Star Trek – The Original Series – Complete Series Review – Season 3 Episode 16 – The Mark of Gideon

In the previous episode (Let That Be Your Last Battlefield) we were given the sermon on racism.  In this one we get the sermon for abortion.

The Enterprise is trying to get a diplomatic mission permission to land on Gideon, a planet that we are told has no disease and extraordinary long life for its inhabitants.  Kirk is transported down but when he arrives, he thinks he’s still on the Enterprise.  But it is a duplicate ship built on Gideon’s surface.  There he finds the only other inhabitant is a space hippie named Odona.  Her hair is pulled up in a pony tail that looks painfully tight.  She is wearing some kind of space hippie clothes with filmy cloth over some kind of bikini.  Kirk is supposed to be aroused by her tight pony tail and hippie clothes and of course he is.  So, he kisses her and she catches whatever hideous venereal diseases that Kirk has contracted over his long career of copulating with alien women.  This condition begins quickly to kill Odona.

Meanwhile the Gideonites tell Spock that Kirk never reached Gideon and Spock and the Gideon ambassador Hodin bandy words for what seems hours.  Spock appeals to Starfleet command to allow him to play hardball with the Gideonites.  But Starfleet shuts him down.  So, Spock disobeys orders and has himself beamed down to the coordinates where the captain was sent.

He finds the captain and the dying girl.  We learn that the Gideonites want to keep Captain Kirk indefinitely to use as a vector to infect their people with the fatal disease that Kirk is a carrier of, in a desperate attempt to cure their horribly overcrowded population crisis.  We are shown crowds of people dressed in unitards standing cheek to jowl jostling each other to get space.  And Odona is supposed to die of the disease to inspire young people to follow her example.  But Kirk and Spock beam her back to the Enterprise where McCoy saves her life and thereby allows her to act as the vector to help kill off the majority of people on her planet.  And with a final goodbye to Kirk, she beams down to commit semi-genocide on her people.

Honestly, what can I say?  The lesson we are to learn is unless we quickly institute abortion on demand we will end up overpopulated to a standing room only condition or be forced to use plagues to kill off our children.  Was there anything worth watching in this episode?  Well, the scene where Spock is trying to get a straight answer out of the ambassador as to Captain Kirk’s location is slightly amusing.  It involves Ohura, McCoy and Scotty badgering Spock to abandon diplomacy and take a hard line.  I think I might have cracked a smile during it.

This isn’t as bad as the racism sermon but it’s pretty stupid.  I’ll give it a 3   //   3.