The Animated Series
Disc No :
First Aired :
22 Sep 1973
Great Moment :
It's nice that the episode gives us a non-violent resolution rather than just having the crew find a way to kill the creature as in 'The Immunity Syndrome'.
This is the first TAS episode to feature Lieutenant Arex.
My year for this episode is estimated from the Stardate; it is one of a group of TAS episodes set between 'The Empath' and 'The Mark of Gideon'.
The planet Alondra is destroyed by an enormous cloud floating through space. The cloud is heading for Mantilles, a planet inhabited by nearly 100 million people. Whilst investigating, the Enterprise is pulled inside the cloud. Kirk must find a way to stop what appears to be a huge living being, even if it means destroying the Enterprise within it.
We've seen episodes where a ship ends up inside a giant living thing several times now, most notably "The Immunity Syndrome", "The Cloud" and "Bliss". This episode is at least somewhat original in that it predates all but the first such episode. It also puts a slightly original spin on things in that the crew actually manage to establish communication with the entity and reason with it, something that very rarely happens in these kinds of epsiodes. You have to wonder what happened to the entity eventually - one might presume that it stopped eating inhabited worlds for good, but is it still eating uninhabited moons and planets?