When Kirk, Spock and McCoy investigate the disappearance of a doomed planet's population, they find themselves trapped in different periods of that world's past.


(as Marvin Chomsky)


(created by),

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Episode complete credited cast:
Kermit Murdock ...
Ed Bakey ...
The First Fop
Scott (voice)
Anna Karen ...
Sarpeidon Mort
Albert Cavens ...
Second Fop (as Al Cavens)
Stan Barrett ...
Johnny Haymer ...
The Constable


When the planet Sarpeidon is about to be destroyed by its star Beta Niobe becoming a supernova, Kirk, Spock and McCoy beam down and find it evacuated except for its librarian, Mr. Atoz, tending with his replicas a collection of unusual discs, which play the planet's history and (to their surprise) allow their users to travel into the past trough the atavachron, a time machine, into the periods each was studying on disc, but they travel unprepared. McCoy and Spock find themselves locked in a frozen ice age 5,000 years ago, where Spock reverts to the barbaric age of the Vulcans, hence touchy and intensely attracted to the political prisoner Zarabeth, who enjoys getting company but tells them return is impossible. Kirk arrives in a Cromwellian period, where he's arrested and suspected of witchcraft, but realizes the magistrate must be a time traveler like him, and learns not being prepared at molecular level he can return through the time portal, and in fact must do so and contact Spock ... Written by KGF Vissers

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Release Date:

14 March 1969 (USA)  »

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1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


This episode takes place in circa 2700 B.C. and 2269. See more »


When the prosecutor is talking to Kirk, the mort (female thief) in the next cell accuses Kirk of being a witch. The constable confirms this, saying that Kirk talked to unseen spirits, one of which he called "Bones". Even though Kirk did address Dr. McCoy as Bones through the unseen time portal, the constable was not present when he did. See more »


Mr. Spock: My home is a planet millions of light years away.
Zarabeth: Oh, how wonderful! I've always loved books about such possibilities, but they are only stories. This isn't real. I must be imagining all this. I'm going mad.
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References Macbeth (1948) See more »

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User Reviews

Trapped in the Past of Another Planet's History
11 March 2007 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

An unusual take on time travel: instead of traveling to Earth's past, the main trio get stuck in the past history of another planet. They beam down to this planet, whose sun is scheduled to go nova in 3 or 4 hours (that's cutting it close!). In some kind of futuristic library, they meet Mr. Atoz (A to Z, get it? ha-ha) and his duplicates. It turns out, instead of escaping their planet's destruction via space travel, the usual way, the inhabitants have all escaped into their planet's various past time eras. Mr. Atoz uses a time machine to send people on their way after they make a selection (check out the discs we see here, another Trek prognostication of CDs and DVDs!). When Mr. Atoz prepares the machine (the Atavachron-what-sis), gallant Kirk hears a woman's scream and runs into the planet's version of Earth's 17th century, where he gets into a sword fight and is arrested for witchery. There's an eccentric but good performance here by the actress playing a female of ill repute in this time, using phrasing of the time ("...you're a bully fine coo.. Witch! Witch! They'll burn ye...!"). Spock & McCoy follow Kirk, but end up in an ice age, 5000 years earlier.

Kirk manages to get back to the library first. The real story here is Spock's reversion to the barbaric tendencies of his ancestors, the warlike Vulcans of 5000 years ago. This doesn't really make sense, except that maybe this time machine is responsible for the change (even so, Spock & McCoy weren't 'prepared' by Atoz - oh, well; it also seems to me Spock was affected by the transition almost immediately - he mentions being from 'millions of light years' away, instead of the correct hundreds or thousands - a gross error for a logical Vulcan). In any case, Spock really shows his nasty side here - forget "Day of the Dove" and remember "This Side of Paradise" - McCoy quickly finds out that his Vulcan buddy will not stand for any of his usual baiting and nearly gets his face rearranged. Spock also gets it on with Zarabeth, a comely female who had been exiled to this cold past as punishment (a couple of Trek novels were written about Spock's son, the result of this union). All these scenes are eye-openers, a reminder of just how much Spock conceals or holds in. It's also ironic that, only a few episodes earlier ("Requiem for Methuselah"), McCoy was pointing out to Spock how he would never know the pain of love - and now all this happens. Kirk, meanwhile, tussles with the elderly Atoz, who insists that Kirk head back to some past era ("You are evidently a suicidal maniac" - great stuff from actor Wolfe, last seen in "Bread and Circuses"). It all works out in the end, but, like I mentioned earlier, they cut it very close. A neat little Trek adventure, with a definite cosmic slant.

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