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
Did You Know?
The spores, in the early drafts, were a communal intelligence; when someone was possessed by them, that individual was granted telepathic abilities to link up with other possessed minds. The abilities of the spores to restore health were complete enough to enable them to return the dead to life. The antidotes for the spores were either the possession of a certain blood type or the introduction of alcohol into the affected person. Originally, Kirk leaped onto Spock and forced liquor down his throat to restore him to normal. In a surprise ending, the spores were revealed to be benevolent, conscious entities who never intended to act against anyone's will. See more
Kirk says that Spock could be in the circus next to the dog faced boy, and Spock reacts as if he's readily familiar with such an image. It is difficult to imagine that this kind of novelty act would still be popular or remotely desirable in the Trek Universe, given the extreme commonality of aliens and other "different" looking people in it, and 23rd-century Terrans' supposedly enlightened attitudes toward them. See more
We're evacuating all colonists to Starbase 27.
No, I don't think so.
You don't think so, WHAT?
I don't think so, SIR.