Star Trek: Season 2, Episode 9

Metamorphosis (10 Nov. 1967)

TV Episode  -   -  Action | Adventure | Sci-Fi
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Ratings: 7.4/10 from 814 users  
Reviews: 22 user | 5 critic

While returning to the Enterprise aboard the shuttlecraft, Kirk, Spock, McCoy and a seriously ill Federation diplomat find themselves kidnapped by an energized cloud.



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Title: Metamorphosis (10 Nov 1967)

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Episode complete credited cast:


The Enterprise shuttlecraft, carrying Kirk, Spock, Dr. McCoy and critically ill Federation Ambassador Nancy Hedford, encounters a mysterious energy cloud which pulls them down to planet Gamma Canaris N. There they meet a castaway, a young man who purports to be Zefram Cochrane, inventor of the Warp Drive over 100 years ago. In history he had lived to be 80 years of age before disappearing somewhere in space. Apparently the same energy cloud which brought the shuttlecraft to the planet also found and rejuvenated Cochrane, making him effectively immortal. Unless Kirk can get themselves released soon, the ambassador, without vital medical treatment, will die. Written by Clive Wilson

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


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Release Date:

10 November 1967 (USA)  »

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


The inner slipcase, along with the fold-out episode guide, from the 2004 DVD release of Star Trek: The Original Series - Complete Season Two, featured a large still image on the front cover of Captain Kirk, Mr. Spock and Dr. McCoy which was taken from this episode. See more »


When Cochrane runs up to meet Kirk and the others, the glare of the stage lighting is just barely visible from the top. See more »


Captain James T. Kirk: There's no doubt about it, the Companion is female.
Zefram Cochrane: I don't understand.
Dr. McCoy: You don't? A blind man could see it with a cane. You're not a pet. You're not a specimen kept in a cage. You're a lover.
See more »


Referenced in Star Trek: First Contact (1996) See more »

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User Reviews

The Long and Lonely Life of Zefram Cochrane
17 September 2006 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

I've gotten to appreciate this episode more as I became older, since it touches on the many aspects of older age: being alone, of becoming out of touch, archaic, and on the different perspectives, not all favorable, of immortality. The episode may have a slower pace than we're used to from this era of exciting original Trek shows, but it may also linger in the mind a bit longer due to the concepts presented, inviting introspection, of all things. Most of the episode concentrates on the main trio of regulars and the two guest stars (well, three, if you count the gaseous Companion); we don't even see a glimpse of the Enterprise or the rest of the crew until the 2nd half of the episode. We meet the creator of warp drive (very significant historically) and again see the Galileo shuttlecraft from "The Galileo Seven" episode. It begins as a seemingly simplistic tale of captivity on an unknown planet, but evolves gradually, due to some revelations, into an examination of love relationships between two species completely alien to each other.

This examination is probably the most blatant attempt to visualize the IDIC principle, from the standpoint of relations between living beings. This is the Vulcan philosophy of 'Infinite Diversity in Infinite Combinations' - a concept probably treasured by Roddenberry and a cornerstone of his entire conception of future life. However, the marooned human man here, Cochrane, though about 100 years more evolved than the current humanity of the 21st century, is far behind 23rd century thinking as to what is socially acceptable in polite society. He shows himself to be very outdated and has to make an effort to adjust to new ways of thinking, of seeing things, in regard to human/extraterrestrial interaction. It's a leap that perhaps many in the audience need to make with him, as well. On the other hand, this high-minded IDIC philosophy, if not carefully written, may open the door to problematic areas during the course of the story.

As in several episodes, non-corporeal aliens always tend to crave physical bodies such as we humans possess, as if our form is the ultimate conduit for finding true love. This seems a conceit due to writing from the human perspective and, though simple physical sensation may be a subject of curiosity (see "Catspaw" and "By Any Other Name"), the deeper sensation of love should be attainable in a variety of ways. Why, for example, didn't the Companion transform Cochrane into a version of herself? In this case, the episode does provide a good answer: the concept of sacrifice, a strong indicator of actual love being expressed. I found the unpleasant character of the human female (very annoying, like all Federation diplomats) to be a bit overdone, showing the contrast between her and herself in the post-joining with the Companion. The fact that her essence disappears into the Companion is glossed over (it still seems to me only her body lives on, her mind is dead). And this war she was supposed to avert suddenly becomes a trivial matter at the conclusion. But, other than that, this is a thought-provoking story, like the best Trek. The character of Cochrane was reinterpreted in the movie "Star Trek First Contact"(96) and, following along the cliché lines of present-day script-writing, was turned into a greedy drunkard, in contrast to the elegant performance by actor Corbett here.

22 of 26 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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