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Star Trek: Requiem for Methuselah

While on a planet in the Omega system trying to find ryetalyn to stop an epidemic of Rigellian Fever, Kirk, Spock and McCoy come into contact with a strange man, Flint, that didn't register on their previous sensor scans of the planet surface. Flint seems to know much about the ancient history of Earth which leads to some startling discoveries.

Episode Info
Episode number: 3x19
Production Number: 60043-076
Airdate: Friday February 14th, 1969

Director: Murray Golden
Writer: Jerome Bixby

Starring Roles
James DoohanJames Doohan
As Lt. Cmdr. Montgomery "Scotty" Scott
Nichelle NicholsNichelle Nichols
As Lt. Nyota Uhura

Guest Stars
James DalyJames Daly
As Flint
Louise SorelLouise Sorel
As Rayna

Paul BaxleyPaul Baxley
As Capt. Kirk's Stunt Double
Phil AdamsPhil Adams
As Flint's Stunt Double
William BlackburnWilliam Blackburn
As Lt. Hadley
John BuonomoJohn Buonomo
As Orderly
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 crew have been stricken with an epidemic of Rigelian fever. The only known cure is ryetalyn, a rare substance that they've detected on one small planet. With four hours before the crew are wiped out, Kirk, Spock, and McCoy beam down to gather it. Upon arrival Spock detects a human life form despite the fact they noticed nothing on the ship's sensors. They start to search for ryetalyn but a floating robot intercepts them and opens fire. They try to return fire only to discover the robot has suppressed their phasers. It moves in for the kill, but a middle-aged man commands it to stop. He introduces himself as Flint and says that he's been monitoring them since they arrived in the system. He tells them that he values his privacy and they either must leave or he'll kill them. Kirk responds by telling Scotty to prepare to open fire on their location. Flint is unimpressed, but when McCoy describes the effects of Rigelian fever, Flint compares it to the bubonic plague that ravaged Constantinople in the Middle Ages. He gives them two hours while his robot, M4, gathers the ryetalyn, and invites them to his palace...

Read the full recap
Episode Notes
Brahms paraphrase specially written by by Ivan Ditmars

Episode Quotes
Kirk: Mr. Flint, if anything happens to us – four deaths. And then, my crew comes down and takes that ryetalyn.
Flint: An interesting test of power; your enormous forces against mine. Who would win?
Spock: Mr. Flint, unless you are certain, I suggest you refrain from a most useless experiment.

McCoy: Have you ever seen a victim of Rigelian Fever? They die in one day; the effects are like Bubonic Plague.
Flint: Constantinople; summer, 1334. It marched through the streets, the sewers. It left the city by oxcart, by sea, to kill half of Europe. The rats, rustling and squealing in the night as they, too, died. The rats...
Spock: Are you a student of history, sir?
Flint: I am.

Flint: Rayna. Have you been lonely?
Rayna: What is loneliness?
Flint: It is thirst. It is a flower dying in the desert.
Rayna: Flint, don't take this opportunity away from me. It's so exciting.
Flint: Exciting? You have never made a demand of me before.
Rayna: I'm sorry.
Flint: Do not be sorry. It might be interesting.

McCoy: Spock, I know you won't have one; heaven forbid those mathematically perfect brain waves of yours be corrupted by this all too Human vice.
Spock: Thank you, Doctor; I will have a brandy.
McCoy: Do you think the two of us can handle a drunk Vulcan? Once alcohol hits that green blood...
Spock: If I appear distracted, it is because of what I have seen. I am close to experiencing an accustomed emotion.
McCoy: I'll drink to that! What emotion?
Spock: Envy.

Rayna: Mr. Spock, I do hope we can find a moment to discuss field density and its relationship to gravity phenomena.
Spock: Indeed.
Rayna: I would appreciate such a talk. It is an interest of mine.

Flint: Rayna possesses the equivalent of 17 university degrees in the sciences and arts. She is aware that the intellect is not all. But its cultivation must come first or the individual makes errors, wastes time in unprofitable pursuits.
McCoy: At her age, I rather enjoyed errors with no noticeable damage, but I must admit you're the farthest thing from a bookworm I've ever seen.
Rayna: Flint is my teacher. You are the only other men I've ever seen.
McCoy: The misfortune of men everywhere and our privilege.

Kirk: Our missions are peaceful, our weapons defensive. If we were barbarians, we would not have asked for ryetalyn. Indeed, your greeting, not ours, lacked a certain benevolence.
Flint: The result of pressures which are... not your concern.
Kirk: Yes. Well, those pressures are everywhere in everyone, urging him to what you call savagery: the private hells, the inner needs and mysteries, the beast of instinct. As human beings, that is the way it is. To be human is to be complex. You can't avoid a little ugliness... from within and from without.

Kirk: You left us. The room became lonely.
Rayna: It is a thirst, a flower dying in the desert.

Flint: Be thankful that you did not attack me, Captain. I might have accepted battle, and I have twice your physical strength.
Kirk: In your own words, it would be "an interesting test of power."
Flint: How childish he is, Rayna. Would you call him brave or a fool?
Rayna: I'm glad he did not die.
Flint: Of course. Death, when unnecessary, is a tragic thing.

Flint: I... am Brahms.
Spock: And DaVinci?
Flint: Yes.
Spock: How many other names shall we call you?
Flint: Solomon, Alexander, Lazarus, Methuselah, Merlin, Abrahmson – a hundred other names you do not know.
Spock: You were born?
Flint: In that region of Earth later called Mesopotamia in the year 3834 BC, as the millennia are now reckoned. I was Akharin; a soldier, a bully – and a fool. I fell in battle, pierced to the heart... and did not die.
McCoy: Instant tissue regeneration, coupled with some perfect form of biological renewal – you learned that you were immortal!
Flint: And to conceal it. To live some portion of a life. To pretend to age, and then move on before my nature was suspected.
Spock: Your wealth and your intellect are the product of centuries of acquisition. You knew the greatest minds in history:
Flint: Galileo, Socrates, Moses. I have married a hundred times, Captain. Selected, loved, cherished. Caressed a smoothness, inhaled a brief fragrance. Then age, death, the taste of dust. Do you understand?

Kirk: You'd wipe out four hundred lives?
Flint: I have seen a hundred billion fall! I know death better than any man – I have tossed enemies into his grasp! And I know mercy; your crew is not dead, but suspended.
Kirk: Worse than dead! Restore them; restore my ship!
Flint: In time; a thousand, two thousand years. You will know the future, Captain Kirk.

Kirk: You'd wipe out four hundred lives?
Flint: I have seen a hundred billion fall! I know death better than any man – I have tossed enemies into his grasp! And I know mercy; your crew is not dead, but suspended.
Kirk: Worse than dead! Restore them; restore my ship!
Flint: In time; a thousand, two thousand years. You will know the future, Captain Kirk.
McCoy: You've known and created such beauty. You've watched your race evolve from cruelty and barbarism throughout your enormous life, and yet now you would do this to us?
Flint: The flowers of my past. I hold the nettles of the present. I am Flint now, with my needs!

Spock: Captain, your primitive impulses will not alter the circumstances.
Kirk: Stay out of this, we're fighting over a woman!
Spock: No, you're not--for "she" is not.

Rayna: Do not order me. No one can order me!
Kirk: She's human. Down to the last blood cell, she's human. Down to the last thought, hope, aspiration, emotion, she’s human! For the human spirit is free.

Kirk: What happened?
Spock: She loved you, Captain... and you, too, Mr. Flint, as a mentor; even as a father. There was not enough time for her to adjust to the awful power and contradictions of her new-found emotions; she could not bear to hurt either of you. The joys of love made her Human, and the agonies of love destroyed her.

McCoy: You see, Flint, in leaving Earth with all of its complex fields within which he was formed, sacrificed immortality. He'll live the remainder of a normal life span, then die.
Spock: On that day, I shall mourn.

McCoy: You wouldn't understand that, would you, Spock? You see, I feel sorrier for you than I do for him because you'll never know the things that love can drive a man to: the ecstasies, the miseries, the broken rules, the desperate chances, the glorious failures, the glorious victories. All of these things you'll never know simply because the word "love" isn't written into your book. Good night, Spock.
Spock: Good night, Doctor.

Cultural References
Rayna's last name, "Kapec," is taken from Czechoslovakian writer Karel Capek, who invented the term "robot" for his 1921 play R.U.R. (Rossum's Universal Robots).

What Changed in the Remastered Version
General improvements cited on the main series page. The orbital shots of Flint's planet get a surface upgrade, and two moons are seen in orbit. The Enterprise's disappearance is given a more subtle fadeaway rather than an abrupt cut. A new matte of Flint's castle is made by Max Gabl, based on a design by Niel Wray.

Original vs. Remastered

Other Episode Crew

CreatorGene Roddenberry
Executive ProducerGene Roddenberry
ProducerFred Freiberger
Associate ProducerGregg Peters (1)  |  Edward K. Milkis
CastingWilliam J. Kenney  |  Joseph D'Agosta
Unit Production ManagerGregg Peters (1)
MusicIvan Ditmars
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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