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

Knifing through space, the mammoth starship, Enterprise, continues her five-year exploration of the universe… Her mission: peaceful contact with alien life-forms…


Exploring the Alpha Helios System, the Enterprise happens upon a Zargotian vessel that suddenly explodes. An ejection capsule escapes, and Spock orders a rescue squad to intercept. Doctor McCoy joins the rescue craft, which uses magnetic grapnels to catch the capsule. The squad cut open the capsule, and find dying alien astronaut. He says something about needing to get medicine to cure an epidemic on Zargot, and then dies.

Captain Kirk sets course for the nearest planet, and leads a landing party to the surface. As they move through the streets, they find the dead and the dying. Reaching a hospital, they find the top medic, Doctor Ixta. Ixta is convinced that the cure for the plague is a serum derived from herbs located on the neighboring planet, Coltac.

The Enterprise travels to Coltac and takes space wagon X4 to the surface of the tropical planet. Disembarking, the crew are attacked by a giant dinosaur-like beast. Kirk disables it with a phaser blast, and the crew discover the herb. Evading a pterodactyl-like creature, the crewmen get back on board the wagon and head back to Zargot.

After five days, Doctors McCoy and Ixta eradicate the "creeping sickness" from Zargot, and the event is celebrated with fireworks.

Log entries

  • "Captain's log, star date 20:0605 – Enterprise carrying out exploration in Alpha Helios System. So far, no indication of life…"
  • "Captain's log, star date 20:0902 – Orbiting alien planet. Exploration team ready to teleport to surface…"
  • "Captain's log, star date 20:1507 – We have returned to Zargot with the herbs. Dr. McCoy working with aliens…"

Memorable quotes

"Sufferin' starships!"

- Kirk, reacting to the destruction of a Zargotian vessel

"He's talking! And I can understand him!"

- Dr. McCoy, marveling at the universal translator

"We've made a quick examination. His sickness was unknown to man – it could affect us!"

- Dr. McCoy, the best there at what he does

"We'll report hourly on radio-tv hookup!"

- Kirk, before beaming down

"Thundering spacejets! Look!"

- Kirk, upon seeing a flying reptile headed straight for him

"Get aboard! But don't drop those herbs!"

- Kirk, setting priorities

Background information

  • This story must occur in 2265 or 2266 because McCoy and Bailey are both on board.
  • The uniforms in this story feature shoulder padding and long jackets, similar to the excursion jackets worn by Captain Pike's crew.
  • The interiors of the Enterprise are incredibly large and bear little resemblance to those seen on the television series.
  • The Zargotian ship appears suddenly on the scanner. If it just dropped out of warp, it it strange that it was not able to reach the neighboring planet. If it was traveling at impulse, the Enterprise should have been able to see it much sooner. If it was not equipped with warp drive, then Kirk violated the Prime Directive by making contact.
  • It is not explained why the Zargotain ship exploded, save for the guess that it "must have been a fault in her rocket stabilizers."
  • The Zargotain astronaut could have been beamed aboard, eliminating the need for the theatrics of a rescue craft cutting open the ejection capsule.
  • An astronaut seeking a cure for his dying race appeared 32 years later in "Dear Doctor".
  • Spock uses an antique microphone to communicate with other parts of the ship.
  • The aerial view of the Zargotian city resembles Farpoint Station.
  • The Zargotian vehicles resemble the bikes from Akira.
  • The Space Wagon appears to launch from the underside of the saucer section. The craft is controlled with a steering wheel.


Regular cast

Other characters

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