Star Trek: Season 3, Episode 19

Requiem for Methuselah (14 Feb. 1969)

TV Episode  |   |  Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi
7.7
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Ratings: 7.7/10 from 849 users  
Reviews: 20 user | 3 critic

On a planet, looking for an urgent medicinal cure, Kirk, Spock and McCoy come across a dignified recluse living privately but in splendor with his sheltered ward and a very protective robot servant.

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Title: Requiem for Methuselah (14 Feb 1969)

Requiem for Methuselah (14 Feb 1969) on IMDb 7.7/10

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Storyline

When Kirk, Spock and McCoy beam down to a supposed uninhabited planet to gather the mineral ryetalyn to fight a plague of Rigelian fever on-board the Enterprise, they find a fellow Earth-man called Flint and his extremely intelligent female ward Rayna with whom Kirk begins to fall in love. Flint then proceeds to trap them and the Enterprise on his planet. Written by laird-3

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ward | robot | recluse | plague | epidemic | See All (31) »


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14 February 1969 (USA)  »

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1.33 : 1
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Trivia

This story's "macguffin" is a plague medicine called Ryetalyn, accent on the second syllable. In real life, Ritalin, accent on the first syllable, is a commercial name for the psychiatric drug Methylphenidate, used to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. It is unknown whether the naming was a deliberate allusion. See more »

Goofs

The sheet music for Flint's Johannes Brahms waltz, which we see in a close-up, does not correspond to the waltz Spock has played. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Capt. Kirk: Captain's log, stardate 5843.7. The Enterprise is in the grip of a raging epidemic. Three crewmen have died and twenty-three others have been struck down by Rigelian fever. In order to combat the illness, Dr. McCoy needs large quantities of ryetalyn, which is the only known antidote for the fever. Our sensors have picked up sufficient quantities of pure ryetalyn on a small planet in the Omega system. We are beaming down to secure this urgently needed material.
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Referenced in Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan (1982) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Testing the Power of a 6000-year-old Man
8 March 2007 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

The concept of immortality, frequently tackled in science fiction, is given a run-through by Trek. The Enterprise crew are racked by Rigelian fever and arrive at a planet to gather raw material for a treatment. The main trio (of course) beam down and encounter Flint, seemingly sole occupant and owner of the planet. His actions and motives are mysteriously strange throughout the first 3 acts of the episode; he appears hostile at first, but then shifts his attitude to that of gracious host, unveiling his legal ward, a young female whose parents died while in Flint's employ (so he says). Kirk is immediately entranced by this girl of great intellect, who also seems very naive. By the way, the exterior shot of Flint's big castle-like house is a rerun from way back in "The Cage," the 1st pilot for the show. Anyway, 'Flint,' it turns out, is just using this name as the latest in a long line; he was previously known as Da Vinci, the composer Brahms, as well as Solomon, Lazarus, Methuselah and Merlin, besides a hundred others. Spock had deduced as much after studying Flint's paintings and musical compositions, which were all created recently, using 23rd-century materials: Flint was born about 6000 years ago, on Earth. For reasons never explained, he is some kind of a mutant, an immortal - he found this out from way back in his first identity, when he recovered from a fatal wound. This backstory is somewhat familiar, used in other sf novels, series or films ("Highlander"); there was even a comic book series "The Eternal Warrior" much later, which itself copied a series of novels. The writer, Bixby, followed this up with the similar "Man From Earth," his last work, recently made into a film, which can almost be looked on as a prequel to this episode.

All this is an intriguing glimpse into the possibilities inherent in living a life made up of centuries rather than just years. The actor Daly gives a good performance as the immortal man, projecting a weariness associated with such a huge lifespan, as well as the great knowledge he must have accumulated over the millennium. It's curious that he still resorts to 'tests of power' and brute strength in certain situations, despite all that he's learned over his long life. What information can be gleaned from such a being! But, this is not where the focus of the story diverts to. I blame this on Kirk, of course. He seems unable to control his rampaging libido by this point in the series (late in the 3rd season) and I suppose it's fortunate this was just a 5-year mission: had Kirk continued in this direction for a few more years, he would have turned into some kind of crazy space-wolf Lothario. Everything shifts to Kirk's fascination with Flint's female companion in the 2nd half of the episode, an obsession that occurs in the span of a couple of hours (representing the dichotomy of such a short time frame when compared to Flint's eternal existence). Flint spent centuries working up to this moment and Kirk ruins it in so short a time - because he's a normal human being; for him, life is short, things happen fast (well, still too fast, I would say). Yes, Kirk feels towards the end - forget Flint's vast knowledge, forget the suffering crew - all that matters now is if I get the girl. Spock, usually annoying in his logical point of view, probably should have pressed Kirk even more in this episode. It's also interesting (and revealing) how protective both Spock & McCoy are of Kirk by the end, as if he's their younger brother, needing their special care, at times.


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