While the Enterprise searches for the rare cure to a deadly disease, the landing party is confronted by a reclusive man who is willing to kill to preserve his privacy.
Its crew suffering from the deadly Rigelian fever, the Enterprise pays an emergency call on a supposedly barren planet, Holberg 917G, to gather ryetalyn, a rare element that is the key ingredient of the antidote. Beaming down to the planet, Kirk, McCoy, and Spock are attacked by a hovering robot. An old man, Flint, arrives to halt the robot's attack, but insists that the landing party leave at once. Kirk resists, and eventually convinces Flint to help them gather the ryetalyn.
Flint takes them to his home to process the ryetalyn. There, the landing party find what appears to be authentic but undiscovered specimens of Earth art, such as a score by Brahms and paintings by Leonardo da Vinci – and his beautiful, highly intelligent, but ultimately enigmatic ward named Rayna. Flint seems to encourage encounters between Kirk and Rayna, but exhibits sufficient jealousy to lead him to nearly kill Kirk.
As Kirk (who is falling in love with Rayna) and Spock ponder the paradox, McCoy comes back with the report that the ryetalyn contains irillium in quantities sufficient to render the antidote useless. As more ryetalyn is gathered, Kirk and Spock realize Flint wishes them to linger for reasons unknown, to the point of hiding the processed ryetalyn. In their search for the antidote, they enter a room containing earlier versions of Rayna; she is an android.
Flint then arrives and reveals his other secret; he is an ancient immortal, born more than three millennia before Christ. Over the course of his life, Flint has taken on many names, such as Brahms and da Vinci. Eventually, he acquired enough wealth to purchase Holberg 917G and work on a perfect, ultimate – and equally immortal – woman. Kirk had provided the final step in her creation, stirring her emotions to life. Now, Flint prepares to put Kirk and the Enterprise in suspension for a thousand years or more, as Rayna's emotions turn to him. Despite Flint's intent to keep her creation a secret, Rayna enters the room and learns the truth, forcing Flint to release the ship.
He and Kirk eventually fight over Rayna, stopped only by the emergence of Rayna's emotions. However, her new feelings and the sudden choice between Flint and Kirk overwhelm her, and she dies. Back aboard ship, the plague is stopped and Kirk finally falls asleep after ruefully reflecting on what happened. McCoy enters and informs Spock that the full tricorder readings on Flint indicate he is aging and will eventually die; in leaving Earth, he sacrificed immortality. After commenting about love and Spock's eschewing of that emotion, the doctor looks at Kirk and wishes he could forget Rayna. As McCoy leaves, Spock moves over to his sleeping captain, places one hand on Kirk's temple, and whispers, "Forget."
- Captain’s log, stardate 5843.7. The Enterprise is in the grip of a raging epidemic. Three crewmen have died and 23 others have been struck down by Rigelian fever. In order to combat the illness, Dr. McCoy needs large quantities of ryetalyn, which is the only known antidote for the fever. Our sensors have picked up sufficient quantities of pure ryetalyn on a small planet in the Omega system. We are beaming down to secure this urgently needed material.
- Captain’s log, stardate 5843.75. Have I committed a grave error in accepting Flint's word that he would deliver the antidote to us? The precious time I have let pass may result in disaster for the Enterprise and her crew.
- Captain’s log, stardate 5843.8. We have accomplished our mission and have the ryetalyn ready to combat the epidemic aboard the Enterprise. But we have also discovered our benefactor's secret. He has created the perfect woman. Her only flaw... she’s not human.
"If you do not leave voluntarily, I have the power to force you to leave – or kill you where you stand."
(opening communicator) "Mr. Scott, lock phasers onto these coordinates."
"Aye, captain; all phasers locked on."
"Mr. Flint, if anything happens to us – four deaths. And then, my crew comes down and takes that ryetalyn."
"An interesting test of power; your enormous forces against mine. Who would win?"
"Unless you are... certain, I suggest you refrain from a most useless experiment."
- - Flint, Kirk, and Spock
"Have you ever seen a victim of Rigelian Fever? They die in one day; the effects are like Bubonic Plague."
"Constantinople; summer, 1334. It marched through the streets, the sewers. It left the city by oxcart, by sea, to kill half of Europe. The rats, rustling and squealing in the night as they, too, died. The rats..."
"Are you a student of history, sir?"
(recovers) "I am."
- - McCoy, Flint, and Spock
"Rayna... have you been lonely?"
"What is loneliness?"
"It's a... thirst. It is a flower dying in the desert."
- - Flint and Rayna
"Spock, I know you won't have one; heaven forbid those mathematically perfect brain waves of yours be corrupted by this all too human vice."
"Thank you, doctor; I will have a brandy."
"Do you think the two of us can handle a drunk Vulcan? Once alcohol hits that green blood..."
"If I appear distracted, doctor, it is because of what I have seen. I am close to experiencing a human emotion."
"I'll drink to that! What emotion?"
"Envy. None of these da Vinci paintings has ever been catalogued or reproduced... as undiscovered da Vincis, they would be priceless."
"Would be? You mean you think they're fakes?"
"Most strange; a man of Flint's obvious wealth and impeccable taste scarcely needs to hang fakes. Yet my tricorder analysis reveals the pigments and canvases are of contemporary origin."
- - McCoy, Spock and Kirk
"Well, let's enjoy this brandy; it tastes real."
- - Kirk
"To be human is to be complex. You can't avoid a little ugliness... from within and from without."
- - Kirk
"...since we are dependent on Mr. Flint for the ryetalyn, I would suggest you pay less attention to the young lady should you encounter her again. It appears our host's interest are not confined to art and science."
"He – loves her?"
"Jealousy! Of course, that would explain the attack, but he seemed to want us to be together; the billiard game... he suggested that we dance."
- - Spock and Kirk
"Physically human, but not human. These are earlier versions of Rayna, Jim – she's an android."
"Created here, by my hand. Here the centuries of loneliness were to end."
- - McCoy, interrupted by Flint
"I... am Brahms."
"How many other names shall we call you?"
"Solomon, Alexander, Lazarus, Methuselah, Merlin, Abrahmson – a hundred other names you do not know."
"You were born?"
"In that region of Earth later called Mesaootamia in the year 3834 B.C., as the millenia are now reckoned. I was (chuckle) Akharin; a soldier, a bully – and a fool. I fell in battle, pierced to the heart... and did not die."
"Instant tissue regeneration, coupled with some perfect form of biological renewal – you learned that you were immortal!"
"And to conceal it. To live some portion of a life. To pretend to age, and then move on before my nature was suspected."
- - Spock, Flint, and McCoy
"I have married a hundred times, captain; selected, loved, cherished, caressed a smoothness, inhaled a brief fragrance, then – age, death, the taste of dust. Can you understand?"
"You wanted a perfect, ultimate woman; as brilliant – as immortal – as yourself. Your mate for all time."
"Designed by my heart; I could not love her more."
- - Flint and Spock
"You'd wipe out four hundred lives?"
"I have seen a hundred billion fall! I know death better than any man -- I have tossed enemies into his grasp! And I know mercy; your crew is not dead, but suspended."
"Worse than dead! Restore them; restore my ship!"
"In time; a thousand, two thousand years. You will know the future, Captain Kirk."
- - Kirk and Flint
"You have been such men, you've known and created such beauty, you've watched your race evolve from cruelty and barbarism throughout your enourmous life -- and, yet, now you would do this to us?"
"The flowers of my past... but I hold the nettles of the present. I am Flint, now, with my needs."
"Tonight, I have seen something wondrous happen; something I have worked for, labored for -- nothing must endanger it. At last, Rayna's emotions have stirred to life. Now they will turn to me in this solitude which I preserve."
- - McCoy, Flint, Kirk
"All emotions are in play, Mr. Flint. Harm us – she hates you."
- - McCoy, after Rayna learns her true identity
"Stay out of this Spock, we're fighting over a woman!"
"No, you're not -- for 'she' is not."
- - Kirk and Spock
"The very old and lonely man, and a young and lonely man; we put on a pretty poor show, didn't we?"
- - McCoy
"She loved you, captain... and you, too, Mr. Flint, as a mentor; even as a father. There was not enough time for her to adjust to the awful power and contradictions of her new-found emotions; she could not bear to hurt either of you. The joys of love made her human, and the agonies of love destroyed her."
- - Kirk and Spock
"Your report, doctor?"
"Yes – those tricorder readings on Flint are finally correlated; he's dying. You see, Flint, in leaving Earth and all of the complex fields in which he was formed, sacrificed immortality. He'll live the remainder of a normal lifespan... then, finally, die."
"On that day, I shall mourn. Does he know?"
"Yes – I told him myself. He intends to devote the remainder of his years and great abilities to the improvement of the human condition... and who knows what he might come up with?"
"Well, that's all for now; I can tell Jim later or... you can. Considering his opponent's longevity -- truly an eternal triangle. You wouldn't understand that, would you Spock? You see, I feel sorrier for you than I do for him, because you'll never know the things that love can drive a man to. The ecstasies, the miseries... the broken rules, the desperate chances, the glorious failures -- and the glorious victories; all of these things you'll never know, simply because the word "love" isn't written into your book. Good night, Spock."
"Good night, doctor."
- - McCoy and Spock
- - Spock uses a mind meld to ease Kirk's pain.
- A requiem is a mass for the dead. Methuselah is the longest lived character in the Bible, having lived 969 years.
- In a story outline (dated 2 October 1968) the 8,000 year old Flint was also Beethoven (Spock's favorite composer because of his music's mathematical, logical construction), and Spock enabled Kirk to forget Rayna by using mental suggestion from a distance, while Kirk was in his cabin and Spock was on the bridge. First draft script 19 November 1968, filmed in early December. In the final scene in the episode, Spock causes Kirk to forget but not from a distance, but by touching his head and telling him to forget. Note resemblance to Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan, when Spock told McCoy to "Remember."
- Flint's castle is reused matte painting of the Rigel VII fortress from "The Cage".
- The Brahms paraphrase that Spock plays was written especially for this episode by Ivan Ditmars.
- Flint's viewscreen appears to be the Beta III lighting panel seen in "The Return of the Archons". It is also similar to the one seen in "Where No Man Has Gone Before".
- This episode includes the newest footage of the Enterprise seen since "Mirror, Mirror", utilizing the 3-foot model built to demonstrate the Enterprise shape in 1964.
- Captain Kirk peers into the bridge of the Enterprise through the viewscreen, much like Q will do when he shrinks the USS Voyager to the size of a Christmas ornament in VOY: "Death Wish".
- Some of the furnishings in Flint's castle are recognizably recycled from previous episodes. Spock sits in the ornate chair used by Korob and Syvia in "Catspaw". In the outer room of Flint's laboratory, just in front of the vertical grill, you can see the female Romulan Commander's "communications box" from "The Enterprise Incident". In the same room, the back walls are lined with the consoles from the Elba II control room in "Whom Gods Destroy".
- In the third season blooper reel, there is a shot of the M-4 on its dolly mount, being wheeled toward William Shatner by its operator.
- This episode is referenced in Voyager's 4th season episode "Concerning Flight", in which Captain Kathryn Janeway mentions that Captain Kirk claimed to have met Leonardo da Vinci.
- Revised story outline by Jerome Bixby, 2 September 1968.
- Story outline, 6 September 1968.
- Story outline, 2 October 1968.
- First draft teleplay, 4 November 1968.
- Teleplay, 18 November 1968.
- Filmed in early December 1968
Video and DVD releases
- Original US Betamax release: 1988.
- UK VHS release (two-episode tapes, CIC Video): Volume 39, catalogue number VHR 2435, 18 March 1991.
- US VHS release: 15 April 1994.
- UK re-release (three-episode tapes, CIC Video): Volume 3.7, 2 February 1998.
- Original US DVD release (single-disc): Volume 38, 27 November 2001.
- As part of the TOS Season 3 DVD collection.
Links and References
- William Shatner as Captain James T. Kirk
- Leonard Nimoy as Commander Spock
- DeForest Kelley as Dr. Leonard H. McCoy
- James Doohan as Lieutenant Commander Montgomery Scott
- Nichelle Nichols as Lieutenant Uhura
- William Blackburn as Hadley
- Roger Holloway as Roger Lemli
- John Buonomo as Orderly (cut from final show)
- David Sharpe as Flint stunt double (uncredited)
2239; Abramson; Akharin; Alexander the Great; android; bible; billiards; Brack; Brahms; bubonic plague; Centauri VII; chess; creation lithograph; Constantinople; da Vinci, Leonardo; early history; Europe; Federation legal banks; Flint; Galilei, Galileo Gutenberg, Johann; Holberg 917G; irillium; Lazarus; M-4; Marcus II; Merlin; Mesopotamia; Methuselah; Moses; Omega system; piano; Rayna 14; Pollack, Reginald; Rigelian fever; robot; ryetalyn; Saurian brandy; screens; Shakespeare, William; Socrates; Solomon; Starfleet Command; Sten; sub-dimensional physics; Taranullus
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