Star Trek (1966–1969): Season 3, Episode 6 - Spectre of the Gun - full transcript

As punishment for ignoring their warning and trespassing on their planet, the Melkot condemn Capt. Kirk and his landing party to the losing side of a surreal recreation of the 1881 historic gunfight at the OK Corral.

00:00:11,073 --> 00:00:13,909
On mark 8 and closing.

- Steady as she goes.
- Engineering to Bridge.

Phaser crew, stand by.

Range, 45,000 kilometres, captain.


Range, 43,000 kilometres
and closing.

Sensor readings.

A mechanical device
of unknown properties.

I read no life forms aboard.

- Analysis, science officer.
- Obviously it intends to intercept us.

It has made several course changes
corresponding with our own.

Thirty-eight thousand and closing.
Thirty-five thousand and closing.

Unclear whether it intends to attack
or merely communicate with us.

Thank you, science officer.

- Come to 181, mark 7.
- Aye, aye, sir.

- It's staying with us.
- Indeed.

Full stop, Mr. Chekov.
Hold your position.

Aye, sir.


You have encroached
on the space of the Melkot.

You will turn back immediately.

This is the only warning
you will receive.

- Vulcan, captain.
- English.

- It was Russian, sir. Every word.
- No, captain, it was Swahili.

Interesting. Telepathy.

Unquestionably. Most impressive.

Our orders are very clear.

We're to establish contact
with the Melkotians at all costs.

True telepaths can be most formidable,
captain, and we have been warned.

What previous contacts
have been made with the Melkotians?

No recorded contacts.

If they ever ventured into space,
they evidently withdrew immediately.


hailing frequencies.

Tied in, sir.

This is Captain James T. Kirk
of the starship Enterprise,

the United Federation of Planets.

We have contacted your buoy
and understand its message.

We hope that you will understand

that our intent is to establish
peaceful relations with you.

- Lieutenant, answer?
- Nothing, sir. Clear on all frequencies.

Try again.

Still no response, sir.

Opinion, Mr. Spock?

I prefer being a welcome guest,

but there seems to be little choice.

None whatsoever.
Mr. Chekov, deflectors to full intensity.

Increase speed to achieve planet fall
as scheduled.

Aye, sir.
Standard orbit in five minutes.

Lieutenant Uhura,
advise Dr. McCoy and Engineer Scott

to meet me
in the Transporter Room.

Mr. Spock, Mr. Chekov,

let's go find out
what it is they're afraid of.

Captain's log, stardate 4385.3.

We have transported
down to the Melkotian planet

and have encountered conditions
which are completely contrary

to what we were prepared for.

- Spock, what is this?
- Unknown, captain.

Sensor readings give no indication
of fog-like conditions in this area.

I knew it had to happen.

It's a fine time for that
transporter mechanism to break down.

Impossible, Dr. McCoy.
My transporter was working perfectly.

- Then what are we doing here?
- Tricorder readings, Mr. Spock?

Unknown, captain.

Unlike Mr. Scott's transporter,
this unit is not functioning.

Then let's get out of here.

Kirk to Enterprise. Kirk to Enterprise.
Come in.

No use, captain. Obviously,
none of our devices will function.

Apparently that Melkotian buoy...


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.

Our warning was plain.
You have disregarded it.

You shall be punished.

You, Captain Kirk.

The disobedience
was on your orders.

Yours is the responsibility.

Yours shall be the pattern
of your death.

We come in peace.

But we'll defend ourselves
if necessary.

You are outside. You are disease.

The disease must be destroyed.

Your plea has been heard,
and sentence has been pronounced.

It is done.


Where are we now, captain?

Spock, evaluation.

Obviously, this represents
the Melkotians' concept

of an American frontier town,
circa 1880.

It's just bits and pieces.
It's incomplete.

Perhaps the Melkotians
have insufficient data about this era.

Or perhaps this is all they require
to complete the pattern of our death.

And these, captain?

- Beautiful specimen.
- Crude, but dangerous.

Whatever the Melkotians
have planned for us,

it won't be pleasant.

These could be useful.
Just remember one thing.

To individuals at close range,

these could be as deadly as phasers.

In the midst of what seems so unreal,
a harsh reality.

This is not a dream.

"October 26th,
eighteen-eighty... 1881.

Tombstone, Arizona."

Hell-for-leather, right out of history.

But why here?

And why now?

Captain, the Melkot said
you were the pattern.

He looked into your mind
and selected what he considered

the proper time and place
for our punishment.

Because my ancestors
pioneered the American frontier.

Yes. The violence of your own heritage
is to be the pattern for our execution.

What's the matter with us?

We're talking like we really are
in Tombstone, Arizona in 1881.

Precisely, in terms
of what the Melkots intend for us.

There's something about that date.
October 26th, 1881.

But what was it?


Ike. Frank, Billy, Tom.

Ike, I was afraid
you weren't gonna make it.

Looks like we did.

Well, I knew you wouldn't let them
scare you away.

They're a bunch of hot air,
if you ask me.

- Are they really?
- And now they're gonna have to fight

after the way
they shot off their mouths.

Do you know us?

Funny. That's what I like
about you, lke.

- You always see the funny side.
- Yes, I'm a barrel of laughs.

Well, nobody can say Johnny Behan
doesn't have a sense of humour.


He called me lke, you Frank,
Bones Tom.

And Billy.

Ike Clanton,
Tom and Frank McLaury,

Billy Claiborne, Billy Clanton.

Captain, I pride myself
on my knowledge of your Earth history.

The names were known

in the annals of the opening
of the western sector of America.

The United States of America,
that is.

In the late 19th century in Arizona,

two factions fought for control
of the town of Tombstone.

The Earps: Morgan, Virgil and Wyatt,
who were the town marshals,

along with Doc Holliday.

And the Clanton gang.

On October 26th, they had it out.

Who won?

The Clantons lost, Mr. Chekov.

And we are the Clantons.

We are the Clantons.

And if this is a replay of history...

History cannot be changed.

It's impossible.
Things like this can't happen.

Is this a dead man, doctor?

Very dead, Mr. Spock.

That's one thing
we can be sure of here.

Death is real.

Ike, Frank. How are you, boys?
I didn't think I'd see you again.


Oh, Billy.

Billy, baby, I knew
they couldn't keep you out of town.

- Oh, you knew that?
- Come on.

Maybe you shouldn't have.

And pass up an opportunity
to see you? Don't be silly.

It's taking crazy chances with
Morgan Earp right in the same room.

Yes, of course.
The man who kills on sight.

Morgan Earp.


since we have seen that death
is the one reality in this situation,

I seriously suggest
you reseat yourself immediately.

Without moving a muscle
of either hand.

If I remember correctly,

that would involve you
in what was called the fast draw.

It initiated unfortunate events.

You boys want your usual?

Absolutely, a half a gallon of Scotch.

You know we ain't got
nothing but bourbon.

Unless you want corn whisky.

I wish it was all over.

Ike, I saw Virgil
out patrolling this morning.

Good old Virgil.
We can always count on him.

They've been blowing off all over town
how they chased the Clantons out.

I guess you'll show them now,
won't you?

I don't think
we're gonna have any choice.

You'll dirty yourself with this scum.
Come on.

- Get your hands off her.
- Now, Claiborne...

Now, now, all right, all right, all right.

Now, we don't want any trouble.

If you don't want trouble,
what are you doing in my town?

Just leave us alone, Mr. Earp.
That's all we ask.

Five of you. You'd like me to draw,
wouldn't you? All right, I will.

Soon enough.

Soon enough.

I believe he was actually trying
to provoke a dispute with Mr. Chekov.

Close, lke.
Lucky there wasn't two of them.

I guess so.

Sylvia's right.

They've been badmouthing
something fierce all over town.

- You boys watch it.
- I assure you, sir,

we shall watch it.

And everything, extremely closely.

Billy, you were wonderful.

Mr. Chekov.

What can I do, captain?

You know we're always
supposed to maintain good relations

with the natives.

Young lady.

- Young lady.
- Yes, lke?

I'd like to talk to Mr...
To Billy alone if you don't mind.

All right. I understand.

Billy Claiborne, you be careful.

Mr. Chekov, you be careful.

Mr. Spock, except for our handguns,
we haven't changed.

Not even our clothing,
yet these people see and hear us

as the Clantons.

I don't think that's such a bad thing,

- The day is still young, ensign.
- All right, what have we got?

We're here in Tombstone, Arizona,
October 26th, 1881.

The day of the gunfight at O.K. Corral.
And we're the Clantons.

And Morgan Earp has just gone off
to tell his brothers that we're here.

And if this is indeed
some sort of a replay of history,

the Earps will kill the Clantons
at the O.K. Corral

at 5:00 this afternoon.

Well, we're not going to be at the
O.K. Corral at 5:00 this afternoon.

You, bartender, Ed.

You claim you know us.

I ain't making no big claims
about nobody. Just so happens.

Take a close look at me.

- Yeah?
- Who do you think I am?

Lke Clanton.
Who do you think you are?

Well, I know this is hard to understand,
but I'm Captain James T. Kirk

of the spaceship Enterprise.

These men are part of my crew.

We're not really here.
We're from the future.

We haven't been born yet.

Feel the material in my shirt.

Now feel the material
in your own shirt.

Do you notice any difference?


- Do these clothes look like yours?
- Not exactly.

Have you ever seen
clothes like this before?

- Sure.
- Where?

On the Clantons.

You Clantons are always great with
your jokes. That's why we like you.

I'm not joking.

Only difference between you
and the Earps is that they never joke.

I'm not joking. I'm not lke Clanton.

It's okay with me, lke.
Anything you say.

Don't make no difference
who I think you are.

Your problem is,
who does Wyatt Earp think you are?

Good morning, gentlemen.
My name is James Kirk,

and I'm afraid there's been
some sort of misunderstanding.

Clanton, I don't know
what you're trying to pull,

but we warned you not to show
your ugly face in town again.

Yes of course you did, and I
wanted to talk to you about that.

We're done talking, Clanton.

There's been some sort of mistake,
a misunderstanding. L...

All right, Clanton.
One more chance, your last.

You've got until 5 tonight

to get your horse-stealing,
scurvy crew out of town.

All the way.

Yes, we'd be glad to.
We don't want to fight.

I always said you was yellow Clanton.

I'll make one more attempt
to get through to you, Mr. Earp.

My name is not Clanton. It's Kirk.

Oh, yeah.
We heard the talk about your jokes.

I'm not joking.

Sure. Well, I'm glad to meet you,
Mr. Kirk.

- Draw, Clanton.
- Not me, Mr. Earp.

- You draw or I will.
- No, Wyatt.

Let me.

When the time comes,
I'll pay him for this.

We don't want any trouble.
We'd be glad to cooperate.

Five o'clock, Clanton. Is that clear?

If you're in town at 5:01,

we'll kill every one of you
whether you draw or not.

Is that clear?

- What's the matter?
- What do you call that stuff, fire?

"Taos Lightning straight bourbon."

Try some. In small amounts,
it was considered medicinal.

They ought to label it
"For external use only."

It just takes a bit of getting used to,

Actually, a man could grow
quite fond of this stuff.

Take it easy, Mr. Scott.

I hate to think what that's doing
to your stomach lining.

And your reflexes.

We're gonna need fast reflexes
from now on.

There's no negotiating with the Earps.
We know that.

Aye. If we only had a phaser.

Or a communicator.

It'd be a pleasure
to watch those Earps

as we beamed back to the ship
at exactly 4:59:30.

- Could we make a communicator?
- Impossible, captain.

In this century,
there are no metal alloys

or power sources
to make devices such as ours.

Problem is clear, Spock. We're gonna
have to seek contemporary solutions.

- Where's Chekov?
- Mr. Chekov is involved, captain.

You shouldn't have come
back to town, Billy.

Morgan will kill you
because he wants me.

With his outdated weapon?

If he shoots at me,
I will just step out of the way.

You can joke about it.
I've seen him in action.

Especially Morgan.

A lot of people and things
have tried to kill me.

You'd be surprised.

Mr. Chekov... I mean, Billy.
Come along.

Yes, sir.


Please, don't even go near him.


- Where are we going, captain?
- To exercise the better part of valour.

Well, that settles that. A force field.

It is obvious the Melkotians are not
going to permit us to leave this town.

If we could only contact
the Enterprise.

Yes, but where is the Enterprise?

Mr. Chekov, if you were
in charge of the Enterprise,

what would you be doing?

I'd be using the ship's sensors,
trying to locate us.

Very good. If we could find the place
where we beamed down,

the ship might lock in
and beam us up.

- Well, let's get there.
- There's no way we can know

where it is, doctor.

It could be anywhere
within a thousand-mile radius.

Mr. Spock, why don't you join
us common humanoids

in trying to find a way out of here and
quit explaining why we can't get out.

We have until 5:00 to find that way.
Now, consider this.

What materials were on hand
in 1881

that could help us fight the Earps
on their own terms?

- We have these, captain.
- No, the Melkots gave us those

to execute us.

We have to find a way
to put the Earps out of action.

Is there anything
that exists here and now

that could help us out of this trap?

All those Western Cossacks had were
poisonous snakes and cactus plants.

Bones, the venom, the plants.
Can you make use of them?

A tranquilliser. Of course, Jim,
I can make a tranquilliser.

I could make a device to deliver it
on target.

First, Bones,
the ingredients you require.

I know the place
to get the proper drugs.

- I'll need a mortar and a pestle.
- Chekov, mortar and pestle.

How do you intend
to deliver the tranquilliser on target?

I shall need some fusing
and some cotton wadding.

- Cotton wadding, try the apothecary.
- Aye.

I shall manufacture the equivalent
of an ancient generating canister,

more familiarly known
as a gas grenade.

I'll be about five minutes yet.

You could come back.

Well, thank you.
Mind if I look around a bit?

Crude, but very useable.

I wouldn't touch that stuff
if I was you.

Oh, you don't have to worry.
I know how to handle this.

I have an urgent need
for a small supply of this drug too.

That stuff ain't mine. It belongs to him.
You'd better ask him.

Oh, so you're the dentist?

Well, I'm a physician,
and I have a serious emergency.

I wonder if you mind
if I'd borrow a small quantity of this.

- You want it now?
- My name is McCoy. I'm a doctor.

That joke is all around town already,

Well, my name is still Holliday.

Doc Holliday.

The emergency is real.
I need these things.

Your emergency sure is real.

Go on, take the stuff.
Have some more fun.

Take my bag.

Only best you be finished
before 5:00.

That is my intention, doctor.

Because at one minute past 5,
you'll find a hole in your head.

Right from this gun.



Billy Claiborne, do you know
how crazy I am about you?

That's very nice.

Well, aren't you gonna ask me
what I've got in my shopping bag?

That's just what
I was preparing to enquire.

Have you been shopping?

Of course, silly.

What else would I be doing
on a beautiful afternoon

with the dance only one week away?

- Or have you forgotten that already?
- No, no, I haven't forgotten.

I am looking forward to it
most eagerly.

You will be absolutely wild
when you see me

in the new gown I'm going to make.

I found this most scrumptious material.
Yards and yards of it.

You know what I was thinking, Billy?

I was thinking what a beautiful
wedding gown it would make.

Why don't we just turn that dance
into a wedding ball?

It would be so heavenly.


I am afraid that wouldn't be possible.

But I'm positive
the gown will be ready.

And what else is there
to stop a wedding?

But it is absolutely impossible.
I am not someone you can marry.

If only I could make clear to you
what I really am.

Do you think I don't know?

Billy Claiborne, you are a cattle rustler
and a horse thief.

And I don't care what else.

I warned you, Claiborne. Stay away.

You don't have to take anything
from that scum. Not while I'm here.

Mr. Earp.

Get your hands off her.

There's nothing I can do, Jim.

Come on, Clanton. Let's do it now.

- Captain, let me.
- No.

Yeah, come on, captain. Let him.

Captain, we can't just stand here
and take it.

- Yes, we can.
- But they murdered Chekov.

- If you think I'm going to...
- Scotty.

They're trying to push us
into something we're not ready for.

And it is not yet our time.

Let it go, Jim. He's dead.

Maybe he wouldn't be
if I hadn't ignored the Melkot warning.

We all knew the risk
when we joined the service.

Now, let it go.

Gentlemen, there is one thing

which requires
the immediate attention of all of us.

Specifically, our future.

But not this minute, Spock.

It takes us a little longer.

I understand the feeling, captain.

You talk about another man's feelings.
What do you feel, Spock?

My feelings are not subject
for discussion, doctor.

Because there are no feelings
to discuss.

Mr. Spock, Chekov is dead.

I say it now,
and I can hardly believe it.

But you worked closely with him.
That deserves some memorial.

Spock will have no truck with grief,
Scotty. It's human.

- Bones, Scotty.
- Captain, it's quite all right.

They forget I am half human.

We don't have much time.

Captain, I vaguely remember
the historical account

of the famous battle
in which we are about to engage,

but I am confused.

About what?

Since each of us represents
members of the Clanton gang...

You, lke Clanton, I, Frank McLaury.

- Then Mr. Chekov would be
the other Billy, would he not?

William Claiborne, that's right.

But did not William Claiborne
survive the battle at the O.K. Corral?

Get to the point, Spock.

Mr. Chekov is dead,
but in the actual gunfight,

William Claiborne survived.

Yes. Yes, that's right.

That means it doesn't have to happen
the way it happened.

We can change it.

how's the tranquilliser coming?

- I'll have it ready before Spock.
- Spock?

Another hour.

And we'll have
a tranquilliser grenade?

- Not precisely.
- Forget precision. Will it work?

It should.

Make sure it does, Spock.

If we don't tranquillise them,
we'll have to fight them.

And if we fight them, we all die.
We know that.

Negotiating with them
could buy us more time, captain.

But not with the Earps.
I've tried that. That's out.

There must be a way.

History has been changed

in the fact that Billy Claiborne
didn't die,

but Chekov is lying there dead.

That means there must be
a way to change this time in history.

It would be worth a try, at least
until we're certain of the device.

Then perhaps
we could quiet things down.

Not with the Earps.

There is one other place I can try.

You looking for somebody?

Yes, sheriff.

- I want you to stop the fight.
- Stop it?

Who wants to stop it?
I sure don't. You don't.

- You didn't yesterday.
- I do now.

Since when does a Clanton
run crawling to the law for help?

- How else is he gonna get justice?
- From this.

You and your boys
set up this whole thing

to take care of the Earps.

It's a little late to decide
you don't have the belly for it.

It's not too late.

Sheriff. Sheriff.

There must be decent people in town
who don't like the Earps.

- Let's organise them.
- Don't talk nonsense.

The people in this town are counting
on you to get rid of the Earps for them.

Then the people better wake up
and let the law work for them.

You can talk that way
after what the Earps did to Billy today?

Nobody in this town will deny you
your right to your revenge.

Yes, I want revenge.

I want to crush the life
out of the Earps.

- But I can't just kill them.
- You listen to me.

Get down to the O.K. Corral,
keep out of sight.

When the Earps come looking,
you bushwhack them.

Can't I get it through your head?
I can't just kill them.

- I can't just kill them!
- It's the only way!

- I can't murder them! I can't kill them!
- Kill them any way you can!

There'll be no questions asked.

I guarantee that.

These crude supplies we were forced
to use worked quite well.

I doubt that this combination of things
was ever used

for any purpose quite like this.

Perhaps they would have been
if they'd had your ingenuity, doctor.


- How soon will that be ready?
- Right now.

Good. How long will it take
the tranquilliser to have effect?

- Three or four seconds.
- How did you manage to test it?

It has not been tested.

It's not necessary, captain.
It's very simple. Nothing can go wrong.

Up to now, everything has gone wrong.
I want it tested now.

Would a volunteer
solve the problem?

- It would.
- All right. On one condition.

That I'm wide awake
and with you at 5:00.

- Guaranteed.
- All right.

It's to kill the pain.

But this is painless.

Well, you should have
warned me sooner, Mr. Spock.

Fire away.

It should have worked.
Did you inhale the gas, Scotty?

Aye, deeply.

- You still feel all right?
- Never felt better.

No dizziness, no sweating,
no palpitations?

It doesn't work.

Indeed, fascinating.

It was our last chance.

Captain, you don't seem
to understand.

It did not function,
but it must function.

Nothing could go wrong, captain.
It should work.

A scientific fact.

But if the tranquilliser
does not function,

which is clearly impossible,

then a radical alteration of
our thought patterns must be in order.

We need a weapon.

An answer.

Don't have to worry about that now,

Look at the clock.

Ten minutes.

And it's all gonna end
at the O.K. Corral.

Well, we're gonna wait right here
until well after 5:00.

We're not gonna move
from this spot.

Let's get out of here.

Scotty, Bones.

We're trapped.

They got their way.
We better stand and fight.

Good. If they want a fight,
let's give them a fight.

They're experts at gunfighting.
We won't have a chance.

Well, then we'd better become experts,
and fast.

That may not be necessary.

- Spock, you've got something?
- A fact, captain.

Physical laws
simply cannot be ignored.

Existence cannot be without them.

What do you mean, Spock?

I mean, doctor, that we are faced
with a staggering contradiction.

The tranquilliser you created
should have been effective.

It would have been effective
anywhere else.


Doctor, in your opinion,
what killed Mr. Chekov?

A piece of lead in his body.

Wrong. His mind killed him.

Well, come on, Spock.
If you've got the answer, tell us.

Physical reality is consistent
with universal laws.

Where the laws do not operate,
there is no reality.

All of this is unreal.

What do you mean, unreal?
I examined Chekov. He's dead.

But you made your examination

under conditions
which we cannot trust.

We judge reality
by the response of our senses.

Once we are convinced
of the reality of a given situation,

we abide by its rules.

We judge the bullets to be solid,
the guns to be real.

Therefore, they can kill.

Chekov is dead because he believed
the bullets would kill him.

He may indeed be dead.
We do not know.

But we do know that the Melkotians
created the situation.

If we do not allow ourselves
to believe that the bullets are real,

they cannot kill us.

Exactly. I know the bullets are unreal,
therefore they cannot harm me.

We must all be as certain as you are,
Mr. Spock,

- if we're to save our lives.
- Precisely.

But that's not possible.
There'd always be some doubt.

The smallest doubt
would be enough to kill you.

We're just human beings, Spock.

We don't have that clockwork ticker
in our heads like you do.

- We can't just turn it on and off.
- We must.

Spock, a Vulcan mind-meld.

Very well, sir. Engineer?

Your mind to my mind.

Your thoughts to my thoughts.

The bullets are unreal.

Without body.

They are illusions only.

Shadows without substance.

They will not pass through
your body,

for they do not exist.

They do not exist.


Appearances only.

They are shadows, illusions.

Nothing but ghosts of reality.

They are lies, falsehoods.

Specters without body.

They are to be ignored.



Captain, I don't understand.

Neither do I. He's in perfect health.

What happened?
Where have I been?

Right here, it seems.

But that girl, she was so beautiful.
So real.

Do you remember anything else?

- No.
- Good.

Perhaps that explains why he's here.
Nothing was real to him except the girl.

Captain, the Melkotian object.

Sensor readings.

The object is beginning to emit M-rays
of a highly unstable nature, captain.

Lieutenant, sound red alert.
Mr. Chekov, deflector shields on full.

- Deflectors on full, sir.
- Gun crews, lock on target.

Energy output increasing
beyond measurable levels, captain.

Phaser guns, stand by to fire.

It's gone, sir.

Damage report, lieutenant.

No damage, sir.
All decks report fully operational.

Captain Kirk.

You did not kill.

- Is this the way of your kind?
- It is.

We fight
only when there's no choice.

We prefer the ways
of peaceful contact.

I speak for a vast alliance
of fellow creatures

who believe in the same thing.

We have sought you out to join us.
Our mission is still one of peace.

Approach our planet
and be welcome.

A delegation
will come out to meet you.

Our warning threats are over.

Lieutenant, cancel red alert.

Mr. Chekov, resume original course,
warp factor 2.

Warp factor 2, sir.

Captain, may I ask a question?

You needn't answer
if it seems too personal.

I'm sure I'll be able
to give you an answer, Mr. Spock.

This afternoon, you wanted to kill,
didn't you?

But he didn't kill, Mr. Spock.

But he wanted to, doctor.

Is that the way it seemed to you,
Mr. Spock?

Yes, captain.

Mr. Spock, you're absolutely right.

That's exactly the way it was.

Mankind, ready to kill.

That's the way it was in 1881.

I wonder how humanity
managed to survive.

We overcame
our instinct for violence.

Best watched using Open Subtitles MKV Player