Star Trek: Season 1, Episode 24

This Side of Paradise (2 Mar. 1967)

TV Episode  -   -  Action | Adventure | Sci-Fi
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Reviews: 13 user | 8 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)

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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

According to director Ralph Senensky, the original schedule was that the first three of the six shooting days were to be spent on location, shooting at the Golden Oak Ranch (also known as the Disney Ranch), then the remaining three days indoors, filming the Enterprise scenes. However, after two days of shooting outdoors, Jill Ireland fell ill and couldn't appear on the set. It was in question if she had measles or not. Senensky decided to film all the farm scenes which didn't contain Leila's character and then return to the studio for Enterprise interiors in the remaining of the day, and hope for the actress' return. Ireland appeared the following day, as it turned out that she did not have measles. However, the crew couldn't return to Disney Ranch as it was already booked for another production. They decided to film the remaining scenes at Bronson Canyon. See more »

Goofs

Obvious stunt doubles for Kirk and Spock as they fight in the transporter room. See more »

Quotes

Spock: Captain, striking a fellow officer is a court-martial offense.
Captain James T. Kirk: Well, if we're both in the brig, who's going to build the subsonic transmitter?
Spock: That is quite logical, captain.
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Connections

Referenced in Futurama: Where No Fan Has Gone Before (2002) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Escaping Your Self-Made Purgatory
17 July 2006 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

This one really is one of the all-time Trek greats - one of the best episodes of the first season and, for that matter, of the whole three years of the series. It begins as a mystery on a very peaceful planet, where settlers were meant to begin an agricultural colony several years ago. Kirk tries to unravel this odd jigsaw puzzle presented before him in the first act - the colonists should all be dead by this point due to what are known as Berthold Rays and all animals have indeed died off. The answers lie in some funky-looking plants which shoot spores into human beings, thereby indoctrinating them into a space-age version of a 'happiness pill' society. All worries melt away and humans can, for the first time since Adam & Eve (one might say), relax in paradise. In a sense, this is "The Naked Time" episode taken to the next level - rather than fighting a form of disease, mankind here seems cured of all ills - there appears to be no reason to escape something so benevolent.

There is a beguiling quality to most of this episode and moments of incredible poignancy. Most of these moments are in Spock's scenes, usually with his newfound lady love (the luminous Ireland). Here we see Spock as perhaps he really is without that wall of anti-emotion he projects - this story hints that it really is an artificial wall, even unnecessary. This is not Spock afflicted by sickness or possessed by an alien force - it's the real Spock, smiles and all, all his usual defense mechanisms swept away, as human as, well, Dr. McCoy. Swept Away

  • that's probably as good a description as any for what happens to him


and then the rest of the crew. And ironically, it's most tragic for Spock, among all the crew, when this happiness is taken away - we realize he loses the most here - everyone else just realizes they've been kind of wasting their time. Interestingly, Kirk proves to be the only one resistant to these spores, to a degree. I guess that's why he's captain - it takes a lot more to dissuade him from his mission than it does the average crew member.

Overall, this episode presents a superlative progression of surprise, suspense and some jarring thrills following on the heels of the early mystery. After Spock gets through that brief, though alarming, painful transition to his new self, we see Kirk's astonishment as he first observes his transformed first officer (more irony here: Kirk could have really enjoyed a relaxed friendship with Spock if things continued as they were here, a typical 'best friends' relationship, though McCoy might've gotten jealous and then burned off the effect of the spores). Then the ship empties; this was the first time something like this happened - now things look really grim - and once Kirk exits, that's it; the ship will burn up in a decaying orbit. I believe this episode has the shot of the empty bridge which was later used in the TNG episode "Relics." Those hints we've seen of Spock's Vulcan strength prove to be quite valid - don't ever anger a Vulcan, especially if you're a frail human. I don't pretend to understand all of Kirk's insults but I think his reference to freakism did the trick. Finally, McCoy gets in the best line towards the end when he tells the colony's leader to make him a mechanic - "Then I can treat little tin gods like you!" Priceless.


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