Star Trek: Season 3, Episode 3

The Paradise Syndrome (4 Oct. 1968)

TV Episode  -   -  Action | Adventure | Sci-Fi
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Ratings: 6.9/10 from 831 users  
Reviews: 15 user | 2 critic

Trapped on a planet whose inhabitants are descended from Northwestern American Indians, Kirk loses his memory and is proclaimed a God while the crippled Enterprise races back to the planet before it is destroyed by an asteroid.



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Title: The Paradise Syndrome (04 Oct 1968)

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Episode complete credited cast:
Sabrina Scharf ...
Rudy Solari ...
Naomi Pollack ...
Indian Woman
John Lindesmith ...
Peter Virgo Jr. ...
Lamont Laird ...
Indian Boy


Kirk, Spock and McCoy beam down to a planet that is in the path on an oncoming meteor. They find an idyllic place that is very similar to Earth and whose population is virtually identical to North American Indians. Their visit is meant to be a short one since their mission is to deflect the meteor, still several months away. Before they can return to the ship, Kirk disappears and loses his memory in an accident, forcing Spock to take command of the Enterprise and to leave him behind. On the planet, Kirk is treated like a god when they see him emerge from an obelisk that is actually a deflector beam (which no one remembers how to use, however). When the Enterprise fails to deflect the meteor, they return to the planet only hours before the annihilating meteor's arrival. Written by garykmcd

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Release Date:

4 October 1968 (USA)  »

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Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


The "obelisk" in this episode, constructed at Franklin Lake in the Franklin Canyon Reservoir above Beverly Hills, was erected in the same spot where Opie Taylor throws a rock into the lake during the opening credits of "The Andy Griffith Show". See more »


The Native Americans depicted display none of the cultural elements of the tribes described by Kirk & Co. (Navajo, Delaware, Mohican) The houses are tipis, used by plains peoples. The clothing bears no resemblance to actual Native American clothes, and the names of the characters match no Native naming styles. Also, the Navajo were not peaceful, but were very fierce warriors. The Mohican are a fictitious tribe created for the stories of James Fenimore Cooper who combined the names Mohawk and Mohegan, also warrior tribes. The Delaware were not called "Delaware," but rather, were the Lenne Lenape, as a scholar should refer to them in formal references. See more »


[first lines]
Dr. McCoy: Look at those pine trees!
Captain James T. Kirk: And that lake.
Dr. McCoy: I swear that's honeysuckle I smell.
Captain James T. Kirk: I swear that's a little orange blossom thrown in. It's unbelievable. Growth, exactly like that of Earth, on a planet half a galaxy away. What are the odds of such duplication?
Mr. Spock: Astronomical, Captain.
See more »


Referenced in Star Trek: The Next Generation: The Inner Light (1992) See more »

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User Reviews

Kirok's Tahiti Syndrome (or: Kirk's Vacation)
13 January 2007 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Behold the god who bleeds! (the one great line). Behold a tribe of re-located American Indians. Behold a planet with the exact same vegetation as Earth. 'What are the odds?' Kirk muses. Is Kirk kidding? I place the odds at billions to one against, but they've already found a planet with the exact same continents as Earth ("Miri") and the 'Roman Empire' planet in "Bread and Circuses." What's the big deal? The odds look pretty good in the Trek galaxy. So now we have a 'Tribal American Indians' planet - but at least with an explanation: apparently some ancient alien race likes to displace doomed cultures from Earth to other planets. Now, in a set of circumstances I calculate as millions to one against (or, in the Trek universe, very likely), Kirk accidentally opens a hidden floor panel on a mysterious obelisk with his communicator, falls inside and gets zapped by amnesia. Spock and the rest of the crew, unable to find him, have to leave the planet to head off an approaching asteroid. The better scenes, as with a couple of other episodes, turn out to be the 'B' storyline on the Enterprise, where Spock really annoys Scotty by placing too much strain on the ship's engines.

With us so far? Kirk now exits the obelisk, gets spotted by a couple of females from the tribe and is assumed to be a visiting godling (the uniform must've given it away). Some tribe members are skeptical, but on a 1 in 10,000 chance (a certainty here), he resuscitates a drowned boy, thereby assuring his super-stud, main man, head honcho, favored status. However, he makes an enemy, the former medicine man (Solari) and that's where the whole bleeding god scene comes in. About two months pass. That's right - 2 whole months for this episode! While Kirk, er, Kirok exults in his new found life of nearly carefree abandon, hugging himself in ecstasy and running around the woods with his new wife(!), the Enterprise retreats before a steadily-closing hunk of rock almost the size of our moon. The theme in this one involves placing Kirk in a scenario completely divorced from his usual duties and watch his 'other' true self emerge - the gentle, unhampered Kirk existing in all of us working stiffs. This all sounds very ambitious for a TV episode, but Shatner's over-emoting, hard-to-buy-into plotting and a slipshod pace does it in, undoing much of the tragic impact at the end. I was more interested in these unknown advanced aliens, who may be the same unseen puppeteers of "Assignment:Earth."

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