(written from a Production point of view)
The Enterprise crew take shore leave on a planet where their imaginations become reality.
The crew of the USS Enterprise has been through a grueling three months. Captain Kirk is tired and has a sore back while sitting in his command chair on the bridge. Yeoman Barrows attempts to alleviate his condition, but Kirk, mistaking her for Spock, responds positively to her ministrations. Upon realizing the identity of his "massage therapist", he becomes embarrassed, prompting her to cease. After Barrows suggests he take a rest and, with some additional prompting from Spock, Kirk reluctantly agrees. He leaves the bridge and hands command over to Spock. Just before leaving, he has Lieutenant Uhura have Dr. Leonard McCoy's communications channeled to his quarters, so he can hear the doctor's report on the planet below. Meanwhile, on the planet the Enterprise is orbiting, McCoy and Sulu are part of a landing party sent there to investigate it.
McCoy finds the planet's lush green surface to be similar to "something out of Alice in Wonderland." When Sulu leaves the doctor to go investigate the planet's various cell structures, McCoy then sees… a giant white rabbit and, following it, a little girl with blonde hair and an English accent asking if he's seen a rabbit. McCoy yells for Sulu, who is busy cataloging the planet's flora. The helmsman asks the doctor what is wrong but McCoy stares ahead at the hedge where the girl and the rabbit disappeared into, speechless and in disbelief.
- "Captain's log, stardate 3025… uh, .3. We are orbiting an uninhabited planet in the Omicron Delta region. A planet remarkably like Earth or how we remember Earth to be. Park-like, beautiful, green. Flowers, trees, green lawn… quiet and restful. Almost too good to be true."
In Kirk's quarters, Yeoman Barrows notes on her PADD that she does not see the captain's name on any of the scheduled shore parties. Kirk replies that while he may be tired, he is not falling apart and does not require shore leave. He dismisses her and Spock arrives. Kirk notes to his first officer that they are beaming down the crew located at the Enterprise's starboard section first. Kirk asks Spock which party he will be joining but the Vulcan says he will not, as on his homeworld, "to rest is to rest; to cease using energy" and sees no point in expending energy rather than storing it. McCoy contacts the Enterprise through his communicator and Uhura has him patched into Kirk's quarters. The doctor tells Kirk that the Enterprise's scanners and detectors have somehow malfunctioned or he must report himself unfit for duty. When Kirk asks for an explanation, McCoy tells the captain of his sight of a large rabbit with waistcoat and pocket watch. The captain is humored by McCoy's tale, and asks if the rabbit was followed by a little blonde girl, which McCoy confirms. Kirk supposes that the doctor is trying to lure him down to the planet under the guise of a mystery.
Spock tells Kirk that he has picked up a medical log from Dr. McCoy on an Enterprise crewman. The crewman is showing signs of stress and fatigue and his reaction time is down nine to twelve percent. The officer is also becoming irritable and quarrelsome, and refuses to rest and relax. The captain, concerned about the safety of his ship, orders this crewman to go ashore and asks Spock for the officer's name. "James Kirk", Spock says. The Vulcan tells his chagrined commanding officer to enjoy himself, as the planet is "very much like your Earth. Scouts have detected no animals, artifacts, or force fields of any kind. Only peace, sunshine, and good air. You'll have no problems." Meanwhile, on the planet, a revolver is revealed under a rock.
Lieutenant Rodriguez is conducting a scan with his tricorder while Crewman Martine observes a leaf on a tree. Rodriguez is eager to get their reports done before the captain asks for them, though Martine cannot understand why Rodriguez wants to do work instead of enjoying the loveliness of the planet. Just then, Kirk and Barrows materialize near them. Kirk tells them to finish up their scans and to go enjoy themselves. He and Barrows walk around, enjoying how lovely and restful the planet appears to be when they find McCoy. McCoy shows them rabbit tracks, indisputable evidence that "I saw what I saw." Kirk, suspicious about this evidence, contacts the Enterprise and orders Uhura to cancel all shore leave for the crew until further notice. Kirk will not beam any of his crew down until the situation is proven harmless. Just then, Kirk, McCoy, and Barrows hear what sound like gunshots. Kirk draws his phaser from his holster and runs towards the source of the loud sound with McCoy and Barrows running just behind him.
They find Lieutenant Sulu firing a pistol. Kirk asks his helmsman just what he thinks he is doing. Sulu excitedly tells Kirk that he found an old .38 police special, a pistol he has always wanted in his collection of old Earth firearms. Kirk confiscates the pistol from Sulu, figuring the planet has made him "trigger happy." Barrows notes more footprints from McCoy's rabbit nearby. Kirk recalls that the ship's sensors could find no animal life, which McCoy confirms, noting their instruments couldn't have been that off. Kirk orders Barrows and Sulu to investigate the tracks while he and McCoy head back to the glade. When the officers separate, McCoy and Kirk do not realize they are being scanned by a strange metal antenna-like device.
Kirk tells his chief medical officer that this is turning out to be a "very unusual shore leave." McCoy jokingly tells the captain it could be worse; Kirk could have seen the rabbit instead of him. When Kirk suggests McCoy is developing a persecution complex because of this incident, McCoy admits that he is feeling like he is being picked on. At this, Kirk recalls being the victim of multiple practical jokes from a cadet at the Academy named Finnegan. Kirk recalls being quite grim during his years at the Academy, something which delighted Finnegan, an upperclassman, to no end. Kirk remembers Finnegan as someone who would leave "a bowl of cold soup in your bed or a bucket of water propped on a half-opened door. You never know where he'd strike next." Kirk sees more tracks in front of them, as well as a girl's footprints. Kirk has McCoy follow the rabbit and he decides to backtrack the girl.
Kirk follows the tracks and, to his great surprise, finds his old Academy nemesis Finnegan. Kirk is in disbelief that Finnegan, appearing as he did at the Academy, fifteen years prior, is there. "You never know when I'm going to strike, huh Jim? How's this?!" Finnegan punches Kirk in the face and the captain clenches his jaw in pain. Finnegan taunts him on, telling him to lay one on him, as it is what Kirk has always wanted. Kirk smiles at this and begins to wrestle with Finnegan when he hears Yeoman Barrows screaming in the distance. He leaves Finnegan to find Barrows with McCoy running beside him.
They find Barrows sobbing, her Starfleet uniform torn and tattered. After getting herself together, Barrows says that her attacker wore a cloak and had a dagger with jewels on it. McCoy says that it sounds like it was Don Juan. Barrows recalls that just before she was attacked daydreaming about the storybook-like setting of the planet, and thinking that all a girl needs is Don Juan. Kirk asks where Sulu is and Barrows says that he went chasing after her attacker. Kirk has McCoy stay with Barrows and goes after him. Kirk is observed again by the metal tracking device while looking for Sulu. Kirk runs across the planet's rocky terrain looking for his helmsman when he comes across some flowers and he is reminded about someone or something. Just then, a beautiful woman in a dress comes toward him. "Ruth?… Ruth!", Kirk says. The woman tells him that she is, indeed, who he thinks she is. She kisses him on the cheek.
- "Captain's log, stardate 3025.8. Investigation of this increasingly unusual planet continues and we are seeing things the cannot possibly exist. Yet they are undeniably real."
While sitting with Ruth, Kirk tries to contact McCoy on his communicator but cannot reach him. He is distracted by Ruth's presence and wonders how it can possibly be her and how she has not appeared to age, since the last time he saw her was fifteen years prior. "It doesn't matter. None of that matters", she says. Kirk's communicator beeps; it is McCoy. The doctor asks if he has found Sulu but Kirk says he has not, in halting responses, intoxicated by Ruth's presence and beauty. In a mellow, distracted voice, Kirk tells his medical officer that he is sure Sulu is all right, and McCoy asks if Kirk all right. Kirk says he is and ends the communication. Lieutenant Rodriguez's now reports to the captain that he saw a whole flock of birds flying, when the sensors said that there were definitely no lifeforms on the planet and their surveys could not have been that wrong. Kirk is awakened from his daze by this and has Rodriguez rendezvous with the search parties at the glade. Kirk reluctantly leaves Ruth. "Do what you have to do… and I'll be waiting", she says before he goes.
Spock calls from the Enterprise. He has detected an energy field on the surface of the planet – one that is draining the Enterprise's power and interfering with communications. The patterns are consistent with industrial activity, the first officer suggests, perhaps subterranean. Kirk asks to be kept posted, tells Spock they will continue their investigation down on the planet, and ends the communication. He continues his search for Sulu.
Meanwhile, McCoy and Barrows are walking together through the foliage. She is feeling better from her earlier ordeal but would not want to be alone here. She thinks that a girl in a place like this should be dressed like a fairy tale princess with a tall hat with a veil. McCoy tells her she would then have whole armies of Don Juans to fight off – and (flirtatiously) himself, as well. The look into each other's eyes and hold hands. Just then, to the surprise of McCoy, Barrows spots the princess dress she just fantasized about. Encouraged by the doctor, she begins to change into it behind a bush – and tells the good doctor not to peek. Just then, McCoy is contacted by Rodriguez but his channel begins to degrade into static. Meanwhile, Rodriguez and Martine are holding tightly onto each other and leaning into a tree as a very dangerous thing has appeared near them: a tiger. Rodriguez slowly moves his communicator to his mouth to contact McCoy for help but cannot reach him. They stand frozen in fear.
Meanwhile, Kirk orders his science officer to come up with an answer for everything that has happened, citing McCoy's Alice in Wonderland vision, Sulu's gun, Rodriguez' birds… and the two people he himself just saw. Kirk discounts Spock's suggestion that they are merely hallucinations, as Kirk still feels the impact of Finnegan's fist into his jaw. Spock notes that there must be a logical explanation for all of this. Kirk's communicator signal is weak, despite being on maximum gain. Spock asks if he should send down a contingent of security officers but Kirk says that the landing party is armed with phasers and is currently in no real danger… yet. Kirk then looks up and sees the birds Rodriguez saw.
Elsewhere, Sulu is suddenly under attack by a samurai warrior. He aims his phaser and fires at the samurai but it doesn't work. He tries again but it still does not fire. He dodges the samurai's sword and runs away. While frantically trying to get away from the samurai, Sulu runs into Kirk, breathlessly warning the captain about the samurai behind him, although no samurai appears. Kirk and Sulu note that their communicators and phasers are inoperative and the captain suggests they make their way back to the glade. Just then, Sulu notes a beam-down nearby – someone is trying to materialize from the Enterprise's bridge to the planet surface, but something is obstructing it. It is revealed to be Spock. After fully materializing, Spock remarks that he will be the last to be beamed down; the transporter is now also inoperative. Notwithstanding Kirk's order that nobody else beam down, Spock concluded that with communications out, it was necessary for him to discuss his findings with the captain. The planetary field soaks up energy at the source. They are stranded on the planet until they can ultimately figure out what is going on. A tiger makes its way near to them and Kirk orders Sulu and Spock to spread out to find the source of the energy.
Kirk had instructed the landing party (through Rodriguez) to rendezvous at the beam-down point at the glade; there, McCoy encounters a black knight. Convinced it cannot harm him, as it is not real, he stands his ground – and takes a lance right through the chest. Barrows screams and Kirk shoots the knight with the .38 police special gun (since his phaser did not work), knocking the knight off his horse. Kirk and Spock run to McCoy. They look at each other grim-faced, finding their friend dead.
- "Captain's log, supplemental. All contact with the Enterprise has been lost. We're trapped here. Our ship's surgeon, my personal friend, is dead. We're certain now that whatever we're facing is terribly real."
The landing party are stunned by McCoy's death. Barrows, in particular, is sobbing and hysterical, and blames herself. Kirk brings her to her feet and tells her he needs every crewman "alert and thinking" so they can be prepared for anything. She does her best to calm down and remain focused. Meanwhile, Sulu calls for Kirk to come over to the body of the black knight. His face is clearly unreal. Spock performs an analysis with Sulu's tricorder and finds that the knight is definitely a mechanical construct and it has the same basic cell structure as the plants, trees, and grass on the planet.
Elsewhere, Rodriguez and Martine spot a Japanese Zero fighter aircraft flying through the air, to Rodriguez' amazement. Martine asks if it can hurt them but Rodriguez assures her it can't… so long as it doesn't perform a strafing run on them. Unfortunately, no sooner said than done; the aircraft gets closer, and closer… and closer. Rodriguez realizes that his words were prophetic, and tells Martine to run and the ground is hit as they flee from rapid machine gun fire. Rodriguez makes it to safety but Martine falls unconscious, apparently hit.
Just as Kirk, Sulu, Spock, and Barrows are distracted by the Japanese aircraft flying through the air, McCoy's body disappears, along with the black knight shortly thereafter. Spock then comes to the conclusion that these artifacts can be just as real as they are deadly. The Vulcan asks Kirk what was he thinking at the time. Kirk starts to mention Finnegan and Finnegan reappears. Kirk goes after him, personally wanting to find out what has been happening to his people. Kirk chases after Finnegan and orders Spock to join with Sulu and find McCoy's body. After a long run to intercept Finnegan, Kirk is jumped by him and they get into a fight. "I've got the edge. I'm still twenty years old. Look at you! Heh, you're an old man!", Finnegan says. Kirk attacks him, punching him a few times until he falls on his back. When Kirk now has the best of Finnegan, the former cadet fakes a back injury, and Kirk tries to help him up. Finnegan then flips Kirk over, knocking the captain out. "Sleep, sweet Jimmy boy. Sleep as long as you like. Sleep forever, Jim baby. Forever and ever", Finnegan laughs while Kirk lies unconscious, his uniform ripped.
When Kirk awakens, he's no closer to the answers he wants, although Finnegan's comment that "I'm bein' exactly what'ya expect me t'be, Jimmie-boy" might be a clue. They resume fighting and this time Kirk knocks Finnegan out.
But beating the tar out of Finnegan one last time makes up for a lot of past miseries at the Academy, a fact that Spock finds enlightening after finding Kirk. Having a realization, Kirk says "We're all meeting people and things that we happen to be thinking about at the moment" and Spock replies "Yes, somehow our thoughts are read, these things are quickly manufactured and provided for us." He and Kirk realize the truth: all of the artifacts are representations of someone's wish-fulfillment fantasy. This implies that some form of telepathy is being used. Outrunning the tiger and making it past the samurai, they gather the landing party at the glade. Kirk instructs them to remain at attention, and not to think of anything.
An elderly man appears; this caretaker confirms the guess: his people constructed this planet as a playground. Anything one can think of can be manufactured – and none of it is permanent. Sulu wonders how a race can be so advanced as the caretaker's people are and yet still have the need to play. To Kirk, it makes perfect sense: "The more complex the mind, the greater the need for the simplicity of play." When Kirk mentions the death of his friend, McCoy reappears, alive and well, and as a bonus, on each arm he has a chorus girl from a cabaret on Rigel II he once visited. Barrows promptly reclaims McCoy, and the chorus girls attach themselves to other members of the crew, such as Sulu and Spock. The caretaker offers the use of the Shore Leave Planet to the crew while cautioning them to take care what they summon. He will not comment on his species or their home planet, saying enigmatically that he believes the Enterprise crew are not yet ready to understand his people. Kirk plans to beam down shore parties for the best shore leave they've ever had. He prepares to have himself beamed back to the ship… and then Ruth reappears, changing his mind.
- "Captain's log, stardate 3025… uh, .3. We are orbiting an uninhabited planet in the Omicron Delta region, a planet remarkably like Earth or how we remember Earth to be: park-like, beautiful, green, flowers, trees, green lawn, quiet and restful. Almost too good to be true."
- "Captain's log, stardate 3025.8. Investigation of this increasingly unusual planet continues, and we are seeing things that cannot possibly exist, yet they are undeniably real."
- "Captain's log, supplemental. All contact with the Enterprise has been lost. We're trapped here. Our ship's surgeon, my personal friend, is dead. We're certain now that whatever we're facing is terribly real."
- - McCoy, believing he's going insane after seeing the white rabbit and Alice
"On my planet, to rest is to rest. To cease using energy. To me, it is quite illogical to run up and down on green grass using energy instead of saving it."
- - Spock to Kirk, declining shore leave
"I picked this up from Dr. McCoy's log. We have a crewmember who's showing signs of stress and fatigue. Reaction time down nine to twelve percent, associational reading norm minus three."
"That's much too low a rating."
"He's becoming irritable and quarrelsome, yet he refuses to take rest and rehabilitation. Now, he has that right, but we've found --"
"A crewman's right ends where the safety of the ship begins. That man will go ashore on my orders. What's his name?"
"James Kirk. Enjoy yourself, Captain. It's an interesting planet. You'll find it very pleasant. Very much like your Earth. Scouts have detected no animals, artifacts or force fields of any kind. Only peace, sunshine and good air. You'll have no problems."
- - Spock to Kirk, over Kirk's refusal to take shore leave
"You're cancelling shore leave on account of this, Jim?"
"You're the doctor. Can you explain this?"
"Neither can I. I admit it looks harmless. Probably is harmless. But before I bring my people down here, I want proof that it's harmless."
- - McCoy and Kirk discussing the cancellation of shore leave
"This is turning out to be one unusual shore leave."
"Well, it could've been worse."
"You could've seen the rabbit."
- - Kirk and McCoy joking with each other
"All a girl needs is Don Juan."
- - Barrows, explaining her encounter
"No animals, no people… no worries. Just what the doctor ordered."
- - Sulu, to McCoy while on the Shore Leave planet
"My dear girl, I am a doctor. When I peek, it's in the line of duty."
- - Barrows and McCoy, as she changes clothes
"All we know for certain is that they act exactly like the real thing. Just as pleasant. Or just as deadly."
- - Spock, to Kirk
"Take Sulu, find McCoy's body. This man is my problem!"
- - Kirk, to Spock when Finnegan runs away
"You stupid underclassman! I've got the edge! I'm still twenty years old. Look at you! You're an old man!"
- - Finnegan to Kirk, during their fight
"I never answer questions from plebes, Jimmy boy."
"I'm not a plebe!"
- - Finnegan and Kirk
"Did you enjoy it, Captain?"
"Yes, I enjoyed it. After all these years... I did enjoy it. The one thing I wanted to do after all these years was to beat the tar out of Finnegan."
"Which supports a theory I've been formulating."
"That we're all meeting people and things that we happen to be thinking about at the moment."
"Yes. Somehow our thoughts are read, these things are quickly manufactured and provided for us."
- - Spock and Kirk coming to the realization that the planet is somehow bringing the crew's imaginations to life
"We've just discovered you don't understand all this. These experiences were intended to amuse you."
"Amuse? That's your word for what we've been through?"
"But none of this is permanent. Here you have to only imagine your fondest wishes, either old ones you wish to relive or new ones, anything at all. Battle, fear, love, triumph. Anything that pleases you can be made to happen."
"The term is amusement park."
"An old Earth name for a place where people could go to see and do all sorts of fascinating things."
- - The Caretaker of the amusement planet appearing to speak to Kirk and Spock on the planet's true nature
"The more complex the mind, the greater the need for the simplicity of play."
- - Kirk
"But that still doesn't explain the death of my surgeon."
"Possibly because nobody has died, Jim. I was taken below the surface for some rather remarkable repairs. It's amazing. They've got a factory complex down there you wouldn't believe. They can build or do anything immediately."
- - Kirk finds that reports of the death of McCoy have been greatly exaggerated
- Story outline "Shore Leave" by Theodore Sturgeon: 10 May 1966
- Revised story outline: 17 May 1966
- Second revised story outline: 23 May 1966
- First draft teleplay by Theodore Sturgeon: early-June 1966
- Revised first draft teleplay "Finnagle's Planet": 20 June 1966
- Second draft teleplay "Shore Leave": 9 September 1966
- Revised teleplay by Gene L. Coon: 3 October 1966
- Final draft teleplay by Coon: 14 October 1966
- Additional revisions: 17 October 1966
- Revised outline by Gene Roddenberry: 18 October 1966
- Additional revisions by Roddenberry: 19 October 1966, 20 October 1966, 21 October 1966
- Filmed: 19 October 1966 – 27 October 1966
- Day 1 – 19 October 1966, Wednesday – Africa USA: Ext. Glade
- Day 2 – 20 October 1966, Thursday – Africa USA: Ext. Glade
- Day 3 – 21 October 1966, Friday – Africa USA: Ext. Glade
- Day 4 – 24 October 1966, Monday – Africa USA: Ext. Upper lake; Vasquez Rocks Natural Area Park: Ext. Planet surface
- Day 5 – 25 October 1966, Tuesday – Vasquez Rocks Natural Area Park: Ext. Planet surface
- Day 6 – 26 October 1966, Wednesday – Vasquez Rocks Natural Area Park: Ext. Planet surface
- Day 7 – 27 October 1966, Thursday – Desilu Stage 9: Int. Bridge, Kirk's quarters
- Score recorded: 2 December 1966
- Original airdate: 29 December 1966
- Rerun airdate: 8 June 1967
- First UK airdate: 20 September 1969
Story and production
- Much of this episode was being rewritten as it was being shot. Cast members recalled executive producer Roddenberry sitting under a tree, frantically reworking the script to keep it both under budget and within the realms of believability. (The Star Trek Compendium, p. 49) As a result, the filming of this episode went over schedule and resulted in seven shooting days instead of the usual six. 
- Roddenberry deemed that Theodore Sturgeon's original script contained too much fantasy and lacked believability. Gene L. Coon was assigned to re-write it. However Coon misinterpreted the task and his draft turned out to be even more of a pure fantasy. Roddenberry then began to heavily re-write the script, but since the production team had run out of time, Roddenberry had to do so while the episode was being filmed. 
- Sturgeon's original title for this episode was "Finagle's Planet". (Inside Star Trek: The Real Story, p. 209) "Finagle's Law" is mentioned in "Amok Time", also written by Sturgeon, and the Finagle's Folly cocktail appears in "The Ultimate Computer".
- Editor Fabien Tordjmann came up with the idea of having Finnegan continue to pop out of nowhere as Kirk pursues him. This gave the impression that there was more than one Finnegan or, at least, that he was not quite Human. (citation needed • edit)
- The preview of this episode shows Yeoman Barrows being accosted by Don Juan while wearing her princess costume. This scene was not used in the final cut.
- The writer of this episode, Theodore Sturgeon, commented about the installment, "That was a gas because anything could happen. Any wild idea you could possibly have could be stuck into that script. Everybody had a good time with that one."  Sturgeon submitted a story outline for a sequel to this episode, "Shore Leave II", in April 1968 but it was not produced. It is unknown whether any of the concepts from that outline were later worked into the subsequent Star Trek: The Animated Series sequel "Once Upon a Planet".
- This was composer Gerald Fried's first Star Trek assignment. A great deal of new music was written for this episode, including the jig that plays whenever Finnegan appears. The flute and string piece that is played when Kirk meets Ruth is heard again in "This Side of Paradise", and a slightly different orchestration crops up in "The Apple". A snatch of Finnegan's jig can be heard in "The City on the Edge of Forever" after Kirk and Spock escape from the policeman. The theme can also be heard in "Wolf in the Fold".
- Fried based the Finnegan theme on the Irish jig heard during the climatic fight scene between John Wayne and Victor McLaglen in the classic movie, The Quiet Man. 
- According to Herb Solow and Robert Justman's book Inside Star Trek: The Real Story [page number? • edit], director Robert Sparr did an excellent job on this episode, and successfully managed to direct it simultaneously with the shooting script being written. However, the cast disliked working with him, which resulted in this episode being his only Trek assignment. According to Justman, the challenging task of directing the complicated episode literally hours after the script arrived resulted in Sparr not concentrating enough on the actors, hurting their egos. Justman tried to bring Sparr back to the series in the second season, but it didn't come to fruition.
- When Sulu sees Spock materializing, he says "Someone is beaming down from the bridge!". This is an accidental flub from George Takei's part, which went unnoticed by the production staff, and wasn't even dubbed over in post-production. In the script, Sulu's line was "Someone is beaming down from the ship!". 
Sets and props
- Unique to this episode, the handles of the phaser pistols are painted black.
- Paint was also applied to some of the rocks and trees, which have been doctored with streaks of red spray paint, presumably to make them look more exotic. This technique can also be seen in "A Private Little War". (The Star Trek Compendium, p. 49)
- Most of this show was filmed near Los Angeles at Vasquez Rocks Natural Area Park and Africa, USA. (The Star Trek Compendium, p. 49; Star Trek Encyclopedia (2nd ed., p. 11))
- A chained tiger was brought in to appear in the episode. While the tiger never directly interacts with any of the performers, William Shatner had originally hoped to wrestle it, but was convinced it would not be a wise decision. (The Making of Star Trek, p. 306)
- The script also called for an elephant to appear in the episode.  An elephant was indeed "hired" by the production staff and brought to the set, but due to running overtime and other difficulties during shooting, the animal never made it before the cameras – which made associate producer Robert Justman (who was not on the set at the time and couldn't oversee production) truly angry. (These Are the Voyages: TOS Season One) Later, production staff members often jokingly asked assistant director Gregg Peters, "Say – when do you get to use your elephant?" (The Making of Star Trek, p. 305)
- After prodding the Black Knight, Kirk hears a plane. The first shot of the plane shows a World War II F6F Hellcat fighter in Navy blue markings, it then changes to an F4U Corsair in the subsequent shot. Rodriguez talks of a strafing run and the Corsair is seen to dive toward them. In the next shot the plane appears to have changed into a white T-6 Texan training aircraft, likely meant to represent an SBD Dauntless dive bomber. A second plane follows behind it. A closeup shot again shows a Hellcat, but this time the American plane is painted white, with Japanese rising sun roundels, lettering, and pilot. The Japanese plane then flies away.
Music and sound
- This was the first episode to be scored by Composer Gerald Fried. He became involved when he received a call to do so. When later asked if it was Wilbur Hatch who first brought him in, Fried was unsure but stated, "I think it was." (The Star Trek Interview Book, p. 238)
- Some of the music Gerald Fried composed for this episode was based on Irish folk music. "It was based on a lot of Irish folk tunes I knew," he recalled. "Certainly the idiom was based on original folk material, but it's easier to write your own, rather than copy a folk tune which may have a copyrighted arrangement. I'm sure it was original, although it sounded like a lot of other things." (The Star Trek Interview Book, p. 239)
- The "wind chime" planet sound effect heard here is unique to this episode.
- As in "Arena", the shore leave planet is an Earth globe (previously seen in "Miri") printed backwards with exotic colors added. This is the first of two episodes in which the ship is shown orbiting right to left. The fact that it is printed backwards, was evident from the reversed registry number on the nacelles. The second instance, and only in the teaser, is "Mirror, Mirror".
- Normally, the series' closing credits featured a random assortment of screen grabs from a variety of episodes. But the closing credits of "Shore Leave" included five scenes from the episode: 1) The Enterprise orbiting the shore leave planet, 2) Finnegan shouting from atop Vazquez Rocks, 3) Kirk pursuing him, 4) the glade, and 5) the Black Knight.
- William Blackburn (a professional ice skater in real life), who played the White Rabbit, got the costume from Ice Capades for free. The claustrophobic Blackburn had a painful time wearing it, especially as costume designer William Ware Theiss had originally sewn the Rabbit head to the suit. After nearly suffocating, Blackburn tore off the head, earning Theiss's wrath. Ultimately, Theiss reattached the head with Velcro. Afterwards, Blackburn had no problem with the costume. He also commented that wearing the Gorn head in "Arena" was "even worse." 
- The two Starfleet cadet uniforms made for Bruce Mars and his stunt double, Vince Deadrick were later reused on background extras in "Wolf in the Fold" and "The Trouble with Tribbles".
- James Doohan (Scott) does not appear in this episode.
- Although Kirk addressed "Angela" as "Teller" early in the episode, she is played by Barbara Baldavin, who played Angela "Martine" in "Balance of Terror" (her fiancé, Robert Tomlinson, died in the episode). The script name for her character was "Mary Teller" and was changed to Angela Martine on the set when somebody noticed Barbara Baldavin already appeared as a named character. In the closing credits, she is identified as "Angela". (The Star Trek Compendium, p. 49)
- The original script featured Yeoman Rand as part of the landing party, but as the character was written out of the series, she was changed to Yeoman Tonia Barrows. Also, in Sturgeon's original script, the Yeoman had a share of close scenes with Kirk. In the rewrites, Coon and Roddenberry changed these to feature Doctor McCoy instead and introduced Kirk's old Academy flame Ruth to the story. (These Are the Voyages: TOS Season One [page number? • edit])
- According to interviews with Bill Blackburn, he not only voiced the White Rabbit, but also did the announcements heard in Act One dismissing different sections of the ship for shore leave in alphabetical order. (TOS Season 1 HD DVD, special features)
- The preview contains a Captain's Log recorded solely for the preview: "Captain's log, stardate 3025.8. A planet which seems to be paradise is chosen for a shore leave, but things of fantasy, which are undeniably real, suddenly appear."
The remastered version of "Shore Leave" aired in many North American markets during the weekend of 26 May 2007. While the episode required very few new effects, the Shore Leave Planet was given a CGI-makeover, now a more Earth-like planet resembling its appearance in TAS: "Once Upon a Planet", rather than the nearly amorphous green blob of the original episode. 
Video and DVD releases
- "Shore Leave" on Super 8: 1970s
- Original US Betamax release: 1985
- UK VHS release (two-episode tapes, CIC Video): Volume 10, catalog number VHR 2275, release date unknown
- US VHS release: 15 April 1994
- UK re-release (three-episode tapes, CIC Video): Volume 1.6, 7 October 1996
- Original US DVD release (single-disc): Volume 9, 21 March 2000
- As part of the TOS Season 1 DVD collection
- As part of the TOS Season 1 HD DVD collection
- As part of the TOS Season 1 Blu-ray collection
Links and references
- DeForest Kelley as Dr. McCoy
- George Takei as Sulu
- Bruce Mars as Finnegan
- Barbara Baldavin as Angela
- Nichelle Nichols as Uhura
- Marcia Brown as Alice
- Sebastian Tom as Warrior
- Paul Baxley as Black Knight
- William Blackburn as
- John Carr as Guard (unconfirmed)
- Frank da Vinci as Brent
- James Gruzal as Don Juan
- Jeannie Malone as Yeoman
- Eddie Paskey as Leslie
- Unknown performers as
- Paul Baxley as stunt double for William Shatner
- Vince Deadrick as stunt double for Bruce Mars
- Irene Sale as stunt double for Barbara Baldavin
20th century; 2232; 2252; .38 police special; air vehicle; Alice in Wonderland; "all right"; amusement; amusement park; analysis; animal; answer; area; associational reading; back; beauty; bed; Bengal tiger; biology; birds; blonde; blood; body; "Bones"; bowl; bucket; bush; cabaret; caretaker; Carroll, Lewis; case; cell structure record; cellular casting; chance; chorus; chorus line; cloak; confession; coincidence; curtsy; dagger; danger; day; daydreaming; death; devil; Don Juan; door; dress; dummy; Earth; "excuse me"; experience; explosion; fact; factory; fairy tale; fatigue; fear; Finnegan; flora; flower; footprints; force field; friend; gag; gain; gas; glade; glove; goose; grass; green; gold; hallucination; hand; head; hedge; hennin; hill; horse; Human; insect; investigation; Japanese Zero; jaw; jewel; joke; katana; Keeper's species; kink; knight; lance; landing party; lawn; lead; leg; line of duty; logic; love; malfunctioning; mammal; medical leave; metal; mind; month; multicellular casting; name; navel; Omicron Delta region; order; park; passage; pattern; paw; pellet; persecution complex; petal; pill; place; play; plebe; pocket watch; practical joke; power; power system; princess; problem; promise; proof; question; rabbit; reaction time; reality; refining; rendezvous; report; rest; rest and rehabilitation; Rigel II; royale; Ruth; samurai; scout; scouting party; search party; section; "seeing things"; ship's surgeon; shore leave; Shore Leave Planet; shore party; signal; skin; sleep; soup; specimen; specimen survey; "stand by"; starboard; Starfleet Academy; storybook; strafing; stress; sugar; sunshine; surface; "tall hat"; telepathy; term; theory; thought; thing; tissue; tree; tricorder; tunic; underclassman; upperclassman; veil; vest; volume; Vulcan; waistcoat; watch; water; "what the devil"; whisker; white; White Rabbit; Wonderland; wound; word; yellow
- "Shore Leave" at StarTrek.com, the official Star Trek website
- "Shore Leave" at Memory Beta, the wiki for licensed Star Trek works
- "Shore Leave" at Wikipedia
- "Shore Leave" at MissionLogPodcast.com, a Roddenberry Star Trek podcast
|Previous episode produced:
"The Menagerie, Part II"
|Star Trek: The Original Series
|Next episode produced:|
"The Squire of Gothos"
|Previous episode aired:
"Balance of Terror"
|Next episode aired:|
"The Galileo Seven"
|Previous remastered episode aired:
"Patterns of Force"
|TOS Remastered||Next remastered episode aired:|
"Bread and Circuses"