Series: The Original Series
Air Date: February 28, 1969
Written by: David Gerrold and Oliver Crawford
Directed by: Jud Taylor
In the search for another cure, this time for a different planet, Kirk and friends get caught up in class rivalry on the planet Ardana.
The planet Merak II is in desperate need of zenite to cure their planet-wide botanical plague. And the closest place to produce zenite is Ardana. When they arrive, they beam down to the mines and look up at the cloud city, Stratos. The rulers live up there while the workers, Troglytes, stay on the ground and work the mines. At least... they were working the mines. Now they're on strike. They don't have the zenite ready, and they don't care. In fact, when Kirk and Spock arrive, they attack!
Luckily Plasus is there to break up the party. He beams down and shoos away the Troglytes with the help of his guards. Plasus apologizes profusely as Kirk and Spock untie themselves from the Troglytes' ropes. He then invites them up to Stratos while they get the matter of the zenite settled. Up in the cloud city, the look down and make remarks about how awesome it is to have the whole city flying and stuff. And Plasus explains that Disruptors in the Troglytes have started a terrorist group. But that all fades away when he introduces his daughter,
|Proving once more that there are no ugly women in space.|
One of the Troglytes is caught trying to leave without an identification card, so he's brought before Plasus for questioning. He looks suspiciously like Lil' John. And he's just about as coherent. It's clear that he's lying about every answer he gives, but at least when he commits to jumping out of the city, he jumps out of the city. He runs straight past Plasus and falls thousands of feet to his doom below. And then everyone ignores it and goes to their chambers for the night.
|Kirk in his chambers. Normal.|
Apparently the Troglytes really are stupider than the Stratans. But not because they were born that way. A gas in the zenite that is released during mining is retarding their brain functions, but they should be able to counteract their effect with a special mask. Kirk thinks that's wonderful! And he presents the idea to Plasus but Plasus is still mad and rejects the idea. So Kirk goes straight for the source. He beams back down to the mines and gets himself caught by the Troglytes.
|I am Stratos' reckoning.|
Class rivalry like this is sort of a staple in science fiction stories. There's something about having superior technology that makes superiority easy. And in this case, they did it rather well. Because the Enterprise had the most superior technology and they ended up being the ones to bring everyone together. I liked this story. I have no complaints.