This Day in Television History – January 10th, 1969 – Star Trek’s “Let That Be Your Last Battlefield” Airs

“Let That Be Your Last Battlefield” is the 15th episode of the 3rd season of the original Star Trek television series. Written by Oliver Crawford (with story by Lee Cronin) and directed by Jud Taylor, it first aired on NBC on January 10th, 1969.

let that be your last battlefield

Commissioner Bele introduces himself to Captain Kirk in “Let That Be Your Last Battlefield.” (Courtesy: Paramount / Viacom / CBS)

In the episode, the Enterprise tracks down a stolen Federation shuttlecraft that was taken by an alien seeking asylum. That alien, who is white on one side and black on the other, is being tracked himself–by another from the planet Charon. The two claim to be on opposite sides in a struggle on their home planet of oppressor vs. oppressed, and have the power to control the Enterprise to take them to that planet!

Frank Gorshin, best known as The Riddler from the 1960s Batman television series, appears as the alien Commissioner Bele in the episode.

Personal Thoughts: I’ve always enjoyed this episode. It features some very thoughtful moments among an interesting story. Frank Gorshin is excellent in the role of Bele. There’s one exchange between Chekov and Sulu in particular that I really enjoy from the episode, showing a hopeful future where humanity has evolved beyond racism:
“There was persecution on Earth once. I remember reading about it in my history class.”
“Yes, but it happened way back in the twentieth century. There’s no such primitive thinking today.”

 

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