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Balance of Terror

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34 posts in this topic

Balance of Terror

TOS Season 1, Episode 14

WRITTEN BY

Paul Schneider

DIRECTED BY

Vincent McEveety

First Aired Dec 15, 1966

Stardate 1709.2

The Enterprise is forced into a deadly game of "cat and mouse" when a Romulan bird of prey is spotted close to Federation territory. Kirk must outwit the highly intelligent Romulan Commander if he is to stand any chance of saving his crew.

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This episode rocks, I love the introduction of the Romulans and I think they were portrayed in a great way. The episode kept my attention the whole way through, it gets a 10.

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9.

At moment it has shades of a classic WWII movie, such as The Enemy Below, as the Enterprise & Bird of Prey engage in cat & mouse tactics. It has a different feel to other TOS episodes. Excellent episode.

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Definitely one of TOS's finest moments. Love the Romulan commander played by Mark Lenard. :inlove:

It gets a 9 from me! :thumbsup2:

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A 10 from me. This marks the first ep that features the Romulans. Great moments of suspense and action here. A truly classic ep. :thumbsup2:

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What everyone else already said- gave it a 10

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I can't believe I missed this. I also give it a 10 and really, would you expect less from me? :thumbup:

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I can't believe I missed this. I also give it a 10 and really, would you expect less from me? :thumbup:

Romulans and Mark Lenard in it ... now why would that score shock me? :giggle:

10 for the bits I have seen of this. (I will get off my bum and get the whole lot on DVD some day)

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Great ep, definitely some of the best TOS. Kirk at his finest.

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I watched this most recently as part of my Trek Challenge project and it has to be one of the best episodes of ANY Star Trek series I have ever seen...had me on the edge of my seat the whole time

check out a full video review/discussion here

Edited by TrekChallenge

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The best episode till now! What a great episode, my favorite of the first 14.

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Brilliant episode, one of the finest of the entire run of TOS. I'd say it's also one of the smartest ship to ship battles in Trek history. It gets a 10.

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"Balance of Terror" easily ranks amongst The Original Series' best episodes. I especially like the "submarine" feel of the episode's combat scenario, as each ship utilizes its technology to both seek out and destroy its opponent. There's also an element of "we're racing against the clock," as both commanders (Kirk and the Romulan) are trying to accomplish their goal before their opponent can accomplish his: Kirk wants to find the Romulans before they reach their side of the Neutral Zone, and the Romulan Commander is trying to get home. It's a shame that he's not able to accomplish his task, as he's clearly a worthy adversary for Kirk, one of the few we're treated to duirng the course of the series' run.

--Captain Sisko

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This episode is a solid ten; this is in my TOS top five.

I cannot think of a single bad thing to say about it, really; it tackles love, war, racism, and even command responsibility all in ONE episode.

Even though the plot is a thin remake of "The Enemy Below" (watch the movie and you'll be surprised at how close it is), it doesn't matter.

This is a story that uses a familiar storyline as a perfect way to draw out our characters and better fleshed in the (then new) ST universe.

And Mark Lenard's Romulan commander was simply perfect. I actually liked him in his role better than Sarek

(no slight on Sarek, but the RC was sooo much more interesting).

Best line, "You and I are of a kind; in a different reality, I could've called you friend."

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This is one of those episodes that I like well enough but that is no longer among my favorites. (I know, I'm probably going against fandom opinion again, haha.)

What I really like about it is the Romulan Commander. (Mmm, Mark Lenard.) He totally carries this episode, which, IMO, is rare for a TOS guest character. The plot, the plot... that is where things are getting a bit too... dragged out for me. The whole thing takes ages and even I, the resident "let's not have too many action sequences" guy, just want for things to result in one single battle and then it's over. I know it was supposed to drag on like this, but it's just not my style. (Maybe because I'm not much into such military tactics. I liked the way it was done in "The Corbomite Maneuver", but in this episode it's just... not my thing somehow.)

Also, can we talk about that horrible Stiles guy and his racism towards Spock and Romulans? (He reminds me a lot of Worf, actually. He'd get along just fine with him.) He irritates me to NO END. I just want to punch him, I can't help it. The best scene is the one in which the Romulan Commander appears on the viewscreen for the first time and everyone stares at Spock and Stiles glares at him and Kirk notices it and glares at Stiles, walks past his console and taps it in order to remind Stiles that his attention has to be focused on his DUTY and not on racism. It's one little scene, easy to miss, but it's totally one of my favorite Kirk scenes. Also, it's quite slashy, Kirk is always ready to defend his beloved Spock. Speaking of slash, can we mention the Romulan Commander and his lover the Centurion.

So, like I said, there are things I like about this episode but also things I don't really care for or even dislike. I give it a 6/10.

The favorite quote of the moment award for this episode goes to Kirk, for his "Leave any bigotry in your quarters - there's no room for it on the bridge."

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This is one of those episodes that I like well enough but that is no longer among my favorites. (I know, I'm probably going against fandom opinion again, haha.)

What I really like about it is the Romulan Commander. (Mmm, Mark Lenard.) He totally carries this episode, which, IMO, is rare for a TOS guest character. The plot, the plot... that is where things are getting a bit too... dragged out for me. The whole thing takes ages and even I, the resident "let's not have too many action sequences" guy, just want for things to result in one single battle and then it's over. I know it was supposed to drag on like this, but it's just not my style. (Maybe because I'm not much into such military tactics. I liked the way it was done in "The Corbomite Maneuver", but in this episode it's just... not my thing somehow.)

Also, can we talk about that horrible Stiles guy and his racism towards Spock and Romulans? (He reminds me a lot of Worf, actually. He'd get along just fine with him.) He irritates me to NO END. I just want to punch him, I can't help it. The best scene is the one in which the Romulan Commander appears on the viewscreen for the first time and everyone stares at Spock and Stiles glares at him and Kirk notices it and glares at Stiles, walks past his console and taps it in order to remind Stiles that his attention has to be focused on his DUTY and not on racism. It's one little scene, easy to miss, but it's totally one of my favorite Kirk scenes. Also, it's quite slashy, Kirk is always ready to defend his beloved Spock. Speaking of slash, can we mention the Romulan Commander and his lover the Centurion.

So, like I said, there are things I like about this episode but also things I don't really care for or even dislike. I give it a 6/10.

The favorite quote of the moment award for this episode goes to Kirk, for his "Leave any bigotry in your quarters - there's no room for it on the bridge."

But the fact that you (and I) so hated Stiles for his blatant racism means that the episode was working; that is precisely what we're supposed to feel when watching Stiles. I give kudos to the actor who played Stiles (Paul Comi) for making me hate his guts so much....

This one's still a ten for me. :thumbup:

And just how did I know you'd pick up on the slash-vibe between the Commander and his loyal centurion (his own version of Bones; the old confidant)? Ah, how well I know you, dirty boy... :P

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I watched this one not too long ago. The story and execution I liked, but after about the fiftieth repetition of that two-bars-long "DUN DUN DAAAH SRS BSNS" music cue I was so sick of it I was about ready to switch off.

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And just how did I know you'd pick up on the slash-vibe between the Commander and his loyal centurion (his own version of Bones; the old confidant)? Ah, how well I know you, dirty boy... :P

Actually, it's probably not ME who picked up the slash vibe first here... you picked it up before me because you thought I would pick it up, which means that you're now a full citizen of Slashville. Welcome, welcome. Heh.

I watched this one not too long ago. The story and execution I liked, but after about the fiftieth repetition of that two-bars-long "DUN DUN DAAAH SRS BSNS" music cue I was so sick of it I was about ready to switch off.

Oh GOD finally someone agrees with me. The music on TOS is so loud and overbearing so often AND it's ALWAYS THE SAME PIECE, they have like what, three or four themes, one for battle, one for oh-so-sexy-but-not-really-sexy-at-all-okay-I-am-the-wrong-target-audience-maybe women, one for action scenes and one for SOMETHING SUDDENLY HAPPENS OMG. It's irritating like hell. That music screams SO loud sometimes that you can barely hear what the characters are even saying. It's not iconic, it's irritating - to me, at least. And in this episode it really bothered me as well. I always thought I was the only one who felt that way. I never really notice episode music (I much prefer for it to background noise, I'm satisfied when I don't notice it), so, when I do it's either horrible or brilliant to me, and, with TOS, it's mostly just horrible.

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Great story. Only let down is the phasers looking like torpedoes. Wish they had fixed that on the updated FX version.

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10. It's just beautifully done.

I've seen it so much I can essentially recite it verbatim. Still not sick of it.If nothing else it's really the only time we see Kirk face off ship-to-ship with a captain that is his equal in every respect.

Great story. Only let down is the phasers looking like torpedoes. Wish they had fixed that on the updated FX version.

I'm actually fine with them not. The original writers didn't have all that fleshed out yet and when redoing the FX they tried to respect the original intent.

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The Corbomite Maneuver was made before this and the phasers looked like they should in it. I never got how phasers could "detonate" like they do in this. Also strange how firing phasers makes the ship lurch. Oh well, still one of the best episodes.

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One thing I really liked about the aliens in TOS versus the later series is they are more (no pun intended) humanized. You could see here that there was a Romulan that also saw the folly of the conflict with the UFP.

The two quotes I love:

"You and I are of a kind. In a different reality, I could have called you friend." - Romulan Commander

Beautiful and it kind of rings true with all soldiers who are fighting for their country. If circumstances had been just a little different, a lot of soldiers across all borders would call each other "brother" instead of "enemy".

The other quote I like is -

"Their war, Mister Stiles. Not yours." - Kirk to Stiles

I really love this one because this one rings pretty true today for a lot of people that want "revenge" for their ancestors. They carry on the struggle across generations until it becomes absurd.

Moments like these just show me that TOS was beyond its time.

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The Corbomite Maneuver was made before this and the phasers looked like they should in it. I never got how phasers could "detonate" like they do in this. Also strange how firing phasers makes the ship lurch. Oh well, still one of the best episodes.

Science was never ST's strong suit. :giggle:

How can people onboard a ship with its own gravity 'lurch' anyway? People on Earth don't lurch during the Aurora Borealis, or when a solar flare hits....

Not to mention there is no AIR in space for an explosion to carry itself...

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The Corbomite Maneuver was made before this and the phasers looked like they should in it. I never got how phasers could "detonate" like they do in this. Also strange how firing phasers makes the ship lurch. Oh well, still one of the best episodes.

Science was never ST's strong suit. :giggle:

How can people onboard a ship with its own gravity 'lurch' anyway? People on Earth don't lurch during the Aurora Borealis, or when a solar flare hits....

Not to mention there is no AIR in space for an explosion to carry itself...

I always attributed the lurching when the ship is being attacked to the gravity field being disrupted. Even though Earth has gravity, if you are in an earthquake and get a good sized one and you were walking you would wobble about I'd think.

Artificial gravity is also a nitpick for me in the last movie. I know when the ship is falling towards Earth it's flipping, but if artificial gravity is off, shouldn't everyone have been floating around instead of still being able to keep their feet down (like Kirk and Scotty running on the walls)?

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The Corbomite Maneuver was made before this and the phasers looked like they should in it. I never got how phasers could "detonate" like they do in this. Also strange how firing phasers makes the ship lurch. Oh well, still one of the best episodes.

Science was never ST's strong suit. :giggle:

How can people onboard a ship with its own gravity 'lurch' anyway? People on Earth don't lurch during the Aurora Borealis, or when a solar flare hits....

Not to mention there is no AIR in space for an explosion to carry itself...

I always attributed the lurching when the ship is being attacked to the gravity field being disrupted. Even though Earth has gravity, if you are in an earthquake and get a good sized one and you were walking you would wobble about I'd think.

Artificial gravity is also a nitpick for me in the last movie. I know when the ship is falling towards Earth it's flipping, but if artificial gravity is off, shouldn't everyone have been floating around instead of still being able to keep their feet down (like Kirk and Scotty running on the walls)?

Yes.

And STID was one giant nitpick for me, so without going into detail let me just say that even a blow to the artificial gravity wouldn't cause lurching like that. Again, it'd be more like the gravity disruption we saw on Kronos One in STVI...

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