Title: Star Trek: “Balance of Terror”
Episode: the fourteenth (of twenty-nine) from season one; 50 minutes
Creator: Gene Roddenberry
Director: Vincent McEveety
Writer: Paul Schneider
Starring: William Shatner, Leonard Nimoy, DeForest Kelley, Paul Comi, Lawrence Montaigne
Music: Alexander Courage (theme); Fred Steiner
I saw it: on video and TV several times, most recently yesterday (have on DVD)
Synopsis: an invisible enemy ship attacks space outposts as a test of strength
Concept: Submarine battle… in space!
Story: I have to take a point off for the few minutes of horrible, horrible science.
Subjective Rating: 9/10 (One of my favorites, ). Tense action, and an important turning point for the show. “The Corbomite Maneuver” had this same style of action, but that episode still revolved around classic science fiction tropes. This is the one that set Star Trek apart from other science fiction shows and movies, not just as being more awesome, but as potentially telling a fundamentally different type of story. (Although, part of me wishes this episode never happened, so that entire seasons of The Next Generation hadn’t been wasted on Romulan and Klingon politics.)
Objective Rating (Average):