Star Trek: The Return of the Archons   Rewatch 
December 13, 2014 11:15 AM - Season 1, Episode 22 - Subscribe

The Enterprise travels to Beta III to learn the fate of the U.S.S. Archon, gone missing a century earlier. One member of the landing party disappears, and one returns in a strangely blissful state. Kirk beams down with another landing party; amidst the chaos of "Festival" their hosts asks if they are "Archons." To learn more, Kirk must convince Betan citizens to disobey Landru, the man who has ruled them for 6,000 years - or find those who already resist. But with the Lawgivers everywhere, that task is going to be difficult...

"The Return of the Archons" is episode #21 and was first aired February 9, 1967. It was repeated by NBC on July 27, 1967. The screenplay was written by Boris Sobelman, based on a story by Gene Roddenberry, and directed by Joseph Pevney. This episode contains Star Trek '​s first reference to the Prime Directive.

Memory Alpha Link

The Episode can be viewed on Netflix, Hulu, and Youtube.
posted by Benway (3 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Ben Stiller got the name of his production company (Red Hour Films) from this episode. He's apparently a massive Star Trek fan, and of this episode in particular.
posted by potsmokinghippieoverlord at 2:54 PM on May 25, 2015

This was... awesome? It resembled real science fiction.

Sensor alert: COME ON! Why couldn't they beam up O'Neill? Because he ran off?
posted by acrasis at 1:30 PM on November 24, 2020

Honestly surprised this was an original idea. I had imagined both this show and the Purge were drawing from a deeper well of sci-fi tropes. I mean, obviously Jackson's The Lottery predates it, but its a long line to draw from that short story.

It's not really clear in the show why the red hour exists or why the Landru-computer thinks it is good for "the body," but it's also not really clear to me whether the inhabitants are supposed to be human or alien. The crew of the USS Archon is absorbed into the body, but if everyone there is a decendant, surely the Prime Directive doesn't apply.
posted by pwnguin at 11:14 PM on November 20, 2023

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