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Star Trek: The Cloud Minders

The Enterprise goes to Ardana to obtain the only known cure to a plague that threatens to decimate the vegetation on the planet Merak II. Kirk and Spock go to the cloud city of Stratos, and find out that the population is split between the Troglytes, who do the dirty work, including the mining, and the people of the city who enjoy good lives on the backs of the Troglytes. When the Troglytes rebel and threaten to stop mining, Kirk must solve the civil war to get the plague cure.

Episode Info
Episode number: 3x21
Production Number: 60043-074
Airdate: Friday February 28th, 1969

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

Guest Stars
Jeff CoreyJeff Corey
As Plasus

Co-Guest Stars
Kirk RaymoneKirk Raymone
As Cloud Guard #1
Garth PillsburyGarth Pillsbury
As Prisoner
Louie EliasLouie Elias
As Troglyte #1 (as Lou Elias)
Diana EwingDiana Ewing
As Droxine
Jimmy Fields (1)Jimmy Fields (1)
As Cloud Guard #2
Ed LongEd Long
As Midro
Harv SelsbyHarv Selsby
As Guard

Bob Miles (1)Bob Miles (1)
As Cloud City Sentinel #2
Dick Geary (1)Dick Geary (1)
As Cloud City Sentinel #1
Jay D. JonesJay D. Jones
As Prisoner #2
Paul BaxleyPaul Baxley
As Capt. Kirk's Stunt Double
Ralph GarrettRalph Garrett
As Troglyte Stunt Double
William BlackburnWilliam Blackburn
As Lt. Hadley
Marvin WaltersMarvin Walters
As Troglyte #2
Donna GarrettDonna Garrett
As Vanna's Stunt Double
Walter ScottWalter Scott
As Cloud Guard #3
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


Due to an outbreak of botanical plague on Merak II, the Enterprise travels to the planet Ardana. As a Federation member, Ardana is the only source of zenite, which is necessary to cure the plague. Upon arrival they are directed to the cloud city of Stratos and the planet's government. Kirk, puzzled, takes Spock and beams down directly to the mines to get the zenite, tendering his apologizes to Stratos. Upon arrival, Kirk and Spock find no trace of the zenite consignment or the miners. They go to the mine entrance but several miners take them prisoner...

Read the full recap
Episode Notes
David Gerrold and Oliver Crawford submitted the original script, "Castle in the Sky." It was substantially rewritten by Margaret Armen at the producers' request, with a happier ending added. Gerrold disavowed the script, although his name still appears. Another working title was "Revolt."

Jeff Corey (Plasus) was Leonard Nimoy's acting coach in the late 1940s. They remained close friends until Corey's death in 2002.

For the first and only time in the series, Spock has an internal thought monologue as he considers the situation on Ardana.

Episode Quotes
Droxine: I have never before met a Vulcan, sir.
Spock: Nor I a work of art, madam.

Prisoner: I came to make repairs.
Plasus: And you shall make them by giving us the names of the Disrupters.
Prisoner: I know nothing.
Plasus: I would advise you to increase your knowledge.
Prisoner: That is not possible for a Troglyte. The Stratos city dwellers have said it.

Spock: This troubled planet is a place of the most violent contrasts. Those who receive the rewards are totally separated from those who shoulder the burdens. It is not a wise leadership. Here on Stratos, everything is incomparably beautiful and pleasant, the high advisor's charming daughter Droxine particularly so. The name Droxine seems appropriate for her. I wonder... can she retain such purity and sweetness of mind and be aware of the life of the people on the surface of the planet? There, the harsh life in the mines is instilling the people with a bitter hatred. The young girl who led the attack against us when we beamed down was filled with the violence of desperation. If the lovely Droxine knew of the young miner's misery, I wonder how the knowledge would affect her.

Droxine: I did not realize they would disturb you.
Spock: Only Vulcan ears would find the noise discernible.
Droxine: It seems that Vulcan’s are fascinatingly different in many ways.
Spock: The same may be said of Stratos inhabitants.
Droxine: Vulcan eyes are very discerning too. I hear that intellectually, Vulcan’s are as highly evolved as Stratos city dwellers.
Spock: We do pride ourselves on our logic.

Vanna: You sleep lightly, Captain.
Kirk: Yes, duty is a good teacher. I see you've changed your dressmaker.

Vanna: Call the guards if you’re afraid, Captain.
Kirk: I'm not afraid. (holding her on the bed) In fact, I find this rather enjoyable.
Vanna: I do not!

Droxine: You only take a mate once every seven years?
Spock: The seven-year cycle is biologically inherent in all Vulcans. At that time, the mating drive outweighs all other motivations.
Droxine: And is there nothing that can disturb that cycle, Mr. Spock?
Spock: Extreme feminine beauty... is always disturbing, madam.

Droxine: The Troglytes are workers, Captain. Oh, surely, you must be aware of that. They mine zenite for shipment, till the soil. Those things cannot be done here.
Spock: In other words they perform all of the physical toil necessary to maintain Stratos.
Droxine: That is their function in our society.
Spock: But they are not allowed to share its advantages.
Droxine: How can they share what they do not understand?
Kirk: They can be taught to understand. Especially in a society that prides itself in enlightenment.

Spock: Violence in reality is quite different from theory, is it not, madam?
Droxine: But what else can they understand, Mr. Spock?
Spock: All the little things you and I understand and expect from life, such as equality, kindness, justice.

Vanna: Centuries ago, Stratos was built by leaders that gave their word that all inhabitants would live there. The Troglytes are still waiting.
Kirk: The zenite can be delivered in a few hours. You won't have long to wait now.
Vanna: Hours can be centuries, Just as words can be lies.

Vanna: We're sealed in!
Kirk: Completely.
Vanna: But soon the atmosphere will go. We'll die!
Kirk: Die from something that can't be seen? You astound me, Vanna.

Scotty: Beam the high advisor down without warning, did he say?
Spock: That's not an exact quote, Mr. Scott. However, it does express the thought.
Scotty: I'd like to see the advisor's face.
Spock: You'll have that opportunity.
Scotty: The captain did say immediately, did he not?
Spock: Now, that is an exact quote, Mr. Scott. And I suggest you handle the transporter yourself. This could be very delicate as a problem in transporting for us... and in diplomacy for the captain.
Scotty: Aye.

Droxine: No, I wasn't thinking of Captain Kirk. It's the one with those exquisitely shaped ears. His name is Spock. He's the one I was thinking about. Did you know that he has the most incredibly sensitive hearing? Why, I almost believe that if I stood here and called out to him, he would hear my invitation to come and visit with us for a little while longer.

Kirk: The Troglytes will no longer suffer from retardation and emotional difficulties.
Plasus: They will all be like her: ungrateful, vindictive!
Vanna: Yes, our demands have just begun.

Episode Goofs
Kirk's mouth doesn't move as he is captured by the Troglytes and says "Who are you? What is the meaning of this attack?" Some syndicated versions have cut the line, and the remastered version uses a different shot of the back of Kirk's head as the line is spoken, eliminating the goof.

Episode References
The pon farr cycle is revealed here as lasting seven years.

What Changed in the Remastered Version
General improvements cited on the main series page. The orbital shots of Ardana get a surface upgrade. The cloud city of Stratos receives a significant FX upgrade, receiving a more alien architecture. A more detailed skyline, including moving clouds, can be seen behind it. The planet view, originally taken from an orbital photo of the Hadramawt Plateau in Saudi Arabia, is reused and incorporated here, significantly touched up. The energy effect used in Vanna's torture sequence is enhanced. The falling Troglyte prisoner sequence is shown digitally.

Original vs. Remastered

Original vs. Remastered

Other Episode Crew

CreatorGene Roddenberry
Executive ProducerGene Roddenberry
ProducerFred Freiberger
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.
MusicFred Steiner
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
Missing Information
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