- As Starfleet Academy usually only takes four years, it appears that either Merik had to repeat one total year or that he took a program that necessitated a fifth (or more) year.
In 2262, the Beagle became disabled near the 892 system, when it suffered damage from a meteor storm. Merik and a landing party beamed down to the fourth planet of the system to look for iridium ore for repairs.
While on the planet, Merik was met by the local inhabitants lead by Proconsul Claudius Marcus. The Proconsul convinced Merik that it would be unfair to 892-IV's highly traditional society to carry the word of their existence elsewhere. Persuaded, Merik had the remainder of his crew beam down to the surface, where they were regarded as barbarians by the inhabitants and forced to fight as gladiators. Merik became Merikus, the First Citizen and Lord of the Games.
Merik was played by actor William Smithers. Despite the fact that his name was clearly spelled out in the episode's end credits, the spellings for his character have inconsistently been referenced as both "Merik" and "Merrick". "Merik" is the spelling in the Star Trek Concordance, whereas the spelling "Merrick" is used in the Star Trek Encyclopedia (and related publications authored by Mike and Denise Okuda), as well as the character biography and episode summary on StarTrek.com, and additionally, in the English subtitles on the TOS Season 2 DVD.