Star Trek (1966–1969): Season 1, Episode 13 - The Conscience of the King - full transcript

While Captain Kirk investigates whether an actor is actually a presumed dead mass murderer, a mysterious assailant is killing the people who could identify the fugitive.


An Arkturian Macbeth.

Watch him.

Watch Macbeth.

Is he dead?

Is King Duncan dead?

All great Neptune's

wash this blood
clean from my hands.

That voice.

How is it with me, when
every noise appalls me?

That man
on the stage.

I'm certain of it.

That's Kodos...

the Executioner.

Pluck'd out mine eyes!

Space--the final frontier.

These are the voyages of
the Starship Enterprise.

Its five-year mission--

to explore
strange new worlds...

to seek out new life
and new civilizations...

to boldly go where no man
has gone before.

Captain's log--
star date 2817.6.

Starship Enterprise diverted
from scheduled course.

Purpose--to confirm discover
by Dr. Thomas Leighton

of an extraordinar
new synthetic food

which would totally end
the threat off a mine

on Signia Minor,
a nearby Earth colony.

You mean you've called me
three light-years off my course

just to accuse an actor
of being Kodos?

He is Kodos.
I'm sure of it.

You said you discovered
a new food concentrate.

What do I put in my log,

that you diverted
a starship

with false information?

You're not only in trouble,

you've put me
in trouble, too.

I did it
to trap Kodos!


is dead.

Is he?

Is anyone sure?

A body burned
beyond recognition?

Tom, the authorities closed
the book on that case

years ago.

Then let's reopen it.

Jim, 4,000 people
were butchered.

Martha, you tell him.

I can't tell him

He's been like this

since the company
of actors arrived.

Kodos is dead.

I'm satisfied
with that.

Well, I'm not.

I remember him.

That voice.

The bloody thing he did.


Jim, I need your help.

There were only
eight or nine of us

who actually saw Kodos.

I was one.
You're another.

If he's to be exposed--

He's dead.

it will be a ghost

Martha and I receive
in our home tonight.

I invited
the entire company

to a cocktail party.

I have to be sure.

I have to get
back to my ship

and figure out

how I'll enter all this
in my log.

Tom. Martha.

Librar computer.

History files.


former Governor
Kodos of Tarsus 4,

also known as Kodos
the Executioner.

After that, background on actor
Anton Karidian.


Kodos the Executioner.

governor of Tarsus 4
20 Earth years ago.

Invoked martial law.

50% of population

Earth colony
that planet.

Burned body found
when Earth forces arrived.

No positive

Case closed.
Detailed information follows.

On stardate 2794.7--



on Anton Karidian.

Directo rand star

of traveling
company of actors

sponsored by galactic
cultural exchange project.

Touring official installations
last nine years.

Has daughter Lenore,
19 years old--


Give comparative

between the actor Karidian
and Governor Kodos.

No identification
records available

on actor
Anton Karidian.

Give information
on actor Karidian

to Kodos' death.

No information available--
Anton Karidian

priorto 20 year sago.

Photograph Kodos.

Photograph Karidian.

Now photograph both.

Mr. Spock.

You know Dr. Leighton,
don't you?

Would you say
he's given to fantasy?

A good empirical
research scientist.

Steady, reputable,
occasionally brilliant.

With a very long memory.

I have no information
on that, Captain.

We are ready
to leave orbit.

We'll delay departure
for a time.

I'm beaming back down
to the planet again.


Where's Tom?

He went to town.

He called.
He's on his way back.

The others
are on the patio.

I take it you're
the welcoming committee.

Is that for me?

Why not?

I saw your
performance tonight.

May I extend
my appreciation?

My father will be
delighted, Mr...


Captain James Kirk,

Starship Enterprise.

Oh. We're honored.

I had hoped

to meet your father
tonight personally.

I'm sorry,
Captain Kirk.

He has a rigid rule
about that.

He never sees anyone

and he never
attends parties.

An actor turning away
his admirers?

Very unusual.

Karidian is a most
unusual man.

You saw Macbeth.

That was my father.

Well, then I'll talk
to Lady Macbeth.

So, captain
of the Enterprise.


So, Lady Macbeth.

What's your next move?

We play two performances
at Benecia

if the Astra I Queen
can get us there.

She's a good ship.


You were very impressive
as Lady Macbeth.

Thank you.

And as Lenore Karidian?

Very impressive.


I'd like
to see you again.

You mean

Not necessarily.

I think I'd like that.

we must keep a schedule.

You don't have a schedule
now, do you?

You mean leave?

But I've only
just arrived.

So have I.

And you hate
to overstay a welcome.


Why not?


I'll make our apologies
to our hostess.

I'll meet you outside.

Tired of walking?

No.Just thinking.

About what?

At the party, you were
such a brash young man.

And now?

Now somehow different.

Not a ship's captain

with all those people

to be strong and confident
in front of.

You know, you're really very dear,
aren't you?

In some ways...

very lonely.

It's Tom Leighton.

He's dead.

At least
he has peace now.

He never really
had that before.

why was Tom killed

if what he suspected
wasn't true?

I don't know.

I'll try and find out.


How I'll miss him.

Kirk to Enterprise.

Bridge here,

Put me through
to Captain John Daley

of the Astra I Queen
in orbit station.

Put it on scramble,
will you?

Captain Daley's
on, sir.

John.Jim Kirk.


Can you do me a favor?

I owe you a dozen.
Just ask.

Don't make
your pickup here.

You mean strand
allthose actors?

I'll pick them up.

And if there's
any trouble,

it'll be
my responsibility.

Will do.
Anything else?

Just keep this
between the two of us

and accept my thanks.
Over and out.

Kirk to Enterprise.

Bridge here,

Transporter room.

Ready to beam up.



Ready to resume
course, Captain.

I think we're due
for a pickup.

What kind,
personnel? Cargo?


A Miss Karidian has been
transported aboard ship.

She requests permission
to see you.

Tell her to come
up to the bridge.

Escort Miss Karidian
to the bridge.

How did you know

this lady
was coming aboard?

I'm the captain.

I didn't think we'd be
meeting again so soon.

You probably
wouldn't believe me

if I told you
I arranged it.

No, but it's
a delightful thought.

we need your help.

We've been stranded.

It seems
that our transportation

has canceled out
on us.

Can't you make
other arrangements?

Well, yes,
but not in time.

Our schedule
is like a chain--

one break,
and it all collapses.

Be a shame
if that happened.

If ever we needed
a good Samaritan.

Well, l...

I appeal to you.

The regulations
are very clear

about taking on

I'll make a bargain
with you.

What have you got
to trade?

Special performance
for the crew

in exchange for a lift.

You make it sound
very interesting.

The crew's been on patrol
for a long time.

They could use
a break in the...


Then you'll do it?

You've got me backed
into a corner.

The men would
never forgive me

if I deprived them
of your performance

and your presence.

Thank you, Captain.

I'm eternally grateful.

I'll get the company

This means
so much to them.

Mr. Spock,

to leave orbit

as soon as
the Karidian company

is aboard the ship.

May I inquire
as to our course?

Benecia Colony.

Benecia Colony is eight light-years
off our course.

If my memory
needs refreshing,

I'll ask you for it.

In the meantime,
follow my orders.

Captain's log--
stardate 2818.9.

There are many questions
in my mind--

too many, perhaps--

about the actor Karidian
and his daughter.

For personal reasons,

I'm almost afraid
to learn the answers.

Mr. Spock,

the Benecia Colony.

We'll arrive
stardate 2825.3, Captain,

Approximately 1 500
Benecia time.

Librar computer.

Data on questions submitted
to personnel files.

Data being received.

Kodos file--

Of all survivors,

there are nine
actual eye witnesses

who can
identify Kodos.


Give list.

Enterprise captain,

Leighton, T.,

Moulton, E.,

Riley, K.,

Eames, D.--


Is that Star Service
Lieutenant Kevin Riley?

Riley, Kevin,

presently assigned U.S.S. Enterprise
communications section.


Mr. Spock.


Lieutenant Kevin Riley
in communications--

I wish him transferred
to the engineering decks.

He came up from engineering,

Well, I'm
sending him back.

Any explanation?

He's a fine
young officer.

He's bound to consider
this transfer

a disciplinary

I don't wish
to discuss it.

Please follow
my orders.

When the man on top
walks along his street,

the chain of command
is often a noose.

Spare me your philosophical
metaphors, Doctor.

The captain
is acting strangely.

I'm asking
if you've noticed.

Negative. This is
the first time in a week

I've had time for a drop.

Would you care
for a drink, Mr. Spock?

My father's race
was spared

the dubious benefits
of alcohol.

Oh. Now I know
why they were conquered.

What are you worried about?

Jim generally knows
what he's doing.

It was illogical
for him

to bring
those players aboard.

Did you get a look at that Juliet?

That's a pretty
exciting creature.

Of course your, uh,
personal chemistry

would prevent you
from seeing that.

Did it ever
occur to you

that he might
like the girl?

It occurred.

I dismissed it.

You would.

Did you know

that he suddenly transferred Riley
to engineering?

Lots of things
go on here

that I don't know,
Mr. Spock.

He's the captain.

He can transfer
whoever he pleases.

You can look that up

in a hundred volumes
of space regulations somewhere.

Come on.
Have a drink.

No, thank you.

Well, you're welcome.
But I will.

And please, Mr. Spock,

if you won't join me,

don't disapprove of me.

At least not until
you've tried it, huh?

This is the, uh,
observation deck.

That's the flight
deck down there--

the shuttle craft.


Isn't it?

Tell me,
Captain Kirk.


Did you order
the soft lights

for the occasion?

If I had ordered
soft lights,

I'd also have arranged
for music and flowers.

it isn't so.

On the Enterprise,
we try to duplicate

earth conditions
of night and day

as closely as possible.

Star light, star bright.

I wish I may,
I wish I might.

Do you remember that,

It's very old.

Almost as old
as the stars themselves.

And this ship.

All this power
surging and throbbing,

yet under control.

Are you like that, Captain?

All this power
at your command,

the decisions
that you have to make...

Come from a very
human source.

Are you, Captain?


You can count on it.

Tell me about the women
in your world.

I'd rather
talk about you.

You must have
wanted to perform

since you first saw
your father act. When?

In the beginning.

Tell me about it.

That's not fair.

You haven't
answered my question

about the women.

What would you
like to know?

Has the machine
changed them?

Made them just...

instead of women?

Worlds may change,

galaxies disintegrate,

but a woman...

always remains a woman.

All this...

and power, too.

The Caesar
of the stars

and the Cleopatra
to worship him.


Full personal dossiers
on the following names--

Dr. Thomas Leighton,

Anton Karidian,

Lieutenant Kevin Riley.

And Captain
James T. Kirk.

Standing by.

Correlate. Check
their past histories.

Report any item,

any past episode
or experience

they all have in common.


I appreciate whatever
concern you may have

for the ship's
company, Mr. Spock--

I will continue,

According to
our library banks,

it started on the Earth colony
of Tarsus 4.

The food supply
was attacked

by an exotic fungus.

There were
over 8,000 colonists

and virtually
no food.

And that was when
Governor Kodos seized full power

and declared
emergency martial law.

I've heard of it.

You may not have
heard it all.

Kodos began to separate
the colonists.

Some would live,

be rationed whatever
food was left.

The remainder would
be immediately put to death.

Apparently he had
his own theories of eugenics.

he wasn't the first.

Perhaps not.

But he was certainly
among the most ruthless,

to decide arbitrarily
who would survive,

using his own
personal standards,

and then to implement
his decision without mercy.

Children watching
their parents die.

Whole families destroyed.

Over 4,000 people.

They died quickly,
without pain,

but they died.

Relief arrived,

but too late
to prevent the executions.

And Kodos,

there never was a positive
identification of his body.

What's Karidian
to do with it?

His history begins

almost to the day
where Kodos disappeared.

And you think Jim
suspects he's Kodos?

He'd better.

There were
nine eye witnesses

who survived
the massacre

who'd actually seen Kodos
with their own eyes.

Jim Kirk
was one of them.

With the exception
of Riley and Captain Kirk,

every other eye witness
is dead,

and my library computer

that wherever they were--

on Earth, on a colony,
or aboard ship--

the Karidian Company of Players
was somewhere near

when they died.

It's unbelievable.

Hey. Rec room. Somebody.

Talk to me.

Larry Matson

Is that you,

What's up?

Not me.

I am down.

In the engineering room.

You've been
a bad boy.

Maybe so.

Whatever I've done,

they're keeping it
a secret from me.

Hey. Is that
Uhura playing?

Let me talk to her.

I think
his heart is sore.

What can I do for you?

A song.

Yep, make it
a love song.

Just something
to reassure me

I'm not the only
living thing

Ieft in
the universe, huh?

Well, you're not.

I'll prove it to you.

' The skies
are green and glowing '

' Where my heart is'

' Where my heart is'

' Where the scented
lunar flower's growing'

beyond the stars'

'Beyond Antares'

' I'll be back,
though it takes forever '

' Forever is just a day '

'Forever is
just another journey'

' Tomorrow
a stop along the way'

'Andlet theyears
go fading'

' Where my heart is '

' Where my heart is'

' Where my love

' Waiting'


'Beyond the stars'

'Beyond Antares"

How'd you like that,




Help me...


[Glass Shatters]

You've got to
pull him through.

I'm not sure I can.

If he dies,

the only one
who'll be able to identify Kodos

is the captain,

and he'll be
the next target.

Captain's log--

stardate 2819. 1.

Ship's officer Riley's
condition worsening.

Dr. McCoy
making lab analysis

to determine
cause and antidote.

Entire crew
deeply concerned.

As of this date,

lab report
indicates presence

of appreciable amount
of tetralubisol,

a highly volatile
lubricant in use aboard ship.

Someone tried
to poison him.

a milky substance.

Someone could have
gotten careless

and made a mistake.

I don't believe that.
Neither do you.

I want the captain
to see that report.

When I've finished
logging it.


All right.



My report
on Lieutenant Riley.

Will he make it?

He's got
a good chance.

We predict
the same foryou.

All right,
Mr. Spock.

Let's have it.

Lieutenant Riley
was a witness.

So were you.


All right.

Someone tried
to kill him.

Could have been
an accident.

You should
be told the difference

between empiricism
and stubbornness, Doctor.

I checked with the library computer
as you did.

I got the same

Aren't you out of line?

My personal business--

It's my business when it might interfere
with this ship's operation.

That happened?

It could.

I don't like
anyone meddling

in my private affairs.

Jim, Spock's
simply trying--

I know what he's doing.

It's his job.
You know it.

And you also know...

that nothing is proven.

Even in this corner
of the galaxy, Captain,

two plus two
equals four.

Certainly an attempt
will be made to kill you.

Why do you
invite death?

I'm not.

I'm interested
in justice.

Are you?

Are you sure
it's not vengeance?

No, I'm not sure.

I wish I was.

I've done things
I've never done before.

I've placed
my command in jeopardy.

I've got to determine
whether or not Karidian is Kodos.

He is.

You sound certain.

I wish I could be.

Before I accuse a man of that,
I've got to be.

I saw him once,
20 years ago.

Men change.

Memory changes.

I look at him now,
he's an actor.

It'll change
his appearance.


Logic is not enough.

I've got to
feel my way,

make absolutely sure.

What if you decide he is Kodos?
What then?

Do you play God,

carry his head through the corridors
in triumph?

That won't
bring back the dead,Jim.


But they may
rest easier.

Dr. Leighton
was murdered

while the Karidian Company
was on Planet Q

An attempt's been made
against Riley

while the company
is on board the Enterprise.

Doc isn't sure there was
a murder attempt.

I have an idea--



Do you hear it?
That low hum.

A phaser.

On overload.


This is the captain.

There's a phaser
on overload.

If it blows,
it'll take out the entire deck.

Evacuate all personnel
in this quadrant.

Double red alert.


You get out of here.

You can't stay.

Go on. Block off
this section.

I'll find it.

Evacuate this section.
Seal it off.

Clear section C4 and C5.


[Siren Stops]

[Door Opens]

We're overdue
for our talk, aren't we?

I had hoped

you would have respected
my privacy, Captain.

A moment ago,
we narrowly averted an explosion

which would have
destroyed several decks of this ship.

Before that, someone tried to poison
one of my crewmen.

I am sorry
to hear that.

I'm sure you are.

Are you Kodos?

I asked you
a question.

Do you believe
that I am?

I do.

Then I am Kodos,

if it pleases you
to believe so.

I am an actor.

I play many parts.

You're an actor now.

What were you
20 years ago?

Younger, Captain.

Much younger.

So was I.

But I remember.

Let's see if you do.

Read this into that communicator
on the wall.

It will be recorded

and compared to a Kodos voice film
we have in our files.

The test
is virtually infallible.

It will tell us whether
you're Karidian...

or Kodos
the Executioner.

Ready for voice test.

Disguising your voice
will make no difference.

"The revolution...

"is successful,

"but survival depends
on drastic measures.

"Your continued

"represents a threat
to the well-being of society.

"Your lives
means slow death

"to the more
valued members

of the colony."

I have no alternative

but to sentence you
to death.

Your execution
is so ordered.

Signed, Kodos,

governor of Tarsus 4.

I remember the words.

I wrote them down.

You said them
like you knew them.

You hardly glanced
at the paper.

I learn my parts
very quickly.

Are you sure you didn't
act this role out

in front of
an audience

whom you blasted out of existence
without mercy?

I find your use
of the word mercy

inappropriate, Captain.

Here you stand,

the perfect symbol

of our technical



and not very human.

You've done away
with humanity,

the striving of man

to achieve greatness

his own resources.

We've armed man
with tools.

Striving for greatness

But Kodos--

whoever he was--

Or is.

Or is.

Kodos made a decision
of life and death.

Some had to die
that others might live.

You're a man of decision,

You ought to
understand that.

All I understand

is that 4,000 people
were needlessly butchered.

In order to save
4,000 others.

And if the supply ships

hadn't come earlier
than expected,

this Kodos of yours
might have gone down in history

as a great hero.

But he didn't.

And history
has made its judgment.

If you're so sure
that I'm Kodos,

why not kill me now?

Let bloody vengeance
take its final course!

And see
what difference it makes

to this universe
of yours.

Those are
beautiful words,

well acted.

They change nothing.

No, I suppose not.

They're merely tools,

Iike this ship of yours.

There are no
previous records

to Anton Karidian

prior to
20 years ago.

Blood thins.

The body fails.

One is finally grateful

for a failing memory.

I no longer
treasure life,

not even my own.

I am tired!

The past...

is a blank.

Did you get
everything you...

Captain Kirk?

If I had gotten...

everything I wanted...

you might not walk
out of this room alive.

Captain Kirk.

You better rest...


a stain of cruelty

on your shining armor,

You could have
spared him...

and me.

You talked
of using tools.

I was a tool,
wasn't l?

A tool to use
against my father.

In the beginning

But later,

I wanted it to be
more than that.


always later.



Too late.

Too late, Captain.

You are
like your ship--


and not human.

There is no mercy
in you.

If he is Kodos,

then I've shown him
more mercy than he deserves.

And if he isn't...

then we'll
let you of fat Benecia,

and no harm done.

Captain Kirk.

Who are you to say
what harm was done?

Who do I have to be?

Medical log--

Lieutenant Riley's
sufficiently recovered

to be discharged,

but the captain
has ordered him

restricted to sick bay

to prevent
contact with passenger

who calls himself

and who's suspected
of being Kodos the Executioner

and of murdering
the Lieutenant's family.

Captain's log--

stardate 2819.8.

Suspect under surveillance.

Strategic areas
under double guard.

of the Karidian Players

taking place
as scheduled.

[Fanfare Plays]

the Karidian Players

present Hamlet,

another in a series
of living plays

presented in space,

dedicated to the tradition
of classic theater.

Hamlet is a violent play

about violent times

when life was cheap

andambition was God.

I believe we have a match,

But not an exact match,
Mr. Spock.

We're dealing
with a man's life.

No machine
can make that decision.

In the long history
of medicine,

no doctor
has ever caught

the first few minutes
of a play.

Don't forget--


- Captain Kirk, McCoy here.
- Yes, Doctor.

Riley's gone.

I was recording my log
about Karidian and Kodos.

If he overheard--

You've made your point,

security, "H" deck--

The weapons locker
has been broken into.

One phaser is missing.

This is the captain.

Security 2 alert.

Find and restrain
Lieutenant Kevin Riley.

He's armed

and possibly headed
towards the ship's theater.

Whither wilt
thou lead me?

Speak, Uncle.

No further.

Mark me.

I will.

My hour is almost come,

when I to sulphurous

and tormenting fires

must render up myself.


I am bound to hear.

So art thou
to revenge...

when thou shalt hear.

I am thy father's

for a certain term

to walk the night...


get back
to the sick bay.

He murdered my father...

and my mother.

You could be wrong.

Don't throw away your life
on a mistake.

I'm not wrong.

But that I am forbid
to tell the secrets

of my prison-house...

I know that voice.

That face,
I know it.

I saw it.

He murdered them.

Thy soul,

freeze thy young blood.

It's an order.

Give me the weapon.

If thou didst ever

thy dear father love...

Get back
to the sick bay.

Go on.


It's going beautifully.

What is it?

What's wrong?

There was a voice
out of the past

haunting me,

torturing me.

There was another part
I once played long ago.

I never told you
about it.

Now that same curtain
rises again.

The time has come.

No, Father.

The time
will never come.


after my performance,

the last two
who can harm you

will be gone.

What are you saying?

There were nine.

Now there are
only two,

and they will be gone
as soon as I--

Don't look at me
like that.

What have you done?

What had to be done.

They had to be

All of them?

All seven?

More blood
on my hands?

No, Father.

Not anymore.

I'm strong, Father.

It's nothing.

Second act--

three minutes.

We'll be ready.

Don't you see?

All the ghosts are dead.

I've buried them.

There's no more blood
on your hands.

Oh, my child.

My child.

You've left me

You were the one thing
in my life

by what I'd done.

But you're safe now,

I've saved you.


no one can touch you.

Not even Captain Kirk.

See Caesar come.

He's awed
by your greatness...

your shining

Bright as a blade...

before it is
stained with blood.

Bright as a blade.

Come with me,

both of you.

Of course.

After the play.

The play is over.

It's been over
for 20 years.

I was a soldier
in a cause.

Terrible things
had to be done.

Stop it, Father!

You have nothing
to justify.





I never wanted
the blood on my hands

ever to stain you.

I did it foryou.

I've saved you.

By killing
seven innocent men.

They weren't innocent!

They were dangerous!

I would have
killed a world

to save him!

Curtain going up--
one minute.

The play, Captain.

He must go on.

This is the great...



You cannot deny him
his last performance!

Lenore, don't!


You'll never
get off the ship.

Then it will become
a floating tomb,

drifting through space

with the soul
of the great Karidian

giving performances

at every star he touches.

I know how
to use this, Captain.

Lenore, no.


beware the ides of March.

No, child! Don't!








What feast is toward

in thine eternal cell...

that thou,
such a prince,

at a shot so bloodily

hast struck?

The curt--

The curtain.

The curtain rises.

It rises.

'This no time to sleep.

The play.

The play.

The play's the thing...

where in we'll catch
the conscience of the king.'

Medical report.


She'll receive
the best of care,Jim.

She remembers nothing.

She even thinks
her father's still alive

giving performances
before cheering crowds.

You really cared for her,
didn't you?

Ready to leave Benecia orbit,

Stand by,
Mr. Leslie.

All channels cleared,

All channels clear, sir.

Whenever you're ready,
Mr. Leslie.

Leaving orbit,

You're not going to
answer my question, are you?

Ahead warp factor 1 ,
Mr. Leslie.

That's an answer.