Series: The Original Series
Air Date: March 2, 1967
Written by: D.C. Fontana
Directed by: Ralph Senensky
Checking up on a colony that should be dead, the Enterprise finds that the colony has stayed alive by use of a pollen that gives them perfect health and tears down all their inhibitions.
"Emotions run deeply within our race," said Sarek in Star Trek (2009), "In some ways deeper than humans." A lot of people don't realize that Vulcans actually are capable of emotion, they just suppress it. This episode answers the question: "What if Spock's suppression mechanisms were broken down?"
The Enterprise's mission was to catalog the destruction of an agricultural colony that left from Earth three years ago. Unfortunately, the existence of deadly berthold rays was only discovered after they left. They were, however, undeterred. They settled down and determined to live despite the radiation. And live they did! When they beam down to the planet, Kirk and the away team find the colonists to be completely alive. Not only that, they're in absolutely perfect health. Even some glands that had been removed were regrown! And while they try to figure that out, Spock meets up with his old girlfriend, Leila Kalomi, to whom he seems quite unreceptive.
|Because once he went black, he never went back.|
The leader of the colonists, Elias, as well as Spock, explain to Kirk that the plants flew around in space until they landed on the planet and waited around for humans to spit their spores into. The dirt on the planet is perfectly suited for planting, so not only are the random space plants welcome, but an agricultural colony is perfect. Kirk, however, argues that their paradise of an existence has made them stagnate. He says humans aren't meant for paradise and progress will never be made as long as they have no challenge.
Kirk finally being under the influence of spores, he contacts Sock and tries to leave, but the extreme stress of having to leave his beloved ship behind congers negative emotions in him. And that, as it turns out, is the key to defeating the spores. Before he can transport down, he's cured, so he starts his master plan to cure the rest of the crew by beaming Spock up and making fun of his half-breededness. He jabs at him like a bully for a while and then Spock starts to fight. But in the middle of the fight he's cured! Back to his normal self, he sets up a sub-sonic treatment to go over everyone's communicator to make them agitated and angry and finally everyone is free of the spore's influence.
|Spock: professional killjoy.|
And so for the second time humanity was kicked out of paradise.
This is one of the more interesting morals of the Star Trek story. Roddenberry doesn't like the idea of paradise, and, really, I don't blame him.Without a challenge, without a race to win, there is no progress. Change, challenge and intelligence - these are what bring us to the future.