Star Trek: Season 3, Episode 12

The Empath (6 Dec. 1968)

TV Episode  -   -  Action | Adventure | Sci-Fi
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Ratings: 6.7/10 from 778 users  
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Trapped in an alien laboratory Kirk, Spock and McCoy meet an empath and are involved in a series of experiments.



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Title: The Empath (06 Dec 1968)

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Episode complete credited cast:
Kathryn Hays ...
Alan Bergmann ...
Davis Roberts ...
Jason Wingreen ...
Willard Sage ...


Kirk, Spock and McCoy suddenly find themselves in an underground laboratory where they meet an attractive young woman who is not only mute but also an empath who can absorb someone else's pain. When their captors make themselves known, they refuse to explain why the three men have been taken prisoner or why they and the young woman, whom McCoy has named Gem, are there. Inexplicably, they set about torturing them for no apparent reason. Fortunately, Gem's empathic powers allow her to take away their pain, but only at great sacrifice to herself. When their captors tell Kirk that he must choose which of his men to die, their selflessness comes to the fore, leaving Dr. McCoy volunteering himself. They all soon learn that the object of the experiment is Gem herself. Written by garykmcd

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Release Date:

6 December 1968 (USA)  »

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Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


In the final scene, Scotty refers to the story of 'the pearl of great price'. This refers to a parable told by Jesus in Matthew 13:45-46. See more »


The first time Kirk, Spock and McCoy are hit with the Vian force field, Kirk says he "can't seem to stand up", even though he is standing. See more »


Captain James T. Kirk: Be careful.
Dr. McCoy: Why, she seems harmless enough.
Mr. Spock: The sand-bats of Manark IV appear to be inanimate rock crystal, Doctor, until they attack.
See more »


Referenced in Free Enterprise (1998) See more »

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User Reviews

sacrificially worth it,in spite of budget issues
29 July 2007 | by (Orlando) – See all my reviews

I realize that they had budgetary issues that might be evident in it,but I must agree that the theme of self-sacrifice was indeed a valid one,regardless of any script opinions.The way the empath showed compassion,projected the pain of others on herself,and even healed.Hmmm..theologically mirrors a similar character that we all know who Im referring to!(and it's a Good thing!)True,with all the dark corners of this "underground lab..cost-cutting could easily be inferred, many other 60's shows did the same thing?Irwin Allen's sci-fi series were notorious for's interesting what can be redeemed in spite of working with limited raw materials.

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