A mad scientist tries to take control of Enterprise by switching bodies with Captain Kirk. (Series Finale)


"Captain's log. Stardate 5928.5. The Enterprise has received a distress call from a group of scientists on Camus II who were exploring the ruins of a dead civilization. The situation is desperate. Two of the survivors of the expedition are the surgeon, Doctor Coleman, and the leader of the expedition, Doctor Janice Lester."

Kirk records a log entry, detailing the receipt of a distress call from an archaeological expedition on Camus II. The Enterprise orbits the planet, and a landing party beams down. Kirk finds the expedition doctor, Arthur Coleman, tending to Janice Lester, a woman of Kirk's acquaintance, unconscious and ill. Kirk wanders the chamber, separated from the team, when a device activates, freezing him in position. Lester awakens, and steps onto the machine, a panel with strange inscriptions, opposite Kirk. An effect passes between them, and their life-energy is transferred.

The party returns, unaware that Kirk is now in Lester's body. McCoy reports that the rest of the staff on the planet are dead. Coleman testifies that radiation killed them. McCoy thinks celebium is responsible, but Coleman disagrees, preventing McCoy from beginning a treatment on Janice.

The team returns to Enterprise, and Lester assumes command, in Kirk's body. Kirk, in Lester's body, continues to hover near death, in Coleman's opinion, even though McCoy could find no evidence of the radiation Coleman spoke of. Lester knows that Coleman sent the researchers purposely out to where the celebium shielding was weak.

(Log entry made by Janice Lester, acting as Captain James T. Kirk)
"James Kirk is returning to consciousness in the body of Janice Lester. The Enterprise is proceeding to its next mission, on the course set for it before I took over command. Now the years I spent studying every single detail of the ship's operation will be tested. With a little experience, I will be invulnerable to suspicion. At last I attained what is my just due - command of a starship. All the months of preparation now come to fruition."

The impostor Kirk orders a course change for a hospital on Benecia colony, even though Spock points out a course for Starbase 2 would yield a better radiation treatment, and have the advantage of not delaying the scheduled rendezvous with Potemkin in the Beta Aurigae system. The new Kirk grows angry at the crew's questions of his illogical orders.

File:Camus II-USS Enterprise NCC-1701.jpg

Dr. McCoy informs Kirk that Coleman is an incompetent doctor, that he was relieved of duty as a chief medical officer on a starship. McCoy questions Kirk's agreement with the Benecia course for Lester's treatment. While the transferred Lester tries to convince sickbay visitors she isn't who she appears to be, the crew begins to question Kirk more and more.

(Log entry made by Captain James T. Kirk, acting as Janice Lester)
"Captain's Log, stardate unknown. I have lost track of time. I am still held captive in a strange body and separated from all my crew."

Kirk, in Lester's body, attempts to leave sickbay and is placed under guard. Spock attempts to examine her for evidence of the transference when he is forced to overpower her security; Kirk happens upon the scene and charges Spock with mutiny.

(Log entry made by Janice Lester, acting as Captain James T. Kirk)
"Captain's Log, Stardate 5930.3. The results of Dr. McCoy's examination have given me complete confidence in myself. My fears are past. I shall function freely as the Captain. I am the Captain of the Enterprise, in fact."

A court martial is convened and attempts to sentence him to death. The staff resists the captain's orders, and the personalities begin to revert. Eventually, a full-out mutiny ends up wringing the panicky Lester from Kirk's body altogether. Dr. McCoy leads Doctors Coleman and Lester away from the brig, as Dr. Coleman has offered to care for Dr. Lester.

Kirk muses "Her life could have been as rich as any woman's, if only... if only..."

Memorable Quotes

"No, sir, I will not withdraw a single charge I have made. You are not Captain Kirk. You have ruthlessly appropriated his body. But the life entity within you is not that of Captain Kirk. You do not belong in command of the Enterprise. And I will do everything in my power against you."

- Spock, to Kirk with Lester's life entity inside him

"You have heard the statement you put into the record. Do you understand the nature of it?"
"I do, sir. And I stand by it."
"It is mutiny! Deliberate, vindictive, insane at its base! But mutiny is charged... and encouragement to mutiny. Dr. McCoy, Mr. Scott, you heard it! On the basis of these statements, I call for an immediate vote... by the authority granted to me as captain of the Enterprise. A recess... is declared... to be followed by a vote!"
"Yes. An immediate vote before our chief witness can be left to die on some obscure planet with the truth locked inside of her."
"Silence! You will be silent! A recess has been declared. There'll be no cross-discussion. When I return, we will vote on the charge of mutiny. The evidence presented here is the only basis of your decision."

- Kirk and Spock, as Kirk throws a tantrum while Janice Lester's life entity inhabits him

"Doctor, I've seen the captain feverish, sick, drunk, delirious, terrified, overjoyed, boiling mad ... but up to now, I have never seen him red-faced with hysteria."

- Scott to McCoy outside the hearing room

"Suppose you voted with me in favor of Spock. That's two to one and Spock is free. What do you think the Captain will do?"
"I don't know."
"You know, all right. The vote will stick in his craw. He'll never accept it."
"We don't know that."
"I tell you, he won't. Then, Doctor, that's the time we move against him. We'll have to take over the ship."
"We're talking about a mutiny, Scotty."
"Aye. Are you ready for the vote?"
"I'm ready for the vote."

- Scott and McCoy, preparing to back Spock against the captain

"To prevent any further conspiracy, you will be placed in separate cells. If there is resistance, a sedative will be administered until you learn cooperation. Dr. Lester will be first."
"May I point out, Captain...?"

- Kirk and Spock

"I've lost to the Captain! I've lost to James Kirk! I want you dead! I want you dead! I want you dead. Oh, I'm never going to be the captain. Never..."
"You are as I loved you."

- Dr. Janice Lester and Dr. Arthur Coleman

"Her life could've been as rich as any woman's. If only... if only..."

- Kirk, referring to Dr. Janice Lester, and Star Trek as a whole (last line of The Original Series)

Background Information

  • This is the final episode of Star Trek: The Original Series.
  • This is also the last episode of TOS scheduled to be remastered.
  • Regular blonde Christine Chapel appears with auburn hair in this episode only.
  • Uhura is the only regular character absent in this, the final episode. The actress, Nichelle Nichols, had a singing engagement at the time.
  • Jeffrey Hunter, who had played Christopher Pike in the first pilot episode "The Cage", had passed away a week before "Turnabout Intruder" aired.
  • After two years on the series, Roger Holloway finally gets to speak dialog – all of two words. His character's name (Lemli) was the same as William Shatner's license plate at the time, a mixture of his daughters' (Leslie, Melanie, Lisabeth) names.
  • Although the briefing room is never shown to have more than one exit, Janice/Kirk finds some way to leave the room without using the main door after her temper-tantrum. The cast in fact got into an argument with director Herb Wallerstein over this error (he won), showing they greatly cared about their series, even as it was coming to an end.
  • Dr. Coleman wears one of the ubiquitous orange jumpsuits seen in "The Devil in the Dark", "By Any Other Name", "The Empath" and "The Lights of Zetar".
  • Lieutenant Galloway reappears in this episode, despite being killed by Ronald Tracey in "The Omega Glory". He was credited as Galloway (misspelled as "Galoway") even though actor David L. Ross had been recast as Lieutenant Johnson in "Day of the Dove" after the character of Galloway was killed off.
  • The glass canister in McCoy's lab contains a very strange brown blob in this episode, probably a humanoid brain.
  • The name of the planet Camus II may have been a reference to French writer Albert Camus and his novel The Stranger – an appropriate nod to this episode.
  • The planet Benecia is pronounced differently in this episode than it was in "The Conscience of the King", i.e. "beh-NEE-shee-a" as opposed to "beh-neh-SEE-a".
  • There is a detailed account of the filming of this episode in the 1975 book Star Trek Lives! Co-author Joan Winston had the opportunity to spend six days on the set while "Turnabout Intruder" was being shot. Winston wrote that Shatner was very ill with the flu at the time, and had considerable difficulty in picking up and carrying Sandra Smith, the actress who played Dr. Lester, for take after take. Winston also recalled many amusing anecdotes that took place during the shooting. For example, William Shatner flubbed the line, "Spock, give it up. Come back to the Enterprise family. All charges will be dropped. And the madness that overcame all of us on Camus II will fade and be forgotten." Instead, he blurted out, "Spock, it's always been you, you know it's always been you. Say you love me too."
  • This episode was inspired by Thorne Smith's 1931 comedic novel Turnabout, in which a husband and wife switch bodies. A film version directed by Hal Roach appeared in 1940. The novel also inspired a short-lived 1979 TV series that starred Sharon Gless and John Schuck.
  • In this episode, Kirk mentions the events of two previous episodes ("The Empath" and "The Tholian Web") to Spock.
  • The set crew's nickname for this show was "Captain Kirk, Space Queen."
  • The final four episodes of the series opened with the same music cue, taken from the opening titles of "Spock's Brain" and the final two episodes ended with the closing music cue from "Elaan of Troyius".
  • Leonard Nimoy (Spock) and Majel Barrett (Nurse Christine Chapel and Number One) are the only actors to appear in both this episode and first pilot "The Cage".
  • Leonard Nimoy is the only actor to appear in every episode of the series. William Shatner appeared in every episode with the exception of the first pilot, "The Cage".
  • According to writer Joan Winston (referenced above), who was on the set for the filming of this episode, NBC passed on an option for two additional episodes (a 25th and 26th) for the third season. William Shatner would have directed the twenty-sixth episode.
  • The physical exam scene in sickbay with William Shatner and DeForest Kelley is very similar to the first appearance of those two actors in the first regular-season episode of the series to be filmed, "The Corbomite Maneuver", even down to the fact that a shirtless Shatner does a stress test on the leg-exercising machine.
  • The final scene ever filmed for the original series was of William Shatner and Sandra Smith in front of the alien transference machine.
  • The very last Enterprise crew member to be seen in the original series is Scotty. As he, Kirk, and Spock enter the turbo-elevator at the end of Act IV, we catch a glimpse of his forearm, grasping the control handle, before the doors close.
  • Even as filming was wrapping up, crew members were dismantling the Enterprise sets. Filming was completed on 9 January 1969.
  • A scheduled airdate of 28 March 1969 was preempted by news coverage of the death of former president Dwight D. Eisenhower. This episode was not aired until 3 June 1969 for that reason.
  • In his Star Trek Compendium, author Allan Asherman credits Sandra Smith as the only actor besides William Shatner to have "played" James T. Kirk.
  • Starfleet's General Orders appear to have been changed by this time. Sulu and Chekov say that violating General Order 4 warrants the death penalty. In "The Menagerie, Part I", though, it was stated that violation of General Order 7 was the "only death penalty left on the books."
  • Lester orders the executions to take place on the hangar deck, with section representatives to be on hand to witness punishment.
  • For story reasons, Janice Lester convalesces in a private, never-before-seen room down the corridor from Sickbay.
  • In James Blish's novelization of "Turnabout Intruder" in Star Trek 5, Dr. Arthur Coleman's first name is "Howard" – probably left over from an earlier draft of the script.
  • Although this was the last episode of the Original Series to be filmed and aired, this episode has a lower stardate than the previous episode, "All Our Yesterdays".
  • Spock tells Kirk (in Lester's body) that he has never heard of a successful life-entity transfer being conducted, apparently forgetting the events in "Return to Tomorrow". Then again, when the essences of Kirk, Spock, and Dr. Mulhall were confined to the vessels that had contained Sargon, Thalassa, and Henoch, they could not speak or make their presence known. So technically the left-entity transfer may not have been total.
  • When Spock and McCoy are talking in the sickbay the doctor is wearing his medical tunic, but a close-up shot shows him in his regular uniform. (A similar error appears in "Mudd's Women".)
  • Janice Lester, in the body and voice of Captain Kirk, makes a captain's log entry, discussing the status of the conspiracy.
  • Most people in our generation will watch this episode, and see a theme perhaps not intended by the episodes original writers. The theme of sexual equality being obvious, of course, but less obvious would be the romantic sensibility of Dr. Coleman, who loved Janice Lester, even though for the bulk of the episode inhabited a male body. Most people agree this represents the first accepted transsexual relationship on network television. Hossrex 02:40, 8 May 2008 (UTC)

This episode may have been another example of Star Trek being ahead of its time, in this case, regarding sexual orientation. It often seems that Dr. Coleman loves Janice, no matter whose body she is in--male or female.

Production Timeline

Video and DVD releases

This volume is a three-episode tape to close out the series.

Links and References

Arthur Coleman 2269

Expedition surgeon Arthur Coleman

Main Cast

Guest Stars


archaeology; Benecia; Benecia colony; Beta Aurigae system; Camus II; Camus system; celebium; celebium shielding; court martial; death penalty; General Order 4; hangar deck; life-energy transfer; Minara; mutiny; Potemkin, USS; Robbiani dermal-optic test; Starbase 2; Starfleet Headquarters; Starfleet Regulations; Surgeon General; Tholian; Vians; Vulcan mind meld

External link

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"All Our Yesterdays"
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"The Cage"
Previous remastered episode aired:
"The Empath"
TOS Remastered Next remastered episode aired:
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