Friday's Child (Star Trek: The Original Series)

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"Friday's Child"
Star Trek: The Original Series episode
Episode no. Season 2
Episode 11
Directed by Joseph Pevney
Written by D. C. Fontana
Featured music Gerald Fried
Cinematography by Jerry Finnerman
Production code 032
Original air date December 1, 1967 (1967-12-01)
Guest appearance(s)
Episode chronology
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List of Star Trek: The Original Series episodes

"Friday's Child" is a second season episode of the American science fiction television series, Star Trek. It is episode #40, production #32, and was broadcast December 1, 1967. It was written by D.C. Fontana, and directed by Joseph Pevney.

In the episode, the crew of the Enterprise become entangled in a planet's tribal power struggle. Captain Kirk, along with fellow crew members Spock and McCoy, must find a way to bring peace to a race of aliens whose lives revolve around a dichotomy of honesty and savagery. Adding to their difficulty is the presence of the Klingons, whose sole desire is obtaining what they need through guile and/or violence.

The episode's title is derived from a traditional English poem, known as "Monday's Child". The reference is to a line in the poem: "Friday's child is full of woe". Within the episode, the significance is in the unborn child of the planet's murdered ruler, whose prospects of being born depend upon the outcome of Captain Kirk's mission.


On stardate 3497.2, the Federation starship USS Enterprise, under the command of Captain James T. Kirk, arrives at Capella IV to negotiate a mining contract for topeline. The Capellan inhabitants are described by Chief Medical Officer Dr. McCoy as strong, warlike humanoids who average 7 feet in height; and, despite their violent tendencies, the Capellans do have a strong sense of honesty. McCoy is familiar with the Capellans since he spent a few months of his Starfleet career stationed on their world; he speaks their language and knows a great deal about their customs. Kirk is also aware that the Capellans are known to have dealings with the Klingons, which may make the negotiations difficult.

Kirk beams down to the planet with Dr. McCoy, First Officer Spock and a security officer, leaving Chief Engineer Scott in command. He warns him to keep alert for Klingon ships in the area, since they may try to interfere in the talks.

Kirk's fear is realized as soon as he arrives, finding Kras, a Klingon emissary, is already present. Kirk's security officer reacts without thinking and draws his phaser on the Klingon, but the Enterprise security guard is immediately killed by a Capellan guard with his kligat, (pronounced "Klee-got"), a weapon that is part boomerang and part dagger. The Capellans order Kirk and his party to hand over their weapons just as the Klingon had done. Despite the hostile greeting, the Capellans treat the party as honored guests.

Kirk is offered some food by a Capellan woman, but McCoy manages to restrain Kirk from physical contact with a small bulbous object that she is holding, for touching it mandates hand-to-hand combat with her closest male relative. McCoy explains that the Capellans consider such fights entertaining. Kirk's restraint actually annoys the woman's male relative, who was looking forward to a deadly duel with the Captain.

Kirk and the Klingon emissary meet with Akaar, the Teer - leader - of the Ten Tribes, and the talks begin, with McCoy interpreting for his colleagues. While Akaar seems to favor the Federation's offer over the Klingons', Akaar's rivals seem to disagree, especially Maab, who challenges Akaar. A coup d'état ensues and Maab kills Akaar, thus winning the throne and becoming the new Teer. Kirk wisely takes this in stride, but the Klingon demands that the Enterprise crew members be killed. Maab begins to disparage the Klingon, who showed fear, and to respect Kirk, who did not.

Maab orders the death of Eleen, Akaar's wife, for she is pregnant with Akaar's child, who was to be the next Teer in line of succession. As Eleen comes into the main tent expecting to be killed, Maab trips her with the flat of his sword, so that she falls against a lit torch and burns her hand. When Kirk and McCoy intervene, Maab becomes greatly angered by the break of tradition, and has Kirk and his party imprisoned along with Eleen, who herself is upset, claiming that she was prepared to die. Kras wickedly smirks, for the scales have tipped in favor of the Klingons' offer.

Meanwhile, the Enterprise receives a distress call from the SS Deirdre. Mr. Scott takes the Enterprise out of orbit to find the ship. Kirk, Spock and McCoy manage to overpower their captors and escape with Eleen into some nearby hills. However, Kirk is unable to reach the Enterprise using their recovered communicators. Maab and his warriors, in pursuit, begin to get closer. Kirk and Spock use their communicators to create a frequency that disrupts the rock formations overlooking the pass. An avalanche is triggered, which kills several of the Capellan pursuers. Kras uses this opportunity to obtain a Federation phaser weapon for himself from a fallen Capellan, whom he kills.

McCoy is worried about Eleen's arm, and persists in touching her to determine the possible time of her giving birth. She resists and slaps him twice, very hard, which causes McCoy to slap her in response. Due to the militaristic ideology of her culture, this actually impresses Eleen, and she allows McCoy to examine her. He discovers that she is ready to give birth at any time. He is concerned about his ability to deliver the child, since the Capellans are not human but humanoid, and he might not be able to handle complications. Eventually the party finds a cave to hide in. The way to the cave is steep and rocky, and Eleen insists McCoy, and only McCoy, help her up, whereupon he comments "I'm a doctor, not an escalator!"

When the Enterprise reaches the coordinates of the distress call from the S.S. Deirdre, Mr. Scott finds nothing. He asks for the distress call to be replayed, and realizes the call strangely asked for the Enterprise by name, and no civilian ship would have direct knowledge of the Enterprise's whereabouts. Realizing he had been duped, he races back to Capella IV, but receives another distress signal along the way, this time from the USS Carolina. Scott ignores it saying "fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice, shame on me", which Ensign Chekov reports is an old Russian saying.

Meanwhile, McCoy attempts to deliver Eleen's baby. She refuses to have it born, struggling against the contractions, saying that it isn't hers, and that it must be killed. McCoy tells her to repeat the words: "it is mine", but she misinterprets, thinking McCoy is claiming the child as his own. Due to her medical state, McCoy refrains from attempting to convince her of her error. The delivery is successful.

When the Enterprise shows up at Capella, Scotty finds a Klingon warship waiting to ambush him. Forced to deal with a heavily armed adversary, the Enterprise is seemingly unable to help its endangered crew members on the planet.

While Kirk and Spock are fashioning bows and arrows to defend themselves, McCoy nods off to sleep inside the cave. Eleen knocks him unconscious with a rock, and heads out to surrender to Maab. When she meets him she claims the baby is dead, and that she killed the humans, while they slept.

Kras steps forward, and with phaser in hand, demands to see Kirk's dead body to verify Eleen's story, which is seen as a sign of extreme disrespect for the widow of a High Teer. When one of the Capellans tries to kill Kras with a kligat, Kras vaporizes him with the phaser. Kras and the Capellans quickly discover that Kirk and Spock are still alive when arrows – a weapon unknown on Capella IV – begin to fly. One strikes Kras in the knee. Kras returns fire. An exchange of fire ensues between Kras, Kirk, Spock and the Capellans. Kras threatens to kill any Capellan who raises a weapon against him. Maab takes defensive action, saying he will allow Eleen to live in exchange for his own death. Maab confronts Kras, and is vaporized. As arranged, a Capellan warrior takes advantage of the distraction and kills Kras. At this point, Mr. Scott and a squad of security officers show up and stop the fighting.

With the conflict over, McCoy reunites Eleen with her baby. The Capellans then hail their new infant leader. As allowed by custom until the newborn Teer comes of age, Eleen acts as her son's regent, naming him Leonard James Akaar and authorizes the mining agreement with the Federation. In a rare display of emotion, Spock is astonished and supposedly jealous at the child's name and when Kirk and McCoy talk of how great a name it is, Spock declares that the two "will be insufferably pleased with [them]selves for at least a month".

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