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Real world article
(written from a Production point of view)

For the unseen namesake prop book, please see By Any Other Name (production art).

Extragalactic aliens hijack the Enterprise and turn the crew into inert solids, leaving the four senior officers on their own to exploit their captors' weaknesses.



Responding to a ship's distress call, Captain Kirk's landing party (including Spock, McCoy, Lieutenant Shea, and Yeoman Thompson) beams down to a planet in search of survivors. A male and female humanoid placidly approach, demanding the unconditional surrender of the USS Enterprise. Activating paralysis fields from small devices on their belts, the aliens leave the landing party frozen but conscious in their places. The male humanoid, Rojan, calmly explains to Kirk he is now their commander and will take them with his people out of the galaxy. Furthermore, all of Humankind will not exist as they do now.

Act One[]

The female, Kelinda, disarms them while paralyzed and then they are released. Rojan explains they are scouts from the Kelvan Empire of the neighboring Andromeda Galaxy, which seeks a new home by force as their galaxy will soon reach unsustainable radiation levels. The Kelvan ship that was used in crossing over into the Federation's galaxy was destroyed at the galactic barrier, but they still traveled in life pods. Rojan intends to take the Enterprise to get back to Andromeda.

Meanwhile, on the Enterprise, Kelvans Hanar, Drea, and Tomar subdue the crew by freezing them the same way Rojan and Kelinda did the landing party and take over the starship.

At first Kirk says there's little point in taking it as even at maximum warp, it would take Enterprise thousands of years to reach Andromeda. Rojan explains that Enterprise will be modified with Kelvan technology which will shorten the journey to only three hundred years, a concept which fascinates Spock, as an intergalactic journey requiring only three centuries is a leap far beyond anything they have accomplished. The Kelvans explain that their ship was a multi-generation starship and explains to Yeoman Thompson that they were born in the intergalactic void and they shall die there. Rojan says the mission will be completed by a commander who is his descendant. These descendants could report on the suitability of the Milky Way Galaxy for Kelvan conquest and occupation. Kirk then says that there's no reason to do all of this by force and he proposes to take the Kelvan problem to the Federation. He tells Rojan that expeditions have cataloged hundreds of uninhabited planets that are suitable for colonization. Rojan replies that the Kelvans do not colonize, but conquer and rule.

The landing party is imprisoned in a nearby cave, guarded by Kelinda, while they wonder why they registered as Human, and also wonder if the paralysis field is centrally controlled. Using his mind meld ability to fool the guard as he did on Eminiar VII, Spock's attempt is thwarted before establishing an effective link, but Kelinda is distracted enough to get knocked unconscious by Kirk. The party's freedom lasts only for a brief moment before Rojan and Hanar recapture them by freezing Kirk.

Rojan kills

Rojan kills Thompson

In a display of power, Rojan orders Shea, by Hanar, and Thompson, by Kelinda, be taken aside, declaring a punishment for what Kirk has done. The captain will now watch two of his crew die. Hanar uses his belt device for a new purpose, instantly reducing Shea and Thompson into dehydrated porous cuboctahedron solids, the size of a Human fist, composed of their base minerals which represents the "distilled" essences of their being. Hanar picks up both solids and Rojan orders him to bring them to him where he is standing next to Kirk. Rojan points out that the solids represent "the flesh and brain, … and even what … Humans … call personality" of Shea and Thompson. Rojan crushes and crumbles one solid, declaring "this person" dead. Rojan says the other one though can be restored and throws the other one over to where Hanar had earlier picked up both. Hanar touches his belt device, again, revealing that Lieutenant Shea is the one that is reconstituted. Thompson, on the other hand, is not so fortunate and a dispirited Kirk bends down to scoop up and shift through his hands the white powdery substance that is all that remains of her.

Act Two[]

Returned to confinement, Spock reports on what little he learned from his interrupted mind meld. He describes the Kelvans' native appearance as something quite far from the local humanoid norm, confirming the aliens expressed unease in their new humanoid "shells".

The five Kelvans oversee the entire crew and Enterprise upgrades. Once underway, Kirk is still permitted to take the captain's chair with Rojan nearby and Kelvan female Drea taking the helm. With the ship accelerating to warp 11, the galactic barrier is now only a mere hour away.

Spock and Montgomery Scott learn in the emergency manual monitor room that an attempt to disable the Kelvan belt devices at their source is hopeless. They prepare another option for Kirk, a self-destruct trigger to use at the Barrier. They present this plan to Kirk while heading up to the bridge in a turbolift, but Kirk wonders if they have gone mad. Upon entering the bridge, the Barrier looms and tension flares on the Enterprise's command center.

Act Three[]

Spock and Scott are anxious for Kirk to order the destruct trigger, but the captain hesitates, finally ordering them to disable it. At Barrier contact, the Enterprise shudders and the engines strain, but she breaks forward into a starless void lit only by a distant Andromeda.

USS Enterprise heading towards Andromeda

The Andromeda Galaxy

With too many to guard and too many to feed, Rojan declares the majority of the Enterprise personnel non-essential. The Kelvans neutralize and reduce Uhura, Chekov, Leslie, Hadley, and all but four of the Enterprise personnel into inert solids. As necessary specialists, Kirk and his three senior officers Spock, McCoy, and Scotty are allowed to remain animate with free run of the ship. Rojan also reminds Kirk in an empty corridor, with eight inert solids, that Tomar saw through the attempt to detonate the ship and this is perhaps a better fate for the personnel the Kelvans considered non-essential.

Kirk and his officers are discussing their predicament over a meal in the mess when the Kelvan Tomar criticizes the Humans' consumption of "bulk" material for sustenance in favor of his more efficient Kelvan nutritional pills. Dr. McCoy tells Tomar "don't knock it 'til you try it" and piques Tomar's interest in the bulky foods humanoids prefer. The officers notice the inordinate pleasure the Kelvan takes in a typical meal from the food synthesizer, and begin to speculate on their species' inexperience with their radically different new humanoid bodies and sensory perceptions. Inspired, the four officers split up, each targeting a Kelvan and introducing them to a different form of sensory overload.

Scott weighs in first, luring Tomar into a drinking tour of the Federation. In sickbay, McCoy suggests that Hanar may be malnourished, and starts pumping him with stimulants, telling him that these are vitamin supplements.

Before the others can reach their marks, Scott and Tomar manage to polish off a bottle of Saurian brandy in his quarters.

Kirk decides to focus his energies on Kelinda, the Kelvan who has taken the form of an exotically attractive, young, blonde female. Kirk apologizes for having struck her in their escape attempt on the planet and kisses on her neck where he had struck her, then he moves to her lips. Kelinda admonishes Kirk at first, knowing this must be a seduction but she admits she's not opposed to the action. Kirk plays hard to get and Kelinda rewards him by pulling him in for more. Rojan interrupts, puzzled, and Kirk hurries away. Kelinda explains the Human "apology" ritual, demonstrating it on a nonplussed Rojan.

Scott and Tomar finish their second bottle, both becoming more and more inebriated. Scotty confounds the universal translator and starts pouring something green, mangling its origin (the Ganymede moon of Jupiter).

Over a game of three-dimensional chess with Spock, Rojan expresses his confusion about the "apology." Spock blithely suggests Kirk and Kelinda's motivations might have been otherwise, or perhaps Rojan was just experiencing jealousy. Rojan denies the emotion, but Spock is able to needle him into visible aggravation, making him lose the game.

Scott explains that it's green

"Well, it's green."

Rojan confronts Kelinda, forbidding her to see Kirk again. Kelinda insists she'll do as she pleases, and a brief argument in which both of them clearly display anger follows. The argument ends with Rojan roughly grabbing her arms, only to realize that he is experiencing emotions.

Act Four[]

In sickbay, pushing another hypospray, McCoy tells an irritated Hanar that he'll definitely need more of his new drug therapy. He later goes to the bridge to complain to Rojan about his assignment of duties.

Indomitably vertical, Tomar asks for more alcohol, forcing Scott to break into his secret stash.

The officers meet for a progress report, noting the absence of Scott. Kelinda interrupts, her eyes only for the captain, asking for another "apology." Spock goes to the bridge, glibly reporting on the forbidden meeting, bluntly suggesting that Rojan has lost control.

Victorious on the battlefield, Scott watches the drunken Tomar collapse under the table and fondly kisses his expended weapon of last resort. Stealing Tomar's belt device, he staggers away to report to Captain Kirk, but before he can, he collapses into a drunken stupor in the doorway of his cabin.

Rojan, incensed, storms in on Kelinda and Kirk, deep in the midst of the "apology." Rojan repeats his orders, but Kirk holds her and claims Kelinda as his own. Enraged, Rojan pulls the two apart. Not yet satisfied with Rojan's anger, Kirk slaps the Kelvan twice, inciting Rojan to lunge in fury. As they fight, Kirk taunts Rojan, saying he's not acting Kelvan anymore, but more Human. Head-locked by Kirk, Rojan is forced to consider how much he has changed in a short time and how unrecognizable his descendants would be when they eventually arrive "home" in three centuries.

Rojan relents when Kirk reminds him that the core of his mission was to find a new home for his people. Kirk says they can still take the problem to the Federation and that they can help them find a new world for them to live on. When Rojan asks if the Federation would really welcome invaders, Kirk says that indeed they wouldn't, but they would accept friends. Spock says that this is a chance for Rojan to make a destiny of their own and that he is only a link in a chain, following an order given three hundred years previous. Rojan finally agrees that perhaps it can be done. Spock says that a robot ship could be sent to Kelva with the Federation proposal. In the meantime, Rojan's crew could experience life as humanoids on a vibrant world. Rojan considers a life with these new physical sensations, and asks Kelinda if she'll stay with him, receiving her enthusiastic apology. Rojan calls the bridge and reaches Drea. He announces to her that he is restoring Kirk's command of the Enterprise to him and that she will follow his orders. Kirk then orders Enterprise turned around and states that they are all going home.

Log entries[]

Memorable quotes[]

"I am Rojan of Kelva. I am your commander from this moment on. Any effort to resist us or escape will be severely punished. Soon we, and you, will leave this galaxy forever. You Humans must face the end of your existence as you have known it."

- Rojan

"We do not colonize. We conquer. We rule. There's no other way for us."

- Rojan, explaining the Kelvan way of life to Kirk

"The Federation has handled foreign invasions before…"
"Captain, we can control the Federation as easily as we can control you. The fate of the inferior – in any galaxy."

- Kirk and Rojan

"As a leader you realize the importance of discipline. I need you and these other specialists…" (motions toward where Spock and McCoy are standing) (referencing Shea and Thompson) "… but these two are unnecessary."

- Rojan, explaining to Kirk why he is punishing him after the attempt to escape

"I think we're somewhat alike, captain. Each of us cares less about our own safety than for the lives of our command. We feel pain when others suffer for our mistakes. Your punishment shall be to watch them die. Hanar, proceed!"

- Rojan, explaining further to Kirk why he is about to do to Shea and Thompson

"This is the essence of what they were. The flesh and the brain and what you call the personality, distilled down into these compact shapes. And once crushed, this person is dead. However, that one can be restored."

- Rojan, to Kirk

"Do you not agree that this is a better thing for them than exploding the ship as your engineer had thought to do? We detected it, of course. Tomar has devised a mechanism to prevent any further tampering. Please accept your situation, captain. It will make things much less painful."

- Rojan, to Kirk, after Kirk has just discovered in a corridor eight inert solids

"Jim, I saw them reduce four of my doctors and nurses into those little…!" "They've reduced the whole CREW!"

- McCoy and Kirk, arguing about the crew that is reduced to inert solids

"This business of love. You have devoted much literature to it. Why do you build such a mystique around a simple biological function?"

- Kelinda, as Kirk tries to seduce her

"What is it?"
"Well, it's … uh …" (Scotty looks at the liquor bottle and sniffs it) "It's green."

- Tomar and Scott, as they drink in Scott's quarters

"I have a bottle of some very very old whiskey… We did it, you and me… put him right under the table."

- Scott

"I was wondering, would you please apologize to me again?"

- Kelinda, wanting Kirk to kiss her

"And how's the research going?"
"I need some more experiments."

- Kelinda and Kirk, between kisses

"You would extend welcome to invaders?"
"No. But we would welcome friends."

- Rojan and Kirk, as they end their brawl

Background information[]

Production timeline[]

Story and production[]

  • The title is part of a quotation from Romeo and Juliet, Act II, Scene 2. "What's in a name? That which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet." Kirk recites it to Kelinda. It is often used to convey the idea that although you can change the name of something, its nature will remain the same. In this case, the Kelvans become Human. In doing so, they start behaving as Humans do.
  • The basis of this episode can be found in Gene Roddenberry's first ever produced science fiction script, "The Secret Weapon of 117" for Chevron Hall of Stars in 1956. The episode featured a pair of aliens (the male played by Ricardo Montalban) who disguise themselves as Humans to study Earth people but become overwhelmed by the sensations and experiences of their new host bodies, and decide to remain Human. (These Are the Voyages: TOS Season One)
  • In The Star Trek Interview Book, writer Jerome Bixby told Allan Asherman that he originally wrote the episode in a rather more serious vein, but that in depicting the potential end of the Human race at the hands of the Kelvans, he failed to heed producer Gene Roddenberry's warning to avoid getting wrapped up in "the immensity of it all." As a result, D.C. Fontana rewrote the script as a more "lightweight" episode.
  • Bixby's original script was much darker than the filmed episode. The Kelvans (then called the Dvenyens) executed ten Enterprise crewmembers by opening the shuttlebay doors and letting them get sucked out into space. Kirk was put through "hellish torture". Also, crewmembers were chosen to mate with each other (Kirk was paired with Yeoman Leslie Thompson) to eventually breed slaves to the Kelvans. NBC objected against all these, which led producer Gene Coon to order a heavy rewrite on the material. The production staff also deemed the mating aspect too similar to "The Cage". (These Are the Voyages: TOS Season Two)
  • According to David Gerrold, the writers could not figure out how the Kelvans could eliminate the crew. While in Roddenberry's office, someone spotted a Mexican onyx dodecahedron on his desk and suggested that they be transformed into objects of that shape. Dorothy Fontana describes the scene related by Gerrold on the Special Features on Season 2 DVD. She indicates that she had given the dodecahedron to Roddenberry, and that he played with it while they described their problem and then Roddenberry made the suggestion that they be transformed into objects of that shape.
  • This was the only episode lensed by cinematographer Keith Smith, replacing Jerry Finnerman, who was apparently unavailable for an unknown reason. Smith was the director of photography on Mission: Impossible, filmed next door to Star Trek at Desilu Studios at the time.
  • The final scene in the episode is an optical of the ship veering to the right to change course back to the Milky Way galaxy. Though this optical breakway shot was used several times in seasons 2 and 3, this is the only time the complete shot is shown in its entirety, with the left nacelle's sphere-shaped cap coming into view briefly before the ship exits the frame.


  • George Takei (Sulu) does not appear in this episode. This is the tenth consecutive episode in which he is absent. But he returns to the series in the next episode to be produced, "Return to Tomorrow".
  • Uhura, Chekov, and Nurse Chapel are not seen being restored to Human form at the episode's end.


  • The drinking scene between Scott and Tomar is echoed in TNG: "Relics". Not knowing what the drink is, Data sniffs the bottle and repeats Scott's line that it is "green." Picard later informs Scott that it was Aldebaran whiskey. Scott's slurred description of the bottle he shows to Tomar suggests he might have known the drink's name, only to forget it later as the possible result of binge drinking. A similar, if not identical, green drink was also seen in ENT: "In a Mirror, Darkly, Part II", aboard the Constitution-class USS Defiant. After emptying the bottle of "green," Scott tosses it toward the door of his quarters and the sound of glass shattering is heard. Later, however, when Scott passes out in front of his door, the fully intact bottle is in the foreground.
Scotch Whisky, By any other name

Scott's rare bottle of Scotch whisky

  • In the drinking contest after they both finish off three bottles, Scott shows Tomar his most prized possession: a rare, 200-year-old Scotch whisky. Finishing off this last bottle is what finally knocks Tomar and Scott out cold.
  • Kirk mentions that an intergalactic voyage by a 23rd century starship would take "thousands of years" to reach the Andromeda Galaxy. For the Kelvans, intergalactic travel is a three-century journey. In the 24th century, as seen in TNG: "Where No One Has Gone Before", Federation technology has apparently matched that of the Kelvans, when it is discussed that a return trip to the Milky Way from the Triangulum Galaxy would take three hundred years at maximum warp.
  • Direct references to two previous episodes were made. After Rojan mentions the galactic barrier, Kirk says, "We've been there." (TOS: "Where No Man Has Gone Before") Even Spock repeats his analysis of the barrier word for word: "Density negative. Radiation negative. Energy negative." When the landing party is detained in a cave, Kirk recalls their imprisonment on Eminiar VII and Spock's use of a mind-meld to fool the guards. (TOS: "A Taste of Armageddon")
  • In "Charlie X", Kirk tells Charles Evans, "There's no right way to hit a woman." However, in this episode and in "The Gamesters of Triskelion", Kirk strikes a woman. On Kelinda, he uses a karate chop to the neck.
  • When Pavel Chekov is neutralized at the navigation console, we should see the main viewscreen in the background, since that station faces the viewer. Instead, we see a different angle of the bridge: a red rail, broken at the left, in front of two standard console chairs.

Sets and props[]

Scott explains that it's green

The plaque in the background right.

  • Scotty's quarters are seen only in this episode. Decorations include a red and black tartan kilt, Sporran, bagpipes, a Scottish targe, medieval armor, a claymore and a wall plaque. Although the plaque apparently depicts stylized drafting tools, they also resemble part of a three-dimensional chess set and the primary hull of a Klingon battle cruiser.
  • The rotating biobed normally situated in sickbay was removed to allow McCoy and Tomar to roll the gurney carrying Spock to the biofunction monitor.

Other information[]

  • Yeoman Thompson's death and Julie Cobb's portrayal of that character is referenced in the cooking show Good Eats hosted by Alton Brown. The cooking show makes occasional references to Star Trek, especially The Original Series. [1]
  • The 1985 Saturday Night Live Star Trek Convention sketch has the convention host (played by Phil Hartman) erroneously introducing Julie Cobb (played in that skit by Victoria Jackson) by saying that she was in the episode "Errand of Mercy". One continuity error is that it shows Thompson (in cube form) being killed in Rojan's right hand, when in fact the cube on the left (which ended up in Rojan's right hand) came from Lt. Shea.
  • The close-up of Lt. Shea after he is restored is recycled from a previous shot of him just before he was reduced to cubic form.
  • The nature of the "stokaline" with which McCoy injects Spock upon their return to the Enterprise is not made clear. However, in his novelization of the episode in Star Trek 6, James Blish has McCoy explain that it is "a multiple vitamin compound." McCoy adds, "It'll put a little green in your cheeks." The Star Fleet Medical Reference Manual corroborates Blish and describes formazine, the stimulant with which McCoy actually injects Tomar, as also being an irritant.

Remastered information[]

  • The remastered version of this episode premiered in syndication on the weekend of 8 March 2008. It featured new effects shots of the Kelvan outpost from space, an expanded matte painting of the planet's terrain as the landing party beams down, a swirling Andromeda Galaxy, and the galactic barrier's new look.

Video and DVD releases[]

Links and references[]


Also starring[]


Guest star[]





Uncredited co-stars[]

Stunt doubles[]


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External links[]

Previous episode produced:
"A Piece of the Action"
Star Trek: The Original Series
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Next episode produced:
"Return to Tomorrow"
Previous episode aired:
"Patterns of Force"
Next episode aired:
"The Omega Glory"
Previous remastered episode aired:
"The Apple"
TOS Remastered Next remastered episode aired:
"That Which Survives"