Series: The Original Series
Air Date: March 30, 1967
Written by: Don Ingalls
Directed by: Gerd Oswald
After the whole universe blinks out for a second, the Enterprise meets Lazarus who claims to be the reason. And then he goes crazy.
While trekking along in space and examining an uncharted planet with nothing on it, the Enterprise suddenly experiences a moment of "non-existence." And then suddenly there are things on the planet. Well, before they can check out the things, they report to Starfleet and Starfleet says that the non-existence was felt throughout all of known space. The admiral says that the uncharted planet the Enterprise was over was the epicenter of the event, so he is, therefore, ordering all ships to evacuate the system. Except for the Enterprise. Just because they're there, it is now their task to examine the event and prevent it from happening again. It's just another case of them being at the wrong place at the right time.
So, they go down to the surface. A good place to start, they figure, is by examining the objects that just suddenly appeared out of nowhere. So when they find the thing, it turns out to be some sort of vessel. Tiny, but effective. While they're distracted by it, Lazarus shows up behind them and madly calls out for help as if he's being chased down by a bear. And then he faints, falling down off of a huge boulder. Which makes me think maybe he ate one too many mushrooms.
|THE BEARS! THEY'RE DANCING IN THE SKY! ON RAINBOWS!|
Well, finally Kirk finds out that some of the information that Lazarus had been supplying was a lie, so he confronts him about it. Lazarus then finally gives up the truth: that he's a time traveler. And the planet below is his home in some other time. The ship he was in travels through time, space and dimension and there is an antimatter version of himself from another universe that, if he comes in contact with him, will destroy all off both universes. The ship acts as a safe conduit for them to pass through and interact without blowing things up. So what do they do when they meet each other there?
BUT WAIT! Kirk foils his plans by going into the ship before Lazarus is ready. In doing so, he depletes the dilithium crystals and enters into the antimatter universe! When he's there he meets antimatter Lazarus for, officially, the first time. He explains everything that's going on and then requests Kirk's help to defeat Lazarus. The only way they can do it is by forcing him into his ship before he's ready and destroying the ship so that both Lazarii are stuck in there forever. That way there will no chance of the two coming into contact without protection.
This is one of those heavy sci-fi stories that depend on a lot of faith in the fake science of other dimensions. But, in the end, it tells the story of a man who is willing to sacrifice himself for the good of the universe. Two universes, actually. That is a timeless tale. Sacrifice for the good of others is the ultimate virtue. Thumbs up from this guy.