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 ...
Davis Roberts ...
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?


This was DeForest Kelley's favourite episode. See more »


After Kirk has been released from the manacles used to suspend him we see even red sores on his wrists. However, due to body weight, gravity, and angle of the outstretched arms the marks would be thinner and more pronounced distally but faint or almost non-existent proximally. See more »


Lal: You are called "Captain." You are responsible for the lives of your crew. Is this correct?
Captain James T. Kirk: It is.
Thann: We find it necessary to have the cooperation of one of your men in our efforts.
Captain James T. Kirk: We will NOT cooperate.
Lal: When we resume our interrogations, you will decide which of your men we shall use. It is essential. There is an 87% chance that the doctor will die, and while Commander Spock's life is not in danger, the possibility is 93% that he will suffer brain damage resulting in permanent insanity.
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Referenced in Free Enterprise (1998) 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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