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Star Trek: The Empath

When the Enterprise arrives at Minara 2 to pick up a two-man science team because the planet's sun is going to supernova. Kirk, Spock, and McCoy find the station abandoned and discover the two men were transported away. Then the landing party is transported away to underground caverns where they find a mute alien woman from another planet in the system, and two native Vian scientists who put the landing party through a sadistic series of tortures.

Episode Info
Episode number: 3x12
Production Number: 60043-063
Airdate: Friday December 06th, 1968

Director: John Erman
Writer: Joyce Muskat

Alternate Airdates:

United Kingdom Jan 05, 1994

Starring Roles
James DoohanJames Doohan
As Lt. Cmdr. Montgomery "Scotty" Scott
George TakeiGeorge Takei
As Lt. Hikaru Sulu

Guest Stars

Co-Guest Stars
Davis RobertsDavis Roberts
As Dr. Ozaba
Jason WingreenJason Wingreen
As Dr. Linke
Willard SageWillard Sage
As Thann

Dick Geary (1)Dick Geary (1)
As Security Guard
Jay D. JonesJay D. Jones
As Capt. Kirk's Stunt Double
Paul BaxleyPaul Baxley
As McCoy's Stunt Double
Roger HollowayRoger Holloway
As Mr. Lemli
William BlackburnWilliam Blackburn
As Lt. Hadley
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 arrives in the Minarian star system which is on the brink of nova. Its mission: recover two scientists, Ozaba and Link, assigned to monitor the eruption. Kirk, Spock, and McCoy beam down to the research base and receive word that Scotty has to take the ship out of orbit to protect the crew from a solar flare. Assured that the atmosphere will protect them, the landing party enters the research station and finds it abandoned and covered in three months' worth of dust. Spock finds a security tape and they watch as Ozaba and Linke are working when a high-pitched whining noise surrounds them. Wincing in pain, the scientists one at a time disappear. The same noise fills the room and the landing party staggers in pain and disappear one at a time. Kirk is the last to go, and as he tries to escape he stumbles and cuts his forehead on metal steps...

Read the full recap
Episode Notes
This was one of DeForest Kelley's favorite episodes of the series.

This often shares many similarities with the original Outer Limits episode "Nightmare." Both feature a group of humans inexplicably tortured by humanoid aliens in a black void of a set. John Erman directed both episodes, and Willard Sage appeared in both episodes. Robert Justman, co-producer, was an assistant director on that episode.

Due to the torture sequences, the BBC refused to show the episode until 1994.

Episode Quotes
(as an earthquake rattles the station)
Dr. Ozaba: "In his hand are the deep places of the earth--" Psalm 95, verse 4. Looks like he was listening.

Kirk: Be careful.
McCoy: Why, she seems harmless enough.
Spock: The sand-bats of Manark-4 appear to be inanimate rock crystals, Doctor... until they attack.

McCoy: We can't keep referring to her as "she," as if she weren't here.
Kirk: You have any ideas?
McCoy: I don't know about you, but I'm going to call her Gem.
Spock: Gem, Doctor?
McCoy: Well, that's better than, "Hey, you."

Kirk: I found our missing men... dead. Another one of your experiments?
Lal: You're wrong. Their own imperfections killed them. They were not fit subjects.

Lal: Their will to survive is great.
Thann: They love life greatly to struggle so.
Lal: The prime ingredient.

Kirk: What is it you want to know?
Lal: We seek no information as you mean. Your civilization is yet too immature to have knowledge valuable to us.
Kirk: You don't need any knowledge from us, yet you're willing to kill for it. Is that what happened to Linke and Ozaba?
Thann: We did not kill them. Their own fears killed them.
Kirk: Well, what did you expect from them? And what do you want from me?
Lal: We've already observed the intensity of your passions and gauged your capacity to love others. Now we want you to reveal to us your courage and strength of will.
Kirk: Why? What is it you hope to prove? If my death is to have any meaning, at least tell me what I'm dying for.
Thann: If you live, you will have your answer.

McCoy: I'm a doctor, not a coal miner.

McCoy: You mean, if I hadn't given him that shot...
Spock: Precisely. The choice would have been the captain's. Now it is mine. (McCoy injects him with a sedative) Your action is highly unethical. My decision... stands.
McCoy: Not this time, Spock.

(talking about McCoy)
Kirk: Why did you let him do it?
Spock: I was convinced in the same way you were, by the good doctor's hypo.

Kirk: The best defense is a strong offense, and I intend to start offending right now.

Kirk: How long?
Spock: It could happen anytime.
McCoy: The correct medical phrase, eh, Spock? You've got a...a good bedside manner, Spock.

Kirk: How will the death of our friend serve this purpose?
Lal: His death will not serve it, but her willingness to give her life for him will. You were her teachers.
Kirk: We were? What could she learn from us?
Lal: Your will to survive. Your love of life. Your passion to know. They are recorded in her being.
Thann: Her planet will be fortunate.
Lal: Each of you was willing to give his life for the others. We must now find out whether that instinct has been transmitted to Gem.

Spock: You were correct, Captain. Everything that has occurred here has been caused to happen by them. This has all been a great laboratory. We have been the subjects of the test.
Thann: No. We only created the circumstances. That was necessary.
Lal: Your actions were spontaneous. Everything that is truest and best in all species of beings has been revealed by you. Those are the qualities that make a civilization worthy to survive.

Kirk: If death is all you understand, here are four lives for you. We will not leave our friend. You've lost the capacity to feel the emotions you brought Gem here to experience. You don't understand what it is to live. Love and compassion are dead in you. You're nothing but intellect.

Kirk: No, no. I wasn't thinking of Gem. I was thinking of that fantastic element of chance that out in limitless space we should come together with Gem.
Spock: Captain, the element of chance can virtually be eliminated by a civilization as advanced as the Vians.
Scott Not to dispute your computer, Mr. Spock, but from little what you've told me, I'd say she was a pearl of great price.
Kirk: What, Scott?
Scott: You don't know the story of the merchant? The merchant... who, when he found one pearl of great price, went and sold all that he had and bought it.
Kirk: Yes, she was all that. And whether the Vians bought her or found her makes little difference--she was of great value.

McCoy: Well, personally, I find it fascinating that with all their scientific knowledge and advances, that it was good old-fashioned human emotion that they valued the most.
Scott: Perhaps the Vulcans should hear about this.
Kirk: Mr. Spock, can you be prevailed upon to bring them the news?
Spock: Possibly, Captain. I shall certainly give the thought all the consideration it is due..

Episode Goofs
Just before he's tortured, McCoy's uniform tunic changes to the older velour style, then back to the newer polyester style.

The remastered syndication cut creates a goof. Spock is tending to McCoy, the camera goes to a medium shot of his face appearing stoic, and then McCoy says he has a good bedside manner. The dialogue Spock says about McCoy's condition, that McCoy is commenting on, is removed.

What Changed in the Remastered Version
General improvements cited on the main series page. The orbital shots of the Vian planet get a surface upgrade. The star flare image on screen is significantly improved upon with greater detail. And finally, the F/X team smooth out the transition shots in Gem's healing sequences, giving it the feel of a slow steady progression rather than a series of jump cuts.

Other Episode Crew

CreatorGene Roddenberry
Executive ProducerGene Roddenberry
ProducerFred Freiberger
Co-ProducerRobert H. Justman
Associate ProducerEdward K. Milkis  |  Gregg Peters (1)
EditorDonald R. Rode
CastingJoseph D'Agosta
Unit Production ManagerGregg Peters (1)
First Assistant DirectorGil Kissel
MusicGeorge Duning
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 PhotographyAl 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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