Star Trek: The Gamesters of Triskelion   Rewatch 
May 30, 2015 11:20 AM - Season 2, Episode 16 - Subscribe

Kirk, Uhura and Chekov are trapped on a planet where abducted aliens are enslaved and trained to perform as gladiators for the amusement of bored, faceless aliens.

"The Gamesters of Triskelion" was produced after John Meredyth Lucas had taken over for Gene L. Coon as the program's operating producer at the latter's request, first broadcast January 5, 1968 and repeated May 3, 1968. Cataloged as episode #45, production #46, it was written by Margaret Armen and directed by Gene Nelson. Gerald Perry "Jerry" Finnerman was the director of photography for the installment, and his cinematography protege, Al Francis, was chief camera operator.

Memory Alpha Link

Trek Nation Review.

The episode can be viewed on Netflix and YouTube.
posted by Benway (10 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
All I remember is that Angelique Pettyjohn made me feel ALL TINGLY inside.
posted by Major Matt Mason Dixon at 12:01 PM on May 30, 2015

Huh. This always seemed more like a Third Season episode to me. Quite a comedown after an all-time classic like "Tribbles".
posted by briank at 1:27 PM on May 30, 2015

Always thought of it as an indifferent episode, but it has a special place in my heart for supplying the surprisingly versatile quote, "A hundred quatloos on the newcomers!"
posted by ricochet biscuit at 4:53 PM on May 30, 2015

One such quote certainly was apposite enough to suggest itself here.
posted by George_Spiggott at 7:48 PM on May 30, 2015

Nesmith? Was there some magical Star Trek-Monkees crossover ep of which I have been ignorant for all these years? I mean, they were both on NBC at the same time, after all, so it's possible...
posted by briank at 3:13 AM on June 2, 2015

I actually love that one of the brain-in-a-jar dudes is the voice of John Fiedler, better known to the world as Piglet.
posted by holborne at 10:52 AM on June 3, 2015 [2 favorites]

one of the brain-in-a-jar dudes is the voice of John Fiedler

There has certainly been a lot of confusion about uncredited voice talent on Trek over the years. James Doohan taught acting, was credited with a lot of VO work on the animated series, and was known to have done some VO for the original. On that basis, the first draft of Trek history tends to attribute any uncredited voice to Doohan -- a known (and loved) entity.

And it's true that despite appearing in The Aldrich Family (radio), Tom Corbett: Space Cadet (very early teevy), 12 Angry Men, A Raisin in the Sun, The Odd Couple, and as Gaston ("I have to pee!") in Picasso at the Lapin Agile (and yes, he also did some time working for The Mouse) John Fiedler once said "One of my favorite parts was an episode of Star Trek where I played Jack the Ripper."

However, his role as Hengist / Redjac in "Wolf in The Fold" was his only StarTrek appearance.

Originally uncredited, we now know that the voices of the Providers were:

Provider 1: (red) with 'macho voice': Bart LaRue
He also voiced The Guardian of Forever, Trelane's 'father', Yarnek the Excalbian, and others. He's on-camera for about 4 seconds as the fight announcer in "Bread and Circuses".
Elswhere: many small roles and voices.

Provider 2: (green) 'wimpy voice': Walker Edmiston
He also provided Balok's real voice dubbed over Clint Howard, and others.
Elsewhere: Far too many to list, though he did play the voice of God in Wholly Moses!

Provider 3: (yellow) 'fruity voice': Robert C. Johnson
He also voiced a Talosian, and others.
Elsewhere: Provided the Mission: Impossible 'control voice'.

You ought to look these guys up, because they and many other uncredited people added immeasurably to your pop culture heritage. We now have the means to know them and acknowledge their work.
posted by Herodios at 10:04 AM on June 4, 2015 [3 favorites]

I find I am more fond of this episode that a lot of people. Probably a lot of that is fondness for green-haired alien women, but I think a case can be made for how gloriously cartoonish it is.

The obedience collars.
The head thrall's fabulous cloak.
"What is ... love?"
Coloured glowing brains under a glass dome.
"We are one thousand of your meters beneath the surface."

Do they ever establish a purpose to the "training harness" other than to look more bondagey?

And it's a good Kirk episode. He takes his shirt off for half the episode, he seduces a hot alien woman, he gets to shout a lot, he cajoles some smug glowing brains into a wager.
posted by RobotHero at 7:59 PM on June 4, 2015

I'm almost certain James Doohan provides the voice of Sargon, because he slips subtly in a few places and sounds more like Scotty, just for a nano.
posted by zadcat at 4:16 PM on August 6, 2015

Even more annoying than Throbbing Brains with Jaded Tastes is the constantly-sounded idea that humans are *special*: spunkier than other races, and infinite in faculty. In form and moving, how like a pro-wrestler? In action, how like a Lounge Lothario? This 1960s exceptionalism rings very hollow now. The writers could have tried for a non-violent solution (that one where you use a logical paradox to disable brains? Hasn't been used in a while!). Instead, Kirk kills the alien thralls with little compunction (since they didn't have any personality anyway), and spares the objectified, bikini-clad love interest, who, nevertheless, he declines to take with him. Why not, since we aren't paying attention to the Prime Directive in the episode? Because she's "not ready" for civilization yet? If this is a metaphor for the Vietnam War, it's a very creepy one, where the military-industrial complex oversees battle, and US soldier Kirk tries to protect the Vietnamese from Communist enslavement by killing a proportion of them, and romances a poor native woman before leaving in a hurry.

I would have bargained for my freedom by offering the Triskelions a subscription to the Food Network. It works in waiting rooms, why not here? When Fred's icing fails to set properly, is that pain not palpable and deep?
posted by acrasis at 1:15 PM on March 14, 2021

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