Star Trek: Season 1, Episode 24

This Side of Paradise (2 Mar. 1967)

TV Episode  |   |  Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi
8.1
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Reviews: 14 user | 10 critic

The Enterprise investigates a planet whose colonists should be dead, but are not.

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Title: This Side of Paradise (02 Mar 1967)

This Side of Paradise (02 Mar 1967) on IMDb 8.1/10

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Storyline

The Enterprise is ordered to clean up the aftermath of a doomed colony on Omicron Ceti III, a planet under constant irradiation from deadly Berthold Rays. Upon arrival, however, the colonists aren't only alive but in perfect health, with no desire to leave their new world. They are in fact under the influence of plant spores which not only keep them in good and improved health but simultaneously keep them in a placid state of happiness and contentment. Mr Spock reacquaints with Leila Kalomi, an old friend who had been (and still is) in love with him. She leads Spock into being affected by the spores, and he is thereafter, for the first time, able to express love for her in return. Eventually the entire ship's crew is affected, leaving Kirk alone to wonder how he can possibly rescue them from perpetual bliss. Written by Clive Wilson

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2 March 1967 (USA)  »

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1.33 : 1
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Trivia

In the script, Kirk first spots Spock and Leila kissing passionately by the stream. There is no scene of Spock hanging off the tree limb. That facet of the episode may have been made up on the spot. Indeed, director Ralph Senensky came up with the idea of Spock hanging from the tree on location, when he found the tree and the spot closely to Bronson Canyon. Originally the scene was to be shot on a clearing. Evidence taken from a deleted scene, of Spock and Leila's presence near the stream, appears in the episode's preview trailer. See more »

Goofs

Leila says to Spock, "I've never seen a starship before." She is a space colonist that arrived to the colony four years ago and met Spock six years ago, so how did she arrive on the planet if not by starship? See more »

Quotes

Capt. Kirk: My orders are to remove all the colonists and that's exactly what I intend to do, with or without your help.
Elias Sandoval: Without, I should think.
Dr. McCoy: [after Elias walks off] Would you like to use a butterfly net on him, Jim?
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Connections

Referenced in Saturday Night Live: William Shatner/Lone Justice (1986) See more »

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User Reviews

"We weren't meant for paradise..."
3 March 2010 | by (The San Francisco Bay Area) – See all my reviews

Says Captain James T. Kirk. Truth be told I'm not sure that this is the episode in which he makes this statement, but even it it isn't the summation is apt.

A colony is bereft of want or desire, other than to frolic. While all the time their animals and works have decayed and died off. Partially because of the deadly environment, but partially because of an outside influence.

Which would you have, a paradise where all your carnal and emotional amusements were satisfied at the cost of everything you spent your previous life building, or a life where your work and struggles were rewarded? Does the heir of a fortunate fare better than the child born on the wrong side of the tracks who makes good through academic and/or physical effort?

The gist of the story is clear. But the truth of the parable is actually a more sophisticated one, the true depths of which are not addressed in this brief photoplay. But, what we do see is a commentary on the overindulgence of the 1960's new-youth oriented social movements, and the consequences of excess to the exclusion of all else in a social structure where achievement is discouraged. In this sense we're also seeing the segment of a rehabilitative asylum, satiating a patient's alleged unhealthy wants and desires to "get it out of their system", so to speak.

What truly is paradise? What is truly hell? This episode (and a couple others in the franchise) attempt to address facets of both sides of the coin through the presentation of dramatic scenarios for our pleasure.

Again, Star Fleet's finest meet the challenge, albeit in an unusual way.

In terms of production values ... well, the plants are what they are, and there's no two ways about it. But the acting, story and theme are first rate, particularly by Nimoy's stretching of Spock's boundaries. Great stuff. And Shatner's Kirk is of course the lynch pin to the entire thing. The Enterprise herself looks fantastic in her 1960 glory as she glides across the screen of Omicron Ceti III, even if somewhat dated.

The key "antagonist" may garnish a chuckle from younger viewers, and appropriately so. Heck, even when the show first aired people were in a "awe, come on" mode when the "spores hit-the-fan", so to speak :)

Regardless, watch this episode to see the crew of our favorite starship get pushed to their limits and beyond.

Enjoy :)

p.s. We're actually watching a man (Spock and the crew of the Entperise) recover from bi-polar disorder. A clever gimmicky use of abnormal psychology in a sci-fi vein. In the end Spock releases his temper and recovers.

p.s. in retrospect it is about recovering from depression and bi-polar. I only wish the plants had been tweaked or turned into something else.


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