‘A Private Little War’ (TOS) (TV)



Please feel free to comment on my review.

There’s a lot going on in this episode. ‘A Private Little War’ is about Kirk and Bones visiting an alien planet where warfare is primitive, until the Klingons come along and arm the villagers with flintlocks.

As I understand it, this episode is meant to be an allegory for American’s involvement in the Vietnam War. This was very interesting as it would’ve been around the time when the Vietnam War started.

The planet that Kirk and Bones visit is called Neural. They along with Spock discover that the villagers are armed with flintlocks. This surprises Kirk as the natives aren’t supposed to have so armed as this.

Eventually, on the run from the armed villagers, Spock gets shot in the back before he, Kirk and Bones beam back to the Enterprise. The situation becomes serious when the Klingons get involved.

I found it interesting in how Kirk takes matters into his own hands and sorts out what’s going on. Kirk does not necessarily abide by the Prime Directive of Starfleet and his methods get to be questioned.

Kirk and Bones beam back down to Neural to try and find Tyree, leader of a group of Hill People and once a friend of Kirk’s. They soon get attacked by a white furry beast called a Mugato along the way.

I felt sorry for the actor who wore the Mugato beast outfit during the episode, as he must have found it really hot and sweaty in it. The Mugato beast takes a bite out of Kirk and it also poisons him.

Kirk is soon helped by Bones and some Hill People as they take him to their village. They soon meet Tyree and his wife Nona, who helps cure Kirk of the Mugato’s poison with the use of a Mahko root.

Nancy Kovack guest stars as Nona, who is a Kahn-ut-tu witch doctor. She’s very beautiful and pretty seductive when she wants to be. She’s impatient when her husband takes no action on the villagers.

Michael Witney guest stars as Tyree. Tyree seems to be a noble man who is reluctant to inflict harm on his own people, including the villagers. He seems to trust Kirk since he considers him as a brother.

It was interesting how Kirk and Bones interact with Tyree and Nona over this situation with the villagers and the flintlocks. Tyree eventually helps Kirk and Bones to get inside the villagers’ hideout.

Very soon, Kirk decides to give the Hill People the flintlocks in order to defend themselves. I liked that argument scene between Kirk and Bones where they’re discussing the handling of this civil war.

Meanwhile aboard the Enterprise, Spock gets treated for his injuries by Nurse Chapel and Booker Bradshaw as Dr. M’Benga. M’Benga is actually an expert on Vulcan physiology which is so intriguing.

I liked that scene where Spock tells Chapel to strike him on the face for him to recover. Chapel is reluctant to do so and I found it funny when she just taps him first before doing it harder on his face.

Ned Romero guest stars as Krell, a Klingon who gives the flintlocks to the villagers on Neural. It was interesting to see the Klingon’s involvement in this episode, although it does feel brief and fleeting.

The episode ends rather bleakly. After seducing Kirk with her herbs, Nona steals Kirk’s phaser and tries to use it on the villagers. In the process, Nona gets killed and Tyree demands to have flintlocks.

‘A Private Little War’ is a pretty thought-provoking and interesting episode where Kirk and Bones get involved with a civil war on a planet. It is quite tense and there is plenty of drama throughout in this.

The DVD special features for this episode are as follows. On Disc 5 of the original DVD and Disc 6 of the re-mastered DVD of ‘Star Trek: The Original Series – Season 2’, there is a preview trailer for this episode.

‘A Private Little War’ (TOS) rating – 8/10

The previous story

For ‘The Original Series’ was

The next story

For ‘The Original Series’ is

Return to Star Trek
Return to Sci-Fi

4 thoughts on “‘A Private Little War’ (TOS) (TV)

  1. Timelord 007

    I always get this episode & Friday’s Child mixed up, this is the episode Kirk arms the natives of Neural, i like this episode as it showcases the horrors of war & why the prime directive was put into place & i also like that it keeps things real & doesn’t give a happy ending which is true in all war’s nobody wins.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Tim Bradley Post author

    Yes I did wonder about that when you said Bones argues with Kirk about disarming the natives. I couldn’t remember that in ‘Friday’s Child’, but of course it actually happened in ‘A Private Little War’. No worries. Glad you enjoyed that scene in this episode and it was pretty tense between Kirk and Bones and good performances from Shatner and Kelley.

    It was quite shocking with how the episode ended and it was pretty tense and shocking with how Nona gets killed. Mind you, it was her own fault wasn’t it? Poor Kirk and Bones as they were shaken with the events by the end of the episode.

    Thanks for your comments, Simon.

    Tim. 🙂


    1. Tim Bradley Post author

      Your guess is as good as mine really. No idea. I’m not sure if there was ever a follow-up to this ‘Star Trek’ episode in other media. Perhaps in the books. I’ll have to check it out.

      Thanks for dropping a line, Jerr. Tim. 🙂



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.