Star Trek – Operation – Annihilate!

★★★1/2 April 13, 1967 Season 1 Episode 29

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 Steven W. Carabatsos and Gene Roddenberry

We have hit the last episode of the first season. This weekend I’ll have a First Season review. 

The Enterprise is tracking a strange straight line pattern where all of the inhabitants of the planets in line are going crazy and dying – some are killing themselves. The next planet in line is Deneva, a Federation Outpost where Kirk’s brother Sam is stationed. Kirk, Spock & McCoy beam down to the planet to investigate and to visit Sam and his family. What they find are strange flat flying creatures attacking people and everyone on the planet are either going crazy, dying or already dead.

Doux Reviews: Star Trek: Operation - Annihilate!

When they get to Sam’s place they find Sam is dead, Sam’s wife starting to go mad then suddenly dies and Sam’s son in a comatose state and dying. Spock is attacked by one of the creatures. The 3 beam back aboard the ship with Kirk’s comatose nephew. Kirk, Spock and McCoy race to find the answers.

Spock is infected with one of the aliens, who cause such great pain as to drive their hosts mad. Spock uses his Vulcan half to control his emotions, even under extreme pain, and this provides Nimoy something to really sink his teeth into.

Unless a method of destroying the creatures can be found, Kirk is faced with the possibility of having to kill millions of people to prevent the creatures from spreading further throughout the galaxy, Spock and Peter, Kirk’s nephew included.

This time there are no mind melds or any kind of communication with the flat-looking creatures. They want them exterminated immediately and for good reason. 

From IMDB: 

This is the first time McCoy’s lab is seen. Inside the lab, the prop used previously as Balok’s lamp device in Star Trek: The Corbomite Maneuver (1966) can be seen sitting on a shelf. Different components of sickbay were added over the first season, such as the decompression chamber seen in Star Trek: Space Seed (1967). McCoy’s lab contains one of the life support canisters used on the Botany Bay.

The Deneva outdoor scenes were shot at the headquarters of TRW Space and Defense Park in Redondo Beach, California (currently [2021] the Northrop Grumman Space Technology headquarters). The establishing shot of Kirk’s brother – Sam’s lab was a building on the campus of UCLA, and the entrance of the building was the cafeteria at TRW. See Google Earth for location. The actual location where Spock is attacked by the parasite is the lobby of TRW Building E1 next door to the cafeteria where the outdoor scenes were shot. It is now (2021) Northrop Grumman Aerospace Building E1.

The parasites bear a strong resemblance to the titular enemies from the 1951 Robert A. Heinlein novel The Puppet Masters, sometimes considered to have started the “body snatchers” sub genre of science fiction. The same story was the unofficial basis for The Brain Eaters (1958) which also starred Leonard Nimoy. See also Star Trek: Charlie X (1966) and Star Trek: The Trouble with Tribbles (1967), additional Star Trek The Original Series episodes with Heinlein resemblances.

William Shatner portrays Kirk’s brother Sam in the scene where McCoy rolls his body over to identify him. The shot is brief, but freezing the frame reveals Shatner in light character makeup and a mustache.

Craig Huxley (Kirk’s nephew Peter) reappears in Star Trek: And the Children Shall Lead (1968) as Tommy Starnes, and composed some music for Star Trek III: The Search for Spock (1984). Also invented the “Blaster Beam”, the musical instrument used for the distinctive “V’Ger” sound from Star Trek:The Motion Picture.

Steven W. Carabatsos had an obligation in his contract, that he must deliver at least one script of his own while serving as story editor. Carabatsos left the series in late-1966, but still had to fulfill this task before departing. Having no idea of his own, Gene Roddenberry suggested him one, entitled Operation: Destroy!, which was the basis for this episode.

The fly-by of the Enterprise that opens this episode was only seen one other time. It is re-used in Star Trek: The Tholian Web (1968) as the ship is thrown clear of the Tholian force field.

Stock footage of Leslie’s hands from Star Trek: The Alternative Factor (1967) is used to represent the personnel in the satellite control room. This shot was removed from the remastered version of the episode.

The voice of the Denevan who cries out, “I did it. it’s finally gone! I’m free!” is clearly that of Leonard Nimoy’s.

Some non canonical Star Trek novels have given the explanation that Sam Kirk’s two other sons (spoken of in Star Trek: What Are Little Girls Made Of? (1966)) were away from Deneva during the events of the episode. It has also been suggested that Sam Kirk having three sons was part of the misinformation Kirk planted in his robot double in that episode.

The clubs used by the Denevans during their attack on the landing party appear to be thick Lucite rods. Curiously, the gray, grooved clubs used by Spock during his fight with Kirk in Star Trek: This Side of Paradise (1967) and some of the miners on Janus VI in Star Trek: The Devil in the Dark (1967) were not recycled for this use.



The Enterprise traces a virus-like outbreak that seems to be traveling in a direct line across a planetary system. The next planet is home to Kirk’s brother Sam, his sister-in-law and their young son. The Enterprise arrives too late however for Sam. They find flying jellyfish-like creatures that attach themselves to humans. They take over the victims nervous system forcing them to bend to their will. Spock finds a weapon to use against the creatures but it leaves him hopelessly blind.


William Shatner … Captain James Tiberius ‘Jim’ Kirk / Samuel ‘Sam’ Kirk
Leonard Nimoy … Mister Spock
DeForest Kelley … Doctor Leonard ‘Bones’ McCoy
James Doohan … Lieutenant Commander Montgomery ‘Scotty’ Scott
Joan Swift … Aurelan Kirk
Maurishka … Yeoman Ellen Zahra
Majel Barrett … Nurse Christine Chapel
George Takei … Lieutenant Hikaru Sulu
Nichelle Nichols Nichelle Nichols … Lieutenant Nyota Uhura
Craig Huxley … Peter Kirk (as Craig Hundley)
Fred Carson … First Denevan
Jerry Catron … Second Denevan
David Armstrong … Kartan (uncredited)
Bill Blackburn … Lieutenant Hadley (uncredited)
Frank da Vinci … Guard (uncredited)
Jeannie Malone … Yeoman (uncredited)
Eddie Paskey … Lieutenant Leslie (uncredited)
Ron Veto … Harrison (uncredited)