5. A Quality of Mercy (Leonard Nimoy)
Leonard Nimoy didn’t feature too strongly in this episode, which isn’t surprising, as he was hardly a name when the episode was shot in 1961. The episode features a professional military man, trying to justify his recent promotion, ordering his men to kill a group of Japanese soldiers who are ill and weak but he’s met with pushback from his soldiers. He then gets teleported to a different time, where he is now a subordinate to a Japanese officer, who is planning on doing something very similar several years prior.
Nimoy’s lack of a roll hurt its standing for sure, and there’s good reason for that. When you’re evaluating an episode based on Star Trek characters and their roles within the episode, you want them to have a big part. If not, you want the episode to be extraordinary. This episode failed to meet both criteria.
It’s a janky episode, with a solid plot, but nothing else to remember it by. The series is often known for its twists and shock endings, like the “To Serve Men” cookbook revelation. A Quality of Mercy’s twist wasn’t much of one and things end on a dower note.