I prefer to call this episode “For the Show is Cancelled and I Must Call My Agent.” This one’s a doozy. We start off with the Enterprise under attack from sub-light speed missiles which are easily destroyed by the ship’s phasers. Following the path of the missiles back they find that an asteroid about 200 miles in diameter was the source and that the asteroid is a powered ship on a collision course with planet blah-blah-blah V. The asteroid is hollow with a breathable atmosphere within but somehow the Enterprise’s sensors can’t detect the inhabitants.
Before Kirk and Spock can transport into the asteroid a panicked call from Nurse Chapel to the bridge warns us all is not well in Sick Bay but before we can assume that McCoy has gotten grabby with the good nurse, we find out that McCoy is dying of plasmopneumohyposarcocorneomyelofruitrolleos and has less than a year to live. After the shock wears off for Kirk all three intrepid officers head for the transporter while Scotty is left holding the bag trying to keep Sulu, Chekov and Uhura focused on their work instead of talking about their favorite boy bands.
The people on the asteroid dress like denizens of Studio 54 with their pastel and plaid patterned pajamas and phony looking swords. But phony or not they easily overpower the landing party. The rather pretty high priestess Natira takes a shine to McCoy and brings the three spacemen to the presence of the Oracle. The Oracle looks like an elevator button on a plaster cast wall display. But he packs a wallop. He zaps our three friends just to show them who’s boss.
A subplot is Natira convincing McCoy to stay on the asteroid to live out his year with her. The catch is that McCoy has to have an implant that allows the Oracle to read his thoughts and kill him if he commits sacrilege, as for instance if he tells anyone that they are living inside of an asteroid instead of a planet. When Spock and Kirk retreat to the Enterprise to escape a death sentence for spying on the Oracle. McCoy gets zapped by the Oracle when he tries to tell them about how to fix the faulty guidance system that is heading the asteroid toward a collision with planet blah-blah-blah V which is supposed to be the destination of the asteroid/escape ship.
Kirk and Spock save McCoy by removing the implant and then save Natira by removing her implant. Then Kirk hits Ctrl+Alt+Del to shut off the Oracle. Spock fixes the glitch in the guidance system and hopefully turns off the murderous Oracle permanently. McCoy decides to go back to the ship so that he can find a cure for plasmopneumohyposarcocorneomyelofruitrolleos (not for himself of course, but for the good of all mankind) but Natira decides to stay with her people and colonize planet blah-blah-blah V. By the way, no explanation as to why the inhabitants there won’t take offense at illegal immigrants showing up uninvited but we’ll let that pass. And right at the last-minute Spock scans the memory banks of the ship and determines that the Oracle has a cure for McCoy’s case of plasmopneumohyposarcocorneomyelofruitrolleos. After some grunting and groaning and a blanket over him on the sick bay bed so he doesn’t catch cold, McCoy is cured. And just to show everyone he’s a sport Kirk tells McCoy that he’ll make sure the Enterprise is near to planet blah-blah-blah V in 390 days when the asteroid shows up so McCoy can make a booty call on Natira.
Alright, this episode isn’t a total loss. Natira is a pretty babe wearing some kind of a two-piece metallic silk wrap-around garment which sort of works on her. Beyond that? Well, not so much. The plot has a dozen holes in it. How exactly can sub-light speed weapons even find the Enterprise when it’s travelling at some supra-light speed? How in hell could Spock find the cure for plasmopneumohyposarcocorneomyelofruitrolleos in an alien database in less than a minute and a half? Why would a cute babe be interested in McCoy? Why are there still 16 episodes left in Season 3 for me to suffer through? But this is still not the worst episode I’ve seen.
I’ll give it a 5 // 2.