Star Trek: Season 2, Episode 3

The Changeling (29 Sep. 1967)

TV Episode  -   -  Action | Adventure | Sci-Fi
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Ratings: 7.8/10 from 908 users  
Reviews: 12 user | 7 critic

A powerful artificially intelligent Earth probe, with a murderously twisted imperative, comes aboard the Enterprise and confuses Capt. Kirk as his creator.



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Title: The Changeling (29 Sep 1967)

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Episode complete credited cast:
Makee K. Blaisdell ...
Singh (as Blaisdel Makee)
Barbara Gates ...
Meade Martin ...
Arnold Lessing ...
Security Guard
Vic Perrin ...
Nomad's Voice (voice)


The Enterprise encounters a powerful energy force that has apparently killed all human life in a solar system with over one billion inhabitants. They identify the culprit as a small space probe that had its origins on Earth. Called Nomad, it merged with another and, as a result, took on a new mission to destroy all biological beings as being imperfect. It believes Captain Kirk to be its creator and, as such, has spared the Enterprise and its crew, at least temporarily. Written by garykmcd

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


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Release Date:

29 September 1967 (USA)  »

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Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


In conventions, Nichelle Nichols frequently tells a story of getting into a dispute with director Marc Daniels over the filming of this episode. As it had already been established that Uhura's first language was Swahili, Nichols believed that, after her mind was erased, Uhura would revert to her first language. However, as Nichols herself did not speak Swahili, Daniels wanted Uhura to just speak English. Nichols refused to, telling Daniels, "Nichelle Nichols doesn't speak Swahili, but Uhura does!" Gene Roddenberry was eventually brought in to settle the dispute, and he sided with Nichols. A linguist specializing in Swahili was then brought in to write the few lines of Swahili that are spoken in the episode. See more »


A wire suspending the Nomad probe is visible in numerous scenes (namely, at 23:30 when Nomad hovers over to Spock's computer to read up on human anatomy, and at 28:20 in the brig before Spock performs a mind-meld). See more »


Capt. Kirk: I am the Kirk, the creator?
Nomad: You are the creator.
Capt. Kirk: You're wrong! Jackson Roykirk, your creator, is dead. You have mistaken me for him. You are in error! You did not discovered your mistake; you have made two errors. You are flawed and imperfect, and you have not corrected by sterilization; you're made three errors!
Nomad: [starting to have a meltdown over this] Error? Error? Error? Examine.
See more »


Referenced in Star Trek: The Motion Picture (1979) See more »

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User Reviews

2 June 2009 | by (The San Francisco Bay Area) – See all my reviews

Classic Trek aficionados often pan the Third Season of Classic Trek as being the worst of the worst, and specifically they assign "Spock's Brain" as being the absolute worst Star Trek episode ever.

I disagree. I label "The Changeling" as the worst, and not because it was used as the basis for the first Star Trek feature film back in the late 70s.


I just can't stand the execution of this story. The story concept is intriguing enough, but the interpersonal interaction with the mechanical antagonist and Enterprise crew, to me at least, is nearly laughable. If I'm watching classic Trek, and this thing happens to be on the DVD set I've got in the player, then I may keep it on in the background, but it's really painful to watch at times.

To me this episode is the poster boy for people to point at who think Star Trek is stupid. And you know what? I'd be hard pressed to deny them that claim after watching this particular installment.

I just don't know what went wrong here. For all the money that they had to spend on this episode, was this really the best the creative team could come up with? One is reminded of "Red Dwarf's" props department, and the Holly-Hop drive prop. Yeah, it's that bad.

Shatner and gang give us Kirk and crew to outwit a schizophrenic robot. It's a little cliché in that regard, which just adds another nail in the coffin for this episode, but it's not really the defining moment as some may think.

Not a worthy installment of the franchise, if somewhat interesting. Good acting (save for M-5), poor production values (again, M-5), and a lack of vision on how to properly present the story.

Take it for what it's worth.

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