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Star Trek: The Paradise Syndrome

The Enterprise is sent to deflect the path of an asteroid that is on a collision course with a Class-M planet. They reach there with enough time to go down to the planet's surface and explore it. Kirk, Spock, and McCoy beam down and find the planet is much like Earth. It is even populated by groups of people similar to Native Americans. Kirk goes missing and the Enterprise is forced to leave him behind and divert the asteroid's path without him.

Episode Info
Episode number: 3x3
Production Number: 60043-058
Airdate: Friday October 04th, 1968

Director: Jud Taylor
Writer: Margaret Armen

Starring Roles
James DoohanJames Doohan
As Lt. Cmdr. Montgomery "Scotty" Scott
George TakeiGeorge Takei
As Lt. Hikaru Sulu
Walter KoenigWalter Koenig
As Ensign Pavel Chekov
Majel BarrettMajel Barrett
As Nurse Christine Chapel

Guest Stars
Naomi PollackNaomi Pollack
As Indian Woman
John LindesmithJohn Lindesmith
As Engineer
Sabrina ScharfSabrina Scharf
As Miramanee
Rudy SolariRudy Solari
As Salish
Lamont LairdLamont Laird
As Indian Boy

Dick Geary (1)Dick Geary (1)
As Salish's Stunt Double
Paul BaxleyPaul Baxley
As Capt. Kirk's Stunt Double
Main Cast
William ShatnerWilliam Shatner
As Captain James Tiberius Kirk
Leonard NimoyLeonard Nimoy
As Commander Spock
DeForest KelleyDeForest Kelley
As Dr. Leonard Horatio "Bones" McCoy


The Enterprise has been sent to save a planet from impact with an approaching asteroid. Kirk, Spock, and McCoy beam down to the planet and discover that it is eerily similar to Earth biologically. The one discrepancy is a large metal obelisk of an unknown substance that is resistance to sensor scans. The obelisk is inscribed with symbols that none of them recognize and the technology is in excess of the Federation’s. They have only 30 minutes before they have to leave for the intercept point with the asteroid. Checking out the surroundings, they find a village containing what appear to be Amerindians from Earth. Kirk admires their peace and calm and McCoy notes that his condition is a typical one of captains under stress. They realize they can only panic the natives if they try and warn them, so Kirk goes back to the obelisk for one last look. He steps up onto it but finds nothing. However, when he signals Scotty, a panel opens in the floor, dropping him into the chamber below. He falls against a panel and a light activates, rendering him unconscious...

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Episode Notes
Filming location: Franklin Reservoir above Los Angeles

The working title for this episode was "Paleface".

Although not mentioned on screen, the planet in this episode, according to the script, was called Amerind.

The stunning obelisk was built especially for this episode.

Other than the street sword fight in "All Our Yesterdays," this was the only episode with outdoor shooting in the entire third season.

During the village long shots, some extras can be seen working on canoes.

Several unique visual effects are used in this episode in the forced perspective engine set, as Scotty's "bairns" are put under a great deal of stress.

The original script had Miramannee surviving with Kirk's child.

Only in this episode do we see the ship firing its gold deflector beam.

The asteroid would be recycled later as Yonada.

Several months pass over the time of this episode, making it by far the longest time period in a single episode of the original series. As the episode progresses, Shatner's sideburns increase in size to reflect the passage of time.

Although Nichelle Nichols is not credited, she is seen briefly on the bridge due to recycling of stock footage from "And the Children Shall Lead."

Episode Quotes
McCoy: What's the matter, Jim?
Kirk: What? Oh, nothing. Just so peaceful, uncomplicated. No problems, no command decisions. Just living.
McCoy: Typical human reaction to an idyllic natural setting. In the twentieth century, we referred to it as the Tahiti Syndrome. It's particularly common to over pressured leader types, like starship captains.
Kirk: Ah, Tahiti Syndrome.

Spock: I want full power, Mr. Scott.
Scotty: Aye, sir. All right, you lovelies. Hold together.

Kirk: Miramanee... tell me about the wise ones.
Miramanee: Tell? But a god knows everything.
Kirk: Not this one. Tell me.

Kirk: I need time to remember.
Miramanee: Here there is much time. For everything.

Spock: Lock all phasers on that mark. Maximum intensity, narrow beam. I want to split that fissure wide open.
McCoy: You sound like you're cutting a diamond.
Spock: Very astute, Doctor.

Scotty: That Vulcan won't be satisfied until these panels are a puddle of lead!

Scotty: My bairns. My poor bairns.

Miramanee: Tribal law betroths me to our leader. If there is another, I will step aside.
Kirk: No, Miramanee, there's no one else, in my mind or my heart.
Miramanee: God's wish is above tribal law.
Kirk: Name the joining day.
Miramanee: The sooner our happiness together begins, the longer it will last.
Kirk: Tomorrow.
Miramanee: Tomorrow.

McCoy: Well, Spock, you took your calculated risk in your calculated Vulcan way, and you lost--you lost for us, you lost for that planet, and you lost for Jim.

McCoy: Back to that planet? Without warp speed, it'll take months.
Spock: Exactly 59.223 days, Doctor, and that asteroid will be four hours behind us all the way.
McCoy: Well, then what's the use? We might not be able to save the captain even if he still is alive. We might not be able to save anything, including this ship! You haven't heard a word I've said. All you've been doing is staring at that blasted obelisk.
Spock: Another calculated Vulcan risk, Doctor.

Salish: You bleed. You bleed, Kirok. Behold a god who bleeds!

Spock: I'm not hungry, Doctor. And under stress,
we Vulcans can do without sleep for weeks.
McCoy: Well, your Vulcan metabolism is so low it can hardly be measured, and as for the pressure,
that green ice water you call blood...
Spock: My physical condition is not important, Doctor. That obelisk is.
McCoy: Well, my diagnosis is exhaustion brought on from overwork and guilt. You're blaming yourself for crippling this ship Just as we blamed you. Well, we were wrong. So were you. You made a command decision. Jim would have done the same.

Kirk: Miramanee. Come here. Miramanee.
Miramanee: Each time your arms hold me is as joyous as the first.

(about Kirk)
Spock: His mind--he is.....an extremely dynamic individual.

Kirk: More symbols. Can you read them?
Spock: I do have an excellent eye for musical notes, Captain. They would seem to indicate that this series of relays activated in their proper...
Kirk: Spock, just press the right button.

Miramanee: When I am better... it will be as it was, will it... not?
Kirk: If that's what you want.
Miramanee: We will live long and happy lives. I will bear you many strong sons. I love you always.
Kirk: And I love you, Miramanee... always.
Miramanee: Each kiss... is as the first.

What Changed in the Remastered Version
The planet and the Enterprise received the usual CGI make overs, as did the asteroid on collision course for the world. The beam emitted by the asteroid deflector changed from a pale blue ray to a gold and red ray of much greater intensity, with pulses along its length. A nice touch was that when it hit the asteroid, it imparted angular momentum because it did not hit dead on. The memory beam inside the obelisk was silent in the original episode, but during the remastering, a sound was added; this sound was the Enterprise door sound, sped up several times.

The syndication cuts for the remastered episode were particularly maladroit. In addition to greatly cutting down the length of the fight between Kirk and Salish, the cuts omitted mention of Miramanee's pregnancy. And, Miramanee told Kirk that he was to "make the blue fire come from the temple" - yet the remastering team changed the effect to a red/gold beam.

One must ask why the Preservers made certain decisions. With the large number of planets in the galaxy, why select one in continual danger of meter collision? There must have been other good choices. One explanation is that they sought a planet that precisely duplicated Earth conditions, and the closest one they found was near an asteroid belt. Perhaps, at their level of technology, they did not regard such a belt as a threat. But if so, why require manual control? It is clear that the obelisk had sufficient detection capability to locate its target, for it aimed and fired correct when Spock pressed a single button. A possible explanation of this is a desire on the part of the Preservers to place some responsibility for their safety in the hands of the saved: that the Preservers felt if these people couldn't press a button every so often, they did not deserve to live. But that attitude seems a little callous for people who secretly visited Earth, uprooted members of a tribal group, and brought them across "half the galaxy" to another world.

Other Episode Crew

CreatorGene Roddenberry
Executive ProducerGene Roddenberry
ProducerFred Freiberger
Co-ProducerRobert H. Justman
Associate ProducerEdward K. Milkis  |  Gregg Peters (1)
EditorBill Brame
CastingJoseph D'Agosta  |  William J. Kenney
Unit Production ManagerGregg Peters (1)
First Assistant DirectorClaude Binyon, Jr.
MusicGerald Fried
Music EditorRichard Lapham
Costume DesignerWilliam Ware Theiss
HairstylistPat Westmore
Make-upFred B. Phillips
GripGeorge Rader
Set DecoratorJohn M. Dwyer
Property MasterIrving A. Feinberg
Script SupervisorGeorge A. Rutter
Re-Recording MixerGordon L. Day
GafferGeorge H. Merhoff
OtherArthur H. Singer (Story Consultant)
Director of PhotographyGerald Perry Finnerman  |  Al Francis
Art DirectorWalter M. Jefferies
Sound MixerCarl Daniels  |  Doug Grindstaff
Special EffectsJames Rugg
Main Title ThemeAlexander Courage
Executive Vice President In Charge Of ProductionDouglas S. Cramer
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