It's the Christmas Episode of Star Trek!
There's no Santa, decorations or baby Jesus, but with a character named Dr. Noel and not one, but two references to the shipboard Science Lab Christmas party, this is as close as any episode comes to being a Christmas episode.
The Enterprise makes a stop at a penal colony on Tantalus V to beam down some medical supplies ("infra-sensory" drugs) and beams up some cargo that has a hidden stowaway, an escaped "extremely violent" inmate from the rehabilitation colony on the planet.
Still, because Kirk and Spock are awesome the crazed madman is overpowered & taken to sick bay. The ship heads back to Tantalus V where Kirk and Dr. Helen Noel beam down to meet Dr. Adams, the director of the rehabilitation colony.
|Kirk and Dr. Noel had a past meeting at the Science Lab Christmas party.|
This episode featured the first time a Vulcan Mind Meld was shown. Nimoy and Morgan Woodward (playing van Gelder) did an excellent job as van Gelder goes from raving madman to peaceful informant.
By the way, Woodward will return to Trek later in the series to play Captain Ron Tracey in The Omega Glory. He's certainly given much more to work with here.
Kirk and Dr. Noel visit with Dr. Adams who proposes this over-the-top toast:
"To all mankind. May we never find space so vast, planets so cold, hearts and minds so empty that, that we cannot fill them with love and warmth."It's over-the-top for the audience, especially as we zero in on his former patient-turned-therapist Lethe as he says "minds so empty." Moments before she blankly said: "I love my work."
The tour of the facility includes a visit to the treatment room, where van Gelder had his accident.
Naturally, they are caught. Adams gives Kirk a demonstration implanting the idea in his mind that he is madly in love with Helen Noel.
After his session Kirk and Noel are back in his room.
It produces this great exchange:
Kirk: "Air conditioning. It has to connect with other ducts and tunnels. You can get through this. It might lead to the power supply. Short-circuited, it would cut off the security force field. Have you had any training in hyper-power circuits?"No problem at all. Helen gets through the vents and finds the megavoltage, hyper-power circuit. She gets a very real demonstration of what happens if you touch the wrong line as a member of the Tantalus Colony does so and lights up the place.
Dr. Noel: "No."
Kirk: "Megavoltage. Touch the wrong line, and you're dead."
|Helen has to be more careful then most when shutting down hyper-power circuits.|
Helen and Kirk both meet up in the room and Kirk kisses her when Spock rushes into the room assuming that they needed to be rescued.
Aboard ship, McCoy says that it's hard to believe that a man could die of loneliness.
Kirk's answer: "Not when you've sat in that room."
It gives a sense of what Kirk went through, but the whole issue of imprinting his love for Helen is dropped like a hot potato. It isn't mentioned at all after Spock catches them in a kiss. In spite of that, it is still an enjoyable episode. You can watch it online here.
No music was composed for this episode, it is all tracked form other episodes.
Next up, Miri. God help us.