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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.
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", whose theft 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: Tchar, the hereditary prince of the Skorr; Sord, a reptilian with great strength; M3 Green, an insectoid who is a master lockpick;[note 2] and Laura, a humanoid who is an accomplished tracker with an impeccable sense of direction.
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 and 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 several live-action as well as animated 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. Though given screen credit, 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).
- M3 Green's species is never named on screen. In the Starfleet Corps of Engineers novels, the species' name is given as "Nasat". One of the characters of the novel series, P8 Blue, is a Nasat.
- 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.