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Day of the Dove

Star Trek: TOS episode "Day of the Dove"
Kirk duels with Kang Episode no. 62 Prod. code 066 Remastered no. 52 Airdate November 1, 1968Writer(s)Jerome BixbyDirectorMarvin ChomskyGuest star(s) Majel Barrett
Michael Ansara
Susan Howard
David L. Ross
Mark Tobin
Pete Kellett
Charles Picerni
Jay Jones
Roger HollowayYear 2268 Stardateunknown Episode chronologyPrevious "Spectre of the Gun" Next "For the World is Hollow and I Have Touched the Sky"

"Day of the Dove" is a third season episode of Star Trek: The Original Series, first broadcast November 1, 1968 and repeated June 17, 1969. It is episode #62, production #66, written by Jerome Bixby and directed by Marvin Chomsky.

Overview: An alien force drives the crew of the Enterprise into brutal conflict with the Klingons.



On stardate 5630.3, the starship USS Enterprise receives a distress call from a human colony on Beta XII-A. The colony is apparently under attack by an unknown vessel. On arrival, the Enterprise finds no sign of an enemy ship. Captain Kirk beams down with a landing party to investigate the planet but they find no evidence of a human settlement ever having been there.

Back in space, the Enterprise goes on alert as a Klingon vessel suddenly pulls into orbit with them. However, as the crew watch, a series of strange explosions occur on the Klingon ship that leave it dead in space. The surviving crew of the Klingon ship, led by Commander Kang, beams down to the planet where they quickly capture Kirk's landing party.

Kang denies attacking any human colony but asserts that his ship was fired upon unprovoked by the Enterprise, and he demands that Kirk surrender his ship. After a struggle, Kirk pretends to agree and surrender quietly, however, he manages to trigger a security alert to Mr. Spock on the bridge just before beaming up. When Kirk's team, along with their captors, returns to the Enterprise, Kang and his crew are "held" in the transporter beam, rematerializing later and finding themselves surrounded by an armed security force. The Klingons surrender.

Unbeknownst to the crew, a strange swirl of energy manages to sneak on board the Enterprise undetected. The entity interfaces with the ship's main computer and suddenly, the Enterprise then jumps into warp at maximum speed on an uncontrolled heading to the edge of the galaxy. Fear and anxiety begin to rise as the ship races out of control. Emergency bulkheads begin to close throughout the ship isolating Kirk and some of his men with the Klingons.

At the same time, mysterious racks of bladed weapons appear throughout the ship and the crew's phasers disappear, replaced by swords and knives. Now armed with the primitive weapons, a savage melee breaks out between the Klingons and the Enterprise crew. Kirk manages to fight his way back to the bridge where Spock reports that he has detected an alien presence that seems to have taken over the ship. Spock begins to work on a way of getting rid of it.

Meanwhile, the Klingons have taken over engineering and begin to shut down life support to the rest of the ship. Oddly, their attempts are futile and life support is restored completely on its own. In fact, severely injured crew who fought during the skirmish find their wounds have rapidly healed, almost as if to keep both sides of the battle on a matched footing. Kirk and Spock surmise that the alien intruder is playing some kind of twisted wargame, but its motives are unknown.

Kirk wants his crew to stop fighting, but they find themselves uncontrollably driven to violence through fearful paranoia. Kirk and Spock decide to try to reach Kang, in order to alert him to the situation, and to reason with him. Meanwhile, Mr. Chekov roams the ship seeking revenge for the murder of his nonexistent brother. When he finds the Klingon female Mara, who is Kang's wife and science officer, he threatens to rape and kill her. Mara is rescued by Kirk and Spock who manage to knock Chekov out.

Mara remains wary of Kirk's help. She tells him she has heard that Klingons that are captured are put into Federation concentration camps for later execution or experiments. Kirk tries to calm her down telling her there are no such camps, and that an alien force is behind what is going on. Mara still refuses to believe Kirk, however the alien entity finally makes an appearance just outside sickbay. The being lingers for a moment and then vanishes through a bulkhead. Spock believes the entity may be feeding off everyone's negative emotions, especially fear and anger. He suggests it may have faked the colony distress call and set up this battle between the crew and Klingons so that it has a convenient source of nourishment.

Having seen the alien herself, Mara is finally convinced and leads Kirk to her husband Kang, who remains holed up in engineering. Mara tries to explain what is going on to her husband, but he doesn't believe it and demands a final duel to the death with Kirk. The two ship captains begin their swordfight and soon the entity appears to feed off their anger.

Despite the presence of the being, Kang continues fighting. Kirk however struggles to ask Kang if he would like to spend the next thousand lifetimes satisfying the alien's twisted desires. Mara also convinces her husband to lay down his arms. Kang now realizes the fight is pointless and agrees to a truce. To combat the alien entity, the Klingons and Enterprise crew begin to show goodwill and positive emotion toward each other. This finally drives the weakened alien from the ship.

40th Anniversary remastering

This episode was remastered in 2006 and aired January 5, 2008 as part of the remastered Original Series. It was preceded three weeks earlier by the remastered version of "A Taste of Armageddon" and followed a week later by the remastered version of "Who Mourns for Adonais?". Aside from remastered video and audio, and the all-CGI animation of the USS Enterprise that is standard among the revisions, specific changes to this episode also include:

  • The planet Beta XII-A has been given a more realistic earth-like appearance.
  • New scenes and more dramatic shots of the Klingon battle cruiser have been added, including replaced footage of the ship as it explodes above the planet.


Trivia sections are discouragedunder Wikipedia guidelines.
The article could be improved by integratingrelevant items and removing inappropriateones.
  • The Beta XII-A entity depicted in this episode later appears in Greg Cox's novels about the Q Continuum.
  • Susan Howard's appearance as Mara was the first time a female Klingon was seen on the original series. There was another one among those rescued from Kang's ship, but she did not have a speaking part. Howard herself would later go on to play Donna Culver on Dallas.
  • Originally, the Klingon captain was to have been Kor from "Errand of Mercy". When John Colicos was unable to fit the show into his schedule, the episode was rewritten. Both he and Michael Ansara would later reprise their roles on Star Trek: Deep Space Nine.
  • The use of "intra-ship beaming", here depicted as extremely risky, would become much more common in Star Trek: The Next Generation and later series, where it is referred to as a "site-to-site transport".
  • Kang tells Kirk that the Klingons have no devil; this is at odds with the Next Generation episode "Devil's Due", in which we see Fek'lhr, Guardian of the Underworld (to which the souls of dishonored Klingons are condemned). Worf also stated that ancient warriors killed all Klingon gods.
  • Three of the characters have swords to match their "ethnic" backgrounds:
    • Captain Kirk has an English Captain's cutlass.
    • Lt. Com. Scott has a Scottish basket hilted claymore.
    • Mr. Sulu has a Japanese katana.
  • This is one of many TOS episodes with a dystheistic theme, where a "divine" being with "supernatural" powers seeks to control and enslave living beings, but where Kirk and the crew of the Enterprise fight back to stop this from happening (e.g., "Who Mourns for Adonais?", "Return of the Archons", "The Squire of Gothos").
v • d • eStar TrekKlingonstories Star TrekErrand of Mercy • Friday's Child • The Trouble With Tribbles • A Private Little War • Day of the Dove • Elaan of Troyius • The Savage Curtain • Star Trek: The Motion Picture • Star Trek III: The Search for Spock • Star Trek V: The Final Frontier • Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered CountryStar Trek: The Next GenerationHeart of Glory • A Matter of Honor • The Emissary • Sins of the Father • Reunion • The Mind's Eye • Redemption • New Ground • Ethics • Birthright • The Chase • Rightful Heir • Firstborn • All Good Things... • Star Trek GenerationsStar Trek: Deep Space NinePast Prologue • Blood Oath • The House of Quark • Visionary • The Way of the Warrior • The Sword of Kahless • Return to Grace • Sons of Mogh • Rules of Engagement • Apocalypse Rising • Looking for par'Mach in All the Wrong Places • Trials and Tribble-ations • In Purgatory's Shadow • By Inferno's Light • Soldiers of the Empire • Children of Time • Call to Arms • Sons and Daughters • Sacrifice of Angels • You Are Cordially Invited... • Once More Unto the Breach • Strange Bedfellows • Tacking Into the WindStar Trek: VoyagerFaces • Day of Honor • Barge of the Dead • Lineage • ProphecyStar Trek: EnterpriseBroken Bow • Sleeping Dogs • Marauders • Judgment • Bounty • The Expanse • Affliction • Divergence

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Last produced:
"For the World is Hollow and I Have Touched the Sky" Star Trek: TOS episodes
Season 3Next produced:
"Plato's Stepchildren" Last transmitted:
"Spectre Of The Gun" Next transmitted:
"For the World is Hollow and I Have Touched the Sky"
Categories: Star Trek: The Original Series episodes | 1968 television episodesHidden category: Articles with trivia sections from December 2007

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