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The Practical Joker 

The computer of the Enterprise gains partial sentience and starts playing practical jokes on the crew.


Gene Roddenberry (created by), Chuck Menville




Episode cast overview:
William Shatner ... Capt. Kirk (voice)
Leonard Nimoy ... Mr. Spock (voice)
DeForest Kelley ... Dr. McCoy (voice)
George Takei ... Sulu (voice)
Nichelle Nichols ... Uhura (voice)
Majel Barrett ... M'Ress / Computer voice (voice)
James Doohan ... Scott / Arex / Search party 7 Crewman (voice)


In the midst of a stand-off with the Rimulans, The Enterprise's computer systems, gain partial sentience, and with it, starts playing practical jokes upon the crew, which leads to a dangerous life-and-death battle with Romulans. Written by Tony-B4

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis




Official Sites:

Official site





Release Date:

21 September 1974 (USA) See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Color (technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


This is the second consecutive installment to feature the concept of a practical joker, following the introduction of Ari bn Bem in the episode immediately prior to this one, "Bem". See more »


The Romulans are flying in Klingon ships. Going by the stardate in Kirk's log, 3183.3, this episode takes place well before the TOS episode "The Enterprise Incident" in which the stardate is 5027.3 In the latter episode which takes place almost two years later, expository dialogue establishes that it was the first time Enterprise had ever encountered the Romulans using Klingon ships. See more »


Dr. McCoy: Lieutenant Uhura, I have to hand it to you. This is just what the doctor would have ordered.
See more »


Featured in Svengoolie: Star Trek: The Cage (2016) See more »

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User Reviews

kid's stuff.
12 April 2015 | by MartinHaferSee all my reviews

As I always point out, the animation for this show is pure crap. Low cell counts (with jerky, robotic movements) and ugly drawings are the norm for this series--and this one is unfortunately no exception. Even by 70s TV cartoons, this one is butt ugly.

The show begins with Romulans attacking Enterprise. The Captain takes the ship through an energy field to avoid them and in the process the computer aboard the ship is affected--becoming goofy and with a bad sense of humor. Dribble glasses, pies in the face graffiti on the Captain's uniform and other simple-minded pranks start occurring and everyone aboard laughs like crazy. Mostly, however, it looks like stuff most children watching the show would have laughed at instead of adults. Well, they eventually discover that the computer is behind all this.

This episode is clearly one that kids would love--because they would have thought the computer's jokes were funny. As for older audiences (and it's amazing that adults really embraced this show), it's harder going due to its silliness--which grates on you after a while. My verdict is an 8 for kids and a 5 for adults.

By the way, it is interesting that this show debuts the holodeck-- something I incorrectly assumed was created on "Star Trek: The Next Generation".

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