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Podcast Enterprise: S1E20 Court Martial


Space, the final frontier. These are the podcasts of the Podcast Enterprise. Its only mission: to explore story structures, to analyze our favorite characters and plotlines, to boldly talk what everyone has seen before

We will analyze all episodes of Star Trek: The Original Series or TOS for short using the following guiding structure:

  1. Synopsis or summary of the episode
  2. Story structure
  3. Character analysis
  4. Our likes and dislikes

The synopsis:

Here the Enterprise is at Star Base 11 for repairs. And Captain Kirk, right at the beginning, he’s sitting with Commander Stone off star Base 11. Basically what happened is the Enterprise ran into an ion storm and the Enterprise lost one of their officers. Their records officer called Benjamin Finney and Kirk is being held responsible for his death.

This is cause he apparently ejected the ion pod investigating that ion storm before a red alert. And that causes all sorts of problems for Kirk because he has to be court-martialed. And the computer records show that Kirk made a mistake. Kirk denies that he made that mistake. However, the computer contradicts him.

It shows him making that mistake. And therefore he’s also being held for perjury because it looks like he’s lying to the court. And what we have here is a courtroom scene and everything is very, very tense. Kirk runs into an old flame called Ariel Shaw. She’s the prosecution. However, she sympathizes with Kirk and she gives him some suggestions on what to do, what to say.

And she also gives him the name of a lawyer who can help him. And this lawyer is a character called Samuel Cogley. He’s a very interesting guy who’s completely against computers. He believes Kirk, they go to court, they try to prove that Kirk did not make that mistake.

However, the prosecution produces some video footage that shows that Kirk did in fact cause Finney’s death. Even Spock knows that there’s something wrong here. Spock instinctively trusts the computer because according to him, the computer cannot make mistakes. However, Spock trusts the captain. He knows Captain Kirk cannot make such a mistake.

He goes back to the Enterprise, he does some thinking, and then suddenly it strikes him that he should play chess with the computer. The computer keeps losing. Which it’s not supposed to do. And Spock knows that it cannot lose against him because he programmed the computer to play chess.

So he takes this evidence back to court and then he tells the court that there are only three people who can actually tamper with the computer in that way. One is the captain, one is Spock himself, and one is Benjamin Finney who’s the records officer who’s supposed to be dead. They go back to the Enterprise with a skeleton crew.

They use a computer auditory device to try and filter out the heartbeats of the whoever’s on the Enterprise. And they find that Finney is the only person there whose heartbeat is still there. Everybody else’s has been filtered out, but Finney apparently is alive on the Enterprise.

Kirk confronts him, there’s a huge fight. Finney is completely deranged because he wants to get deep revenge on Kirk for something he did a long time ago and he’s also sabotage the Enterprise, which Kirk after defeating him in that fight. He has to fix the Enterprise and eventually what happens is Kirk is acquitted and he’s let go, and Finney is taken into custody.

That brings us to the end of this episode. Thank you for listening to the Podcast Enterprise. Please do share your reviews with us and please share this podcast with any of your writing friends or trekkies. Live long and prosper!

Stay tuned in for our next episode! Enjoy!

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  1. Intro music: Music from
  2. Shotcut for editing the podcast
  3. References:
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