Star Trek: Season 1, Episode 29

Operation -- Annihilate! (13 Apr. 1967)

TV Episode  |   |  Action, Adventure, Mystery
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Ratings: 7.6/10 from 997 users  
Reviews: 13 user | 9 critic

The Enterprise crew attempts to stop a plague of amoeba-like creatures from possessing human hosts and spreading throughout the galaxy.



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Title: Operation -- Annihilate! (13 Apr 1967)

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Episode complete credited cast:
Joan Swift ...
Maurishka ...
Yeoman Zahra
Peter Kirk (as Craig Hundley)
Fred Carson ...
First Denevan
Jerry Catron ...
Second Denevan


The Enterprise traces a virus-like outbreak that seems to be traveling in a direct line across a planetary system. The next planet is home to Kirk's brother Sam, his sister-in-law and their young son. The Enterprise arrives too late however for Sam. They find flying jellyfish-like creatures that attach themselves to humans. They take over the victims nervous system forcing them to bend to their will. Spock finds a weapon to use against the creatures but it leaves him hopelessly blind. Written by garykmcd

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


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Release Date:

13 April 1967 (USA)  »

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Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


The actual building where Spock is attacked by the parasite is now a cafeteria belonging to Northrop Grumman Aerospace. See more »


(at around 10 mins) There is a person moving in and out of the frame way behind the action during the outdoor sequence. See more »


Dr. McCoy: [examining four stunned Denevans] There's something wrong, Jim. Their nervous systems - unconscious like this there should be just routine autonomic activity, but I'm getting a very high reading as though, even in their unconscious state, they're being violently stimulated.
See more »


Spoofed in Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Bad Eggs (1998) See more »

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Cold War era commentary
28 May 2009 | by (The San Francisco Bay Area) – See all my reviews

Like a few other episodes, the story for this particular episode draws it inspiration from the two competing philosophies during the cold war. The audience is posed with Kirk and Spock trying to unravel the mystery of an alien collective intelligence that enslaves infected hosts to do their bidding (think the Soviet Union here).

The theme here is designed to illustrate the slavery that the collective mentality imposes on the human condition. One might find themselves tempted to look up ancient Greek philosophy to explore some of the deeper allegories that are cleverly coded and illustrated in this episode. Note the beginning and the ultimate solution near the end.

Production value wise the creative forces knew they had a turkey when it came to their alien of the week, and so addressed that aspect in some of the dialog from one of the landing party crew members. Otherwise it superbly acted (as are the super-majority of this 1960's gem TV show), and the story, if one is sharp and well educated enough, should strike a chord for anyone who's felt the heel of of an oligarchical power.

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