Star Trek – The Original Series – Complete Series Review – Season 3 Episode 17 – That Which Survives

Here is one of the flimsiest episodes in the series.  Kirk, McCoy, Sulu and a red shirt transport down to a planet that seems to have been artificially constructed.  But as they are being transported a woman appears and kills the crewman operating the transporter.  Then she “transports” the Enterprise almost a thousand light years away from the planet.

Back on the planet the woman reappears and kills the red shirt just by placing her hand on him.  Then she goes back to the Enterprise and sabotages the engines so that they will explode through excessive speed.  Back on the planet she attacks Sulu but before she can kill him Kirk gets between her and Sulu.  Apparently, she can kill only one victim at a time.  To others her touch is harmless.

Scotty has to climb into an access shaft to get at the antimatter feed stream with a magnetic probe.  He complains about the magnetic force feeling like ants crawling over his body but Spock chides him to stop making subjective remarks and get the job done.  With no time left and after being told to “reverse the polarity” of his magnetic probe by Spock, Scotty “fixes” the antimatter stream and the Enterprise is good as new.

Back on the planet the woman whose name we learn is Losira returns looking for Kirk this time.  McCoy and Sulu act as blockers preventing Losira from touching Kirk.  When she is prevented from doing her job, she contracts to a line then collapses down to a point and disappears.  Next the landing party find a hidden cave where there is a computer shaped like a cube that is the source of Losira.  But now there are three Losiras and each one is selected for one of the three landing party members.  Just when it seems our heroes are doomed Spock and a red shirt beam down into the cave.  Kirk shouts for them to destroy the cube.  The cube being hit by a phaser, the Losiras disappear and a message starts playing explaining that Losira was the last of a group of guardians who were tasked with guarding this new world for her people.  But both these new people and the guardians succumbed to a virus that they accidentally produced when the created the planet.  The Losira they saw was just a computer construct to protect the planet from intruders.  McCoy says something about Losira being beautiful.  Spock says beauty doesn’t last.  Kirk says beauty survives.  Whatever.

This is one of the least meaningful plots ever used on this show.  To me it seems completely contrived and pointless.  The only amusing dimension is the bickering between Spock and Scotty.  With Scotty in a panic over the problems he encounters trying to repair the overloading engines Spock constantly chides him to dispense with emotion and keeps up a veritable countdown on the moment of destruction for the ship which Scotty finds maddening.  And this little scene is amusing.

Losira is played by Lee Meriwether who was an attractive young woman who played one of the Catwomen on the 1960s Batman show.  But her part in this drama is extremely limited by the simplistic plot.

So how do I rate this mostly pointless episode?  I’ll give it a 5 // 3.

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