Star Trek: Season 1, Episode 27

The Alternative Factor (30 Mar. 1967)

TV Episode  -   -  Action | Adventure | Sci-Fi
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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.... See full summary »



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Episode complete credited cast:
Janet MacLachlan ...
Charlene Masters
Richard Derr ...
Commodore Barstow
Arch Whiting ...
Assistant Engineer
Christian Patrick ...
Transporter Chief
Eddie Paskey ...


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 tomtrekp

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


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Release Date:

30 March 1967 (USA)  »

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


When Lazarus sabotages the Engineering Panel, the electrical plugs he switches around are actually Dual Binding Post Plugs, very common when this show was made in the 1960s and still in use today. See more »


When Lazarus leaves his bed in the sickbay at around the 30 minute mark, the bed continues to broadcast his heartbeat. Indeed, when he starts to have an attack, his heartbeat speeds up. Normally, the sickbay bed can only read a person when he is lying on it; the sound should have stopped as soon as he stood up. See more »


Capt. Kirk: So you're the terrible thing? The murdering monster? The creature?
Lazarus: Yes, Captain. Or he is. It depends on your point of view, doesn't it?
See more »


Referenced in Weird Science: Magnifico Dad (1994) See more »

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User Reviews

Weird Goatee Beard Changes - Thicker Then Thinner
26 February 2007 | by (London) – See all my reviews

I love these old STAR TREK episodes but this must be one of the lamest ever. I couldn't figure out what on earth was going on - nor could Kirk and Spock by the sound of them. Spock keeps making strange and frankly incomprehensible statements like "it's possible...very possible." It's either possible or not, make up your mind, Mr Spock.

Meanwhile, a man falls off a cliff, again and again, and is cured by a small plaster, though blood drips from his mouth. The best parts are Kirk's line "I want facts, not poetry!" and the Enterprise crew hanging out in the recreation room smirking at the state of the canteen coffee while the goatee man prowls about looking ragged. Couldn't Bones have loaned him a spare suit at least?

It's still all splendid fun, of course, and I recommend it wholeheartedly over all modern TV programmes.

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

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