Star Trek – The Original Series – Complete Series Review – Season 3 Episode 05 – Is There in Truth No Beauty?

Ah, finally a third season episode that doesn’t make you run screaming.  It’s not great but it’s far from awful.

This one involves a blind telepathic human woman named Miranda Jones who is the attaché of a creature called a medusan.  He is described as an energy being but he is so visually hideous that a human that looks at him will be instantly rendered insane.  For this reason, the medusan, Kollos,  travels around in a low, wide, rectangular, metal garbage can with a hinged lid.  But once the lid starts to open, we get a glimpse of Fourth of July sparklers and then scary music starts to play.

Spock and Miranda are in competition for the attentions of Kollos.  Miranda is jealous because if Spock wears a red filter over his eyes, he can look directly at Kollos without going mad, whereas Miranda, being blind, can’t see him at all.  If none of this makes any sense to you, welcome to the club.  Anyway, some other guy Lawrence Marvick, who both loves Miranda and designed the Enterprise is along on the trip.  He is trying to dissuade Miranda from going off to live with Kollos instead of shacking up with him.  When she rebuffs his pleas, this guy goes to kill Kollos with a phaser but, big surprise, before he can shoot Kollos he goes mad and runs away.

Marvick runs to the engine room and after beating up Scotty and three or four red shirts he hijacks the Enterprise and sends it out of the galaxy at Warp 9.5!  And as you well know that almost Warp 10!  He dies shortly after accomplishing this feat and the crew find themselves outside the galaxy in an area of intergalactic space where there are pretty lights and no highway signs.  We are told that they are in a space time continuum.  Of course, I thought we were all in the space time continuum, but whatever.  They are hopelessly lost!

So now the plan is for Spock to fuse his mind with Kollos because medusans have built in GPS in their sparkler.  This works but after getting them back into the galaxy and within satellite coverage, Spock forgets to put on his visor and sees Kollos which drives him mad.  Now he beats up Kirk and McCoy and Sulu and Chekov for a couple of minutes until Kirk stuns him with a phaser.  At this point Spock is dying and only Miranda might be able to save him by some kind of telepathic chiropractic manipulation.  But when time has passed and results have not been forthcoming Kirk runs into the sick bay and yells at Miranda and manhandles her a little bit.  This seems to have the desired effect and Miranda brings Spock back to his good old Vulcan self.  After that there are a few apologies and then Miranda takes her garbage pail and leaves.

As I mentioned, this is not an awful episode.  Some of the highlights are Scotty wearing his kilt to a fancy dinner for Miranda, Kirk showing off the Enterprise Florist Shop where he allows a blind woman to stick herself with a thorn on one of the lousy roses they have growing there. And let’s not forget the cool wavy lights in the extra-galactic dead zone.   But possibly the bright spot of the episode is Leonard Nimoy acting as Kollos during their fusion.  We see a very human and friendly character experiencing human senses and greeting all the people that he knows from being Spock as if seeing them for the first time.  It’s a naturalistic portrayal that I found enjoyable.

I’ll give this episode a 6 // 2.  There was very little hysterics from Shatner, thus the low number in the Shatner Mockery Index.

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Chemist
Chemist
15 days ago

Even as a kid, I recall my response to this one was “Huh?” It was cool that the designer of the enterprise was on board. And Scotty in a kilt was very cool. But a creature so ugly (or beautiful) that just looking at it causes madness? And the designer of the Enterprise (A very smart man TM) decides to open the containment vessel of this creature rather than just destroying the trashcan: creature and all? And Spock is too stupid to put his visor on? And then the Miranda can not save Spock until Kirk gives her a good… Read more »

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