Wasn't it Chekov who said in the Mark of Gideon, "I conquer...I whole heartedly conquer!" when they decided to deactivate the self-destruct at the last moment and he's querried by the computer if he conquers?
Would that have been "Let That Be Your Last Battlefield" ? ("The Mark Of Gideon" was the one about over-population.)
The actor who played the chief minister in "...Gideon" later turned up as the cook in the 1977 NERO WOLFE!
Oops! You are absolutely right. The Black/White planet was Charon. You're right on the title.
I always thought the addition of a SELF-DESTRUCT device was uncalled for. In earlier episodes, Kirk bluffed an enemy into believing Federation ships had a self-destruct device, and, at another point, Scotty had to go thru a lot of trouble to jury-rig a self-destruct device. But in "...BATTLEFIELD", they have one incorporated into the ship's design!! I just think it's insane. And of course, this last time when I watched the entire series in production order, it really hit me when I got to this one... this was what led to STAR TREK III: THE SEARCH FOR SPOCK and it's wrong-headed decision to blow up the ship-- for a publicity stunt. "The LAST Voyage of the Starship Enterprise!!!"
I'll tell you what... I'm pretty damn sure the Jupiter 2 doesn't have one of those! (They have enough trouble holding the ship together without one.)
Lou Antonio, who played the "criminal" in that episode, soon switched over from acting to directing! His name cropped up on a lot of shows in the 70's, including McCLOUD. (I think I also saw him appear on an episode or two of THE FUGITIVE.)
Well, it has been common practice for captains to scuttle their ships to prevent them falling into the hands of the enemy, so a self-destruct capability is just a step on from that. This would be even more important when your ship is loaded with futuristic technology that your enemies mightn't have, not to mention loads of sensitive info and data in the computer banks.
I guess scuttling the Enterprise in ST III was so that the franchise could move on past Kirk, Spock and co. The fans had to be shown the ship blowing up in order for them to accept a new ship or a new crew.
In-story, I can't remember if the Old Girl's demise was sufficiently justified or not, though.
"Destruct sequence 1, code 1-1A."
"Destruct sequence 2, code 1-1A-2B."
"Destruct sequence 3, code 1B-2B-3."
"Destruct sequence completed and engaged. Awaiting final code for one-minute countdown."
"Code Zero Zero Zero. Destruct. Zero."
"In-story, I can't remember if the Old Girl's demise was sufficiently justified or not, though"
Not in the long run, as far as I'm concerned. But they were making it up as they went. First Leonard Nimoy wanted to quit, so they killed him off. But before they finished filming, he changed his mind. So they they had to figure how to bring him back. Etc. The situation with the crew being stranded on the planet after the ship blew up, by the way, struck me as a SWIPE of the 3rd-season-ending cliffhanger of BLAKE'S 7. (Just as the season-ending cliffhanger on "The Best of Both Worlds, Part I" was a SWIPE of the 2nd-season cliffhanger ending of BLAKE'S 7.)
Someone online pointed out something I hadn't really noticed before... In the first 5 ST films in a row, you never see The Enterprise & crew in a "normal" situation. The 1st movie had the ship completely rebuilt/refitted and a conflict between 2 people for Command (the latter bit a tribute to RUN SILENT RUN DEEP). The 2nd film had a crew of cadets on a training mission (and at least partly out of their depth). The 3rd film had the STILL-damaged ship operated by a skeleton crew by a very shaky remote control. The 4th had the same people operating a Klingon ship!! And then, the 5th had the newly-built ship, fresh from a "shakedown" cruise, desperately in need of a tune-up. You didn't get to see The Enterprise & crew in peak condition until ST6.
Something I hadn't really thought about before, but which crossed my mind now watching these in sequence... In the wake of ST4, with the crew given a brand-new Enterprise, the next thing we got was ST:TNG, in which we see an apparently "brand-new" Enterprise, fresh from drydock. I was just reading how with the success of ST2, 3 & 4, Paramount was finally eager to do a new TV series... but the lead actors' salaries on the last couple films had gotten so big, they made a purely-economic decison to do an entirely new show instead, so they could hire CHEAPER actors.
I always wished they had jumped almost 100 years down the timeline (“Encounter at Farpoint” being 100 years later than “Where No Man Has Gone Before”). It wasn’t really “the next generation, was it? More like the generation after next. I would have preferred the new Star Trek TV show to have followed the crew of the Excelsior under the command of Captain Sulu. They could have still told the same stories and introduced new crew members, but set them in the late 23rd century rather than the 24th.
The "Big Three" could have then been brought in (or not) for special occasions.