This smart, funny episode finds theEnterprise
visiting the planet Iotia, where the starshipHorizon
accidentally left behind Earth materials a century before. During that time, as Captain Kirk (William Shatner) discovers, the Iotians have made much of one of those items, a book calledChicago Mobs of the Twenties
. The planet's population has divided into rival gangs who dress, speak, and do violence like the spiritual descendants of Al Capone, plunging Kirk, Spock (Leonard Nimoy), and McCoy (DeForest Kelley) into a facsimile of Earth's colorful and dangerous past.
The episode is played for comedy: Kirk and Spock keep getting kidnapped by the warring hoods, each of whom wants the Federation team to use their technology to defeat the other side. The big payoff, however, is a summit meeting of bosses, where Kirk employs plenty of gangster-movie jargon to get matters settled. --Tom Keogh