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|Star Trek: The Animated Series episode|
The team of specialists
|Episode no.||Season 1
|Directed by||Hal Sutherland|
|Written by||Stephen Kandel|
|Original air date||January 12, 1974|
|Running time||23 minutes (runtime)|
"The Jihad" is the sixteenth and final episode of the first season of the American animated science fiction television series Star Trek. It first aired in the NBC Saturday morning lineup on January 12, 1974, and was written by Stephen Kandel who also wrote the earlier story "Mudd's Passion" and worked on the two Original Series "Mudd" episodes.[note 1]
Set in the 23rd century, this series follows the further adventures of the crew of the Federation starship Enterprise. In this episode, Captain Kirk (voiced by William Shatner) and his first officer, Spock (voiced by Leonard Nimoy), become involved in a secret quest to retrieve a stolen artifact and prevent a warrior race from attacking the galaxy.
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On stardate 5683.1, the Federation starship Enterprise arrives at the Vedala asteroid, where Captain Kirk and First Officer Spock have been summoned to take part in the latest of several failed secret quests to learn about a stolen religious artifact, the "Soul of the Skorr", the theft of which could ignite a galactic holy war. If the soul is not recovered, the Skorr, an avian race which was previously a warrior society, would attack the rest of the galaxy in a jihad or 'holy war'.
Joining Kirk and Spock is a team of specialists called in to help recover the item, which has been hidden on a very unstable and dangerous planet. The focal point of the mission as the primary stakeholder is "Tchar", the hereditary prince of the Skorr. The muscle of the team is provided by "Sord", a reptilian with great strength. An insectoid named "M3 Green" is a master lockpick.[note 2] The team is rounded out by the huntress "Lara", a humanoid who is an accomplished tracker with an impeccable sense of direction, especially when she finds a man to be attractive.
Kirk and Spock soon learn that one member of the party is a saboteur. It seems that Tchar has stolen the artifact himself in an effort to return his people to their warrior ways.
When the mission is completed, Tchar is held captive as insane, although with good prospects of rehabilitation. Kirk and Spock return to the Enterprise, where it seems that hardly any time at all has passed since their beam down to begin the mission.
"The Jihad" has been noted to be the one Trek animated series which "most probably resembles Saturday morning fare — though with Trek's traditionally heady bent." The aliens are generally bizarre amalgamations, "and the myriad exploding volcanoes and other perils are the stuff of serials" but some of the banter between Kirk and the huntress Laura, who flirts with the captain in a Brooklyn accent, "is amusing". The "null gravity combat is clever" and paved the way for a similar remake more than 20 years later in the film Star Trek: First Contact. While "The Jihad" was not a typical Trek episode, "it works precisely for that reason"; it was also "interesting to watch Kirk, chosen to lead due to his superb command abilities, head up this group of disparate beings."
Science fiction author David Gerrold, who wrote or co-wrote a number of live-action ("The Trouble with Tribbles") and animated ("More Tribbles, More Troubles", "Bem") Star Trek episodes, voices the character "M3 Green" for this episode. Actor James Doohan voices Sord and Tchar, in addition to his usual role as Chief Engineer Scott. Although given the standard screen credit in the main title, Nichelle Nichols (Lt. Uhura) is not part of this episode.
- This story was expanded into a novelette by science-fiction author Alan Dean Foster as part of the collection, Star Trek Log Five (1975). In this form, the story is named simply "Jihad", and M3 Green is phonetically rendered as "Em-Three-Green" while Laura became "Lara". (ISBN 0-345-33351-9).
- Although the exact species of "M3 Green" is never mentioned during the episode, the Starfleet Corps of Engineers novels gives the name of the species as the "Nasat" (one of the Nasat characters in the novels is named "P8 Blue").
- Tescar, Kail (October 5, 2002). "The David Gerrold TAS Interview". StarTrekAnimated.com. Retrieved January 18, 2013.
- "The Jihad (1974) – Full cast and crew". IMDb. n.d. Retrieved July 15, 2013.
- Altman, Mark A.; Gross, Ed (1998). TrekNavigator: The Ultimate review guide to the entire Trek saga. Back Bay Books. pp. 122–3.