TOS Re-Watch Archive

78

Star Trek Re-Watch: “The Way to Eden”

The Way to Eden
Story by Michael Richards and Arthur Heinemann
Teleplay by Arthur Heinemann
Directed by David Alexander

Season 3, Episode 20
Production episode: 3×20
Original air date: February 21, 1969
Star date: 5832.3

Mission summary

The Enterprise is chasing a small re-used Tholian dart cruiser that’s heading for Romulan space. Despite repeated hails the cruiser will not turn back, and so Kirk engages a tractor beam to tow them to safety. They seem to really want to get to Romulan territory (must be the ale) because they struggle against the tractor beam. Soon their engines begin to overheat (we know this because it turns red, like an electric stovetop) and when it becomes obvious they’re going to explode, Kirk orders Scotty to beam aboard the crew of six to the Enterprise. He will regret this is fairly short order, as will we all.

In the transporter bay six space hippies, covered in floral body paint and flowing robes, materialize before us. They sit down on the transporter pads and refuse to move when Scotty tries to take them to the briefing room. Instead, they shriek like new age banshees, “No go! No go! No go!” Let’s just hope Nurse Chapel doesn’t have to play babysitter again.

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55

Star Trek Re-Watch: “Requiem for Methuselah”

Requiem for Methuselah
Written by Jerome Bixby
Directed by Murray Golden

Season 3, Episode 19
Production episode: 3×21
Original air date: February 14, 1969
Star date: 5843.7

Mission summary

Kirk, Spock, and McCoy beam down to planet Holberg 917G in search of pure ryetalyn, the only known cure for a deadly outbreak of Rigelian fever on Enterprise. If they can’t secure this maguffin and process it in four hours, McCoy says “the epidemic will be irreversible.” They certainly don’t have time to investigate the life form that Spock’s tricorder registers on the supposedly uninhabited planet, nor is it a convenient moment for a floating robot to wobble over and fire a blue laser beam in their general vicinity. But these things happen, so what are you going to do?

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69

Star Trek Re-Watch: “The Lights of Zetar”

The Lights of Zetar
Written by Jeremy Tarscher and Shari Lewis
Directed by Herb Kenwith

Season 3, Episode 18
Production episode: 3×18
Original air date:  January 31, 1969
Star date:  5725.3

Mission summary

The Enterprise has some newly designed hardware for Memory Alpha, the central repository for all Federation knowledge both cultural and scientific. To help with the installation is Lieutenant Mira Romaine, a beautiful young specialist that Scotty has taken quite a liking to. This concerns Kirk:

KIRK: When a man of Scotty’s years falls in love, the loneliness of his life is suddenly revealed to him. His whole heart once throbbed only to the ship’s engines. He could talk only to the ship. Now he can see nothing but the woman.

Good thing he’s archiving that thought in a log for the bureaucrats back home!

But before they can give him any dating advice, a series of strobe lights flashes across the viewscreen. It seems at first to be some kind of storm, but the speed and precision with which it moves betrays a kind of intelligence.  It closes in on the Enterprise and engulfs the bridge and her crew in sparkly lights.

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30

Star Trek Re-Watch: “That Which Survives”

That Which Survives
Written by John Meredyth Lucas
Story by Michael Richards
Directed by Herb Wallerstein

Season 3, Episode 17
Production episode: 3×14
Original air date: January 24, 1969
Star date: Unknown

Mission summary

Enterprise is in orbit around what appears to be a “ghost planet,” a planetary body lousy with vegetation despite the fact that it’s only a few thousand years old. Its mass and atmosphere resemble Earth’s (of course), though it’s only the size of Earth’s moon. The crew can’t turn down an opportunity to dig deeper into this mystery and explore “a planet that even Spock can’t explain,” so Captain Kirk, Dr. McCoy, Sulu, and Senior Geologist D’Amato prepare to beam down.

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46

Star Trek Re-Watch: “The Mark of Gideon”

The Mark of Gideon
Written by George F. Slavin and Stanley Adams
Directed by Jud Taylor

Season 3, Episode 16
Production episode: 3×17
Original air date: January 17, 1969
Star date: 5423.4

 

Mission summary

The Federation has been trying to negotiate the admittance of Gideon, a secretive and isolated planet that assures us it has absolutely nothing to hide. In the spirit of mysteriously acquiescing to terms it should never otherwise agree to, Central Command has consented to allow only one delegate to beam down to the planet: Captain Kirk. But don’t worry, the planet doesn’t have any dark secrets. They’re a veritable paradise, say secondary sources. Phew.

Kirk beams down to the coordinates the council leader, Hodin, gives them. But when he arrives… he’s in the transporter room. Still. Only Spock’s not there anymore. In fact, no one’s there anymore. Kirk uses the transporter console to try and contact Spock or the bridge, but his first officer is nowhere to be found. In fact, no one responds. Kirk searches the ship and doesn’t find a single soul anywhere.  I’m sure his party invitation just got lost in the mail, right? Even more strange is that his arm hurts and he can’t remember the last ten minutes–which for anyone else might indicate something pretty awesome happened, but for Captain Kirk probably points to foul play.

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35

Star Trek Re-Watch: “Let That Be Your Last Battlefield”

Let That Be Your Last Battlefield
Written by Oliver Crawford (Story by Lee Cronin)
Directed by Jud Taylor

Season 3, Episode 15
Production episode: 3×15
Original air date: January 10, 1969
Star date: 5730.2

Mission summary

Enterprise is on an important humanitarian mission to decontaminate Ariannus, which has succumbed to bacterial invasion that will kill billions of people without their timely intervention. But a funny thing happens on the way to the planet: they encounter a damaged Starfleet shuttlecraft which was jacked from Starbase 4. The lone pilot is injured and unable to respond to their hails, so they bring the shuttle onboard. Captain Kirk and Mr. Spock meet it at the hangar deck with a security team and a man in blackface stumbles into the corridor. But wait! He collapses and rolls over to dramatically reveal that the left side of his face is white!

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28

Star Trek Re-Watch: “Whom Gods Destroy”

Whom Gods Destroy
Teleplay by Lee Erwin
Story by Lee Erwin and Jerry Sohl
Directed by Herb Wallerstein

Season 3, Episode 14
Production episode: 3×16
Original air date:  January 3, 1969
Star date: 5718.3

Mission summary

Kirk and Spock beam down to Elba II, a planet that houses an asylum for the “few remaining incorrigible criminally insane of the galaxy.” The asylum is in a sealed complex because Elba’s atmosphere is poisonous: presumably a feature and a not a bug. Kirk and Spock are bringing Dr. Donald Cory, the governor of the so-called colony, a medicinal cure for the crazy people left there. (I’d guess Dr. Cory was on someone’s shit list since all he governs is a group of 15 psychopaths, but maybe the alternative was Triacus?)

The newest arrival to the funny farm is Garth of Izar, a former fleet captain for the Federation and a hero of Kirk’s. Kirk would like to meet him, so Dr. Cory leads his visitors through the Rogue’s Gallery: an Andorian rockin’ a bright red pimp coat, a pig-faced Tellarite, and a green Orion slavegirl named Marta who seems perfectly rational until she tries to explain that Dr. Cory isn’t Dr. Cory at all. Silly girl. But when they reach the last cell, they find a battered and beaten Dr. Cory inside, suspended in mid-air! A broing and camera shake later, the Dr. Cory they thought they knew appears in his true form: Garth of Izar, or as he prefers to be addressed, “Lord Garth, Master of the Universe.” He locks Kirk in the cell with Dr. Cory, releases the other inmates, and has his droogs drag Spock away.

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31

Star Trek Re-Watch: “Elaan of Troyius”

Elaan of Troyius
Written by John Meredyth Lucas
Directed by John Meredyth Lucas

Season 3, Episode 13
Production episode: 3×02
Original air date: December 20, 1968
Star date:4372.5

Mission summary

Enterprise is on a top-secret mission to deliver Elaan, the Dohlman of Elas, to the nearby planet Troyius, where she is to marry the Troyian leader to avert nuclear war between their peoples. The Elasians are reportedly “vicious and arrogant,” like the neighboring Klingons who dispute the Federation’s claim over the Tellun system. On the other hand, McCoy has heard that Elasian women have a “subtle, mystical power that drives men wild.” It’s up to Troyian Ambassador Petri to civilize the savage Elaan and instruct her in the customs of her new home.

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50

Star Trek Re-Watch: “The Empath”

The Empath
Written by Joyce Muskat
Directed by John Erman

Season 3, Episode 12
Production episode: 3×08
Original air date: December 6, 1968
Star date: 5121.5

Mission summary

Kirk, Spock, and McCoy are on the second planet around the star Minara, doomed to nova in classic stars-nova-left-and-right Star Trek style. A research crew was dispatched there six months ago to take some last minute readings, but now that the Enterprise has arrived with their ticket out of there no one’s around. The station is covered in dust and cobwebs and hasn’t been inhabited in at least three months. Scotty, at the Enterprise’s helm, alerts the captain that a solar flare is about to dump cosmic plot device rays that force the ship to retreat a safe distance from the planet, leaving the trio all alone.

As soon as our heroes are stuck and the Enterprise is out of range, they play a videotape lying around. In it, two scientists bitch and moan about “this godforsaken place”–which seems to have infuriated some locals, because a high-pitched screech and cheesy camera effect later, both scientists have disappeared into the ether. Then Kirk, Spock, and McCoy hear the same sound themselves and in just moments, vanish one by one.

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53

Star Trek Re-Watch: “Wink of an Eye”

Wink of an Eye
Written by Arthur Heinemann (story by Lee Cronin)
Directed by Jud Taylor

Season 3, Episode 11
Production episode: 3×13
Original air date: November 29, 1968
Star date: 5710.5

Mission summary

Enterprise visits scenic Scalos in response to a distress call. While Mr. Scott keeps the captain’s seat warm, Kirk takes a landing party to investigate the source of the transmission, a seemingly abandoned Scalosian city. Ship’s sensors seem a little buggy, and although Uhura can see the Scalosians on the viewscreen, she can’t see the Enterprise team standing at the same coordinates. Meanwhile, the landing party doesn’t see anyone either, and Dr. McCoy’s scanner doesn’t register life–not even the insect Kirk hears buzzing around his head. Spock’s eyes and years of training tell him there was an advanced, humanoid civilization here, and he must have better apps on his tricorder than McCoy:

Instrument readings indicate life-forms, but of a highly unusual and intermittent nature. They have no discernible form or location. A most puzzling phenomenon, Captain. I shall have to study it further.

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