is exploring uncharted empty space when they come upon a previously unknown planet uninhabitable by human life. Kirk orders it marked on the charts and then tells Sulu to chart a new course, but the helmsman disappears and when Kirk moves to his station, he disappears as well.
Let's get out of its range. Veer 40 degrees to starboard, Mr. Sulu.
Spock orders an exhaustive search of the area but finds nothing. However, they get a text-only message from the planet in archaic English, seemingly inviting them down. Spock sends down McCoy, Jaeger, and DeSalle to investigate, using respirator maps. However, when they complete transport they discover they are in a Earth-like forest with a breathable atmosphere. They explore and find an English castle. Going inside, they find Kirk and Sulu, transformed into lifeless waxworks.
There's no reading. They're like waxworks figures.
A seemingly human being appears, dressed in 18th century English clothing, and introduces himself as Squire Trelane of Gothos. He seems glad for the company and then restores Kirk and Sulu to normal with a wave of his hand. It soon becomes clear that Trelane believes them to be the 18th century due to the difference in light years, something he dismisses as an insignificant mistake. The landing party also notices that the flame in the fireplace has no heat, and that despite his seemingly great power Trelane is not omniscience. Still, he immobilizes the hot-tempered DeSalle and briefly teleports Kirk out onto the planet’s atmosphere when he tries to leave.
Have I made an error in time? How fallible of me. Oh, I did so want to make you feel at home.
Trelane prances before the mirror and plays his harpsichord, but when Kirk mentions he has female crewmen, Trelane insists on bringing them down. Kirk refuses and they get a transport signal and are beamed up. Spock greets them and reveals that he simply beamed up all the life forms they could sense, confirming McCoy’s diagnosis that Trelane is no known recognizable form of life.
Now, that's a sample of the atmosphere of this planet outside my kindly influence.
Now, you will behave yourself here after, won't you? Or I shall be very, very angry.
They go to the bridge but Trelane is waiting for them. He is unhappy with Spock for beaming everyone away but quickly recovers and teleports them back down to his castle. He serves them a sumptuous meal, gives Yeoman Ross a dress, and transforms Uhura into a piano virtuoso. They realize that the food is tasteless and that Trelane can’t possibly have enough power to do everything seen on his own. Kirk decides to challenge Trelane to a duel, but the omnipotent alien insists that he gets the first shot. However, he deliberately fires into the ceiling and invites Kirk to take his shot. Instead, Kirk shoots and destroys Trelane’s wall mirror. Furious, Trelane vows revenge and disappears while the bridge crew beams up to the ship.
I object to you. I object to intellect without discipline. I object to power without constructive purpose.
Oh, Mr. Spock, you do have one saving grace after all. You're ill-mannered. The human half of you, no doubt.
They depart the system at maximum warp but the planet Gothos moves in front of them, blocking their way. Repeated evasive maneuvers fail to let them escape and Kirk beams down to the planet. He finds himself in a courtroom with Trelane as his judge. Trelane quickly finds him guilty but Kirk's defiance drives him into a fury. Trelane is happy that his experiment is going so well but Kirk dismisses him, noting he’s wasting his opportunities. Intrigued, Trelane asks him to explain and Kirk suggests that he fully participate in the act of murder. Trelane proposes a hunt and Kirk agrees as long as the alien releases the Enterprise
. Trelane vaguely agrees and teleports Kirk outside. He then begins the hunt, wielding a sword. Kirk manages to disarm then stab him but Trelane easily teleports out of the way and summons forth a new sword. Kirk ends up back at the castle where Trelane corners him and demands that he begs for mercy. The captain refuses, disarms Trelane again, and slaps him.
Do you have a last request?
If you think I'm going to obediently stick my head in that noose...
Trelane prepares to eradicate Kirk for good but is interrupted when two glowing green energy spheres appear. They tell Trelane that he has been mistreating his “pets” and it is time to go home. Trelane begs with them to stay, saying he was finally winning, but they sternly teleport him away then apologize to Kirk. They vanish and he beams back up to the ship, where he notes to Spock that Trelane was simply a small child, no doubt similar to Spock as a boy…
But I haven't finished studying my predators yet.
This is not studying them. If you cannot take proper care of your pets, you cannot have them.