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Star Trek - A Private Little War

episode 2.19
Raumschiff Enterprise - Der Erste Krieg

USA 1968
produced by
Gene L. Coon, Gene Roddenberry (executive) for Desilu, Norway Corporation/NBC
directed by Marc Daniels
starring William Shatner, Leonard Nimoy, DeForest Kelley, Nancy Kovack, Michael Witney, James Doohan, Nichelle Nichols, Ned Romero, Majel Barrett, Walter Koenig, Booker Bradshaw, Arthur Bernard, Janos Prohaska, Paul Baxley, Gary Pillar
story by Jud Crucis (= Don Ingalls), screenplay and created by Gene Roddenberry, music by Gerald Fried

TV series
Star Trek, Classic Star Trek, Star Trek (original crew)

review by
Mike Haberfelner

Kirk (William Shatner), Spock (Leonard Nimoy) and McCoy (DeForest Kelley) are down on a planet that Kirk left no decades ago as a virtual Garden Eden, with its peace-loving natives and their total disinterest in weapons. Then though the three of them witness some natives being ambushed by other locals with primitive guns - way too advanced weapons for their stage of development - and in an attempt to diffuse the situation Spock gets badly wounded and has to be treated on ship. Kirk and McCoy though decide to investigate further, especially since a Klingon ship has been seen in the vicinity. Soon enough, Kirk is wounded by a Mugato (Janos Prohaska), basically a horned, gorilla-like beast with a poisonous bite, and can't be beamed aboard the ship because it's hiding from the Klingon vessel. So he's brought to the next settlement where Tyree (Michael Witney), an old friend of Kirk's, is leader, and Tyree's wife, the seductive witch Nona (Nancy Kovack), indeed manages to heal Kirk. But Nona is also a problem here: Since the neighbouring tribe has guns now (supplied by the Klingons as it turns out to noone's surprise), she tries to persuade Tyree to get guns on his own, so his tribe can defeat the villagers. Tyree though is a man of peace, and won't even be persuaded otherwise by her witchery, a mix of spells and herbs. But once she has set eyes on Kirk's fazer, she has made her mind up to direct her "persuasive powers" towards Kirk.

Kirk, McCoy and Tyree manage to break into the village and steal a few guns to even the odds for Tyree's tribe, but still Tyree doesn't find a warring bone in his body. Even when he witnesses Nona seducing Kirk, he can't bring himself to fire the gun already in his hand and aimed at either her or him or both. But then Nona steals Kirk's fazer and runs into an ambush by the villagers whom she wants to strike a deal with, but they're more interested in raping her. Kirk, McCoy, Tyree and a few of his men interfere though, but in the conflict that ensues, Nona's killed. And now Tyree is full of hatred and finally wants to launch a war on the villagers. And Kirk sees himself forced to supply Tyree and company with weapons matching those of the villagers, otherwise they will be wiped out by the Klingon-supported adversary, and thus he destroys the "Garden of Eden" for good ...


The rather pessimistic ending is probably one of the best and certainly most thoughtful in all of classic Star Trek, as it's miles away from the usually more propagandistic messages of the series befitting the Cold War era, and actively relativizes the Enterprise's mission of peace. The episode preceding this ending is not nearly as special, but that said it's still a solid adventure, with quite some camp trappings, sexy bits (Nancy Kovack as witch sure lives up to the demands of the role), and enough chases, fights and shoot-outs to keep one entertained throughout. Apart from the ending not great maybe, but if you're into the series, you'll certainly not be disappointed.


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review © by Mike Haberfelner


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Robots and rats,
demons and potholes,
cuddly toys and
shopping mall Santas,
love and death and everything in between,
Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

is all of that.


Tales to Chill
Your Bones to
a collection of short stories and mini-plays
ranging from the horrific to the darkly humourous,
from the post-apocalyptic
to the weirdly romantic,
tales that will give you a chill and maybe a chuckle, all thought up by
the twisted mind of
screenwriter and film reviewer
Michael Haberfelner.


Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

the new anthology by
Michael Haberfelner


Out now from




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produced by and starring
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directed by
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written by
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Ryan Hunter and
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out now on DVD