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 704 users  
Reviews: 19 user | 1 critic

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

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

alien | mute | laboratory | torture | humanoid | See more »


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Release Date:

6 December 1968 (USA)  »

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


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 »


When Kirk is being tortured, the wide shot from behind shows his arms outstretched almost sideways in the manacles, but when the shot changes to the front, his arms are bent at the elbow, and his wrists extend upward out of the frame. See more »


Dr. McCoy: Now, how would one get the bends down here?
See more »


References The Outer Limits: Nightmare (1963) See more »

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User Reviews

The Best of the Silent Era!
15 October 2006 | by (Henderson, Nv. USA) – See all my reviews

Kathryn Hays' mime portrayal of Gem ranks with the finest of the silent actresses, such as Lillian Gish in her work for D.W. Griffth ("Broken Blossoms" is what comes to mind}. This is some of the finest true ACTING I've seen in a sound film! Don't know why she wasn't at least nominated for the Sci-Fi version of the Academy Award for this performance, she's quite good in all her other work as well, even though her voice doesn't quite live up to her acting ability. This episode remains among my "top 10"list of TOS favorites. The interplay of emotion between McCoy & Spock truly brings forth the camaraderie they shared, and the feelings, respect, and admiration they felt toward each other. But again, if you've never seen a silent classic, or a character portrayal By the like of Lillian Gish, take time to watch an old silent, and see just how beautiful they were!

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