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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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.


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. Along the journey, the ship encounters a rogue planet in a "star desert" and described as being "in some sort of light warp" (preventing it from being detected sooner by the Enterprise).

Without the time to really stop and investigate it, Kirk orders the planet to be recorded for a future exploration mission and to continue with their original heading. When Lt. Sulu attempts to enter a course around the planet, he suddenly vanishes from the bridge. Kirk also vanishes moments later.

First Officer Spock believes that the two must have been taken to the mysterious planet below even 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!", after the Enterprise responds, a follow up message is sent "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 finds the area to be a lush and breathable environment, contradicting Jaeger's original scans that the world was barren and couldn't support life. They also come across what appears to be a medieval castle constructed in the middle of nowhere. They find Captain Kirk and Lt. Sulu immobilised, just before discovering a brash and impetuous being who identifies himself as "General Trelane, Retired" who soon returns Kirk and Sulu back to normal. McCoy's medical tricorder does not get any readings from Trelane and according to the scanner nothing is there. Trelane invites everyone to stay as his guests on his world he calls Gothos and discuss his favorite subject: the military history of Earth.

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. Unwilling to let his guests leave, Trelane makes an appearance on the Enterprise's bridge. He then brings the entire bridge crew back down to the planet. This time he includes 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 may be 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. It is assumed that Trelane only has this machine to manipulate matter for his amusement. The bridge crew manages to beam back to the Enterprise but, as the ship warps away, the planet Gothos keeps appearing in its path. Kirk finally orders the Enterprise into orbit and decides to beam down. As he enters the turbolift, he suddenly finds himself in a witness stand in a courtroom back on Gothos where the angry Trelane confronts him dressed in the white wig and robes reminiscent of an English circuit judge. Trelane tells Kirk he must face a trial for "treason", "conspiracy", and "fomenting insurrection". Silencing Kirk's protests, Trelane condemns Kirk to death by hanging. However, Kirk, to stall the execution, plays off of Trelane's childish whims by presenting him with a better idea.

In order to have his ship released, Kirk offers himself as the prey for a royal hunt. Trelane gleefully accepts and the hunt begins. Just as Trelane is about to kill Kirk, two energy beings appear and put a stop to his fun. It is revealed that Trelane is the "child" of the two beings. After apologizing to Kirk for their child's misbehavior, the beings disappear along with the whining Trelane, and Kirk is allowed to return to the ship.


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]


The similarity between Q and Trelane inspired writer Peter David to establish 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).


  1. ^ Handlen, Zack (March 13, 2009). ""The Squire Of Gothos" / "Arena"". The A.V. Club. Retrieved September 17, 2009. 

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