Star Trek (1966–1969): Season 2, Episode 16 - The Gamesters of Triskelion - full transcript

Kirk, Uhura and Chekov are trapped on a planet where abducted aliens are enslaved and trained to perform as gladiators for the amusement of bored, faceless aliens.

Captain's log, stardate 3211.7.

We are entering standard orbit
about Gamma II,

an uninhabited planetoid
with an automatic communications

and astrogation station.

Ensign Chekov,
Lieutenant Uhura and I

will beam down and make
a routine check of its facilities.

- Standard orbit, captain.
- Good.

- Mind the store, Mr. Spock.
- Acknowledged, captain.

- Lieutenant Uhura, let's go.
- Yes, sir.

- Energize, Scotty.
- Aye, captain.

Captain, what happened?

Must be a transporter malfunction.

That was a rough trip.

This isn't Gamma II.

Look at the colour of that sky.

This is the craziest landing pad
I've ever seen.

And that's a trinary sun.

- Scott to Bridge.
- Spock here.

Mr. Spock, the captain,
Lieutenant Uhura and Chekov,

they vanished.

They got onto the transporter platform
and they just vanished.

I presume you mean they vanished
in a manner not consistent

with the usual workings
of the transporter, Mr. Scott.

Why, of course I mean that.

Do you think I'd call you
if they just beamed down?

- Have you reversed controls?
- I've made all the proper checks.

There was nothing.
There was no flash of light, nothing!

- They were gone.
- Power surge?

Not down here.
All the dials were right

and the transporter
was functioning perfectly.

Recheck your equipment, Mr. Scott.

I'll scan for them on
the planet's surface. Spock out.

But, captain, if we're not
on Gamma II, then where are we?

That's what I'd like to know.

Kirk to Enterprise.
Kirk to Enterprise.


- Mine too.
- Captain, look.

Phasers on stun.



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 civilisations,

to boldly go where no man
has gone before.

Captain's log, stardate 3211.8.

While beaming down from
the Enterprise

to inspect facilities on Gamma II,

the normal transporter sequence
has been interrupted

and we find ourselves
on a strange and hostile planet,

surrounded by creatures
belonging to races

scattered all through the galaxy.

Excellent, Captain Kirk.

Although we expected strength
and competitive spirit,

we are greatly pleased.

Either of you hurt?

I don't think so, captain.

Nobody's hurt, captain. Yet.

Admirable, Chekov, admirable.

You also, Uhura.

Your spirit is as great
as the captain's.

I can see you will all prove
invaluable here.

I am Galt, master thrall
of the planet Triskelion.

I have been sent to welcome you.

There, captain.

Now you are prepared
for your training.

How do you know our names?

The Providers were
expecting you, captain.

They arranged your transportation.

- These Providers of yours, are they..?
- Correction, captain.

The Providers are not ours.
We are theirs.

- What do they want from us?
- You are to be trained, of course.

What other use is there for thralls?


You must be mistaken.

We're officers of a United spaceship
on Federation business.

There has been no mistake.

Your old titles
mean nothing here, captain.

You are thralls now.

You are to be taken
to the training enclosure.


places have been prepared for you.

We're not going anywhere
until we have some information.

Who are you? What is this place?

What do you think
you'll do with us?

I am Galt, the master thrall.

This place is the planet Triskelion.

You are to be trained and spend
the rest of your lives here.

Mr. Spock, I've checked that
transporter from one end to the other.

Every circuit works perfectly.

Whatever that power surge was, it had
nothing to do with the transporter

or with any other system
aboard this ship.

I'm beginning to believe that,
Mr. Scott.

I've conducted two sweeps
of the planet's surface.

There is no sign of life.

Then what the devil is happening?

Does that mean their atoms are
just floating around out there?

No, doctor. Even that would show up
on our sensors.

Where are they, then?

The only answers are negative.
No magnetic storms,

no ionic interference,
no breakdown in your equipment.

A negative attitude is no good to us.

We can't just leave them out there.
Wherever they are.

We shall continue sensor scans,

At the moment, that is all we can do,
except hope for a rational explanation.


I always thought that was
a human failing, Mr. Spock.

True, doctor.

Constant exposure does result
in a certain degree of contamination.

These are your quarters.

Open, thralls.

That was foolish, captain.

Escape is quite impossible,

as demonstrated by your
collars of obedience.

Return to your quarters.

They're not within the confines
of this solar system.

It's been nearly an hour.
Can people live that long

as disassembled atoms
in a transporter beam?

I have never heard
of a study being done.

But it would be a fascinating project.


Those people are friends of ours
out there, if they're still alive.

- Precisely.
- Well, the odds are not good.

- No. I would say approximately 400...
- Don't quote odds,

and don't give me any more
dispassionate logic, Mr. Spock.

- Just keep looking for them.
- I'd welcome a suggestion, doctor,

even an emotional one,
as to where to look.

The first time you've ever asked me
for anything

and it has to be
an occasion like this.

Captain, the Enterprise, they will
be trying to find us, won't they?

They'll be trying.
But where do they look?

We're here
and we don't know where it is.

This system's star is a trinary.
Limits it a bit.

But we're a long way
from the Enterprise...

...if we're even in
the same dimension.

I am your drill thrall.

- I am called Lars.
- What do you want from her?

That is not your concern.

Your drill thralls
will attend you presently.

There is little time.

What are you doing?

- Get out.
- I have been selected for you.

Lieutenant, are you all right?


Lieutenant, are you all right?

Lieutenant, answer me!

Lieutenant? What's happening
to Lieutenant Uhura?

Lieutenant, are you all right?

It is not allowed to refuse selection.

Step away from the door.

Come. It is the nourishment interval.

Captain's log, stardate 3259.2.

First Officer Spock in command.

The captain, Lieutenant Uhura,
and Ensign Chekov

have been missing
for nearly two hours.

Computer probability projections
are useless due to insufficient data.

Mr. Spock, I'm getting a fluctuating
energy reading on this hydrogen cloud.

It's faint, sir, but it consistently reads
an excess of predictable energy level.


Seems to be an ionization trail.

What would account
for that, Spock?

Exactly the question I've just
fed to the computers, doctor.

And the answer is...

...nothing known to us
would account for it.

The transporter has neither the power
nor the range to account for that.

- Plot a follow course, Ensign Haines.
- Aye, sir.

You're going to leave here
without them

and run off on some wild-goose chase
halfway across the galaxy

just because you found a discrepancy
in a hydrogen cloud?

Doctor, I am chasing the captain,
Lieutenant Uhura and Ensign Chekov,

not some wild aquatic fowl.
This is the only lead we've had.

Course plotted and laid in, Mr. Spock.
Three-10, mark 241.

Initiate. Warp factor 2.

You? You have been
selected for me?

No. I am only your drill thrall.

I have brought you nourishment.

It is a nice name, Chee-koo.


Chee-koof. It is a very nice name.

I am called Tamoon.

Pleased to know you... miss?

You are a fine specimen.
I like you better than the others.

I will instruct you well,
so my Provider will take you.

That's very kind of you, miss, but...

If my Provider is pleased,

we may even be selected
for each other.

I didn't realise I was so hungry.

Whatever you call this,
it was very good.

It is nourishment. We call it that.

Nourishment. That's very practical.

- What do you call this collar?
- It is the sign of our Provider.

By the colour of the lights
it can be known who holds us.

When you are vended,
you will also have a colour.

Vended? You mean bought? Sold?

When you are developed.

The Provider who offers the most
quatloos puts his colour on us.

Our race has another name for it:


This collar of obedience... Galt the only one
who can operate it?

It is only to warn and punish.

- How does he work it?
- It is not permitted to talk of that.

Will you provide
all my nourishment?

Of course. I am your drill thrall.
I will train you well.

Yes, I'm sure you will.

I must say, I've never seen
a top sergeant who looked like you.

What does that mean?

It means you're
a very beautiful woman.

What is "beautiful"?

You mean nobody's ever
told you that before?

Well, beautiful is...


That's beautiful.

Shahna, where were you born?


I have been here always.

Your parents, where are they?
Your mother and father.

She who bore me
was killed in a freestyle match.

- Freestyle?
- You will learn all these things.

Lars, and Chekov's drill thrall,
they weren't born here.

- Where do they come from?
- It is not permitted...

The exercise interval.

This is your training harness.
Put it on.

This is ridiculous.

Nothing out there.
Nothing out there at all.

We certainly seem to be
heading into an empty sector.

Projecting back along
the path of ionization,

the nearest system is M24 Alpha.

That must be
two dozen light-years away.


Are you suggesting that they could
have transported over a distance of?

You're out of
your Vulcan mind, Spock!

I am suggesting nothing, doctor.

I am merely pursuing
the only logical course available to us.


This thrall was slow
in obeying a command.

For his punishment,
he will be practise target.

As you charge, you will strike
the practise target when you pass.

You begin, Uhura.


It is not allowed to refuse
a training exercise.

I don't care whether it's allowed or not.
I will not do it!

None of us will do it, Galt.

It is part of your training.

The Providers wish it.

- The devil with the Providers.
- Cossacks!

We have been tolerant
because you are newcomers.

But I see you must be
given a lesson.



Kloog will administer correction.

Uhura, take your place on the Triad.

- Tie her.
- No.


I'm responsible
for the actions of my people.

I demand to see the Providers.

It is not permitted.

But, captain, since you assume
responsibility for your people,

you will take the punishment.

It is less painful than the collar.

Turn around.

Captain, you will be practise target.

It is a shame to lose you, captain,

but it is worth it
as an example to the others.

Captain's log, supplemental.
Stardate unknown.

Our strange captivity continues.

This planet is called Triskelion.

We do not know its location.
We do not know who controls it.

Its dangers are abundantly clear.


Rest interval. Fifteen trisecs.

He's pretty fast with that whip.

This will strengthen you. Drink it.

Kloog's left eye is weak.
Approach him from that side.

Resume places.


We hold, Provider One.

Provider One bids 300 quatloos
for the newcomers.

- Provider Two, 350 quatloos!
- Provider Three, 400!

- One thousand quatloos!
- One thousand fifty quatloos!

Two thousand.

Two thousand quatloos are bid.

Is there a challenge?

The newcomers have been vended
to Provider One.

We're free people.

We belong to no one.

Such spirit! I wager 15 quatloos
that he is untrainable.

Twenty quatloos that
all three are untrainable.

Five thousand quatloos that the
newcomers will have to be destroyed.

Accepted. Mark them, Galt.

You now bear the mark
of a fine herd.

But I must warn you,
any further disobedience

now that you are full-fledged thralls

will be punishable by death.

Mr. Spock, it just doesn't make sense
they could have come this far.

If there's any chance at all,

it's to continue to search
in the area they were lost.

We searched the area.

It's always possible
to miss something.

Such as a failure
in the transporter mechanism?

No, sir. There was no sign of failure.

There was no sign of them
in the area of Gamma II.

If they weren't there,
it's just ridiculous to think

they could still be alive.
Not after all this time.

In that case, we have nothing to lose
by pursuing our present course.

Slow down. Slow down.
Wait a minute. Wait up.

We've covered over two miles.
Can we take a breather? A rest.

- Very well, if you are tired.
- Yes.

Well, it's good to get away from that
development area, even for a while.

Shahna, why do the Providers?

Why do they like to watch
others being hurt, killed?

That is the way.

Their voices sound mechanical.

- Are they computers?
- Computers?

You've seen them?
Do they have bodies?

Not such as ours.

What is this place?

It is not used.

It's very old. Does it have a name?


...could it have been
a city for the Providers?

I do not think it is well
to ask such things.

They do have bodies, or did have?

One does not talk of such things.

Very pretty country.

Very much like
my home planet, Earth.

- Planet?
- Where I was born.

Shahna, don't you ever
look at the night sky?

The lights up there?

I have looked at them.

Well, those are stars.

And around them are planets.

And there are people
that live on them, just like us.

How can one live
on a flicker of light?

From Earth, Triskelion's three suns
are just a flicker of light.

Actually, this is the darkest planet
I've ever seen.


But all is lighted.
Here, the chambers.

The thralls have no freedom,

You don't think or do anything
but what the Providers tell you.

What else would one do?

Love, for one thing.

What is love?

Love... the most important thing
on Earth,

especially to a man and a woman.

We, too, have mates.

When it is time to increase the herd,
my Provider will select one for me.

On Earth, we select our own mate.

Someone we care for.

On Earth,
men and women live together... each other,
make each other happy.

I do not think your words
are allowed.

All right. All right.

Tell me about the Providers.

What do they look like?
Where do they live?

I have never seen them,
but they are said not to be like us.

They stay in...

Stop it. Stop it!

I'm responsible!

I made her talk!

Stop it! You're killing her!

She did nothing wrong.
It was my fault.

If you want to punish someone,
punish me.


Is that what
you humans call compassion?

It is interesting,
but it has no value here.

You present many
interesting aspects, captain.

But you must learn obedience.
Then you will be an excellent thrall.

It's all right. It's all right.
You can stop crying now, Shahna.

It's all right.

You... You risked bringing
their anger on yourself.

Why did you do it?

It's the custom of my people

to help one another
when we're in trouble.

And... And this... this also "helping"?

You could call it that.

Please, help me once again.

I did not know it could be like this
between people.

Is it always so
in the place you come from?

Captain, you do indeed
present many surprises.

Because you have amused
the Providers,

there will be no punishment.

Return to your quarters.

Mr. Scott, can we manage
anything faster than warp 6?

It's my opinion that we've
gone too far as it is, sir.

He's right, Spock.

We've lost Jim and the others
back on Gamma II.

You've dragged us out here a dozen
light-years on some wild hunch that...

Doctor, I do not respond to hunches.

No transporter malfunction was
responsible for the disappearance.

They were not
within the Gamma system.

A focused beam
of extremely high-intensity light

was directed into
the Gamma system

from the trinary system
we are now approaching.

No known natural phenomena
could have caused that beam.

- Does that clarify the situation?
- No, it doesn't, Mr. Spock.

It's still a fancy way of saying
that you're playing a hunch.

Well, my hunch is that
they're back on Gamma II,

dead or alive,
and I still want another search.

Dr. McCoy speaks for me too, sir.

I see.

I am in command of this vessel,

and we shall continue
on our present course

unless it is your intention
to declare a mutiny.

Mr. Spock.

Who said anything about a mutiny,
you stubborn, pointed-eared?

All right, if we don't find them here,

will we still have another search
on Gamma II?

Agreed. Now, Mr. Scott,
could you manage warp 7?

I'd be more than content to do so, sir.
And maybe a wee bit more.

Ensign, warp 7.

You're disturbed
about what happened today.


You have made me feel strangely.

If it were allowed, I would ask
that you have another drill thrall.

I wouldn't like that, Shahna.

I wouldn't like that at all.

I'm sorry, Shahna.

This is going to kill our romance.

- What about Lars?
- He's gone to report me.

I told him I didn't like the food.

I think Galt is the only one
who controls these collars.

If we can find the phaser
that I threw at Lars,

we can use the circuits
to short out these collars.


Only a reminder.

You Earth people are most unusual,
most stimulating.

Standard orbit.

Sensors indicate only one concentration
of life forms on the planet,

on the lower hemisphere.
Humanoid readings.

At least that gives our landing force
a starting point.

There will be
no landing force, doctor.

Assuming the captain and the others
are still alive,

it would be unwise to endanger them
by beaming down a large contingent.

We're not going to leave them there
while we just sit and wait.

Interesting. No power source.

It may be shielded.

It may be just a wild-goose chase,
like we've been telling you.

I shall beam down, doctor.

If I'm unable to communicate,
a landing party may be necessary.

Well, Mr. Spock,
if you're going into the lion's den,

you'll need a medical officer.

Daniel, as I recall, had only his faith.

But I welcome your company,

- Mr. Scott, you'll be in command.
- Aye, sir.

No, Mr. Spock.
You will not leave the ship.

None of your control systems
will operate.

What the devil's going on?

Spock? Spock?


Welcome to Triskelion, gentlemen.

By now, it must be obvious to you
that you have been expected.

What the voice said was true, sir.
Nothing is functioning.

Commendations, gentlemen.

Your ingenuity in discovering

the whereabouts
of your companions is noteworthy.

What you're hearing, gentlemen,
is a Provider.

We are known to the thralls
as Providers

because we provide
for all their needs.

The term is easier for their limited
mental abilities to comprehend.

Providing for all their needs
means using thralls,

people stolen from other parts
of the galaxy,

to fight each other, and the Providers
gamble on the winner.


But these Providers haven't
the courage to show themselves.

Your species has great curiosity.
We knew that.

You are interesting in many ways.

But you are afraid.

You present no danger
while you wear the collar.

And you wear it as long as you live.

Then show yourself.

There is no objection.

The power source.
Shielded by solid rock.

We are 1,000 of your metres
beneath the surface.

Primary mental evolution.


That is not true, captain.

Once we had humanoid form,
but we evolved beyond it.

Through aeons of devoting ourselves
exclusively to intellectual pursuits,

we became the physically simple,

mentally superior creature
you see before you.

A species that enslaves
other beings

is hardly superior,

mentally or otherwise.

The thralls are necessary
to the games.

We have found athletic competitions
our only challenge,

the only thing which furnishes us
with purpose.

It's an unproductive purpose,
unworthy of your intellect.

We use only inferior beings.

We have found that all life forms
in the galaxy

are capable
of superior development.

Perhaps you're not as evolved
as you believe.

An interesting speculation, captain.

You and your people
are most challenging.

Yes, most challenging.

It was hoped that such new blood
would stimulate our stock of thralls.

How unfortunate
that you must be destroyed.

Our destruction will result
only in your own.

You may control the Enterprise,

but you cannot match the force
of the entire Federation.

Your ship will be destroyed
by a magnetic storm.

No communications with your base
will be possible.

Your fate will remain a mystery
to your people.

And you call yourselves superior!

You're murderers without the spirit
to really wager for the lives you take!

Wager? Explain yourself, captain.

My people pride themselves

on being the greatest, most successful
gamblers in the universe.

We compete for everything:
Power, fame, women.

Everything we desire.

And it is our nature to win.

For proof, I offer you
our exploration of this galaxy.

We are aware of
your competitive abilities, captain.

Well, then...

...I wager...

...that with weapons
of your own choice,

right here and now,

my people can overcome an equal
number of thralls set against us.

A hundred quatloos
on the newcomers.

Four hundred quatloos
against the newcomers.

Two hundred quatloos against!

Five hundred for the newcomers.
Contest by multiple elimination.

Wait! Wait! Hear me.

We can't wager
for trifles like quatloos.

The stakes must be higher.

Name your stakes, captain.

If we win, the Enterprise
and its crew leaves here in safety.

Furthermore, all the thralls
on the planet must be freed.

Anarchy. They would starve.

You will educate and train them

to establish
a normal self-governing culture.

Thralls govern themselves?

We have done the same with cultures
throughout the galaxy.

Are you willing to admit
that we can do something you can't?

- There is nothing we cannot do.
- And if you lose, captain?

If we lose?

We will remain here.
The entire crew of the Enterprise.

The most stubborn, determined
competitors in the universe.

We'll become thralls,
enter your games,

obey your orders without rebellion.

You'll be assured of generations

of the most exciting wagering
you've ever had.

Your stakes are
indeed high, captain.

Not for true gamesters.

We will accept your stakes
on one condition.

Name it.

As leader of your people,
your spirit seems most indomitable.

We suggest you, alone, pitted against
three contestants of our choosing.

Three against one?

Those are pretty high odds.

Not for true gamesters, captain.

Your terms are unfair.

On the contrary,
they're extremely fair.

Since your alternative is death.

Well, in that case,
I'll accept your terms.

Galt will prepare you.

Because you wager your skill
for all your people,

they will be permitted to watch
the outcome of the game

on the ship's viewscreen.

- Mr. Spock, look.
- Captain, you will defend.

Thralls must stay in the blue area.
You will take the yellow.

Touching an opposing colour
deprives a contestant of one weapon.

An opponent must be killed
to be removed from the game.

If only wounded,
he is replaced by a fresh thrall.

Is that clear, captain?

Yes, that's clear.

What in the name of heaven is this?

Heaven's got very little
to do with this.


You lied.

Everything you said.

The thralls surrender!

You have won, Captain Kirk,

However, the terms of the wager
will be honoured.

You are free.

Remove your collars.

The thralls will be trained?

They will be trained.
We have said it.

I think you'll find it
a much more exciting game

than the one you've been playing.

I'm sorry, Shahna. I didn't lie.

I did what was necessary.

- Someday I hope you'll understand.
- I understand. A little.

You will leave us now?


To go back to the lights in the sky?


I would like to go to those lights
with you.

- Take me.
- I can't.

Then teach me how,
and I will follow you.

There is so much
you must learn here first.

The Providers will teach you.
Learn it, Shahna.

All your people must learn
before you can reach for the stars.


- Scotty.
- Aye, sir.

Beam us up.

Goodbye, Jim Kirk.

I will learn...

...and watch the lights in the sky...

...and remember.