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Star Trek - The Original Series, Episode 9: Balance Of Terror [VHS] (1966)

William Shatner , Leonard Nimoy , Vincent McEveety  |  VHS Tape
4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)

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Star Trek - The Original Series, Episode 9: Balance Of Terror [VHS] + Star Trek - The Original Series, Episode 5: The Enemy Within [VHS]
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Product Details

  • Actors: William Shatner, Leonard Nimoy, DeForest Kelley, Nichelle Nichols, James Doohan
  • Directors: Vincent McEveety
  • Writers: Gene Roddenberry, Paul Schneider
  • Producers: Gene Roddenberry, John D.F. Black, Robert H. Justman
  • Format: Closed-captioned, Color, HiFi Sound, NTSC
  • Number of tapes: 1
  • Studio: CBS Paramount International Television
  • VHS Release Date: April 15, 1994
  • Run Time: 46 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: 6300213137
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #484,264 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com

"Balance of Terror" is a terrific drama that was essentially an outer-space version of a 1950s submarine movie. Writer Paul Schneider introduced both the Romulans and the concept of a "neutral zone" to Trek lore, wrapped up in this story about the first encounter between a Federation and Romulan ship in 75 years. The resulting face-off between two vessels and their strong, noble captains--Kirk (William Shatner) and his Romulan counterpart (Mark Lenard, who later played Spock's Vulcan father, Sarek)--is directed and edited with suspense worthy of the classic sub movie The Enemy Below. It's an example of how the original Trek series took lots of risks and constantly invented itself, in contrast to the more codified look and feel of The Next Generation and subsequent series. --Tom Keogh

From the Back Cover

It's a game of cat and mouse for Kirk and the Romulan commander, whose cloaking device renders his ship invisible-and very deadly!

TREK TRIVIA
Mark Lenard (the Romulan Commander) is one of Star Trek's most featured guest stars, returning as Spock's father, Sarek, in "Journey to Babel" and reprising the role in three Trek films as well as two Next Generation episodes. He was also the Klingon Commander in Star Trek: The Motion Picture, making him Star Trek's all-purpose alien!
"Balance Of Terror" is one of only two episodes that featured the Romulans-they would not return until The Next Generation's twenty-sixth episode, proclaiming "We are back!"


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Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5 stars
(18)
4.9 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The "first" encounter with the Romulans in the series September 4, 2001
This is another classic episode of Star Trek and one of my top 5 favorites. It gives us a "first" glimpse at the Federations mortal enemy the Romulans (Romulan Empire) and my goodness they also look like Vulcans!?!?! Well, that is answered in episodes yet to come in upcoming series (The Next Generation).
This begins when a mysterious ship is destroying Federation Outposts and James Kirk and the USS Enterprise soon discover it is their classic enemies the Romulans. What follows is a classic strategic cat and mouse "game" that is like the movie "The Enemy Below" that starred Robert Mitchum as a WWII US Destroyer Captain and Kurt Jergens as a German U-Boat Commander. The Jergens part in this episode is played oustandingly by the late Mark Lenard. You can guess who plays Mitchum's part, why of course James T. Kirk (William Shatner).
Both of these Captains start to have a respect for each others skills and the best line of the episode is when the Romulan Commander tells Kirk, "in another reality we could of been friends". Talk about respect, that says it all dosen't it?
Overall, this is a classic episode and highly recommended to all Star Trek fans.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A classic submarine battle fought in outer space October 3, 2001
Mark Lenard makes a memorable first appearance on Star Trek as the Romulan commander in "Balance of Terror." This episode is pretty much a classic submarine story updated to outer space, made compelling by the cat and mouse game between the two captains. Kirk is performing a wedding but is interrupted by news that several Earth Outposts have been attacked by a cloaked ship firing a plasma weapon. The Enterprise goes in pursuit of the Romulan vessel. When Spock pirates a view of the Romulan bridge we learn that this is the first time anyone from Starfleet has ever seen the Romulans, so there is some surprise that they look like Vulcans. The sub-plot involving Lt. Stiles, who distrusts Spock because of the physical comparison, shows that even in the Star Trek universe envisioned by Gene Roddenberry, human prejudice is still going strong. "Balance of Terror" does a nice job of working out the moves and counter moves in the running battle. Lenard brings a wonderful sense of dignity to his role and it is obvious from his first scene why they would take any opportunity to bring him back. That he was given the plumb role of Sarek was a fitting reward. I also think this is the point in the first season where William Shatner clearly has a handle on Kirk as the best starship captain in Starfleet. Also, as grating as the Spock/Stiles subplot happens to be, the bracketing subplot about the wedding is one of the better story lines involving those unfortunate extras who die all the time on Star Trek. Still, this is an episode that deservedly ends up on most fans' top ten episode lists. I know it is on mine.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best Space Battle in the Star Trek Series April 26, 2001
There is not much to add to the glowing recommendations of other reviewers.
This is a very tense, skillfully crafted episode that plays like a destroyer vs. submarine story. Both Kirk and the Romulan commander must out-think their own crews as well as one another. The issues of bigotry and war are explored without being overly preachy.
Mark Lenard does a superb job as the Romulan commander. The audience can sympathize with him while simultaneously rooting against him.
This is a brilliant episode that features the best, most exciting space battle of the series.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars "In a different reality, I could have called you friend." November 22, 2003
Star Trek produced its first truly outstanding episode in "Balance of Terror." Drama, pathos, conflict, great special effects, strong character moments, a great enemy, solid acting, top-notch dialogue, and an on-ship wedding. What more do you want? There's more stuff in this one episode than certain Star Trek films. It falls short of true perfection but it was still the first episode of the original series that dared to be great and the first that can officially be declared a classic.
The wedding of U.S.S. Enterprise crew members Angela Martine (Barbara Baldavin) and Robert Tomlinson (Stephen Mines) is rudely interrupted when the ship learns that Federation Outpost 4 along the Romulan Neutral Zone is under attack. It is soon obliterated and Captain James T. Kirk (William Shatner) discovers that three other Federation outposts in the same area have been similarly destroyed. While investigating the carnage, the crew learns that a lone Romulan ship is the guilty culprit. The Enterprise pursues the ship but is at a marked disadvantage because the Romulan ship is employing a cloaking device which makes them impossible to track. As the two ships play a cat-and-mouse game with each other, the Enterprise manages to catch a glimpse of the Romulan bridge and discovers that their mysterious foes resemble Vuclans in their appearance. Lieutenant Andrew Stiles (Paul Comi) instantly becomes hostile toward Mr. Spock (Leonard Nimoy) because he suspects the Vulcan of being a Romulan spy. When the Romulan Commander (Mark Lenard) is forced into a corner, he decides to directly take on the Enterprise. However, he is defeated and destroys his ship when faced with the prospect of capture. A blow also is dealt to the Enterprise when Kirk learns that Tomlinson did not survive the battle.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars I Believe One Of The Better Episodes
Just my opinion, but this is one of the best episodes of Star Trek TOS. Got it for a good price here on Amazon. Also, I must admit I've always had a thing for Barbara Baldavin.
Published 4 months ago by Frank
5.0 out of 5 stars Among the greatest episodes
of the entire Star Trek franchise. I know of no other single episode which captured so much tension and intensity in the face of battle (save perhaps "Doomsday Machine"). Read more
Published on September 30, 2008 by GospelFan
5.0 out of 5 stars Cold War, Hot Battle
In the 1960s, the phrase "balance of terror" referred to the standoff between the USA, Russia, and China. In classic Trek, there is similarly a standoff with the Romulans. Read more
Published on July 17, 2007 by Brian Overland
5.0 out of 5 stars Superb Rodenbury
Brilliant piece of Start Trek Classic with script and performance that put modern day drama, sci-fi and movie, to shame. Read more
Published on November 30, 2005 by T. Smith
5.0 out of 5 stars To prevent a war, Kirk goes to war
As the Federation expanded out into space, they encountered a race called the Romulans. A vicious war ensued, where no prisoners were taken, so no Federation member has ever seen a... Read more
Published on February 1, 2005 by Charles Ashbacher
5.0 out of 5 stars "He's a sorcerer that one!"
Following the order that the original series episodes were initially broadcast on television this was the first encounter with a known enemy of the Federation. Read more
Published on August 22, 2004 by B.C. Scribe
5.0 out of 5 stars Brotherhood of Warriors
This is one of the finest of all the original Star Trek episodes. Because of budget constraints, the original series had to emphasize acting and quality scripts and less on... Read more
Published on January 24, 2003 by givbatam3
5.0 out of 5 stars Unforgettable and haunting
Certain STAR TREK episodes resonate in the memory. Even over 30 years after I first watched this, I can remember being 16, sitting with my father, telling him my... Read more
Published on May 24, 2000 by Susan Shwartz
5.0 out of 5 stars ONE OF THE BEST ORIGINAL SERIES EPISODES !
This episode is one of my favorites. I'm a fan of war history and military tactics and this episode is right up my alley. Read more
Published on November 27, 1999 by Christopher Amodeo
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