‘BALANCE OF TERROR’ (TOS)
Please feel free to comment on my review.
‘Balance of Terror’ is a really gripping ‘Star Trek’ episode where we have the first appearances of the Romulans. The Romulans are war-like race of aliens and they look exactly like Spock and the Vulcans.
This is where the Enterprise gets to go into battle and the tension becomes high. We also see the battle from two points of view, including aboard the Enterprise ship and aboard the Romulan vessel.
This episode is notable for the appearance of Mark Lenard as the Romulan Commander, who makes his first contribution to the ‘Star Trek’ series. Mark Lenard would later portray Spock’s father, Sarek.
I enjoyed Mark Lenard’s performance, as he represents the Romulan side of things in this ‘Star Trek’ episode. It was interesting to see how the Romulans differed compared to what we know of Vulcans.
The Romulans are emotional compared to the Vulcans. They also claim to be creatures of duty and have Roman-like aspects to them. They also have this reputation of being treacherous in the series.
The other Romulan characters appearing in this episode are as follows. There’s Lawrence Montaigne as Decius, John Warburton as the Cenurion and Robert Chadwick as the Roman Scanner Operator.
Meanwhile aboard the Enterprise, there’s tension raised between the crewmembers about Mr. Spock. They discover that he and the Romulans lookalike, and there’s prejudice amongst the crew.
This prejudice is brought upon by Paul Comi as Lt. Stiles, the ship’s navigator for this episode. Stiles stirs trouble by being distrusting of Spock and Captain Kirk tells him to keep his suspicions to himself.
There was supposed to be a wedding on the Enterprise with Stephen Mines as Lt. Robert Tomlinson and Barbara Baldavin as Lt. Angela Martin. It is a shame when it gets interrupted by those Romulans.
Grace Lee Whitney also makes, what I call, her last appearance as Yeoman Janice Rand in the ‘Star Trek’ TV series. I feel so sorry for Grace Lee Whitney, since she could have become a great character.
I liked those intimidate moments that Janice Rand shares with Kirk during the episode when the Enterprise is in a battle. It is a shame that these moments weren’t fully developed during the series.
It was gripping when the Enterprise was under pressure and under attack by the Romulan ship and vice versa. It was also tense when the weapon systems of the Enterprise begin to break down in this.
The whole atmosphere of this episode makes it feel like both ships in space are fighting like they’re underwater. The special effects aren’t so great, but it is well-supported by good acting and direction.
I liked that last scene between Captain Kirk and the Romulan Commander via the view-screen after the Enterprise defeats the Romulan ship. There’s a sense of mutual understanding between the two.
Sadly, the episode ends with the bridegroom of the wedding getting killed during the battle. It’s a sad moment and very touching when Kirk visits the young bride-to-be to comfort and reassure her.
‘Balance of Terror’ is one of the best, well-made ‘Star Trek’ episodes ever made that introduces the Romulans in the series. It’s fuelled with action and tension and it’s so well-written and well-directed.
The DVD special features for this episode are as follows. On Disc 4 of both the original and re-mastered DVDs of ‘Star Trek: The Original Series – Season 1’, there is a preview trailer for this episode.
‘Balance of Terror’ (TOS) rating – 9/10
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