Memory Alpha's In Universe Timeline
Mudd's Women - The Corbomite Maneuver - The Man Trap.

The Menagerie Part 2 - The Corbomite Maneuver - Friday's Child.


While attempting to explore an uncharted area of space, the U.S.S. Enterprise in confronted by an alien "warning buoy". The starship's phasers destroy the radioactive buoy. Soon afterwards, a gigantic spherical spaceship - the Fesarius - traps the Enterprise, and an alien voice promises destruction in ten minutes. Spock's reference to acknowledging defeat in the game of chess leads Kirk to recall the game of poker.

The captain stages a desperate bluff, telling the alien commander Balok that Federation ships are equipped with a self destruct system called "corbomite," which would also destroy any attacker. The destruction of the Enterprise is temporarily averted. Later, when the alien seperates from the main body of his ship, and seems to be in distress, Kirk goes to his rescue.

Finally, the frightening alien is revealed to be a puppet, operated by a childlike entity, who has been testing them to determine whether Kirk and company are truly peaceful. Diplomatic relations are established, and Mr. Bailey, who lost his nerve awaiting Balok's "death threat,"volunteers to remain aboard the alien's ship as an "exchange student."

Errors and ExplanationsEdit

The Nitpicker's Guide for Classic TrekkersEdit

Plot OversightsEdit

  1. Spock’s knowledge of flypaper. This could be due to him studying aspects of Earth’s history and culture, either during his youth or at Starfleet Academy.

Changed PremisesEdit

  1. Spock referring to his - still living - parents in the past tense. His estrangement from them could be considered akin to bereavement.

Continuity and Production ProblemsEdit

  1. Spock's earpiece disappearing during his discussion with Kirk, after the destruction of the cube. He must have quickly removed it.[1]

Nit CentralEdit

  1. Todd M. Pence on Sunday, October 25, 1998 - 2:08 am - When Spock is trying to find the origin of the cube, he tells Kirk that star maps of the sector show no inhabitable planets nearby. What star maps? Isn't this the Enterprise's mission in this episode, to photograph the area they are in so that it could be mapped? Didn't Spock say earlier that the Enterprise was the first ship to explore here? Of course, he could be referring to maps the Enterprise had just made, but this seems unlikely to me. I would think it would take time to construct maps from photographs, and also to determine the existence and nature of any planets which might contain intelligent life. The star maps could be based on old images from an unmanned probe, which would explain why Enterprise in engaged in a mapping mission at the start of the episode, as the old data would need to be updated.
  2. How come the red alert siren is audible everywhere else in the ship except sickbay? Kirk doesn't know there's an alert until he gets off the examination table and sees the flashing light in the room, although the alarm is heard loudly in all the corridors just outside. John A. Lang on Sunday, February 06, 2000 - 11:52 am - I think a plausible reason you can't hear the red alert klaxon in Sick Bay is because it's a hospital, you need quiet. In addition, the doors are sound-proof...and they keep the noise out. That's why you can't hear the alarm from the hallway.
  3. After the Enterprise destroys the cube, Kirk gives Bailey a navigational order. Bailey punches the data in. Meanwhile, there is another crewman conducting repairs in an open panel under the navigation console. Shouldn't Bailey wait till this guy is through fixing the control board before he uses it? The repairs may not be connected to the navigation system.
  4. John A. Lang on Sunday, February 06, 2000 - 11:52 am - If Spock knew that Kirk was in Sick Bay and that you can't hear the alarm there, why didn't he page Sick Bay to have Kirk come to the Bridge? Spock knew that McCoy was conduction a physical check-up on Kirk, and would complain loudly if Kirk was called away before being able to complete it.[2]

Internet Movie DatabaseEdit

Audio/visual unsynchronisedEdit

  1. Sulu hears Kyle say, "They now have one minute." Then he looks up toward the screen and then back down toward his console. He is responding to a line of dialog from the alien Balok ("You now have one minute!"), voiced by the late Ted Cassidy. (IMDB) The audio of Cassidy saying "one minute!" appears in the preview trailer (shown on the VHS and DVD's) pointing to the possibility that the line of audio was somehow lost between the people doing the preview trailer and the people doing the actual sound editing for the episode.

Character errorEdit

  1. Lieutenant Dave Bailey says to Spock "Raising my voice back there doesn't mean I was scared or couldn't do my job, it means I happen to have a human thing called an adrenalin gland". There is no such gland in the human body. The correct name for this gland is actually the adrenal gland, which produces the hormone adrenaline. As a non physician, Bailey wouldn't be expected to know the difference.[3]


  1. Farrand, Phil. The Nitpickers Guide for Classic Trekkers. Titan Books. 1994.
  3. IMDB entry tt0708458

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!