1×10 – The Corbomite Maneuver

Premise – While making star maps of a previously unexplored area of the galaxy, the Enterprise encounters a bizarre rotating cube that won’t leave it alone! When the Enterprise tries to escape, the cube emits lethal doses of radiation, so Kirk gives orders to destroy it. Shortly thereafter, the Enterprise is seized by the tractor beam of a humongous spherical ship captained by the alien Balok, who threatens to destroy the Enterprise. Kirk must find a way to outwit Balok and save his crew.

The mystery cube is a pretty nifty device. It hovers in front of the Enterprise and won’t let it move:


5:25 – I can’t help throwing in a funny McCoy moment. McCoy is giving Kirk his quarterly physical and neglects to tell Kirk the Enterprise’s warning lights are flashing. After Kirk sees them and checks in with the bridge, he gets annoyed at McCoy:

Kirk: [Annoyed] “If you could see the alarm lights flashing from there, McCoy, why didn’t you tell me?”
McCoy: “I finally finished a physical on you.” [Yelling to Kirk as he leaves the room] “What am I, a doctor or a moon shuttle conductor?” [Alone, talking to himself] “If I jumped every time the light came on down here I’d wind up talking to myself.”

Don’t worry, McCoy, you are definitely not a ‘moon shuttle conductor.’

6:15 – Spock had previously rebuked Lieutenant Bailey for raising his voice when the cube was approaching the Enterprise. Bailey tries to explain his reaction and gets a funny quip from Spock:

Bailey: “Raising my voice back there doesn’t mean I was scared and couldn’t do my job. It means I happen to have a human thing called an adrenaline gland.”
Spock: “Does sound most inconvenient, however, have you considered having it removed?”
Sulu: [Laughs]
Bailey: “Very funny.”
Sulu: “You try to cross brains with Spock, he’ll cut you to pieces every time.”

Hmm, did they call adrenal glands ‘adrenaline’ glands in the sixties? And what exactly does ‘cross brains’ mean?


13:45 – A definite Kirk/Spock moment! The duo are discussing the current situation. Kirk asks Spock to “speculate” and Spock replies with his usual logical answers.

Spock: “If you’re asking the logical decision to make -”
Kirk: [Interrupts, nicely] “No, I’m not. The mission of the Enterprise is to seek out and contact alien life.”
Spock: “Has it occurred to you that there’s a certain…inefficiency…in constantly questioning me on things you’ve already made up your mind about?”
Kirk: “It gives me emotional security.”

Kirk admits that he needs Spock for emotional security!  Look at the cute smile he gives to his other half:


28:00 -Kirk & Spock are pacing, trying to figure out how they can save their ship from what seems like a completely superior opponent.

Kirk: “There must be something to do. Something I’ve overlooked.”
Spock: “In chess, when one is outmatched, the game is over. Check mate.”
Kirk: [Snapping at Spock] “Is that your best recommendation?”
Spock: [Looking down] “Im s-….I regret that I can find no other logical alternative.”

Kirk needs to get his adrenaline gland under control. Spock looks totally dejected after Kirk snaps at him. 😦 He starts to say “I’m sorry,” but I guess that’s not a phrase Vulcans use. Spock’s emotional reaction proves that he really cares what Jim thinks.


31:20 – This made me laugh.

Spock: “I regret not having learned more about this Balok. In some manner he was reminiscent of my father.”
Scott: “Then may heaven have helped your mother.”
Spock: “Quite the contrary. She considered herself a very fortunate Earth woman.”

Hoo-hoo! Spock’s dad must have been a very virile Vulcan! Look at the pride on Spock’s face:


This was an interesting episode. Perhaps one of my favorites so far. The ending was downright weird, but everything up ’til then was great. I loved how Jim used “poker” to outwit Balok – basically he just used a bluff.

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3 Comments on “1×10 – The Corbomite Maneuver”

  1. Di Bott Says:

    Lovely exploration of this wonderful episode. Glad you enjoy all the K/S of TOS, it’s all there isn’t it?


  2. Fulya Says:

    Hi there!
    I think Sulu means “you can’t deal with Mr. Spock when it comes to intelligence” when he says “cross minds.”

  3. Awesome article, thank You !!

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