Sep. 08, 1966
60 min.
NBC TV Network

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Star Trek: The Original Series

Set in the 23rd century. Earth has survived World War III and has moved on to explore the stars. Humanity has allied itself with alien races and formed the United Federation of Planets, and Star Fleet serves as its exploratory and military branch. James T.Kirk the Captain of the Starship Enterprise explores the galaxy with a crew of 430.

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Captain James.T.Kirk Star Trek: The Original Series
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Captain James.T.Kirk

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  Played by:
William ShatnerWilliam Shatner
William Shatner OC is a Canadian actor, author, producer, and director. In his seven decades of television, ...

Character Bio

Captain James.T.Kirk photo
James Tiberius Kirk was arguably the most famous and highly-decorated starship captain in the history of the Federation Starfleet. Over the span of three decades in the later 23rd century, he commanded the Constitution-class starships USS Enterprise and USS Enterprise-A, serving Federation interests as an explorer, soldier, time-traveler, and diplomat.

James Tiberius ("Jim") Kirk was a Human born on March 22nd, 2233 (Stardate 1277.1), in Iowa on the planet Earth, the son of George and Winona Kirk. His parents named him after his maternal grandfather James and his paternal grandfather Tiberius.

In 2246, Kirk was living on the planet Tarsus IV during a food crisis that was starving the colony of 8,000 people. Governor Kodos, sympathetic to old eugenics philosophies, tried to save a portion of his colony by killing the 4,000 colonists he deemed least desirable or able to survive. Kodos was unaware of the imminent arrival of relief ships. The thirteen-year-old Jim Kirk was one of only nine eyewitnesses to the massacre.

Starfleet Academy

By 2250, Kirk returned to Earth to start his training at Starfleet Academy. He would later credit his father as his inspiration for joining Starfleet . Thanks to some assistance from a man named Mallory, he was accepted into the Starfleet Academy in San Francisco.

In his plebe year, Kirk was a participant in the successful peace mission to the planet Axanar. He was awarded the Palm Leaf of Axanar Peace Mission.

Cadet Kirk soon caught the attention of a boisterous, bullying Irishman named Finnegan. The upperclassman evidently hazed "Jamie-boy" mercilessly throughout their shared time at the Academy. Sixteen years later, Kirk's antipathy for Finnegan was strong enough to be sensed by the Shore Leave Planet, which produced a simulacrum that Kirk could pummel for satisfaction.

Kirk's academic studies introduced him to men he would encounter later in his career. Among his more prominent teachers was John Gill, the noted professor of history and cultural observer. Captain Garth of Izar's exploits were required reading for cadets, and the famous captain joined Kirk's pantheon of heroes. Another subject, the "Pasteur of archaeological medicine", Dr. Roger Korby, became a man Kirk wanted to meet.

Kirk began a friendship with instructor Lieutenant Ben Finney that continued into their service together aboard the USS Republic. Kirk and underclassman Gary Mitchell became fast friends after Mitchell's admission to the Academy. Mitchell later served under Kirk as navigator aboard the USS Enterprise.

During command training, Kirk confronted the Kobayashi Maru scenario, a simulation used to evaluate a student's reactions to a "no-win" battle and rescue situation. Kirk refused to accept his first two defeats. Before his third attempt, Kirk secretly reprogrammed the simulation computer, consequently becoming the only cadet in Academy history to beat the "no-win" scenario, and earning a commendation for original thinking.

Junior Officer

Kirk was commissioned as an officer in the Federation Starfleet with the serial number SC937-0176CEC. In the early 2250s, he served as an ensign, along with his friend Lt. Ben Finney, aboard the USS Republic. Finney made a mistake nearly catastrophic to the ship, and the incident was logged by Kirk, resulting in his friend's reprimand and fall to the bottom of the promotion list.

Upon graduating from the Academy, Kirk began service under Captain Garrovick. Kirk's first deep space assignment was as a lieutenant aboard Garrovick's USS Farragut, serving as a tactical officer.

As a young lieutenant in 2255, Kirk was assigned to command his first planetary survey mission, on Neural. Kirk met and befriended one of the planet's natives, the Hill man Tyree. His report described a primitive but promising culture, and Starfleet endorsed his recommended policy of non-interference.

The Farragut engaged the dikironium cloud creature at planet Tycho IV in 2257. Captain Garrovick and 200 of the ship's crew were killed by the creature. Farragut's record tapes of the event included Lieutenant Kirk insisting upon blaming himself for the disaster, citing his delay in firing the ship's phaser banks at the creature as he lost consciousness. The Farragut's executive officer disagreed, stating, "Lieutenant Kirk is a fine young officer who performed with uncommon bravery."

Kirk's Starfleet service through the late 2250s and early 2260s was rewarded with a rapid rise through the ranks. At 31 years of age in 2264, he was promoted to captain. Not only the youngest captain in the fleet's history at that time, Kirk was slated to command one of the twelve Constitution-class starships, the USS Enterprise (NCC-1701).

Kirk famously commanded the Enterprise and her namesake over the course of three decades, but it was her historic five-year mission from 2265 to 2270 that made him a legend in space exploration.

Episode Screenshots

03x20 - The Way to Eden
Season 3, Episode 20
02x17 - A Piece of the Action
Season 2, Episode 17
02x09 - Metamorphosis
Season 2, Episode 09
02x20 - Return to Tomorrow
Season 2, Episode 20
[More Episodes]

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