BALANCE OF TERROR
THIS IS ONE OF THE TEN BEST TREKS!
Mark Lenard, Lawrence Montaigne, Barbara Baldavin
The Enterprise engages in a deadly game of cat
and mouse with a Romulan spaceship.
The Enterprise encounters the warrior alien race
of Romulans, for the first time. This episode probably contains the
best space war battles of any Classic "Trek" episode, bringing
to mind WW2 battles between subs and surface ships. Mark Lenard, who
later showed up as Spock's father Sarek, plays the Romulan commander.
An Earth outpost is destroyed. The Enterprise
encounters the responsible party, a Romulan ship which was near the
Neutral Zone. When the Romulan ship turns on its Cloaking Device, it
disappears, only re-appearing briefly to fire on the Enterprise.
Soon, the Enterprise and the sneaky Romulan craft engage in a deadly
version of cat and mouse in space. The Enterprise inflicts heavy damage
on the Romulan ship.
The Romulan ship appears to be destroyed. A nuclear weapon, in the ship's
debris, blows up near the Enterprise, damaging it and killing some crew
members. The Romulan ship self destructs.
Director Vincent McEveety's, "BALANCE OF TERROR," is a classic
tale of space warfare. McEveety also directed, "Dagger of the Mind"
and "Patterns of Force". He also directed the Disney features,
"Million Dollar Duck" and "Herbie goes Bananas".
Mark Lenard brings strength and dignity to the role of the Romulan Commander.
Lenard went on to great fame in the Star Trek universe, as Sarek, Spock's
father. He appeared in this role in the classic "Trek" episode,
"Journey to Babel", the "Star Trek" features 3,
4, and 6, as well as, "Star Trek: The Next Generation" television
Writer Paul Schneider's script basically takes elements of World War
II sea battles, between surface ships and submarines, and transposes
them into space in the future. The result is one of the most exciting
examples of space warfare contained in ANY of the classic "Star
Trek" episodes. Schneider also wrote the classic "Trek"
episode, "The Squire of Gothos," and the animated episode,
"The Terratin Incident".
"BALANCE OF TERROR" introduced the alien Romulans, the Neutral
Zone that separates Federation from Romulan space/territory, and the
Cloaking Device which allows Romulan ships to become invisible. The
Cloaking Device, a neat Sci-Fi gimmick, went on to pop up in other episodes,
as well as some of the feature films.
The Romulan "Bird of Prey" ship model looked pretty cool at
the time. It looks rather quaint by today's hi-tech standards, however.
"BALANCE OF TERROR "should be highly watchable for most Sci-Fi
viewers. Mark Lenard fans will enjoy seeing him in a pre-Sarek role.
"Live Long and Prosper", Mark!