36 user 8 critic

Balance of Terror 

The Enterprise must decide on its response when a Romulan ship makes a destructively hostile armed probe of Federation territory.


Vincent McEveety


Paul Schneider, Gene Roddenberry (created by)




Episode complete credited cast:
William Shatner ... Capt. Kirk
Leonard Nimoy ... Mr. Spock
Mark Lenard ... Romulan Commander
Paul Comi ... Stiles
Lawrence Montaigne ... Decius
DeForest Kelley ... Dr. McCoy
Grace Lee Whitney ... Yeoman Rand
George Takei ... Sulu
James Doohan ... Scott
Nichelle Nichols ... Uhura
Stephen Mines ... Tomlinson
Barbara Baldavin Barbara Baldavin ... Angela
Garry Walberg ... Hansen
John Warburton ... The Centurion


The Enterprise answers a distress call from Federation Outpost #4, a monitoring station on the Federation side of the neutral zone with the Romulan Empire. The outposts were established over a century ago and no one has actually seen a Romulan. The Romulan vessel seems to have some type of high energy explosive device as well as a cloaking device to make the ship invisible. When it appears that Romulans bear a strong resemblance to Vulcans, Kirk must deal with a rebellious crew member. He must also engage in a dangerous cat and mouse game with a very intelligent Romulan commander. Written by garykmcd

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


TV-PG | See all certifications »






Release Date:

15 December 1966 (USA) See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:




Aspect Ratio:

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Did You Know?


First appearance in the series of the Romulans. See more »


When the order to fire phasers is given, the ship is shown firing what, in most other episodes, are called photon torpedoes. See more »


Captain James T. Kirk: After a whole century, what will a Romulan ship look like, Mr. Stiles? I doubt if they'll radio and identify themselves.
Stiles: You'll know, sir. They're painted like a giant bird of prey.
Captain James T. Kirk: I had no idea that history was your specialty.
Stiles: Family history. There was a Captain Stiles in space service then; two commanders; several junior officers. All lost in that war, sir.
Captain James T. Kirk: THEIR war, Mr. Stiles. Not yours.
See more »

Alternate Versions

Special Enhanced version Digitally Remastered with new exterior shots and remade opening theme song See more »


Featured in Pioneers of Television: Science Fiction (2011) See more »


Theme From Star Trek
Written by Alexander Courage
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User Reviews

Intergalactic Space Battle
26 April 2014 | by HitchcocSee all my reviews

It's interesting that so many reviewers are so excited by this episode because it has to do with warfare. I've always enjoyed the more intellectual types of science fiction and feel this is often the lowest common denominator. It's why I see the Star Wars original movies as more Western than science fiction. That aside, this particular offering, with the introduction of the Romulans and a battle of wits between the two Captains is very good. Kirk is probably at the best he has ever been. Because the two vessels are unknown to each other, they must do two things. They must analyze and they must react. We also have a pair of truly contrasting cultures. Throw in the Vulcan angle (a possible split of purposes back in the day) with Spock being seen as a potential traitor and it gets really interesting. The conclusion is well set up and I won't comment on it specifically, but really pulls the whole thing together. All the actors deliver nice performances. We don't mention the secondary people, like Mr. Sulu, often enough, but they are really significant in this episode.

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