The Paradise Syndrome
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|"The Paradise Syndrome"|
|Star Trek: The Original Series episode|
Kirk examines the alien symbols on a obelisk built by the Preservers.
|Directed by||Jud Taylor|
|Written by||Margaret Armen|
|Featured music||Gerald Fried|
|Cinematography by||Jerry Finnerman|
|Original air date||October 4, 1968|
"The Paradise Syndrome" is a third season episode of the original science fiction television series Star Trek, and was broadcast October 4, 1968. It is episode #58, production #58, written by Margaret Armen and directed by Jud Taylor.
In this episode, an alien device on a primitive planet erases Captain Kirk's memory, and he begins a new life with the planet's indigenous people.
On stardate 4842.6, the Federation starship USS Enterprise arrives at an earthlike planet in anticipation of deflecting an asteroid headed for it. With some time to spare, Captain James T. Kirk, First Officer Spock and Chief Medical Officer Dr. McCoy transport to the surface for a brief survey. They find a obelisk with strange markings as well as a humanoid species whose customs seem to follow those of various North American Native tribes. Returning to the obelisk, Kirk starts to communicate with the Enterprise but his actions open a trap door within the obelisk which Kirk falls into. Spock and McCoy are unable to open the door, and forced to return to the Enterprise to oversee the asteroid deflection.
Kirk awakens with amnesia, and finds his way out of the obelisk. Women from the native people witness his appearance and proclaim him as a god, and take him back to their village. Miramanee, the tribal priestess, attempts to sway the elders of the tribe of Kirk's divinity, but they demand he prove himself. At that moment, other villagers arrive with a boy that had drowned in a nearby lake. Salish, the medicine chief, declares the child dead, but Kirk uses mouth-to-mouth resuscitation to revive the boy. The elders accept Kirk as their god, forcing Salish to give up his position. Kirk, when asked his name, can only recall it as "Kirok".
Meanwhile, the Enterprise arrives at the asteroid and attempt numerous means to disrupt its course. However, these fail to do any significant damage, leaving the ship's weapons and warp systems offline and the asteroid still on a collision course. Spock orders the ship back to the planet, now a two-month ordeal on impulse power, staying just ahead of the asteroid all the way. During this time, Kirok becomes accustomed the village life and as the village's new healer, though hounded by memories of "the strange lodge that moves through the sky". Traditionally, the healer and priestess are husband and wife, and Kirok and Miramanee find growing affection for each other, while Salish's jealousy grows. Kirok agrees to officially "join" Miramanee. On the day of joining, Salish cuts Kirok with a knife and attempts to show the elders that Kirok is mortal, but the elders do not believe him. Later, Miramanee reveals she is pregnant with their child.
As the Enterprise nears the planet, Spock reviews the data of the obelisk and determines that it may be a asteroid deflector built by the ancient Preservers, an ancient race believed to have seeded life across the galaxy. Spock surmises the obelisk may have failed, and recognize that they only have a short time when they arrive to figure out how to reactivate it, coming to the conclusion that musical notes may be the key as when the device responded to Kirk's communicator.
As the asteroid nears the planet, the sky begins to darken and gale-force winds sweep the surface, and the elders tell Kirok he must go into the temple to stop the storm. They take him to the obelisk but Kirok cannot recall how he got inside. Salish steps forward and declares Kirok to be a false god, turning the rest of the tribe against him. They begin to stone him, and Miramanee attempts to stop the stoning only to be mortally wounded herself. Suddenly, Spock and McCoy transport nearby, scaring the villagers away. Finding that Kirk does not recognize them, Spock uses a mind meld to reach Kirk's mind, while McCoy tends to Miramanee's wounds. Kirk regains his memories and Spock quickly alerts him to the situation. Kirk uses his communicator again, opening the trap door, and he and Spock go inside to repair the deflector beam. The obelisk activates and deflects the asteroid with minutes to spare.
Later, in the lodge where Kirok and Miramanee lived, McCoy tells Kirk that she will not survive. Kirk holds Miramanee in his embrace as she dies.
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- "The Paradise Syndrome" at StarTrek.com
- "The Paradise Syndrome" at the Internet Movie Database
- "The Paradise Syndrome" at Memory Alpha (a Star Trek wiki)
- "The Paradise Syndrome" at TV.com
- "The Paradise Syndrome" Review at TrekMovie.com