Star Trek: The Original Series (1969) – The Mark of Gideon and That Which Survives

Captain’s log: stardate 5423.4

The Mark of Gideon, which was written by Stanley Adams and George F. Slavin first aired on 17 January, 1969.

When Captain Kirk (William Shatner) beams down to the planet Gideon II, he is stunned to find himself still on the Enterprise. A seemingly empty starship, except for one other living soul, Odona (Sharon Acker).

Spock (Leonard Nimoy) contacts the inhabitants of the planet, and they deny that Kirk very beamed down. The Science Officer must use all his diplomatic skills to discover the location of his captain.

Meanwhile, there is a plan in motion, overseen by Ambassador Hodin (David Hurst). The planet Gideon II suffers from over-population, there is no room, there is no personal space. Death only comes to the extremely old, disease is unknown. They crafted a whole space to be a copy of the Enterprise to convince Kirk he is on his ship (that opens all manner of plot holes), and then Odona is introduced.

Kirk being Kirk, he can’t resist getting his flirt on, and things progress with the young woman… and Kirk introduces a virus to her, and from there the population.

When I was a kid, I didn’t understand everything that was going on in this episode, but there was one thing that frightened me, and still gives me a bit of the heebie jeebies. All the faces looking in at Kirk and Odona, through view ports and the viewscreen.

Just the thought of that freaks me out a bit.

That bothers me, and now, another part of the story freaks me out as well, the fact that there is no space, no room for anyone. I get anxious in crowds and the thought of not having any space to sit, lay down or breath really freaks me out.

While the episode isn’t necessarily the greatest is does bring up the very important subject of over-population…


Captain’s log: stardate unknown

That Which Survives was a story penned by D.C. Fontana (writing as Michael Richards) and turned into a teleplay by John Meredyth Lucas. It aired on 24 January, 1969.

Kirk, McCoy (DeForest Kelley), Sulu (George Takei) and Lt. D’Amato (Arthur Batanides) – I wonder which one is expendable? – beam down to investigate a planet, but as soon as they do, the Enterprise is hurled a thousand light years away.

On the planet, they are menaced by a woman (Lee Meriwether) whose touch kills whomever she seeks out… “I am for you Lt. D’Amato.”

While the landing party struggles to survive as assault after assault occurs, the Enterprise races to their rescue, but the warp engines may not be able to take it.

This one is probably one of the only episodes that doesn’t involve me at all. I don’t love it, I don’t hate it, it just seems like a non-entity. It joins those few episodes that I forget I’ve seen right after I see it.

I do like that Dr. M’Benga (Booker Bradshaw) gets an appearance.

Despite the fact that both McCoy and Sulu are part of the landing party, Kirk gets all the heroics and best lines. While on the Enterprise, Spock shows some wry humour while interacting with Scotty (James Doohan) as they attempt to come to the landing party’s aid.

Not the best episode, and sadly, quickly forgotten until I watch it again.

The Human Adventure continues…



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s