Star Trek – The Gamesters Of Triskelion

★★★ January 5, 1968 Season 2 Episode 16

If you want to see where we are…and you missed a few…HERE is a list of the episodes in my index located at the top of my blog. 

This show was written by Gene Roddenberry and Margaret Armen

My favorite line out of this one? You’re Out of your Vulcan Mind, Spock! It was said by McCoy and you could imagine “Vulcan” was in place of something they could not say.

Star Trek - The Gamesters of Triskelion

Angelique Pettyjohn played Shahna in this episode. Pettyjohn later became an adult film actress which is rare for that time because not many made the jump from movies/tv shows to adult films. Is it just me or does she favor Lady GaGa?

This episode was not one of the great ones, to say the least. It’s not a terrible episode though…because it is fun. When the episode begins, Kirk, Uhura, and Chekov are being beamed by the Enterprise’s transporter.

However, instead of “sparkling” from the transporter, they disappear and are transported by a fantastic force well across the galaxy. The Enterprise looks for them but doesn’t realize that the seemingly impossible has occurred and only later does Spock play a hunch and begin searching well beyond the transporter’s range…to other star systems.

They have no idea where they are but the planet’s three suns mean they are many light years from where they intended to be. They soon learn that they are to be trained as Thralls on the planet Triskelion. Thralls are gladiators trained to fight for whichever of the unseen Providers buys them.

In this episode, we see Kirk again being a Cassanova and trying to win their freedom. 

From IMDB:

The look of the character Galt was modeled after Ming the Merciless, the archenemy from the Flash Gordon comic strip.

During an interview, Angelique Pettyjohn said that when she first auditioned for the role of Shahna, she admitted to the producers that she didn’t think she fit the character. When they asked why, she said the script describes her as an Amazon, but at 5’6″, Pettyjohn said she’s hardly an Amazon. The producers all laughed and said “Look, honey, next to Shatner, you’ll look like an Amazon.”

A triskelion is an ancient symbol used in Greek, Roman and Celtic cultures. It was originally three spiral but evolved into three legs, as seen in the flag of the Isle of Man. The symbol shown on the planet is a geometric version of this design.

When Joseph Ruskin saw that his costume consisted of a long black floor-length robe, he came up with the idea of walking in an extremely fluid way (known as “glide stepping” by marching bands). He thought that combined with the robe, it might make the viewer wonder if he was even a biped humanoid, or perhaps had some other means of movement.

In the remastered version, one piece of new footage was added to this episode. The establishing shot of the planet Triskelion, shown during the opening credits, now included the system’s trinary suns.

The producers interrupted filming of this episode to tell the cast and crew that the show had been cancelled. Everyone was depressed throughout the rest of production. But then fans started protesting and writing letters until NBC decided to keep it on for another season.

Joseph Ruskin (Galt) also played Tumek in Star Trek: Deep Space Nine: The House of Quark (1994) & Star Trek: Deep Space Nine: Looking for Par’Mach in All the Wrong Places (1996), Cardassian Informant in Star Trek: Deep Space Nine: Improbable Cause (1995), a Son’a officer in Star Trek: Insurrection (1998), a Vulcan master in Star Trek: Voyager: Gravity (1999) and a Suliban doctor in Star Trek: Enterprise: Broken Bow, Part 1 (2001). He has thus appeared in every Star Trek television series except Star Trek: The Next Generation (1987), although Insurrection features the TNG crew. With the exception of Majel Barrett, who has appeared in every Star Trek series, he was the only actor to appear in all four of the series in question. Furthermore, given that Barrett only provided the computer voice in Voyager and Enterprise, Ruskin was the only actor to appear on screen in all four series mentioned above. Along with Barrett, Clint Howard, Jack Donner, and Vince Deadrick, Ruskin was one of only five actors to appear in both Star Trek: The Original Series and Star Trek: Enterprise. He, Barrett and Howard also appeared in Deep Space Nine. Ruskin also worked on two Star Trek video games, lending his voice to Master Si’tann in Star Trek: Hidden Evil (1999) and to Admiral Nolotai and Vulcan Master N’Kal in Star Trek: Away Team (2001).

Angelique Pettyjohn (Shahna), real name Dorothy Lee Perrins, found that her movie career never really took off. By the early 1980s, she had developed a substance abuse and alcohol addiction. These resulted in her descent into softcore, then hard core pornographic films and striptease. Fortunately she was able to clean herself up to a degree and distance herself from porn thanks to the growing Star Trek and Sci Fi convention industry. She realized that she could make a living appearing at sci-fi conventions after the popularity of the Star Trek franchise grew, due to the release of the films. As part of her appearances, she posed for and sold two versions of a poster as her Shahna character (one in her silver costume and one where she was totally nude) as well as signing autographs and photos. However, the years of alcoholism and drug addiction finally caught up with her and probably contributed to her early death at the age of 48 (from cancer) in 1992.

The top of Lazarus’ ship from Star Trek: The Alternative Factor (1967) was recycled as the glass bubble that encases the Providers.

The original script featured Sulu. However, George Takei was unavailable due to his commitment to the movie The Green Berets (1968). The script was rewritten with Chekov taking the place of Sulu.

The original version of the script featured Kirk, Sulu, and Uhura being taken captive while traveling in a shuttlecraft. However, the production staff thought it was too similar to the Teaser of Star Trek: Metamorphosis (1967), and changed it to feature them being detained while transporting down instead.

The story of “The Gamesters of Triskelion”, relates to the Roman Empire. In ancient Rome, slaves and other captive were trained as gladiators (strictly, meaning sword-fighters but the word is used for all fighters in the arenas). They fought each other to the death in spectacles of violence and death, for the amusement and entertainment of the Roman citizens. In this episode, Kirk, Uhura, Chekov, and other alien lifeforms from across the galaxy, have been abducted and brought to Triskelion, are enslaved and trained as gladiators, and were forced to fight each other for the amusement of the Providers.

The ruins that Kirk and Shahna encounter while jogging were recycled from the planet surface in Star Trek: The Man Trap (1966).

The red stand-up collar of Galt’s costume appears to be constructed from a popular 1960s table placemat, made of tiny plastic discs embedded in a plastic sheet.

Although the unaired first pilot had shown Number One at the helm, Ensign Haines is the first woman seen at that position during Kirk’s command.

The backdrop for the Gamesters’ underground lair is a reused matte painting previously appearing in Star Trek: The Devil in the Dark (1967).

The knives are reused from Star Trek: Mirror, Mirror (1967).

The original title of this episode was “The Gamesters of Pentathalon”.

Parodied in The Simpsons: Deep Space Homer (1994).

A rare television appearance for Angelique Pettyjohn, a burlesque and hardcore adult film performer.

The “collars of obedience” are very similar to the control device placed around Dr. Zachary Smith’s neck in Lost in Space: Invaders from the Fifth Dimension (1965), aired 3 November 1965.

Scriptwriter Margaret Amen came up with the idea after having seen a re-release of Spartacus (1960) a few weeks before and used the gladiator training school scenes as inspiration.

Aside from the standard CGI replacement footage of the Enterprise, the remastered version most notably featured new effects shots of the planets Gamma II and Triskelion.

A persistent rumor is that Bea Arthur guest-starred here, using the name Jane Ross, but Arthur tried to end the confusion in 2001 when she told Television Academy Interviews that she has never guest-starred on “Star Trek” or used the name Jane Ross. But the rumor still persists, because of the physical similarities between Arthur and Ross.

This takes place in 2268.

Kirk’s conversation with Shahna is parodied in South Park: Hooked on Monkey Fonics (1999) when Kyle explains love to Rebecca in her father’s garden.

The thrall with blue makeup is identical to one of the prisoners in the season #3, “Whom Gods Destroy”.

Bob Johnson: Johnson, voice of one of the Providers, was one of America’s most famous voices for a few years: he was the tape recorded voice that gave the Impossible Missions Force its assignments at the beginning of most episodes of Mission: Impossible (1966). Mission was filmed next door to the Star Trek set, and actors from the series would often wander over to see what was happening on the Enterprise. Johnson previously did voice work on the first Star Trek pilot, Star Trek: The Cage (1966).

Dick Crockett: stunt coordinator appears as the Andorian thrall.


Kirk, Uhura and Chekov find themselves suddenly transported light years across the galaxy to the planet Triskelion. There, they are trained as thralls, slaves who engage in gladiatorial combat for the pleasure of the Providers, three faceless beings who amuse themselves by wagering on the outcomes. Outfitted with collars that inflict pain for disobedience, the thralls are submissive and pliant. Kirk eventually challenges the Providers to a wager that will either result in freedom for all or a lifetime of slavery.


William Shatner…James T. Kirk
Leonard Nimoy…Mr. Spock
DeForest Kelley…Dr. McCoy
Joseph Ruskin…Galt
Angelique Pettyjohn…Shahna
Nichelle Nichols…Uhura
James Doohan…Scott
Steve Sandor…Lars
Walter Koenig…Chekov
Jane Ross…Tamoon
Victoria George…Ensign Jana Haines
Dick Crockett…Andorian thrall
Mickey Morton…Kloog


Star Trek – The Trouble With Tribbles

★★★★★ December 29, 1967 Season 2 Episode 15

If you want to see where we are…and you missed a few…HERE is a list of the episodes in my index located at the top of my blog. 

This show was written by Gene Roddenberry and David Gerrold

This could be the most famous episode of Star Trek…the one most known. A well-earned 5 Star episode for this one. They did something that the Twilight Zone never managed to do…to make a classic episode funny…and this one is. 

The Enterprise responds to a priority one distress call on a space station but Kirk is far from impressed when he learns that the call was signaled by The Under Secretary for Agriculture Baris to guard some storage compartments of a new wheat hybrid. Reluctantly, Kirk agrees but only assigns two guards, giving his other available staff shore leave on the station.

The importance of the grain is brought home to him though when Starfleet commands him into action and the Klingons turn up on the station for “shore leave”. With all these pressures on him, peddler Cyrano Jones selling a strangely enchanting creature called a Tribble doesn’t even show up on his radar. Stanley Adams does a great job playing Cyrano Jones.



These Tribbles are adorable. There is only one problem with these furry creatures. They are born pregnant so you will never have just one. They soon fill the space station and soon The Enterprise. Everyone who sees them likes them…except for one race…and that would be The Klingons. 

I have one request…WATCH the episode. I don’t want to write anymore and give anything else away. Some Star Trek fans say the episode is too lightweight…I disagree…it’s very entertaining and it’s nothing wrong with having an entertaining light episode. If I had to rank episodes…I would rank this 2nd behind The City On The Edge Of Tomorrow. 

Deep Space 9 did an episode built around this episode. They go back in time and see Kirk, Spock, and the rest of the Enterprise when this happens. Check that one out…the effects are great…they put this crew with the Enterprise crew and it looks great. 

From IMDB:

The scene in which Kirk is buried in an avalanche of tribbles took eight takes to get right. The tribbles were thrown into the hatch by members of the production crew. The crew members were not sure when to stop because they were unable to see the scene. This is why additional tribbles keep falling on Kirk one by one. William Shatner can be seen looking perplexed as to why more tribbles keep falling on him.

To create the one tribble moving on its own, the prop supervisor bought a battery powered toy dog and stripped it down to the mechanical works. Once recovered with fur including the toy legs, the prop moved on camera along the railing on the Enterprise bridge without wires or external assistance. The toy was so noisy all the dialogue in the scene had to be looped with ADR (re-recorded after shooting).

Tribbles have made subsequent appearances in numerous different versions of Star Trek, including important plot focuses in Star Trek: The Animated Series: More Tribbles, More Troubles (1973) and Star Trek: Deep Space Nine: Trials and Tribble-ations (1996), and cameo appearances in Star Trek III: The Search for Spock (1984), Star Trek Into Darkness (2013) and even Star Trek: Enterprise (2001) and Star Trek: Discovery (2017).

The noises that the tribbles make were a combination of dove coos, screech owl cries and air escaping from balloons.

During the famous “bar fight”, careful observers will note that while tables are broken, all the chairs remain intact. The tables were studio property: the chairs were rented, and if damaged would have to be paid for.

William Shatner recalled the great enjoyment all the cast had filming this episode. He noted, “The trouble we had with ‘Tribbles’ was [to] keep your straight face. It was just a lot of fun.”

Writer David Gerrold tried to pitch a sequel to this episode during the third season. But producer Fred Freiberger rejected it because he did not like the comedic tone of this episode. Gerrold’s idea eventually became an animated spin-off, Star Trek: The Animated Series: More Tribbles, More Troubles (1973).

When Dr. McCoy figures out that the Tribbles are in a perpetual state of being pregnant, this marks one of the very first instances on American TV of the use of that word. Just 15 years earlier, Desilu Productions, the original company behind “Star Trek”, was forbidden from using that word during I Love Lucy: Lucy Is Enceinte (1952), so the word “expecting” was used instead.

The pile of Tribbles near the end was actually created by gluing Tribble props around a large wire frame which William Shatner then stood in the middle of to give the illusion of mass numbers. In reality, there were only five hundred Tribbles made. This is obvious when you look at how the Tribbles are piled up, and none have landed on the floor at Spock’s feet.

James Doohan insisted on doing his own stunts in the barroom brawl.

In some scenes (and if you watch in high definition), a coffee stain is clearly visible on Spock’s velour shirt. Leonard Nimoy spilled his cup of coffee during lunch and there were no other costumes available for him.

William Campbell (Koloth) recalled that, after this episode was aired, his neighbour’s son consequently addressed his wife as “Mrs. Klingon”.

George Takei does not appear in this episode. For much of the second season, he was filming The Green Berets (1968). Many scenes written for Sulu were switched over to Chekov.

According to David Gerrold’s ‘The World of Star Trek’, Tribbles would be around the set for some time afterward, allowing for occurrences such as what was mentioned earlier or popping up in various other places as well for some months after the production of the episode.

This episode was nominated for a Hugo Award for Best Dramatic Presentation at the 1968 Science Fiction Convention.

According to Michael Okuda and Denise Okuda’s text commentary on this episode for the second season DVD set, the last fresh footage of the Enterprise was done for this episode. In every episode to follow, the shots of the ship were all stock footage.

The inspiration for the design of the tribbles came from a fluffy keyring.

At 37:10, you can get a rare glimpse of James Doohan’s missing finger as Scotty brings in an armful of Tribbies. Doohan lost it when he was wounded fighting with the Canadian forces on D-Day June 6, 1944.

The line in which Spock says that Kirk heard what Baris said, but could not believe his ears, was lifted directly from a Mad Magazine spoof of Star Trek (titled Star Blecch) that had just been published.

Captain Koloth pronounces his race, “Clingans”. As in Wilbur Clingan, Gene Roddenberry’s inspiration for the Klingons.

William Schallert appeared at one of the earliest Star Trek conventions, finding it rewarding and also confusing. Schallert recalled encountering many fans in person, who would react by calling and addressing him as Nilz Barris, and at the time he had completely forgotten the name of the character he played.

This is the first time in the series the Klingon language is mentioned. It is called “Klingonese” in the script and the DVD-subtitles. However, because actor Michael Pataki began to laugh at the end of the word, and cut himself off before finishing his consonants, the word is heard as “Klingonee”. It is spelled “Klingoni” in the Netflix subtitles.

In his first meeting with the Klingon commander, Koloth cites authority to shore leave rights as authorized by the Organian Treaty. This occurred in Star Trek: Errand of Mercy (1967) when the Organians prevented a war between the Federation and the Klingon Empire. The Treaty of Organia dictates interactions between the two sides to prevent another chance of war.

The bar set, including the bartender’s costume, is recycled from Star Trek: Court Martial (1967), with slight modifications, mostly in decoration.

Writer David Gerrold intended to play the crewman who is with Scott and Chekov when the barroom brawl breaks out, but the role went to stuntman Paul Baxley instead.

Despite this episode’s popularity, producer Robert H. Justman wrote in his book “Inside Star Trek: The Real Story” that he never liked this episode. Justman felt that the humor was too over-the-top and the show became a parody of itself.

Initially Leonard Nimoy was not a fan of the episode as he felt it to be frivolous. Its deepening reputation as one of the classics of The Original Series as the years went on helped him change his mind.

In David Gerrold’s book “The Trouble with Tribbles”, he quoted a memo he wrote when the show was being prepared suggesting that the character of Cyrano Jones be changed from an unscrupulous trader to an old man who was too befuddled to realize what he was doing by importing Tribbles into a space station and on a star ship. “What a role for Boris Karloff,” Gerrold wrote in his memo. In the book, Gerrold expressed regret he didn’t pursue this idea further because it would have gotten the legendary Karloff onto Star Trek.

William Campbell makes his second appearance as an alien. His first was as Trelane in “The Squire of Gothos”, and this role as the Klingon Captain Koloth. The role of Koloth was intended as a recurring character, but the next time a Klingon was needed, Campbell was unavailable and a different character and actor was cast.

The storyline greatly resembles one subplot in ‘The Rolling Stones’, a 1952 novel by Robert A. Heinlein. Gene Roddenberry and Heinlein made an undisclosed copyright agreement before The Trouble With Tribbles aired. Heinlein conceded to David Gerrold that both he and Gerrold possibly “owed something to Ellis Parker Butler”, author of the short story ‘Pigs is Pigs’ (According to Bjo Trimble, this episode is based upon said short story, ‘Pigs Is Pigs’, although Gerrold’s first-hand account only acknowledges the similarities but does not specifically cite the short story as “the basis” for this episode, and, as the author, he should know). See also Star Trek: Charlie X (1966) and Star Trek: Operation — Annihilate! (1967), which have strong Heinlein similarities.

This is listed as one of the “Ten Essential Episodes” of TOS in the 2008 reference book “Star Trek 101” by Paula M. Block and Terry J. Erdmann.

The producers of the Remastered Edition insist to everyone that all shots of the station and ships are brand-new and not reused from Star Trek: Deep Space Nine: Trials and Tribble-ations (1996) as had been rumored. Comparisons reveal that no space shots were reused.

William Campbell returned to the role of Koloth 27 years later in Star Trek: Deep Space Nine: Blood Oath (1994).

Spock’s estimate of the tribble population (1,771,561) is mathematically accurate, given the explanation: “That’s assuming one tribble, multiplying with an average litter of 10, producing a new generation every 12 hours over a period of three days.” The population growth, counting by 12-hour intervals, would go from 1 tribble to 11; 121; 1,331; 14,641; 161,051; 1,771,561. It also assumes that tribbles have a life expectancy of at least 3 days, which is possible but not certain; a relatively short life expectancy would tally with their high metabolism, growth rate, and “multiplicative proclivities.”

On the DVD commentary for Star Trek: The Animated Series: More Tribbles, More Troubles (1973), David Gerrold, shares a story of meeting a fan visiting the Filmation Associates facility who strongly urged him to write a sequel to the original Trouble with Tribbles. He said despite telling the fan three times he had already done so and it “was in production,” the fan continued to pitch his ideas for the sequel. After the animated sequel aired, he got a letter forwarded by NBC, from that same fan, saying he wasn’t asking for money only “asking for some of the credit.” Gerrold wrote back to him, telling him “asking for half the credit is asking for half the money,” and telling the fan that he didn’t hear him say he had already written it. He explained further to the fan that this is the reason why people in the industry, especially writers, try to avoid talking to fans and amateurs because if anything even just similar is later produced, it would be deemed as “stolen.”

In the bar set, recycled from Star Trek: Court Martial (1967), many tribbles were made out of carpet as background. Most visible versions were made from off-cuts from fur garments, as revealed in the book to accompany episode. The tribbles that move had mechanical toys placed inside them.

When Kirk remarks to both Uhura and Chekov that they didn’t waste any time taking shore leave, Uhura replies, “And how often do I take shore leave?” Star Trek: Shore Leave (1966), another episode with a comedic tone, premiered exactly one year earlier. Although Uhura was in that episode, she spent it, at least onscreen, aboard the Enterprise instead of the amusement planet where some of the other crewmembers were taking shore leave.


Having received a Priority One distress call from an outlying space station, the Enterprise arrives to find they have been summoned there by a Federation commissioner merely to protect a shipment of seeds meant to sow wheat on Sherman’s planet. The planet is also coveted by the Klingons, who are taking shore leave at the station. The trouble arises with tribbles – small furry creatures that seem to multiply without end. However, their fortuitous presence reveals both a problem with the wheat and a traitor on the space station.


William Shatner…James T. Kirk
Leonard Nimoy…Mr. Spock
DeForest Kelley…Dr. McCoy
William Schallert…Nilz Baris
William Campbell…Koloth
Stanley Adams…Cyrano Jones
Whit Bissell…Lurry
James Doohan…Scott
Nichelle Nichols…Uhura
Michael Pataki…Korax
Ed Reimers…Admiral Fitzpatrick
Walter Koenig…Chekov
Charlie Brill…Arne Darvin
Paul Baxley…Freeman
David L. Ross…Guard
Guy Raymond…K-7 Bartender

Star Trek – Wolf In The Fold

★★★★ December 22, 1967 Season 2 Episode 14

If you want to see where we are…and you missed a few…HERE is a list of the episodes in my index located at the top of my blog. 

This show was written by Gene Roddenberry and Robert Bloch

This episode put some of the spotlight on Scotty. Scotty was key to the Enterprise’s survival. Kirk knew just how much he could push the limits of the Enterprise with Scotty at his disposal. You could say in many ways he was just as important as Spock, Kirk, or Bones with his jobs. Without Scotty performing miracles on the engines…they could not travel. 

Star Trek - Wolf in the Fold b

In this episode, Scotty’s integrity is put on the line. He takes a walk with a space belly dancer and suddenly finds himself over her dead body with a knife. Is Scotty the culprit? Is Scotty in fact the criminal which the Argelians seek? And then when trying to track his last 24 hours…a crew member running tests on Scotty is found…you guessed it…dead with Scotty right beside her again.

We then have a trial that uncovers an entity that has been masquerading as Hengist feeding on fear. I have to wonder if Stephen King was influenced by this episode somewhere. The novel IT has a monster (Pennywise) that feeds on fear…with many similarities with this episode. 

A good mystery episode with Jack The Ripper being brought up. When the first woman was killed you saw a lot of fog like in London in the Ripper’s time. Jack The Ripper had been dead for hundreds of years…it couldn’t be him right?

From IMDB:

For most of Star Trek, James Doohan (“Scotty”) hides his right hand, which was missing the middle finger due to a WWII D-Day injury. While being questioned with his hand resting on the lie detector scanner, his fingers are hidden by being curled around the edge of the plate. During a close-up shot of the machine reacting to an intentional lie being told, a five-digit hand spread across the plate is seen – that of a stunt double. Doohan later wrote about it in his autobiography and said this was one of his favorite episodes.

This episode was made around the time that Leonard Nimoy earned an Emmy nomination for his portrayal of Mr Spock. William Shatner has admitted that this put his nose out of joint considerably, leading to tensions between the two actors, so this episode was a conscious effort on the part of the writers to sideline Nimoy and give Shatner center stage. (After the series finished, these animosities were put aside and the two remained lifelong friends up until a few years before Nimoy died in 2015.)

Robert Bloch originally wrote that Kirk, Scotty, and Bones having drinks which had colored layers. Their moods would change as they drank each layer. This idea was dropped as being too complicated of a special effect. Network censors were concerned that it would appear that they were using drugs. The producers argued against this but were unable to use the drinks anyway.

This is one of the very few episodes of the second season to feature music composed by Alexander Courage (mainly because of the feud between Courage and Gene Roddenberry, and his resulting withdrawal from the series).

A large number of costumes in the Argelius bar scene are reused from previous episodes. Some of the extras in the bar are wearing turtleneck uniforms from Star Trek: The Cage (1966) and Star Trek: Where No Man Has Gone Before (1966). Two extras in the bar (one of them later seen on the foggy street) are wearing the silver cadet uniforms made for the Finnegan character from Star Trek: Shore Leave (1966). Also, one bar patron (played by regular background performer Joseph Paz) is wearing Commissioner Ferris’ costume from Star Trek: The Galileo Seven (1967), and another is wearing a colonist jumpsuit recycled from Star Trek: The Devil in the Dark (1967).

According to Tanya Lemani, the makeup for Kara was initially much more elaborate. Lemani recalled, “They sent me to the makeup department because they wanted to do something extravagant with my look. The first day, they put feathers of different colours all over my face – on my eyelashes, my eyelids, my nose. Then they took me to the director, Joe Pevney, and he said, ‘No. No. Less!’ The makeup people kept trying to match his vision for four days, with less and less feathers and fewer colours each time, but Joe kept saying, ‘No.’ Finally, on the fifth day, I came in with no makeup and he said, ‘That’s it. That’s what I want to see – her face.” Lemani did her own belly dance choreography for the scene, but due to censorship concerns, had to cover her navel with a jewelled flower.

In Star Trek: The Next Generation: Relics (1992), an older Scotty remembers the events of “Wolf in the Fold” as “a wee bit of trouble.”

Clocking in at approximately 15 minutes and 30 seconds, the courtroom hearing that constitutes virtually the third act of the episode appears to be the longest uninterrupted scene, confined to a single setting, in the original series.

This is the first episode of the second season to completely utilize stock music, largely from Gerald Fried’s scores for Star Trek: Catspaw (1967) and Star Trek: Friday’s Child (1967). Fried’s Finnegan jig from Star Trek: Shore Leave (1966) can also be heard.

This is the first time where Scott’s first name is given as Montgomery. It is next spoken in Star Trek: Is There in Truth No Beauty? (1968) where he introduces himself to Marvick.

In the late 1980s, the pop band Information Society sampled Scotty’s line, “Let’s go see”, in their song “Walking Away”.

A few months after Wolf in the Fold was broadcast, guest star John Fiedler took on the voice of Piglet in Winnie the Pooh and the Blustery Day (1968). He was to reprise the role on several occasions, making it one of his most enduring roles.

This is one of two TOS episodes that prominently feature Scott. The other episode is Star Trek: The Lights of Zetar (1969).

Uhura and Chekov do not appear in this episode.

Robert Bloch’s third and final contribution to the series.

This takes place in 2267.

On the 1993 album “Zoo Rave, Vol 2”, the house/techno/rave artist John Greczula (aka Texas Audio) sampled Kirk’s lines, “You were a musician at the cafe. You played for the murdered girl”, and Tark’s responses, “Since she was a little girl she danced for me” and “The man who did it must be found”, in his rave song, “Mystery Cafe.”

William Shatner and Joseph Bernard previously appeared together in Judgment at Nuremberg (1961).

Kara’s dance music was from the pilot show “The Cage”, when Vina is dancing as an Orion slave girl in the cabaret scene.

James Doohan, who was single at the time, stated in his autobiography that he dated Tanya Lemani (Kara) a few times after filming for this episode wrapped.


While on shore leave on the planet Argelius II with Dr. McCoy and Captain Kirk, Chief Engineer Scott finds himself accused of murdering an exotic dancer he met in a nightclub. He has no recollection of the incident but is found standing over the girl with a bloody knife in his hand. For Mr. Hengist, the chief administrator, the case is cut and dried, but Jaris, the planet’s leader, suggests that his wife chair a séance to identify the killer. Tragedy strikes again, still pointing to Mr. Scott as the culprit. Kirk suggests they retire to the Enterprise where they can use its computers to determine if Scott is lying and who the real culprit may be.


William Shatner…Capt. Kirk
Leonard Nimoy…Mr. Spock
DeForest Kelley…Dr. McCoy
John Fiedler…Hengist
Charles Macauley…Jaris
Pilar Seurat…Sybo
James Doohan…Scott
George Takei…Sulu
Charles Dierkop…Morla
Joseph Bernard…Tark
Tania Lemani…Kara
John Winston…Transporter Chief
Virginia Aldridge…Karen Tracy
Judy McConnell…Yeoman Tankris
Judi Sherven…Nurse
Majel Barrett…Computer Voice
William Blackburn…Hadley
Marlys Burdette…Serving Girl #1
John Fiedler…Redjac (voice)
Steve Hershon…operations officer
Suzanne Lodge…Serving Girl #3
Eddie Paskey…Leslie
Gary Wright…Starfleet cadet

Star Trek – Obsession

★★★★ December 15, 1967 Season 2 Episode 13

If you want to see where we are…and you missed a few…HERE is a list of the episodes in my index located at the top of my blog. 

This show was written by Gene Roddenberry and Art Wallace

As a young officer on the USS Farragut James T. Kirk encountered a strange creature and was lucky to live to tell the tale. Reminding him of that fact is a new crew member assigned to the Enterprise, the son of the late commander of the Farragut played by Stephen Brooks. It’s with some mixed emotions that William Shatner deals with Brooks.

The monster is an intelligent gas, made of an element that’s not supposed to exist naturally, and that’s able to transform itself as a means of camouflage.

Star Trek – Obsession (Review) | the m0vie blog

Complicating things is the fact that the Enterprise is on a critical rescue mission already when Shatner commits his vessel to fight the creature. Something that for once Leonard Nimoy and DeForest Kelley are in agreement on (they agree he shouldn’t fight it) and question Shatner’s judgment. As the title suggests…he is obsessing over this creature instead of the critical mission the Enterprise is on. 

This is a good episode although there was no prior hint that Kirk was the sort of man who would be recklessly obsessive yet here we are expected to believe that he would abandon an urgent mission without even contacting Star Fleet about the entity. All in all we learn more of Kirk’s character in this one. 

Ralph Senensky’s direction keeps this classic Shatner episode tight, exciting, and well-shot. 

From IMDB:

The ship which Kirk served on for his first deep space mission is disclosed to be the USS Farragut, and was named after David Glasgow Farragut, a flag officer of the United States Navy during the American Civil War. He was the first rear admiral, vice-admiral, and admiral in the United States Navy and is credited for uttering the phrase, “Damn the torpedoes, full speed ahead!”*, disregarding all danger while charging into enemy waters off the Alabama Coast. -This is an abridged version. He said “Damn the torpedoes. Four bells, Captain Drayton, go ahead. Jouett, full speed.”*

Second episode in a row in which Captain Kirk’s capacity of command is questioned.

This episode establishes the fact that Vulcan blood is copper-based, unlike human blood which is iron-based.

Only time in the series where phasers are said to have a disruptor setting.

“Obsession” is a “startrekified” version of Herman Melville’s Moby Dick, a seminal American novel first published in 1851. Captain Kirk of the Enterprise is Captain Ahab of the Pequod and the Gaseous Creature is the White Whale.

The only episode to have a security guard as the central story.

The unseen ship, the USS Yorktown, recalls the name of the ship in Gene Roddenberry’s original story concept he pitched to the networks in 1964, the SS Yorktown commanded by Robert April. The concept evolved to the USS Enterprise commanded by Christopher Pike in Star Trek: The Cage (1966), then James T. Kirk.

Filming took place during the Jewish holiday of Yom Kippur. Director Ralph Senensky was an observant Jew and left the set at sundown. Producer John Meredyth Lucas took his place. Lucas went on to officially direct three episodes of this series.

In an effect unique in the series, the phaser beam that Garrovick fires at the creature is outlined with a dark border.

Dikironium, of which the cloud creature is made, is an element with symbol Dk, has an atomic number of 112, and an atomic weight of 300. It was first discovered on the planet Vulcan. Element 112 was not discovered/produce until 1996 and was named Copernicium. Its atomic weight (technically, atomic mass) is 285.

This takes place in 2268.

In the medical records library between Spock and McCoy, there is a large object which looks like a vertical DVD rack. The same large object was in Harry Mudd’s laboratory in Star Trek: I, Mudd (1967).

Vocalization in the opening theme song is less prominent behind the instrumental than previously since vocalization began in Season 2.

Hikaru Sulu does not appear in this episode.

Director Ralph Senensky has said, having worked with actor Stephen Brooks on many previous occasions and liked him, that he specifically asked for Stephen Brooks for this show.


Captain Kirk is haunted by a creature from his past when conducting a mining survey on a planet. He first encountered it as a lieutenant aboard the U.S.S. Farragut and blames himself for freezing in a moment of crisis, causing the death of many crewmen. The creature is a cloud-like, gaseous being that lives on the red blood cells found in humans. Obsessed by his desire for revenge and to erase the memory of 11 years ago, he pursues the creature relentlessly, putting in jeopardy an assignment to collect essential medical supplies.


William Shatner…Capt. Kirk
Leonard Nimoy…Mr. Spock
DeForest Kelley…Dr. McCoy
Stephen Brooks…Ensign Garrovick
James Doohan…Scott
Nichelle Nichols…Uhura
Jerry Ayres…Rizzo
Majel Barrett…Nurse Chapel
Walter Koenig…Chekov
William Blackburn…Hadley
John Blower…Swenson
Frank da Vinci…Vinci
Steve Hershon…operations officer
Jeannie Malone…Yeoman
Eddie Paskey…Leslie
Basil Poledouris…Bardoli

Star Trek – The Deadly Years

★★★★1/2 December 8, 1967 Season 2 Episode 12

If you want to see where we are…and you missed a few…HERE is a list of the episodes in my index located at the top of my blog. 

This show was written by Gene Roddenberry and David P. Harmon

Another favorite of mine in the 2nd season. Some of the crew starts growing old…really quick. 

When an away team goes for a routine visit to a scientific outpost they are shocked to discover the personnel are dead or dying, apparently of old age, despite none of them being old.

Star Trek – The Deadly Years B

Back on the Enterprise, it isn’t long before members of the away team, with the exception of Chekov, start aging. At first, the signs are subtle; Kirk gives the same order twice and instructs Uhura to contact Star Fleet using a code that has already been cracked by the Romulans. It isn’t long before more obvious signs of aging show and if they don’t discover the cause and a remedy quickly most of the senior staff will be dead within days.

As time progresses Kirk’s ability to command comes into question and Commodore Stocker, who was being transported to a nearby star base, assumes command despite never serving on a starship before. This almost leads to disaster when he orders the Enterprise to head directly to the star base even though that course takes them through the Romulan neutral zone.

After that, the Romulans of course are after The Enterprise. With Kirk and Spock old…it doesn’t look like they will get out of this trouble with the Romulans. 

Here is a comparison of William Shatner…a Hollywood 80-year-old or so…and the real Shatner around 80-85 years old at the time of the picture. 

William Shatner old and old

From IMDB:

The cast wore oversized versions of their costumes as their characters aged in order to give the impression that they were shrinking.

William Shatner resisted looking too old as Captain Kirk aged. This is why at first the aging Kirk’s hairline is receding but later his hair is more full.

Having been born on July 16, 1882, Felix Locher (Robert Johnson) is the earliest born actor to appear in any “Star Trek” episode or film, at 85 years of age.

Kirk’s age (34) is established in this episode. William Shatner was 36.

Around this mid-season shoot, rumors started to circulate that Star Trek was going to be canceled. One of the show’s most ardent fans, Bjo Trimble, created a mailing list, urging everyone on it to write to the network pleading for the show’s survival. The ploy worked.

In “The World of Star Trek”, William Shatner relates that he endured an excruciating make-up session for this episode – all for nothing, because the shooting day was just about to end. The producers caught his exasperation in an infamous blooper, wherein he declares, “Robert H. Justman, I’m going home now, after spending three hours putting this [expletive deleted] make-up back on – and it’s your fault!”

Kirk reuses the scam involving the “corbomite” device, which he first described in Star Trek: The Corbomite Maneuver (1966). Although Chekov was not on the bridge on that occasion, he obviously heard the story from someone, as he and Sulu exchange knowing looks when Kirk mentions the word.

According to Walter Koenig, a close-up shot of his eyes was filmed as Chekov sees the dead body. Unfortunately, Koenig kept blinking during the shot and it took fifteen takes to get it right. However, the shot was deleted from the episode.

Lieutenant Uhura was originally supposed to be one of the landing party that starts to age but Gene Roddenberry refused to allow this on the grounds that it would make her unattractive. In Star Trek: And the Children Shall Lead (1968), Uhura had a rapid-aging scene.

This is the first time McCoy is aged using makeup in order to look much older than he is. The second time is in Star Trek: The Next Generation: Encounter at Farpoint (1987). Both versions look very similar.

Each crew member displays different symptoms of aging: Captain Kirk suffers from short-term memory loss and arthritis, Spock becomes hypersensitive to temperature changes, McCoy becomes more moody and irritable, Galway suffers from hearing loss, and Scotty finds that he is always tired.

Normally, make-up artist Fred B. Phillips would have been given a month to come up with the latex prosthetics to age his cast. Instead, he was given 10 days. Philips was able to get round the problem by drafting a whole troupe of make-up artists to assist him.

William Shatner reportedly threatened producer Robert H. Justman with bodily harm after enduring the three hour old-age makeup process for no reason. “Who’s afraid of such a wrinkled, feeble old coot!” scoffed Justman. Nevertheless, Justman kept his office door locked until shooting was finished.

When Spock questions Uhura during the competency hearing, he twice clearly refers to Uhura’s having signed her initials (note the plural) on a document. Lt. Uhura was never given a first name during the entire run of the series, which at the time lead some to believe she may have only had the single name “Uhura”. However, this episode established that, due to having more than one initial, she must also have had a name other than “Uhura”.

Dr. Wallace’s costume was made from drapes.

In the first scene, the landing party beams down to the planet surface in front of two buildings. The first one has a curved exterior with alternating raised light blue panels and sunken white panels with no “ribs”, but the second one has a similar curved exterior with “ribs” clearly protruding from the roof. This second building is a repurposing of the structure used as the home for Zefram Cochran in Star Trek: Metamorphosis (1967).

McCoy’s Southern dialect grows noticeably thicker as he ages.

The last shot of the episode is reused from Star Trek: Amok Time (1967). Note the wig there on Chekov, which he didn’t have on for the entire episode.

The proximity of the Gamma Hydra sector to the Romulan Neutral Zone is repeated in the opening scene of Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan (1982), when the Enterprise supposedly violates the zone while patrolling near the sector. However, in the movie it’s the Klingons who attack.

If one goes by production order, this is the first episode in which Vulcans are mentioned to have a longer lifespan than humans. If one goes by airdate order, that title goes to Star Trek: Journey to Babel (1967).

The end credits include a make-up test shot of Bill Blackburn as a Tellarite.

Except for Checkov, the pronounced aging effects of each of the landing party are as follows: McCoy – Crankiness, somewhat difficulty enunciating words. Kirk – Memory loss, arthritis, stiffness. Scotty – Fatigue. (Duaring the competency hearing he just sits quietly and withdrawn.) Galway – Hearing loss, fast metabolism caused rapid aging and death. Spock – Sensitivity to cold, easily fatigued, failing eyesight, difficulty concentrating.

Areel Shaw’s line from Star Trek: Court Martial (1967) about how long it has been since she’s seen Kirk is recycled by Janet Wallace in this segment.

Kirk’s return to normal age was filmed differently from the version seen in the aired show. It was originally planned to have him take the antidote and, accompanied by a still-aged Spock, return to normal slowly on his way to the bridge. For unknown reasons, this scene was eliminated and just his lower body was filmed showing him writhing after the antidote was administered.


Rapid aging afflicts all six colonists on Gamma Hydra IV and five members of Kirk’s six-man landing party – all but Chekov. With the Neutral Zone so close, suspicion falls on the Romulans testing a new weapon, but is it? With time running out, answers are elusive. As Kirk’s memory progressively deteriorates, regulations necessitate a competency hearing no one wants – the outcome of which may eventually lead the Enterprise to its destruction with all aboard.


William Shatner … Captain James Tiberius ‘Jim’ Kirk
Leonard Nimoy … Mister Spock
DeForest Kelley … Doctor Leonard ‘Bones’ McCoy
James Doohan … Lieutenant Commander Montgomery ‘Scotty’ Scott
Nichelle Nichols … Lieutenant Nyota Uhura
George Takei … Lieutenant Hikaru Sulu
Majel Barrett … Nurse Christine Chapel
Charles Drake – Commodore Stocker
Carolyn Nelson – Yeoman Atkins
Sarah Marshall – Dr. Janet Wallace
Laura Wood – Elaine Johnson
Felix Maurice Locher – Robert Johnson
Beverly Washburn – Lt. Arlene Galway
Roger Holloway – Lt. Lemli
Eddie Paskey – Lt. Leslie
Frank Da Vinci – Lt. Brent

Star Trek – Friday’s Child

★★★ December 1, 1967 Season 2 Episode 11

If you want to see where we are…and you missed a few…HERE is a list of the episodes in my index located at the top of my blog. 

This show was written by Gene Roddenberry and D.C. Fontana

The main thing I noticed when I watched this episode is Julie Newmar as Eleen. I never missed her on Batman. 

Julie Newmar

Once again the crew of the Enterprise are in negotiations for an alien planet’s mineral rights… McCoy has been there before and cautions the captain about the importance of not breaching local etiquette; infringements can mean death. These aliens, the Capellans are intelligent but not advanced; fighting with swords and throwing weapons. The landing party, consisting of Kirk, Spock, McCoy and security are shocked to discover a Klingon is already there; leading to the red-shirt drawing his weapon and being killed.

The leader of the Capellans is keen to negotiate but his underling thinks they should deal with the Klingons as they offer military items and fights for the leadership. With the old leader dead his pregnant wife is expected to die but McCoy attempts to save her and the away team flees to the hills with her. Here Kirk and Spock must prepare to fight without use of their phasers while McCoy helps deliver the baby. Meanwhile, the Enterprise, commanded by Scotty, has been called away by a distress call, apparently from a freighter under attack from Klingons.

It was a strong episode for Scotty.  Faced with the decision to rescue the crew that was on the planet from Capella or answer a distress call from an unarmed freighter, Scotty stays consistent with Federation duty and leaves orbit to help the ship under attack. Turns out it was a Klingon ruse, but no harm was done. Doctor McCoy also has some good scenes with Eleen and her new born baby. 

Not one of my favorites but a decent episode. 

From IMDB:

This is the only episode in which Uhura and Sulu call Scotty by his nickname. Otherwise, they call him “Mr. Scott”.

For his first four appearances in the series, including this episode, Walter Koenig wore a The Monkees (1965)-style wig, which he absolutely detested. In one interview, he made joking and uncomplimentary references to that wig.

The actors playing Capellan warriors were given elevated shoes to make them appear like giants. Maab’s high headgear served the same purpose.

Third time Bones uses the saying “I’m a doctor, not a …” (In this case, escalator)

Lots of dialogue looping was used in this episode because of the outdoor setting. Some of the dubbing was crammed together, nearly on top of other lines.

When Chekhov is scanning the Klingons, he uses the term vessel as opposed to his normal “wessel.”

Temperatures reached 110 degrees in the Vazquez Rocks filming location, making it quite uncomfortable for the actors in the Capellan costumes. This location was also a setting for Star Trek: Arena (1967), Star Trek: Shore Leave (1966) and Star Trek: The Alternative Factor (1967).

This is the first episode where all seven “classic” crew members (Kirk, Spock, McCoy, Scotty, Uhura, Sulu, and Chekov) appear in the same scene, in the teaser, discussing the background for the Capellans, although Sulu is seen only on a view screen reporting from the bridge. The other six are all in the same briefing room together. The six also appear in the same scene together at the very end on the bridge, and Sulu is still absent, although the right arm of a helmsman that should be him is seen at the right edge of the screen.

In D.C. Fontana’s original script, Eleen sacrificed her child for her own life. But Gene Roddenberry objected to this and changed the ending. Eleen was originally written to be a stronger character who rebels against the male-dominated Capellan society but this was also changed.

In the footage seen in the briefing room of Dr. McCoy’s previous visit to Capella IV, he is seen wearing his present day Enterprise tunic, rather than a Star Trek: Where No Man Has Gone Before (1966) era tunic, which would have been appropriate for that time period. However, it can also be seen that the tunic’s sleeves show a lieutenant’s stripes, whereas McCoy’s present rank is lieutenant commander, as often indicated by his sleeves. This is consistent with his visit to Capella having taken place in a previous time period.

Eleen’s baby, Leonard James Akaar, would make numerous appearances decades later as a high-ranking Starfleet officer in many Star Trek novels from the Original Series, Star Trek: Deep Space Nine (1993) relaunch novels, and the Star Trek Titan series. In the latter, he holds the rank of Admiral.

The remastered version of this episode included new shots of the Enterprise herself. Several new, more realistic views of Capella IV from space were inserted into the episode. Other changes include cleaned-up mattes of the viewscreen during the briefing room scene, a more realistic sensor readout on the bridge, a corrected insert shot while Chekov is working the controls at the science station, updated phaser effects, and the establishment of the Klingon ship on screen as a D7-class.

Contained in Dr. McCoy’s emergency medical field kit, Magnesite-nitron tablets when crushed provide emergency illumination and heat through a bright flame. The tablets also could be used for ignition of a larger fire, heating of food, or sterilization of water.

The name of Tige Andrews’s character Kras is never spoken. He is only called “Klingon”.

This is the first episode that inn which makes the dubious claim of something being invented in Russia. In this case, he claims that the old Earth saying, “Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me”, was invented in Russia. In fact, the earliest occurrence of the phrase, as listed in the OED, dates back over 300 years and comes from Italy.

When Scotty is in command of the ship, they receive a distress call from a Federation freighter, the S.S. Deirdre. Deirdre is the name of James Doohan’s second daughter.

A sequence in the blooper reel shows William Shatner entering the tent too quickly when Tige Andrews is looking for his weapon and exclaiming, “Oh, shit!”

Phaser One almost has enough power to explode rocks, as seen when the Klingon hits the one Spock is sheltered behind.

(at around 40 mins) This episode marks the first time Sulu’s attack scanner is shown deploying from underneath the helm console when Scotty orders “Battle Stations”.

In production order, this is only the second episode to feature Klingons; interestingly, the Klingon make-up design is different from their first appearance in “Errand of Mercy”; in the latter, their complexions were dark and swarthy, with stereotypical “Asian” facial hair. Kras, the Klingon in this episode, is bearded, but without the dark makeup and “Ming the Merciless” facial hair.

Capella, the planet where the action occurs, has the same name after a form of singing. Upon receiving the script, associate and supervising producer Robert H. Justman shouted, “Ah Capella!” (as in ‘acapella’) and burst into song, to much laughter. Although the pun story is probably true, it is more likely that the planet, Capella IV, is the fourth planet of one of the four stars in the Capella system. In reality, Capella is the name given to the brightest star in the constellation Auriga, and is also known as Alpha Aurigae. Its name is the diminutive of the Latin noun “capra” (“she-goat” or “nanny-goat”), hence “little she-goat”. The system’s four stars are in two binary pairs, and none of them have shown any evidence of containing exoplanets.

This is the second and final episode where Spock is knocked out in a fight (the first being Star Trek: Mirror, Mirror (1967), though in that case it was the mirror Spock who was incapacitated). In this one, a Capellan hits him with a sword while he and Kirk protect Eleen.


The Federation is in competition with the Klingons for an alliance with the inhabitants of Capella IV. The Capellans are a warrior tribe and there is dissension among them as to who to sign the mining rights treaty with. McCoy is familiar with their customs having once spent several months there. When a Capellan, who clearly favors the Klingons, stages a coup, Kirk, Spock and McCoy flee with the now dead leader’s wife, who is about to give birth. Meanwhile, the Enterprise receives a distress call from a Federation vessel under attack and, with Scotty in command, leaves orbit.


William Shatner … Captain James Tiberius ‘Jim’ Kirk
Leonard Nimoy … Mister Spock
DeForest Kelley … Dr. McCoy
Julie Newmar … Eleen
Tige Andrews … Kras
Michael Dante … Maab
James Doohan … Scott
George Takei … Sulu
Nichelle Nichols … Uhura
Cal Bolder … Keel
Ben Gage … Akaar
Walter Koenig … Chekov
Kirk Raymond … Duur (as Kirk Raymone)
Bob Bralver … Grant (as Robert Bralver)
Bill Blackburn … Lieutenant Hadley (uncredited)
Vic Christy … Capellan (uncredited)
Frank da Vinci … Capellan Warrior (uncredited)
Walker Edmiston … SS Dierdre (voice) (uncredited)
Eddie Paskey … Lieutenant Leslie (uncredited)

Star Trek –  Journey To Babel

★★★★ 1/2  November 17, 1967 Season 2 Episode 10

If you want to see where we are…and you missed a few…HERE is a list of the episodes in my index located at the top of my blog. 

This show was written by Gene Roddenberry and D.C. Fontana

An episode I’ve always liked a lot. We meet Spock’s parents in this one. The actress that played his mom was Jayne Wyatt. To show you how bizarre this show was in the 1960s…Wyatt never watched the show before and after she read the script…she thought it was a comedy. That is until she got on set and saw how everyone took the show so seriously. 

I think it’s this episode, more than any other, in which Spock’s lonely place in the Trek universe is spelled out. We, as the audience, had already gathered as much during the past forty or so episodes, but here, Spock’s mother, the ideal choice to voice such concerns out loud, makes apparent the pain Spock has endured during his life – in terms we had only guessed at earlier.

Star Trek -  Journey To Babel

She had known since he was a little boy that he belongs in neither the human nor the Vulcan worlds and, as a mother, she had no choice but to feel his pain, that ultimate form of alienation – but, as a human, her feelings are much more obvious to us. Nimoy gives another subtly excellent performance; his demeanor is slightly different when speaking with his mother about ‘the situation’ between himself and his father. Despite the Vulcan reserve, you sense his discomfort and sadness.

The personal story is played out as part of a larger plot element involving diplomatic negotiations among ambassadors on board the Enterprise headed toward the planetoid Babel. Competing interests among the representatives threaten (and eventually lead to) hostilities, as the impending conference will decide whether planets of the Coridan System will become part of the Federation. If that wasn’t enough going on, a third party is presented as a foil in order to profit from the dissension…but the story centers around the Vulcans and their relationship. 

While describing this episode I realized what a deep episode this is. There’s a lot of plot to it and a lot of new alien species and characters. The introduction of Spock’s parents was interesting and I really enjoy the dynamic that Spock has with his mother especially. While the politics of the Federation is the focal point of this episode, it really focuses more on Spock’s relationship with his parents.

From IMDB:

For two weeks after the airing of this episode, Mark Lenard received more fan mail than Leonard Nimoy.

In the first episode to feature Spock’s parents, actors Mark Lenard and Jane Wyatt asked Leonard Nimoy for advice on how the two of them could display their affection for one another in a subtle way since the Vulcans supress their emotion. Since it was Nimoy who had devised the Vulcan neck pinch and the Vulcan salute, Nimoy suggested they touch and stroke each others hand by the index and middle finger.

Gene Roddenberry wrote the scene in which Amanda tells Kirk of the rift between Spock and Sarek. Writer D.C. Fontana felt that it would be inappropriate for her to discuss this with someone she had just met. But Roddenberry wanted Kirk to be more involved with the story.

This episode introduces the Andorians and the Tellarites. Later episodes established that, along with Humans and Vulcans, they are two of the four founding members of the United Federation of Planets.

Actor John Wheeler, in character as Gav, had so much trouble seeing through the prosthetics over his eyes that he was forced to raise his head to see his castmates. This added to the early mythos that all Tellarites were arrogant as well as belligerent and aggressive.

Jane Wyatt would only play Spock’s mother one more time, in the film Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home (1986). In Star Trek: The Animated Series: Yesteryear (1973), to save costs, Majel Barrett voiced the role. Mark Lenard, however, reprised his role of Sarek in the animated series and again in the films Star Trek III: The Search for Spock (1984), Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home and Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country (1991), as well as the Star Trek: The Next Generation episodes Star Trek: The Next Generation: Sarek (1990) and Star Trek: The Next Generation: Unification I (1991).

Writer D.C. Fontana chose the name “Amanda” for Spock’s mother because it means “worthy of love” in Latin.

Mark Lenard had also been a potential candidate for the recasting of Spock if Leonard Nimoy were to quit the series.

Though they play father and son, Mark Lenard was 42 years old at the time and Leonard Nimoy was 36.

Jane Wyatt has said that some years after “Journey to Babel” first aired, while waiting in an airport she heard someone cry out the name Amanda. Wyatt said that at first she had no idea it was a fan trying to get her attention, as she had completely forgotten the name of the character she had played.

The original script called for an establishment shot of the city Sarek and his party travelled from. However, painting a matte to depict the city became budget prohibitive. Likewise, Sarek was initially to be beamed aboard the Enterprise, but use of existing shuttle craft stock footage was cheaper than employing Transporter effects.

Amanda’s description of Spock being bullied by other children for his human heritage was later shown in animated form in Star Trek: The Animated Series: Yesteryear (1973), and in live action form in the movie Star Trek (2009).

In the original draft script, there was a banquet scene featuring the three main diplomats: Sarek (the Vulcan), Shras (the Andorian), and Gav (the old Tellarite). When this scene was scrapped, the dialog was inserted into the final version of the buffet scene. Other dialog was scrapped that would have indicated that Sarek was an engineer before he became a diplomat, and that he was the son of the famous Vulcan diplomat Shaleris.

As a tribute to her long and distinguished career, Jane Wyatt is called “Miss Jane Wyatt” in the closing credits.

In the remastered version, the Enterprise shuttlebay and landing sequence was completely redone digitally, featuring a number of background actors visible within the viewing galleries. Also revamped were shots of Vulcan (now more closely resembling its appearance in Star Trek: Enterprise) and the battle between the Enterprise and the Orion ship, now featuring a more identifiable design.

The Andorians cock their heads for better visual acuity. According to Star Trek lore, the Andorian antennae are sensitive light beyond the normal human spectrum. Thus, Andorian vision is literally quadroscopic.

Before he was cast as Sarek, Mark Lenard played the first major Romulan character seen on Star Trek, the Romulan Commander in Star Trek: Balance of Terror (1966).

Scotty does not appear in this episode. Other characters refer to him as being nearby, but he never has to appear on-camera.

D.C. Fontana had become curious about past references to Spock’s background, and was inspired to more fully flesh them out. In particular, Fontana was inspired by information Spock had revealed about his parents in Star Trek: This Side of Paradise (1967). Fontana also felt such an episode would be an interesting way to reflect issues relating to the Generation Gap.

Many of the costumes worn by extras in the hallway and reception room scenes were recycled from several first season episodes, including the outfits worn by Galactic High Commissioner Ferris in Star Trek: The Galileo Seven (1967) and by Lazarus in Star Trek: The Alternative Factor (1967).

This is listed as one of the “Ten Essential Episodes” of TOS in the 2008 reference book “Star Trek 101” by Paula M. Block and Terry J. Erdmann.

Russ Peek, who plays one of Sarek’s aides, also appeared as mirror Spock’s Vulcan bodyguard in Star Trek: Mirror, Mirror (1967).

The Orion ship was recycled as the missile in Star Trek: Patterns of Force (1968), although this has been changed in the remastered version of the latter.

If one goes by airing order, this is the first episode in which Vulcans are mentioned to have a longer lifespan than humans. If one goes by production order, that title goes to Star Trek: The Deadly Years (1967).

The matte shot of Uhura appearing on the screen in engineering is one of the smallest mattes ever used in the series, until the view discs in Star Trek: All Our Yesterdays (1969).

Star Trek: Metamorphosis (1967) starring Elinor Donahue and Journey to Babel starring Jane Wyatt aired back-to-back. Both actresses had been regular cast members on Father Knows Best (1954), where Donahue played Wyatt’s daughter.

The Tantalus field controls used in Star Trek: Mirror, Mirror (1967) can be seen behind McCoy while Amanda is inquiring about Sarek’s condition.

The noise of the coded message sent by Thelev is also used in Star Trek: Miri (1966).

Bill Blackburn, in an unused make-up scheme for the Tellarites from a make-up test, can be seen in the end credits of Star Trek: The Deadly Years (1967) and Star Trek: A Private Little War (1968).

Mark Lenard, who played the 102-year-old Sarek, was 42 at the time of filming.


The Enterprise is transporting several diplomatic delegations to a conference on Babel regarding the future of the mineral-rich planet Coridan. Among the passengers are Spock’s parents, Ambassador Sarek and Amanda. There is obviously a chill between father and son owing to Spock’s choice of pursuing a career in Starfleet. Unknown to Spock or his mother is the fact that Sarek is seriously ill. There is also much tension among the delegations and a spy on board is transmitting coded messages to a ship that attacks the Enterprise. With Captain Kirk wounded in an earlier knife attack, Spock is in temporary command just as his father needs a transfusion that only he can provide.



William Shatner … Captain James Tiberius ‘Jim’ Kirk
Leonard Nimoy … Mister Spock
DeForest Kelley … Dr. McCoy
Jane Wyatt … Amanda (as Miss Jane Wyatt)
Mark Lenard … Sarek
Nichelle Nichols … Uhura
William O’Connell … Thelev
Majel Barrett … Nurse Chapel
Walter Koenig … Chekov
John Wheeler … Gav
James X. Mitchell … Josephs
Reggie Nalder … Shras
Bill Blackburn … Lieutenant Hadley (uncredited)
John Blower … Babel Conference Attendee (uncredited)
Jerry Catron … Montgomery (uncredited)
Billy Curtis … Small Copper-Skinned Ambassador (uncredited)
Frank da Vinci … Vulcan Aide (uncredited)
Jeannie Malone … Purple-Skinned Delegate (uncredited)
Jerry Maren … Small Copper-Skinned Ambassador (uncredited)
Eddie Paskey … Lieutenant Leslie (uncredited)
Russ Peek … Sarek’s 2nd Vulcan Aide (uncredited)
Kai J. Wong … Doctor (uncredited)

Star Trek – Metamorphosis

★★★★★ November 10, 1967 Season 2 Episode 9

If you want to see where we are…and you missed a few…HERE is a list of the episodes in my index located at the top of my blog. 

This show was written by Gene Roddenberry and Gene L. Coon

One of my top episodes of Star Trek. This one was directed by Ralph Senensky. I’ve mentioned Ralph before… he will be 100 years old on May 1st of this year. He has a website and still posts about his adventures in directing many episodes of Star Trek and so many other shows including The Twilight Zone, The Waltons, Mission Impossible, and too many to mention. Please visit his site…he has a lot of fun stories about each episode he directed. 

This one has everything you could want from a Star Trek episode. Great acting, writing, and even romance. 

Kirk, Spock, and Dr. McCoy are traveling with Commissioner Hedford, trying to get her back to the Enterprise so that they can hopefully cure her of a rare and deadly disease that she has. They are pulled down to a planet. They meet Zefram Cochrane, who supposedly died 150 years ago.

Star Trek - Metamorphosis B

He tells them that he had been out in space because he had gotten old and his wish was to die in space. However, he and his ship had been brought down to the planet just as they were. An alien entity he calls the companion was responsible for this as well as for rejuvenating him and making him back to around the age of 35. This companion has been able to keep him healthy, well, and at the same age for all these years.

They find a way to have a direct conversation with the companion. Spock is wanting to spend time asking the companion questions so that they can learn more about it. It is a very different species and part of their mission is to find new species and learn about them. I concur with Spock on this. Of course, because they made an error when writing this and made it so that the companion cannot heal the commissioner, Kirk stops Spock from asking the questions, pointing out that they need to hurry and try to get the companion to let them go so that they can get to the Enterprise, hopefully in time, to heal the commissioner.

Strong performances from Glenn Corbett and Elinor Donahue help raise this episode to classic status. A touching love story between a man isolated on a planet by himself, and a caring, alien life form he refers to as ” the Companion” is a thoughtful and moving story.

From IMDB:

A few scenes featuring Elinor Donahue had to be re-shot, because the original film negatives were damaged and couldn’t be used. Portions of the planet set had to be rebuilt, since other episodes were shot there by that time, using different sets. Meanwhile, Donahue got pneumonia and lost ten pounds. To hide this, they put Hedford’s scarf around her neck and upper body. However, her weight loss is still visible on her face. The re-shots were not directed by Ralph Senensky.

This is the first story to feature Zefram Cochrane, inventor of warp drive technology and an important figure in Federation history. He would later re-appear in Star Trek: First Contact (1996) and Star Trek: Enterprise: Broken Bow, Part 1 (2001), played by James Cromwell.

A view of the starship from dead center in front of the saucer section is used only in this episode.

This is the only episode in the first two seasons in which Captain Kirk is not on the Enterprise at any time during the plot. Likewise, the Enterprise does not appear until twenty-seven minutes into the episode. In four third season shows, Kirk also spends the entire episode off-ship: Star Trek: The Paradise Syndrome (1968), Star Trek: Plato’s Stepchildren (1968), Star Trek: Whom Gods Destroy (1969), and Star Trek: All Our Yesterdays (1969).

The scenes of Cochrane communicating with the Companion were all shot at one time. The set was then completely redone with his house added for all of the sequences with Kirk and company. The inconsistencies between the two versions of the same set can be seen in alien trees that are near Cochrane in one view and absent in the next.

To give an illusion of open space to a confined stage set, wide angle lenses were used. Although Glenn Corbett appears to be hundreds of yards away when he first runs toward the shuttle, he is much closer. Strategically placed rocks also allowed the camera to be very far away without seeing the edges of the set.

In the first draft, the Enterprise is temporarily commanded by Sulu, and the helmsman is an officer with an African background, named Lieutenant Ackrumba. The character later appeared in the novel “Mission to Horatius” by Mack Reynolds.

In the first draft script, Scotty is also on board the shuttlecraft (here called the Edison) with Kirk, Spock, McCoy, and Hedford. It was originally he who was to encounter the Companion while attempting to repair the shuttlecraft.

In a rare effect, slowly moving “clouds” were blown in from hidden vents, adding a touch of reality to the usually static planet set. This was also used in Star Trek: Obsession (1967).

George Takei disappears from the cast for the next 9 episodes after this one as he was off filming The Green Berets (1968) at the time.

Elinor Donahue recalled about this episode, “I remember watching it at home. And I am quite often nervous about watching something I’m in because there is nothing you can do about it once it’s out there. But I was very pleased with it; very happy.”

This was George Duning’s first Star Trek score, the strength of which got him rehired for many more assignments, including Star Trek: Patterns of Force (1968), Star Trek: Return to Tomorrow (1968), Star Trek: And the Children Shall Lead (1968), Star Trek: Is There in Truth No Beauty? (1968), and Star Trek: The Empath (1968). Portions of the score were reheard throughout the season, but the love themes were reused only once more, in Star Trek: The Gamesters of Triskelion (1968).

Ralph Senensky named this episode as his favorite among those he directed. Senensky recalled, praising the work of Gene L. Coon, “I just thought the script was absolutely wonderful. As I remember Gene, he was the least author-y type of person. He just didn’t seem like an author. He didn’t present that kind of sensitivity that his writing had expressed. It was just a deep, deep script and scene after scene had so many angles to come at it from. It was a complex script.”

The sparkling effects of the Companion would be reused in Star Trek: The Apple (1967) when the Enterprise fires phasers at Vaal, and again in Star Trek: Obsession (1967) inside of the deadly vampire cloud.

All the footage of the shuttlecraft in outer space was reused from Star Trek: The Galileo Seven (1967), some with the Companion animation added in post-production.

Technically, Zefram Cochran is 237 years old (87 plus the 150 years the Companion kept him young.)

When Kirk asks Cochrane for his first name, he replies, “Zefram”. Kirk then asks him if he is from Alpha Centauri and the inventor of the “space warp”. Cochrane then confirms he is. Yet in the movie Star Trek: First Contact (1996), Zefram Cochrane is from Earth. However, having invented the warp drive, it is conceivable that he went there and took up residence. It is possible he left to “die in space” from there. Therefore, he could be described as “from Alpha Centauri.”

A Gold Key Comics comic book was released as a sequel to this episode, #49: “A Warp in Space”.

The original voice of the Companion was too emotionless and robotic, and all of her dialog had to be re-recorded by another actress (apparently Elizabeth Rogers).

The Companion was designed by Richard Edlund at Westheimer photographic effects company.


While transporting ailing Assistant Federation Commissioner Nancy Hedford to the Enterprise aboard a shuttlecraft, Captain Kirk, Spock and Dr. McCoy encounter a gaseous creature that forcibly takes them to a planet with only one human inhabitant. The man turns out to be Zephram Cochrane, the inventor of the warp drive who supposedly died 150 years ago at the ripe old age of 87. The creature, whom he calls the Companion, found and brought him to the planet where it rejuvenated him and kept him alive. They can communicate but only on a non-verbal, empathic level, (which unintentionally lead to the shuttlecraft’s abduction when the man conveyed to it his loneliness). As Commissioner Hedford’s condition rapidly deteriorates, they need to free themselves to get her back to the Enterprise before it’s too late.


William Shatner … Captain James Tiberius ‘Jim’ Kirk
Leonard Nimoy … Mister Spock
DeForest Kelley … Dr. McCoy
Glenn Corbett … Zefram Cochrane
Elinor Donahue … Nancy Hedford
James Doohan … Scott
George Takei … Sulu
Nichelle Nichols … Uhura
Bill Blackburn … Lieutenant Hadley (uncredited)
Lisabeth Hush … The Companion (voice) (uncredited)
Eddie Paskey … Lieutenant Leslie (uncredited)

Star Trek – I, Mudd

★★★1/2 November 3, 1967 Season 2 Episode 8

If you want to see where we are…and you missed a few…HERE is a list of the episodes in my index located at the top of my blog. 

This show was written by Gene Roddenberry, Stephen Kandel, and David Gerrold

It’s a comic turn for guest star Roger C. Carmel. This was Carmel’s second appearance as Harry Mudd, a futuristic enterprising con man and he thinks he’s found heaven. I think this sequel was better than the one that Carmel did originally, Mudd’s Women. 

Star Trek - I Mudd B

 In an attempt to get revenge on the Enterprise, he plans on having a planet of robots take the entire crew prisoner in order to serve them–whether they want it or not. The robots feel that the human race is very chaotic and must have the robots run their lives for their own good (they might just be on to something here). So, thousands of robots are ready, willing, and able to cater to humans’ every need. That reminds me of computers and cell phones. 

Star Trek - I Mudd C

My favorite scene was with Chekov. Chekov contemplates being with two such androids as he realizes they were programmed by a man as depraved as Mudd. The look on his face is priceless. 

The resolution here is a bit corny (plus it was used before) but the concepts brought up are undeniably fascinating and really do the Mudd character justice. The entire crew has to act illogically and even Spock joins in on the fun. 

It’s not a great episode but is a humorous one. Like I said before…I do think it’s much better than the first one with the Mudd character. The ending is poetic justice also with Mudd. 

Gene Roddenberry really liked the character. Carmel was slated to reprise his role as Harry Mudd in a first-season episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation, but died before filming started. He was in the 1973 Star Trek: The Animated Series in the episode of Mudd’s Passion. The animated series of Star Trek with the original cast is worth tracking down! 

The character Harry Mudd returned to Star Trek Discovery played by Rainn Wilson from The Office. He was in two episodes in the first season…the 1st Choose Your Pain (2017) and Magic To Make The Sanest Man Go Mad (2017). He also appeared as Mudd again in “The Escape Artist” in Star Trek Short Treks released in 2019. 

Rainn Wilson: I read about it in the paper that they were going to reboot Star Trek at CBS/Paramount. Bryan Fuller was the original creator [of Star Trek: Discovery] and I met with Bryan and some other folks. I said, “Hey, just so you know, I want to throw my hat in the ring.” I love Star Trek. I’d love to be a part of this somehow. I don’t know what that looks like. I’m not sure I want to move to Toronto for years. I’m not sure I want to sit in a chair and get makeup put on for two hours every morning. Because that’s brutal, what Doug [Jones] does, but it’s amazing. And then I didn’t hear anything and things came and went, and up and down. And and then, fortunately, they gave a call, “What about Harry Mudd?” It was fantasic!

From IMDB:

During the filming, casting director Joseph D’Agosta was in a panic because he needed at least two female identical twins and couldn’t find any suitable for the show. Then one night while driving home he saw Alyce Andrece and Rhae Andrece walking down a street. D’Agosta literally pulled up beside them, jumped out of his car and told them that they were going to be on television! (In some tellings of the story Gene Rodenberry is substituted for D’Agosta, but Steven Whitfield’s “The Making Of Star Trek” confirms it was D’Agosta.)

A third-season appearance of Harry Mudd was planned but axed due to the producers’ desire to move away from comedy episodes. However, Roger C. Carmel would reprise the role of Mudd as a cartoon voice in Star Trek: The Animated Series: Mudd’s Passion (1973). Mudd was considered for a return during the Star Trek movies in the 1980s, but Carmel’s failing health nixed that.

This was Roger C. Carmel’s favorite Star Trek episode.

With the exception of those actors who played members of the Enterprise crew, Roger C. Carmel was the only actor to play the same character in more than one episode of Star Trek the Original Series.

According to Walter Koenig, NBC considered making a Harry Mudd spin-off show after the success of “I, Mudd.” They assigned Gene Roddenberry to develop the idea, but being busy with Star Trek and other projects, he didn’t have time for it, and the series was never conceived.

David Gerrold did an uncredited rewrite on this episode. One of the significant changes he made, at Gene L. Coon’s request, was to get the crew on to the planet by the end of the first act. Other notable contributions were the gag of the five hundred identical female robots, and more material relating to Stella. Coon offered to submit the script for arbitration so that Gerrold would receive credit and residuals. However, Gerrold declined as he felt it would be stealing from Stephen Kandel, who had created Harry Mudd.

Using identical twins for each android “series” aided the photographic-effects budget for the episode. With imaginative use of twins and split screens, as many as six of one model were shown at once, while two of the same model required nothing but an additional costume. This ultimately gave the illusion of a planet of thousands of androids.

This episode marks George Takei’s last appearance in the series until Star Trek: Return to Tomorrow (1968). During his nine episode absence, Takei was on the East Coast filming The Green Berets (1968).

The first draft of the script devoted more attention to Norman’s act of diverting the Enterprise to Mudd, with the crew only arriving at the end of the second act. After an examination revealed Norman as an android, Scotty expressed an urge to take Norman apart – quickly adding that it was “nothing personal.” Norman understood.

While searching for identical twins to play androids, casting director Joseph D’Agosta found two young girls (apparently prostitutes) walking on Hollywood Boulevard with their pet wild cat, Marlon. He brought the two girls to meet producer Gene L. Coon and associate producer Robert H. Justman. While they inspected the girls (who were ultimately deemed unsuitable for the role), Coon had to hold Marlon, which consequently scratched him with its claws and tore his entire shirt.

At approximately 5 minutes and 35 seconds, this episode’s teaser is the longest in the original series.

As a result of its unusual use of several pairs of twins, this episode was featured in an article in TV Guide for the week it aired.

The piece of equipment found in Norman’s lab and workshop would be recycled for future episodes, appearing in the corridors of the Enterprise. Parts of the device that contained the nanopulse laser were later seen in Dr. McCoy’s lab.

The body suits worn by the male androids were later reused on Bele and Lokai in Star Trek: Let That Be Your Last Battlefield (1969).

The Maisie series and the Barbara series androids are wearing costumes left over from Star Trek: Mudd’s Women (1966), worn by Karen Steele and Maggie Thrett respectively.

Although ‘I, Claudius’ may be an inspiration for the title, a more likely source is Isaac Asimov’s ‘I, Robot’.

The title, referring to the absurd “king” of the robots, spoofs the 1934 Robert Graves historical novel “I, Claudius,” about the fourth emperor of the Roman Empire, who ruled between Caligula and Nero.

The Trudy series android is wearing a costume worn by an Argelian woman in Star Trek: Wolf in the Fold (1967).

Stella Mudd is wearing a dress (with slight modifications), which was seen on Martha Leighton in Star Trek: The Conscience of the King (1966).

Near the end, Dr. McCoy says, “It’s worked so far, but we’re not out yet.” This line was sampled on the song “What’s on Your Mind (Pure Energy)” on Information Society’s titular 1988 album.

Although there are 500 Alice models, we only see fifteen or sixteen. In order of appearance, they are: 1, 2, 66, 99, 19, 263, 118, 322, 471, 210, 27, 11, 3, 73 and 500. The number of the Alice that throws Scott into Kirk’s group is too far away to read (although it does seem to be a double-digit figure.)

The Annabelle series android is wearing the costume originally worn by Marlys Burdette in Star Trek: Wolf in the Fold (1967).

This takes place in 2268.

In his review of this episode in ‘The Star Trek Compendium’, author Allen Asherman states that many of the actors had great difficulty keeping their composure while filming. However, actor Richard Tatro (Norman) had successfully performed his scenes without ever breaking character.

Roger C. Carmel would later voice the G1 Decepticon Stunticon leader Motormaster in the animated series ‘The Transformers’ (1984.)


When an android takes control of the Enterprise, Kirk and his crew spend four days traveling at warp speed to an uncharted planet. When they beam down they find none other that Harry Mudd, the apparent ruler of the planet made up entirely of androids. It turns out there is one major problem with Harry’s idyllic existence: the androids who serve him hand and foot simply won’t allow him to leave. Kirk and Spock devise a way to disable the androids but have their own special plans for Harry.


William Shatner … Captain James Tiberius ‘Jim’ Kirk
Leonard Nimoy … Mister Spock
DeForest Kelley … Doctor Leonard ‘Bones’ McCoy
Roger C. Carmel … Harry Mudd
Richard Tatro … Norman
Alyce Andrece … Alice #1 through 250
Rhae Andrece … Alice #251 through 500
James Doohan … Lieutenant Commander Montgomery ‘Scotty’ Scott
Nichelle Nichols … Lieutenant Nyota Uhura
George Takei … Lieutenant Hikaru Sulu
Walter Koenig … Ensign Pavel Chekov
Kay Elliot … Stella Mudd
Mike Howden … Lt. Rowe
Michael Zaslow … Jordan
Bobby Bass … Android (uncredited)
Bill Blackburn … Android (uncredited)
Marlys Burdette … Female Android (uncredited)
Roger Holloway … Lt. Lemli (uncredited)
Ted LeGarde … Herman Series (uncredited)
Tom LeGarde … Herman Series (uncredited)
Jeannie Malone … Yeoman (uncredited)
Bob Orrison … 1st Engineer (uncredited)
Eddie Paskey … Lieutenant Leslie (uncredited)
Colleen Thornton … Barbara Series (uncredited)
Maureen Thornton … Barbara Series (uncredited)
Starr Wilson … Maisie Series (uncredited)
Tamara Wilson … Maisie Series (uncredited)

Star Trek – Catspaw

★★★ November 3, 1967 Season 2 Episode 7

If you want to see where we are…and you missed a few…HERE is a list of the episodes in my index located at the top of my blog. 

This show was written by Gene Roddenberry, Robert Bloch, and D.C. Fontana

A black cat, witches, fog, and a spooky castle.

I saw this in a comment elsewhere and it’s true. If you understand the premise of this episode, that the black cat, witches, zombies skeletons, magic, etc. were derived from the aliens’ mistaken interpretation of human nightmares, rather than human reality, then, this episode does make sense.

This 1967 Halloween episode is not just about Trick or Treat – It’s about the clash of two cultures that meet in passing.  It’s about how badly things can go wrong when communication is set aside to make room for personal wants and desires that can become greed.

Star Trek - Catspaw

There is truly a great line in this episode. When the crew faces the 3 witches from Macbeth. When the witches are done reciting their lines, Kirk says to Spock, “Spock . . . comment.”
Very bad poetry, Captain,” Spock replies to Kirk’s obvious annoyance. I loved that. 

20 Most Cringeworthy Classic Star Trek Moments – Page 8

When they beam down, they see thick fog, 3 witches, an eerie castle, and a black cat entering the castle. They meet Korob and Sylvia, end up in a dungeon, and find that Scotty and Sulu are in a trance of sorts and obeying the will of the two sorcerers.

The sorcerers use their magic against the Enterprise, Bones ends up in a trance-like state while Kirk and Spock try to figure out a way to beat the sorcerers and save their ship and crew. Sylvia becomes very cruel and disputes with Korob. Korob decides to help Kirk and his crew because he feels that Sylvia is going way too far.

This episode is Star Trek Halloween special basically… The crew land on a weird foggy world complete with monsters…

From IMDB:

The voices of the little creatures in the final scene are the sounds made by newly-hatched alligators calling for their mother.

A detailed metal prop miniature of the Enterprise was created for this episode, then laminated in lucite as one of Korob’s tricks. The miniature was donated to the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum by Gene Roddenberry.

First appearance of Pavel Chekov, though not the first one broadcast. That honor goes to Star Trek: Amok Time (1967). Notice that Walter Koenig was still growing his hair out and therefore had to wear a rather unconvincing wig.

The title of this episode, “Catspaw”, is a term that describes a person used by another as a dupe. As McCoy points out, Scott and Sulu are used as catspaws to lure more crewmen down.

Fittingly, the episode was first aired during the week of Halloween.

James Doohan (Scotty) lost his right middle finger during World War II. Most of his scenes are shot to hide it; however, it is very noticeable here. When Scotty is holding a phaser pistol on Kirk and Spock, only two fingers are holding the butt of the phaser.

Scotty’s only dialogue is the statement, “Everything’s vanished”. Sulu doesn’t speak at all; he simply nods “yes” and “no” when queried by Kirk, and later cries “aha!” before engaging Kirk in hand-to-hand combat.

This is the first episode to feature all 7 of the “classic” cast members who would be brought back for future big screen adventures: Kirk, Spock, McCoy, Scotty, Uhura, Sulu, and Chekov, although they do not all appear in the same scene together.

 The three witches seen towards the start of the episode were intended to be shown as floating severed heads. Hence the reaction from the landing party at their appearance. The characters wore black turtlenecks against a black backdrop, with light shining directly up into the face. Unfortunately, the effect did not work and the turtlenecks worn by the actors can clearly be seen. Even in the remastered version of the episode, this oversight is still present.

Theodore Marcuse (Korob) died in a car accident one month after “Catspaw” aired.

Korob and Sylvia refer to their leaders as the Old Ones, and imply that they are close by. Horror writer H.P. Lovecraft referred to the inhuman gods in his short stories as Old Ones; their being “nearby” was standard fare in his writings. Episode author Robert Bloch was a friend and disciple of Lovecraft. A similar reference occurs in Bloch’s Star Trek: What Are Little Girls Made Of? (1966).

The ornithoid lifeforms were marionettes composed of blue fluff, pipe cleaners, crab pincers, and other materials. The marionettes were operated with thick, black threads that were clearly visible; most of this was corrected in the remastered version of the episode.

When Gene Roddenberry originally outlined the chain of command, Lt Uhura was fourth in command. One of the reasons Dr Martin Luther King Jr convinced her to continue in the role (which she was considering quitting) was that he thought it was progress for a black woman to have such a prominent role for that time, although he was probably unaware that she was to be fourth in command. In the original script, Lt Uhura was to be in command when Kirk, Spock and Scott were all on any planet, but NBC was against having a female in charge of the Enterprise.

The Three Witches are iconic characters from William Shakespeare’s Macbeth, a play which inspired frequent allusions throughout this series.

The role of Crewman Jackson was played by regular Trek stuntman Jay Jones. Jones is credited as “Jimmy Jones”, whom some sources believed was Jones’ brother. However, in a 1996 retrospective interview, Jay claimed he played Jackson, as his first assignment on Star Trek, and makes no mention of a brother named Jimmy being involved on the show.

First time Assistant Chief Engineer, Lt. DeSalle was in command of Enterprise. Captain Kirk and second-in-command Mr. Spock beamed down on the planet Pyrus VII to rescue third-in-command Chief Engineer Scotty and fourth-in-command helmsman Sulu, leaving the command to Lt. DeSalle. Lt. DeSalle became fifth officer in charge of Enterprise command. Also, this was the third and last appearance of Lt. DeSalle in the show. He had appeared previously in Star Trek: The Squire of Gothos (1967) and Star Trek: This Side of Paradise (1967).

 First episode produced for the second season.

This is the first episode in which a scope can be seen at the engineering station on the bridge. The science station scope was slightly altered for this episode; it is of a lighter color than the science scope used in episodes of the first season and has a circular control added to its left side. This dial control, as first seen in this episode, would remain throughout Seasons 2 and 3.

Robert Bloch based this episode very loosely on his own short story “Broomstick Ride”. Bloch also wrote Star Trek: What Are Little Girls Made Of? (1966) In both episodes, the “Old Ones” figure into the guest characters’ backstories.

One of the cat’s roars was recycled as the trademark growl for Bowser in various games such as Mario Party (1998) and Mario Golf (1999).

The short scene of crewmen in turtleneck uniforms walking in a corridor during red alert is stock footage from Star Trek: Where No Man Has Gone Before (1966). This marks the last time that these uniforms are worn by Enterprise crewmembers.

This is Sulu’s only non-speaking appearance in the entire series.

This episode marks several changes to the episode credits. From this point on, the episode titles and end credits are in the same typeface as the main title of the series. Directors and writers are credited at the beginning of Act One instead of the end of the last act. DeForest Kelley’s name is added to the opening credits. Also, Gene Roddenberry is credited as series creator in the opening credits.

Several bloopers from this episode can be found in the second season blooper reel.

The robe worn by Theodore Marcuse as “Korob” was previously worn by Bob Denver as “Fairy Godfather” in a dream sequence in Gilligan’s Island: Lovey’s Secret Admirer (1967) ten months before. So either the Trek Wardrobe Department borrowed it, even though the shows were produced by different studios, or they loved the design so much they copied it.

In this episode, DeSalle wears a red engineering tunic, unlike the gold command tunic he wore in Star Trek: The Squire of Gothos (1967) and Star Trek: This Side of Paradise (1967). The character started out as a navigator in the former, then served as a science officer in the latter, ending up as an engineer here.

The blue planet used in this episode as Pyris VII (albeit a darker blue, to illustrate the spookiness of the planet) was reused in subsequent episodes, representing Argelius II in Star Trek: Wolf in the Fold (1967), Sigma Iotia II in Star Trek: A Piece of the Action (1968), Troyius in Star Trek: Elaan of Troyius (1968) and Scalos in Star Trek: Wink of an Eye (1968) which were all lighter blue.

‘Catspaw’ introduces two plot elements that were revisited in stories later in season 2. First, Star Trek: By Any Other Name (1968) explored the theme of extra-galactic aliens taking human form and then becoming inundated with human sensations. Second, Star Trek: Assignment: Earth (1968) revolved around an eccentric man with uncommon powers, who is accompanied by an apparently intelligent black cat which later turns into a black-haired woman.

Body Count: 3, and he isn’t wearing a red shirt, it’s yellow. Given that Scotty, Sulu, and Jackson all beamed down to the planet and that only Jackson was killed, it is unusual that Jackson wasn’t a red shirt, as a red shirt’s life expectancy is typically shorter than a crewman’s who is a gold or blue shirt. The other 2 casualties were not Enterprise crew members at all.

This was the first of two times that Captain Kirk and Spock were cornered by a giant cat. The second was in Star Trek: The Animated Series: Once Upon a Planet (1973).

Spock’s reference to the witches’ “very bad poetry” echoes his earlier remarks about the Air Force’s “poor photography” in Star Trek: Tomorrow Is Yesterday (1967).


When Captain Kirk and his landing party arrive on Pyrus VII, they are met by eerie mists, a dark castle, wailing witches, zombies and a black cat. They soon learn that they are under the influence of a wizard, Korob, who tries to bend them to his will. They also soon learn that the black cat they saw is more than she appears and is in fact a powerful witch in her right. This beautiful witch, Sylvia, who wears a diamond pendant on her black dress, explains that they are explorers from another galaxy; however, Kirk and Spock must find a means to escape their grasp before they return to the Enterprise.


William Shatner … Captain James Tiberius ‘Jim’ Kirk
Leonard Nimoy … Mister Spock
DeForest Kelley … Doctor Leonard ‘Bones’ McCoy
Antoinette Bower … Sylvia
Theodore Marcuse … Korob (as Theo Marcuse)
James Doohan … Lieutenant Commander Montgomery ‘Scotty’ Scott
George Takei … Lieutenant Hikaru Sulu
Nichelle Nichols … Lieutenant Nyota Uhura
Walter Koenig … Ensign Pavel Chekov
Michael Barrier … DeSalle (as Mike Barrier)
John Winston … Lieutenant Kyle
Rhodie Cogan … First Witch
Gail Bonney … Second Witch
Maryesther Denver … Third Witch
Jay D. Jones … Crewman Jackson (as Jimmy Jones)
Bill Blackburn … Lieutenant Hadley (uncredited)
Jeannie Malone … Yeoman (uncredited)
Eddie Paskey … Lieutenant Leslie (uncredited)

Star Trek – The Doomsday Machine

★★★★★ October 20, 1967 Season 2 Episode 6

If you want to see where we are…and you missed a few…HERE is a list of the episodes in my index located at the top of my blog. 

This show was written by Gene Roddenberry and Norman Spinrad

A true 5-star episode. This would be in my top 5 Star Trek episodes of all time. The story is about obsession…if you get too caught up in it…it can hurt you or worse. This could be the most well-written episode. 

The crew of the Enterprise comes across the wrecked hull of the Constellation with only its commander, Commodore William Windom aboard. His crew was sent down to a planet that no longer exists because it was destroyed by a Doomsday device, a miles-long machine that looks like a hollowed-out log floating through space. It’s not floating and it isn’t hollow. It is self-fueling feeding on the planets and other objects in its path and its hull is impervious to starship phaser fire. It doesn’t look like it but it’s one of the best weapons I’ve ever seen. When it comes to your galaxy…you would have no galaxy left. 

Commodore William Windom is in shock, for good reason, and he is beamed to the Enterprise so the doctor can take a look at him.  

Star Trek - The Doomsday Device - Uss Constellation

While Kirk is away trying to repair the other ship, communications are circumvented, allowing Dekker, crazy as he is, to take over the Enterprise. He decides to wage war with this gaint eater of planets, endangering another crew. The episode draws on some wonderful twists and turns as Kirk has to deal with Dekker and then with the force that is now a danger to everyone. 

The cosmic threat of this huge alien weapon, while exciting in itself, takes on a much more darker tone thanks to the presence of Decker on the bridge of the Enterprise. The whole plot seems to take a back seat, for a while at least, to the strange, awful relationship between Dekker and this unfeeling machine. Everyone else becomes an incidental side player to the conflict between these two, but, of course, it’s Decker who sees this thing as his personal devil who killed his crew. 

Spock didn’t give up power easily but he had to when faced with Starfleet rules. Dekker wants to kill a machine with phasers that he knows won’t hurt it. On the communicator, Kirk gives Spock the command to relieve Dekker of power…against regulations but Spock complies and the following exchange takes place…video below of this. 

Capt. Kirk: Mr. Spock, relieve Commodore Decker immediately. That’s a direct order.

Matt Decker: You can’t relieve me and you know it, according to regulations…

Capt. Kirk: BLAST REGULATIONS! Mr. Spock, I order you to assume command on my personal authority as Captain of the Enterprise.

Mr. Spock: Commodore Decker, you are relieved of command.

Matt Decker: I don’t recognize your authority to relieve me.

Mr. Spock: You may file a formal protest with Starfleet Command, assuming we survive to reach a Starbase, but you are relieved. Commodore, I do not wish to place you under arrest.

Matt Decker: You wouldn’t dare.

[Mr. Spock signals two security guards who immediately step forward at his command]

Matt Decker: You’re bluffing.

Mr. Spock: Vulcans never bluff.

Matt Decker: [sadly] No. No, I don’t suppose that they do. Very well, Mr. Spock, the bridge is yours.

It’s a well-written episode and the acting by William Windom as Dekker is flawless. If I say too much more it will give it away…watch this episode. 

From IMDB:

James Doohan’s favorite episode for its highlighting of the engineering aspects of the Star Trek world.

According to William Windom, he did not enjoy working on the show. He said that William Shatner and Leonard Nimoy were not getting along at the time, which made the set’s atmosphere tense. He also said that he felt that the episode was silly so he purposely overacted. It was not until many years later that he realized that his character was a reference to Captain Ahab from Herman Melville’s “Moby Dick”.

This episode marks the first time Scotty is heard cursing in Gaelic. He later utters the same expletive in Star Trek: I, Mudd (1967) and Star Trek V: The Final Frontier (1989).

This is the most effects-heavy episode of the second season. When the series was digitally remastered for its 2007 DVD release, the upgrade required nearly 200 new effects shots.

According to William Windom, he had Decker compulsively twiddle with “cassette cartridges” (sic; data tapes) as an homage to Humphrey Bogart, who did the same thing with ball-bearings as Captain Queeg in The Caine Mutiny (1954).

Norman Spinrad was displeased with the model used for the planet killer. As he told Allen Asherman in The Star Trek Interview Book, he envisioned a doomsday machine bristling with all sorts of evil-looking weapons. For budgetary reasons, the actual Doomsday Machine model was made by dipping a windsock in cement.

Director Marc Daniels finished this episode in five days instead of the usual schedule of six. Daniels made a bet with the producers that he could finish the episode in five days. When he succeeded, he got a $500 bonus.

Nichelle Nichols does not appear in this episode. Uhura’s duties were assumed by Lt. Palmer, played by Elizabeth Rogers. Walter Koenig is also absent.

This episode was nominated for a Hugo Award for Best Dramatic Presentation, at the 1968 World Science Fiction Convention.

When Spock describes the two innermost planets of the solar system that was destroyed, he says “The surface temperature of the inner planet is that of molten lead. The other has an atmosphere poisonous to human life”. Commodore Decker says he beamed his crew down to the third planet. This accurately describes the first three planets in our solar system.

The first of two appearances of Elizabeth Rogers as communications officer Lt. Palmer, the other being season three’s Star Trek: The Way to Eden (1969).

This episode marks the debut of the re-designed engineering set. The dilithium crystal storage units now occupy the center of the floor (complete with recycled Horta eggs), a ladder and upper level have been added into what was just a high bank of lighted panels in the first season. The set also is entered through a short spur hallway now, rather than as a side door off a main corridor. The console across from the forced-perspective end of the set has been replaced by a doorway and moved to the main wall to the left of the red grid. The huge structures among which Kirk’s evil self and Ben Finney once hid are not seen in detail again, but the emergency manual monitor set was built on stilts on that spot, making its debut in Star Trek: Mirror, Mirror (1967).

Besides the Constellation and the Enterprise, the other Constitution class ships seen in the original series are Hood, Potemkin, Excalibur, Lexington, Defiant, and the Exeter.

Re-used stock footage of Scott being tossed around engineering is from Star Trek: Tomorrow Is Yesterday (1967). A console that appears only in that episode can be seen. Scott wears a tricorder throughout this episode. But, when the old footage of him being thrown against the grating in “Tomorrow is Yesterday” is spliced in, the tricorder vanishes.

Captain Willard Decker from Star Trek: The Motion Picture (1979), played by Stephen Collins, is the son of Commodore Decker from this episode. In the William Shatner vehicle T.J. Hooker: Second Chance (1982) there was a character named Decker.

Commodore Decker’s first name was originally to be Curt, but it was felt that it sounded too much like “Kirk”, so it was changed to Matt.

This is the first appearance in the series of another vessel identical to the Enterprise. The Constellation is a Constitution class vessel which is virtually the same as the Enterprise. Its registry number is NCC-1017, which implies that it was produced earlier than the Enterprise. Kirk said in an earlier show that there were only 12 Constitution class ships in service.

Writer Norman Spinrad recycled a short story of his called “The Planet Eater” which had been roundly rejected by publishing houses, despite being heavily influenced by “Moby Dick”. He was able to convince Gene Roddenberry that it would make a viable subject for an episode.

Although considered to be a classic episode by fans and critics alike, story editor D.C. Fontana named this as her least favourite episode.

This was one of very few episodes to have its entire score composed specifically for it. Sol Kaplan’s outstanding music was subsequently used in several of the other best episodes of the 2nd season, including Star Trek: The Immunity Syndrome (1968), Star Trek: Obsession (1967) and Star Trek: The Ultimate Computer (1968). Many listeners have noted similarities between its “planet killer” theme and the “shark” theme of John Williams’ score for Jaws (1975).

Strangely, there are two armed red-shirt guards posted on the bridge throughout much of this episode, even though there is no apparent reason requiring their presence. This doesn’t happen on any other episode of the series, unless there is an apparent security threat.

Norman Spinrad has expressed disappointment that the actor whom he envisioned playing Decker, Robert Ryan, was not cast. Ryan was a fan of the series and wanted to do the episode. Scheduling conflicts prevented this, so William Windom was cast.

The auxiliary control room is first seen in this episode aboard the Constellation. Its large viewing screen was previously used in the briefing room in Star Trek: The Menagerie: Part I (1966), Star Trek: The Menagerie: Part II (1966), and Star Trek: Space Seed (1967), and on the bridge set used in Star Trek: Where No Man Has Gone Before (1966).

The character of Lt. Washburn (played by Richard Compton) was named after the show’s longtime assistant director, Charles Washburn.

In the original script, Enterprise actually fires several phaser shots into the machine’s mouth, but the beams just ricochet around harmlessly, if energy beams can be said to ricochet. (‘Reflect’ is probably a better word.)

In Norman Spinrad’s original version, Spock makes an unusual comment after the machine has been destroyed. He calls the weapon “not very efficient”, pointing out that a fusion bomb disguised as space rubble could be easily fed to another version of the machine, should one appear.

The picture of the star field on the bulkhead of the transporter room makes its last appearance in this episode.

Kirk’s second season green wraparound tunic debuts in this episode and will appear intermittently throughout the season. In contrast with the first season version, the collar is now edged with gold piping, although it lacks the black trim that it will gain for later (shooting order) second-season episodes such as Star Trek: The Apple (1967) and Star Trek: The Immunity Syndrome (1968). The other key difference is the location of the rank braids: these were seen on the shoulders in the first season, whereas this version of the tunic sports the standard braids on the sleeves. Kirk never wore the green tunic in the third season.

In many of its profile shots, the planet killer is semi-transparent and stars show through it. This was an overlay of film footage of the doomsday machine model over an existing star field. This money-saving technique also was used in Star Trek: The Squire of Gothos (1967) when Trelane’s planet blocks the Enterprise’s path.

The modified Nuclear-Chicago Model 2586 Radiation Survey Meter is again used by a member of the landing party as a sensor device.

In the Star Trek novel “Vendetta”, author Peter David related that the planet-killer was actually a prototype for a much larger version. The weapon had been built by a race called The Preservers, who were fighting (and losing) a war with the Borg.

The three crewmen who beam over to the Constellation with Kirk, McCoy, and Scott were named after three of the series’ assistant directors. Washburn’s namesake was Charles Washburn; Russ’ was Rusty Meek, and Elliott’s was Elliot Schick.

The digitally remastered episode shows a much better idea of the doomsday machine’s ominous design. There is also a believable view of the disabled and heavily damaged Constellation.

This episode has six alumni from The Twilight Zone (1959): William Shatner, Leonard Nimoy, James Doohan, George Takei, William Windom, and Jerry Catron.

The trident scanner Scott pulls out of the new storage area near the doorway to engineering is the same prop Spock uses in Star Trek: Metamorphosis (1967) as he works on the shuttlecraft, and which Ensign Harper uses to plug in the M-5 multitronic unit in Star Trek: The Ultimate Computer (1968). It is identified in The Making of Star Trek as a “Ray Generator and Energy Neutralizer (Spock-Built).”

Here we see a Federation style of martial art in the fight scene between Mr. Montgomery and Commodore Decker. In most episodes, the fighting is not as structured. Two of Kirk’s default moves are to use a knife-hand strike to the neck (strike with the side of the hand, commonly known as a ‘karate chop’) and a flying side kick.

One of the legendary “bloopers” occurred during the filming of this episode: Spock says to Decker, “If you don’t veer off, I shall relieve you on that basis!” In the blooper, Leonard Nimoy forgets part of his line and says, “If you don’t veer off, I shall…blow my brains out!”


While on patrol, the Enterprise approaches a recently mapped solar system only to find that all but two of its planets have been destroyed. They also find another starship, the USS Constellation, floating in space and apparently abandoned. Beaming aboard the Constellation, they find only one occupant, Kirk’s friend and the ship’s commander, Commodore Matt Decker, who tells them of his encounter with a huge planet-killing machine. With Kirk attempting to re-start the Constellation’s engines, Decker takes command of the Enterprise and, in his irrational state, announces he is going to try and destroy the doomsday machine.


William Shatner … Captain James Tiberius ‘Jim’ Kirk
Leonard Nimoy … Mister Spock
DeForest Kelley … Doctor Leonard ‘Bones’ McCoy
William Windom … Commodore Decker
James Doohan … Lieutenant Commander Montgomery ‘Scotty’ Scott
George Takei … Lieutenant Hikaru Sulu
Elizabeth Rogers … Lt. Palmer
John Winston … Lieutenant Kyle
Richard Compton … Washburn
John Copage … Elliott
Tim Burns … Russ
Jerry Catron … Montgomery
Bill Blackburn … Lieutenant Hadley (uncredited)
Roger Holloway … Roger Lemli (uncredited)
Jeannie Malone … Yeoman (uncredited)
Eddie Paskey … Lieutenant Leslie (uncredited)

Star Trek – The Apple

★★★ October 13, 1967 Season 2 Episode 5

If you want to see where we are…and you missed a few…HERE is a list of the episodes in my index located at the top of my blog. 

This show was written by Gene Roddenberry, Max Ehrlich, and Gene L. Coon

This is not the greatest episode of Star Trek, but I like it because it really has most of the classic Star Trek themes and situations. There’s a landing party that gets mixed up with natives, and to save his crew Kirk has to take drastic steps to alter the course of their civilization. There’s a lot of romance in the air, (though interestingly, no romance for Kirk.)

There is something about Star Trek that I haven’t mentioned. The Red Shirt Syndrome. It seems that any security personnel with a red shirt…has a high mortality rate in the Enterprise. The ones that get it…usually are just stock performers we never saw before and certainly won’t again. Scotty is somehow safe from this occurrence… well he rarely beams down to planets. 

In this episode, there is plenty of time for Spock and McCoy to debate concepts like free will, change, and material comfort versus freedom. Of course, several red-shirt crew members are killed along the way here also. There’s a big fight and plenty of storms and lightning.


The Enterprise crew are exploring a planet that seems idyllic, but turns out to have deadly plants and explosive rocks, as well as a simple native race that worships a sophisticated machine they don’t understand and deify as an entity called “Valla”. Valla’s story is never really explained… it provides for the natives’ needs while needing periodic ‘feeding’ for some strange reason.

Valla basically serves as a plot device to temporarily disable the Enterprise and place the ship and crew in mortal danger. Valla also has the ability to control the weather and direct deadly lightning bolts at ground targets. Kirk’s dilemma is to take out Valla and free both his ship and the natives from their seemingly benevolent dictator.

The episode is alright but the storyline has been done before on Star Trek and Twilight Zone. 

From IMDB:

Spock’s lightning-burned shirt was auctioned off at a science-fiction convention in 1967, the same year filming wrapped.

 Chekov’s first name, Pavel, is established in this episode, when his love interest, Yeoman Landon, calls him “Pav”.

 Originally, the script for this installment called for Vaal’s stone dinosaur head to be destroyed by Enterprise’s phasers. The props department had put in a lot of work creating it with paper mache’ and refused to allow its destruction.

 Walter Koenig seems to have discarded the wig he used in his earlier episodes. Since his own hair was now long enough, it was not necessary for him to wear it anymore.

 Spock’s appearance is jokingly compared to Satan in the final scene. This resemblance caused discomfort to would-be advertisers when Star Trek was first being marketed (see series trivia).

 This episode contains confirmation of a much-speculated upon topic: whether the Enterprise could separate the Engineering section and warp nacelles from the primary vessel. Mentioned in Kirk and Scotty’s conversation by communicator, half-way into the show, after Kirk beams down to the planet with an away team, and Scotty takes a seat in the captain’s chair on the bridge.

 This is the only time we see a landing party that comprises more than 6 members.

 Actress Celeste Yarnall, who played Yeoman Martha London, said it took a while to film the scene where she asks how the planet’s inhabitants would “do it” after Vaal is destroyed because William Shatner, Leonard Nimoy, and Deforest Kelly kept making up hilarious methods for procreating. Network censors we’re on set and Yarnall said they were getting upset, which made everyone laugh more.

 Security Guard/Red-Shirt Casualties: 4.

 Leonard Nimoy kept playing practical jokes on Celeste Yarnall while filming the episode. In an interview, she said that she was terrified every time she saw him coming because she had no idea what he might do.

 After the first crewman is killed by the poisonous flower darts, the captain is trying to understand it all and foolishly plucks a flower and smells it, not realizing that this could be a fatal mistake.

 Censors made producers cut out footage of Yeoman London during the cave scene because they didn’t want the audience to make the assumption that she slept in the same cave with the male characters.

 It is debated whether or not Kirk is in violation of the Prime Directive by interfering. The Prime Directive states “Don’t interfere with the natural evolution of the planet.” In Kirk’s opinion, the planet’s inhabitants are living in servitude of a machine that is impeding their natural growth and development. Mr. Spock’s point is that the natives are healthy, happy, and content with their lives. This means that life on the planet is exactly as it should be, and doesn’t need to advance.

 In addition to Lt. Hadley, Bill Blackburn also appears as one of the natives.

 The deity called “Vaal” is curiously similar to “Baal”, the Semitic deity.

 According to Celeste Yarnall, she and William Shatner were very attracted to each other. He wanted to act on that attraction but understood when she said no, because she was married at the time. They did end up dating for a while, a few years later, after she got divorced.

 “The Apple” refers the forbidden fruit (of the “tree of knowledge”) eaten by Adam and Eve in Genesis, Chapter 3, which caused them to be cast out of Paradise by God. The fruit was never specifically identified in the text, but popular culture regards it as an apple. The fruit was first called an apple in John Milton’s epic poem “Paradise Lost,” which also inspired a famous line in Star Trek: Space Seed (1967).

 The villager’s greeting to the Enterprise crew, wrists together with hands apart and fingers slightly curled inward, is similar to the Ferengi greeting. The gesture used here places the left hand below the right, unlike the Ferengi gesture.

 George Takei and Nichelle Nichols do not appear in this episode.

 David Soul (Makora) would go on to play Detective Kenneth Hutchinson in Starsky and Hutch (1975) as well as author Ben Mears in Salem’s Lot (1979).

 When the landing party meets with the villagers, Kirk asks Akuta where the children are, but he fails to comprehend. But, after Kirk makes a gesture simulating the height of a child, Akuta interprets it as “replacements”. Since an accidental death of a villager would cause an imbalance, there is no explanation by Akuta as to how Vaal replaces a villager, since Vaal has prohibited “holding” and “touching”. But, during the final scene, it is implied that the villagers will be able to procreate naturally.

 This takes place in 2267.

54 years after this episode aired, William Shatner made a space flight on October 13, 2021 aboard Blue Origin’s New Shepard 4 capsule. On this flight he officially became the oldest human to fly to space.

 Not unique to this episode, but worth noting. Using the failed beam-up sequence as a reference, when several people beam up, they’ll arrange themselves to stand approximately where the transporter pad that’ll receive them will be. Exception for the unconscious Mr. Spock, notice how Kirk, Checkov, Yeoman Landon, and Kaplan stand in a somewhat circular formation.

 Three years earlier, James Doohan and Keith Andes had appeared together in The Outer Limits: Expanding Human (1964) along with Skip Homeier. Skip Homeier would go on to play Melakon in Star Trek: Patterns of Force (1968) and Sevrin Star Trek: The Way to Eden (1969). The latter also has a Genesis-themed story-line as leader a group of space hippies in search of Eden.

At the end when Kirk advises the villagers that they are free of Vaal and now have the right of autonomy, there is no mention of retribution for the crewman killed during the villagers attack. Likely because they are a gentle, childlike people who were simply beguiled by Vaal and obeying a command.


Kirk and a landing party beam down to what seems to be an ideal, Eden-like planet. They soon find however that the planet is ruled by a powerful computer that keeps its local inhabitants – primitive and simple tribesmen – happy and healthy. With the Enterprise locked in a tractor beam and slowly being dragged into the planet’s atmosphere, Kirk and Spock must find a way to disable the computer. Realizing the threat to its existence, the computer orders the tribesmen to kill the visitors.


William Shatner … Captain James Tiberius ‘Jim’ Kirk
Leonard Nimoy … Mister Spock
DeForest Kelley … Doctor Leonard ‘Bones’ McCoy
Keith Andes … Akuta
Celeste Yarnall … Yeoman Martha Landon
James Doohan … Lieutenant Commander Montgomery ‘Scotty’ Scott
David Soul … Makora
Walter Koenig … Ensign Pavel Chekov
Jay D. Jones … Ensign Mallory (as Jay Jones)
Jerry Daniels … Marple
John Winston … Lieutenant Kyle
Mal Friedman … Hendorff
Shari Nims … Sayana
Paul Baxley … Native (uncredited)
Bill Blackburn … Lieutenant Hadley / Native (uncredited)
Ron Burke … Native (uncredited)
Bobby Clark … Native (uncredited)
Vince Deadrick Sr. … Native (uncredited)
Dick Dial … Kaplan (uncredited)
Eddie Paskey … Lieutenant Leslie (uncredited)


Star Trek – Mirror, Mirror

★★★★★ October 6, 1967 Season 2 Episode 4

If you want to see where we are…and you missed a few…HERE is a list of the episodes in my index located at the top of my blog. 

This show was written by Gene Roddenberry and Jerome Bixby

I do love time travel stories and I also love parallel universe stories which this one is a good one. An evil Star Trek crew… it also reminds me of the later Star Wars where the government is evil. 

In the opening scene, a landing party which consists of Kirk, McCoy, Scotty, and Uhura are unsuccessfully negotiating with a race of pacifists; they refuse to allow dilithium crystals to be mined in case they are used violently. They state that the Enterprise could take them by force but Kirk states that they won’t do that. As they beam up there is an ion storm that affects the transporter… instead of finding themselves on the Enterprise they know they materialize on a ship that is almost exactly the same yet somehow totally different

An excellent episode! It is another 5-star in the 2nd season. Kirk, McCoy, Scott, and Uhura get thrust into an alternate reality where the Federation is an evil empire and their shipmates and friends are now malicious, dangerous adversaries. Now the four have to find a way to get back to their own reality without being discovered and killed.

Star Trek" Mirror, Mirror (TV Episode 1967) - IMDb

This is a classic episode that serves to introduce us to the parallel universe… a universe that will be visited more than once in the later ‘Star Trek series. It is immediately apparent that the Star Fleet in the parallel universe is an organization with fascist tendencies which immediately raises the tension. The fact that the villains have familiar faces serves to make it even more interesting.

it is also interesting that this goateed Spock is just as logical as his ‘good’ counterpart. This is one of those can’t-miss episodes…if you haven’t seen it…give it a shot. 

From IMDB:

It took about a month to complete this particular episode. After filming had begun, BarBara Luna was diagnosed with strep throat. Since the script called for Capt. Kirk to kiss her, they had to postpone the kissing scene for three weeks until she was medically cleared, since they couldn’t risk William Shatner getting infected.

To further denote the inverted nature of the parallel universe, phasers are worn upside-down on the left hip.

This proved to be one of the more popular Star Trek segments in terms of follow-ups. The Mirror Universe would be depicted on Star Trek: Deep Space Nine (1993) and Star Trek: Enterprise (2001), while several non-canonical Star Trek novels and comic book series featured sequel stories to the episode.

In Jerome Bixby’s original outline, the Mirror Universe Federation was not evil, but simply backwards in terms of some technology, notably phaser weapons. Initially, Mirror Kirk was to be married to a nurse on board the parallel Enterprise, and Mirror Spock was more Vulcan in temperament. In addition, McCoy’s counterpart, and not that of Spock, was to be bearded.

Star Trek was usually not allowed to show women’s navels, but Uhura’s navel is visible in the mirror universe. Reportedly, this was accomplished by filming while a PA took the Standards representative to lunch. This is a popular myth in Star Trek but it is untrue. By the fall of 1966, the networks had removed this prohibition from their standards. In fact, Star Trek had already done this, as seen at the end of season one’s “Shore Leave”, when McCoy shows up with two women by his side, both of whom had exposed navels. Besides, Uhura is seen several times with her bare midriff, and they would have never risked the problem of doing this if it meant re-shooting all of the scenes she appeared in.

As Mirror Sulu is the security chief as well as the helmsman, George Takei wears a red uniform in this episode. Since he normally wore gold, and had worn Science blue as an astrophysicist in Star Trek: Where No Man Has Gone Before (1966), this makes Takei the first Trek actor to wear all three uniform colours.

In the wake of this episode, a group of child fans started a neighborhood-wide letter campaign suggesting that the concept of a “Captain’s Woman” be carried over into the series as a whole, and requesting that Stefanie Powers be cast in that role. Eventually Gene Roddenberry’s assistant had to write to the group’s two “ringleaders”, telling them to ask their parents exactly what a “Captain’s Woman” was.

Actor Vic Perrin, who portrays Tharn, made his second appearance on Star Trek in as many weeks, having supplied the voice of Nomad in the previous episode Star Trek: The Changeling (1967).

First appearance of the emergency manual monitor set.

Jerome Bixby based this episode very loosely on his own short story “One Way Street”. In the original draft script, Kirk traveled to the parallel universe alone and the parallel universe Federation was battling a race called the Tharn. This name was later given to the leader of the Halkan Council, although it is not spoken on screen.

A modified brig makes its debut here. Its location on the set was in the short hallway leading to the Engineering set.

In the opening scene (prologue), the universe-switch shows the I.S.S. Enterprise orbits Planet Halkan right to left, in contrast to the U.S.S. Enterprise, which always orbits left to right (except in Star Trek: Shore Leave (1966)). By the beginning of Act I, however, it changes to orbiting from left to right. Note that in the re-mastered version, this error has been corrected, and the I.S.S. Enterprise orbits right-to-left.

In the original story outline, Captain Kirk was trapped in the Mirror Universe alone, and it was gradually rejecting him, treating him like he was an invading germ by poisoning his systems. Both ideas were dropped.

There is a second Vulcan serving on the ship. During the walk with Kirk, passing Chekov being tortured, you can see Spock’s security guard is Vulcan.

Inspired the name of the progressive/alternative rock band Spock’s Beard.

This is listed as one of the “Ten Essential Episodes” of TOS in the 2008 reference book “Star Trek 101” by Paula M. Block and Terry J. Erdmann.

The only time in the series when someone replies to Doctor McCoy’s “I’m a doctor…” line. McCoy says “I’m a doctor, not an engineer.” Scotty answers, “Now, you’re an engineer.”

The Star Trek books ‘Spectre’, ‘Dark Victory’, and ‘Preserver’, all written by William Shatner, are about the mirror universe. They take place in the 24th Century at around the same time as the Next Generation movies, and give a 100-year history of events in the mirror universe starting after this episode.

In the late 1980s, the pop band Information Society sampled Kirk’s line “It is useless to resist us”, at the very beginning of their song “Walking Away”, as well as “In every revolution, there’s one man with a vision”, in “Over the Sea”.

This is also the only episode in which Uhura is seen in a moving turbolift.

The Mirror Universe was the subject of a Star Trek graphic novel in 1991, written by Mike W. Barr, and published by DC Comics.

This episode was a primary inspiration for Blake’s 7 (1978).

The mirror universe Sulu wears a rank badge of a real-life ARVN (Army Republic Viet Nam) Captain. George Takei plays the role of an ARVN Captain in The Green Berets (1968) and in fact was unable to appear in Star Trek: The Gamesters of Triskelion (1968) due to his commitment to that film.

In the mirror universe, the male computer explains that James Kirk became Captain by murdering his predecessor Christopher Pike, a character played in previous installments by Jeffrey Hunter and Sean Kenney. This is possibly the only time in TOS where Pike is mentioned but does not appear.

This is the only time in TOS where Scotty addresses Captain Kirk as “Jim”. He did it twice in the movies: in Star Trek: The Motion Picture (1979), while en route to the refitted Enterprise, and in Star Trek Into Darkness (2013), when he tries to convince Kirk not to take the 72 torpedoes on board the Enterprise. In fact, he does NOT address Kirk as “Jim” in Star Trek: The Motion Picture (1979).

Ronald D. Moore (a prime writer and producer of the later Trek series) once cited this episode as one of his favourite installments of the original Star Trek series.

This title of this episode is said to be influenced by Disney’s Snow White where the wicked queen invokes the power of her mirror by saying ‘Mirror, mirror on the wall, who is fairest of them all’. However, the wicked queen actually says: ‘Magic Mirror on the wall, who is fairest of them all’. The line is often misquoted as ‘Mirror, mirror…’.

This show was nominated for science fiction’s Hugo Award.

There are physical changes in the “Enterprise” sets, to emphasize the difference between the parallel universes, one of which is the Empire’s symbol of a planet bisected with a sword, which accents its barbaric principles. Another difference is that Kirk’s command chair is given a higher back, to make it look more like a throne, in line with the idea that the alternate Federation is an empire. (This chair would be seen later in the season as Commodore Wesley’s in “The Ultimate Computer”.)

The voice of the computer on the alternate Enterprise was James Doohan’s.

This takes place in 2267.

The line from McCoy, “What kind of people are we?” was sampled in the song “Still Here” on Information Society’s 1992 album “Peace and Love Inc.”

Nurse Chapel (Majel Barrett) is the only major cast member not accounted for either in the beamed up landing party or among the crew of the Mirror Enterprise.

George Takei and BarBara Luna had previously appeared together in Hawaiian Eye: Sword of the Samurai (1960).

South Park: Spookyfish (1998) is a parody of this episode, where a portal is opened to the mirror universe, and the mirror version of Cartman has a goatee.


While beaming back to the Enterprise during an ion storm, Kirk, McCoy, Scotty and Uhura materialize aboard an Enterprise in a parallel universe. Here, the Federation has been replaced by the Empire and its inhabitants are violent and cruel. Members of the crew advance in rank by killing their superiors and Kirk is constantly a target. Their only hope is to artificially reproduce the effects of the storm to facilitate a return to their own universe. Spock also realizes that all is not as it should be and uses the Vulcan mind meld on Dr. McCoy to learn the truth.


William Shatner … Captain James Tiberius ‘Jim’ Kirk
Leonard Nimoy … Mister Spock
DeForest Kelley … Doctor Leonard ‘Bones’ McCoy
BarBara Luna … Marlena (as Barbara Luna)
James Doohan … Lieutenant Commander Montgomery ‘Scotty’ Scott
George Takei … Lieutenant Hikaru Sulu
Nichelle Nichols … Lieutenant Nyota Uhura
Vic Perrin … Tharn
Walter Koenig … Ensign Pavel Chekov
John Winston … Lieutenant Kyle
Garth Pillsbury … Wilson
Pete Kellett … Kirk’s Henchman
Bobby Bass … Chekov’s Helper in Mirror Universe (uncredited)
Bill Blackburn … Lieutenant Hadley (uncredited)
Bobby Clark … Chekov’s Guard #2 (uncredited)
Roger Holloway … Lt. Lemli (uncredited)
Johnny Mandell … Sulu’s Guard (uncredited)
Eddie Paskey … Lieutenant Leslie (uncredited)
Russ Peek … Spock’s Vulcan Guard (uncredited)
Paul Prokop … Phaser Control Guard (uncredited)


Star Trek – The Changeling

★★★★1/2 September 29, 1967 Season 2 Episode 3

If you want to see where we are…and you missed a few…HERE is a list of the episodes in my index located at the top of my blog. 

This show was written by Gene Roddenberry and John Meredyth Lucas

The Enterprise investigates why a star system, where billions of lives once inhabited, is no longer showing life signs, with the ship encountering a lifeform with immense power, using a type of beam that exhausts the shields with only a few bursts, leaving them vulnerable until Kirk is able to communicate with it. Through mathematical communication, the Enterprise establishes contact.

After that, they beam the machine aboard. It believes Capt. Kirk is its creator. Apparently, it has mistaken Kirk for the long-dead Dr. Jackson Roykirk. They find out the name of the machine…Nomad. Nomad was an interstellar space probe designed by Jackson Roykirk and launched from Earth in the year 2002 with a mission of seeking out new life. It was a prototype and the only one of its type built. There is a problem though with Nomad. It was damaged by a meteoroid in 2005 and thought lost. It combined with an alien probe to be deadly. 

Star Trek Episode 32: The Changeling - Midnite Reviews

Kirk plays along with Nomad’s belief that he is its creator. Nomad’s original program was to search out new life forms but now has changed; it is now searching for perfect life forms and is ‘sterilizing’ anything it finds imperfect. As it learns more it states its intention to return to its launch point, Earth, and sterilize any imperfections there… Kirk will have to use a logical approach if he is to destroy Nomad before it kills everybody aboard his ship.

I really liked this episode…this machine is capable of anything and it takes some fast thinking by Kirk and Spock to save the crew. 

From IMDB:

In conventions, Nichelle Nichols frequently tells a story of getting into a dispute with director Marc Daniels over the filming of this episode. As it had already been established that Uhura’s first language was Swahili, Nichols believed that, after her mind was erased, Uhura would revert to her first language. However, as Nichols herself did not speak Swahili, Daniels wanted Uhura to just speak English. Nichols refused to, telling Daniels, “Nichelle Nichols doesn’t speak Swahili, but Uhura does!” Gene Roddenberry was eventually brought in to settle the dispute, and he sided with Nichols. A linguist specializing in Swahili was then brought in to write the few lines of Swahili that are spoken in the episode.

The biographical photo of scientist Jackson Roykirk is of the director Marc Daniels wearing Scotty’s dress uniform.

Although never credited, this episode – which depicted an Earth-launched space probe that acquires almost unimaginable powers in the course of the search for its “Creator” – became the inspiration behind Star Trek: The Motion Picture (1979). (It also inspired The Questor Tapes (1974), a rejected series pilot written by Gene Roddenberry and Gene L. Coon which also featured a robot with a damaged memory who searched for its creator.) For this reason, some fans have appended to the 1979 movie the punning subtitle “Where Nomad Has Gone Before.”

Nomad was launched from Earth in 2002.

Lt. Leslie has two unusual aspects in this episode; he is at the helm and he is wearing a gold uniform as opposed to the red uniform that he is normally seen in.

The song Uhura sings is the same song she sings to entertain Lt. Riley in Star Trek: The Conscience of the King (1966), after he is transferred back to lonely duty in Engineering. The lyrics were written by Gene Roddenberry himself.

First time Scotty uses the famous “giving them all we got” phrase.

Spock mentions that Nomad’s first attack on the Enterprise was the equivalent of ninety photon torpedoes. Surprisingly, this attack only reduced the shields by 20%. This seems even stranger a few moments later, when Nomad absorbs the energy of a single photon torpedo and Kirk wonders how anything could “absorb so much energy and survive”. However, the implication is that “absorbing” the energy from a photon torpedo is different than merely “shielding” against it (or against ninety).

The alien probe that Nomad collided with was called Tan Ru.

First appearance of the new, redesigned engineering section.

Bill Blackburn appears in three different uniform colors in this episode: his usual gold (as Hadley), a blue uniform in a corridor scene, and in a red technician’s jumpsuit in main engineering.

Bears a striking resemblance to The Outer Limits: The Probe (1965), aired just two years earlier.

Per Irish mythology, a “changeling” is a demon child substituted by the spirits for a human child they have stolen. That is the context used here. However, the word can also mean a shape-shifter, as in several other contexts within the Trek Universe. The most famous shape-shifter changeling in Trek was the regular character Odo from Star Trek: Deep Space Nine (1993).

Actor Joe Paz who portrays one of the security guards killed by Nomad (the guard on the left outside Nomad’s cell) would appear again in Star Trek: Patterns of Force (1968) as an SA Brigadier. (He can be seen among those saying “Hail To The Fuhrer!”)

Footage of Nomad exiting the turbolift is recycled to show him leaving sickbay.

Vic Perrin, who provided the voice of Nomad, had previously performed the Control Voice that narrated the opening and closing segments of the “Outer Limits”. His delivery of Nomad’s dialogue, with just enough inflection to remain automated without being monotonous, greatly enhances the show.

Lemli’s first name, Roger, is given in this episode. His last name wasn’t revealed until the following season, in Star Trek: The Lights of Zetar (1969).


The Enterprise encounters a powerful energy force that has apparently killed all human life in a solar system with over one billion inhabitants. They identify the culprit as a small space probe that had its origins on Earth. Called Nomad, it merged with another and, as a result, took on a new mission to destroy all biological beings as being imperfect. It believes Captain Kirk to be its creator and, as such, has spared the Enterprise and its crew, at least temporarily.


William Shatner … Captain James Tiberius ‘Jim’ Kirk
Leonard Nimoy … Mister Spock
DeForest Kelley … Doctor Leonard ‘Bones’ McCoy
James Doohan … Lieutenant Commander Montgomery ‘Scotty’ Scott
Nichelle Nichols … Lieutenant Nyota Uhura
George Takei … Lieutenant Hikaru Sulu
Majel Barrett … Nurse Christine Chapel
Makee K. Blaisdell … Singh (as Blaisdel Makee)
Barbara Gates … Crewwoman
Meade Martin … Crewman
Arnold Lessing … Security Guard
Vic Perrin … Nomad (voice)
Bill Blackburn … Lieutenant Hadley (uncredited)
Frank da Vinci … Lt. Brent / Security Guard (uncredited)
Marc Daniels … Prof. Jackson Roykirk (uncredited)
Roger Holloway … Lt. Lemli (uncredited)
Jeannie Malone … Yeoman (uncredited)
Eddie Paskey … Lieutenant Leslie (uncredited)

Star Trek – Who Mourns For Adonais

★★★1/2 September 22, 1967 Season 2 Episode 2

If you want to see where we are…and you missed a few…HERE is a list of the episodes in my index located at the top of my blog. 

This show was written by Gene Roddenberry and Gilbert Ralston

I thought this was a good episode of the series. Thought-provoking, very well-written, and well-paced, with a nice balance of attention paid to the various performers.

Kirk and his crew are waylaid by a powerful alien who claims to be the ancient Greek god Apollo. Apollo demands they abandon their ship and become his worshipers like the Greeks of old Earth had been, and Apollo is not taking no for an answer. The crew has to figure out how to escape his clutches without falling victim to his extraordinary powers and his violent temper.

The idea that the ancient gods were, in fact, visiting aliens is interesting and has been used many times since however here it seems like a way to make an apparently all-powerful being a bit more interesting.  Lt. Palamas, we can guess that she will somehow be important in this episode and indeed she is as she appears to fall for Apollo.

Star Trek" Who Mourns for Adonais? (TV Episode 1967) - IMDb

The speech that Kirk gives to Palamas was brilliant, I thought. A great piece of rhetoric that is strongly moving, and is potent enough to induce her to betray her heart and act for the good of her fellow humans. 

In the end, the combined efforts of Kirk and the landing party on the planet and Spock back on the Enterprise work independently to sort out the challenge. This episode is a great one for Chekov…a very good introduction to him.

From IMDB:

.The title is taken from Adonais: An Elegy on the Death of John Keats by Percy Bysshe Shelley. Line 415 reads “Who mourns for Adonais?”. Shelley’s Adonais is derived from Adonis, a male figure of Greek mythology associated with fertility. Also, “Adonais” would be the English plural of the Hebrew Spoken Name of God (the Hebrew word ‘adonai’ simply means ‘lord’), so it would mean “Who Mourns for the Gods?”

In the original script, the gods and other mythological figures were mentioned in their Latin names, but, in the revised final draft (and the finished episode), they are called by their Greek equivalents (possibly at the suggestion of series researcher Kellam de Forest).

The producers were looking for someone with an English dialect and Shakespearean theatrics to pull off the Apollo role. First, they wanted to find someone in England, but rather decided to look for an actor at the San Diego Shakespeare festival. The head of the theatre recommended Michael Forest, who was already in Hollywood, making films at the time. Forest was called in for an audition, where he first had to take off his shirt, to let them see if he had the muscles needed for the part. Next, they asked him to read some lines in a British accent. Forest refused, claiming he couldn’t do it, but is able to speak in a Mid-Atlantic accent, probably more suitable for the character. He did it, and they gave him the role.

Michael Forest recalled working with his co-stars, “Leslie Parrish was a delightful person to work with; no problems; never any difficulties; we would just discuss what we were going to do and we would do it. She was excellent and very personable. William Shatner was a bit of a problem, however. You never saw me standing with him; we were always in different shots. We would be talking to one another, but we wouldn’t be on camera at the same time. I’m sure that’s what he stipulated – because I was so much taller.”

William Shatner was so concerned with the height disparity that he disallowed any shots which would show him and the much taller Michael Forest side-by-side in the same frame. According to Forest, whenever Shatner would speak to him, Forest would notice Shatner inadvertently standing on his tip toes.

This is the very first episode of Star Trek (1966) (in broadcast order) to feature all seven members of the original cast – including Walter Koenig who was the last to join the cast at the very beginning of Season 2.

Apollo’s temple was constructed on an indoor studio set. Swaying trees (courtesy of hidden stagehands) and dubbed-in bird sounds were combined with stock footage of an outdoor lake and adequately conveyed the illusion of being outdoors.

The fused, charred phaser Kirk holds up as he is speculating about Apollo visiting Earth is the one crushed by Khan Noonian Singh in Star Trek: Space Seed (1967).

This is the first time Kyle is shown in an officer’s uniform (colored shirt, black pants) instead of the noncommissioned officer’s and enlisted man’s jumpsuit. He must have been exceptional since he has jumped past Ensign and Lieutenant Junior Grade to full Lieutenant.

The gown Leslie Parrish wore was glued to her skin to keep it in place, which was painful for her because it tore her skin when it was removed.

In the trailer, the phasers fired by the Enterprise at the temple are blue. In the episode itself, they are red. They would once again be blue in the remastered version of this episode.

This is the only time in TOS that a star is both referred to as its Bayer designation and ancient name, specifically Beta Geminorum aka Pollux.

This was released in 1967. Erich von Däniken published theories concerning ancient aliens coming to earth and being taken for gods due to their advanced technology being witnessed by early humanity only in 1968.

Michael Forest reprised his role as Apollo in the fan-made sequel Star Trek Continues: Pilgrim of Eternity (2013) 46 years later.

This is the first episode, in broadcast order, to feature Chekov’s Russian pride. When Apollo identifies himself, Chekov says “I am the Czar of all the Russias!” Later, after Chekov notices Apollo is fatigued and disappears, Chekov says “He disappeared like that cat in the Russian story…”

The producers originally wanted Jon Voight for Apollo, but he was hired for another project.

A traveling matte was used to allow a giant Apollo to appear with the landing party in the foreground at the end of act one.

Marc Daniels cited this episode as his favorite among those he directed, claiming “it all came together so well”.

Michael Forest and Leonard Nimoy had played brothers on Laramie: The Runt (1962). They also worked together on the play and television adaptation of Deathwatch (1965).

The scene in which Apollo flips Scott to the side was actually executed by stunt double, Jay D. Jones, who was wearing a special harness with which he was pulled backward on cue. Jones nearly slammed into a step prop which could have caused serious injury.

Jason Alexander cites this episode as his favourite of the original series, describing it as “thought-provoking, beautiful, and very sad.”


The Enterprise is stopped dead in its tracks by a powerful energy force that appears in the form of a human hand. Soon, a being claiming to be Apollo orders Kirk (William Shatner) and several others down to the planet below. Apollo (Michael Forest) claims to have visited Earth 5,000 years ago and Kirk theorizes that he may be telling the truth. Apollo’s demand for unquestioned servitude, however, doesn’t give the crew much choice and it becomes imperative that they locate and destroy his power supply.


William Shatner … Captain James Tiberius ‘Jim’ Kirk
Leonard Nimoy … Mister Spock
DeForest Kelley … Doctor Leonard ‘Bones’ McCoy
Michael Forest … Apollo
Leslie Parrish … Lt. Carolyn Palamas
James Doohan … Lieutenant Commander Montgomery ‘Scotty’ Scott
George Takei … Lieutenant Hikaru Sulu
Nichelle Nichols Nichelle Nichols … Lieutenant Nyota Uhura
Walter Koenig … Ensign Pavel Chekov
John Winston … Lieutenant Kyle
Bill Blackburn … Lieutenant Hadley (uncredited)
Roger Holloway … Lt. Lemli (uncredited)
Eddie Paskey … Lieutenant Leslie (uncredited)