Overall Ep :
First Aired :
21 Mar 1969
Season Ep :
Astoundingly, Lieutenant Galloway returns to life for this episode after being vapourised by Captain Tracey in "The Omega Glory"!
When Lester orders Kirk's execution, Chekov and Sulu object that Starfleet have forbidden the death penalty. Sulu states that "There's only one exception," and Chekov adds "General Order 4. And it has not been violated by any officer on the Enterprise." Well in point of fact, according to "The Menagerie" General Order 7 is the only order in Starfleet which carries the death penalty. And that order forbids any Starfleet vessel from visiting the planet Talos IV... which is an order Spock, specifically, HAS broken - and so has every other officer on the Enterprise!
Great Moment :
William Shatner and Sandra Smith do an excellent job of playing each other's characters, providing many memorable moments.
Body Count :
None during the episode itself. The members of the Camus II expedition are all killed shortly before the episode airs.
Some dialogue in this episode implies that there are no women starship Captains at this time.
Of the main cast, only Nichelle Nichols does not appear in this episode.
Regula extra Roger Holloway speaks for the first time in this episode when he says "Aye, sir."
The sceen of Kirk and Lester standing in front of the alien machine was the last scene ever shot for the original series.
The Enterprise arrives at the planet Camus II to investigate a distress call transmitted by the group of scientists working there. On beaming down Kirk finds Doctor Arthur Coleman tending to the unconscious Doctor Janice Lester - a former romantic interest of Kirk whom he broke up with because of her psychological problems. Wandering the ruins which the team had been investigating, Kirk is immobilised by an ancient machine. Dr. Lester, having been faking an illenss as part of a trap, uses the device to switch bodies with Kirk.
Now in control of the landing party Lester orders the planet evacuated and proceeds to its next mission. Lester has long dreamed of obtaining a Starship command, and has planned this switch long in advance in order to steal Kirk's position. However, Lester's inexperience soon shows and she becomes increasingly agitated when the crew question her dubious decisions. When Kirk regains consciousness and tells the crew who he really is they doubt his sanity, but further doubt is nevertheless sown. Spock attempts to investigate, but is charged with mutiny by Lester. Lester orders Spock executed, but the crew refuse the illegal order. Faced with open rebellion, Lester begins to become hysterical and the transfer between her and Kirk breaks down, restoring each to their own body. Lester and Coleman are both arrested and charged with causing the deaths of the other members of their expedition.
Not a great episode, this one, but it's pretty good and certainly above average for a season 3 ep. Most of the interest is in seeing another actor play the part of Kirk - Sandra Smith is the only
person who ever played Kirk on TOS or the original movies apart from Shatner - though the recent Abrams movie added Jimmy Bennett and Chris Pine to the list (I'm neglecting stunt doubles used in fight scenes and the like). She does an excellent job of it, and Shatner in turn is impressive as the increasingly unhinged Lester. His brand of, shall we say enthusiastic
performance is well suited to such a depiction, and he pulls it off beautifully.