Arena

 

We've previously mentioned the work of mystery and science fiction author Fredric Brown; if you've never read Brown but have seen the original Star Trek series (and really, who on the planet hasn't), you might be more familiar with his stuff than you think.

The above image is from the end credits to one of the series' more famous episodes, "Arena."

 

 

The plot is simple enough; in lieu of a destructive interstellar war, Kirk and the captain of an alien ship are teleported to an uninhabited "battle planet" to duke it out by proxy. The prize for the winner—as we are informed by the omnipotent race that's sent them there—is the survival of himself and his crew. The "arena" contains the tools necessary to win, assuming the combatants are crafty enough to figure out how to use them.

 

 

The episode is based on a 1944 short story of Brown's by the same name. It's a Sci Fi classic, having been included in the Science Fiction Hall of Fame; if you're inclined to give it a read, the story differs enough from the Star Trek episode to be worthy of your time.

If you really want to get serious about it, Marvel Comics did an adaptation of the story in 1973, written by Gerry Conway and illustrated by John Buscema and Dick Giordano:

 

 

Star Trek screen captures copyright CBS
posted by Jeff