Kirk, Spock and McCoy suddenly find themselves in an underground laboratory where they meet an attractive young woman who is not only mute but also an empath who can absorb someone else's pain. When their captors make themselves known, they refuse to explain why the three men have been taken prisoner or why they and the young woman, whom McCoy has named Gem, are there. Inexplicably, they set about torturing them for no apparent reason. Fortunately, Gem's empathic powers allow her to take away their pain, but only at great sacrifice to herself. When their captors tell Kirk that he must choose which of his men to die, their selflessness comes to the fore, leaving Dr. McCoy volunteering himself. They all soon learn that the object of the experiment is Gem herself.
Did You Know?
The third season of Star Trek was famously only green lighted after viewer pressure made the NBC network change their mind after they originally planned to cancel the series after the second season. One of the conditions that NBC insisted on when they finally commissioned a third season was for the production company to implement cuts to the production budget by 25%, and this resulted in production design shortcuts (such as reusing footage, props and sets from previous episodes) as well as a purported drop in the quality of some of the scripts. The budget cuts are particularly noticeable in this episode, one of the last of the third season. With the production budget for the entire series already thinly stretched and close to running out as the production schedule for season three drew to a close, the producers were forced to creatively save money by implementing minimal set design in the laboratory scenes where much of this story takes place (hence why these scenes were filmed against a black backdrop) and re-use the slightly redressed alien desert planet surface set previously seen in Star Trek: The City on the Edge of Forever
(1967) among others. See more
The first time Kirk, Spock and McCoy are hit with the Vian force field, Kirk says he "can't seem to stand up", even though he is standing. See more
Captain James T. Kirk
Why, she seems harmless enough.
The sand-bats of Manark IV appear to be inanimate rock crystal, Doctor, until they attack.
Special Enhanced version Digitally Remastered with new exterior shots and remade opening theme song See more
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