Star Trek (1966–1969)
7.0/10
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16 user 5 critic

The Cloud Minders 

Kirk and Spock are caught up in a revolution on a planet where intellectuals and artists live on a utopian city in the sky while the rest of the population toils in mines on the barren surface below.

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Cast

Episode complete credited cast:
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Kirk Raymond ...
Cloud Guard #1 (as Kirk Raymone)
Jimmy Fields ...
Cloud Guard #2
Ed Long ...
Midro
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Prisoner
Harv Selsby ...
Guard
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Storyline

In order to save an inhabited planet from being destroyed by a botanical plague, the Enterprise goes to pick up zenite, the mineral cure, on the only known planet where it is mined. When Kirk and Spock beam down, they are attacked by 'troglites' (troglodyte miners) but not captured. High council adviser Plasus intervenes and brings them to Stratos, a luxurious metropolis which literally floats in the sky. However, it is under attack from 'disruptors', troglite revolutionaries who want equal life conditions for their peers. They do all the hard work, mainly toiling miserably in mines and dwell in caves on the barren surface below. Dr. McCoy ascertains that the alleged intellectual inferiority of the troglites is not genetic but the reversible effect of exposure to an invisible gas emitted by the zenite. Written by KGF Vissers

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TV-PG | See all certifications »
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28 February 1969 (USA)  »

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4:3
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The mine "entrance" is the same set piece that was used for the entrance to the defense computer cave in Star Trek - That Which Survives. See more »

Goofs

When Plasus welcomes Kirk and Spock he is wearing sandals, later approaching the staircase with Droxine he is wearing shoes. See more »

Quotes

Captain James T. Kirk: [Vanna attacks Kirk with a knife while he is resting] You again...
[Takes a moment to gather this unusual, however pleasant, situation]
Vanna: [Disgusted] You sleep lightly, Captain!
Captain James T. Kirk: Yes. Duty is a good teacher.
Captain James T. Kirk: [Softly, yet pointedly] I see you've changed your dressmaker.
Vanna: [unmoved] Release me!
Captain James T. Kirk: [Surprised, at first, by her coldness] So you can attack me again?
Captain James T. Kirk: [Attempting to be affectionate] That would be foolish...
Vanna: [Coolly, coldly] Call the guards... if you're afraid, Captain.
Captain James T. Kirk: [Smoothly, with interest] I'm ...
[...]
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Connections

Featured in Pioneers of Television: Science Fiction (2011) See more »

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Dig, Captain! Dig as the Troglytes Do!
9 March 2007 | by See all my reviews

The Enterprise arrives at the planet Ardana to obtain zenite, a rare mineral which they need to combat a botanical plague on another world. Kirk & Spock beam down but find themselves caught in the middle of a class struggle between the intellectual rulers dwelling in a city in the clouds, sustained by some anti-gravity technology, and Troglytes, the miners who mostly dwell in the caves on the surface of the planet, where such items like zenite are obtained. This is essentially a reworking of the elite class vs. the worker class story penned by H.G.Wells in his famous novel "The Time Machine" (filmed in 1960 and later versions). Extrapolating from such a premise of basic inequality, where-in the elites get all the benefits through the sweat of the workers, it proposes that, some time in the past, one race experienced an extreme branching off separation into two, though, scientifically, they are still all the same race. Kirk & Spock see them as the same, simply a division of the rich vs. the poor, but the egotistical intellectuals of Stratos, the hovering city, have come to see themselves, over the centuries, as a different, superior race.

All of this is sort of summed up by Spock's voice-over as he sits in meditation in his guest room on Stratos, as images of various characters from both sides of the issue are transposed over his form. This sequence also kind of reminded me of scenes and voice-overs from the film "Dune"(84) - another variation on depicting royalty vs. poverty in a futuristic setting. It's a fairly exciting episode from the 3rd season, especially when I saw this as a kid, with several hand-to-hand struggles, and perhaps with even an increase to the usually-lackluster budget for 3rd season episodes. The episode also does a good job of contrasting the desperate stance and attitudes of the Troglytes (variation of 'troglodyte') when compared to the superior attitudes of the elites on Stratos. On the downside, this episode would have rated at least a couple of stars higher had it adhered to the complex social problems presented. Instead, it's revealed that a gas, released when digging for zenite, causes a retardation to the brains of the Troglytes. This problem is solved with the introduction of gas masks by Kirk, which will, in turn, the conclusion suggests, eradicate the inequality on Ardana. This plot turn devolves the episode to simple escapist sf fare, away from the potentially insightful commentary on cultural inequality.


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