Trapped in an alien laboratory Kirk, Spock and McCoy meet an empath and are involved in a series of experiments.



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Episode complete credited cast:
Kathryn Hays ...
Alan Bergmann ...


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?


This is the only episode whose first-act credits open on a completely black background. See more »


As Kirk recovers from the Vian weapon on the planet's surface, he touches a nearby rock formation to steady himself. The boulder-sized rock visibly shifts under the weight of his hand. See more »


Mr. Spock: What is puzzling you, Captain?
Captain James T. Kirk: I'm not puzzled, Mr. Spock, I'm awed.
Dr. McCoy: I'm with you, Captain. She awed me.
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Featured in For the Love of Spock (2016) See more »

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User Reviews

The Best display of Self-Sacrifice
20 March 2006 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Though most hale "Amok Time", "The Naked Time", "The Man Trap", and "The City on the Edge of Forever", as the best episodes, and maybe they are, but I would have to say that is the most underrated story of all three seasons. It is an over-looked treasure I couldn't wait to get on DVD. The whole story takes place pretty much in one main facility. There are no back-and-forth to the ship or to other planets and stuff, which means the writing had to be extra clever to keep our attention. The big three of Kirk, Spock, and Bones, are forced to show an alien female what it means to sacrifice your life for someone else. The experiment is conducted by two superior alien beings who lose the meaning of life themselves in the midst of all the testing. With all the bickering Spoke and Bones do, you really see how much compassion they have for each other and their captain.

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