"Balance of Terror" is a terrific drama that was essentially an outer-space version of a 1950s submarine movie. Writer Paul Schneider introduced both the Romulans and the concept of a "neutral zone" toTreklore, wrapped up in this story about the first encounter between a Federation and Romulan ship in 75 years. The resulting face-off between two vessels and their strong, noble captains--Kirk (William Shatner) and his Romulan counterpart (Mark Lenard, who later played Spock's Vulcan father, Sarek)--is directed and edited with suspense worthy of the classic sub movieThe Enemy Below. It's an example of how the originalTrekseries took lots of risks and constantly invented itself, in contrast to the more codified look and feel ofThe Next Generationand subsequent series.--Tom Keogh
Balance of Terror is certainly one of the best episodes of the original series. It featured the first major action scenes with the Enterprise in space, it introduced the Romulans which would become one of the most popular aliens in the series and it dealt with racism in the form of an Enterprise crewman who thinks Spock is in league with the Romulans-the Romulans who killed his family in a war almost a century before hand. It's a loaded deck, has a bittersweet ending and it's … more
Kirk and the Enterprise must follow a Romulan ship which breached Federation space to test it's new weapon as a investigation of Federation strength. Kirk and his Romulan equal must outguess each other in a tense battle, and the first major space battle the series had seen up to that point.
As the Federation expanded out into space, they encountered a race called the Romulans. A vicious war ensued, where no prisoners were taken, so no Federation member has ever seen a Romulan. The peace treaty that ended the war was negotiated via subspace radio and one of the points of the agreement was to set up a neutral zone of space. Any movement by either side into the neutral zone would be considered an act of war. To monitor the neutral zone, the Federation set up a series of listening posts … more