While trying to escape from three Romulan warships,
the U.S.S. Enterprise passes through
a gaseous cloud that affects the Enterprise's computer and turns it into a
dangerous practical joker.
- This episode had the interesting distinction of being the first appearance of a holodeck on any
STAR TREK series. The Recreation room that Uhura, Sulu and McCoy go into had a control console
in its center that allowed the user to specify what artificial environment was to be generated.
- This episode's writer, Chuck Menville, also wrote another animated STAR TREK episode
"Once Upon a Planet". Chuck Menville also wrote for several other Filmation series from 1969 to 1976.
- This episode's story was quite similar to the seventh-season
STAR TREK: The Next Generation
episode "Emergence". In "Emergence",
the U.S.S. Enterprise-D passed through a magnescopic storm, this caused the ship's computer to
briefly exhibit an emergent intelligence. Coincidentally, the computer in that episode even made use
of the holodeck to act out some of the facets of its new personality, and Troi, Worf and Data were
trapped and endangered there for a time. Recall that in "The Practical Joker" the
U.S.S. Enterprise computer trapped Uhura, Sulu and McCoy in the holographic Recreation Room
and subjected them to dangerous weather and other pitfalls.
- There is a page in this site devoted to the Romulan Ships
that were featured prominently in this episode.
- A VHS video tape containing "The Practical Joker"
and "The Pirates of Orion" is available for purchase from
amazon.com, the online bookseller.
- "The Practical Joker" was novelized by Alan Dean Foster in Star Trek Log Six
published by Ballantine Books in March 1976. In Alan Dean Foster's tale, the inflatible ship created by the practical-joking
ship's computer was a Dreadnought, not a large version of the Enterprise as in the aired episode. Also novelized in the book was
"Albatross" and "How Sharper Than a Serpent's Tooth".