75 "The Way to Eden"

(airdate: February 21, 1969)

Story: Michael Richards [pseudonym for D.C. Fontana] and Arthur Heinemann
Teleplay: Arthur Heinemann

Director: David Alexander

Dr. Sevrin: Skip Homeier
Irina: Mary-Linda Rapelye

Adam: Charles Napier
Tongo Rad: Victor Brandt

Stardate: 5832.3

Captain's Log: The Enterprise encounters a stolen spacecraft and beams the occupants aboard. They are societal dropouts, led by a man named Dr. Sevrin, who have chosen to eschew the modern technological comforts of society in favor of a more primitive lifestyle. Dr. Sevrin's group is looking for a mythical planet named Eden, believed to be a primitive paradise. Sevrin's group ingratiates themselves with the Enterprise crew and are eventually able to seize the ship, piloting it to Eden and taking a shuttlecraft to the surface. When Kirk and his landing party follow, they find a paradise with a sting: the plant life on Eden is deadly, killing two of the group, including Sevrin. The Enterprise beams up the survivors and takes them to a nearby starbase.

Whoops!: The new disease Synthococcus novae is described as a bacillus strain. "Bacillus" means the bacterium is rod-shaped, but "coccus" means it's round. Is Synthococcus novae therefore actually a coccobaccillus, a rod-like shape with rounded ends, and everyone's just chosen to use a different term for some reason? Or did the writers just put two bacterial terms together without actually realizing what they meant?
     Chekov upbraids himself for not maintaining proper discipline and consequently endangering the ship - but what exactly did he do? He mentioned that the ship could be run from auxiliary control, but why would that matter? Is that a closely-guarded secret? It's not like he shows Irina how to run the ship, after all.
     The music isn't remotely in sync with the miming of the various instruments (and we could probably quibble about how they're even making sounds in the first place, although Adam's guitar makes different sounds, suggesting an electronic component). Chekov's eye makeup seems really heavy in his first scene with Irina. There are a couple flipped shots of Kirk: one as he observes Sulu being chatted up by one of Sevrin's group, and another later on the planet Eden. (You can tell because of Kirk's hair part and also the Starfleet emblem on his chest.) Adam moves a finger while he's dead on Eden. [Maybe his body is involuntarily twitching?] At the end, Leonard Nimoy mispronounces "Galliulin" as "Galyoon". He also calls Tongo "Tong".

Cringe Lines: McCoy, over Adam's body: "Poison. The fruit was deadly." Spock, saying what everyone's already thinking: "His name was Adam."

Don't Wear a Red Shirt: A red-shirted ensign is knocked out by Tongo Rad using his thumbs, while a gold-shirted lieutenant receives the same fate a few minutes later. If Irina is to be believed, Sevrin nearly causes permanent damage to everyone with his ultrasonics stunt on the Enterprise (although in the end it looks like everyone is OK). Chekov burns his hand on a highly acidic planet on Eden, while Sevrin and Adam both die after eating poisoned fruit.

Alien Love: Chekov and Irina Galliulin were romantically involved back at the Academy. There seems to be some lingering feelings between the two when they're reunited here, complete with a passionate kiss shared in Auxiliary Control.

Library Computer: The space cruiser Aurora was a small, triangular craft with two warp nacelles, one on each side. [It is in fact the Tholian vessel from "The Tholian Web", with nacelles added on. The remastered version uses the class-J starship first seen in the remastered "Mudd's Women".] A group of six people stole the Aurora. They were intercepted by the Enterprise, and they overtaxed the Aurora trying to escape, eventually causing it to explode - though not before the Enterprise could beam them aboard.
     The group consisted of six white people, dressed in strange clothes, who were unsatisfied with life in the technologically advanced Federation, preferring a more primitive lifestyle. They were led by a man named Dr. Sevrin, who was a tall, bald man with blue eyes and large, fleshy ears. Sevrin was a brilliant research engineer from [the planet] Tiburon who specialized in the fields of acoustics, communications, and electronics. When he began this movement for a less technologically advanced life, he was dismissed from his post. Sevrin may have begun this movement, at least in part, because he was diagnosed as being a carrier for Synthococcus novae, a new bacillus strain that came about from the Federation's increased reliance on sterilization and asepsis. This strain of the disease was particularly virulent, and while the Federation had developed immunization against it treating it was difficult, making the disease deadly to those who weren't immunized. Sevrin was thus ordered to remain in technologically advanced areas, in order to control the spread of the disease. Sevrin disobeyed and formed his group, looking for a mythic planet named Eden that was supposedly a paradise untouched by any technology. Possibly as a result of his disease, or the travel restrictions placed upon him subsequently, Sevrin was in fact insane, and was determined to reach Eden no matter what the cost.
     The other members of Sevrin's group included Tongo Rad, a young man with shoulder-length purple-silver hair who was also the son of the Catullan ambassador; it was because of this relationship that Sevrin's group weren't charged with piracy, violating flight regulations, entering hostile space, and endangering the lives of others, as treaty negotiations between the Federation and Catulla were at a crucial phase - negotiations that Kirk claimed Tongo Rad may have endangered. Tongo Rad reportedly inherited his father's "extraordinary abilities" in space studies, and he can knock out a person by placing his thumbs behind the victim's ears. He can also play the bongos. Also present in the group were a young man named Adam, with curly blonde hair and some proficiency with an unusual stringed instrument which sounded like a guitar; a young blonde woman who could play a round, harp-like instrument; a young brunette woman [named Mavig in the script, though not on screen]; and another young brunette woman named Irina Galliulin, who Chekov had gone to Starfleet Academy with. Irina had been a scientist, and she and Chekov had been romantically close, but they broke up. Irina dropped out of the Academy and joined up with Dr. Sevrin. [We feel duty-bound to point out that in the original outline, Irina was in fact McCoy's daughter, Joanna - although obviously a lot of changes happened to the character along the way from outline to screen.]
     All six of Sevrin's group wear colorful, loose and/or abbreviated clothing, no shoes (except for Adam, who's wearing thigh-high boots), and a badge consisting of an egg design cut in half, with the infinity symbol written on the yolk. They also have tattoos (or at least painted designs) on various parts of their bodies, including foreheads, arms, and backs. They make a triangular [or possibly circular, but it looks like a triangle] gesture with both their hands, indicating [presumably] One-ness, a concept of unity and a desire to return to the beginning (so, Eden). They've all chosen to "drop out" of modern society, wishing instead for a primitive, less rigid lifestyle. [We've been trying to avoid saying it, but yes, they're clearly designed to be space hippies.] They also have a particular dialect that doesn't correspond exactly with the standard Federation one, including slang terms such as "reach" (meaning enjoyment or happiness) and "Herbert", which they use as a derogatory term for anyone they don't like. "Herbert" apparently stems from a minor official named Herbert, who was notorious for his rigid and limited patterns of thought. [One suggestion is that "Herbert" was named as a joke after outgoing Desilu Studios executive Herb Solow. Note that British slang already has a meaning for "Herbert", meaning a foolish person or a grubby child, but that's most likely a coincidence.]
     As noted before, Sevrin's group are searching for the planet Eden, which is generally believed to be a legend. However, as Spock notes, many legends are based on truth to some degree, so he and Chekov use the Enterprise's star charts, eventually locating a planet that may in fact be Eden. This Eden is an Earth-like planet located in Romulan space [with two moons in the remastered version], with lots of vegetation and water; however, there's no human or animal life on the planet. The vegetation is pretty, but it's all full of acid, making it incredibly painful to touch (although clothing provides some protection, at least for a little while). The fruit is also poisonous, killing anyone who eats it almost instantly - both Adam and Sevrin die after each taking a bite of the fruit.
     Auxiliary control aboard the Enterprise is used as a secondary navigation room, should the main control room suffer damage or a breakdown. When not in use to navigate, it can be used to help locate astronomical objects with the assistance of star charts.
     Ultrasonics at a certain frequency (Sevrin claims they're "beyond the ultrasonic", but Spock calls it ultrasonic) can stun people; at a higher frequency they can cause lasting damage. Spock appears to be more susceptible to ultrasonics than humans.
     Chekov's patronymic [middle name, basically, although it's not an exact correspondence] is Andreievitch. We also finally get onscreen confirmation that his first name is Pavel (although see "The Apple" for an affectionate "Pav" from Chekov's love interest then).
     The closest starbase to Eden [well, probably] is located on an Earth-like planet.
     According to Spock, the Federation wouldn't allow the colonization of a planet by criminals.
     Chekov claims that the Enterprise computers contain "the sum of all human knowledge".
     The Enterprise crew all received full spectrum immunizations before boarding the ship, although Synthococcus novae requires a regular series of shots.
     The Enterprise has a shuttlecraft named the Galileo II, although it has the same registry number (NCC-1701/7) as the original Galileo. [Did something happen to the Galileo? This is particularly odd because the Galileo was in fact destroyed, way back in season 1 ("The Galileo Seven"), yet there have been subsequent appearances of a new shuttle named Galileo (such as "Metamorphosis" and "Journey to Babel"). Why wait until now to append the "II"?]

Final Analysis: "I don't know why a young mind has to be an undisciplined one." D.C. Fontana's original outline actually isn't that bad, which is why it's a bit surprising that all the life was sucked out of it and we ended up with this instead. The finished script has nothing to say about the counterculture (beyond possibly "these hippies are crazy!") and little in the way of drama - and any time it looks like it might start to pick up steam, they throw in some sub-60s folk songs, which tend to stop the action dead. It doesn't even have the decency to be funny (as you might have expected from a "Kirk vs. space hippies" clash). This is dull at best and insufferable at worst.


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