There's blunt and then there's really blunt. "Let That Be Your Last Battlefield" is certainly the latter, a thick fable about the absurdity of intolerance, a story so obvious it becomes energized by its own, sheer audacity. Frank Gorshin, a 1960s television icon for his recurring role as the Riddler on Batman
, plays Bele, an extraterrestrial cop pursuing a fugitive named Lokai (Lou Antonio). The latter is chalk-white on the right side of his body, and ebony-black on the left, an arrangement despised as inferior by Bele and his race, whose own color scheme simply reverses the two. While Captain Kirk (William Shatner) decides what to do about Lokai's request for asylum, the old race hatred between both sides looks increasingly ridiculous. Interestingly, the episode originated as an idea from producer Gene L. Coon, who envisioned an endless chase between a devil and an angel. Eventually it was decided that the sheer stupidity of prejudice would be underscored more clearly in the final arrangement and, indeed, several decades after the fact, the show does have a surrealist punch to it. Incidentally, the Enterprise
self-destruct sequence seen here was reprised in the feature film Star Trek III: The Search for Spock
. --Tom Keogh
From the Back Cover
When Lokai seeks asylum aboard the Enterprise,
Bele, his pursuer, takes control of the ship in a classic episode commenting on racism.
Actor/impressionist Frank Gorshin (Bele) gained popularity as the Riddler from the Batman TV series, but he made one of his first appearances in the 1957 sci-fi film Invasion of The Saucer Men.
This episode's self-destruct sequence was later reprised by director Leonard Nimoy for Star Trek III: The Search for Spock.