Star Trek: Day of the Dove   Rewatch 
October 3, 2015 6:19 AM - Season 3, Episode 7 - Subscribe

Responding to a distress call on Beta XII-A, Captain Kirk encounters Klingons who are convinced the Enterprise destroyed their ship. But, both humans and Klingons have been lured by a formless entity that feeds on hatred and has set about to fashion them into a permanent food supply for itself.

"Day of the Dove" was first broadcast November 1, 1968, and repeated June 17, 1969. It was written by Jerome Bixby and directed by Marvin Chomsky.

Memory Alpha Link

AVClub review. Review

The episode can be viewed on Netflix and Amazon Prime.
posted by Benway (5 comments total)
I agree with the various reviewers crediting Ansara's Kang with making this a stand-out episode for S3. He's got such a distinctive voice, it must have been a great experience to see him do theater back in the day.

I wonder why the Klingon make-up was so greasy. S3 low-budgeting whatever's fastest to get everyone on set quickly? Or deliberate artistic choice? It was a bit too close to blackface for comfort, I think. But again, thank goodness for Ansara, he radiated such authority. It seems as if he set the tone for the development of Klingons in subsequent Trek movies & shows, this felt like the Klingon-est Klingon episode to me.
posted by oh yeah! at 8:05 AM on October 3, 2015

I loved this episode as a kid because it showed what the Klingon transporter effect looked like!
posted by wittgenstein at 8:54 AM on October 3, 2015

"Day of the Dove" Poetry Slam!

You will die.
Of suffocation.
In the icy cold of space.
All right, all right.
In the heart, in the head.
I won't stay dead.
Next time I'll do the same to you.
I'll kill you.

The basic idea here was pretty good Trek, but the ep did have some identifiable flaws.

It certainly was fortunate for our team that the Violence Vampire decided to kill over 400 Klingon redshirts and make their vessel a radioactive hulk -- rather than ours.

It's interesting that except for the hangar deck, every set we've ever seen on the show, including the main engineering area and some we've never seen before such as the armoury (??) are all concentrated around the bridge in such a way that 392 out of 432 people can be "trapped below decks". What do they all do down there?

Again fortunate for our side that all those Fed slackers weren't just jettisoned into space or their life support shut off, given the the way it disposed of most of the Klingons.

I suppose it says something about 'those fuzz-faced goons' that the 40 survivors of Kang's crew could raise sufficient hearty good fellowship to defeat the Violence Vampire while mourning the loss of over 400 others, some -- based on the presence of Mara -- presumably, relatives and spouses.

The Chekov-as-intergalactic-sex-offender angle is pretty depressing, too.

But "Day of the Dove" also stands as that rarity: an action-oriented episode that is also very nearly a bottle episode.

PS: Missed you, Benway. Did we switch to bi-weekly and I didn't pick up the signal?
posted by Herodios at 2:05 PM on October 3, 2015 [1 favorite]

Struck by the scene with Chekov. It goes like this:

Chekov, armed with a sword, sneaks down the empty corridor and hides when he hears a door whoosh shut.

Mara comes along with a male Klingon. Chekov jumps out and just sort of dunts the Klingon man lightly in the back with the sword and he goes down. Nothing remotely graphic, no blood, just a little "argh!"

Chekov approaches Mara with the sword, but then says "You don't die... yet." He tells her she's wery beautiful and violently tears at her clothes. It's realistic and the woman is shown to be expecting worse to follow. Chekov clamps a hand across her mouth, then moves in and is kissing her when Kirk and Spock come around the corner.

Kirk grabs Chekov, pushes him against the opposite wall and slaps him twice on the face. He collapses. Spock grabs Kirk's arm and says "Captain, he's not responsible." But Chekov has been knocked cold. Kirk feels terrible: "What have I done?"

I guess what's bizarre on this rewatch is realizing the violence against the men in this scene is practically done as symbolic mime, whereas the attack on the woman is realistic and, even now, kind of shocking.

I'd be curious to know how much of this was directorial decision, and how much was network standards/censorship, and why graphic sexual aggression passed but an even semi-realistic sword attack was not OK.
posted by zadcat at 10:38 PM on October 8, 2015

I thought this episode was a lot of fun. Kang's great, as noted, and I didn't find the pacing to be tedious like some of the reviewers.
posted by vibratory manner of working at 5:51 PM on August 23, 2019

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