While investigating and scanning an uncharted planet, the Enterprise and its quadrant of space are subjected to a violent force that seems to cause a 'blinking out' of everything near them. When the scanners resume, where once there was no life on the planet, now there is one life sign. Kirk, Spock and a security force beam down to investigate and find a man named Lazarus who collapses and is brought aboard the Enterprise for treatment. To complicate things further, the initial phenomenon almost totally drained their dilithium crystals. Starfleet and Kirk suspect this phenomenon could be a prelude to invasion. While interrogating Lazarus he tells Kirk that he's locked in a struggle with another being who is 'anti life' and is behind the phenomenon. The disruptions continue to occur and the ship's situation grows worse. Written by
Did You Know?
Actor Eddie Paskey
appeared in 59 episodes of the original Star Trek
(1966) series, 50 of them playing Lt. Leslie - a character name that came from William Shatner
himself inserting his eldest daughter's first name (Leslie) into the show - but only in 'The Alternative Factor' does Eddie's role as Lt. Leslie ever appear in closing credits, and when it does - in contrast to the spelling by which it has become widely known and accepted - it is spelled L-E-S-L-E-Y. See more
In the second sickbay scene, when Lazarus is on the bed, the amount and shape of the blood around Lazarus' mouth changes in each shot, alternately getting larger, then smaller, then larger, then smaller again, all within the space of less than two minutes. See more
He's in a lot of pain!
Sometimes pain can drive a man harder than pleasure. I'm sure you know that, Doctor!
The closing credits are set against a combination background of stills from that episode and previous episodes. See more
Referenced in Galaxy Quest