"Star Trek: The Original Series" Errand of Mercy (TV Episode 1967) - Plot Summary Poster


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  • With a war with Klingons raging, Kirk and Spock attempt to resist an occupation of a planet with incomprehensibly placid natives.

  • War! The Klingons and the Federation are poised on the brink, and then war is declared. Kirk and Spock visit the planet Organia. Organia, inhabited by simple pastoral folk, lies on a tactical corridor likely to be important in the coming conflict. Whichever side controls the planet has a significant advantage. But the Organians are a perplexing people, apparently unconcerned by the threat of the Klingon occupation or even the deaths of others in their community. Finally, Kirk and the Klingon commander Kor learn why, and the reason will change Federation/Klingon relations for decades to come.

  • With the breakdown of peace negotiations, the Federation finds itself at war with the Klingon Empire. The Enterprise is ordered to the planet Organia in order to ensure that the Klingons are prevented from using the planet as a base. They arrive to find a peace-loving population who seem to know little of war or violence and don't see a threat, even after the Klingons arrive in force on the planet. While Kirk and the Klingon commander Kor jockey for position, the Organians refuse to support either side and both commanders soon learn that the Organians have good reason not to fear or support either of them.


The synopsis below may give away important plot points.


  • The Enterprise is at war with the Klingons. Kirk and Spock beam down to Organia, a crucial planet, before the Klingons can arrive, and guess what they find? The people are moving around like sheep, as if nothing has happened.

    LOOK OUT. Kirk and Spock go to see the council, while Sulu is in charge on the ship. The council is led by Ayelbourne, an old man who speaks peacefully and gently. "What the hell is going on?" says Kirk. "You are in danger, Get the hell up to my ship." Ayelbourne says "Captain, YOU are the one who is in danger. You must leave at once."

    Then LOOK OUT, the Klingons beam down. Kirk and Spock are dressed like the Organian people. Kor, the commander of the Klingons, says "Who are these two." Kirk sasses him. Kor says "I like this one. He has spirit. Not like you sheep." Kor executes many Organians. Kirk says to Ayelbourne "Don't you care?" Ayelbourne says "Only their bodies are dead. It is you who must leave. We do care deeply about you."

    Kirk and Spock sneak out on a night mission and set bombs in the ammunition dumps of the Klingons. Kor is angry. He throws Kirk and Spock in the dungeon.

    That night Ayelbourne comes and says to them "I have your communicators. Now please leave before you are hurt." Kirk says "I don't know how you got in here, but we'll do as we please." Kirk says to Spock "Can we get to Kor?" Spock says "The odds are 1750 to 1." Kirk laughs. "Let's improve our odds". They do get to Kor and there is a standoff in the Klingon headquarters. Kirk is talking to Sulu by communicator. "Get ready to fire on the Klingon ship, Sulu." The Klingons are about to fire too.

    Kirk, Spock, the Klingons on the planet are all holding guns. LOOK OUT. But then the guns become hot, and they all have to drop them. On the ship, Sulu says "Captain, the instruments to fire are too hot to handle." Then Ayelbourne and the council walk in.

    Ayelbourne says "Gentlemen, I cannot have you commit violence against each other. You are disarmed. Now make peace." :What gives you the right" says Kirk "to tell our Federation." "Or our Empire" Kor says. Kirk continues "Not to fight??" Ayelbourne says "Gentlemen, begone, your presence disturbs me." Then Ayelbourne and the Council vanish into bright lights. Kirk and Kor know they must make peace, but TEMPORARY, until they can get the hell off of Organia. Wow.

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