The Squire of Gothos

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"The Squire of Gothos"
Star Trek: The Original Series episode
Episode no. Season 1
Episode 17
Directed by Don McDougall
Written by Paul Schneider
Featured music Alexander Courage
Cinematography by Jerry Finnerman
Production code 018
Original air date January 12, 1967 (1967-01-12)
Guest appearance(s)
Episode chronology
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"The Galileo Seven"
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"Arena"
List of Star Trek: The Original Series episodes

"The Squire of Gothos" is an episode of the American science fiction television series, Star Trek. It was first broadcast by NBC on January 12, 1967, and repeated on June 22, 1967. It is the seventeenth episode of the first season, and was written by Paul Schneider, and directed by Don McDougall.

In the episode, a powerful being torments the crew of the Enterprise.

Plot[edit]

On stardate 2124.5, the Federation starship USS Enterprise, under the command of Captain James T. Kirk, is on an 8-day supply mission to Colony Beta VI. Passing through a "star desert", the ship encounters a rogue planet previously hidden from their sensors. As Lt. Sulu attempts to enter a course around the planet, he suddenly vanishes from the bridge, and Kirk vanishes a moment later.

First Officer Spock assumes that the two must have been taken to the planet, though sensor readings indicate the planet's atmosphere is lethal to most forms of life. The Enterprise then receives a strange message on a viewscreen in blackletter writing: "Greetings and Felicitations!", followed by "Hip hip hoorah. Tallyho!" Spock orders Chief Medical Officer Dr. McCoy, along with Lt. DeSalle and geophysicist Karl Jaeger, to form a landing party and conduct a search.

The landing party beams down and unexpectedly finds itself a lush and breathable environment. They also come across what appears to be a medieval castle, within which they find Captain Kirk and Lt. Sulu, immobilised, along with a humanoid being who identifies himself as "General Trelane, Retired", and invites everyone to stay as his guests on his world which he calls Gothos. McCoy's medical tricorder cannot detect this person.

Spock, meanwhile, manages to locate the landing party in a minute zone of breathable atmosphere, and beams everyone, except Trelane, back to the ship by locking onto every detectable lifeform in the area. Trelane, however, appears on the Enterprise's bridge, and brings the entire bridge crew down to the planet, including Spock, Communications Officer Lt. Uhura and Yeoman Teresa Ross.

Kirk's patience begins to wear thin, especially when Trelane dances with Yeoman Ross and changes her standard red uniform into a 19th-century ball gown. Kirk and Spock both notice that their host never strays far from a particular wall mirror; they surmise that the mirror is the source of his powers. To test this theory, Kirk provokes Trelane into a duel and during the fight he destroys the mirror and damages some strange machinery inside. The bridge crew then beams back to the Enterprise, but, as the ship attempts to warp away, the planet Gothos keeps appearing in its path. Kirk finally orders the Enterprise into orbit and decides to beam down.

On the planet, Kirk finds Trelane seated on a courtroom bench, dressed in the white wig and robes reminiscent of an English circuit judge. Trelane reads charges of "treason", "conspiracy", and "fomenting insurrection", and then, silencing Kirk's protests, condemns Kirk to death by hanging. Kirk, however, points out that Trelane could find a more stimulating alternative. Trelane suggests that Kirk be prey for a royal hunt, and Kirk agrees in return for the release of his ship. The hunt begins, and Kirk is eventually cornered at the castle entrance, but remains defiant. Suddenly two energy beings appear and call out to Trelane, ordering him to "come along", and lecturing him for his misbehavior. He then disappears, and the two beings follow after apologizing to Kirk, who returns to the ship.

Reception[edit]

Zack Handlen of The A.V. Club gave the episode an 'A' rating, describing the episode as "one of TOS's most deservedly iconic hours" and noting it as "wonderfully structured". William Campbell's guest star role was described as "demanding, energetic, and endlessly delighted with himself."[1]

Novels[edit]

The similarity between Q and Trelane inspired writer Peter David to posit in his 1994 novel Q-Squared that Trelane is a member of the Q Continuum, and Q is his godfather. In the novel, the name "Trelane" originated due to an alternate version of the young Q-entity operating among three "lanes" of alternate timelines simultaneously (three lanes = Trelane).

Continuity[edit]

Kirk tells Trelane that the latter has been observing events that occurred on Earth 900 years earlier. Trelane mentions the Alexander Hamilton duel from 1804 and a Richard Strauss composition from 1880, and this has been interpreted as suggesting the episode was set in the 28th century at the earliest.[2][3][4]

However, later episodes placed Star Trek in the 23rd century.[5]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Handlen, Zack (March 13, 2009). ""The Squire Of Gothos" / "Arena"". The A.V. Club. Retrieved September 17, 2009. 
  2. ^ "The Squire of Gothos" Star Trek Sci Fi Channel Special Edition (1999)
  3. ^ Farrand, Phil (2010) The Nitpicker's Guide for Classic Trekkers
  4. ^ Muir, John Kenneth (2005) Exploring Space: 1999 pg 17
  5. ^ "The Squire of Gothos" Star Trek Sci Fi Channel Special Edition (1999)

External links[edit]