Errand of Mercy

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"Errand of Mercy"
Star Trek: The Original Series episode
Episode no.Season 1
Episode 27
Directed byJohn Newland
Written byGene L. Coon
Featured musicAlexander Courage
Cinematography byJerry Finnerman
Production code027
Original air dateMarch 23, 1967 (1967-03-23)
Guest appearance(s)
Episode chronology
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"The Devil in the Dark"
Next →
"The Alternative Factor"
Star Trek: The Original Series (season 1)
List of Star Trek: The Original Series episodes

"Errand of Mercy" is the twenty-seventh episode of the first season of the American science fiction television series Star Trek. Written by Gene L. Coon and directed by John Newland, it was first broadcast on March 23, 1967. It was the first episode in which the Klingons appeared.

With a war with the Klingons declared, Captain Kirk and his First Officer, Mr. Spock, attempt to sway the incomprehensibly placid population of a planet to resist an invading military occupation.

The Klingon governor, Kor (played by John Colicos), would return in the Star Trek: Deep Space Nine episodes "Blood Oath", "The Sword of Kahless" and "Once More Unto the Breach". In "The Sword of Kahless", Worf mentions Kor's encounter with Kirk.


Negotiations between the United Federation of Planets and the Klingon Empire have collapsed, and the starship Enterprise is sent to the world of Organia, a non-aligned planet near the Klingon border, to prevent the Klingons from taking advantage of its strategic location. As the Enterprise approaches Organia, the Enterprise destroys an attacking Klingon vessel.

Upon arriving on the planet's surface, Kirk and Spock find a peaceful but technologically primitive town. Kirk appeals to Ayelborne, the head of the local council to allow the Federation to help them resist Klingon occupation, but the Organians adamantly oppose any use of violence. When a Klingon fleet appears in orbit, Kirk orders the Enterprise to withdraw, which strands himself and Spock on the planet.

Ayelborne disguises Kirk and Spock to avoid suspicion and the Klingons seize control of the planet without resistance, installing the ranking Klingon officer, Kor, as the military governor. Kor has Spock questioned with a "mind sifter" device to confirm he isn't a spy and designates Kirk as the Organian civilian liaison with the occupation force. Spock is able to use his mental discipline to withstand the scrutiny of the device.

That evening, in an attempt to inspire the Organians, Spock and Kirk sabotage a munitions dump outside the town. Ayelborne reveals the true identities of the Federation officers to Kor. He and the council then mysteriously free the two before the Klingons can torture information out of them. While Kirk and Spock try to comprehend the council's contradictory actions, Kor orders the execution of two hundred Organians, yet the council seems unmoved.

As the Federation and Klingon fleets ready themselves for a confrontation in the system, Kirk and Spock raid the Klingon headquarters in hopes of rousing the population into resistance. They capture Kor and prepare to make a last stand. The Organians then reveal their true nature: they are highly advanced incorporeal beings. They instantly incapacitate both sides, forcing them to agree to a cessation of hostilities. The Organians predict that the two sides will work together in the future.


Zack Handlen of The A.V. Club gave the episode a 'B+' rating, describing it as "fun" but noting "logical holes throughout".[1] said "Errand of Mercy" was among the best of Star Trek episodes about Klingon aliens, noting in this episode the War-craving Klingons thought the Organians were peasants.[2][3]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Handlen, Zack (April 17, 2009). ""Errand Of Mercy" / "The Alternative Factor"". The A.V. Club. Retrieved March 2, 2010.
  2. ^ Blauvelt, Christian (2013-05-16). "'Star Trek': The Best of the Klingons from 'The Original Series' to 'Into Darkness' — VIDEO". Retrieved 2019-04-18.
  3. ^ "9 Klingon episodes to watch on Netflix before 'Star Trek: Discovery'". The Daily Dot. 2017-08-20. Retrieved 2019-04-18.

External links[edit]