“Star Trek”: Season 1, Episode 18 (“The Squire of Gothos”)

In the book, Q-Squared, author Peter David wrote that Trelane was an adolescent Q entity. This is questionable to some fans, as Trelane requires support equipment to perform his type of magic and makes mistakes (which implies he is not omnipotent). I’m a big fan of ST: TNG; John de Lancie is introduced as Q in that series. Roddenberry was channeling Trelane when he created Q, the actor thought; he said “I only filled out the character.”

When Kirk (William Shatner) and Sulu (George Takei) vanish into thin air from the bridge of the Enterprise, Spock (Leonard Nimoy) sends a landing party to the planet below to locate them. They find an 18th c. castle and a foppish/aristocratic man, Trelane (William Campbell), who seems to know a great deal about Earth (though in the wrong time period). Trelane acts like a spoiled child, w/ Kirk and his crew as (unwilling) playmates. Trelane comments about the beauty of Lt. Uhura and another female in the crew, Yeoman Teresa Ross (Venita Wolf), who looks like a real-life Barbie doll. Later, he puts Yeoman Ross in a pink princess-type of gown and dances w/ her (while Uhura- magically- plays the piano). Spock finds Trelane to be an incredible pest; Nimoy’s weary/annoyed looks are just the right touch. Our heroes soon realize that to free themselves, they must locate and destroy Trelane’s source of power!

The Squire of Gothos is one of the “sillier” episodes of Star Trek, and therefore one of the most entertaining ones.

Spock intrigues Trelane. He has studied Earth, but has only gotten as far as the 18th century. A Vulcan like Spock is something he can’t account for.

The antique-cluttered set is the perfect setting for Campbell’s performance: we see the artifacts from a dozen cultures (including an apparently stuffed specimen of the “salt vampire” seen in The Man Trap), which Trelane casually disintegrates.

So what is this episode really about? Are we just the playthings of the gods? Are we on a plane so far below other beings that even their children can discard the human race on a whim? A scary thought!

-Excerpts from IMDB reviews

In his fight with Shatner in the forest, Campbell fell and dislocated his shoulder. As he flung his arm up in his instinctive reaction to the pain, the shoulder popped back into its socket! Due to Campbell’s injury, the ep finished shooting a day over schedule. The actor said: “It was just a great role. It was sensational. I’ll never forget it. It would be very easy for any actor who had any training to play the Squire of Gothos. The character was so well written and, of course, it was the show.” Look for Campbell as a Klingon in the fan fave ep- The Trouble w/ Tribbles in S2.

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