"The Return of the Archons" is a first season episode of the original American science fiction television series Star Trek. It is episode #21 and was first aired February 9, 1967. It was repeated by NBC on July 27, 1967. The screenplay was written by Boris Sobelman, based on a story by Gene Roddenberry, and directed by Joseph Pevney. This episode contains Star Trek 's first reference to the Prime Directive.