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|Series :||The Original Series||Rating :|
|Disc No :||1.2||Episode :||10|
|First Aired :||20 Oct 1966||Stardate :||2712.4|
|Director :||James Goldstone||Year :||2266|
|Writers :||Robert Bloch||Season :||1|
|Guest Cast :||
|Plotline :||The Enterprise arrives at Exo III to investigate the fate of Dr. Roger Korby, a scientist who went on a mission to investigate the planet. With two previous attempts failing to find any trace of him, there is little hope for a positive result - a fact that is especially upsetting to Nurse Chapel, who is Korby's fiancé.
Amazingly the ship picks up a transmission from none other than Korby himself. He reports that he has made tremendous discoveries on the planet, discoveries that may require a serious decision from Kirk. He thus asks Kirk to beam down to talk to him alone. When he hears that Chapel is aboard he allows her to come as well, and the pair beam down to the frozen world. Finding nobody present, Kirk has two security men beamed down. He has one, Rayburn, remain at the entrance whilst the other, Matthews, comes with him to look for Korby. Korby's assistant, Doctor Brown, meets them, but moments later a scream is heard. Matthews has fallen into a bottomless chasm, resulting in certain death. Although upset at the loss Kirk presses on to find an underground base. Unseen by him, a giant figure also lurks nearby in the caves. As Kirk asks Rayburn to notify the ship about what is happening, the figure advances from behind and incapacitates him.
In the base Korby is waiting along with Andrea, a beautiful young woman in rather revealing clothing. Kirk tries to contact Rayburn but is unable to reach it with his communicator - and when he tries, Brown pulls a weapon on him. Kirk gets the drop on him and shoots Brown, but the giant figure appears and easily subdues Kirk. Amazingly, the shot that hits Brown reveals him to be an android!
On the Enterprise, a voice message from Kirk arrives to assure Spock that all is well. The giant, whom Korby calls Ruk, is imitating Kirk's voice perfectly. Korby asks for Kirk's trust and help, assuring him that there is an explanation for what has happened. When Ruk imitates Chapel's voice, Korby chastises him. Kirk prompts Korby to also order Ruk to always obey her orders, which he does. Korby reveals that Ruk has killed Rayburn. The giant is also an android, an ancient device left behind by the race which used to inhabit the planet. He has been there for so long that even he cannot remember the time. Using him as a guide, Korby was able to create the robot version of Brown. Kirk tries again to escape, but he is powerless against Ruk.
Andrea talks to Chapel, prompting some jealousy from her. Brown reveals that she is also an android, which prompts Chapel to call her "a mechanical geisha". Korby has Andrea kiss Kirk and then slap him, to show that there is no emotion in her - she simply obeys orders, as any logical computer would. Kirk challenges Korby to explain why Ruk and Brown are threatening and even killing men, if Korby has such complete control over them. By way of explanation Korby creates a new android, this one a duplicate of Kirk, in a process that takes only a minute or so. He explains that he is going to copy Kirk's mental patterns, so the android will be a real duplicate of him. Kirk fills his minds with the words "mind your own business Mister Spock, I'm sick of your half-breed interference!"
Later, as Chapel eats, Kirk comes to talk to her. They discuss the situation for a while before Kirk drops the bombshell that he isn't the original, but rather the android. Korby comes in with the real Kirk, pointing out how perfect a copy the android is. Kirk is unimpressed by the duplication but Korby says the process can go even further, with the machines actually transferring a consciousness into the android body rather than just copying it. It is a method of practical immortality. He suggests that humanity could improve themselves by editing out jealousy, hate, and fear. Kirk remains unimpressed at the idea of "programmed" people, pointing out that joy and love can just as easily be eliminated. Korby unveils his plan, to have Kirk transport the machinery to some suitable planet where he can infiltrate the Federation with android duplicates of prominent people, so that when the time comes to reveal them the peoples reaction can be controlled. Kirk attacks Korby and escapes into the cave, but he is quickly captured by Ruk and returned.
On the Enterprise the duplicate Kirk arrives to prepare to help Korby with his plan. When Spock questions him he repeats Kirk's phrase of "mind your own business Mister Spock, I'm sick of your half-breed interference", apparently thinking this is perfectly normal behaviour. When the duplicate beams back down Spock warns security to be ready to beam down.
Back on the planet Kirk kisses Andrea again, trying to seduce her. He also talks to Ruk, challenging him on what happened to his creators, the "Old Ones". Kirk suggests that their own androids may have overthrown them after being built so well that they had their own unpredictable emotions. Ruk realises that his own survival overrides any programming and tries to kill Korby, only to be destroyed with a phaser. When Korby is injured himself it is revealed that he is also an android, having transferred his mind into an artificial body when the arctic temperatures above almost killed him.
Andrea meets the duplicate Kirk, and asks him to kiss her. When he refuses she shoots and destroys him in a flash of anger. Korby is arguing that he is the same person he ever was when Andrea arrives to explain what she has done. Kirk points out that Korby's android paradise has come with a rather high body count thus far. Korby begins to break down under the stress, especially when Chapel points out that his actions so far show only that he is not the man she knew. Andrea destroys both herself and Korby just as Spock arrives with reinforcements. Back on the Enterprise Spock notes his disapproval of the term "half-breed", and Kirk notes this and carries on toward their next destination.
|Analysis :||A decent enough episode, this. The idea of infiltration by duplicates of one sort or another has been seen many times in Trek, first in The Man Trap and again in The Enemy Within. But this one was early enough that it was still pretty fresh and new. Highlights include Ted Cassidy as Ruk, who does a tremendous job of appearing to be hugely powerful and menacing. I have to love Korby's defence of having created the lovely Andrea, too. Chapel calls her a "mechanical geisha" and Korby's defence comes down to "no, I couldn't be involved with her because she's not a real woman... she's just a perfect imitation of a woman who is programmed to do absolutely anything I say!" Uh... yeah, not really a good line to take in that particular argument Korby! You have to wonder, too, if Korby is so completely disinterested in Andrea why he has her walk around without any kind of undershirt on, leaving about half her body uncovered. Brown wears the same outfit, after all, except that he gets to wear a black shirt under his one!
Kirk's solution to being duplicated is a very clever little move, and I love how it pays off. Interesting too to see Spock rush to the rescue, only to find that there's actually no need of rescue at all. That will happen more than once in TOS!
|Guest Reviews :||
|YATI :||Isn't it a bit odd that Kirk is able to strangle Korby? Korby, remember, the man who turns out to be an android?
Look at the weapon Andrea uses to kill the Android Kirk. It's the exact same weapon which was used in the original pilot episode "The Menagerie". There it was called a laser, but here it looks, sounds and behaves like a phaser.
Incidentally, it's not a nit as such but when Spock asks Christine if she is sure that was Korby's voice, she rather smugly asks him "Have you ever been engaged, Mr Spock?!" and smiles as if she's just won a "take that!" point. Well, keeping what we will learn in Amok Time in mind, I can never help but imagine him responding with "Why yes, in fact it's MORE than an engagement, so take that!"
|Great Moment :||Kirk debating with his android self on the advantages of humanity.|
|Body Count :||2 redshirts, 4 androids|
|Factoid :||This is the first Trek episode to feature an Android.
Sherry Jackson's outfit as Andrea never failed to get an enthusiastic response from the male members of the crew. She also brought the studio commissary to a standstill when she went to lunch dressed in it during shooting.
The producers pulled a prank on a visiting clothing dealer who had come for a meeting by having him meet Ted Cassidy in full makeup and costume as Ruk. Reportedly the man was so terrified that he was barely able to speak.
James Goldstone, who directed "Where No Man Has Gone Before", was hired to direct this episode. After it ran two days over schedule, thus costing extra money to produce, he was never hired for Star Trek again.
|Quote :||Korby : "You think I could love a machine?"
Chapel : "Did you?"
Korby : "Can you imagine how life could be improved if we could do away with jealousy, greed, hate?"
"That was the equation! Existence! Survival must cancel out programming!" - - Ruk to Kirk
"Do you realize the number of discoveries lost because of superstition, of ignorance, of a layman's inability to comprehend?" - Korby to Kirk
|Copyright Graham Kennedy||Page views : 88||Last updated : 4 Apr 2013|