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The Devil in the Dark - Errand of Mercy - Operation: Annihilate!.

Tomorrow Is Yesterday - Errand of Mercy - Patterns of Force.


Relations between the United Federation of Planets and the Klingon Empire have reached the breaking point, and recent negotiations have collapsed. The starship Enterprise has been sent to the world of Organia, a non-aligned planet near the Klingon border, to prevent the Klingons from annexing it. As the Enterprise approaches Organia, Spock briefs Kirk, calling it a primitive society. Without warning, the Enterprise is attacked by a Klingon vessel, which is quickly destroyed when the Enterprise returns fire.

Upon arrival at the planet, Kirk leaves his helmsman, Lieutenant Sulu, in command of the ship with instructions to withdraw if a Klingon fleet arrives. Kirk and Spock then beam down to the planet surface and find themselves in a primitive town, with ruins in the distance. Kirk tells the Organian council what the Klingons will do if they capture the planet, but the Organians are unconcerned. Instead, the Organian leader says that the Enterprise and her crew are the only ones in danger. A Klingon fleet appears, firing on the Enterprise. Kirk orders Sulu to withdraw, which strands Kirk and Spock on the planet.

The Organians disguise Kirk as one of them and have Spock pose as a Vulcan merchant of trillium. The Klingons seize control of the planet without resistance and install the ranking Klingon officer, Kor, as the military governor. Kor, noticing that Kirk is the only Organian who doesn't smile all the time, takes a liking to him and demands that he act as the Organian liaison. Spock is taken for questioning to verify his background as a trader but resists the "mind sifter" device that the Klingons use.

The Organians do nothing to resist the occupation. Kirk and Spock start guerrilla operations of their own by blowing up a munitions dump outside town. The Organians in the council strongly object to the action, while Kirk protests their lack of action. Meanwhile, Kor listens to Kirk's speech through a hidden camera, discovering that he is the saboteur.

When the Klingons threaten to torture them as suspected insurgents, the Organians reveal the true identities of Kirk and Spock and allow them to be arrested. Spock is imprisoned while Kirk is taken to Kor's private chambers, where Kor tells Kirk that he has twelve hours to answer questions about the Federation fleet. After that, if Kirk still refuses, he will undergo the mind scanning technique, leaving him a vegetable. Also, Spock will be dissected to determine how he was able to resist the mind probe.

With six hours before the deadline, the Organians free the pair and hide them in the council chamber. While Kirk and Spock try to comprehend the natives' contradictory actions, Kor orders the executions of two hundred Organians. Still, the Organians protect Kirk and Spock, but remain otherwise unperturbed by the Klingons' actions, leaving the Federation officers and Klingons baffled.

As Federation and Klingon fleets converge on the system, Kirk and Spock raid the Klingon headquarters in hopes of rousing the population into resistance. They capture Kor and prepare to make a last stand, while the fleets are ready to clash. The Organians then reveal their true nature: They are not primitive humanoids, but are highly advanced incorporeal beings. They instantly incapacitate both sides, forcing the two sides to agree to the Organian Peace Treaty. Both sides protest, but the Organians predict the rivals will get along far better in the future. When Kirk says to Kor that it looks like they won't have their war, Kor responds, "A shame, Captain. It would have been glorious!"

Back on board the Enterprise, Kirk admits to Spock at being embarrassed that he was furious with the Organians from preventing a war with the Klingons – a war he did not want. Kirk tells Spock that they often think of themselves as the most powerful force in the universe, it's unsettling to find out they ultimately are not. Spock tells Kirk that he and himself have no reason to be embarrassed; it took millions of years for the Organians to evolve into what they are now. Spock points out that even the gods did not come into being overnight. Spock also says that at least they beat the odds in not dying on the planet. Kirk tells Spock he is wrong, they didn't have a chance at beating the odds. "The Organians raided the game."

Errors and ExplanationsEdit

The Nitpicker's Guide for Classic TrekkersEdit

Plot OversightsEdit

  1. The five members of the Orgainian Council continuing to meet, despite Kor ruling that not more than three Orgainians will be permitted to meet in public assemblage. Technically, the five members of the Orgainian Council are meeting in private, and Kor is sensible enough to realise that banning private meetings would make the situation worse.

Changed PremisesEdit

  1. Kor acting as if he is unaware of the Klingon code about not drinking with your enemy, as demonstrated by Worf in the Next Generation episode 'Hide and Q'. 1) Perhaps Kor is trying to lure Kirk into a trap. 2) Worf may adhere more closely to the Klingon code to compensate for his human upbringing.
  2. Spock describing the Organian's pacifist behaviour as peculiar, despite pacifism being one of the highest virtues of Vulcan society. Spock believes the Orgainians are normal - ie emotional - humanoids at this point.

Internet Movie DatabaseEdit

Plot holesEdit

  1. When first describing the mind scanner, Kor tells what effect it would have on a Vulcan (Spock) and on a human (Baroner, who is really Kirk). At this point, Kor does not know that any humans are present. He thinks "Baroner" is an Orgainian. Like everyone else, Kor believes that the Orgainians are ordinary humanoids at this point, and will display the same effect to the mind shifter as a human.

Nit CentralEdit

  1. Johnny Veitch on Saturday, February 20, 1999 - 11:18 pm: Why does Kirk put Sulu in command of the ship instead of Scott? We don`t even see Scott for the entire episode. Scotty was probably busy in Engineering.
  2. Felix Atagong on Sunday, December 25, 2005 - 10:38 am: Klingons aren't very efficient, are they? They didn't search the cupboard where the communicators and weapons of Kirk and Spock are lying all the time... KAM on Monday, December 26, 2005 - 12:47 am: Maybe the Organians used their powers to keep the Klingons from seeing them?
  3. steve McKinnon (Steve) on Thursday, November 25, 2010 - 7:59 am: Kor has heard of Kirk, and is even hoping to engage this famous Starfleet warrior in battle, even though Klingon files don't seem to have a photo of Kirk on hand, otherwise he should have been instantly recognized. A lot of the information the Klingons have about Kirk could have been based on rumor.

The Original Series Season 1
Pilot episodes: The Cage I Where No Man Has Gone Before
Regular episodes: The Corbomite Maneuver I Mudd's Women I The Enemy Within I The Man Trap I The Naked Time I Charlie X I Balance of Terror I What Are Little Girls Made Of? I Dagger of the Mind I Miri I The Conscience of the King I The Galileo Seven I Court Martial I The Menagerie Part 1 I The Menagerie Part 2 I Shore Leave I The Squire of Gothos I Arena I The Alternative Factor I Tomorrow Is Yesterday I The Return of the Archons I A Taste of Armageddon I Space Seed I This Side of Paradise I The Devil in the Dark I Errand of Mercy I The City on the Edge of Forever I Operation: Annihilate!