Star Trek: “Arena”


I’ve always maintained that Futurama was right when they said that Star Trek was 72 episodes with about thirty good ones and while I know some odious stinkers lie ahead, I am in constant amazement at just how ahead of its time Star Trek was in some regards.

Oh sure, you can look at the paper mache monsters like our friend the Gorn in this episode, but you can also look at the ideals such as turning away from violence and brutality and the upholding of any life as precious, even when it’s the life of your enemy and he looks like Godzilla’s bastard son.

“Arena” is enhanced by the location shooting and the tightly directed action sequences. Sure the Gorn moves awkwardly and slow, but nitpicking that is silly considering the limitations of the 60’s special effects tech.

Personally, I think this is an awesome episode.


Interesting Fact: The outdoor filming for this episode takes place near Vasquez Rocks in Bronson Canyon, perhaps one of the best-known pieces of outdoor scenery in science fiction, Western, and fantasy films and TV shows because of its alien-looking landscape. The setting was used again in the episodes “Shore Leave” and “Friday’s Child.” It was also used in the Star Trek: The Next Generation episode “Who Watches the Watchers,” and has been used in the movies Bill & Ted’s Bogus Journey, The Flintstones, and The Scorpion King. William Shatner himself returned to Vasquez Rocks to film a humorous segment for his 2006 History Channel special How William Shatner Changed the World.

“You are still half-savage — but there is hope.”
– The Metron


About the author

Jason Donner

Jason Donner devoured the universe and you are all living inside him.