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Star Trek - The Original Series, Episode 70: Let That Be Your Last Battlefield [VHS] (1966)

William Shatner , Leonard Nimoy , Jud Taylor  |  VHS Tape
4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)

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Two detectives are brought together to solve the murder of an eleven year-old boy on a picturesque beach in a small coastal town. Under the glare of the media spotlight, the two race to find the killer, while the clock ticks and the mystery deepens. Learn more

Product Details

  • Actors: William Shatner, Leonard Nimoy, DeForest Kelley, Nichelle Nichols, James Doohan
  • Directors: Jud Taylor
  • Writers: Gene Roddenberry, Gene L. Coon, Oliver Crawford
  • Producers: Edward K. Milkis, Fred Freiberger, Gene Roddenberry, Gregg Peters
  • 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: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: 630098866X
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #545,021 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Editorial Reviews


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.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Indeed, not one person's acting in this episode is anything less than stellar; and Frank Gorshin, if he hadn't won any awards for this episode, definitely deserved as many as theoretically possible.

The story is basic - distant planet, two humanoid species hating each other because of skin color. Indeed, this is the closest original Trek ever got to telling people how to be politically correct, but in this case it's justified, immensely well told, and there are little gems of dialogue scattered all over the place in this episode. And, quite frankly, having seen it a thousand times or for the very first time, it takes little time for the viewer to be caught up in the intrigue and kept hooked thanks to the dialogue and quality of the actors' performances.

Even when there are obvious gaffes:

* Spock thinks Lokai's color scheme is impossible and goes through the range of human pigmentations, but has he never seen a zebra?! Such a dual skin tone is hardly unique, impossible, or anything else.
* Spock doesn't see the difference between Lokai and Bele (one is black on the right side, the other is black on the left)
* The conservative element (Bele) is "right on the white side" - that and subsequent dialogue making an (incorrect) inference that only white is right.

I'll ignore the obvious re-use of Enterprise shuttlecraft footage. This was the no-budget season 3, which had to rely far more on character than what any special effect could do to carry.

But later, Spock (who's otherwise remarkably obtuse in this episode) points out to Lokai that, for all Lokai's talk of revolution and "justice", Lokai himself doesn't seem to want to put in his own weight; thereby diminishing his credibility.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars teaching aid February 21, 2000
This is a wonderful example of what good science fiction can be. I teach a high school English class devoted to the study of science fiction. Although I focus primarily on literature, I do use a few pieces of film. When you say science fiction today, most people instantly think of lasres, aliens and action (especially high school students). Good science fiction is and can be so much more. Good science fiction is full of social, political, and even religious commentary. Until seeing this episode again recently, it had stuck with me for I do not know how many years. After all that time, I remembered the strong message about the foolishness of discrimination and hate this episode had to offer. When I took over the science fiction class from a retiring teacher, this episode immediately came to my mind as a potential teaching tool. This is a classic episode from aclassic show.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars great show of horrible racism June 8, 2000
By A Customer
This episode shows just how horrible racism can be, and it's a really great story. Currently I'm reading a book on racism, and this episode seems even better now. Plus, in my opinion, this is a classic of the original series, and any fan would like it.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Classic Trek at it's best April 24, 2002
I am very surprised Frank Gorshin was never asked to return as a baddie in another Trek episode. It was a real treat to see him argue with Shatner about the plight of their planet. You couldn't tell who was on the right side. Both of them had a convincing argument. There was no way to tell. Anyway, the episode did have another great action sequence where both of them wrestled with 60's style cosmic powers.
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Subtle is the last possible word that could be used to describe this episode. It is blunt and a bit over the top in making a point about race hatred. It all begins with the Enterprise pursuing a shuttlecraft stolen from Starbase 4. After a tractor beam brings the craft on board the Enterprise, a being from Cheron (Lokai), with one side of his face white and the other black, staggers out and collapses on the deck. He is immediately taken to sick bay where Spock and McCoy are in agreement that his coloration is a genetic anomaly, a one-of-a-kind. When Lokai awakens, he is arrogant, feeling that it was his need that gave him the right to use the shuttlecraft.
The Enterprise proceeds on mission when an unknown vessel approaches. While the sensors can detect it, there is no visual confirmation and when the vessel is destroyed, another, similar creature (Bele) appears on the bridge. He immediately announces that he is a law enforcement officer and he has been pursuing the criminal Lokai for thousands of years. Kirk refuses to hand Lokai over and Bele uses his mental powers to take over the ship. Kirk then begins to execute his threat to engage the autodestruct and when Bele is unable to stop it, acquiesces to giving control back to Kirk.
The Enterprise completes its assigned mission and then Bele once again takes over the ship, which proceeds to Cheron. When they arrive, they discover that everyone on the planet is dead, having killed each other in a vast race war. In this case the racial differences are not in coloration but in location. While both Lokai and Bele are black on one side and white on the other, one is black on the right side and the other black on the left side.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars A Brief Revival
I believe Season Three is unjustly maligned. 2/3 of Season Three is simply awesome. Unfortunately, most Trekkers only focus on the Season Three slump. Read more
Published on May 14, 2009 by Lokai
5.0 out of 5 stars Star Trek Episode 70
Good for a cultural diversity class, but runs a little slow in the story telling.
Published on April 1, 2009 by Corine S. Sutherland
5.0 out of 5 stars Why buy?
As much as I can talk about how great this episode is, I sure hope everyone knows CBS shows every Original Series episode for FREE, and I sure hope you save your money on this.
Published on January 4, 2009 by Conrad Hoss
4.0 out of 5 stars If You're Half-White, You're Alright??
One of the most memorable moments in Star Trek occurs in this episode. Two aliens, each half-white and half-black, make the Enterprise their battlefield. Read more
Published on January 22, 2008 by Brian Overland
5.0 out of 5 stars For shame! This is a CLASSIC!
This episode was one of the most effective, memorable, and well-acted episodes of the original (and still best) series. Read more
Published on January 2, 2000 by Jon Cruz
1.0 out of 5 stars This episode gets a D+ grade and is ranked 69th out of 80
The U.S.S. Enterprise intercepts a stolen Federation shuttlecraft which contains a humanoid named Lokai. Read more
Published on November 23, 1999 by "guerticusmaximus"
3.0 out of 5 stars Clever
The way in which this episode shows the ridiculousness of bigotry and prejudice is quite clever.
Published on September 18, 1999
2.0 out of 5 stars An obvious racism sermon
"Let That Be Your Last Battlefield", is obviously..... too obvious. Well, it's trying to make viewers turn from thoughts of racism by flashing pictures of worlds burning... Read more
Published on January 15, 1999
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