After a psychologically disturbed patient from the Tantalus penal colony, Dr. Simon Van Gelder, manages to escape to the Enterprise, Dr. McCoy begins to suspect that something is amiss on the colony. Captain Kirk and Dr. Helen Noel beam down to the planet to investigate. Written by
Did You Know?
This episode marks the first appearance of the Vulcan mind meld. The final shooting draft of this script had Spock placing his hands on Van Gelder's abdomen while performing the mind meld. According to The Making of Star Trek, the mind meld was developed as an alternative to the scripts use of hypnosis to stabilize Van Gelder. They did not want to inaccurately depict hypnosis as a medical technique. Nor did they want to shoehorn into the script a pretext that Spock was qualified to act as a hypnotist in a medical capacity. Lastly, they did not want to risk accidentally hypnotizing viewers at home. See more
When Kirk and Spock are discussing the identity of the penal colony escapee (Dr. van Gelder), the camera angle goes back and forth between them. When looking at Kirk, the background wall (correctly) curves to the right, past communications and the turbolift. But the reverse angle at Spock *also* curves to the right; however, it should curve to the left, towards the main viewscreen. See more
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