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



(created by),

Watch Now

$0.00 with Prime Video





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


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


See all certifications »




Release Date:

6 December 1968 (USA)  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


This was DeForest Kelley's favourite episode. 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: [after McCoy injects him with hypospray] Your action is highly unethical. My decision... stands.
[He collapses]
See more »


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

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

"Best of the silent era"?
8 December 2006 | by (Bradenton, Florida) – See all my reviews

I know this will probably sound mean, but I was surprised by one comment about this episode that said the performance of the leading lady ranked with the "best of the silent era". I have seen hundreds of silent films and I would seriously beg to differ! Her character was pretty dreadful and it reminded me more of a mime than a silent actress.

Now as for the rest of the episode, it's pretty sub-par, as the threesome of Kirk, Spock and McCoy are stuck in a dark sound studio that is supposed to be some lab run by guys who look very reminiscent of the aliens in THE MENAGERIE (the first Star Trek pilot). Here, they do lots of experiments on the men in order to get the mute woman to develop empathy--all of which time the crew behave very protectively towards her. In the end, after a whole lotta torture (even worse than for us watching the episode), they are released and everything is apparently cool.

The bottom line is that this is a minimalist episode where most of it could have been filmed in a dark theater. The plot is ultra simple and the show is amazingly dull and lethargic. Not a great episode at all.

10 of 34 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Johnny Seven shermandemetrius
I know that this is a TOS message board but I have a question tyroth67
Balance of Terror (1966) FrankNW
Edith Keller/The Oracle! timmytony80
Elaan of Troyus timmytony80
Those Adorable Andorians johcafra-150-658402
Discuss The Empath (1968) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page