Star Trek (1966–1969)
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Who Mourns for Adonais? 

A powerful being claiming to be the Greek god Apollo appears and demands that the crew of the Enterprise disembark onto his planet to worship him.

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Storyline

The Enterprise is stopped dead in its tracks by a powerful energy force that appears in the form of a human hand. Soon a being claiming to be Apollo orders Kirk and several others down to the planet below. Apollo claims to have visited Earth 5,000 years ago and Kirk theorizes that he may be telling the truth. Apollo's demand for unquestioned servitude however doesn't give the crew much choice and it becomes imperative that they locate and destroy his power supply. Written by garykmcd

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22 September 1967 (USA)  »

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1.33 : 1
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Trivia

The title is taken from Adonais: An Elegy on the Death of John Keats by Percy Bysshe Shelley. Line 415 reads "Who mourns for Adonais?". Shelley's Adonais is derived from Adonis, a male figure of Greek mythology associated with fertility. Also, "Adonais" would be the English plural the Hebrew Spoken Name of God (the Hebrew word adonai simply means lord), so it would mean "Who Mourns for the Gods?" See more »

Goofs

Lt. Palamas says that in ancient literature, Apollo was the son of the god Zeus and a "mortal" named Leto. All known classical references state that Leto was a Titaness, a member of the elder gods. See more »

Quotes

Apollo: Earth. Mother of the most beautiful of woman in the universe. That at least has not changed.
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Connections

Referenced in Mannix: The Girl in the Frame (1968) See more »

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User Reviews

 
They've Outgrown You, Apollo
14 August 2006 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

The supposition created here, a natural for science fiction writers, is that the famed Greek gods of myth - Zeus, Hera, Apollo, Artemis, Hermes & so on - were actually space travelers whose advanced powers made them seem like gods to the ancient peoples of Earth 5000 years ago (hey, I wonder if Jack Kirby, creator of 'The Eternals' comic book for Marvel Comics, was familiar with this episode). Now the Enterprise comes across the last of these - Apollo - on an otherwise ordinary planet. The other so-called gods have long since faded away. Most of these points in the story are not really explained; why do these beings thrive on worship? Are they shapeshifters, absorbing such emotions the same way we humans take in normal food? Instead, we are offered only hints, such as an extra organ inside Apollo detected by McCoy which is never elaborated on. This may be lazy writing or just a way of keeping some remaining mystery and awe around such a mythological character. In any case, the theme reveals itself as the age-old conflict between modern technology, which offers comfortable existence, and the more naturalistic gadget-free lifestyle we humans have left behind, or lost, in Apollo's view.

Returning to nature was a rising, popular theme during the sixties and seventies. Many began to feel that we were advancing too quickly, creating an abnormal culture, as a result. The super-alien Apollo certainly feels this way and offers the alternative; Kirk rejects this outright - he has his mission, as well as a ship, which Apollo makes the mistake of threatening to crush. Of the 5-person landing party, the one female member does give in, temporarily, to this proposition; perhaps she represents the 20% of our population who have serious doubts about our progress. Ironically, Kirk has to remind her of her humanity, her true heritage, to turn her back to the majority. We're stuck with what we have, this seems to say, not to mention, 'you will have no other gods before me.' The powerful Apollo, a more sympathetic version of the sadistic Trelane of the 1st season ("The Squire of Gothos"), truly has no harmful intent - he sees himself as very benevolent. This is his undoing, for he also proves to be quite naive - perhaps the clueless teenager to Trelane's spoiled brat - and, like the most vulnerable among us, he leaves himself open to heartbreak. No matter your powers - in matters of the heart, which Kirk chooses to exploit as that one weakness he usually finds in superpowerful threats, you may end up helpless. It's unusual to see such a powerful being weeping like a lost boy, a genuinely sad note to end things on. Kirk - destroyer of gods, another notch on his resume.


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