Star Trek: Season 3, Episode 24

Turnabout Intruder (3 Jun. 1969)

TV Episode  |   |  Action, Adventure, Mystery
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Ratings: 6.9/10 from 849 users  
Reviews: 20 user | 4 critic

An insane woman forcibly switches personalities with Capt. Kirk.



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Title: Turnabout Intruder (03 Jun 1969)

Turnabout Intruder (03 Jun 1969) on IMDb 6.9/10

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Episode complete credited cast:
Sandra Smith ...
Harry Landers ...
Barbara Baldavin ...
David L. Ross ...
John Boyer ...


In answering a medical emergency at an archaeological expedition, Kirk confronts the deep hatred of an old love, Janice Lester, who supposedly lies severely ill from celebium radiation. In payment for jilting her back at Starfleet Academy, Dr. Lester arranges for an alien machine to swap her consciousness with that of the captain and takes command of the Enterprise. Once aboard, Kirk (in Lester's body) tries to convince Spock that he is trapped in her body. As a result, Janice (in Kirk's body) conducts a court-marshal with the intent of executing Spock and Kirk (in Janice's body), and later McCoy and Scott, to keep her secret. The crew realize something is seriously wrong with their captain and, not wishing to incur an illegal death-penalty themselves, begin a passive resistance. Written by JW Kearse

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Release Date:

3 June 1969 (USA)  »

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Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


William Shatner had a severe case of flu during filming of this episode. At one point he had to lift Sandra Smith in his arms, carry her to a couch and put her on it: during the first take he got as far as the couch and dropped her. Fortunately it was well padded, and Smith bounced several times; according to Joanie Winston, who was visiting the set, Shatner looked down at Smith and said, "You know I love you, baby, but you've got to lose about six inches off that ass." See more »


After Dr. Lester, in Kirk's body, first arrives on the bridge and starts issuing orders, a wide shot of the bridge and viewing screen clearly shows a blond crewman (stock footage featuring Bill Blackburn) other than Chekov at the navigator station. At the tail end of this shot, Lester/Kirk specifically addresses his order to Chekov. In the very next shot Chekov is suddenly at the navigator station to hear the rest of Lester/Kirk's order. See more »


Dr. Janice Lester: [in Kirk's body] Dr. McCoy, I'm sorry but I'm going to have to take you off the case and turn it over to Dr. Coleman.
Dr. McCoy: You can't do this! On this ship, my medical authority is final!
Dr. Janice Lester: If Dr. Coleman wants to assume the full responsibility, let him do it.
Dr. McCoy: I won't allow it!
Dr. Janice Lester: It's DONE.
See more »


Referenced in Star Trek: The Next Generation: Legacy (1990) See more »

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User Reviews

The Star Fleet Glass Ceiling
13 September 2014 | by (Buffalo, New York) – See all my reviews

Back when this show was first aired in 1969 it seemed a lot more plausible that a woman would still after some 5 centuries would still be held down by a glass ceiling. But now that we've elected a black president and seem poised to elect a woman president in the next election this particular episode loses a bit of its verisimilitude.

Nevertheless this particular Star Trek story gives William Shatner one of his opportunities and since this was the last episode of Star Trek prime a great one to say adieu to that first run audience. Ditto for Sandra Scott who plays both the envious Dr. Janice Lester and Captain James T. Kirk trapped in Lester's body.

The Enterprise arrives on a rescue mission on a distant planet to save the members of an expedition taken with radiation exposure. When she gets William Shatner alone she paralyzes him and tricks him into a machine where she joins him and in a Freaky Friday moment they exchange consciousness. Now Dr. Lester has fulfilled her fondest dreams. She who washed out of Star Fleet Academy is now captain of a starship. But in William Shatner's body she soon displays why she just didn't belong in Star Fleet let alone in command of a ship.

The episode does raise some discrimination issues and oddly enough the one woman regular in Star Trek wasn't in this final show. Perhaps Gene Roddenberry didn't want Nichelle Nichols in it for some personal reason. I think the unflappable Lieutenant Uhura at her communication station doing her job while Lester as Kirk unravels would have been a great contrast.

Though real future events have dated the episode I think it still has a lot to say about women's equality.

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