Sunday, January 13, 2019

The Corbomite Maneuver

TOS Season 1 Episode 10
Air Date: November 10th, 1966

If an alien were to appear in front of you today, how would you know if he were peaceful or have an ulterior motive? Many TV shows and movies deals with this plot, showing an alien coming to Earth in peace when they really want to take over or exploit our resources. Now imagine the roles are reversed and you are approaching an alien on their world. How would they know that we are peaceful?

In The Corbomite Maneuver, the Enterprise enters into an area of uncharted space and is encountered by some kind of rotating cube where each face is glowing a different color. The cube plants itself in front of the Enterprise preventing forward motion. The Enterprise tries to go around it but it stays planted in front of the Enterprise. They turn around and go to warp backwards (not sure that was ever done in Star Trek again) and the cube stays in front of the Enterprise, but it starts spinning and emitting radiation. Before the radiation gets lethal the Enterprise is forced to destroy the cube.

Moments later a large sphere over a mile in diameter approaches and tells the Enterprise that humans are a violent species and they will destroy the Enterprise in 10 minutes. Some of the crew start panicking and any attempt to escape including diplomacy fails, except one. Kirk decides to bluff. He tells the alien ship that every Starfleet star ship has a defensive device called corbomite that will reflect any attack back onto the attackers destroying them. When the count down hits zero, the sphere doesn't attack but they decide to tow the Enterprise deeper into their space to board and destroy them there. They use a smaller ship to do the towing.

Spock discovers that when the Enterprise tries to break free it causes stress on the other ships engines so they start doing erratic maneuvers eventually disabling the other ship. They soon discover that the other ship is floating adrift with life support failing and if the Enterprise leaves it means the crew will die. Kirk decides to beam over and try to help, even though the alien threatened to kill everyone on board. When they get there they discover the alien is not as threatening as it seemed and they were testing the Enterprise to see if human's were a violent or compassionate race.

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