This is the quintessential second season episode. It has so many kitschy tics going on that it’s a little overwhelming. So first the plot.
The Enterprise is attempting to get a treaty with a tribal world that has some make-believe mineral that’s really important. The natives are allegedly seven-foot-tall Visigoths that are very honest but very combative and warlike. McCoy has spent time on the planet and is an expert on their customs. He, Kirk and Spock beam down along with a redshirt who is immediately killed by the natives when he draws his phaser at an unexpected Klingon with the natives. Scotty is left in charge of the Enterprise and has been warned that the Klingons may be lurking around.
The Klingon plots with one of the natives and eventually this tribesman kills the tribal leader and takes over the task of deciding whether the Federation or the Klingons will get the mining treaty.
Now the deceased tribal leader’s pregnant wife (played by tv’s Cat woman Julie Newmar) is about to be slaughtered by the new leader but Kirk intervenes and the Enterprise landing party and the woman are placed under armed guard until it is decided how they are to be killed.
Meanwhile the Enterprise is decoyed out of orbit by a Klingon ship masquerading as a Federation freighter in distress. So, while the landing party is unable to call for help in their peril. By means of a subterfuge Kirk and Spock manage to overpower the guards and headed for the Los Angeles hills where they find a cave where McCoy can deliver the woman’s unwanted child. As the widow of the leader she is honor bound to kill herself and the child with her. McCoy convinces her to want the child but somehow, she decides the child is now McCoy’s.
Kirk and Spock make bows and arrows and cause an avalanche in the cliffs of southern California and hold the tribesman at bay while the baby is delivered but eventually the Klingon kills the new chief for no apparent reason and then is killed by the tribe. Just then Scotty and a landing party arrives and the Cat woman is made the regent for her son who will be the next tribal leader. Back on the ship we find out the baby is named Leonard James Akaar after McCoy and Kirk and Spock acts annoyed. Hilarity ensues.
Okay, now let’s review the horror. The supposedly seven-foot-tall natives are barely average height. The uniforms of the warriors look like they were designed for Liberace or Elton John. Next, we have the classic McCoyism. When he is trying to drag the Cat woman up an arroyo he complains “I’m a doctor not an escalator.” And while Scotty is commanding the Enterprise he comes up with such gems as, “Fool me once shame on you, fool me twice, shame on me!” and, “Let’s charge right at him and see if he has the belly for a fight!” Kirk and Spock up in the hills with their bows and arrows was pretty ridiculous looking.
All the little mannerisms have been built up over the season and a half are now in place. Kirk has an established manner with each of the cast members. You can almost predict what he will say to Spock, McCoy, Scotty or Uhura. Even Spock and McCoy have their little routines that they banter at each other. So, from the point of view of a second season Star Trek episode this is average. Average in every way. I’ll give it an average rating 7 with a low Shatner mockery rating so let’s call it a 7 // 4.