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

Voodoo from across space it makes its deadly mark on Earth!


"Captain's log, stardate 24:17.9 – This day in our exploration of deep space, something of significance was detected…"

As the Enterprise passes near a planet, Captain Kirk notices something familiar and disturbing and asks Sulu to magnify the image on the planet. As the picture clears, Spock looks carefully and agrees with Kirk that it is not possible, due to their being several light years away, but sure enough, Earth is on the viewer. Spock suggests that they may have passed through a space warp.

The vessel passes through the atmosphere, taking a closer look, ending up over Paris. Kirk and Spock choose to beam down, leaving Dr. McCoy in charge on the starship. They end up near the Eiffel Tower and note that there is not a single person about. They speculate as to what might have happened, suggesting a proton bomb war perhaps, but there should be skeletons and wreckage about. Spock notices that the tower is several hundred feet shorter than its 984 foot recorded height and that the girder is made of papier-mache.

Suddenly a laser hits the tower and it begins to collapse. Spock and Kirk run, because even though the structure is made of paper, it is still enormous and toppling toward them. The two escape as the tower crashes down onto other nearby buildings, crushing them beneath its weight. A hollow voice welcomes them to its private world, and tells them that all of their questions will be answered… if they survive.

A condition red radio message comes down and the two beam back to the Enterprise. A wide-eyed Sulu tells them that they received a relayed galaxy radio photograph from Earth showing them that the Eiffel Tower has collapsed. The time the disaster occurred is at precisely the same time as when the copy was destroyed on the planet below. McCoy and Spock speculate that it might be "some sort of weird, deep space voodoo" with the laser acting as the pin and that they will need to find the source of the laser to save Earth.

As they continue to fly through the atmosphere, they spot a laser beam striking the Colosseum in Rome, destroying it. Once again, the same occurs on Earth. Fortunately, one of the crewmen has gotten a fix on the source of the beam and the Enterprise heads in that direction, arriving at a cloud of space trash near another planet a short time later. They head toward the center to obscure the ship from anyone else's detection equipment.

Spock, Kirk, and McCoy beam down to the planet to see humanoid aliens throwing spears into what appears to be Human dolls. They disable the aliens and head toward a nearby structure. As they enter and find a closed chamber up a staircase, Kirk overhears a voice stating that the Sphinx in Egypt will be destroyed next. They rush into the room, but too late – the Sphinx is destroyed. A figure in a cowled robe stops them and points to two Voodooites, holding dolls of Spock and Kirk. They jab needles into them, causing Spock's side to feel a sharp pain, and Kirk's stomach to feel like it is burning up.

The figure removes his cowl to reveal himself as Count Dressler, a mad ruler of a tiny kingdom on Earth. Spock and Kirk's weapons and gear are taken from them and they are placed into a prisoner confinement cage. Kirk asks Dressler how he arrived on this planet when most of Earth had been hunting him down. He tells them that he triggered his emergency plan rocket escape into deep space and came across this voodoo planet by accident. Before long, he had mastered the minds of the population, stolen their occult secrets, and become their leader.

He then throws himself into a trance, looking at the Leaning Tower of Pisa on the screen of a monitor, drinks a green liquid and heads for the laser. He fires, and the tower crashes to the ground. Dressler tells them that they will stay as his hostages and he will inform Earth that he will destroy everything unless they allow him to return as a free man.

McCoy has since snuck into the room and uses his phaser to free Spock and Kirk from their cage. The three attack the Voodooites, grab their gear, and beam back to the Enterprise. When they arrive, they brainstorm for ideas, but are distracted by pains in their arms and legs as the Voodooites use the dolls of the trio. McCoy injects them with painkillers, and they go to work, studying an ancient occult book.

Spock discovers a Vulcan clan known as the "Pain Casters". They would throw themselves into a trance, drink a potion, and then were able to inflict pain from afar. Spock suggests that he might be able to duplicate the potion with synthetic ingredients, but it may not work. After working in the lab for some time, the potion is complete. Spock puts himself into a trance and drinks the liquid, and suddenly the pain vanishes. Kirk performs the ritual, and he is also freed of pain.

Kirk and Spock beam back into Dressler's lab, and he discovers that his powers are now useless on them. Spock pulls out a doll of Dressler, but it is useless on him. Dressler runs out of the lab, and Spock and Kirk chase him down. Suddenly, Dressler stops, pain shooting through his shoulder as the potion wears off. Kirk and Spock reach him and the three beam back to the starship. They take him back to the Earth duplicate planet and leave him there, a form of solitary confinement.

Memorable quotes

"The Eiffel Tower… it's toppling! Let's get out of here, Spock – fast!"
"I am highly in agreement, Captain Kirk… As you Earthlings say… let's move it!"

- Kirk and Spock, as the tower falls toward them

"Well, whatever in blue blazes has happened, let's pour on the coals and take a first hand look-see!"

- Kirk, using his typical language

"Down them you dolts – Beat them to the ground!"
"I have it, men – but we've got to clear these characters from the area… or the pack of them will be transported up to the Enterprise with us when I radio in!"

- Dressler and Kirk, as the landing party try to escape

Background information

Issue 45 cover

  • This story was reprinted in Enterprise Log 1 and a later reprint of that volume from the Star Trek: The Enterprise Logs series.
  • When this issue was reprinted as Issue 45, it was presented with an almost identical cover (unlike the other reprints by Gold Key), with the differences being the price in the upper right (30 cents vs 15 cents), a UPC code in the lower left corner, and a slightly different Gold Key logo in the upper left corner.
  • The reprint version was the first Gold Key issue to feature a UPC code.
  • This issue features the the first dialogue by Sulu in the series.



Canon characters listed below are linked to the main article about them. Non-canon characters are not linked, but those that recurred, appearing or being mentioned in more than one story, are defined further in Gold Key TOS characters.
James T. Kirk
Enterprise captain.
Vulcan Enterprise exec and science officer.
Leonard McCoy
Enterprise chief medical officer.
Hikaru Sulu
Enterprise helmsman.
Count Dressler
Mad ruler of a small kingdom on Earth. Traveled to this voodoo planet, stole the secrets of the natives, and is now attacking Earth (via the voodoo planet).


Capital of France on Earth, home to the Eiffel Tower.
Capital of Italy on Earth, and home of the Roman Colosseum.
An African country on Earth, home to the Sphinx.
Pain Casters
A Vulcan clan that was similar to Voodoo.

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#6: "When Planets Collide" Gold Key TOS #8: "The Youth Trap"
#44: "Prince Traitor" Reprinted as issue #45  #46: "Mr. Oracle"