The Enterprise is highjacked by extradimensional aliens and things get complicated on the episode that originally aired on February 23, 1968. This is By Any Other Name.
Captain’s Log Stardate 4657.5
Kirk and team respond to a distress call on a planet only to discover two people demanding that surrender of the Enterprise. Enforcing this demand by paralyzing the away team, Kelinda and Rojan explain that they are from the Andromeda Galaxy and were sent by the Kelvan Empire to find a new home for their people. Rojan informs them that the Kelvans will take the galaxy by force and all species within the Milky Way Galaxy will submit. When Kirk tries to reason with Rojan, explaining that there is no need to take over as the Federation will happily work with them to relocate their people. Rojan refuses to accept this and, after Kirk and Spock makes a failed escape attempt, Rojan and Kelinda kill a crew member by turning them into a porous cuboctahedron and then crushing them.
Knowing that they have no way to repel these beings, Kirk submits to the aliens and they begin to head through the galactic barrier and toward the Andromeda Galaxy. The Kelvan captors soon change the entire crew into inert solids with the exception if Kirk, Spock, McCoy and Scotty in order to prevent the starvation of the crew during the long journey. During the Journey, the remaining crew discover that the Kelvan’s are not familiar with human experiences and the four remaining crewmembers decide to give them an experience they will not forget. With Kirk introducing ‘love’ to Kelinda, Scotty introduces alcohol to Tomar, Spock introduces mental gymnastics to Rojan and McCoy introduces stimulants to Hanar. In time these various methods of overstimulation cause the four aliens to begin ‘fighting’ making Rojan realize that if it took this little time for them to change, they may not even recognize the people they left behind some three hundred years prior. Kirk and Rojan find an amicable peace and Kirk agrees that the Federation would be happy to help Rojan’s people find a new home. Restoring Kirk’s command and his crew, Rojan and his people agree to remain on a planet of their choosing while the Federation sends a robot ship to Kelva with an offer of friendship.
Is this a ‘Good’ Episode:
This episode marks the first known contact between the Milky Way Galaxy and another extra-galactic species. The mission statement of the Enterprise and it’s crew is to ‘seek out new life and new civilizations’ but what happens if those life forms and civilizations seek you out? What happens if they are no where near as benevolent as you are either? This is what is explored in this episode and it provides a solid look at a threat unlike the Federation or any other species has ever discovered or encountered.
Before long, we learn that these people are using ‘human’ bodies to house whatever their true form is. While we never get to see their true form it is implied that they could be something vastly different than we could even comprehend. Spock tries to describe the things he saw during his attempted mind meld with one of the Kelvins but we never get a chance to really see them. What I find interesting though is that maybe we actually do…later…
While this should have been a significant moment in Star Trek history, unfortunately this event is treated more like the classic monster of the week story than a truly life changing event for the Federation and the species of the known Galaxy. I mean, if you think about it, even 1000+ years in the future, during the time of Discovery season four, the galactic barrier remains very much a mystery. When this galactic barrier is finally breached we find a species only known as the 10-C. From what Spock describes as a vast monolithic species with multiple tentacles and colors, it seems that the Kevin’s could also be this new species from Discovery and would certainly explain their method of terraforming other galaxies for their own. Maybe 1000 years later they have given up conquering species and have just decided that they can just take over…that is until Discovery get’s involved.
Overall, this is an excellent instalment that, until possibly now, there was really no follow-up or reference to this event again. In fact the crew go about their lives like nothing even happened even though this Kelvin species is indeed a singularly powerful one.
Gleanings and Cool Bits:
- Scotty drinks a green liquid that is later established to be, in fact, Aldebaran Whiskey.
- This episode marks the second time the Enterprise breaks through the galactic barrier this series, the first being Where No Man Has Gone Before.
- Uhura reports that there were casualties during the Enterprise’s galactic barrier crossing, but a number is not given.
Thanks for reading the Retro TV Review, I look forward to discussing the rest of the series with you, one episode at a time every Monday, Wednesday and Friday! Next Review: Return to Tomorrow
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Late To The Game 3/25/2022
Special Thanks to Memory Alpha as they are one of the best sources for details on Star Trek information available. Although I have a pretty deep knowledge on the subject, they have proven invaluable as a regular resource.
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