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Star Trek: The Original Series [Season 1, Pilot Episode 0] The Cage
This was the original pilot, back when Gene Roddenbury first pitched the idea for Star Trek to the DesiLu Production company. Jeffrey Hunter (famous for his portrayal of Jesus Christ) stars as Captain Christopher Pike, commander of the Starship Enterprise. Susan Oliver is the babe he falls for. This pilot was never originally broadcast, and the complete edition here was cobbled together from different edits.
This is the first episode of the series that got made, and the first appearance of Kirk. Spock was almost dropped from the show after the pilot episode, but here he still has his Satanic eyebrows.
Scotty operates the Transporter Room - much as Chief O'Brien did in The Next Generation before he was promoted. However, he is also Head of Engineering. Sulu is a biologist, not a helmsman. Of Bones McCoy, Pavel Chekov and Lieutenant Uhuru, there is no sight. Even Grace Lee Whitney is not in evidence. The damsel in distress is Sally Kellerman !
The Enterprise is on a mission to leave the galaxy. On their way out they discover the data recorder of another ship, the Valiant, which disappeared 200 years previously. The recorder indicates that one of the crew developed ESP and the captain had to destroy his own ship.
The Enterprise collides with a mysterious force-field at the galactic rim, and events start to repeat themselves. The ESPer is Kirk's best friend from the academy, Gary Mitchell. He reads Kirk's copy of Spinoza - that long-haired stuff you like , he calls it.
Stardate 1313.1 - the crippled Enterprise limps to Delta Vega, a nearby planet uninhabited except for an automated ore-refining complex. Mitchell's powers continue to grow exponentially, and Kirk tries to maroon him on the planet. Mitchell escapes from the matte-painting refinery into the sound-stage wilderness. Mitchell carves Kirk a tombstone - but lists Kirk's name as James R. Kirk.
USS Antares was lost, and the USS Enterprise recovers a teenage boy called Charlie.
This is a take on Robert A. Heinlein's Stranger in a Strange Land.
The team beam down to a desolate planet, and redshirts start to die. This time it is a salt vampire that drains sodium chlorate from its victims. Spock comments Fortunately my ancestors spawned in a different ocean from yours. My blood cells are quite different. Odd, since he is half-human on his mother's side ...
Uhuru flirts with Spock. Sulu is still a biologist, and has an alien glove-puppet plant on his table.
Sulu is no longer a Biologist, and is at his familiar place behind a console on the Bridge. He develops the delusion he is D'Artagnan the Musketeer.
Uhuru and Spock flirt ... well, Uhuru tries to flirt with him, anyhow. Another human female who develops an interest in our green-blooded vulcan is Nurse Chappel ( Majel Barrett ).
Due to a transporter accident, Captain Kirk is split into two physical personas - a Good Kirk (who is extremely indecisive) and an Evil one (who chases Yeoman Janice Rand around his cabin).
Meanwhile, because of the unusable transporter a group of redshirts are trapped on the planet, just as arctic night closes in on them. One of them will be familiar to Trekkies - yes, in this episode Sulu is still a biologist.
The Enterprise encounters a ship captained by a renegade, Harry Mudd. With him are his passengers - three women who the Enterprise's male crew find unfeasibly attractive. For some reason there are no female crew-members in sight, giving the ship the feel of a World War Two military vessel.
Thanks to Mudd's actions, the Enterprise takes a detour to a remote mining planet. The pioneers there negotiate to marry Mudd's women. This episode more than anything shows how this show was meant to be Wagon-train to the stars.
The Enterprise arrives at a remote planet. Five years ago an archaeologist arrived there, and has been out of contact ever since. He wants Kirk to beam down alone. Naturally Kirk sneaks a couple of redshirts along ...
The planet was home to a long-dead civilisation.
Investigating a subspace distress beacon, the Enterprise discovers a world identical to Earth - but with slight differences. To start with, When seen from orbit it has no weather patterns!
They beam down, and discover that the Earth's human (!!!) population evolved a level of culture equal to Earth's 1960s ... around the same time Earth did!
There is one minor difference, however. The 1960s scientists of Earth mk II invented a drug that would extend the human lifespan so that the humans would age one month for every hundred years that passed. However, there was a side effect; a plague that starts with purple blotches and ends with insanity. It affects everyone who hits puberty - and the crew who beam down (including Kirk, Spock, McCoy and Janice Rand).
The children - they are three hundred years old, but have not matured psychologically (!!!) - are led by the chubby-faced Michael J. Pollard, a familiar face from 1970s films like Hannibal Brooks.
The Enterprise visits an Asylum. A stowaway from there claims refugee status from Kirk. The man acts insane, but claims to be a member of staff.
Kirk beams down to investigate. McCoy sends a psychiatrist - Dr Helen Noelle ( Marianna Hill ), an empowered career-woman. Luckily she looks great in a mini-skirt - and has a crush on Captain Kirk.
Kirk has appointed a rookie named Bailey as helmsman. Bailey is easily distracted, so poor old Sulu (now senior console operator) covers for him.
A giant glowing space cube starts blocking the Enterprise. When Kirk bypasses the cube, they are confronted by an Alien ship a mile in diameter. The Aliens start a ten-minute countdown after which they will destroy the Enterprise. Bailey cracks under the pressure. Then Kirk decides to use the title tactic ...
Spock is put on trial for mutiny. He has set the Enterprise on course for Talos 4, and approaching that planet is the only crime the Federation still has the Death penalty for!
The main story is told in flashback. It is a re-telling of the original pilot of the show. The Enterprise reaches the planet Talos 4, and Captain Pike (Jeffrey Hunter) leads the away team. He is seduced by Susan Oliver , and kidnapped by aliens. To explain the completely different crew, and Spock's Satanic look, we are told that the flashback occurred thirteen years previously.
The Enterprise takes aboard a traveling theatre company. The male lead is suspected of being Kodos, a man who twenty years ago sentenced half his population to death because there was only half the food necessary for all to live.
Several crewmen, including Kirk, actually saw Kodos all those years ago. Someone starts to kill them off, and Kirk finds himself the target of an unknown assassin.
The Enterprise patrols the border with the Neutral Zone. It is suspected that a Romulan ship is in the area. Exposition from Spock tells us that there has been a Cold War with the mysterious Romulans. Nobody from the Federation has set eyes on one (and lived to talk about it) ... and nobody has heard from them in decades.
The Romulans have a cloaking device, which turns this into an allegory for a WW2 Submarine movie.
In contrast, the Federation's tech advantage is that they can hack the Romulan ship's internal security CCTV system. Not to give anything away, but the Romulan captain is Mark Lenard - who later played Spock's father.
The Enterprise discovers a new world. As ever, Kirk, Spock and McCoy beam down with a couple of redshirts. They discover they are on a strange world where the products of their imagination come to life.
This seems to have inspired the far superior Red Dwarf episode, Rimmerworld.
Spock, McCoy, Scotty and four red-shirts fly off on the shuttle Galileo. But their exploration mission is cut short, and they are forced to crash-land. Spock is forced to provide inspiring leadership to a potentially mutinous crew. They certainly fall short of the discipline standards of Picard's time, being more reminiscent of a 1940s conscript crew.
The Enterprise discovers a new world. Kirk and a handful of crewmen are manipulated by the sole inhabitant, who calls himself The Squire of Gothos. He turns out to be a god-like alien ...
The Enterprise is sent to save a Federation outpost under attack. Unfortunately the outpost has already been reduced to a studio back-lot set for filming Westerns. The Enterprise then pursues the attacking ship, until they are both caught by energy beings with god-like powers.
This is the infamous episode where Kirk has to fight the Gorn, a man in a rubber suit. The thing is, that costume is excellent in comparison to the couple of ounces of putty on someone's face that constitute a modern Trek Alien.
The Enterprise is caught in a time warp, and ends up at Earth in the 1960s. They have to remove all evidence of their presence before they accidentally provide Project Blue Book with evidence that UFOs are space ships!
Unfortunately, everything they try just makes things worse. The answer is the worst kind of non-sequitor, as used in a Time Travel story.
Captain Kirk is on trial for alleged incompetence resulting in the loss of a crewman. The crewman in question, Finny, apparently had a long-term grudge against Kirk. We have never heard of Finny before, due to a lack of foreshadowing in previous episodes. Nor do we hear of him again, due to a lack of continuity in future episodes. Instead, we get a big info-dump of exposition through Kirk's monologue on the subject.
The Enterprise has a cool way of detecting stow-aways. Unfortunately this is ignored in future episodes.
Sulu and a redshirt (in plain clothes, of course) try to beam up from an Edwardian-looking world. Unfortunately, they do not make it in time. Sulu is brainwashed into a state of unbearable niceness.
Kirk and his senior officers beam down to investigate. Scotty is the highest-ranking officer left aboard. Kirk would have been wise to leave behind the loudmouth redshirt who draws unnecessary attention to the undercover crew behind enemy lines with his moralistic rantings.
The world's society is machine-like. Outsiders are brainwashed, and all individuality will be repressed. Just like The Borg.
The Enterprise encounters a space ship from the year 1996 - the era of the Third World War, AKA the Eugenics Wars. The ship, named the Botany Bay, could only travel at sub-light speeds so the crew are all in suspended animation. Kirk beams across with Scotty, McCoy and a beautiful woman who is the ship's historian. They defrost the ship's Captain, Khan (Ricardo Montalban). The Historian babe describes him as being from Northern India - probably a Sikh. But while Khan's name is indeed Singh, he does not wear a turban.
Khan and his sleeping crew are believed to be survivors from the Eugenics Wars.
Spock accuses the Eugenes of tyranny, but Khan states they merely wanted to unify humanity.
Kirk shows the rankest kind of hypocrisy - the Federation is basically Communism in space.
Khan was the last of the tyrants.
In his time he was the Most wanted man in the world,
last seen near the border with Pakistan.
In fairness to Kirk, he does tell Spock
we can be against him, and admire him at the same time.
The conclusion has Spock and Kirk discussing
how interesting it would be to see the result of Khan's fate.
Irony indeed, when we consider the sequel -
Star Trek II: Wrath of Khan
Khan was the last of the tyrants. In his time he was the Most wanted man in the world, last seen near the border with Pakistan. In fairness to Kirk, he does tell Spock we can be against him, and admire him at the same time.
The conclusion has Spock and Kirk discussing how interesting it would be to see the result of Khan's fate. Irony indeed, when we consider the sequel - Star Trek II: Wrath of Khan .
The Enterprise takes an annoying ambassador to a planet where the people are playing Virtual Armageddon. Rather than build up a military infrastructure and incurr the physical damage associated with a real war, the locals merely run a computer simulation. Unfortunately, they add realism by designating people as Killed In Action and then giving them 24 hours to report to a disintegration booth. Worse, the Enterprise crew are designated KIA!
The Enterprise visits a planet, and Spock falls in love with local woman Jill Ireland . Has he lost his mind?
The Enterprise is summoned to an underground mining colony. The miners and security guards are being killed off, one by one, by some sort of indescribable monster.
This is an episode featuring a truly alien creature, resulting in a stand-out story that works on a number of levels.
Kirk and Spock beam down to the neutral planet of Organia. Unfortunately, a Klingon invasion force led by Kor (John Colicos - Battlestar Galactica ) soon appears.
The Enterprise arrives at an uninhabited world. Suddenly the laws of nature briefly cease to exist. A man is discovered on the lifeless planet. His name is Lazarus, and he is a Shakespearean over-actor.
Is Lazarus insane or from a parallel universe?
This is one of the most famous episodes, written by renowned SF novelist Harlan Ellison. It won a Hugo Award.
Bones McCoy is accidentally driven insane, and jumps through a time portal. Kirk and Spock travel after him to retrieve him before he can change history. They end up in 1930s America, and get taken in by kindly Joan Collins . She is a visionary with great hopes for the future - but which of two futures has great hopes for her?
The story was originally written by Harlan Ellison , and is credited to him. However, it has been the object of much discussion and debate among fans. Apparently Ellison was less than pleased with the final filmed version.
The Enterprise arrives at a planet, and Spock is taken over by a parasitic life form that makes him hostile to the crew.
The climax has some completely artificial jeopardy inserted. Spock and Kirk insist that McCoy perform a potentially dangerous medical procedure. When it goes dramatically wrong, McCoy gets the blame. Luckily, the reset button is pushed.
This is one of the most famous episodes, written by renowned SF novelist Theodore Sturgeon . Spock acts irrationally and insists he return to his home planet, Vulcan. It turns out that he is in the grip of the Pon Farr, the seven-yearly mating urge that Vulcan males are subject to. He must return to planet Vulcan and marry his betrothed, or die a horrible death due to sexual frustration. Not much choice there, eh?
However, the Enterprise has been sent on a political mission by Starfleet. Kirk does not do the obvious and plead that it is a medical emergency of vague origin. No, instead he disobeys a direct order and goes to Vulcan anyway. The wedding is presided over by a female Vulcan elder, T'Pau (played by the wife of Peter Lorre). Spock's betrothed, a much younger-looking babe named T'Pring, insists he indulge in ritual combat with her chosen champion. Kirk stupidly forgets to ask whether it is a fight to the death or not! As always, Kirk's shirt gets ripped - gratuitous beefcake, which is a good answer to the feminazis who slander the show for its cheesecake (eg Nurse Chapel - Roddenbury's wife! - who looks great in her miniskirt and tight top!).
A note of interest to some: this is the first use of the Vulcan saying live long and prosper. It is also the first appearance of helmsman Chekov (Walter Koenig - Babylon 5 ), the token Russian.
Kirk risks his career to save Spock. Luckily, the reset button is pushed. A pity Spock did not get Grandma T'Pau to intervene at the start.
Enterprise conducts an exploration of an uninhabited planet. The Archaeology, anthropology and ancient civilisations officer is a beautiful woman, as in Star Trek: The Original Series [Season 1, Episode 22] Space Seed . However, before one assumes that this is Feminism in action, Kirk notes that female officers resign from Starfleet when they invariably get married.
The Enterprise is snagged by a forcefield in the shape of an enormous hand. The owner appears to be a Greek god. He invites Kirk to a party ... like in Star Trek: The Original Series [Season 1, Episode 17] The Squire of Gothos .
The Enterprise encounters an ancient space probe from Earth, called Nomad (voiced by Vic Perrin). Nomad has been reconfigured to sterilise any imperfections that it discovers. Can Kirk, who it thinks is its creator, convince it not to destroy all biological life in finds?
Kirk has another transporter accident. Last time he was split into his good and evil selves. This time, he ends up in a parallel universe where the Federation is eeevil. Spock's double has a goatee beard, forever after the ultimate symbol of the evil twin.
Kirk, his senior staff and a handful of redshirts beam down to a remote planet. The redshirts get killed off, the senior staff are imperiled, and Scotty is left in charge of the ship in orbit. Business as usual, in other words.
The planet is an Eden-like paradise. The natives are happy primitives, maintained in a state of blissful ignorance by their god ... another damn A.I. - like in Star Trek: The Original Series [Season 1, Episode 21] The Return of the Archons . And Kirk's mission is the same ...
The Enterprise encounters a massive ship that can destroy an entire world. It has destroyed every planet in a star system, and is about to move onto the next system - a densely inhabited one!
Kirk takes a survivor aboard, a high-ranking Starfleet officer obsessed with destroying The Doomsday Machine. Yes, this ep owes more than a bit to Moby Dick ... but it is one of the better eps because of its literary origins.
Kirk and his team explore a world that is filled with Halloween party props, in an attempt to see what scares them. A pair of apparently god-like aliens are responsible, not unlike Star Trek: TOS [Season 2, Episode 2] Who Mourns for Adonais?
The Enterprise discovers that Harry Mudd is now ruler of a planet of androids.
Mudd is easily the tallest person on the screen: everyone else is Kirk's height. In payment for not being a short-arse, Mudd gets a cruel and unusual punishment.
Kirk crash-lands on a planet where he meets Zephram Cochrane, inventor of the warp drive, who was lost (believed dead) many decades earlier. Cochrane was kept alive by an alien energy-being, which must explain why he looks young and square-jawed instead of a 200-year-old version of James Cromwell (who played a younger version of the character in Star Trek 8: Generations )!
The Enterprise is host to a horde of Federation diplomats en route to a peace conference. One of them is Spock's father, who needs urgent life-saving surgery.
Kirk is injured by an assailant. Spock must choose between his duty to take command and his duty to give his father a blood transfusion.
As well as the assailant already aboard, the Enterprise is being stalked by a seemingly ultra-powerful craft of unknown origin. The space combat is subtle, using long-distance scanners instead of Star Wars style dogfights.
Kirk, Bones and Spock land on a remote world to negotiate a treaty with the chieftain of a warlike tribe. However, the Klingons have gotten there first. As ever with Klingons, there is a double-cross ...
The story takes place on the familiar-looking outdoors back-lot. Julie Newmar guest-stars as the chieftain's pregnant young wife. This time, Bones is the one who gets to do scenes with the luurve interest!
Meanwhile Scotty and the rest fly around in the Enterprise trying to check out a distress call. Is it another Klingon trap?
Kirk takes every senior officer to explore a colony. They discover that everyone in the colony is dead or dying from old age. And the cause of the epidemic? They do not even institute quarantine, so they do not realise that the cause might be contagious!
Sure enough, they all quickly become decrepit and senile. Not only are Kirk, Spock and McCoy infected ... even Scotty was in the away team. Only cowardly Chekov is unaffected by the aging, although he panics at the sight of a dead body.
Luckily, there is a passenger aboard the Enterprise. He is a Starfleet Commodore, and outranks Kirk. However, he has never commanded a starship. This means that after a perfunctory court proceeding, necessary for him to replace Kirk in command, he lacks the experience necessary to avoid the Romulan Neutral Zone.
There is also a female epidemiologist aboard. She is Kirk's former fiance!
Kirk takes Spock and three redshirts to explore a planet. He sends the redshirts to investigate something potentially dangerous, and they all get wiped out. Not to worry, because there are lots more redshirts aboard the Enterprise.
Kirk knows that the Enterprise must make an urgent Rendezvous with the USS Yorktown. Their mission is to collect the cure to a virulent plague on a Federation world. But Kirk obsesses about getting revenge on the monster.
Kirk encountered the monster thirteen years previously, on his first posting as a starship officer. He blames himself for the death of his first commander. And by incredible coincidence, the new redshirt commander is the son of kirk's dead boss.
The episode starts with Kirk, McCoy and Scotty on a planet with a human, hedonistic society. Scotty pops off with a friendly belly dancer, and is found standing over her corpse. With Scotty's recently acquired total resentment toward women, we must ask - did he do it?
This is the Jack the Ripper episode written by Robert Bloch , who also wrote Psycho.
The Enterprise stops off at a Space Station. Two other ships are in port at the same time. One is a grain ship, to feed the Federation. The other is a Klingon warship ...
The Klingons and the Federation crews get involved in an old-fashioned fist-fight. But the real cause for concern is the Klingons' arch-enemy, the Tribbles. They are loveable-looking creatures that eat their own bodyweight and reproduce at incredible speed.
Kirk, Chekov and Uhuru beam down to a planet - and instead appear on a different world, in a different solar system. They are enslaved and trained up as gladiators. Kirk's drill instructor is Angelique Pettyjohn , and as always he tries to seduce her.
The final battle is quite well-shot and exciting. Watch Kirk's feet - he breaks the game's rules several times, but is not penalised for it.
The Enterprise arrives at a new planet, and Kirk makes contact with the planetary ruler, Boss Oxmix. The planet was visited by the USS Horizon a hundred years previously. The Horizon was destroyed shortly after visiting the planet, although it sent out a radio message that had to travel a hundred light-years at light-speed. Spock speculates that there is circumstancial evidence that the Horizon's crew culturally contaminated the planet's population.
Kirk beams down with McCoy and Spock, to find the city is a replica of 1920s Chicago and everyone has a tommy-gun. Oxmix wants military assistance in taking over the planet, and he holds the three Command Officers hostage!
Great scenes include Kirk teaching the kidnappers to play a non-existent card-game, and later when he displays a complete inability to drive a car.
The USS Intrepid is destroyed by a mysterious space accident. Spock feels the death-scream of four hundred Vulcan minds, the entire crew. Apparently Vulcans have the psychic empathic ability to suffer the death of thy neighbour. This may have inspired one of Obi-Wan Kenobi's Force powers in Star Wars: A New Hope but it is not mentioned in other Star Trek episodes.
The Enterprise gets trapped in the thing that destroyed the Intrepid. It is a Space-Amoeba, eleven thousand kilometers long. Spock and McCoy both request permission for solo exploration. Kirk must decide which of his friends to sacrifice.
The Enterprise visits a planet that Kirk explored a dozen years previously. It seems that in that time one tribe has gone from smelting iron to building muskets. Kirk suspects that the Klingons may be backing the villains ...
Spock is hospitalised by a musket-ball, and gets treated by one of the first African-American doctors on US TV. Kirk and McCoy beam down to investigate the Klingon involvement. They get involved in the intrigues of a femme fatale ( Nancy Kovack ) who married a tribal chief that Kirk had befriended.
Kirk's only suggestion is giving the natives Mutually Assured Destruction. This is a commentary of the then-ongoing conflict in Vietnam.
The Enterprise is summoned to a desolate world. Only three life-forms exist there - as energy beings, held in receptacles for half a million years. They offer their technological knowledge (Starship engines the size of walnuts) in exchange for temporary use of humanoid bodies, while they construct android bodies.
The three hosts chosen are Kirk, Spock and a lady doctor ( Diana Muldaur ). But one of them decides to change the terms of the agreement. And they can read the minds of everyone around them ...
Of note, the lead alien claims that his species may have colonised and seeded the galaxy. Spock states that this may explain certain facts of Vulcan prehistory. And it may have been referenced in an episode of Star Trek: TNG .
A Federation observer breaks the Prime Directive, and rebuilds an alien culture into one based on Earth history. Yet again!
This time it is an excuse for Kirk and Spock to go up against Nazis.
Kirk, Spock and McCoy bean down to investigate a world. They have a couple of redshirts - a black man and a white woman. But since the redshirts have no mission speciality, they are expendable. And when the party (and the ship) are taken hostage by hi-tech strangers, the redshirts are the first ones to be threatened.
The strangers are from another Galaxy. They were born on a generational ship. Even with their advanced tech, it would take 300 years to reach the next galaxy. Kirk realises that it is unlikely that creatures from such a great distance would look like humans. But nobody states that it is equally unlikely that most species the Federation has encountered are also humanoid. Star Trek: TOS [Season 2, Episode 20] Return to Tomorrow makes a lot more sense now.
The Enterprise discovers its sister-ship, the USS Exeter, abandoned in space. The boarding party (Kirk, Spock, McCoy and a redshirt) realise they are infected with an unknown bacteriological agent, so they beam down to its nearby origin - Planet Omega.
The Exeter's only survivor is its Captain. He has linked up with the local civilisation, a Mongolian-looking bunch called the Khans. However, it appears he has broken the Prime Directive by using his phaser to defend against invading caucasian barbarians.
It turns out that the planet's history somehow paralleled that of Earth!
The Enterprise is fitted with a new computer that can control the entire ship. When it is tested in a battle exercise, the computer decides to use lethal force. The crew must override the computer, or be destroyed by Starfleet.
Typical of Roddenbury's vision of the future, the senior officer who built and installed the computer is African-American. An African-American scientist would be a big issue in segregated 1960s USA.
Kirk and a skeleton crew take it on a shake-down cruise. Naturally, the AI goes paranoid - predicting HAL in 2001: A Space Odyssey . Can Kirk's old trick of confusing it with a logic paradox defeat it?
The Enterprise is searching for a Starfleet vessel that went missing six years previously. They discover a world where evolution and technology (and language) have identically paralleled that of Earth. It has a Roman Empire that speaks American English and has mid-20th Century tech.
Kirk, McCoy and Spock beam down. They do not have any redshirts to Protect them, or even a disguise. They blunder into a group of escaped slaves, who worship The Sun. The Emperor who resembles the cliched view of Nero.
As in the episode Star Trek: TOS [Season 2, Episode 23] The Omega Glory, our heroes suspect that a Starfleet Captain has broken the Prime Directive. In fact, if anything this time it is the opposite. The missing ship's captain only wanted to protect the natives from Federation intrusion. He obeyed the Prime Directive by preventing his ship from betraying the civilisation's location, and by getting his crew to integrate into the existing culture. Likewise, Kirk and his team cannot openly interfere either. Even Scotty is banned from sending a team to rescue Kirk.
The twist is that the Sun worship cult is not based around the Sun IN Heaven, but rather the Son OF Heaven. Yes, they had both Julius Caesar and Jesus Christ, the same as Earth. This idea, that Ancient Rome was cruel because it was Pagan, was prevalent in the mid-Twentieth Century. The movie of Spartactus (1960) is a prime example, although it could be traced back through American literature to Ben Hur . The idea is that the Xian religion made things better when it came along. Of course, this is completely ridiculous. Gene Roddenberry, who made this show in order to promote his utopian socialism, should have known of the flaws of the Xian religion more than most people. Not only did it persecute other religions, such as in the Crusades, but it also attacked other sects of the same religion. For example, look at the Troubles in Northern Ireland. Perhaps it will actually work on this alien planet. After all, if there is a global empire then there can be a global religion. No other faiths to crusade against, and no difference of opinions between factions of the religion, it might actually work. Yes, if only magic were real!
The Enterprise intercepts a time-traveller named Garry Seven (Robert Lansing), on his way back to the late 1960s. He escapes, so Kirk and Spock go after him.
Seven's mission is to sabotage a US space rocket intended to carry nuclear weapons into orbit. If something goes wrong, it could precipitate a nuclear war.
This was intended as the pilot episode of a new TV show. As such it bears all the hallmarks of a backdoor pilot.
The Enterprise is boarded by a beautiful woman. She attacks the crew - and when they recover, Spock is comatose. McCoy discovers that the woman has stolen Spock's Brain!
The trail leads to a planet where the men live on the surface, in a lo-tech civilisation. They are dominated by the women, who live in a hi-tech underground city. Unfortunately, none of the natives seems very intelligent. The brain of the system, so to speak, is the underground city's supercomputer!
Kirk blindly orders the Enterprise into Romulan space, where they are surrounded by Romulans. The Romulans have the newest military firepower - Klingon Birds of Prey equipped with new cloaking devices!
Everyone acts out-of-character. Kirk is obsessive and illogical. Spock sides with the Romulans. For once, Spock is the one targeted by a femme fatale instead of Kirk. The female Romulan Commander lusts after Spock. Is this because she is female, or just a Romulan ploy? It seems that Romulans have embraced their passionate emotions, unlike their Vulcan cousins. Of course, Spock is half human.
The climax owes something to Mission Impossible. Unfortunately, none of the redshirts can fight worth a damn, so Kirk does it all single-handed!
This was written by DC Fontana. A pity such a talented female writer has resorted to such flawed writing.
This takes place on a M-Class world peopled by Native Americans. Kirk disappears, courtesy of an alien monolith. Spock and McCoy take the Enterprise to deflect an asteroid on collision path with the planet.
Kirk recovers, with amnesia, and is taken in by the locals. Luckily they all speak English! He does 1960s-style CPR on a drowned boy, and is rewarded with the Medicine Man's headband and fiance!
An ancient alien race, The Preservers, seeded the galaxy with endangered cultures. This explains why there are so many humanoids around!
What about Kirk's Native American wife? What is her life expectancy bound to be?
The Enterprise visits a desolate world with a Federation archaeological expedition on it. Unfortunately, all the adults are dead. The children are still alive, though, so they are taken aboard the Enterprise. Then even stranger things start to happen ...
This story is more than a little derivative of other, better eps in the earlier Seasons. A sure sign that the writers are running out of new ideas.
The Enterprise takes aboard an alien of a species known as the Gorgon. Living in a sealed box, it will drive insane any human who looks on it. Only a telepathic human woman ( Diana Muldaur ) can safely communicate with it.
Predictably, someone is driven insane by the Gorgon. He destroys the ship's navigational system, so the ship ends up lost. Only the Gorgon can navigate the ship to safety. Spock mind-melds with it, but predictably something goes wrong.
Only Muldaur can save Spock. But is she too jealous of him?
Kirk demands to be allowed to explore a world governed by god-like aliens. The aliens object, and transport the entire Away Team (Kirk, Spock, McCoy, Chekov and Scotty) into a strange holodeck-like recreation of Tombstone Arizona, circa 1881. They are cast as the Clanton Gang, and the clock ticks down to the shoot-out at the OK Corral.
A couple of references to the Western genre are apparent. The Away Team try teverything they can to avoid the shootout, reminiscent of High Noon. More obviously, the Earp clan (here cast as the villains) all wear black hats!
The Enterprise responds to a distress beacon. When they get there they are ambushed by a group of Klingons led by Kang (Michael Ansara - Buck Rogers in the 25th Century ). Kirk tries to turn the tables, but god-like aliens intervene.
The aliens reduce the humans and Klingons to equal numbers, equip both sides with swords, and heal all wounds so the battle never ends. Kirk must find a way to overcome the humans' and Klingons' mutual hatred.
Is this an anti-war tale? It is certainly a good excuse for on-screen violence!
Of note, Kang's wife is also the navigator of his ship. Yes, we finally get to see a Klingon female!
The Enterprise is attacked by a barrage of missiles. The source is an asteroid - actually a ship, but on collision course with an inhabited planet.
McCoy is suffering from an incurable disease, and has only one year to live. He, Kirk and Spock beam into the asteroid-ship, and discover that the interior is fashioned to resemble a planet. The strange world is ruled by a beautiful woman, High Priestess of a central computer known as the Oracle. It keeps control of the population by electronic enslavement.
McCoy falls for the woman, and agrees to marry her. He stays aboard the asteroid, so Spock and Kirk must change its course before Starfleet destroys it.
The Enterprise responds to a distress signal from a Starfleet vessel. The Away Team beams over in EVA suits, the first time we have seen them. The crew are all dead, after falling subject to homicidal rage.
Kirk falls victim to the first transporter accident since Star Trek: TOS [Season 2, Episode 4] Mirror, Mirror . Spock and McCoy struggle on, while the crew start to go insane. Chekov gets homicidal rage, while Uhuru sees a ghostly apparition of Captain Kirk.
A pair of alien ships arrive, and start to spin a massive web around the Enterprise.
This has many of the features of the typical Trek story. The Enterprise discovers super-powerful aliens who model their culture on one from old Earth. This time it is telekinetic decadent ancient Greeks who enslave Kirk, Spock and McCoy. Like in Star Trek: TOS [Season 2, Episode 2] Who Mourns for Adonais?
The only thing outstanding about the episode is the thing that made it famous. Kirk and Uhuru, controlled by the villains, are forced to kiss. Yes, the first-ever portrayal of an interracial kiss on US TV.
This ep starts with a disappearing redshirt. Perhaps the security personnel are given red shirts for exactly the same reason The Punisher wears a white skull symbol on the middle of his Kevlar chest-plate, and Batman has a young boy in bright clothing follow him about - I mean, wears a yellow bat symbol on the middle of his Kevlar chest-plate. It makes sense that the most expendable crew-members are sent in first to take point, clad in the most brightly-coloured shirts available. That way, when the three main bridge officers abandon their posts and unnecessarily beam down into harm's way they have a better chance of lasting long enough to get beamed up.
The Enterprise is assigned to evacuate a remote Federation research station. Kirk, Spock and McCoy beam down, but find the place empty. They are then abducted by a pair of highly powerful subterranean dwellers reminiscent of those in the Pilot episode (or any fish-men in Stingray ).
The aliens are torturing an Empath girl, whom McCoy names Gem, to see if her species is worth saving. Impressed by Kirk's attempts to escape, the aliens keep him to study and promise to release the other two.
The Enterprise transports an entourage to a Peace Negotiation wedding. In yet another similarity to Journey To Babel, they are shadowed by a hostile vessel that intends to stop the peace treaty.
The entourage consists of an Ambassador from one planet, a Princess from the other, and her two guards (including Dick Durock - Swamp Thing ). The Princess is a total bitch, and it is the Ambassador's job to teach her ettiquette and manners before she marries his leader.
The Princess has the power to control mens' minds. Her tears contain a special compound, which she uses on Kirk. This lets Shatner show off, as Kirk has to choose between the woman and his duty to his ship.
This episode comes only a short time after Plato's Stepchildren. The Princess is not as African-looking as Uhuru, but she has brown skin, brown eyes and black hair. Hardly caucasian traits. But the fact that she and Kirk kiss on-screen is unremarked.
Kirk and Spock beam down to a Federation prison colony. However, the half-dozen prisoners (including an Andorian) have taken over. Their leader, the self-styled Lord Garth of Isard, is a human megalomaniac with the ability to make himself look like anyone. Even Kirk ...
Kirk is up against one of his most powerful foes - a man who used to command a fleet of Federation ships. A man who Kirk studied while he was a Cadet.
The Enterprise detects a Federation shuttle that was stolen from a Starbase. They take it and the thief aboard. Then his pursuer, Ceasar Romero ( Batman ), boards the ship as well. The two aliens are telekinetics, and Romero takes control of the Enterprise. His goal is to take the fugitive to his homeworld, to face trial.
The aliens are half-black, half-white - but on opposing sides of the face. Their hatred is racial, because many generations ago Romero's ancestors enslaved the thief's people. Even now, when slavery is a thing of the past, the two races retain the threat of Mutually Assured Destruction.
Kirk beams down alone to negotiate with an Alien VIP. However, he materialises aboard the Enterprise ... Alone! Well, not quite alone - he finds a love interest.
Meanwhile, Spock and the rest of the crew are still aboard the Enterprise. They cannot see Kirk, and he does not see them. Spock demands the Alien VIPs search for Kirk, but they stonewall him. Of course, Starfleet will not give Spock permission to do the necessary.
Kirk's predicament is brought about because of Aliens' religious refusal to use contraception. They have eliminated disease, and violence is unknown to them. They should never have bothered contacting the feeble Feds. Why did they not ask the Romulans or Klingons to remove some of their population? Or just let their homeworld grow exponentially, like Coruscant?
The Enterprise discovers an impossible planet. Kirk beams down to explore. His four-man away team consists of McCoy, Sulu and a Geologist we have never seen before. Guess who gets killed first. However, with McCoy away we discover that there are two other Doctors in Med-Bay. One is a black African, while the other is a Latino. At least the Federation has more progressive hiring practices than Hollywood does.
The Enterprise finds itself suddenly beamed almost ten thousand Light Years away. This is about a tenth of the width of the galaxy. Scotty tells Spock that at Warp Eight, about as fast as the ship can go, it will take them just over eleven hours to get back to where they started. In other words, they can do almost ninety Light Years per hour. Bear in mind that Proxima Centauri, the nearest star to Earth's sun, is only four Light Years away from Earth!
A beautiful woman in a blue dress starts bumping the crew off, one at a time. Can she be stopped before she gets to a recurring character?
Scotty has gotten over the complete hostility to women he displayed in Star Trek: TOS [Season 2, Episode 14] Wolf in the Fold . He even has a love interest this week. But how long will this last?
The Enterprise encounters an unusual stellar storm. Something in the storm attacks the crew's brain functions. Unfortunately, Scotty's love interest is the worst infected.
Stardate 5843.7 Kirk delivers exposition his voiceover. The Enterprise crew have a bad case of Rigellian Fever. McCoy needs Ritallin, the only known antidote. The ship visits the Omega system, the nearest location of a potential source. The three most senior officers beam down, without a redshirt to protect them, because they think the planet is uninhabited. Unfortunately they encounter its inhabitant, who happens to live within walking distance despite the size of the planet itself.
The inhabitant, Flint, invites the trio home with him. He lives in a nearby baroque city, or at least a matte painting of one. One would expect a man with an entire planet to himself to be like Robinson Crusoe. However, he is more like Dr Morbius in Forbidden Planet . He even lives with a beautiful young woman who is like a daughter to him.
Kirk dances and flirts with the girl. McCoy uses Flint's robot and laboratory to gather and process samples of Ritallin. Spock examines Flint's music and art collection, which contains original yet unrecorded works by Da Vinci and Brahms. Something is certainly unusual about the situation. But our heroes must obtain the Ritallin within a couple of hours, or the crew will die and they will be trapped on the planet.
The Enterprise gives a lift to some space-hippies, on their way to Eden. The Hippies bond with the crew - each has a hobby, like music or botany, that they can use to create a bond.
The Hippies' leader has a secret. He is carrier to a disease that developed in the Feds' hi-tech civilisation - perhaps a bit like MRSA. If he gets to Eden, he will infect the natives.
Enterprise needs a special substance to save a world's population. The only place they can get the substance is a world ruled by an elite population aboard a Cloud City.
The mines are worked by Troglodytes, who have evolved to be intellectually inferior to their cousins aboard the Cloud City. However, Kirk and the others discover that all is not what it appears. Typical of the show's preaching in this Season (although it got a lot worse in The Next Generation ), they decide to interfere.
The Enterprise arrives at an uninhabitable planet, and sees Abraham Lincoln floating around in orbit. He gets beamed aboard, and things get controversial when he calls Uhuru a Negress. Luckily, in her advanced Starfleet society nobody is offended by mere words. This ep was written by Roddenberry himself, so it pushes his political agenda. Unfortunately, this seems to clash a great deal with the ethos of TNG's pilot episode, Encounter At Farpoint .
Lincoln, a great hero of Kirk's, takes Spock and Kirk down to the Planet Hell sound-stage. There they meet a hero of Spock's - the father of Vulcan society.
As in classic episodes like Gamesters of Triskelion, Kirk and his team must fight Four villains of the future, including Genghis Khan and Kahless (the father of Klingon society).
This episode has at least one high point. We get to see Honest Abe wrassling with Khaless the Klingon. A pity we never got to see this on Deep Space Nine !
A sun is going nova. The nearby M-Class planet had a pre-space civilisation, which has gone missing. Kirk, Spock and McCoy beam down, and meet Atos the librarian.
The trio get separated by passing through a gateway reminiscent of City on the Edge of Forever.
The final scene, a remastered view of the sun going supernova, is especially impressive!
Kirk is summoned to see an old flame, Janice Lester. The sneaky bitch uses an alien mind-swap device on him. She is now Captain of a starship.
Once aboard the Enterprise, Lester-Kirk does not find it easy going. Spock questions Kirk's orders repeatedly, undermining his authority in front of the entire bridge crew. Not-Kirk throws a hissy fit.
Spock disagrees with not-Kirk, and gets put on trial for Mutiny. McCoy and Scott, as senior officers, must officially decide if Spock or not-Kirk are telling the truth. McCoy should have used his MO privilege to remove not-Kirk, and Scotty should have been put in charge (as he is when the others are all gallivanting off on an Away mission). However, not-Kirk takes any dissent as Mutiny, which leads to even more supposedly insubordinate behaviour. Even Sulu and Chekov express their dismay on general principle when not-Kirk demands the mutineers be summarily executed. The laws in Menagerie stated that only approaching Talos IV was punishable by death, so the legality of not-Kirk's orders are suspect to say the least.
The untimate ending would have been for them all to join and depose not-Kirk, then hand themselves in as suspected mutineers. The next in the chain of command would be ... Uhuru! Yes, a black woman in command of the USS Enterprise would have been the perfect end to the show. Unfortunately, Nichelle Nichols does not even appear in this episode. Apparently she had a singing engagement, and was not available for filming. This is a real shame, as it would have put an entirely different spin on the episode.