is en route back to the Enterprise
with Kirk, Spock, and McCoy delivering Commissioner Nancy Hedford, who is suffering from a rare but fatal disease. She’ll die if they don’t get her back to the Enterprise
for treatment, but an ionized hydrogen cloud suddenly engulfs the shuttlecraft, shorts out the systems, and draws it down to a nearby planetoid. While Spock tries to repair the engines without success, a human in flight coveralls cheerfully approaches them and welcomes them to the planet. He introduces himself as Cochrane and both Kirk and McCoy think he looks familiar. Cochrane tells them the engines won’t work and that he crash landed on the planet. He claims ignorance of the phenomena that drew them off course and invites them back to his shelter...Read the full recap
Kirk: Commissioner, stay inside.
Hedford: Just how long do I stay inside, Captain?
Kirk: That's a very good question. I wish I could answer it.
Cochrane: I have a small place, all the comforts of home. I can even offer you a hot bath.
Hedford: How perceptive of you to notice I needed one.
Kirk: Perhaps you can find out what we're doing here.
Cochrane: I already know.
Kirk: You wouldn't mind telling us?
Cochrane: You won't like it.
Kirk: I already don't like it.
Cochrane: Believe me, Captain, immortality consists largely of boredom. What's it like out there, in the galaxy?
Kirk: We're on a thousand planets and spreading out. We cross fantastic distances, and everything's alive, Cochrane. Life everywhere. We estimate there are millions of planets with intelligent life. We haven't begun to map them. Interesting?
Cochrane: How would you like to sleep for 150 years and wake up in a new world?
Kirk: It's all out there waiting for you.
McCoy: Spock! Are you all right?
Spock: Yes. Quite all right, Doctor. A most fascinating thing happened. Apparently, the Companion imparted to me a rather quaint, old-fashioned electric shock of respectable voltage.
Kirk: How do you fight a thing like that?
McCoy: Maybe you're a soldier so often that you forget you're also trained to be a diplomat. Why not try a carrot instead of a stick?
Spock: The translator's for use with more congruent life forms.
Kirk: Adjust it. Immortality is boring. Adjusting the translator will give you something to do.
Spock: Your highly emotional reaction is most illogical. Your relationship with the Companion has for 150 years been emotionally satisfying, eminently practical, and totally harmless. It may indeed have been quite beneficial.
Cochrane: Is this what the future holds, men who have no notion of decency or morality? Maybe I'm 150 years out of style, but I'm not going to be fodder for any inhuman monster.
Spock: Fascinating--a totally parochial attitude.
Kirk: Our species can only survive if we have obstacles to overcome. You... take away all obstacles. Without them to strengthen us, we will weaken and die.
Spock: Companion, you do not have the power to create life.
The Companion: That is for the Maker of all things.
The Companion: You said we would not know love because we were not human. Now we are human. We'll know the change of days. We will know death. But to touch the hand of man, nothing is as important.
Cochrane: I can't leave her. I love her. Is that surprising?
Spock: Not coming from a human being. You are, after all, essentially irrational.
Spock: There will be no immortality. You'll both grow old here and finally die.
Cochrane: That's been happening to men and women for a long time. I feel it's one of the pleasanter things about being human, as long as you grow old together.
As Cochrane approaches the shuttlecraft, you can see the studio lights at the top of the background landscape painting, due to the wide angle lens. (This is fixed in the remastered version.)
The trees near Cochrane appear/disappear as he communes with the Companion. In the long side shots there is a large tree behind him that disappears when the camera goes to a medium head-on shot.
The exterior shots of the shuttlecraft don't match the interior. When Kirk and the others first emerge, they are crouched down despite the ample headroom in the interior shots. Also, it's clear from the exterior view through the doors that there are no chairs or control panels within the exterior mock-up.
The Companion claims early in the episode that it can do nothing for the ailing Commissioner Hedford. Yet at the end of the episode, it has healed her completely, from a far more advanced stage of her disease. How does one reconcile this difference? One possibility is that the Companion simply lied early on. It knew, or suspected, that Cochrane would be drawn to a human woman and would reject it, especially since he did not suspect the true nature of their relationship, and as far as the Companion then knew, never would. By permitting Hedford to die, the Companion essentially kept the field clear. This also explains how it was able to prevent aging, a far more pervasive problem, and yet not able to cure Sakuro's disease. Another possibility is that it could not cure Hedford except by merging with her and sustaining her life in that fashion, something which it was not at that time prepared to do. Such a merger cost it all of its powers, a price it was only willing to pay when the clear alternative was the loss of Cochrane.