While Capt. Kirk and the derelict USS Defiant apparently lost, the Enterprise grapples with an insanity causing plague and an attack by the Tholians.



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Episode complete credited cast:
Sean Morgan ...
Lt. O'Neil


Kirk and the derelict starship Defiant vanish into a spatial interphase between universes. To rescue him, Spock must maintain position despite a growing, violent hysteria aboard the Enterprise, like that which destroyed the Defiant's crew, as well as a force field being laid around the Enterprise by Tholian patrol ships. Written by Tom D.

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Release Date:

15 November 1968 (USA)  »

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Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


First episode to show the environmental suit. Something that was avoided before not only because of the cost but of the problems of the suit having to have a helmet with a clear window. Such a window would always pick up unwanted reflections and make recording the actor's lines difficult. Since these outfits were only meant to be seen only in NTSC resolution, someone came up with the ingenious solution of making the "window" out of mesh. Mesh would provide the diffusion to make it seem there was something clear and solid in front of the actor's face and reflections and recording dialog would be no problem. The way the shows were broadcast back then it would provide successful illusion of a solid face plate for the most part. It was not until DVD, which achieved the highest quality of NTSC resolution that the use of mesh became much more noticeable. And now, with high definition resolution, you can see the texture and wrinkling if the mesh quite easily. See more »


While transporting Kirk back onto the Enterprise there is a close-up of the transporter operator's hands. His rank has changed and he is missing a finger on the right hand - clearly those are Scotty's hands and rank. See more »


Mr. Spock: [regarding the development of an antidote] The urgency requires your personal attention in the laboratory.
Dr. McCoy: My staff is working around the clock. My being there will not affect the biochemistry of any of the tests. This service requires my personal attention, Mr. Spock.
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Referenced in Star Trek: Enterprise: In a Mirror, Darkly: Part 1 (2005) See more »

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User Reviews

Space Madness and the Punctual Tholians
4 February 2007 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

The Enterprise enters a region of space where space itself phases in and out. Another starship, the Defiant, and her crew have already fallen victim to this spatial malady. Kirk beams over to the shifting Defiant with Spock, McCoy and Chekov; we get to see the crew wearing funky spacesuits in this one. In an eerie sequence of scenes, we see that the Defiant's crew appears to have killed each other. This shifting space also affects the brains of humans, causing a degeneration into insanity. These and later scenes recall the bouts of insanity in "Is There in Truth no Beauty?" earlier this same season. Unfortunately, Kirk should have left Chekov on the Enterprise; Scotty is able to beam back only 3 of them at a time and the Defiant fades away before they can get Kirk back - he's gone, all the way gone (there's something about the number 3 on this show). They even hold a funeral service for Kirk later; yes, this is Kirk's final episode...just kidding. Then the Tholians show up. They're territorial and want the Enterprise outta there!

Like about half of the 3rd season episodes, this is saddled with a snail pace in spots, but the alien Tholians almost make up for this. While we were still seeing actors in lame appliances 20 and 25 years later on the later series (TNG, DS9, etc.) to display alien reps, here we see a truly innovative attempt at visualizing an alien race, complete with an unusual audio signature. You won't soon forget the Tholians. Their energy web - well, that's another matter: seems to me this tactic would work only if an enemy vessel sat unmoving for an hour or two, not using its weaponry. How often does that happen? This episode is also unusual in that Kirk shows up only in the pre-credits scenes, the first act and then disappears until the last 5 minutes (not counting his shots as a ghost). Hence, we observe a new group dynamic shifting into place to fill in the gap: Spock & McCoy further their tense relationship, while Scotty moves in to complete a new trinity. There's an interesting scene with the trio in Spock's quarters near the end, just before final maneuvers are to be made and Scotty walks off with obvious plans to get drunk.

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