Balance of Terror
Star-trek tos-season1-14
Season 1, Episode 14
General Information
Series Star Trek
Air date December 15, 1966
Written by Vincent McEveety
Directed by Paul Schneider
Episode guide
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Star Trek episodes


After years of tense peace, the Romulans have returned with a deadly weapon that could tip the balance of power between themselves and the Federation and intend to test it against the Enterprise and Captain Kirk!

Plot Summary

Stardate: 1709.2

During a wedding, Captain Kirk reads out a script for Angela Martine and Robert Tomlinson. Then, the red alert sounds out. Captain Kirk receives word about enemy ships nearby. On the bridge, the crew works hard to track their enemy position. Spock reads out a history of Romulans and Earthlings and that they must not cross into the neutral zone. Mr. Stiles tells Captain Kirk about the attack on outpost 4 and that the Romulans attacked them. Spock tries to communicate with the outposts but gets no answers. Captain Kirk issues an order for battle station. Meanwhile, Angela and Robert flirt with each other.

Then, Commander Hansen of outpost 4 transmits a message about the other outposts being destroyed by an unknown intruder. Commander Hansen shifts to a visual channel to show Captain Kirk, the damages on their outpost. When the intruder ship arrives on screen, Commander Hansen changes the channel to allow Enterprise to view the intruder. Suddenly, the intruder opens fire on outpost 4, destroying it. Spock reports that the enemy has disappeared while Captain Kirk notes that the enemy cannot see them due to massive energy consumption. Then, Captain Kirk issues an order for everyone on standby. Though, Stiles convinces Captain Kirk to order everyone on security alert because they might have Romulan spies on board. Nyota receives some coded frequency. On screen, the Enterprise crew catches a glimpse of the Romulans.

On the Romulan ship, the captain demotes one his soldiers two ranks for breaking the rule of silence. Meanwhile, the Enterprise follows the Romulan ship. Then, Spock holds a debriefing for the crew on the outpost 4. With Stiles's urges for war, Spock argues that they should attack because they cannot show weakness. Though, Dr. McCoy advises not to attack since this could start up a galactic war. On the Romulan ship, the captain issues an escape maneuver when their reflection no longer follows them. Back on the Enterprise, the crew loses sight on Romulans. Captain Kirk has them fire phasers. When the Romulans get hit, they fire their laser at the Enterprise. While Spock fixes the phasers, Captain Kirk tells his crew to do an emergency warp. When it seems like the Enterprise will face certain death, Sulu notices that the laser has limited range. After the laser fire, the Enterprise barely dodges the blast. Captain Kirk has the ship follow the Romulans. Back on the Romulan ship, the captain tends to Centaurion and his crew turn on the cloak despite having low fuel. With Captain Kirk's relentless attack, the captain of the Romulans have his crew dispose debris and Centaurion's body. As a result, the Enterprise loses sight of their enemy when Spock analyzes the composition.

On the edge of the neutral zone, Captain Kirk has his crew shut off all communications and power to the ship. After a total of nine hours, Captain Kirk speaks with Dr. McCoy about the crew waiting for his orders. He is worry whether he had failed his crew. Dr. McCoy shares his wisdom with Captain Kirk. When an alarm sounds out, the captain has his men move towards the ship. The Enterprise fires at the Romulans. The Romulan Captain has his crew insert a proximity mine in the debris tube. When Spock analyzes the debris and finds a metal encased object, Captain Kirk order the crew to fire the debris. An explosion occurs that hits the ship. Some of the crew suffer radiation burns. Meanwhile, Spock checks up on the weapon station where Stiles and Tomlinson are stationed. When the Romulan ship approaches the Enterprise, Captain Kirk orders his crew to open fire. Though, the phaser room is flooded with gas, causing Stiles and Tomlinson to lose consciousness. Spock runs in the room to fire the phasers.

In the Romulan transmission, Captain Kirk speaks with the Romulan captain and requests them to surrender. He asks the Romulans to allow them to beam their survivors. The Romulan Captain refuses and notes that they are one of a kind, creatures of duty. After regretting how they met, the Romulan Captain pushes a button which detonates his ship. In the sick bay, Captain Kirk learns that they suffer one casualty, Tomlinson. He visits Angela at the chapel to console her.

Production Notes

When the Romulan ship spins out of control in space, the hanging wire is visibly seen.

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