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BALANCE OF TERROR

THIS IS ONE OF THE TEN BEST TREKS!

GUEST STARS...

Mark Lenard, Lawrence Montaigne, Barbara Baldavin

PLOT SUMMARY...

The Enterprise engages in a deadly game of cat and mouse with a Romulan spaceship.

QUICK SCAN...

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.

SYNOPSIS...

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.

Review...

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 episodes.

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!

 

BEST BETS: The Enterprise Incident, Tholian Web, The Corobite Maneuver

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