Jeff Corey, who plays Plasus, was one of Leonard Nimoy's acting teachers.
Stratos was literally a cardboard cutout hung from the ceiling on a wire.
Kirk wants to intervene, hoping to resolve the crisis so that he can get hold of his supplies, but the planets ruler, Plasus, is adamant that he not interfere in local politics. When Kirk's officers discover that pollution in the mines is causing the workers to become increasingly violent, the ship manufactures masks to block the effect. However, the leader of the workers, Vanna, refuses to believe him and he is abducted and held hostage. Overcoming his captors, Kirk deliberately traps himself and Vanna in the mines so that she can witness the effects of the poison. She becomes a believer, and agrees to provide Kirk with the zenite he needs. Although Plasus is still not pleased with the situation he reluctantly agrees not to press charges against Kirk for his interference, and the starship departs.
I'm not a fan of the idea that the miner's violent behaviour is a result of being poisoned. It's too simplistic an answer - it would have been more interesting if their actions had been consciously chosen as a result of social conditions, since that would let the episode play with themes of when and what type of violent action citizens are justified in using against their own society if it is unjust.
And not to harp on it or anything, but could that mask design be any worse?
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