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Star Trek - The Original Series, Episode 3: The Corbomite Maneuver [VHS] (1966)

William Shatner , Leonard Nimoy , Joseph Sargent  |  Unrated |  VHS Tape
4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: William Shatner, Leonard Nimoy, DeForest Kelley, Nichelle Nichols, James Doohan
  • Directors: Joseph Sargent
  • Writers: Gene Roddenberry, Jerry Sohl
  • Producers: Gene Roddenberry, John D.F. Black, Robert H. Justman
  • Format: Closed-captioned, Color, HiFi Sound, NTSC
  • Rated: Unrated
  • Number of tapes: 1
  • Studio: CBS Paramount International Television
  • VHS Release Date: April 15, 1994
  • Run Time: 46 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: 6300213072
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #324,505 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Editorial Reviews

While exploring an uncharted region of the galaxy, the Enterprise encounters a cube-shaped alien probe (a predecessor of Borg vessels?) that Kirk promptly destroys. That action brings the wrath of a spaceship called the Fesarius, which locks the Enterprise in a tractor beam from which it can't escape. The show is perhaps best known for something of a surprise ending when the "captain" of the Fesarius (played by Clint Howard, brother of Ron and child star of TV's Gentle Ben) is revealed. Directed by Joseph Sargent (Colossus: The Forbin Project). --Tom Keogh

From the Back Cover

While on a star-charting mission, the Enterprise encounters a radioactive cube. When Kirk is forced to destroy it, an enormous ship appears, commanded by the ominous Balok.

Clint Howard (the "baby Balok) later starred in Rock 'N' Roll High School and is the younger brother of actor-director Ron Howard.
The voice of the "baby" Balok was provided by Vic Perrin, the "control" voice of TV's The Outer Limits. The voice of the Balok puppet was supplied by actor Ted Cassidy, best remembered as Lurch from The Addams Family TV series.

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Customer Reviews

4.1 out of 5 stars
4.1 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars It all boils down to a kid and grapefruit juice April 24, 2002
You know after a Star Trek episode, during the credits they show stills from other episodes? The last one is the goofy alien head that looks like someone suddenly and surprisingly placed a cold hand on it's privates and told him to cough? Well this is the episode! The 'Carbinite' Move reminded me of Plan 9 from Outer Space and the 'Solarbinite' bomb.
This spinning pyramid in space is enclosing the Enterprise in a web and will destroy it. When Spock sees no way out he mutters 'Checkmate'.
"No Mr. Spock.......not".
Well the menacing alien is a puppet used by the real alien. You remember the former child star from Gentle Ben? He grew up to be an actor of sorts. Fellow child actor Ron Howard always throws him a bone in his movies. Anyway the alien looks just like this kid. So SPock, Kirk, and the freaky looking kid have some grapefruit juice and all is well. Rock on Spock.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Not the best, but a worthy episode March 27, 2001
The first half of this episode is Star Trek suspense at its best, as the Enterprise faces certain destruction at the hands of an evidentally superior power. It contains an amusing introduction to Dr. McCoy and demonstrates the calm professionalism of Sulu, the calculating, logical mind of Spock, and the creativity of Captain Kirk. The spastic Mr. Bailey effectively adds to the tense situation. As the "poker" game progresses, however, the episode loses a little steam and the ending is disappointing. Nonetheless, this is a worthy episode in the Star Trek series.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars "Not chess, Spock. Poker. You know the game?" October 27, 2003
Yep, this is the episode that featured that rubber alien that often was the last image you saw during that slide show that accompanied the end credits. This was also the episode that featured that giant beehive in space. And who can forget Tranya? Aaahhh . . . delicious and invigorating Tranya. Yet, despite these dubious distinctions, "The Corbomite Maneuver" is actually a half-way decent episode.
The U.S.S. Enterprise encounters a strange cube in space and destroys it in order to pass. The cube's destruction attracts the attention of the I.S.S. Fesarius. Upon making contact with the gigantic ship, Captain James T. Kirk (William Shatner) is confronted by a threatening alien who calls himself Balok. Balok threatens the Enterprise with destruction for its hostile actions. Caught between a rock and a hard place, Kirk bluffs his way to victory by telling the Fesarius that the destruction of his ship will guarantee Balok's end also. Soon Balok's true identity is revealed to Kirk when he beams over to the Fesarius. It turns out he really is only a child-sized humanoid (Clint Howard) and that the threatening alien seen on the viewscreen was a mock-up. An exchange program is suggested to Kirk and Lt. Bailey (Anthony Call) is chosen to be the lucky crew member who will get to spend the foreseeable future hunched over within the corridors of the Fesarius.
"The Corbomite Maneuver" is the ultimate bipolar Star Trek episode. It starts off with the Enterprise in dire peril and ends up with Kirk attending a cocktail party trading laughs with the being who had earlier threatened him. And the strange thing is that it works! There is true suspense in the confrontation scenes. There is true gumption in Kirk's gambling.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Corbomite Maneuver July 4, 1999
By A Customer
One of the best original series episodes. Captain Kirk and the Enterprise are confronted by a space bouy and Kirk is forced to destroy it (after he irritated the bouy into attacking his ship). If you have ever played poker, you will love the bluffing scene! This episode, like most of the other first-season shows, reflects a more "militaristic" lifestyle aboard the Enterprise, which I find to be more believable than the "exploration only" lifestyle reflected in the later episodes.
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3.0 out of 5 stars The first real episode April 5, 2001
After two pilot episodes, here is the first real episode of the Star Trek series. All the familiar elements are here (although Uhura wears a gold uniform instead of what would later become her familiar, red one). Sulu's at the helm, McCoy's in sick bay, and Uhura's opening hailing frequencies like only she can.
Kirk is in rare form here. In STAR TREK II: THE WRATH OF KHAN, it is taken for granted that Kirk is a miracle-worker who refuses to admit defeat no matter how dire the circumstances. This episode goes a long, long way towards developing that part of Kirk's character. This is Kirk at the top of his game and it's a lot of fun to watch.
A tremendous amount of tension is effectively built in the episode as Kirk tries to think his way out of a no-win scenario and the story approaches its climax. Unfortunately, that tension is inexcusably tossed aside in favor of a cute ending that is too eager to wrap everything up in the allowed time.
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5.0 out of 5 stars "Not Chess Mr. Spock ....Poker." April 22, 2002
Spoiler Space......for those who want to be surprised at the outcome of this episode....
I wish the the relationship between Rand and Kirk lasted in this early entry of the series. It would have been more realistic to have Kirk grapple with his feelings for Rand and keeping an objective view of his crewmembers.
Kirk bluffs his way out of this one with the mutual destruction device called Corbomite. His crew was doomed and having nothing to lose made up this idea of a self destruct device that would take out both the attacker and the victim.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars An intelligent and likely first contact scenario
The intensity of this episode and the calmness of most of the Enterprise crew in the face of imminent destruction demonstrate the professionalism of Star Fleet personnel. Read more
Published on May 27, 2008 by Charles Ashbacher
4.0 out of 5 stars Good Early Effort
This episode was the first to be shot during the regular production schedule. It was neither the first to be aired (Man Trap) nor was it one of the two pilots (The Cage, Where No... Read more
Published on August 15, 2007 by Brian Overland
5.0 out of 5 stars Classic Trek!
This was one of the earliest episodes of the original series, and it is also one of the best. I think that a large reason for this is because the story is a test of wills instead... Read more
Published on April 9, 2000 by ADP
4.0 out of 5 stars A better than average episode of Star Trek
I enjoyed this video mainly because of the "Bailey" character. His outspoken, confused and impulsive behavior was amusing to watch.
Published on October 24, 1999 by Steve (
3.0 out of 5 stars This episode gets a B- grade and is ranked 42nd out of 80
While exploring an uncharted region of space, the U.S.S. Enterprise comes upon an alien space buoy which is cube-shaped and spins, warning ships away and blocking the starship's... Read more
Published on October 22, 1999
3.0 out of 5 stars Very Q like
The Enterprise is held by an unseen force which threatens to destroy the ship.
Kirk tricks the force into believing that the federation have a weapon that will inflict equal... Read more
Published on December 30, 1998
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