Star Trek: Season 3, Episode 3

The Paradise Syndrome (4 Oct. 1968)

TV Episode  |   |  Action, Adventure, Mystery
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Ratings: 6.9/10 from 919 users  
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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 first Star Trek production to feature Native American Indian culture as a key plot element. Other examples are Star Trek: The Animated Series: How Sharper Than a Serpent's Tooth (1974), Star Trek: The Next Generation: Journey's End (1994), and several episodes of Star Trek: Voyager (1995). 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.
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Featured in Reel Injun (2009) See more »

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User Reviews

Again, Don't Think Too Much!
3 May 2014 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

What's interesting to me is that there were too many people involved in this series that said things like, "Imagine that Kirk finds himself on a planet full of American Indians." Don't bother to explain how they evolved or any of that unimportant stuff. Put the planet in danger from an asteroid and stick Kirk on the planet with amnesia. Have him absorbed by the Native American population. Since Kirk has no idea where he is or how he got there and begins to believe the tribe when they tell him he is a god. He is immediately targeted by the medicine man. He hooks up with a beautiful young Indian woman whom he marries. The obelisk where he was when things went awry is the solution to the problem but Kirk can't remember and Spock and McCoy are back on the ship. Kirk is even about to be a daddy. Just how much time transpires here. That's another question. It isn't that this isn't half-way decent storytelling, but what happened to science fiction. The plot is about a guy who has no idea what's going on, who must defend himself against adversaries he does not understand. It is so incredibly contrived as to be laughable. Shatner does his usual overacting thing (which is really true; not a myth) and is able to rant against the gods who have betrayed.

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