- For other uses, see Enterprise.
A replica of the USS Enterprise was an installation built by the Gideonites on their homeworld, the planet Gideon. The building was designed to fool Starfleet Captain James T. Kirk into thinking he was aboard his own vessel, the Federation starship USS Enterprise. The replica contained some working systems, as well as readouts tailored to fit Kirk's expectations of what his ship's controls and computer banks would tell him when he attempted to operate the imaginary vessel through space.
The illusion had some faults, as the teeming population of the world crowded around the ship and could be heard through the walls, and some of the viewscreen technology experienced failure, briefly showing actual images of the massive crowds through the transparent observation deck and bridge viewports. (TOS episode & Star Trek 6 novelization: The Mark of Gideon)
- The observation deck seen was not the same area that appeared in TOS episode: "The Conscience of the King", which was in the rear of the ship above the shuttlebay. The replica's viewport was only seen aboard this fake Enterprise, and had a curved wall indicating it was on the upper saucer dome structure, or the upper half of the secondary hull.
Kirk did not notice any distortion of details in the ship's layout or arrangement of his personal effects—his book collection was organized on its shelf and his robe was hanging in his quarters, apparently duplicated in enough detail to not raise his suspicions. Other parts of the ship were equally detailed, with unfinished chess games and partially-eaten sandwiches in a crew lounge. Instrumentation and supplies were precisely duplicated, with working technology such as autoclaves and cauterizers in a facsimile of Leonard McCoy's work area in sickbay. (TOS - Star Trek 6 novelization: The Mark of Gideon)
As the Gideons worked toward their goal of extracting Vegan choriomeningitis from Kirk, he found himself confronted by Gideonite guards and successfully defeated them in hand-to-hand combat. Spock, suspecting that Kirk was in danger, also beamed to the Enterprise replica, and helped Kirk finally confront Ambassador Hodin about his plan to use the dormant disease in Kirk's body to infect Odana and many other Gideonites, to end the problem of their overpopulation. Kirk's affection for Odana prompted him to summon Doctor McCoy to save the dying Gideonite girl, although it was decided to leave her behind carrying the dormant infection in her blood, ensuring that the Gideons would finally know death. Kirk left Odana in the duplicate of his room on the fake Enterprise, and departed with Spock, thwarting Hodin's plan of killing Kirk to hide the shame of victimizing him. (TOS episode & Star Trek 6 novelization: The Mark of Gideon)
- In a society so lacking in space and supplies, it seems like a frivolous expense to create such a detailed copy of the Enterprise, which would require over twenty stories in building height (although it is possible that the replica of the ship is actually holodeck-based). It was not explained how the Gideons would have such exact information about Federation technology and the procedure for operating the computer and controls of a starship.