Star Trek: Season 3, Episode 8

For the World Is Hollow and I Have Touched the Sky (8 Nov. 1968)

TV Episode  |   |  Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi
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Ratings: 7.1/10 from 804 users  
Reviews: 12 user | 3 critic

The Enterprise discovers an apparent asteroid that is on a collision course with a planet is actually an ancient populated generation ship.


(as Tony Leader)


(created by), (as Rik Vollaerts)
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Title: For the World Is Hollow and I Have Touched the Sky (08 Nov 1968)

For the World Is Hollow and I Have Touched the Sky (08 Nov 1968) on IMDb 7.1/10

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Episode complete credited cast:
Katherine Woodville ...
Natira (as Kate Woodville)
Scott / Oracle
Byron Morrow ...
Jon Lormer ...
Old Man


The Enterprise in attacked by a missile, launched from an asteroid on an independent collision course with highly populated planet, Darren 5, in 396 days, which has simple atomic power and an internal atmosphere, but no inhabitants. McCoy has found he's the only unhealthy crew member: only one year of life left. Kirk, Spock, and McCoy beam down to the asteroid surface but are suddenly overpowered by sword-bearing men, commanded by high-priestess Natira who makes them kneel before a worshiped oracle, which smites them down electrically. They are given a medicine by an old servant who suffers pain twitches while telling them "things are not as they teach us", and that he once climbed the mountain and touched the sky. He then dies. The earthly visitors are now offered hospitality. The high-priestess asks McCoy to stay as her mate and explains the people is on its way to a new, green world, 'soon' according to the oracle. Kirk and Spock discover the oracle was build by the alien Fabrini ... Written by KGF Vissers

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Release Date:

8 November 1968 (USA)  »

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Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


The character name of the Starfleet Admiral is "Westervliet," which is of Dutch origin, the same as the writer of this episode, Hendrik Vollaerts (credited on screen as Rik Vollaerts). See more »


When Spock is thumbing through the Book of the Fabrini, although Kirk asks whether it is indexed, and Spock says yes, in fact all pages can clearly be seen to be blank until he reaches the pages he wants. See more »


Natira: [stiff and formal] For what reason do you visit this world?
Captain James T. Kirk: We come in friendship.
The Oracle of the People: [loud thunderclap] Then learn what it means to be our enemy, before you learn what it means to be our friend.
[the landing party is immediately electrocuted into unconsciousness]
See more »


Referenced in Mass Effect (2007) See more »

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User Reviews

1 December 2012 | by (Buffalo, New York) – See all my reviews

This was an episode of the original Star Trek series that I really liked. Several millenniums ago a civilized race built a giant spaceship and camouflaged it with material to make it look like a moon that was detached from planetary orbit. The reason was to make sure no one looked at it with any suspicions and that the chosen survivors would arrive at a new world and just take up the civilization again.

It's gone horribly wrong and the ship never really arrived and now the humanoids living there don't even realize they're living inside a giant ship. The artificial sun and stars are their world. And they've got a giant computer which has taken control and everyone on the ship has a control device implanted in their heads so they never question the will of the 'oracle' or their origins.

More than that has gone wrong, the ship is on a collision course with an inhabited Federation planet which brings the Enterprise on a mission to save their associated planet. They discover it is indeed not a floating asteroid or moon, but has signs of life.

Deforest Kelley gets a little romance here. He's got a disease that no doubt he diagnosed himself and has months to live. He and high priestess of the oracle Kate Woodville fall for each other and that doesn't stop her from defending her way of life as she sees it.

An interesting concept that Star Trek deals with is the notion that a place they come to thinks they are the center of a universe. That is something we earth folks had to learn and some of us still haven't.

The Prime Directive about non-interference is something that William Shatner concludes doesn't apply when we're saving two planets from total annihilation. How Shatner and Leonard Nimoy do it you have to see this episode for.

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