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Return to Tomorrow 

The Enterprise is guided to a distant, long-dead world where survivors of an extremely ancient race - existing only as disembodied energy - desiring the bodies of Kirk, Spock and astro-biologist Ann Mulhall so that they may live again.


Ralph Senensky


Gene Roddenberry (created by), John T. Dugan (as John Kingsbridge)




Episode complete credited cast:
William Shatner ... Capt. Kirk / Sargon
Leonard Nimoy ... Mr. Spock / Henoch
DeForest Kelley ... Dr. McCoy
Diana Muldaur ... Dr. Ann Mulhall / Thalassa
James Doohan ... Scott / Voice of Sargon
Nichelle Nichols ... Uhura
George Takei ... Sulu
Cindy Lou Cindy Lou ... Nurse
Majel Barrett ... Christine Chapel


From a planet bereft of life for half a million years, the Enterprise hears the voice of Sargon, who is able to control the ship and tells them to transport to specific coordinates which target them to a subterranean chamber. The away party consisted of Kirk, Spock, McCoy and astro-biologist Ann Mulhall; the security guards they planned to take along were prevented from de-materializing. Sargon is one of only three survivors of the planet's intelligent race - pure energy, matter without form. They tell the away party that they once started life on Earth and many other places. Suddenly Sargon possesses Kirk's body, saying he requires Spock and Ann Mulhall's bodies, too, in order to give the only other survivors of his race new life. He promises the bodies will be returned after they build superior mechanical robots as their definitive bodies, then leaves Kirk's and allows them to beam up and freely make up their minds. McCoy isn't tempted by curiosity and potential benefits, but Kirk ... Written by KGF Vissers

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


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Did You Know?


This is the second time a reference is made in Star Trek about the Apollo moon program, after Star Trek: The Original Series: Tomorrow Is Yesterday (1967). Filmed more than a year-and-a-half before the first lunar landing, Kirk rhetorically asks McCoy in this episode, "Do you wish that the first Apollo mission hadn't reached the Moon?" The first manned Apollo mission, Apollo 1 (intended to be a test-flight of the Command and Service Module in Earth orbit only), never flew, since a tragic fire claimed the lives of three astronauts. This happened on 27 January 1967, months before the script was submitted to the production team and a full year before this episode aired. The first Apollo mission in which astronauts orbited, and technically "reached", the moon was Apollo 8 in December 1968, ten months after this episode aired. However, the Apollo 11 astronauts were the first to "reach" the moon by landing on it in 20 July 1969, after Star Trek was canceled. Kirk's next comments about going "on to Mars and then to the nearest star" seem to suggest that he is referring to the Apollo 11 lunar mission. See more »


Kirk and his crew disbelieve that fully functioning android bodies can exist, apparently forgetting their encounters with such beings in Star Trek: The Original Series: What Are Little Girls Made Of? and Star Trek: The Original Series: I, Mudd. See more »


Thalassa: [in Dr. Mulhall's body] Can robot lips do this?
[Kisses Sargon in Captain Kirk's body]
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Alternate Versions

Special Enhanced version Digitally Remastered with new exterior shots and remade opening theme song See more »


Referenced in Star Trek: Discovery: The Vulcan Hello (2017) See more »


Music credited to Alexander Courage, although a small part of the theme resembles the main title music for 'Hollow Triumph (1948)' by Sol Kaplan, who is not credited. Sol Kaplan did contribute music to numerous episodes and is so credited when applicable.
Sung by Loulie Jean Norman
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User Reviews

Diana Muldaur looks great
11 January 2020 | by rodkb-62759See all my reviews

Delightful to see Diana Muldaur in this early role. She was about 28 yo then and very convincing! Easy to see that her coming tv roles would be filled by the superconfident actress who would continue to please us for decades as a lawyer and space traveler. The writing of this episode was exceptionally future minded and discussions of risk and benefit in the philosophical meetings that Kirk held are a tribute to the venturous explorers of the universe that were put on the five-year mission in order to improve humanity and boldly go where others would not.

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Greek | English

Release Date:

9 February 1968 (USA) See more »

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Sound Mix:

Mono | Dolby Digital (re-mastered version)| DTS (re-mastered version)


Color | Color (Technicolor)

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