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"The Pirates of Orion" was the second season opener for Star Trek: The Animated Series, airing 7 September 1974. The episode was written by Howard Weinstein, directed by Bill Reed and novelized in Log Five by Alan Dean Foster.


VHS teaser
Mr. Spock will die unless he receives medication in time — medication that has been hijacked by a starship from Orion, a supposedly neutral planet.


Episode log entries

Captain's log, Stardate 6334.1.
The outbreak of choriocytosis aboard the Enterprise seems to be under control. Doctor McCoy says the disease is no longer even as serious as pneumonia, and there should be no problem completing our present mission, representing the Federation at the dedication ceremonies for the new Academy of Science on Deneb V.
Captain's log, supplemental.
We've arranged to get the strobolin needed to save Mr. Spock's life. The starship Potemkin has already picked up the drug and will transfer it to a freighter, the SS Huron, for delivery to the Enterprise.
Captain's log, stardate 6335.6.
The Huron has been left as space junk, its engines sabotaged. Captain O'Shea has no idea who attacked his ship, but the intruder must be found and the precious cargo retrieved.
Captain's log, stardate 6336.2.
The Orion crew is in our brig, their ship in tow, and the Enterprise is back on course for Deneb V.

Novelization log entries

Captain's log, stardate 5527.3.
My "nothing at all" turned out to be the first symptoms of choriocytosis. Despite an initial outbreak during which several members of the crew apparently contracted the disease simultaneously, it appears to be under control now. Dr. McCoy insists it's no longer even as dangerous as pneumonia, and we have experienced no significant drop in performance. Therefore I see no difficulties in completing our newly assigned mission—representing the Federation at the dedication ceremonies for the new interspecies Academy of Science on Deneb Five.
Captain's log, stardate 5527.4.
The Orion privateer crew is in protective custody and their ship in tow. The Enterprise is back on course for Deneb Five.



Episode characters

Arex Na EthChristine ChapelCophotJames T. KirkLeonard McCoySvenquist O'SheaMontgomery ScottSpockHikaru SuluNyota UhuraUSS Enterprise computerUnnamed Orion captainUnnamed Orion ensign
Referenced only

Novelization characters

Arex Na EthChristine ChapelCophotJohn ElijahFushiJames T. KirkJohn KyleLeonard McCoySvenquist O'SheaMontgomery ScottSpockHikaru SuluNyota UhuraUnnamed Orion captain
Referenced only

Starships and vehicles

USS Enterprise (Constitution-class heavy cruiser) • USS Huron (Federation freighter) • USS Potemkin (Constitution-class heavy cruiser) • Orion pirate ship
Referenced only
Klingon battle cruiser


bridgebriefing roomsickbay
Referenced only
ArgoCanopus IICoridan planetsDark PlaceDemolosDeneb VEarthHellM1138Pleiades

Races and cultures

Human (Roman) • OrionEdosian or TriexianVulcan
Referenced only

States and organizations

Academy of ScienceFederationKlingon EmpireStarfleet (Starfleet AcademyStarfleet Headquarters)

Science and technology

automatic emergency beaconbatterychronometercommunicatorcomputercassettedeflector shielddiagnostic beddilithiumdoor buzzerelevatorengineexplosive devicehyposprayintercomlibrary computerlife supportlog tapemedical transceivermedicinephaserphilosophyphysiologypower packpsychologyreaction chamberrecorderscannerself destruct systemsensortelescannertelescopic pickupstransportertricorderviewscreenwarp drive

Materials and substances


Orion vocabulary

bharbya-chee birdeltgisjachehshojiVyun-pashan

Ranks and titles

artistcaptainchief engineerchief medical officercommandercommanding officercommunications officerdiplomatdoctorengineerexecutive officerfirst officerhelmsmankinglieutenantmedical techniciannavigatornurseofficerpatricianphysicianpilotpiratescience officersecurity guardsuperior officer

Other references

21st centuryAcademy Mountain Survival Testalert status (yellow alert) • alienassignment patchasteroidasteroid beltatmosphereBabel Conference of stardate 3850.3Babel ConferencesBabel Resolution A12beambookcaptain's log, USS Enterprise, 2270centimeterchickenchoriocytosiscivilizationcomacommand chairdaydesertdiplomacydiplomacydrugEartherenergyengine storage chamberFederation Academy BallFederation Starfleet ranks (2260s)gasgerbilgovernmenthearthistoryhourhumanoidlog entrylogicminutemoneymonthmoonmountainpiracyplanetplanet busterplanetoidpneumoniaquadrantquartersraces and culturesradiationranksecondsectorship's logsickbayspacestarstar chartstardatestarfieldStarfleet ranksStarfleet uniformStarfleet uniform (2265-2270)starshipsuicideuniformuniversewarp factor (warp onewarp seven) • year



  • Hikaru Sulu was given command when Kirk, Scott, Uhura and Chapel beamed over to the Huron.
  • The teleplay for this episode was the first professional sale for writer Howard Weinstein, who was in college at the time.
  • Filmation's character design for Captain O'Shea strongly resembles their version of Dr. Hans Zarkov as seen in the 1979 Flash Gordon series.


  • In the Log Five novelization of the episode, the Babel Conference and the Coridan planets were misnamed as the Babel Concordance and the Cordian planets.
  • Svenquist O'Shea's two male officers, John Elijah and Mr. Fushi, were demonstrably different from the unnamed male and female officers seen in the aired episode, with the female lieutenant's role being given to Elijah.
  • Kirk and the Orion commander met on an airless planetoid wearing life support belts in the aired episode. It had a thin but breathable atmosphere in the novelization.
  • The freighter was referred to as the SS Huron in the novelization, but clearly shown onscreen as the USS Huron.
  • Genetic mutations experienced on Argo during the previous adapted story, "The Ambergris Element", were said to have weakened Kirk and Spock's immunity, allowing them to catch choriocytosis while on the surface. They both passed it along to the crew, although Kirk was the first to show symptoms. Since Spock had already contracted the disease, this explained why he wasn't immediately placed into isolation for his own good the moment the potentially fatal disease broke out.

Novelization quotes

  • "Tell him to stand by, Uhura." … "They want to know why, sir." … "Tell them I have some internal bodily functions to attend to. If they want further details, supply them." – James T. Kirk

Related stories


published order
Previous episode:
TAS episode produced Next episode:
The Practical Joker
Previous episode:
The Jihad
TAS episode aired Next episode:
Previous story:
The Ambergris Element
Log Five
Log five.jpg
Next story:
The Jihad
chronological order
Previous Adventure:
The Ambergris Element
Pocket Next Adventure:
The Jihad
Previous Adventure:
The Ambergris Element
Voyages of the
USS Enterprise (NCC-1701)
(2264 to 2270)
Next Adventure:
The Jihad


External link