Star Trek (1966)

Televised on Thursday, 8 Dec. 1966, the Gerd Oswald directed original series “Star Trek” episode “The Conscience of the King” was edited by Frank P. Keller. In addition to working on the Gene Roddenberry created science fiction series, Keller is known for having edited the 1966 Robert Day directed adventure film “Tarzan and the Valley of Gold” and the 1971 Peter Yates directed war drama “Murphy’s War.”

The last production Keller worked on before his death, despite having a posthumous film editing credit for the 1985 Telly Savalas directed drama “Beyond Reason,” was the 1977 John Flynn directed crime drama “Rolling Thunder.”

The title of this “Star Trek” episode, “The Conscience of the King,” is a reference to William Shakespeare’s play “The Tragedy of Hamlet, Prince of Denmark.” It is a direct quote from Act II, Scene ii, Page 24 where the title character of Shakespeare’s work famously remarks “The play’s the thing wherein I’ll catch the conscience of the king.”

With a teleplay penned by Barry Trivers, “The Conscience of the King” revolves around the investigation of actor Anton Karidian. Karidian, played by Arnold Moss, is suspected of being a mass-murdering dictator many years before.

In respect to Yeoman Janice Rand, played by Grace Lee Whitney, “The Conscience of the King” is the last episode filmed where the character is seen. The next time we see Rand is in the 1978 Robert Wise directed “Star Trek: The Motion Picture.” While Whitney is not credited as being Rand in “Star Trek III: The Search for Spock,” she can be seen in a cafeteria scene. Two years later, as Commander Rand, the actress was seen in “Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home.”

By the time “Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country” was released, Rand had become the USS Excelsior’s Communications Officer. In the “Star Trek: Voyager” episode “Flashback,” Whitney refilmed scenes previously created for “Star Trek VI” as a vehicle for explaining some of Lieutenant Tuvok’s backstory. Tuvok was played by Tim Russ.

While the title of this article, “Star Trek: S1.E14. ‘The Conscience of the King,’” indicates this episode is episode 14, it should be noted it acknowledges the existence of the then untelevised Robert Butler directed “The Cage” as being the series’ first episode.