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"Arena" was the 19th episode of Star Trek: The Original Series produced in the show's first broadcast season, first aired on 19 January 1967. The episode was written by Fredric Brown and Gene L. Coon, directed by Joseph Pevney and novelized in Star Trek 2 by James Blish.


The Enterprise is lured to a Federation outpost by a falsified message inviting their tactical crew to a dinner. Upon arriving, they find the base on Cestus III has been destroyed. Shortly after arriving, they come under weapons fire by unknown assailants. They find a sole survivor, Matthew Harold, but lose two of their tactical staff, O'Herlihy and Lang. While they attempt to strike back at the attackers using a mortar found in the base armory, the Enterprise is also attacked. After both the landing party and starship successfully repel attacks and return fire, the alien vessel flees. Once the Enterprise can lower deflector shields, they retrieve the party and send down rescue parties to the wrecked colony. Captain James T. Kirk orders hot pursuit of the alien ship, with the intent to destroy them as retribution for the attack. Spock disagrees with the plan to kill the attackers, but Kirk is adamant about sending a message to whatever species had planned such an attack. While passing an uncharted star system, the alien ship and the Enterprise are scanned by an unknown force and begin to lose speed.

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Episode characters

Clifford Brent[1]Sean DePaulBill HadleyMatthew HaroldHarrison (Lieutenant)Rogelio KelowitzJames T. KirkLang (Lieutenant Commander)Ryan LeslieLeonard McCoyO'HerlihyS'alathMontgomery ScottSpockHikaru SuluNyota Uhuraunnamed MetronUSS Enterprise (NCC-1701) personnel (unnamed 2260s USS Enterprise personnel)
Referenced only
Howard TraversCestus III colonists

Novelization characters

James T. KirkLeonard McCoyS'alathSpockNyota Uhuraunnamed Metron
Referenced only
Howard TraversCestus III colonists

Starships and vehicles

USS Enterprise (Constitution-class heavy cruiser) • Gress'sril (MA12-class Ddraig-subclass cruiser)


Cestus III.

Cestus III Outpost/Cestus III Colony (Cestus III, Cestus star system, Cestus sector, Gamma Orionis sector block, the galaxy's Beta Quadrant) • 2279 PL2466 PM arena planet (2466 PM solar system, 2466 PM, Celes sector, the galaxy's Beta Quadrant)
Referenced only

Races and cultures


States and organizations

Federation membersGorn HegemonyMetron ConsortiumStarfleetStarfleet CommandUnited Federation of Planets

Science and classification

anatomychemistrycircuitelectronicsenergygravimetricsheatlightlifeformmagnetismmatterorbitpowerscanning beamspacestarstar systemtechnologytimeweaponuniverse


internal injuriesradiation burn

Materials and substances

asteroidatmospherebloodcharcoalcoaldiamondgasgunpowderjeweloxygenpotassium nitraterocksublightsubspace channelsulfur


coordinatesdaydegreeparsecquadrantspace-normal speedstar chartstardatewavelengthyardyear

Technology and weapons

cannonclubcomputercomputer bankdeflector screendisruptorgrenadegrenade launcherimpulse enginemedical personnelmortarphaserphaser bankphaser batteryphaser emitterphoton torpedopropulsion systemrecording-translating devicesensorsstarshiptractor beamtransformer banktransportertricorderviewscreenwarp drive

Ranks and titles

captainchefcommandercommanding officercommodorecommunications officerdiplomatFederation Starfleet ranksFederation Starfleet ranks (2260s)first officergunnery officerlieutenant commandermineralogistofficerordnance officerpolicescientistscience officer

Other references

alert statusarsenalazimuthbattle stationsbootCestus III Massacreclothingcoursecrimedamage controldreamEarth Observation Outpostfingerfive-year missiongovernmentlanguagelife systemlogicmassacremaximum warpmealmemorial arrangementsmemorynation-statepantsprojectileraces and culturesraiderrankred alertsearch partysentienceStarfleet uniformStarfleet uniform (2260s)titletraining drilltunicuniformvine


8th century
The Metron representative is born. (1500 years prior to episode)
earlier in 2267
The GCS Gress'sril targets Cestus III, Cestus III Massacre. (shortly before episode)
stardate 3045.6, 2267 (2260s chronology, voyages of the USS Enterprise (NCC-1701), Year Two)
Enterprise travels to Cestus.


Related media

Novel adaptations

Video releases




published order
Previous episode:
The Squire of Gothos
TOS episode produced Next episode:
The Alternative Factor
Previous episode:
The Squire of Gothos
TOS episode aired Next episode:
Tomorrow is Yesterday
Previous story:
first story in book
Star Trek 2
Next story:
A Taste of Armageddon
chronological order
Previous Adventure:
The Squire of Gothos
Pocket Next Adventure:
A Vulcan, A Klingon, and an Angel (backstory)
Previous Adventure:
The Squire of Gothos
Voyages of the
USS Enterprise (NCC-1701)
(2264 to 2270)
Next Adventure:
The Alternative Factor


  1. This character was not named in the episode but the same actor, wearing an officer's Starfleet uniform, was addressed as Brent in TOS episode: "The Naked Time". The same actor also played the character of Vinci.

External links