Star Trek (1968): S03E07 – Day of the Dove


“Day of the Dove” is the seventh episode of the third season of the American science fiction television series Star Trek.

Written by Jerome Bixby and directed by Marvin Chomsky, it was first broadcast 01 November 1968.

In the episode, an alien force drives the crew of the Enterprise into brutal conflict with the Klingons.


The Federation starship Enterprise responds to a distress call from a human colony, but on arrival finds no signs of any type of inhabited settlement. A landing party, including Captain Kirk and Ensign Chekov, beams down to investigate further. A few moments later, they are found and surrounded by Klingons who have transported to the surface from their own orbiting vessel. Commander Kang accuses the Enterprise crew of firing upon their vessel and demands that they surrender immediately. Suddenly, Chekov makes a move to attack the Klingons, claiming they had killed his brother. Kang’s men subdue him and use an agoniser device to torture him, forcing Kirk to agree to surrender. However, upon contacting the ship and asking to be beamed up, Kirk secretly warns First Officer Spock about the Klingons. Spock uses the transporter to materialise the Enterprise crewmen first, followed by the Klingons, who are overpowered by Enterprise security personnel. Kang surrenders and he and the other Klingons are escorted to secure quarters on the ship.

Meanwhile, a glowing entity composed of pure energy, which had initially emerged on the planet below, enters the Enterprise undetected and interfaces with its controls. The ship lurches into warp at maximum speed headed for the edge of the galaxy. With the crew panicked, the entity then causes various bulkheads on the ship to close, trapping 392 members of the Enterprise’s crew. The 38 remaining members of the crew are equal in numbers to the Klingons. With tempers high – and spurred on by the sudden materialisation of swords and other antique hand weapons – they begin to fight. Dr. McCoy reports that gravely wounded crewmen brought to Sickbay are healing at a much faster than normal rate.

Spock soon discovers the presence of the entity, apparently feeding off the desperate, violent emotions which are surfacing. When informed by Lt. Sulu that Chekov never had a brother and is an only child, Kirk realises that the entity is capable of implanting false memories in order to trigger aggression. Kirk and Spock try to calm the crew’s escalating furore to no avail. Kirk believes that if he can get to Kang, the Klingon commander can help stop his crew from fighting and help return the ship to a normal state.

Kirk and Spock work their way through the animosity aboard the ship and happen upon Mara, Kang’s wife, who has been cornered by a now lustful Chekov, still seeking his revenge. Kirk sees that Mara’s clothing has been torn and promptly knocks Chekov out. Mara thanks Kirk for his help and is initially wary of his plan, but agrees to lead him to Kang by employing the risky technique of intra-ship beaming – using the transporter to beam very short distances inside the ship.

In Engineering, Kang distrusts Kirk’s explanation of the entity despite Mara’s assurance, and believing she was assaulted, challenges Kirk to a sword duel. As they clash, and with the entity hovering and pulsating a bright red nearby, Kirk implores Kang to stop, telling him that they may become its puppets for a thousand lifetimes if they continue to fight. Kang acknowledges Kirk’s warning and the fact that their fighting is pointless. Kirk orders his crew to disengage from the Klingons. Kang lays down his weapon, commanding the other Klingons to do so as well. To starve the entity, Kirk and Kang encourage their crews to act jovially and to laugh with one another loudly. The entity dissipates in silence, disengages from the computers and leaves the ship.

The Enterprise crew regains control of the ship and sets course to return the Klingons to Klingon space.

Star Trek TV Series

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Star Trek TV Series, Films, and Documentaries

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Production & Filming Details

  • Director(s): Marvin J. Chomsky.
  • Writer(s): Jerome Bixby.
  • Production: Desilu Productions (1966-1967) and Paramount Television (1968-1969).
  • Distributor(s): Paramount Pictures (1966-2006), CBS Paramount Television (2006-2007), and CBS Television Distribution (2007-Present).
  • Original Network: NBC.
  • Release Date: 01 November 1968.
  • Running Time: 50 minutes.
  • Country: US.
  • Language: English.

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