(written from a Production point of view)
The Enterprise picks up a group of renegades who have rejected modern technological life to search for the mythical planet Eden.
The USS Enterprise intercepts the Aurora, a stolen space cruiser. The crew of the craft attempt to run away, but the engines overheat and the vessel is destroyed. Moments before the explosion, Scott is able to beam them safely aboard. There, the thieves are revealed to be a wild-looking group of space hippies.
In the transporter room, Kirk and Spock meet the thieves. Among them is Tongo Rad, the son of a Catullan ambassador – and whose involvement prevents Captain Kirk, under orders from the Federation, from arresting the group for theft. Instead, Kirk is ordered to bring them to a starbase as guests. Rad and the group are not fazed by Kirk, and continue to sit on the floor, though they do demand Kirk bring them to the planet Eden – which Kirk insists is a myth. Spock apparently seems to understand the group's gestures and motives, though they do not give him details, either. They chant Kirk derisively, "Herbert! Herbert!"
- "Captain's log, stardate 5832.3. The son of the Catullan ambassador is one of six we have beamed aboard from the stolen cruiser Aurora. We have been ordered to handle him with extreme delicacy, because the treaty negotiations now in progress between the Federation and Catulla are in a crucial phase."
Kirk goes to the bridge to have Lieutenant Palmer notify the starbase that they have the group alive. Another member of the group is Irina Galliulin, an acquaintance of Ensign Chekov and a dropout from Starfleet Academy. The group, led by Dr. Sevrin, a former university professor on Tiburon, rejects conventional society.
In sickbay, Chekov meets Galliulin after losing track of her a long time ago. He asks what happened, and she says she believes in her path and knew Chekov would not approve. When she rejoins her group, shouting is heard since Dr. Sevrin is quarantined. Chekov joins the security officers guarding sickbay in pushing back Sevrin's followers from entering.
After being examined in sickbay, Dr. Sevrin is found to be a carrier for the deadly bacteria synthococcus novae, created by the very advances that make life in the 23rd century possible. The disease has no cure, but immunization is available. Kirk orders Dr. McCoy that boosters be administered to the crew, but that Dr. Sevrin must be put in isolation until he no longer poses a danger to the crew or his companions. Dr. Sevrin protests the action, claiming he did not know he was a carrier. Meanwhile, Dr. Sevrin's companions boldly circulate among the crew, attempting to incite the younger members, in particular, Sulu, to join them.
- "Captain's log, stardate 5832.5. The arrogance of Dr. Sevrin and his followers is creating an intolerable situation aboard the Enterprise. If it continues, I'll be forced to use controls which might not agree with Starfleet's suggestion that they be handled with extreme tolerance."
Kirk finally asks Spock to speak to Dr. Sevrin to persuade his followers to stop their actions before they are charged under Federation laws and barred from continuing their search for Eden. Dr. Sevrin then reveals to Spock he did know he was a carrier, and blames advanced technology for infecting him, then forcing him to stay near advanced technology. He says only a primitive world – such as Eden – can fully cleanse him from the disease. Spock counters that his presence would destroy any life on that planet, but Dr. Sevrin is unrelenting in his quest. Spock concludes that Dr. Sevrin is insane, but offers to help in the search for Eden by using the resources of the Enterprise.
- "Captain's log, stardate 5832.6. I have asked Dr. McCoy to check Starfleet medical records to verify Mr. Spock's suspicion that Dr. Sevrin is insane. In spite of Dr. Sevrin's antipathy to us, he has promised Mr. Spock that he will order his disciples to conform to our rules and regulations."
Adam, one of Dr. Sevrin's followers, visits Spock in his quarters with a request to put on a concert for the crew. Spock agrees to ask Kirk about the idea. Adam spots Spock's Vulcan lute on a shelf behind him and Spock lets him try it out. Adam then hands the lute to Spock for a little demonstration on how to play it. Adam asks Spock to join him on the concert that he has proposed. Spock agrees.
Meanwhile, in auxiliary control, Chekov is assisting Spock's search for Eden, but he is distracted by Irina's presence. In trying to seduce the young ensign, Irina learns about the functions of the secondary control room. Adam and Irina then rejoin the rest of the group and there the true plan is revealed: the group is attempting to seize control of the Enterprise once Eden is located.
During the concert, Tongo Rad climbs up a ladder, sneaks up behind Sevrin's guard, knocks him out and releases Dr. Sevrin. They make their way to auxiliary control and the others join them, they divert control of the ship to themselves and change course for Eden – taking the Enterprise across the Romulan Neutral Zone and into Romulan territory.
On the bridge, Sulu reports to Kirk that the helm is unresponsive. Scott believes it may have shorted out, but determines that helm control has been redirected to auxiliary control. Sevrin announces that he now has control of the Enterprise, as well as the ship's life support, and will not release control of the vessel until they reach Eden. Knowing that Dr. Sevrin will do whatever he plans to do, Kirk orders Scott to break into auxiliary control by cutting through a wall with a phaser.
As Kirk, Spock, and Scott attempt to enter the room, Sevrin prevents he and his followers from being seized by applying ultrasonics to knock out the crew of the Enterprise.
Kirk and Spock come to, however, and, under great agony, manage to shut off the sound waves. Kirk contacts the shuttlebay and discovers that a shuttle is missing. Dr. Sevrin and his followers stole the shuttlecraft Galileo II to take them to the planet's surface. Kirk decides to go after them.
They are joined by Chekov and Dr. McCoy in the transporter room and beam down to the planet's surface in search of the group. They learn the legends about the planet are true – Eden is a fabulously beautiful planet. However, they learn the beauty hides deadly secrets: the grass and plant life are full of a powerful acid, and the fruit is poisonous to Humans. Eventually, the shuttlecraft is found, with Sevrin and his followers nursing severe burns on their bare feet from the acid in the grass and Adam dead from eating the fruit. McCoy makes plans to beam everyone to the ship for medical treatment, but Sevrin refuses to leave, runs to a tree, takes a bite out of the fruit and quickly dies.
Back on the Enterprise, Sevrin's followers prepare to leave the ship. On the bridge, Spock urges Irina to continue their quest for Eden. "I have no doubt you will find it … or make it yourselves," he tells Irina as she and Chekov then kiss goodbye. "We reach… Mr. Spock," Kirk says. The Enterprise continues on its mission.
- - Space hippies – file info
"We are one."
"One is the beginning."
"Are you One, Herbert?"
"I am not Herbert."
"He's not Herbert! We reach!"
- - Spock and Sevrin and Adam, as Spock opens a dialogue
"Many myths are based on truth, captain."
- - Spock, on the existence of Eden
"There are many who are uncomfortable with what we have created. It is almost a biological rebellion – a profound revulsion against the planned communities, the programming, the sterilized, artfully balanced atmospheres. They hunger for an Eden – where spring comes."
"All do. The cave is deep in our memory."
- - Spock and Kirk, on why Sevrin's followers embrace the primitive lifestyle
"They regard themselves as aliens in their own worlds – a condition with which I am somewhat familiar."
- - Spock, to Kirk
"Herbert was a minor official, notorious for his rigid and limited patterns of thought."
"Well, I shall try to be less rigid in my thinking."
- - Spock and Kirk, after Kirk was called Herbert
"Gonna crack my knuckles and jump for joy! I got a clean bill of health from Doctor McCoy!"
- - Adam, in sickbay – file info
"I thought all the animals were kept in cages."
- - Chapel, when Sevrin's followers angrily try to enter sickbay
"I am proud of what I am, I believe in what I do. Can you say that?"
- - Chekov, to Irina, in hallway after leaving sickbay with her.
"Why did you stay away?"
"Because you disapproved of me, just as you do now. Oh Pavel, you have always been like this, so correct. And inside, the struggle not to be. Give in to yourself, you will happier, you'll see."
- - Chekov and Irina
"You don't belong with them! You know what we want – you want it too! Come! Join us!"
"How do you know what I want?"
"You're young. Think young, brother!"
"You make it tempting."
- - Female space hippie, to Sulu
"Stiff man putting my mind in jail
And the judge bang the gavel and say 'No bail'
Gonna lick his hand and wag my tail!"
- - Adam – file info
"Captain, I just had to give one of those barefooted what-do-you-call-'ems the boot out of here. She came in bold as brass, tried to incite my crew to disaffect."
- - Montgomery Scott, to Captain Kirk, about one of Sevrin's young followers – file info
"I could never obey a computer."
"You could never listen to anyone. You always had to be different."
"Not different, what I wanted to be. There is nothing wrong in doing what you want."
- - Irina, before kissing Chekov
"I don't understand why a young mind has to be an undisciplined one."
"I used to get into some trouble when I was that age, Scotty, didn't you?"
- - Scott and Kirk, on Severin's young followers
"We cannot allow them to come after us. It will not reach us in here; I can control it all. I have adjusted it so that it will suspend its effects after a few moments and allow us time to escape. Then, after we've gone, it will automatically reactivate. Rejoice, brethren! Soon we shall step together into Eden."
- - Doctor Severin
- - Space hippies, after putting Kirk and the Enterprise crew to sleep with ultrasonics – file info
"His name was Adam."
- - Spock, seeing Adam's corpse next to the half-eaten fruit
"Be incorrect, occasionally."
"And you be correct."
- - Irina and Chekov, after their last kiss
"It is my sincere wish that you do not give up your search for Eden. I have no doubt but that you will find it, or make it yourselves."
- - Spock to Irina, just before she leaves the ship
- Story outline by D.C. Fontana, titled "Joanna", 11 July 1968
- Revised story outline, 24 August 1968
- Revised story outline, titled "The Way to Eden", 27 August 1968
- Second revised story outline, 5 September 1968
- First draft teleplay by Arthur Heinemann, 6 November 1968
- Second draft teleplay, 11 November 1968
- Final draft teleplay by Arthur Singer, 12 November 1968
- Revised final draft teleplay, mid-November 1968
- Second revised final draft teleplay by Fred Freiberger, 18 November 1968
- Music recording session, 20 November 1968
- Makeup tests, 21 November 1968
- Additional page revisions by Freiberger, 21 November 1968, 26 November 1968
- Filmed, 21 November 1968 – 29 November 1968
- Day 1 – 21 November 1968, Thursday – Desilu Stage 9: Int. Bridge
- Day 2 – 22 November 1968, Friday – Desilu Stage 9: Int. Bridge, Auxiliary control center
- Day 3 – 25 November 1968, Monday – Desilu Stage 9: Int. Recreation room (redress of Briefing room), Transporter room
- Day 4 – 26 November 1968, Tuesday – Desilu Stage 9: Int. Transporter room, Sickbay, Corridors, Auxiliary control center
- Day 5 – 27 November 1968, Wednesday – Desilu Stage 10: Ext. Eden surface, Int. Shuttlecraft; Desilu Stage 9: Int. Sickbay
- Day 6 – 29 November 1968, Friday – Desilu Stage 9: Int. Brig, Auxiliary control center, Recreation room (redress of Briefing room)
- Original airdate, 21 February 1969
- First UK airdate, 20 January 1971
During the syndication run of Star Trek, no syndication cuts were made to this episode.
Story and production
- D.C. Fontana was unhappy with the rewrite of her original script, and requested to be credited under her pseudonym "Michael Richards".
- The character of Irina Galliulin was originally to be Joanna McCoy, daughter of Dr. McCoy, and to be a love interest for Captain Kirk (the episode's original title was "Joanna"), but that script was later rejected. Joanna was also supposed to appear in an episode in season four, but again, it was not to be. 
- Chekov's character (which in the original story, was meant to have been Kirk's character) is portrayed in this episode as a rigid, rule-quoting straight arrow, in contrast to the writers' initial concept of the character as a younger, less authoritarian character who might appeal to teenage viewers. Walter Koenig has called the episode "badly written" partly because of this. He also called this episode the low point of his character's tenure on the show. 
- To create reaction shots of Kirk that were not filmed, several shots of William Shatner are repeated, printed backwards. This is obvious in a shot on the surface of Eden, where Kirk's insignia appears on the wrong side of his shirt.
- In the scene in which Spock plays his Vulcan harp for Adam (the last time he plays the instrument on the series), the background music for Uhura's song from "Charlie X" is recycled.
- Nurse Chapel's collapse, as well as the collapse of other crewmembers in the corridor, is reused footage from "Spock's Brain". This is why the lights go out in sickbay during that shot, while they are functioning normally elsewhere on the ship.
- The references to the insult "Herbert" and the official it was named after were inserted at the behest of production executive Douglas S. Cramer. It is thought that they were digs at his predecessor, Herbert F. Solow, though Herbert Hoover has also been suggested as a target. (citation needed • edit)
- Due to the extra makeup load for this episode, Paramount brought additional outside makeup artists Larry Abbott and George Barr to assist in show's regular makeup staff. (On the Good Ship Enterprise, p. 249)
- Nichelle Nichols (Uhura) does not appear in this episode. Lieutenant Palmer, who fills in, makes her second and final TOS appearance after "The Doomsday Machine" in the second season.
- Skip Homeier also starred in "Patterns of Force" as Melakon.
- Charles Napier wrote some of the songs he sings in this episode, including one titled "Hey Out There". (Star Trek: The Original Series Soundtrack Collection liner notes; These Are the Voyages: TOS Season Three, p. 555) He later appeared as Rex Denning in the "DS9" episode "Little Green Men".
Sets and props
- The hijacked Class F shuttlecraft was the oft-used Galileo, although in this adventure she bore the name Galileo II.
- In the original version of the episode, the spacecraft Aurora is a Tholian ship with AMT model kit nacelles added to it. It is shown in the preview trailer without the nacelles. For the remastered version, a new design was created.
- A brief shot of the surface of Eden is reused footage of the lakeside from "Shore Leave". A shot of the surface of Gamma Trianguli VI from "The Apple" is also recycled and used in the same scene.
- Gary Mitchell's Kaferian apple tree can be seen in the foliage on Eden.
- This episode marks the first mention of Chekov's patronymic / middle name. Galliulin greets him with "Pavel Andreievich".
- Spock's desire to find Eden is further explained in Star Trek V: The Final Frontier, although it is unlikely the stories were intended to be linked. Star Trek V closely parallels some of this episode's plot points, too.
- According to James Doohan, this was the only episode of the series that he did not like.
Video and DVD releases
- Original US Betamax release: 1988
- UK VHS release (two-episode tapes, CIC Video): Volume 39, catalog 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
- As part of the TOS-R Season 3 DVD collection
Links and references
- Charles Napier as Adam
- Mary-Linda Rapelye as Irina
- James Doohan as Scott
- Walter Koenig as Chekov
- George Takei as Sulu
- Majel Barrett as Nurse Chapel
- Victor Brandt as Tongo Rad
- Elizabeth Rogers as Lt. Palmer
- Deborah Downey as Girl #1
- Phyllis Douglas as Girl #2
- William Blackburn as Hadley
- James Drake as a Sickbay intern
- Frank da Vinci as Brent
- Roger Holloway as Lemli
- Jeannie Malone as
- Unknown actors as
- Command lieutenant 1
- Command lieutenant 2
- Crewman (archive footage)
- Crew woman
- Engineering technician 1 (archive footage)
- Engineering technician 2
- Engineering technician 3
- Medical technician
- Operations crew woman 1
- Operations crew woman 2
- Operations crew woman 3
- Sciences crewman
- Sciences crew woman 1
- Sciences crew woman 2 (archive footage)
- Sciences crew woman 3
- Sciences technician 1
- Sciences technician 2
- Security guard 1
- Security guard 2
ability; acid; acoustics; Adam and Eve; Adam's guitar; Adam's songs; alien; "all right"; ambassador; ancient history; anger; animal; answer; antipathy; area; arrest; arrogance; aseptic; "at least"; atmosphere; "at present"; attack; Aurora; authority; auxiliary control center; bacillus; back; bail; bearing; belief; Bible; biological rebellion; body; "bold as brass"; boarding; "Bones"; booster shot; botany; breathe; briefing room; brig; brother; bug; "by all means"; carrier; case; Catulla; Catullan; Catullan ambassador; cave; charge; "checkup"; Chekov, Andrei; children; choice; circuit; city; civilization; Class F shuttlecraft; "clean bill of health"; clothes (aka clothing); combat; communications; computer; computer banks; computer program; confusion; coordinates; course; cream; crime; criminal; crying; curiosity; danger; day; destination: disease; disciple; disciplinary action; door; Earth city; Eden (garden); Eden (planet); electronics; emergency power; emptiness; endangering; engine; evidence; evolution; "excuse me"; explanation; explosion; favorite; Federation regulations; file; fire; flight regulations; floor; flower; friend; fruit; fun; full spectrum immunizations; Galileo II; gavel; Galliulin's friends; gavel; grass; guest; guilt; hailing frequency; hand; hangar deck; harassment; Herbert; "Herbert"; hippie; hobby; honey; hospital; hostility; hour; humanoid; imprisonment; "in addition to"; incitement to disaffection; "in error"; infection; information; infringement; "in progress"; insanity; "in the meantime"; "in the middle"; isolation; jail; joy; judge; judgment: king; knowledge; knuckles; leader; legend; licking; life; life support; location; main control room; malfunction; mathematics; medical gear; medical team; memory; mile; Milky Way Galaxy; mind; mood; mutual understanding; myth; name; navigation; "never mind"; "no doubt"; "no go"; objection; "of course"; official; One; orbit; order; overheating; panel; passenger ship; patrol; permission; physical; piracy; planned community; planet (aka world); plant; poison; peace; power; prejudice; primitives; prisoner; problem; product; programming; promise; psychological profile; quarters; radiation; report; research; research engineer; resource; revulsion; right; rind; Romulans; Romulan Neutral Zone; Romulan space; room; science; scientist; scope; sensor range; sentence; session; shield; shuttlecraft; sitting; son; sound; space; space cruiser; space studies; specialist; speed; spring; "stand by"; standing; starbase; Starbase Planet; star chart; Starfleet Academy; Starfleet medical records; Starfleet rules and regulations; strain; suicide; suspicion; sympathy; Synthococcus novae; tail; tape; teasing; technology; text; "thank you"; thinking; thought; Tiburon; Tiburonian; tolerance; "to the contrary"; tractor beam; transportation range; transporter room; treaty negotiations; truth; Typhoid Mary; ultrasonics; "under arrest"; United Federation of Planets; voice; Vulcan; Vulcan lute; wagging; way of living; weapons; wheel harp; whistle; white; wish; word; year
- "The Way to Eden" at StarTrek.com, the official Star Trek website
- "The Way to Eden" at Memory Beta, the wiki for licensed Star Trek works
- "The Way to Eden" at Wikipedia
- "The Way to Eden" at MissionLogPodcast.com, a Roddenberry Star Trek podcast
- "The Way to Eden" original and remastered screencaps at TrekCore
| Previous episode produced:|
"The Cloud Minders"
| Star Trek: The Original Series|
| Next episode produced:|
"Requiem for Methuselah"
| Previous episode aired:|
"Requiem for Methuselah"
| Next episode aired:|
"The Cloud Minders"
| Previous remastered episode aired:|
"The Lights of Zetar"
|TOS Remastered|| Next remastered episode aired:|
"Requiem for Methuselah"