According to Memory Alpha's original in Universe Timeline, the story sequence is:
The Immunity Syndrome : Elaan of Troyius : Spectre of the Gun.
In the Remastered Episodes Chronology, the release sequence is
Is There in Truth No Beauty? : Elaan of Troyius : The Enterprise Incident.


The Enterprise ferries Dohlman Elaan of Elas to the adversarial world of Troyius for a marriage to a royal of Troyius,[N 1] arranged to end the war. Elaan, however, is more than just reluctant. She stabs Ambassador Petri of Troyius, who was going to teach her the customs of his people. Now his role falls to Kirk. He gets into contact with Elaan's tears, whereby a biochemical bond with her is forged. Kryton, one of Elaan's guards, however, kills a crewman and sabotages the ship's warp reactor, just as a Klingon battlecruiser appears. As the Klingon ship is attacking the helpless Enterprise, Spock discovers that Elaan is wearing a necklace made of dilithium, a gift from Petri, which helps restore warp power. The naturally occurring dilithium on Troyius may be the reason why the Klingons are interested in the planet in the first place. Kirk and Elaan eventually recognize that they both have responsibilities that don't allow them to stay together.

Errors and Explanations

The Nitpicker's Guide for Classic Trekkers

Plot Oversights

  1. For a savage, Elaan of Elas is a clothes hound. She changes revealing outfits no less than four times in this show! She's getting in practice for her regal life.
  2. At the end of the episode, Elaan dons a blue smock with gathers at the side. (Poor girl, the outfit barely fits her. Neither side closes, and both gaps are easily two inches.) She also puts on a necklace that contains several large crystals. interestingly enough, the dress looks like the one Petri offered at the beginning of the episode as a wedding garment, and the necklace looks just like the one Petri offers in a box as “the most prized of royal jewels." Obviously the creators wanted to give the impression that Elaan had finally accepted her responsibilities and acquiesced to the marriage. However, when Spock discovers that the jewels in the necklace are dilithium crystals, Elaan acts as if the necklace comes from Elas and the stones are practically worthless. So did the necklace come from Troyius or Elas? Or were there supposed to be two necklaces and the creators fudged a bit? Perhaps the stone in the necklace resemble those found on Elas.
  3. Also, if the necklace comes from Troyius, how will the rulers feel about the crew of the Enterprise appropriating some of their gemstones? Will they really believe Kirk when he says it was essential for the survival of the ship? Remember, these people don’t have warp drive and obviously don't understand what dilithium crystals can do. If an alien culture transported a female Mars potentate to marry a British king on Earth, how would the queen mother feel it the aliens said, “Oh, by the way, we had to take some of your crown jewels to make our engines work"? The starship crew would obviously have a greater understanding of how to make use of the stones than the indigenous population, and could use this to gain permission to use the stones to ensure the safety of everyone involved.
  4. At one point, Kirk barges in on Elaan as she dines on green chicken. Obviously the cooks on the Enterprise found out that Elasians will eat anything. They took the opportunity to clean out the refrigerator. The meat had definitely been in there too long. Actually, the green is too dark and uniform for that – mould is normally light blue-green, and concentrated in clusters. The green colouring in this instance is more likely to be something added to enhance the taste.
  5. Sulu has gotten into a bad habit. He looks back at the captain's chair even when Kirk isn't in it! ln one scene, Sulu looks back, and at the same time, Kirk walks off the turbolift. There's nobody in the captain's chair, and Sulu cannot see Kirk from this viewpoint. He might be able to see Kirk via the corner of his eye.

Equipment Oddities

  1. After seeing the pursuing vessel on the viewscreen, Kirk emphatically states that it is the Klingons. How does Kirk know this? Don't the Romulans fly ships of Klingon design? The United Federation of Planets are unaware of Romulans using Klingon designed ships at this point as, according to the official chronology, the events in this story take place before those in The Enterprise Incident.
  2. When Kryton skulks into Engineering, watch the guy on the upper level of the engine room. He checks some settings, walks a little farther, checks a few more things, and then tries to walk through a door. The door must have been daydreaming because the guy has to stop and wait for it to open. The activation sensor for that door is probably in need of adjustment.
  3. Kirk shows up in Engineering shortly after the security guards apprehend Kryton. Scott hands the captain the communicator Kryton used, and Kirk flips it open. It promptly flips back shut, and Kirk pronounces it "Klingon." [N 2] The antenna hinge must have become loose from excessive use.
  4. It’s grungy nitpicking time! As the Klingon vessel makes its first flyby, Sulu counts off the distance: “100,000 kilometers, 90,000 kilometers, 80,000 kilometers." He pauses about two seconds between each number. The speed of light is about 300,000 kilometers a second, and Spock says moments earlier that the Klingon ship is approaching at warp six. Warp six is many, many times the speed of light. Sulu's countdown puts the Klingon vessel at approximately 5,000 kilometers a second, well below the speed of light. The Klingon ship could have dropped to sub-light speed for the first fly-by.

Continuity And Production Problems

  1. When the Elasians beam in at the beginning of the episode, those clever creators used Scott’s hands on the transporter controls. Yet the chief engineer stands across the room. The hands are more likely to be those of Scott's deputy.
  2. At the very end of Elaan’s tour of Engineering, the scene shows a close-up of Scott. However, the background shows a security guard. The guard is missing from all the wide shots.[N 3] He probably just arrived to provide an escort for Elaan.

Internet Movie Database


  1. (at around 21 mins) When Kirk responds to the intercom hail from Security reporting a disturbance in the Dohlman's quarters, he is clearly located at Spock's science station. Note the audio speaker, tape player, array of five double switches and earpiece. The subsequent mid-conversation wide shot shows Kirk (and Spock) standing at Kirk's command chair. The could have moved to the command chair to complete the conversation.
  2. Uhura mentions that she has given up her quarters to the Dolman. However, the Enterprise has guest accommodations for considerably more than one high-profile passenger (for example, the multiple ambassadorial staffs in Journey to Babel), so it is difficult to see why this would be necessary. The Dolman may have rejected the guest accommodation as being too bland.

Nit Central

  1. D.K. Henderson on Thursday, December 10, 1998 - 5:36 am: Has it ever occurred to Starfleet to keep spare dilithium crystals on hand in their vessels? Considering how touchy they seem to be? There may be too much risk of them getting damaged in storage.


  1. This royal is presumably the King, as Petri refers to him as "our ruler"
  2. I can’t help but wonder if the captain is thinking, “Stupid communicator, obviously Klingon in design, won’t even stay open when you flip it."
  3. Evidently the creators grabbed a piece of film from later in the episode and spliced it in here for a reaction shot. (The exact camera angle and actor setup occur just before Scott talks to Kirk about finding Kryton in Engineering.)

The Original Series Season 3
Spectre of the Gun I Elaan of Troyius I The Paradise Syndrome I The Enterprise Incident I And the Children Shall Lead I Spock's Brain I Is There in Truth No Beauty? I The Empath I The Tholian Web I For the World Is Hollow and I Have Touched the Sky I Day of the Dove I Plato's Stepchildren I Wink of an Eye I That Which Survives I Let That Be Your Last Battlefield I Whom Gods Destroy I The Mark of Gideon I The Lights of Zetar I The Cloud Minders I The Way to Eden I Requiem for Methuselah I The Savage Curtain I All Our Yesterdays I Turnabout Intruder
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