This Side of Paradise (Star Trek)

From Academic Kids

"This Side Of Paradise" is a first-season episode of Star Trek: The Original Series. It was first broadcast on March 2, 1967; it is written by D.C. Fontana and Nathan Butler, and directed by Ralph Senensky.

Quick Overview: The Enterprise visits a planet, where the inhabitants are kept in check by some strange plant life.

Missing image
STThisSidePara.jpg
Flowers so pretty, they can make even Spock fall in love, in "This Side of Paradise"

On stardate 3417.3, the Enterprise arrives at Omicron Ceti III, where a Federation colony has been in place for several years. The planet however, is known to have been showered by Berthold Rays, a deadly form of radiation which causes severe tissue damage within a few weeks of exposure. To make matters worse, there has been no communication with the colony for quite a while. The Enterprise's sad mission is to retrieve the colonist's remains and their equipment.

Captain Kirk, along with Dr. McCoy, Mr. Spock, an a few other crewmen, beam down to the planet's surface and make the startling discovery that the colonists are still very much alive. The crew is greeted warmly by Elias Sandoval, a farmer who assures them that there have been no problems other than a faulty communications system. They encounter another colonist, Leila Kalomi, who was a love interest of Mr. Spock's six years earlier back on Earth. At a loss to explain why these people are still alive, Dr. McCoy arranges to do medical exams on a number of the colonists while other crew members search the vicinity for answers.

The puzzle deepens as McCoy finds all colonists in flawless, textbook perfect health, and although medical records indicate that Sandoval had his appendix removed, it is discovered he now has a fully functional appendix. Another discovery is that there is no animal life present, no livestock, no birds and no insects. Sandoval explains simply, "We're vegetarians."

As Spock is searching the surrounding area for clues, the lovely Leila meets up with him and agrees to show him how the colonists have survived. She takes him to a place where there are strange flowers that shoot a puff of spores at him.

Being, half Vulcan, Spock doesn't normally express his emotions, but moments after exposure to these spores, the formerly logical Spock is able to tell Leila, "I love you." Spock soon exhibits other emotional behaviors such as laughing, enjoying cloud formations, and later, ignoring Captain Kirk's orders.

Spock shows the strange flowers to Kirk and other crewmen, but somehow only Captain Kirk remains unaffected by them. When Kirk returns to his ship, it is full of the flowers and their spores. The whole ship's crew, in an open, but peaceful mutiny, begin to beam down to the planet. Before she leaves, Lieutenant Uhura sabotages the ship's communications system.

Soon Kirk is the only person remaining aboard the ship. Eventually, the spores overcome Kirk's resistance; he begins to feel peaceful and makes plans to beam down to the colony. But as he is about to leave the Enterprise, he feels a wave of violent emotions which overwhelms and destroys the spores within him.

Kirk now realizes the spores cannot survive the presence of strong needs and feelings. He asks Spock to come up to the ship to talk some sense into him. He tries to make Spock angry, insulting him with comments about his "elf-like" ears. Spock becomes angry and a brawl ensues. Fortunately, Spock's rationality returns to him before he seriously injures the Captain. Together they rig a device to send a subsonic frequency through the communicators that will irritate everyone in the colony. Fights break out all over, quickly leading to the end of the spores' influence.

As the Enterprise, with the colonists safely on board, prepares to exit the planetary system, Spock comments about his experiences saying: "For the first time in my life, I was happy."

Trivia

This episode marks the only occassion in Star Trek that Vulcans are revealed to have more than one name. Although, according to Spock, the second name is typically unpronounceable by humans.

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