Robert Comsol wrote:
IMHO, Balok expresses rather human than alien behaviour.
Excellent observations, Bob. The ambiguity of "Corbomite Maneuver" is one of the reasons I like the episode so much. Taken literally and going only by what is seen in the episode, Balok is a diminutive, human-like creature in both appearance and behavior. Aesthestically, the episode is all about humanity, where Balok is mere symbolism that the audience will understand.
James P. Hogan posited a lifeform in his "GIANTS" series whose biology never evolved deception and suspicion. Without going into detail, humans are an enigma, and the Giants employ one group of humans to help them understand another group.
Whether you want to view "Corbomite" literally or allegorically, one might argue that Balok does not innately have a wary disposition, but may have learned it from past experience, personal or racial. The Franken-Balok doll seemed custom-made to frighten humans, which makes me wonder if the Balok we saw offering tranya was any less an illusion?
[Mental projection, like the Talosians or Melkotians, sophisticated android, metamorph—take your pick. But was that really Balok's true appearance? In the climax of the novel 2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY, Clarke describes the evolution of the aliens who left the monolith:
The first explorers of Earth had long since come to the limits of flesh and blood; as soon as their machines were better than their bodies, it was time to move. First their brains, and then their thoughts alone, they transferred into shining new homes of metal and of plastic.
In these, they roamed among the stars. They no longer built spaceships. They were spaceships.
Was the Fesarius
the real Balok?]