Star Trek (1966–1969): Season 1, Episode 10 - The Corbomite Maneuver - full transcript

After the Enterprise is forced to destroy a dangerous marker buoy, a gigantic alien ship arrives to capture and condemn the crew as trespassers.

- One degree to overlap.
- Standby to photograph.


Three days of this now, sir.

Other ships must have made
star maps of some of this.

Negative, Lieutenant.
We're the first to reach this far.

An object is moving towards us.

- No visual contact yet.
- Deflectors at full intensity.

- lt's coming at light speed.
- Collision course.

Evasive manoeuvres, Mr Sulu.

Object changing direction, too.
Keeps coming at us.

- l'm getting no signal from it, sir.
- Still collision course.

- Deflectors aren't stopping it.
- Sound alarm.

- lt's slowing down, Mr Spock.
- Countermand alarm. Full stop.

Visual contact.

Ahead slow.
Steer a course around it, Mr Sulu.

- lt's blocking the way!
- No need to raise your voice.

All engines stop. Sound the alert.

Bridge to all decks, condition alert.

All decks, condition alert.
Captain Kirk to the bridge.

Space, the final frontier.

These are the voyages
of the starship Enterprise.

lts five-year mission,
to explore strange new worlds,

to seek out new life
and new civilisations,

to boldly go
where no man has gone before.

Captain's log, stardate 1512.2.

On our third day of star mapping,
an unexplained object blocked our path.

On the bridge,
Mr Spock ordered general alert.

My location - sickbay.
Quarterly physical check.

- Just a few seconds more.
- Just a few seconds more.

That's a boy, keep it up.
Work up a sweat. lt'll do you good.

You're killing me!


- Winded?
- You'd be the last one l'd tell.

- Kirk here. What's going on?
- Have a look at this, Captain.

- What's that?
- Undetermined.

lt's blocking our way.
When we move, it moves.

- A vessel of some kind?
- Negative. Some type of device.

l'll be right up.

Why didn't you tell me
the alarm light was flashing?

l had to finish your physical. Am l
a doctor or a moon shuttle conductor?

lf l jumped every time a light came on,
l'd end up talking to myself.

All decks alert.

All decks alert.


- Captain to bridge.
- Spock here.

- Any changes?
- Negative. lt wants to hold us here.

- Any indication of danger from it?
- Negative.

l'll change first then. Captain out.

All decks have reported green,
Mr Bailey.

When the captain arrives,
he'll expect a full report...

The cube's range and position.
l'll have it by then.

Raising my voice back there
doesn't mean l couldn't do my job.

lt means l have a human thing
called an adrenalin gland.

Sounds inconvenient. Have you
considered having it removed?

Very funny.

Try to cross brains with Spock,
he'll cut you to pieces every time.

- Captain to bridge. Any signs of life?
- Negative.

- You've tried all hailing frequencies?
- No answer.

- Have the department heads meet me.
- Already standing by.

Sensors show it as solid,
but its composition is unknown.

- Lieutenant Uhura?
- Hailing frequency is open. Nothing.

- Navigation.
- Distance from us, 1,593 metres.

Each of its edges measures 107 metres.
Mass is about 11,000 metric tonnes.

- Scotty?
- Mode of power? Beats me.

- l'll buy speculation.
- l'd sell it if l had any.

That's a solid cube.

How something like that can sense us
and block us, beats me.

That's my report.

- Life sciences?
- Same report.

Are we going to let it hold us?
We have phasers. Let's blast it.

l'll keep that in mind, Mr Bailey.
When this becomes a democracy.

Captain's log, stardate 1513.8.

Star maps reveal no indication
of habitable planets nearby.

Origin and purpose of the cube
still unknown.

We've been held motionless
for 18 hours.

- Anything further, gentlemen?
- There are two possibilities.

First, a space buoy of some kind.

- Second?
- Flypaper.

- You don't recommend sticking around?
- Negative. We'd appear too weak.

lt's time for action, gentlemen.

- Mr Bailey.
- Bridge to phaser gun crew.

l'll select what action...

- l'm sorry, sir...
- You're explaining? l didn't request that.

Navigator, plot us a spiral course
away from the cube.

We'll try pulling away from it.

Helmsman to engine room. All decks
alert. We are going to try pulling away.

Course plotted and laid in, sir.

- Engage, Mr Sulu. Quarter speed.
- 0.25, sir.

- Still blocking us, sir.
- Let's see if it will give way.

- Ahead, half speed.
- 0.50, sir.

Radiation from the short end
of the spectrum increasing.

All stop. Hold position.

lt's still coming towards us.
Range, 190 metres.

- Radiation increasing.
- Power astern, half speed.

Half speed.

- Radiation nearing the tolerance level.
- lt's still coming. Gaining on us.

- Engines astern. Full speed.
- Full speed.

Range, 125 metres.

- Helm, give us warp speed.
- Warp 1, sir.

Radiation at the tolerance level.

Warp 2, sir.

- Speed is now warp 3.
- Radiation passing the tolerance level.

Range, 51 metres and still closing, sir.

- Phaser crew, stand ready.
- Phaser crew reports ready, sir.

- We can only take a few more seconds.
- Lock phasers on target.

- Mr Bailey, lock phasers.
- Phasers locked on target, sir.

- Point-blank range and closing.
- Fire main phasers.

Captain's log, stardate 1514.0.

The cube has been destroyed.
Ship's damage, minor.

But my next decision, major -
probe on ahead, or turn back?

Nothing, Captain.
No objects in any direction.

Care to speculate on what we'll find
if we go on ahead?


Logically, we'll discover
the intelligence that sent out the cube.

lntelligence different
from ours, or superior?

Probably both. lf you're asking
the logical decision to make...

No, l'm not. The mission
of the Enterprise is to seek out alien life.

Has it occurred to you
that there is a certain inefficiency

in questioning me on things
you've already decided?

lt gives me emotional security.

- Navigator, set a course ahead.
- Plotted. Laid in, sir.

- Engage.
- Warp 1, sir.

Mr Bailey, phaser crews were sluggish.
You were slow in locking them.

Helmsman, engineering decks
could have been faster, too.

Programme a series
of evasion manoeuvres.

Repeat the exercise
until we're proficient.

Yes, sir.

Your timing is lousy, Jim.

- Your men are tired...
- Captain's quarters.

Don't you always say,
"Suffering is good for the soul"?

l never say that.

- Prepare for simulated attack.
- l'm worried about Bailey.

- Navigator's position is rough enough.
- l think he'll cut it.

How so sure? Because you spotted
something you liked in him?

Something familiar, like yourself,
11 years ago?

Deck 5, give me a green light.

You've been reading
your text books again?

l know you promoted him too fast.
Listen to that voice.

Condition alert. Battle stations.

Engineering deck 5, report.
Come on, phaser crews.

Phaser station 2,
where's your green light?

What's next?
"They're not machines, Jim?"

- After what they've been through...
- l've heard you say,

"Man is ultimately superior
to any mechanical device."

- l never say that, either.
- l've heard you say it.

- Kirk here.
- Exercise rating. 94%.

- Let's try for 100%.
- Agreed.

What are you going to do
with that 6%, Jim?

l'm going to take it and l'm going to...

Excuse me, sir.
lt's past time you had something to eat.

What the devil is this? Green leaves?

lt's dietary salad, sir. Dr McCoy
ordered your diet card changed.

Your weight was up a couple of pounds.

- Will you stop hovering over me?
- l'll change it if you don't like it, sir.

- Bring some for the doctor, too.
- l never eat until the crew eats.

- Thank you.
- You're welcome, sir.

Prepare to better reaction time
on second simulated attack.

When l get my hands on the genius
who assigned me a female yeoman.

- Don't you trust yourself, Jim?
- Battle stations.

Engineering decks alert...

l've already got a female
to worry about - the Enterprise.

Engineering decks alert.
Phaser crews, let's...

All decks to battle stations.
This is not a drill.

- Kirk here.
- We're picking up an object.

- Much larger, coming towards us.
- Coming.

Exceptionally strong contact.

Not visual yet.

Distant spectrograph. Metallic, similar
to cube. Much greater energy reading.

There, sir.

- Prepare for evasive action.
- Reducing to warp 2, sir.

Something's grabbed us.

- Engines overloading, sir.
- All engines stop.

- Phaser crew, stand ready.
- Phaser crew, stand ready.

Forward phaser will comply.
All weapons ready.


- What's its mass?
- The reading goes off my scale.

- lt must be a mile in diameter.
- 5,000 metres away, it fills the screen.

Reduce image. Let me see all of it.

Magnification 2.5, sir.

Magnification 18.5, sir.

- Ship to ship.
- Hailing frequencies open, sir.

This is the Enterprise. We convey
greetings and await your reply.

- What is it, Mr Bailey?
- A message...

- coming over my navigation beam.
- Pick it up.


...and trespassed
into our star systems.

This is Balok, commander of the
flagship Fesarius of the First Federation.

Your vessel, the product of
a primitive and savage civilisation,

having ignored a warning buoy
and having destroyed it,

has demonstrated
your intention is not peaceful.

We are now considering the disposition
of your ship and the life aboard.

- Ship to ship.
- Hailing frequencies open, sir.

This is the Enterprise captain.

The warning nature of your buoy
was unknown to us.

When we attempted to disengage...

We're being invaded
by sensor probes everywhere.

Our systems, our engines.

No further communication
will be accepted.

lf there is the slightest hostile move,
your vessel will be destroyed.

They're shutting off
some of our systems, Captain.

Brilliant. Extremely sophisticated
in their methods.

Our recorder marker has this on tape?

- Enough to warn other Earth ships.
- Mr Bailey, despatch recorder marker.

Mr Bailey?

- Recorder marker despatched, sir.
- Marker on course...

Your recorder marker
has been destroyed.

You have been examined.
Your ship must be destroyed.

We assume you have a deity or deities,

or some such beliefs
which comfort you.

We therefore grant you ten
Earth minutes to make preparations.

lt might be interesting to see what
they look like if l can locate that voice.

Balok's message
was heard all over the ship.

Captain to crew. Most of you
have encountered alien life-forms.

You know the greatest danger
facing us is ourselves.

A fear of the unknown.
But there is no such thing.

Only things temporarily not understood.

ln most cases,
intelligence capable of a civilisation

is capable of understanding
peaceful gestures.

A life-form capable of space travel

is advanced enough
to understand our motives.

All decks, stand by.

Captain out.

- Ship to ship.
- Hailing frequencies open, sir.

This is the captain
of the U.S.S. Enterprise.

We came seeking friendship
but have no wish to trespass.

To demonstrate our goodwill,
our vessel will return the way it came.


Lay in a course ahead, Mr Bailey.

- What? Course...
- Plotted and laid in, sir.

- Engage warp factor 1.
- Warp factor.

- There's no response.
- Switch to impulse.

Engine and weapon systems show dead.

Switching to screen.
l believe l can get something visual.

You are wasting time and effort.
There is no escape.

You have eight Earth minutes left.

l was curious to see how they appeared.

- Of course you were.
- l don't understand this.

Spock's wasting time.
Everybody's sitting around.

- Somebody's got to do something!
- Easy, Bailey.

Let's find out what they want us to do.

- They want us to lose our heads.
- We've only got eight minutes.

- Seven minutes...
- He's doing a countdown!

- You're at the end of watch.
- Are you all out of your minds?

End of watch! lt's the end of everything.
What are you, robots?

Don't you know when you're dying?

Regulations and orders.
What do they mean?

Bailey, you're relieved.

Escort him to his quarters, Doctor.

Let's go.

- Ship to ship.
- Hailing frequencies open, sir.

This is the Enterprise captain speaking.

lt is a human custom
to try to avoid misunderstanding.

We destroyed your buoy
as an act of self-preservation.

When we moved away, it emitted
radiation harmful to our species.

lf you've examined our ship
and its tapes, you know this to be true.

You now have seven minutes left.

Four minutes, 30 seconds.

You have an annoying fascination
for time pieces, Mr Sulu.


Four minutes.

What's the matter with them?

They must know we mean them no harm.

They're certainly aware
that we're totally incapable of it.

There must be something to do,
something l've overlooked.

Chess. When one is outmatched,
the game is over.


ls that your best recommendation?

l regret that l can find
no other logical alternative.

- Assuming we get out of this, Captain...
- Nobody's given up yet.

Then about Bailey. Let me enter it
into my medical records as fatigue.

- That's my decision.
- And your mistake.

- You expected too much out of him.
- l'm ordering you to drop it.

l have no time for your theories.

l'll challenge your actions.
l'll state that l warned you.

- That's no bluff.
- Any time you can bluff me, Doctor...

Three minutes.

All right, Doctor. Let's hope
we have time to argue about it.

Not chess, Mr Spock.


Do you know the game?

- Ship to ship.
- Hailing frequencies open, sir.

This is the Enterprise captain.

Our respect for other life-forms
requires that we give you this warning.

One critical item of information

that has never been incorporated
into our memory banks.

Since the early years
of space exploration,

vessels have had incorporated into them
a substance known as corbomite.

lt is a material and device
which prevents attacks on us.

lf any destructive energy
touches our vessel,

a reverse reaction of equal strength
is created destroying...

You now have two minutes.

...destroying the attacker.

Since the initial use of corbomite
more than two centuries ago,

no attacking vessel
has survived the attempt.

Death has little meaning to us.

lf it has none to you, then attack us now.

We grow annoyed at your foolishness.

However, it was well played.

l regret not having learned more
about this Balok.

- He was like my father.
- May Heaven have helped your mother.

Quite the contrary. She considered
herself a very fortunate Earth woman.

Doc, l'm sorry.

For having other things on your mind?
My fault.

l don't know how the devil
you kept from punching me in the face.

One minute. l knew he would.

lf anyone's interested...30 seconds.

Request permission to return to post, sir.

Permission granted.

11... 10 seconds...

9... 8... 7... 6... 5...

4... 3... 2... 1...

A very interesting game, this "poker".

- lt does have advantages over chess.
- l'd love to teach it to you.

- This the commander of the Fesarius.
- Here it comes.

ls it raise or call?

The destruction of your vessel
has been delayed.

We will relent in your destruction
only if we have proof of your corbomite.

Hold on that.
Let him sweat for a change.

- Ship to ship.
- Hailing frequencies, sir.

Request denied.

l have visual contact, Captain.

We will soon inform you of our decision
regarding your vessel.

And having permitted
your primitive efforts to see my form,

l trust it has pleased your curiosity.

And now, another demonstration
of our superiority.

- l thought power was off in the galley.
- l used a hand phaser. Zap. Hot coffee.

Something's going on, Captain.

- lt's a small ship.
- About 2,000 metric tonnes.

lt has been decided

that l will conduct
you to a planet of the First Federation,

which is capable
of sustaining your life-form.

There you will disembark
and be interned.

- Your ship will be destroyed.
- Engine systems coming on.

Do not be deceived
by the size of this pilot vessel.

- lt has the potential to destroy yours.
- Tractor beam again.

So that you may sustain
your gravity and atmosphere,

your systems are now open.

Escape is impossible.
You're being taken to your destination.

Any move to escape
or destroy this ship

will result in the instant destruction
of the Enterprise and everyone aboard.

We're being towed, sir.

Captain's log, stardate 1514.1.

The Enterprise is in tow. To this point
no resistance has been offered.

My plan - a show of resignation.

Balok's tractor beam has to be
a heavy drain of power on a small ship.

- Question. Will he grow careless?
- Captain, he's pulling out ahead of us.

He sneaked power down a bit.

- Our speed is down to 0.64 of light.
- l want a right angle course.

Shear away from him
no matter which way he turns.

Maximum acceleration
when l give the word.


lt's a strain, Captain.
Engines are overloading.

- More power.
- We're superheating.

lntermix temperature is 7,400 degrees.

7,500... 7,600...

8,000 degrees...

Shear away, Mr Bailey.

2,000 degrees above maximum.

8,400... 8,500... 8,600...

- She'll blow soon.
- Now, Mr Sulu. lmpulse power, too.

We're breaking free, sir.

All engines stop.

- All engines stopped, sir.
- Engines need work badly, Captain.

- Can you hold it here?
- That may not be wise.

- lf he got a signal to the mother ship...
- Then we're not home yet.

A signal, Captain. lt's very weak.
lt's Balok.

lt's a distress signal to the Fesarius.

His engines are out.
His life-sustaining system isn't operating.

- The message is repeating, sir.
- Any reply?

Negative. His signal is growing weak.

- l doubt the mother ship heard it.
- Plot a course for it, Mr Bailey.

- For it, Captain?
- Dead ahead.

This is the captain speaking.

First Federation vessel is in distress.
We're preparing to board it.

There are lives at stake. Alien life,
but lives nevertheless. Captain out.

- Course plotted and laid in, sir.
- Mr Scott, ready the transporter room.

Mr Sulu, bring us to within 100 metres.
Ahead slow.

Ahead slow, sir.

- Jim, don't you think...
- What's the mission of this vessel?

To seek out and contact alien life.

And an opportunity to demonstrate
what our words mean. Any questions?

l'll take two men with me.

Dr McCoy to examine and treat
the aliens, if necessary. And Mr Bailey.

- Sir?
- The face of the unknown.

l think l owe you a look at it.

Yes, sir.

Request permission to...

Denied. lf l'm wrong, if it's a trap,
l want you here.

- Transporter ready?
- Yes, sir. But it's risky.

We're locked in on a main deck.

- Air sample?
- A higher oxygen content than our own.

- Communicator, phaser weapon.
- Thank you, Scotty. Ready, Doctor?

No, but you won't let that stop you.

Bend low, gentlemen.
lt reads pretty cramped over there.

- Ready to transport.
- Energise.

This is a dummy, a puppet of some kind.

l'm Balok. Welcome aboard.

- l'm Captain Kirk.
- And McCoy and Bailey. Sit.

Be comfortable.

Go ahead, be seated.

We must drink. This is tranya.
l hope you relish it as much as l.

- Commander Balok...
- l know, l know.

A thousand questions.
But first, the tranya.


- Commander, that puppet...
- My alter ego.

ln your culture
he would be Mr Hyde to my Jekyll.

You must admit he's effective. You'd
never have been frightened by me.

And l thought my distress signal quite
clever. lt was a pleasure testing you.

- Testing us?
- l see.

- l had to discover your real intentions.
- But you probed our memory banks.

Your records could have been
a deception on your part.

And your crew?

l have no crew, Doctor. l run everything.
This entire complex from this small ship.

But l miss company, conversation.
Even an alien would be welcome.

Perhaps one of your men
for some period of time?

- An exchange of information, cultures...
- Yes, both our cultures would benefit.

Do you know where we can find
a volunteer, Mr Bailey?

Me, sir. l'd like to volunteer.

- You represent Earth's best then?
- No. l'll make plenty of mistakes.

But you'd find out more about us.

And l'd get a better officer in return.

l see. We think much alike,
Captain, you and l.

Now, before l bring back the Fesarius,
let me show you my vessel.

lt is not often l have this pleasure.

Yes, we're very much alike, Captain.
Both proud of our ships.