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Star Trek - The Original Series, Episode 70: Let That Be Your Last Battlefield [VHS]
From the Back Cover
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.
Top Customer Reviews
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.Read more ›
Bravo! Differences that seem trivial to any rational observer take on significance to groups looking for any excuse to hate each other. This is what the original show did best: use interstellar allegory to comment on the issues of the 1960s. Yet the message is timeless... Are racism and bigotry still with us? You bet! These aliens could be Sunnis vs. Shiites, Sikhs vs. Hindus, or Serbs vs. Bosnians. Whatever.
Two other things make this episode worth watching: 1) the guest performances by Frank Gorshin (representing the authoritarian faction) and Lou Antonio (representing the rebel faction) are strong, and each is well cast... Gorshin doing a sly turn that is sneering and arrogant, while Antonio is appropriately angry. 2) The centerpiece of the episode is a battle of wills between Commissioner Beal (Gorshin) and Captain Kirk for control of the ship. Beal's powers enable to him to take control of the helm, to take his "prisoner," Loki, back to their home planet. Kirk's only option to is to threaten to make the ship self-destruct.
That's not as silly as it sounds. The conflict results in an exceptionally tense, dramatic scene. What's wonderful is that it uses technology but doesn't depend on technology to resolve the dilemma. It's really about the characters' choices. Writers would revisit this famous self-destruct concept at the end of Star Trek III.
The episode is not without flaws.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
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 morePublished on May 14, 2009 by Lokai
Good for a cultural diversity class, but runs a little slow in the story telling.Published on April 1, 2009 by csutherlan
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
This episode was one of the most effective, memorable, and well-acted episodes of the original (and still best) series. Read morePublished on January 2, 2000 by Jon Cruz
The U.S.S. Enterprise intercepts a stolen Federation shuttlecraft which contains a humanoid named Lokai. Read morePublished on November 23, 1999 by Amazon Customer
The way in which this episode shows the ridiculousness of bigotry and prejudice is quite clever.Published on September 18, 1999
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