Synopsis by Bruce Eder
The starship Enterprise is diverted to Star Base 11 by a message supposedly sent by the ship's former commander, Fleet Captain Christopher Pike, and received by the ship's first officer, Mr. Spock (Leonard Nimoy). Upon arriving, however, Captain Kirk (William Shatner) discovers that Pike has been paralyzed by injuries from a space disaster and could not have sent the message, or even asked to have had one sent. Kirk tries to unravel the mystery, unwilling to believe that Spock could lie, but also troubled by Spock's longstanding loyalty to his former captain. Spock then kidnaps Pike and commandeers the Enterprise, locking the ship on a course for Talos IV, a mysterious planet that is off-limits -- on penalty of death -- to any Star Fleet vessel. Adding to the mystery is the fact that the only Earth ship ever to visit Talos IV was the Enterprise, under Pike's command with Spock as science officer, 13 years earlier. Kirk boards the Enterprise in the company of Commodore Mendez (Malachi Throne), but is unable to divert the ship's course. Spock insists upon a formal court martial for mutiny, during which he begins presenting a visual account of the Enterprise's first visit to Talos IV. The trial board sees how the ship was baited to the planet and Pike was kidnapped, taken below the surface by the inhabitants, who have the power to cast perfect illusions. An emergency signal interrupts the trial, as Star Fleet notifies Mendez that the Enterprise has been receiving images from Talos IV in violation of regulations. Kirk is relieved of his command, Mendez is ordered to do anything necessary to prevent the ship from reaching Talos IV, and Spock now faces a death sentence.
exploration, space, space-exploration