(airdate: October 20, 1966)
Writer: Robert Bloch
Director: James Goldstone
Dr. Roger Korby: Michael Strong
Ruk: Ted Cassidy
Andrea: Sherry Jackson
Brown: Harry Basch
Captain's Log: The Enterprise is investigating the whereabouts of Dr. Roger Korby, a brilliant scientist who was last heard from five years ago on the planet Exo III. Surprisingly, Korby responds to the ship's hails, inviting Kirk and Korby's fiancée, Nurse Chapel, down to the planet. Korby has been living underground for the past five years with a handful of androids: Korby discovered that an earlier civilization on Exo III had developed remarkable advances in androids, making them virtually indistinguishable from real people, and he wishes to bring this knowledge to the rest of the Federation. However, he's concerned that people wouldn't react well to androids, so his goal is to get the raw material necessary to build more and then secretly introduce them into society. In an effort to make this plan succeed, he places Kirk in the android-making machine, creating an android duplicate of Kirk. While the android Kirk masquerades as the real thing aboard the Enterprise, Kirk spends time on Exo III awakening dormant emotions in the androids, causing them to turn against Korby. During the ensuing struggle, Korby is revealed to be an android himself; on the verge of death, Korby transferred his consciousness into an android body. However, it's not a perfect copy, and Korby also struggles with proper emotional expression. Ultimately, as his vision of an android utopia begins to crumble, Korby kills himself, and Kirk and Chapel head back to the Enterprise.
Whoops!: Sorry to get crude here, but the stalactite Kirk wrenches from the ceiling to use against Ruk really is amazingly rude-looking.
The implanting of the mental suggestion in the android Kirk (the "half-breed" phrase) is built up as important and the clue that the android Kirk isn't the genuine article, but it ultimately has no bearing on the resolution of the storyline.
Classic Lines: Chapel: "Given a mechanical Dr. Brown, a mechanical geisha would be no more difficult." Korby: "You think I could love a machine?" Chapel, archly: "Did you?"
Cringe Lines: Spock: "Frankly, I was rather dismayed by your use of the term 'half-breed', Captain. You must admit it is an unsophisticated expression."
Don't Wear a Red Shirt: Crewman Mathews is pushed down a very deep pit by Ruk, thus earning him the dubious honor of being the first Enterprise crewmember dressed in a standard red tunic to be killed: in a sense, the first actual redshirt death. Crewman Rayburn follows close behind, as he's also killed by Ruk, in an unspecified manner.
Alien Love: Kirk romances Andrea the android so successfully (and that's quite the intense kiss he gives her) that she begins to question her programming, developing emotional feelings.
Library Computer: The planet Exo III (or "Exo-III", according to the diagram displayed on the bridge) was a blue and dark-grey planet, looking rather dirty from orbit. The gravity was 1.1 of Earth's, with a breathable atmosphere and a surface temperature of 100° [Fahrenheit] below zero. The surface of Exo III appeared to be covered in ice. There was once a civilization on the surface, but as Exo III's sun began to fade over the last half a million years, the inhabitants moved underground, replacing their freedom for a more mechanized culture that created a race of highly advanced androids. However, the inhabitants (or "Old Ones", as Ruk called them) became afraid of the logical, mechanical creatures they had created, and began to turn them off. This led to the androids breaking their programming, determining that survival was more important, and they ended up destroying all the Old Ones. By the time Dr. Korby discovered the ruins, the only android left was Ruk, a tall, bald male android with a deep voice and incredible strength, wearing long grey robes. Ruk had the ability to mimic any voice and was tending the android machinery that remained - a task he had performed for countless centuries. Ruk was ultimately destroyed by Korby when Ruk began to rebel against his programming, believing that things were happening the same way they had with the Old Ones centuries earlier.
Dr. Roger Korby was a specialist in archaeological medicine. A middle-aged man with greying hair, he was known throughout the galaxy for his work; his translation of medical records from the Orion ruins revolutionized [Federation] immunization techniques, and were required reading at the Academy. He used to teach classes, where he would often describe how the human spirit were produced by freedom of choice and movement; Nurse Chapel was a student of his before eventually becoming his fiancée. Five years ago he was investigating ruins on the planet Exo III and lost contact with the outside world; two expeditions tried and failed to find him. Deep underground on Exo III, he discovered advanced techniques in both creating androids and transferring living consciousness into android bodies. Korby was able to use the machinery to create android duplicates of his assistant Dr. Brown and a beautiful young woman named Andrea, androids so advanced that their skin appeared natural, with variations in pigmentation and tone, their flesh felt warm, and their bodies had a pulse. However, Korby believed these androids were simply programmable machines, incapable of feeling emotion, and he knew that these androids, advanced though they were, weren't as advanced as Ruk.
Korby was able to create androids with Ruk's help using an android duplicating device. The raw material for the android (looking like a crude clay shape of a man) was placed on one side of a large circular rotating dais, while the subject was placed on the other side, Both subject and material were strapped down, and the dais began to rotate faster and faster as the subject was duplicated. Once the synthetic organs were created, the autonomic nervous system and the mental patterns of the subject were synchronized with the android's, creating a near-perfect duplicate of the subject, although the subject could influence the mental patterns slightly. The duplicating machine was controlled in an antechamber, with the controls mounted on panels on the wall. With this technique, Korby believed he could transfer the consciousness of a living being inside an android, essentially offering immortality. Korby believed this because he had in fact done it; while exploring Exo III, he began to freeze to death, having lost his legs and essentially staying alive via sheer force of will; he therefore created an android duplicate of himself and transferred his consciousness into his new body. However, his new android self was slightly different, interested in spreading the use of androids more than preserving all forms of life and not completely capable of expressing human emotion. As his "perfect" android society began to crumble around him, he ultimately killed himself.
Dr. Brown was Korby's assistant and an old friend of Christine Chapel's, who referred to him affectionately as "Brownie". He was in his early 40s, with greying hair, dressed in blue and olive overalls with a black long-sleeved shirt underneath. The android version of Brown appeared to be slightly deficient in its emotional responses, particularly to Chapel. It was destroyed by Kirk when Kirk shot him with a phaser.
Andrea was a young brunette android woman, initially incapable of emotion, but who became confused when Kirk kissed her. She believed she was meant to love Korby, but he ultimately killed the pair of them as she kissed him. She was dressed in the same blue and olive overalls as Brown, but without the black shirt.
Kirk's brother is named George Samuel Kirk, although Kirk calls him Sam. He has a wife and three sons, who all saw Kirk off on his mission. He was a researcher who wanted to be transferred to Earth Colony II.
Kirk mentions a number of dictators who made empty promises, including Genghis Khan, Julius Caesar, Adolf Hitler, Ferris, and Maltuvis. [These last two aren't real historical figures, and to date nothing more is (officially) known about them.]
Midas V is a planet with a small colony and abundant raw materials suitable for building androids.
Nurse Chapel gave up a career in bioresearch to sign aboard a starship [presumably the Enterprise].
The combination of Kirk's safe in his quarters is to press the fifth button twice, then the fourth button once, then the third button twice, and finally the fourth button again. [Maybe you'll need this information for a trivia contest, we don't know.]
Final Analysis: "Can you understand that a human converted to an android can be programmed for the better? Can you imagine how life could be improved if we could do away with jealousy, greed, hate?" Some interesting direction and decent performances can't disguise the workman-like nature of the script. It doesn't help that this is something of a slow, rather talky episode, but with the talky bits rendered rather uninterestingly. A nice idea, but it's spread too thin.
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Page originally created: June 8, 2016
Page last updated: September 21, 2017