"The Return of the Archons" was the 22nd episode of Star Trek: The Original Series, in the show's first season, first aired on 9 February 1967. The episode was written by Gene Roddenberry and Boris Sobelman, directed by Joseph Pevney and novelized in Star Trek 9 by James Blish.

Summary[edit | edit source]

The USS Enterprise enters the C-111 system after receiving a 100-year-old distress call from the USS Archon. After entering orbit of planet Beta III, Captain Kirk sends a landing party down to the planet to investigate.

When the first party begins to exhibit strange behaviour, Kirk personally leads a second party down to the planet. The party discovers that the inhabitants are a controlled people, controlled by the lawgivers and are part of "The Body", which is all overseen by a man named Landru. The people are like pleasant zombies until the Red Hour strikes, enveloping the people in a twelve hour orgy of violence and emotional outbreak.

While Kirk and the landing party are investigating, the Enterprise is slowly being pulled out of orbit of Beta III to be absorbed by "The Body", which is what happened to the Archon a century earlier.

On the surface, Kirk discovers that the survivors from the Archon formed an underground group to resist "The Body", and Kirk manages to contact their descendants, and arranges their help to destroy Landru. Upon finding Landru, they discover that Landru is a highly sophisticated computer that was built 6,000 years earlier. The original Landru, a respected philosopher, only wanted to guide his people to become peaceful and civilized. While Landru had programmed the computer with his intellect, it didn't have his wisdom, and over the centuries the computer interpreted Landru's instructions literally and didn't allow anyone to show independent thought.

Kirk persuades the computer that it has destroyed Betan society and that it had failed in its objective, prompting the computer to destroy itself. The people of Beta III are now free, and Kirk arranges for Federation assistance in putting the planet back together again.

References[edit | edit source]

Characters[edit | edit source]

Episode characters[edit | edit source]

BilarClifford Brent (?) • David Galloway (?) • Bill HadleyHacomJames T. KirkLandruRyan LeslieChristopher LindstromMarplonLeonard McCoyO'NeilOsborneRegerMontgomery ScottSpockHikaru SuluTamarTulaNyota Uhura

Novelization characters[edit | edit source]

BilarHacomJames T. KirkLandruChristopher LindstromMarplonLeonard McCoyO'NeillRegerMontgomery ScottSpockHikaru SuluTamarTulaNyota Uhura

Starships and vehicles[edit | edit source]

USS Enterprise (Constitution-class heavy cruiser)

Locations[edit | edit source]

Beta III

Races and cultures[edit | edit source]


Appendices[edit | edit source]

Related media[edit | edit source]

Adaptations[edit | edit source]

Video releases[edit | edit source]

Images[edit | edit source]

Episode images[edit | edit source]

Related images[edit | edit source]

Timeline[edit | edit source]

published order
Previous episode:
Tomorrow is Yesterday
TOS episode produced Next episode:
A Taste of Armageddon
Previous episode:
Court Martial
TOS episode aired Next episode:
Space Seed
Previous story:
Star Trek 9
Next story:
The Immunity Syndrome
chronological order
Previous Adventure:
Web of the Romulans
Pocket Next Adventure:
Foundations, Book Two
Chapters 2-8
Previous Adventure:
Web of the Romulans
Voyages of the
USS Enterprise (NCC-1701)
(2264 to 2270)
Next Adventure:
Foundations, Book Two

External link[edit | edit source]

Community content is available under CC-BY-SA unless otherwise noted.