(written from a Production point of view)
|"That Which Survives"|
|TOS, Episode 3x14|
Production number: 60043-69
First aired: 24 January 1969
Remastered version aired: 15 March 2008
|←||70th of 80 produced in TOS||→|
|←||72nd of 80 released in TOS||→|
|←||61st of 80 released in TOS Remastered||→|
|←||72nd of 728 released in all||→|
| Teleplay By|
John Meredyth Lucas
Enterprise crew members are stranded on a ghost planet and terrorized by the image of a beautiful woman.
The USS Enterprise investigates a planet whose size is approximately that of Earth's moon, yet mass and atmosphere are similar to Earth. Stranger yet is that it is apparently only a few thousand years old. Its geological age is much less than the indigenous vegetation and atmospheric content would indicate. Captain Kirk is intrigued by the unexplainable planet and organizes a landing party consisting of himself, Doctor McCoy, helmsman Sulu, and senior geologist D'Amato. As the landing party starts to transport to the surface of the planet, a mysterious woman appears, telling them that they must not go. She then touches the transporter operator, who instantly crumples to the deck as the dematerializing landing party watches helplessly. She is too late to prevent the beam down, and moments later the four men materialize on the planet's surface. Once on the planet, Kirk attempts to contact the Enterprise to report the attack, but before he can do so, a powerful tremor rocks the planet. At the same instant the Enterprise is tossed about in some sort of turbulence. Both disruptions subside simultaneously, and the crew of the Enterprise quickly discovers that the planet is gone.
On the planet D'Amato's tricorder reads an energy burst of almost immeasurable power. When Kirk is unable to raise the Enterprise on his communicator, Sulu discovers that the Enterprise is missing from orbit, effectively stranding the landing party on the planet.
The landing party is at a loss to explain the sudden disappearance of the Enterprise. Sulu conjectures that the Enterprise must have blown up, citing high radiation readings as evidence of a matter/antimatter intermix explosion. Kirk dismisses Sulu's theory due to a lack of residual radiation. McCoy then suggests that the Enterprise may have crashed into the planet itself. Neither of these theories fit the facts. Recognizing that regardless of the Enterprise's fate, the landing party will soon need food and water, Kirk orders a detailed analysis of the planet. The report is not encouraging, as all plant vegetation on the planet is poisonous to humans, there is no evidence of rainfall or surface water, and the only other form of life is a virus-like plant parasite. During the survey, Sulu makes a sweep with his tricorder and registers a sudden magnetic reading that quickly dissipates, like a door opening and then closing again. McCoy also detects a powerful lifeform reading that appears and then disappears. These fluctuations occur as the same woman who appeared in the transporter room of the Enterprise confronts D'Amato, killing him with her touch. McCoy reports that all the cells of D'Amato's body have been disrupted from the inside. Kirk attempts to dig a grave for the geologist with his phaser, but the surface of the planet withstands its force. Further investigation reveals that the planet is an artificial body.In the meantime, the crew of the Enterprise attempts to discern what happened. Scott reports no damage to the ship's engines. Uhura reports that the ship is functioning normally and there are nothing more than bumps and bruises as a result of the turbulence, save one casualty; the transporter officer has been found dead. Doctor M'Benga reports that they are not yet sure of the cause of death, as Dr. Sanchez is in the middle of an autopsy. Spock orders Scott to have the transporter checked for malfunctions. Helm officer Lieutenant Rahda notes that there is no debris, which would have been left over from a planet breakup. She then reports that the position of the stars have changed. She verifies her findings by replaying a recording of the stars made just prior to the turbulence. Spock is able to interpolate that, in a manner of seconds, the Enterprise has somehow been thrown 990.7 light years from its previous position. The preliminary autopsy on the transporter officer comes in and the causes of death appears to be cellular disruption, as if every cell in the body had been blasted from inside. Spock orders that the Enterprise return to the planet at top warp speed, which turns out to be warp factor 8.
Although the ship did not appear to suffer any damage, chief engineer Montgomery Scott is disquieted, and reports that the ship feels wrong. Spock initially dismisses this as emotionalism. Still concerned, Scotty instructs crewman Watkins to check the bypass valve on the matter-antimatter reaction chamber to ensure that it is not overheating. While Watkins is doing so, the woman appears in the control room, killing him in the same manner as the others. Before Watkins dies, he cries out a warning about the intruder, but she disappears.
Back on the surface of the planet, the woman appears to Sulu and, although she is able to briefly touch him, only injures his shoulder. Kirk and McCoy run to his rescue, and Sulu cries out not to let her touch them. The woman insists that she is for Sulu, and that she must touch him. When she touches Kirk, however, nothing happens. Kirk asks how she can destroy others, and she explains that she does not want to destroy. She then disappears. The landing party surmises that the woman's destructive power can only be directed at one specific person at a time. When the woman reappears to kill Kirk, the landing party is able to use this information to defend him. Kirk questions her, and she explains that she is Losira, the commander of the station. When Kirk asks how she feels about killing him, she says that killing is wrong, but that she must do so. She says that she is sent to defend the station, although the people who once lived on it are no more. Kirk presses her, sensing her confusion and loneliness, and she disappears again. Following their tricorder readings, the landing party finds an underground door into the planet-station.
Aboard the Enterprise, which is warping back to the planet, the ship's engines begin to race out of control. Scotty discovers that the emergency overload bypass of the matter-antimatter integrator has been fused, although it would have taken all the power of the ship's phasers to do so. It becomes apparent that the woman has also sabotaged the ship. With this part damaged, the Enterprise has less than fifteen minutes before its engines explode.
Spock and Scotty devise a risky plan to save the ship – Scotty will enter the crawlway leading to the matter-antimatter reaction chamber and attempt to manually shut off the flow of fuel with a magnetic probe. Scotty installs explosives at the end of the service crawlway that will permit Spock to jettison the pod if Scotty ruptures the magnetic bottle. Recalling Scotty's assertion that the ship felt wrong, Spock runs an analysis comparing the condition of the Enterprise with its ideal condition. This analysis proves crucial, for Spock discovers that the Enterprise has been put through a molecular transporter and then reassembled slightly out of phase, which will require Scott to reverse the polarity on the magnetic probe in order to seal the incision. Scott attempts to do so as the final seconds tick down, but the mechanism on the probe jams. Scotty tells Spock to jettison him, but Spock gives him a few seconds more. Scotty is able to loosen the tool and, moments before the engines go critical, accomplishes the task.
On the planet, the landing party enters a computer room, where they are confronted with three versions of the destructive woman, one programmed to kill each of them. The landing party seems to be out of options when Spock and a security officer beam into the room and destroy the computer. The women disappear and are replaced by a recorded image of Losira. In the recording, Losira welcomes her fellow Kalandans to the colony. She explains that the population of the colony has been destroyed by a disease that they accidentally produced when they created the planet. Losira is the last survivor, and because she does not believe she will survive until help arrives, has set the station defense mechanism on automatic to defend against other life forms.
McCoy surmises that the entire species was destroyed by the disease, and that the image of Losira has been waiting thousands of years to deliver her message to a people who have become extinct. It is apparent to the landing party that the computer defense mechanism called upon the only image available, that of Losira, but the replication was too perfect and projected so much of her personality that it felt regret and guilt at killing. They agree that she was a remarkable and beautiful woman. Spock says that beauty is transitory, but Kirk disagrees, saying "beauty survives".
"What is it, Jim?"
"A planet that even Spock can't explain."
- - McCoy and Kirk, on the Kalandan outpost
"The occipital area of my head seems to have impacted with the chair."
"No, Mister Spock. I meant what happened to us?"
- - Uhura and Spock, after the Enterprise is hurled away from the planet
"Mister Sulu, if I'd wanted a Russian history lesson, I'd have brought along Mister Chekov."
- - Kirk, after Sulu refers to the Tunguska blast of Siberia
"Can you give me warp eight?"
"Aye, sir. And maybe a wee bit more. I'll sit on the warp engines myself and nurse them."
- - Spock and Scott, on returning to the Kalandan outpost
"I am only for D'Amato."
- - Losira and D'Amato, before she kills him
"What a terrible way to die."
"There are no good ways, Sulu."
- - Sulu and Kirk, after discovering D'Amato's body
"Mister Spock, the ship feels wrong."
- - Scott, in the engineering room
"It looks so lonely there."
"It would be worse if he had company."
- - Sulu and McCoy, at D'Amato's grave
"Mister Scott, there's a strange woman who knows the entire plan of the Enterprise!"
- - Watkins, before Losira kills him
"Well, your guess is as good as mine."
"My guess, Doctor, would be valueless."
- - M'Benga and Spock, on the cause of death for Watkins
"Stop or I'll shoot! I don't want to have to kill a woman!"
- - Sulu, to Losira
"How can such people be, Captain? Such evil and she's so, so beautiful."
- - Sulu, as McCoy treats him
"Mister Spock, what are the chances of the captain and the others being alive?"
"Lieutenant, we are not engaged in gambling."
- - Uhura and Spock, after the red alert is canceled
"This thing is going to blow up, and there's nothing in the universe can stop it."
- - Scott to Spock, on the sabotage
"You'll be killed, man!"
"Unless a solution is found quickly, that fate awaits all of us."
- - Scott and Spock, on going into the crawlway
"I'm so close to the flow now it feels like ants crawling all over my body."
- - Scott, inside the crawlway
"I know what time it is. I don't need a bloomin' cuckoo clock."
- - Scott, as Spock counts down
"You might at least say thank you."
"For what purpose, Mister Scott? What is it in you Humans –"
- - Scott and Spock, after Scott fixes the sabotage
"Beauty is transitory, Doctor."
- - Spock, on Losira
- - Kirk, to Spock
- Series proposal, "Star Trek is...": 11 March 1964 - Mentions similar story idea "The Radiant One"
- Story outline by D.C. Fontana, 8 March 1968
- Revised story outline 12 April 1968
- Story outline, 8 August 1968
- Revised teleplay, 13 September 1968
- Final draft teleplay, 16 September 1968
- Filmed, 26 September 1968 – 3 October 1968
- Original airdate, 24 January 1969
- Rerun airdate, 29 July 1969
- First UK airdate 3 November 1971
Story and production
- In the story outline, "Survival" (8 August 1968) the image of Losira was more brutal and caused crewmembers to fight amongst themselves in a manner that seems reminiscent of the Defiant's crew in "The Tholian Web". Final draft script 16 September 1968, filmed late September, early October.
- This is the last episode of TOS where Enterprise crewmembers (Watkins & D'Amato) die.
Sets and props
- In addition to the standard planet set, Matt Jefferies designed a "rocker plate" set within the set that gave the illusion of a "real" quake. Evidence of this new "rocker stage" can be seen by the movement of the individual "plates" on the stage, followed by sequence of the landing party stepping off it onto the main stage and resting on their hands and knees. Jefferies' original sketches depicting its design are found in the Star Trek: The Original Series Sketchbook (pg 30).
- The bypass valve room that Watkins enters consists of re-used pieces of the Yonada control room from "For the World is Hollow and I Have Touched the Sky". The control panel was re-used from the Vians torture chamber in "The Empath".
- A new access tube was created to show where the matter-antimatter reaction chamber was. Designed by Matt Jefferies, it had sliding doors accessing the crawlway. Jefferies' original sketches depicting its design are found in the Star Trek: The Original Series Sketchbook (pg 30).
- The central chamber which housed the outpost's central brain was created especially for this episode. Designed by Jefferies, whose original sketches are again published in the Star Trek: The Original Series Sketchbook (pg 30), the central chamber contained a "frosted 2D cube – rotating lights inside."
- The center section of D'Amato's tricorder differs substantially from the standard Starfleet model. Instead of tape discs and a moiré pattern, it features an intermittently glowing white panel and what appears to be a tubular sensor. In deference to D'Amato's specialty, some prop-conscious fans have dubbed this a "geological tricorder." Franz Joseph combined elements of both models to produce a "medical tricorder" in the Star Trek Star Fleet Technical Manual.
- Former Miss America Lee Meriwether went on to co-star with Buddy Ebsen (The Beverly Hillbillies) in the '70s television series Barnaby Jones. (Star Trek 30 Years) Previously, she was a regular on Irwin Allen's short-lived science fiction series The Time Tunnel, along with James Darren and Whit Bissell.
- Booker Bradshaw reprises his role as Doctor M'Benga in this episode. He appeared previously in "A Private Little War".
- Walter Koenig (Chekov) does not appear in this episode, although Kirk mentions him.
- This is the second time Enterprise crewmembers create a resting place for a fallen comrade; it had happened before in the first season's "The Galileo Seven", where crewmembers Latimer and Gaetano were buried. Captain Picard buries Captain Kirk in a similar way on Veridian III in Star Trek Generations.
- Sulu mentions the Hortas of Janus VI from "The Devil in the Dark". Interestingly, Sulu did not appear in that episode.
"That Which Survives" was the sixty-first episode of the remastered version of The Original Series to air. It premiered in syndication on the weekend of 15 March 2008 and aside from the standard CGI replacement footage of the Enterprise, including one of the ship undergoing molecular transport, this episode most notably featured new effects shots of the Kalandan outpost.
- The next remastered episode to air was "Is There in Truth No Beauty?".
This episode was used as the background for the Star Trek: Gateways novel One Small Step, by Susan Wright, which elaborates extensively on the story. The mysteries of this episode were used to help tie in the original series with the rest of the Gateways books.
Video and DVD releases
- Original US Betamax release: 1988.
- UK VHS release (two-episode tapes, CIC Video): Volume 36, catalogue number VHR 2432, 7 January 1991.
- US VHS release: 15 April 1994.
- UK re-release (three-episode tapes, CIC Video): Volume 3.5, 24 November 1997.
- Original US DVD release (single-disc): Volume 35, 23 October 2001.
- As part of the TOS Season 3 DVD collection.
- As part of the TOS-R Season 3 DVD collection.
Links and References
- Lee Meriwether as Losira
- James Doohan as Scott
- Arthur Batanides as D'Amato
- George Takei as Sulu
- Nichelle Nichols as Uhura
- Naomi Pollack as Rahda
- Booker Bradshaw as Dr. M'Benga
- Brad Forrest as Ensign Wyatt
- Kenneth Washington as Watkins
- Majel Barrett as the computer voice
- William Blackburn as Hadley
- Frank da Vinci as Vinci
- Roger Holloway as Roger Lemli
- Jeannie Malone as Yeoman
- Unknown actor as Sanchez
Stunt and body doubles
- Unknown stunt performer as George Takei's stunt double
- Unknown performers as Lee Meriwether's body doubles
access panel; access tube; android; ant; antimatter; artificial planet; atmosphere; atmospheric analysis; aurora borealis; automatic distress; autopsy; bypass valve; cell; cellular disruption; centigrade; central brain; Chekov, Pavel; chromosome; chronometer; cuckoo clock; diburnium; disease organism; Earth; earthquake; emergency bypass control; emergency overload bypass; Engineer, Grade 4 ; evolution; explosive separator charge; Fifth Interstellar Geophysical Conference; gambling; geologist; ghost; Horta; igneous rock; Janus VI; Kalandan; Kalandan outpost; Kalandan supply ship; logic; Luna; M-7 factor; magnetic bottle; magnetic field; magnetic force indicator; magnetic probe; magnetic sweep; matter; matter-antimatter engine; matter-antimatter integrator; matter-antimatter integrator control; matter-antimatter reaction chamber; matter-antimatter reactor; meteor; millimeter; Milky Way Galaxy; molecular transporter; occipital bone; osmium; outphase condition; parasite; phaser; phaser bank; pod jettison system; radiation; rain; red alert; replica; Russia; sabotage; security alert; sensor probe; service crawlway; Siberia; solar hour; star; Starfleet; subspace report; supernatural; supernova; tomb; topsoil; top warp speed; transporter chief; transporter officer; tricorder; top warp speed; vegetation; virus; warp engine; water
| Previous episode produced:|
"Wink of an Eye"
| Star Trek: The Original Series|
| Next episode produced:|
"Let That Be Your Last Battlefield"
| Previous episode aired:|
"The Mark of Gideon"
| Next episode aired:|
"The Lights of Zetar"
| Previous remastered episode aired:|
"By Any Other Name"
|TOS Remastered|| Next remastered episode aired:|
"Is There in Truth No Beauty?"