According to Memory Alpha's original in Universe Timeline, the story sequence is:
Whom Gods Destroy : Let That Be Your Last Battlefield : Plato's Stepchildren.
In the Remastered Episodes Chronology, the release sequence is
Who Mourns for Adonais? : Let That Be Your Last Battlefield : The Enemy Within.


the Enterprise is on a mission to help decontaminate the polluted atmosphere of the planet Ariannus, when an alien with unique skin colors named Lokai is picked up and requests political asylum. Briefly later Bele, obviously a member of the same species, appears on the ship and demands the extradition of the alleged criminal Lokai, which Kirk refuses. They are both natives of the planet Cheron, but it becomes obvious that Bele and Lokai despise each other mainly because of racial prejudices - with their difference boiling down to Bele having a white left half of his face and a black right half, while Lokai's face colors are reversed.

When Bele takes control of the ship, Kirk threatens to self-destruct the Enterprise.[N 2] After another sabotage by Bele the Enterprise finally arrives at Cheron to drop the two unpleasant guests. Their world, however, has been completely devastated as a result of their mutual hatred.

Errors and Explanations

The Nitpicker's Guide for Classic Trekkers

Plot Oversights

  1. Hearing that Lokai comes from Cheron, Kirk comments that the planet is in an uncharted region in the southern portion of the galaxy. If it's in an uncharted portion of the galaxy, how does Kirk know where it is? Spock later identifies Cheron’s exact position by saying that the ship is heading directly for it. How do they know this stuff’? Educated guesswork, based on the location of Enterprise when Lokai and Bele came aboard, combined with knowledge of which aeras had been charted.
  2. Sensing the imminent impact of Bele's ship, Kirk jumps to his feet and orders the crew to sound the warning for collision. (Let me say that again.) Kirk jumps to his feet and orders the crew to sound the warning tor collision. Does this make sense? If your vessel is about to get slammed, wouldn't it be wiser to be seated? (Of course, the best body position would be seated with your seat belt fastened, but the Enterprise designers didn't believe in seat belts.) He probably believes he can remain on his feet,
  3. Kirk says Cheron lies in the southern part of the galaxy. Does that put the planet somewhere under the center of the galaxy? lf it does, the Enterprise is much faster than it's successors. In the Star Trek: The Next Generation episode The Nth Degree, Barclay arranges to plunge the Enterprise 30,000 light-years to the center of the galaxy. According to figures given in Q Who, it would take Picard's Enterprise at least eight years at maximum warp to return home from this distance. Southern in this instance probably refers to the area between the Federation and the Galactic barrier, directly opposite the core. (Imagine the galaxy as a clock face - the southern section would be the quarter either side of the six o'clock position),
  4. Finding their planet destroyed, Lokai and Bele commence a chase. Spock closely follows the progress of the chase, yet fails to mention that Lokai has entered the transporter room. Uhura has to tell Kirk that the transporter has engaged.He may be detecting evidence that the location information he is receiving may have been falsified.

Changed Premnises

  1. In By Any Other Name, a group of invaders seizes control of the Enterprise. They intend to take it to the Andromeda Galaxy to inform their superiors that the Milky Way is ripe for conquest. Spock and Scott rig the ship to explode, but Kirk chickens out because everyone would die. Yet here, Bele just wants to borrow the Enterprise to return Lokai to Cheron, and Kirk tries to blow it up using the auto destruct system. 1) Kirk was outnumbered in By Any Other Name. 2) Enterprise is on an urgent mission this time. 3) Kirk could be bluffing, in order to force Bele's hand.

Equipment Oddities

  1. ' Surprise! Bele's ship is . . . invisible! Well, that certainly saved a little on the budget for this episode. The creators have used many tactics to stay within the difficult restraints of time and money in producing Star Trek. However this one's a bit cheesy.It makes sense for Bele's ship to be capable of invisibility, as this would allow him to follow suspects without them realising.
  2. At one point, Lokai tries to rally crew members to his cause by speaking with them in a lounge. Spock walks by, stops, and listens through a crack in the door. Since when do the doors of the Enterprise stay open just a little bit? This door could be faulty.
  3. In this episode, the Enterprise travels to Ariannus and makes like a crop duster. It flies over the planet, spraying an antibacterial agent. Yet the entire time it appears that the Enterprise is well above the planet’s atmosphere. Will this work? Would the particles float off into space, or would there be enough gravity to pull them downward eventually? Enterprise is probably in the upper atmosphere, and only appears to be well above it.

Continuity and Production Problems

  1. During the final chase through the ship, watch the first close-up of Lokai carefully. As he turns the corner, you'll see a rope in his left hand. [N 3]He must have intended to tie Bele up with it, as part of an escape plan.

Internet Movie Database


  1. Captain Kirk calls a red alert, and the klaxon is heard and the red light is shown going on and off. When Bele appears, the alert is no longer heard, though the red light is still shown. After the commercial break, the red alert can be heard again, even though the "emergency" is over. The klaxon may have been temporarily muted for some reason.

Nit Central

  1. D.K. Henderson on Saturday, December 12, 1998 - 5:36 am: Bele has been chasing Lokai for 50,000 years. Fifty THOUSAND years! (And just where have they been in all that time, that the Feds have never come across them before?) Yet, after 50,000 years, Bele can't wait a few days, or hours to get Lokai back to Cheron. He doesn't want to risk Lokai escaping again.


  1. The script evolved from an outline by Barry Trivers[1] for a possible first season episode called "A Portrait in Black and White".
  2. This exact same auto destruct sequence is later used in the film Star Trek III The Search for Spock with Kirk, then Scott and Chekov giving the three codes.
  3. Some have speculated that this rope is attached to the camera dolly to help the actor know how fast to run. This error is listed under Crew or equipment visible in the IMDB entry.


  1. Dorothy Fontana to Gene Roddenberry, September 28, 1966, Gene Roddenberry Star Trek Television Series Collection, 1966-1969, Box 19, Folder 11, University of California at Los Angeles Library. Dorothy Fontana's assessment of the script "Portrait in Black and White" September 28, 1966

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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