TOS Re-Watch Archive

45

Star Trek Re-Watch: “Plato’s Stepchildren”

Plato’s Stepchildren
Written by Meyer Dolinsky
Directed by David Alexander

Season 3, Episode 10
Production episode: 3×12
Original air date: November 22, 1968
Star date: 5784.2

Mission summary

In response to some distress signals, Kirk, Spock, and McCoy beam down to the surface of an unknown planet. They’ve beamed right into a hall of some kind, adorned with Greek columns and statues. Contrary to the sensor readings, the building seems to indeed be inhabited–by some horrible monster! An intimidating shadow greets them, but ominous music cues aside it’s really just a lighting trick and it turns out to be Alexander, a chipper and talkative dwarf.

KIRK: Who are the inhabitants of this planet?
ALEXANDER: Oh, Platonians. I’m sure you’ve never heard of us. Our native star is Sahndara. Millennia ago, just before it went nova, we managed to escape. Our leader liked Plato’s ideas Plato, Platonius. See? In fact, our present philosopher-king, Parmen, sometimes calls us Plato’s children, although we sometimes think of ourselves more as Plato’s stepchildren.

Now that the premise, background, and title are explained, you don’t even need to see the episode!

No really. Don’t. Please don’t.

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41

Star Trek Re-Watch: “The Tholian Web”

The Tholian Web
Written by Judy Burns and Chet Richards
Directed by Herb Wallerstein and Ralph Senensky (uncredited)

Season 3, Episode 9
Production episode: 3×09
Original air date: November 15, 1968
Star date:5693.2

Mission summary

On the Enterprise bridge, Chekov and Sulu look like they regret whatever they had for lunch, but it turns out that space itself is disagreeing with them–Spock reports that it’s “literally breaking up.” Kirk is used to bad breakups, but this is causing all sorts of wonky sensor readings and the warp engines are inexplicably losing power. Then Chekov notices a ghostly ship ahead on the main viewscreen: the U.S.S. Defiant, a Constitution-class Federation ship which has been missing for three weeks. In this case they can only trust what they see with their own eyes, because sensors indicate their sister ship isn’t actually there. There’s no response to hails, so there’s only one thing to do–beam aboard to check things out.

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34

Star Trek Re-Watch: “For the World is Hollow and I Have Touched the Sky”

For the World is Hollow and I Have Touched the Sky
Written by Rik Vollaerts
Directed by Tony Leader

Season 3, Episode 8
Production episode: 3×10
Original air date: November 8, 1968
Star date: 5476.3

Mission summary

With Spock in the captain’s chair, six archaic, sub-light speed missiles are headed straight for the Enterprise. Kirk quickly takes command (where was he, exactly?) and orders the missiles destroyed. Easy enough, but where did they come from? Sulu plots a course to the missiles’ origin to answer just that question.

Meanwhile, Dr. McCoy and Nurse Chapel are having it out in sickbay. Kirk arrives just in time to break up the fight–but Chapel looks sad, not angry, and McCoy asks her to leave.  Kirk notes tactlessly that that “was quite a scene” (lack of subtlety will be a hallmark of this episode) and wants to know what the emergency is:

MCCOY: I’ve just completed the standard physical examinations for the entire crew. [...] The crew is fit. I found nothing unusual, with one exception.
KIRK: Serious?
MCCOY: Terminal.
KIRK: What is it?
MCCOY: Xenopolycythemia. It has no cure.
KIRK: Who?
MCCOY: He has one year to live.
KIRK: Who is it?
MCCOY: The ship’s Chief Medical Officer.

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40

Star Trek Re-Watch: “Day of the Dove”

Day of the Dove
Written by Jerome Bixby
Directed by Marvin Chomsky

Season 3, Episode 7
Production episode: 3×11
Original air date: November 1, 1968
Star date: Armageddon

 

Mission summary

An Enterprise landing party beams down to planet Beta XII-A with phasers drawn, responding to a distress call from a Federation colony that they can’t find. Captain Kirk, Dr. McCoy, Ensign Chekov, and the redshirt are oblivious to the glowing mass of energy hovering suspiciously nearby, instead focusing on the Klingon battle cruiser that arrives on the scene.

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44

Star Trek Re-Watch: “Spectre of the Gun”

Spectre of the Gun
Written by Lee Cronin
Directed by Vincent McEveety

Season 3, Episode 6
Production episode: 3×01
Original air date: October 25, 1968
Star date:4385.3

Mission summary

En route to establish relations with the Melkotians–a reclusive, papier-mâché-mask-wearing race–the Enterprise is intercepted by a space buoy with a very serious warning:

Aliens, you have encroached on the space of the Melkot. You will turn back immediately. This is the only warning you will receive.

Kirk hears it in English, but Spock hears it in Vulcan, Chekov hears it in Russian, and Uhura hears it in Swahili. It’s using some kind of telepathy to communicate to all of them. Though he understands the message perfectly, Kirk decides to disregard it pretty much immediately because “Our orders are very clear. We’re to establish contact with the Melkotians at all costs.”

Involuntary peace ahoy!

After some failed attempts at hailing them, Kirk, Spock, McCoy, Scotty, and Chekov beam down to what they think is the planet, but is actually just a giant fog machine because planets are expensive. Worse, they quickly discover that their communicators no longer work and the Melkotians don’t like trespassers. A Melkotian appears and calls the men “outside, a disease,” and says that because Kirk ordered his crew to do this thing, “yours shall be the pattern of your death.”

They are then instantly transported to a low-budget, flimsy Hollywood set of the Old West.

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47

Star Trek Re-Watch: “Is There in Truth No Beauty?”

Is There in Truth No Beauty?
Written by Jean Lisette Aroeste
Directed by Ralph Senensky

Season 3, Episode 5
Production episode: 3×07
Original air date: October 18, 1968
Star date: 5630.7

Mission summary

Enterprise is on routine taxi duty, escorting a less-than-routine diplomat back to his homeworld: Ambassador Kollos is a Medusan, “a race of beings who are formless, so utterly hideous” that just looking at one will drive the beholder mad. But on the up side, they’re very intelligent and have wonderful personalities.

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58

Star Trek Re-Watch: “And The Children Shall Lead”

And The Children Shall Lead
Written by Edward J. Lakso
Directed by Marvin Chomsky

Season 3, Episode 4
Production episode: 3×05
Original air date: October 11, 1968
Star date: 4842.6

Mission summary

Captain Kirk, Mr. Spock, and Dr. McCoy beam down to Triacus, an isolated Federation outpost. They find sprawled out on the ground each of the adult members of the exploration party. Most appear dead, but one of them moves: it’s Starnes, who looks like he had a very bad night. Shaking and sweating furiously, he fails to recognize Kirk, says something about “the enemy within,” and then promptly collapses on the ground dead. Hmm. Upon closer inspection one woman has a vial in her mouth–some kind of poison. All seem to have died by their own hands.

All except five young children, who rush out and demand that our heroes play games with them. Tommy, Mary, Steve, Ray, and Don rush to Kirk, link hands together, and dance around him while singing “Ring Around the Rosie.” Twice.

Captain Kirk thinks he may now understand why the adults shuffled off this mortal coil.

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58

Star Trek Re-Watch: “The Paradise Syndrome”

The Paradise Syndrome
Written by Margaret Armen
Directed by Jud Taylor

Season 3, Episode 3
Production episode: 3×03
Original air date: October 4, 1968
Star date: 4842.6

 

Mission summary

Captain Kirk, Mr. Spock, and Dr. McCoy beam down into a nature documentary. The captain and doctor immediately fall in love with the rustic setting; despite astronomical odds, the planet is identical to Earth right down to the pine trees, honeysuckle, and metal obelisk in a clearing. No wait, that’s new. Its composition and the markings on the strange building are alien, but there’s no time to study it because a moon-sized asteroid is heading for the planet. They’re on a tight schedule if Enterprise is to have any chance of diverting it.

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77

Star Trek Re-Watch: “The Enterprise Incident”

The Enterprise Incident
Written by D.C. Fontana
Directed by John Meredyth Lucas

Season 3, Episode 2
Production episode: 3×04
Original air date: September 27, 1968
Star date: 5431.4

Mission Summary:

On the bridge of Enterprise, Captain Kirk snaps at Chekov and Spock for no apparent reason. But it’s not just a case of the Mondays–Doctor McCoy explains that Kirk’s been short-tempered and (in scientific terms) acting like a total jackass to just about everyone onboard for days now. There’s no getting around it: Captain Kirk has come down with a severe case of douchebaggery.

Kirk turns to Sulu and orders him to change course.

KIRK: Come about to one eight five, mark three.
SULU: But Sir, that’ll lead us directly into the Romulan Neutral Zone.

Sulu, Chekov, Spock, and Uhura all look around at each other nervously. Mr. Scott and Uhura discuss very loudly that no order has come through from command to take this measure, and Kirk sharply instructs them to shut their pieholes.

But it’s too late. In the Neutral Zone, two–no, three–Klingon-designed Romulan ships appear from the ether, surrounding Enterprise.

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60

Star Trek Re-Watch: “Spock’s Brain”

Spock’s Brain
Written by Lee Cronin
Directed by Marc Daniels

Season 3, Episode 1
Production episode: 3×06
Original air date: September 20, 1968
Star date: 5431.4


Mission summary

Enterprise is at red alert, everyone watching the viewscreen as a silver rocket approaches. No one answers their hails, and the technology and design is wholly alien. Engineer Scott is excited though: “I’ve never seen anything like her. And ion propulsion at that. They could teach us a thing or two.” But Captain Kirk is more interested in the woman beaming directly onto the Bridge, who seems to have left most of her outfit behind.

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