTERVIEW: The Inner Light of Morgan Gendel". Cultured Vultures. 2019-12-13. Retrieved 2021-02-16.
  3. ^ Handlen, Zack (March 27, 2009). ""The Return Of The Archons" / "A Taste Of Armageddon"". The A.V. Club. Retrieved 2009-05-28.
  4. ^ ""Endgame" - 'Star Trek': 100 Greatest Episodes". The Hollywood Reporter. 8 September 2016. Retrieved 2019-03-24.
  5. ^ "'Star Trek' Original Series Episodes: The Best 20". The Hollywood Reporter. 20 September 2016. Retrieved 2020-03-30.
  6. ^ Kiersz, Elena Holodny, Andy (2017-09-22). "Here are the 13 best original 'Star Trek' episodes, ranked". Business Insider Australia. Retrieved 2019-06-26.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
  7. ^ "Star Trek: 15 Episodes That Will Give You Hope For The Future". ScreenRant. 2017-01-10. Retrieved 2019-03-24.
  8. ^ Holodny, Elena. "The 31 most underrated 'Star Trek' episodes". Business Insider. Retrieved 2019-06-11.
  9. ^ Lesnick, Silas (2018-08-14). "The 20 Best Episodes of 'Star Trek: The Original Series'". Collider. Retrieved 2019-07-04.
  10. ^ "Star Trek: The 15 Best Episodes Of The Original Series To Rewatch, Ranked". ScreenRant. 2020-03-16. Retrieved 2021-02-13.
  11. ^ "The Star Trek: The Original Series Episodes That Best Define the Franchise". Den of Geek. 2021-03-03. Retrieved 2021-03-22.

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