Which episode in the original Star Trek series featured a verbal countdown (Scotty and Spock I think)? I remember the camera focusing on their mouths part of the time.

  • Wasn't this the implosion restart of the engines to let the Enterprise outrun some disaster? With Spock manually calculating the intermix because the computer would take too long?
    – Zeiss Ikon
    Oct 2, 2017 at 14:06
  • I don't remember. I remember it as a tense scene. I remember the camera showing their mouths as they said what I think was a kind of a countdown. I clearly remember noticing the state of their teeth when I watched it :-)
    – Basya
    Oct 2, 2017 at 14:16
  • Another possibility is during the slingshot sequence at the end of "Tomorrow is Yesterday." I recall that with the flip-number clock counting down on Sulu's console, but Spock and Scotty might have been echoing the counter, since Scotty had to power up the warp drive with split-second accuracy.
    – Zeiss Ikon
    Oct 2, 2017 at 14:23
  • It had to be verbal, visual, and haptic to comply with the Federations version of Section 508 of US Code.
    – Paul
    Oct 2, 2017 at 14:25
  • Was there not an episode where they're being bombarded with radiation of some sort at Sulu counts then down to their deaths?
    – Edlothiad
    Oct 2, 2017 at 14:35

1 Answer 1


"Let That Be Your Last Battlefield"

The human crewmembers don't actually say the countdown timer, but the camera notably focuses quite tightly on Kirk, Spock, and Scotty as they give their authorization codes for the Enterprise's self-destruct sequence. The scene is on YouTube:

  • I guess I was not remembering clearly....not a countdown but authorization. This may be it....
    – Basya
    Oct 2, 2017 at 14:31
  • @BasyaPerlman I'm fairly confident this is the only time the show did this specific shot; I've checked a handful of episodes featuring countdown-like sequences, and this is the only one I've found. I'll have to agree to disagree on this episode being "great", though Oct 2, 2017 at 14:47
  • 2
    As I recall, the same destruct authorization codes were used to activate the self destruct in Star Trek III.
    – Buzz
    Oct 2, 2017 at 15:16
  • 1
    Well, I saw it over 30 years ago (probably a few times -- I watched Star Trek in syndication for years; I think it was daily) and it is still kind of ringing in my head, if you know what I mean. Memorable, at the very least :-) , and I remember thinking highly of it. More than that I can't really say at this point....
    – Basya
    Oct 2, 2017 at 16:49

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