Star Trek TOS – Episode 10 – The Corbomite Maneuver [Remastered]

Sorry this is a bit later in the day today. Between yesterday’s roller derby bout and recording the PrincessCast, I was too tired to work on it last night. But, it’s still up today! Still on target!

Watch this episode at


Geometry is waging a war against the Enterprise. First a cube, then a sphere. Sadly, there is no rhombus.

Click the picture for a full summary from the database.


Spock is on the bridge. Uhura is wearing gold again (it’s actually the first episode she was in). They’re coming up on a flying cube… in space! No matter how they try to maneuver around it, it blocks their path. The navigator, Bailey seems extremely worried.

Really? A flying cube? I am not impressed.

All fear The Cube!!!

Kirk is having a physical in sickbay when he sees the red alert. Kirk yells at McCoy for not telling him that the red alert light was flashing.

MCCOY: Finally finished a physical on you, didn’t I. (Kirk leaves) What am I, a doctor or a moon shuttle conductor? If I jumped every time a light came on around here, I’d end up talking to myself.

Oh my. Good job, McCoy. I had a giggle fit.

And is it me, or does Spock have a bit of an accent? Just a tiny bit, but enough to notice. I heard it in another early episode as well.

They decide to retreat from the cube. It starts chasing them, spinning faster and faster. The faster they move, the more radiation it emits. Lt. Bailey is a total pansy and a half. Finally, Kirk orders them to destroy the cube. It goes all explodey.

Kirk is worried about the slowness of the crew in obeying his orders to destroy the cube. They are running battle simulations until they get it right. Meanwhile, Kirk and McCoy discuss Yeoman Rand:

KIRK: When I find the headquarters genius that assigned me a female yeoman…
MCCOY: What’s the matter, Jim. Don’t you trust yourself?
KIRK: I’ve already got a female to worry about. Her name’s the Enterprise.

Suddenly, Sulu calls, “All decks to battle stations. This is not a drill. Repeat, this is not a drill.”

There are so many bleepy and squeaky things on the bridge. I think I would go crazy. A huge gold sphere comes flying up on them.

The new effects are SO much better.

Bailey is almost useless. Kirk gives him commands, and he’s too stunned by the sphere to even act. Kirk sends a hail, and gets a response.

BALOK: This is Balok, Commander of the flagship Fesarius of the First Federation. Your vessel, obviously the product of a primitive and savage civilisation, having ignored a warning buoy and having then destroyed it, has demonstrated your intention is not peaceful. We are now considering the disposition of your ship and the life aboard.

Kirk tries to reason with Balok, but he starts getting zappy with the Enterprise. He doesn’t want to talk. They try to send a recorder marker back toward Earth.

BALOK: Your recorder marker has been destroyed. You have been examined. Your ship must be destroyed. We make assumption you have a deity or deities or some such beliefs which comfort you. We therefore grant you ten Earth time periods known as minutes to make preparations.

Goddamn, Balock. Kirk transmits his intentions to retreat, Sulu does both his job and Bailey’s as Bailey is busy being weird, but Balok has killed the engines and weapons. Balok shows up on the screen. Scary blue dude. Bailey loses his shit:

BAILEY: What, are you all out of your minds? End of watch? It’s the end of everything. What are you, robots? Wound-up toy soldiers? Don’t you know when you’re dying? Watch and regulations and orders What do they mean?

Bailey, you should have never been allowed to pilot a starship.

As time ticks away, Kirk gets more and more agitated. Then, he gets an idea:

KIRK: All right, Doctor. Let’s hope we have time to argue about it. Not chess, Mister Spock, poker. Do you know the game? Ship to ship.
UHURA: Hailing frequencies open, sir.
KIRK: This is the Captain of the Enterprise. Our respect for other lifeforms requires that we give you this warning. One critical item of information that has never been incorporated into the memory banks of any Earth ship. Since the early years of space exploration, Earth vessels have had incorporated into them a substance known as corbomite. It is a material and a device which prevents attack on us. If any destructive energy touches our vessel, a reverse reaction of equal strength is created, destroying…
BALOK: You now have two minutes.
KIRK: Destroying the attacker! It may interest you to know that since the initial use of corbomite more than two of our centuries ago, no attacking vessel has survived the attempt. Death has little meaning to us. If it has none to you then attack us now. We grow annoyed at your foolishness.

Captain Kirk, you are an awesome sneaky bastard.

With thirty seconds left in the countdown, Bailey requests to return to his post. Balok won’t destroy them as long as they show him the corbomite. Kirk refuses.

Rand shows up with phaser-heated coffee. Really? Is that really what they need at this time? Coffee? (Pause show. I need some coffee.)

BALOK: It has been decided that I will conduct you to a planet of the First Federation which is capable of sustaining your lifeform. There you will disembark and be interned. Your ship will be destroyed, of course.

A smaller vessel is towing them. Kirk decides to try and counter the smaller ship’s tractor beam. The tilting of the ship causes people in the hallways to smack into the walls. That’s kind of hilarious. The Enterprise breaks away. Balok’s ship loses power, and has no life support left.

KIRK: This is the Captain speaking. First Federation vessel is in distress. We’re preparing to board it. There are lives at stake. By our standards, alien life but lives nevertheless. Captain out.
MCCOY: …Jim, don’t you think…
KIRK: What’s the mission of this vessel, Dr.? To seek out and contact alien life, and an opportunity to demonstrate what our high-sounding words mean. Any questions? I’ll take two men with me. Dr. McCoy to examine and treat the aliens if necessary, and you, Mr. Bailey.

They beam over, and find Balok, a crazy scary puppet. They see Balok, who is a weird little bald kid with bushy eyebrows. (Actually, it’s Clint Howard, Ron Howard’s younger brother.) I think I may develop a phobia of children before this is all over.

Star Trek: continuing to use creepy children.

He gives them some drinks. (Tranya is evidently some great stuff.) He explains that he was testing them, to make sure that their intentions were genuine, and the puppet was used to scare them.

Seriously, kid, you’re pretty freaky on your own.

Balok tells him that he is lonely, and would like a companion. Bailey volunteers to stay behind. Really, dude? You have the spine of a jellyfish. Kirk, despite not knowing a thing about Balok, is totally cool with leaving his navigator behind.

Bailey, you are fucking weird.


Little kids will believe in anything, including Santa Claus and corbomite.


I’ll rate this one Lieutenant. 2 out of 4 pips. The only real fun I got out of it was the little inside jokes made between the characters. The plot was kind of dumb. Maybe it was because I didn’t have my coffee this morning when I rolled out of bed to watch it, but I wasn’t really all that entertained. I wanted to like it more, though.

TOMORROW ON THE STAR TREK CHALLENGE: The Menagerie, Part I. Hooray for Captain Pike!

Until tomorrow,

Captain Painway


2 Responses to Star Trek TOS – Episode 10 – The Corbomite Maneuver [Remastered]

  1. Steve says:

    I enjoyed the build-up of the episode… how where they going to get out of it… and then how they got out of it was the problem for me. It felt like a cheat of an ending… the bluff always seemed like sloppy writing, like they painted themselves into a corner and had no way to get out of it… that said it’s better then when Voyager did this… they’d just fire up the deflector dish, reprogram a tricorder, or modulate the phasers ugh… I don’t know how to end my rant on Voyager…

    See you after Menagerie I & II… I love the Cage.

  2. Pingback: Star Trek TOS – Episode 11 – The Menagerie, Part I [Remastered] « The Star Trek Challenge

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