Star Trek: Season 3, Episode 5

Is There in Truth No Beauty? (18 Oct. 1968)

TV Episode  |   |  Action, Adventure, Mystery
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Reviews: 13 user | 2 critic

Lovely telepath Miranda is aide to Ambassador Kollos, in a box to stop insanity when humans see Medusans. She rejects Larry, a designer of Enterprise, and senses murderous intent nearby.



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Title: Is There in Truth No Beauty? (18 Oct 1968)

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Episode complete credited cast:
David Frankham ...


The Enterprise transports the Medusan Ambassador Kollos; his telepathic interpreter, Dr Miranda Jones; and Engineer Laurence Marvick. Only Vulcans and those trained in Vulcan self-control can handle the horrible sight of a Medusan (and then only with eye protection). Attempting to kill Kollos, Marvick (jealous of Miranda's interest in Kollos) goes insane at the sight of the Mudasan ambassador. Before dying Marvick, one of the designers of the Enterprise, takes the ship outside the galaxy where it is hopelessly lost. Once it is discovered that Miranda is blind (she had fooled them with a complicated neural sensor in her dress) and cannot guide the Enterprise, Spock mind-melds with the navigationally proficient ambassador who quickly gets the Enterprise back in known galactic space. However, while severing the mind-meld, he forgets the visor, sees Kollos, and goes insane. Because of her jealousy of Spock's relationship with Kollos, Miranda hesitates to give help, but with Kirk's urging ... Written by JW Kearse

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Release Date:

18 October 1968 (USA)  »

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1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


Jessica Walter was offered the part of Dr. Miranda Jones but was unavailable. See more »


In the very last scene, Spock places the visor over his eyes to protect himself from the Ambassador when initiating transport. Kirk should have vacated the room, however he is still in the room thus risking himself to insanity (as shown by him walking out after the transport is complete). See more »


[first lines]
Captain James T. Kirk: Captain's log, stardate 5630.7. We have been assigned to convey the Medusans' ambassador to the Federation back to their home planet. While the thoughts of the Medusans are the most sublime in the galaxy, their physical appearance is exactly the opposite. They have evolved into a race of beings who are formless, so utterly hideous that the sight of a Medusan brings total madness to any human who sees one.
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Featured in William Shatner's Star Trek Memories (1995) See more »

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User Reviews

One Look and You Go Mad
14 January 2007 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

I've always had a problem figuring out the point of this episode. Is it the age-old adage about not judging a book by its cover? That surface appearance usually hides something else within? We are introduced to a new kind of alien in this one, a Medusan (refer to the myth of Medusa), a member of a race evolved into a formless type of energy that one carries around in a box. Colloquially stated, it's too ugly for humans to gaze at - it would drive a human being insane immediately. But, it probably has more to do with a visual spectrum that human eyes can't handle, rather than the traditional concepts of beauty and ugliness. Well, maybe that's it right there: yes, maybe there is no real beauty or ugliness, except the prejudices we humans project onto everything. There's a brief discussion of such during a dinner scene in this episode. Not too profound, but we're still exploring facets of human nature most other TV shows never touch upon.

Like with many 3rd season episodes, this one is afflicted by a slow pace in spots, i.e. it's deadly dull in places. Case in point: one scene has Kirk trying to distract Miranda, the alien's human associate, while Spock proceeds to the alien's cabin; we see Spock walking down the ship's corridor; then back to Kirk & Miranda; then back to Spock, still in that corridor. Suspenseful? No, just slow. All the male crew members seem really taken with this Miranda character, even though she's a real cold fish - ah, yes, she hides an ugliness within her, despite her surface beauty. Well, I never really felt there was this great ugliness in her, just an uninteresting self-absorbed personality. The action stuff is well done: the p.o.v. of a crazed person is shot with a disorienting camera lens, lending a suitably warped flavor to the scene. But when Spock's body is once again appropriated by an alien, you get the uneasy sense that Trek in its 3rd season is running out of ideas: it was done better in "Return to Tomorrow." The ending is somewhat anti-climactic. Take note that Spock wears the IDIC symbol on his uniform in this episode.

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