Star Trek

“Court Martial”

Episode Number20 (1.20)
Production Number15
Original Airdate02-Feb-1967
StoryDon M. Mankiewicz
TeleplayDon M. Mankiewicz and Stephen W. Carabatsos
DirectorMarc Daniels
Kirk is sworn in during his court martial

When the U.S.S. Enterprise puts in at Starbase 11 for repairs caused in an ion storm, Kirk gives his report of the circumstances of Lieutenant Commander Ben Finney's death to Commodore Stone. All goes well until Spock arrives with the computer visual tape of the bridge during the crisis. Spock tries to warn Kirk about what is on the tape, but the Commodore takes it and plays it. The computer record shows that Kirk jettisoned the ion pod with Finney still inside.

Guest Cast

Percy Rodriguez (Commodore Stone)
Elisha Cook (Samuel T. Cogley)
Joan Marshall (Lt. Areel Shaw)
DeForest Kelley (Dr. Leonard H. McCoy)
Nichelle Nichols (Lt. Uhura)
Richard Webb (Lt. Commander Benjamin Finney)
Hagan Beggs (Lt. Hansen)
Winston DeLugo (Timothy)
Alice Rawlings (Jame Finney)
Nancy Wong (Personnel Ensign)
Bart Conrad (Captain Krasnowsky)
William Meader (Commodore Lindstrom)
Reginald Lal Singh (Captain Chandra)

  • Finney and Kirk were friends at one time; Finney's daughter Jamie was named after Kirk. They were stationed on the U.S.S. Republic NCC-1371 together. Then Ensign Kirk discovered that Lt. Finney had left open a switch on the atomic reactor, which could have caused an explosion. Kirk logged the incident and Finney was reprimanded and moved to the bottom of the promotion list. He never forgave Kirk. Finney was the Enterprise's records officer. He changed the computer records and faked his death because he was bitter over never becoming Captain and commanding officer of the Enterprise.
  • The computer identifies Spock's rank as Lieutenant Commander. (Kirk also referred to him as such in the previous episode "Tomorrow is Yesterday".)
  • During "The Menagerie", Kirk states that no starships can create detailed records such as the video playback provided by the Talosians. However, in this episode they have detailed records of the ion storm, which can even zoom into Kirk's button presses.
  • Spock proves that there is something wrong with the computer because he is able to beat it at chess 4 times in a row.
  • Kirk states that the computer can hear sounds. Using a booster, they can increase it on the order of "one to the fourth power". 14=1, which would render the sound the same.