is approaching the last known coordinates of its sister starship Defiant
, which vanished three weeks ago in unsurveyed territory. Spock reports that space in the vicinity is somehow breaking up, while Scotty reports that they’re losing energy from the warp drives. They spot an object ahead but Spock can’t detect it on the sensors. They get close enough to confirm that it’s the Defiant
. Kirk orders Spock, Chekov, and McCoy to accompany him to the Defiant
. They transport over wearing life support suits and discover that the bridge crew are dead, apparently having killed each other...Read the full recap
The original title of this episode was "In Essence - Nothing.".
The series was nominated for an Emmy Award for the special effects in this episode.
The Japanese title of this episode, translated into English, is "Crisis of Captain Kirk Who Was Thrown into Different Dimensional Space".
In one shot in this episode, James Doohan's hair is noticeably different than in the remainder.
McCoy: You should've known what could've happened and done everything in your power to safeguard your crew. That is the mark of a starship captain, like Jim.
Spock: Doctor, I hardly believe this is the time for comparisons.
Spock: (at Kirk's memorial service) A few hours ago, the Captain elected to remain on board the Defiant so that three members of his crew would have the best chance of returning safely to the Enterprise. His concern was not only for them, but for all the members of the crew of this ship. You all know the sequence of events: We were fired upon by the Tholian ship. At that time, Captain Kirk may have been alive. I deemed it necessary to return the Tholian fire for the safety of the Enterprise. The Tholian ship has been disabled. But, as a result of the battle, we must accept the fact that Captain Kirk is no longer alive...I shall not attempt to voice the quality of respect and admiration which Captain Kirk commanded. Each of you must evaluate the loss in the privacy of your own thoughts.
McCoy: (to Spock) The captain's last order is top priority, and you will honor that order before you take over. He was a hero in every sense of the word yet his life was sacrificed for nothing. The one thing that would have given his death meaning is the safety of the Enterprise. Now you've made that impossible.
McCoy: But you must know that if you get us out of this situation, they'll pin a medal on your chest and give you command of the Enterprise.
Spock: Doctor, I am in command of the Enterprise.
McCoy: I would like to remedy that situation.
Kirk: Bones, Spock... since you are playing this tape, we will assume that I am dead, that the tactical situation is critical, and both of you are locked in mortal combat. It means, Spock, that you have control of the ship and are probably making the most difficult decisions of your career. I can offer only one small piece of advice, for whatever it's worth--use every scrap of knowledge and logic you have to save the ship. But temper your judgment with intuitive insight. I believe you have those qualities, but if you can't find them in yourself, seek out McCoy. Ask his advice. And if you find it sound, take it. Bones, you've heard what I've just told Spock. Help him if you can, but remember, he is the captain. His decisions must be followed without question. You might find that he is capable of human insight and... human error. They are most difficult to defend, but you will find that he is deserving of the same loyalty and confidence each of you have given me. Take care.
Spock: In critical moments men sometimes see exactly what they wish to see.
McCoy: Do you suppose they're seeing Jim because they've lost confidence in you?
Spock: I am merely stating a fact.
McCoy: I... I'm sorry.
Spock: I understand, Doctor. I'm sure the captain would simply have said, "Forget it, Bones."
Scotty: You're trying to kill us all?
Spock: If I remember correctly, it only causes fatality only when used in pure form.
McCoy: That's right. And in this derivative mixed with alcohol, it merely deadens certain nerve inputs to the brain.
Scotty: Ah, well, any decent brand of Scotch will do that.
McCoy: Umm, well, one good slug of this, and you can hit a man with phaser stun and he'd never feel it or even know it.
Scotty: Does it make a good mix with Scotch?
McCoy: It should.
Scotty: (grabbing a bottle) I'll let you know.
Kirk: I had a whole universe to myself after the Defiant was thrown out. There was absolutely no one else in it. I must say I prefer a crowded universe much better.
Kirk: How'd you two get along without me?
McCoy: Oh, we managed. Mr. Spock gave the orders, and I found the answers.
Kirk: Good. No problems between you?
Spock: None worth reporting, Captain.
Kirk: Try me.
Spock: Ummm, only such minor disturbances, as are inevitable when humans are involved.
Kirk: Which humans, Mr. Spock?
McCoy: What he means that when humans become involved with Vulcans, Jim.
Kirk: Ah, yes. I understand. Well, I hope my last orders were helpful in solving any problems that you don't feel worth reporting.
Spock: Orders, Captain?
McCoy: What orders are you referring to, Jim?
Kirk: My last orders. The last orders that I left for both... for both of you. The last taped orders.
McCoy: Oh, those orders. Well, there wasn't time. We never had a chance to listen to them.
Spock: No. You see, the crisis was upon us, and then passed so quickly, Captain, that we...
Kirk: Good. Good. Well, I hope we won't have similar opportunities to test those orders... which you never heard.
It is extremely convenient that Dr. McCoy just happens to arrive on the bridge immediately after Chekov explodes with anger.
When he and Dr. McCoy tell Captain Kirk that they never viewed his "final" orders, Spock is clearly lying. However, Vulcans are incapable of lying, as mentioned in numerous previous episodes.
When Chekov screams and Spock tries to get through to him, the camera goes to a close-up of Chekov and you hear him screaming, but his mouth isn't open.
The Defiant is the fourth of four Constellation-class starships that are destroyed during the course of the original series, although it will be seen again, although ironically in the past, on Star Trek: Enterprise.
This is the only episode in which Spock refers to Dr. McCoy as "Bones," albeit indirectly (he quotes Kirk).
When Captain Kirk's "ghost" appears on the bridge, he is mouthing the words "Hurry, Spock!"