Star Trek: Season 3, Episode 20

The Way to Eden (21 Feb. 1969)

TV Episode  -   -  Action | Adventure | Sci-Fi
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Ratings: 5.4/10 from 737 users  
Reviews: 17 user | 2 critic

A group of idealistic hippies, led by an irrational leader, come aboard the U.S.S. Enterprise.



(creator), (teleplay), 2 more credits »
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Title: The Way to Eden (21 Feb 1969)

The Way to Eden (21 Feb 1969) on IMDb 5.4/10

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Episode complete credited cast:
Skip Homeier ...
Irina Galliulin (as Mary-Linda Rapelye)
Victor Brandt ...
Elizabeth Rogers ...
Deborah Downey ...
Girl #1
Phyllis Douglas ...
Girl #2


The Enterprise is ordered to pursue a group of anti-establishment idealists who have stolen a space cruiser and made off for the mythical planet Eden. When the group pushes their stolen ship beyond its limits, the Enterprise is forced to rescue them by transporting them aboard. This merry band of space-hippies includes an insane leader (Dr. Sevrin), an academy drop-out and former love interest of Chekov (Irina), and the son of a Catullan ambassador (Tongo Rad). With the Federation undergoing fragile treaty negotiations with the Catullans, Kirk is ordered by Starfleet to treat the dissidents with "extreme tolerance." Kirk finds the group and its leader too difficult to deal with while Spock maintains a deep curiosity about their ideals. Kirk appoints Spock as liaison for the group during their stay on the Enterprise. Dr. Sevrin demands to be taken to Eden, but Kirk refuses on the grounds that his orders from Starfleet dictate that the group be taken to the nearest star base. While ... Written by Anonymous

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Release Date:

21 February 1969 (USA)  »

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Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


The egg shaped badges with what appears to be a sideways figure "8" which the space hippies wear is actually a representation of the symbol for "infinity." The symbol is also called a lemniscate. See more »


As Captain Kirk walks away from Tongo Rad after they are transported aboard the shadow of the boom mic can be see on the back wall. See more »


Spock: [to Kirk] There is no insanity in what they seek. I made a promise which I should like to keep. With your permission, I must locate Eden.
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Featured in William Shatner's Star Trek Memories (1995) See more »


I See You
Performed by Deborah Downey and Charles Napier
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User Reviews

Hippies in Space rename Kirk...Herbert!
8 March 2007 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Though I cannot in good conscience give this one more stars, due to the ridiculous tone during most of the episode, it does have its charms in places. As mentioned elsewhere, unless you're very, uh, stiff, this one will elicit some laughs from you. Kirk beams aboard a group of radicals from a fleeing ship. Barely dressed, they have rejected the sterile trappings of future civilization, seeking the mythical planet of Eden (now that I think about it, they would have done well to find Apollo's planet in "Who Mourns For Adonais?"). One of these hippies is Chekov's ex-girlfriend, from his academy days - it's amusing when Kirk learns of this; in fact, Shatner is amusing in most of his scenes here. Like several other 3rd season escapades, this attempts to capture the mood and spirit of the decade's (the '60s) relevant topics and, as a result, has become one of the more dated episodes. The interstellar hipsters use future slang such as 'you reach, brother?' and call Kirk 'Herbert'

  • a derogatory term - when he starts speaking of rules and regulations.
It comes across as quite silly now, and probably also sounded silly 35 years ago, and viewers were probably also laughing at these scenes 35 years ago.

The episode tries to come up with insightful explanations for the antics of these flower children of outer space. Spock, of all people, er, Vulcans, relates best to these troublemakers because he understands about being alienated from your own society. However, this episode may have knocked Spock down a peg or two in the eyes of some fans; when he joins the band of free-spirited kids in a jam session of sorts, you expect him to place beads on his head in the next scene and join these punks in their wilderness Shangri-La. Thankfully, that didn't happen. In fact, the best scene is when Spock gets a cold splash of reality and tells Kirk that the leader of this band, a former scientific researcher, is insane. It's also kind of interesting that the motivations of a couple of these radicals are revealed to slightly veer from the main group, showing that everyone, as usual, has their own agenda. But, many scenes are cringe-worthy indeed, perhaps the most embarrassing to watch of the entire series. Most of the singing (by cast-against-type Napier) and shouting by the group of nutcases falls into this category. The climax does have a dark ironic tone, as well it should, as we tend to forget that it actually takes place on a planet somewhere in the Romulan Zone! It also attacks the entire concept of the biblical Eden, but this subversive message is lost amid all the attacks on the authority of the 'Great White Captain upstairs.'

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