"Are Unheard Melodies Sweet?" was the eighth of 13 regular episode scripts prepared for the abortive development of the television series Star Trek: Phase II. Although the episode went unproduced, a detailed synopsis was published in the reference work Phase II: The Lost Series. It was written by Worley Thorne.
- Story Introduction
- Though the script called for nudity and suggestive situations that probably would not have been filmed, let alone allowed to air, the story is a standard Star Trek adventure.
Willard Decker led a search for survivors of the missing USS St. Louis on a planet in the Hyades star cluster. Ship's sensors picked up lifeform readings, but on the surface Janice Rand could not locate them. As a debris sample was beamed up, search party members Ibsen and Kelly suddenly discovered a group of women in a South Pacific-style lagoon. Decker walked into Mariner's Park in San Francisco, apparently regressing mentally to a time 14 years earlier when he was a cadet, and embraced a young human woman named Linda. By the time Nyota Uhura reestablished contact with Decker's communicator, and James T. Kirk overheard his romantic conversation, he ordered Decker beamed back immediately. Decker dematerialized; the park reshaped into an alien city, and Linda reformed into an exotic Grokhoor named Ronel.
Under Ronel's influence, midshipman Decker insisted on returning to the planet. Meanwhile, Xon discovered log records in the debris sample and was able to reconstruct a partial log entry recorded five days earlier:
- USS St. Louis captain's log, stardate 1011. ...
- … My crew's in some kind of delirium, setting instruments awry, and I fear... are in danger of leaving orbit. If so, the ship will heat dangerously and break up, unless first I …: … and I understand now. Never have I thought life could be like this … kind of excitement that…"
The recorded sound of an explosion cut off the transmission. The ship's commanding officer, Michael Schwerner, was friend of Kirk's from Starfleet Academy, the youngest officer ever to attain the rank of lieutenant. Kirk couldn't believe that Schwerner could let his ship crash, but Xon thought that their crew had behaved just like Decker, showing an inability to function in the real world.
Meanwhile, Ronel beamed aboard the USS Enterprise, appearing as Rand to the transporter technician, but her presence nonetheless tripped the intruder alarm. She passed by security guards posing as Rand and Leonard McCoy, then entered Decker's quarters. Decker thought Kirk was in league with his father to keep her from him. To protect her, she manipulated him into sabotaging coolant valves for the impulse engines, then destroying the ship's dilithium crystals. She then appeared as Kirk to the transporter technician, ordering that they be beamed down. The damage caused the ship's orbit to destabilize despite Hikaru Sulu's best efforts. Xon estimated a crash in 6.35 hours.
To replace the missing dilithium, Ilia suggested locating shielded storage vaults amid the wreckage of the St. Louis, as that ship's mission had been to search for new dilithium sources. Kirk, McCoy and Ilia beamed down, but were separated by illusions. Ronel attempted to seduce Kirk, but he shook himself clear of the illusion and asked to meet with their leaders. Kirk, McCoy and Ilia learned that the population had been idle for a thousand years and had no memory of how to repair machinery. Councilor Lamen insisted that Kirk's crew would remain on the planet as their last hope.
They then saw Decker, Rand, Ibsen and Kelly lying comatose on slabs, fed intravenously, just as Ibsen's heart gave out from overstimulation. Decker was also dying. McCoy removed his feeding tube and discovered an incredibly high male hormone output. He injected some of Rand's estrogen into Decker, which stabilized him. He likewise stabilized Kelly and Rand, then "inoculated" Ilia and Kirk in hopes it would make them resistant to the illusions. They realized that the Grokhoor were harvesting hormones from the starship crews, which gave them power to generate illusions, and they filled the void in their lives and alleviated aggressive impulses with fantasy.
In frustration that Kirk would not relent in his pursuit of dilithium, Ronel launched a missile to destroy the dilithium of the St. Louis. Xon tracked the missile and calculated the dilithium's location, but the missile's guidance system suddenly redirected itself to target the Enterprise. As the missile exploded against the ship's deflectors, the dilithium was beamed up. Xon and Scott quickly installed the crystals and adjusted the matter-antimatter mixture to compensate for unusual crystal shapes. As impulse power failed completely, Kirk ordered the warp drive activated, and the ship pulled away at the last moment, resuming a safe orbit.
Later, as the Enterprise departed the system, as Xon asked whether they should send a team of Vulcan scientists to help the Grokhoor, but Kirk stated they'd have to solve their own problems, sooner or later.
- Willard Decker • Ibsen • Ilia • Kelly • James T. Kirk • Lamen • Leonard McCoy • Janice Rand • Ronel/Linda • Montgomery Scott • Hikaru Sulu • Michael Schwerner • Nyota Uhura • unnamed USS Enterprise personnel (2270s and 2280s) • Xon
- Referenced only
- Matthew Decker
Starships and vehicles
- Earth (Mariner's Park, San Francisco) • Hyades star cluster (Grokh)
- Referenced only
- Earth (South Pacific) • Delta V
Races and cultures
States and organizations
Science and technology
- computer • coolant • deflector • food synthesizer • force field • guidance system • hypospray • impulse engine • intercom • main computer • missile • monolith • phaser • phaser • pipe • record cube • scanner • sensor • star map • stimulant • subspace communication • tranquilizer • transporter • transporter pad • tricorder • turbolift • viewscreen • warp drive • communicator
Ranks and titles
- cadet • captain • chief • chief engineer • commander • crewman • doctor • ensign • Federation Starfleet ranks (2270s) • feenor • first officer • helmsman • lieutenant • midshipman • rank • scientist • security guard • Starfleet ranks • technician
- aggression • androgen • antimatter • bird • bridge • cadet uniform • captain's log • city • coordinates • dilithium • distress call • engineering • estrogen • feathers • flower • gas • hermaphrodite • hormone • hour • hull • humanoid • hypochondria • illusion • impulse fuel • intraship beaming • intruder alert • jewelry • laboratory • lagoon • landing party • logic • metal • minute • One-Day War • orbit • peace • quarantine • quarters • red alert • second • security • sickbay • star map • transporter room • uniform • war • warp speed • wister
- James T. Kirk and Michael Schwerner enter Starfleet Academy
- 2250 or 2251
- Michael Schwerner became the youngest Starfleet officer to reach lieutenant.
- Willard Decker visited Mariner's Park in San Francisco.
- James T. Kirk became the youngest Starfleet officer to become a commanding officer.
- Prior to 2273
- Schwerner assumed command of the USS St. Louis.
- The episode title "Are Unheard Melodies Sweet?" was a reference to the statement, “Heard melodies are sweet, but those unheard are sweeter still", a quote from the 1819 poem "Ode on a Grecian Urn" by John Keats. (Ode on a Grecian Urn article at Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.)
- Author Worley Thorne said he'd always wanted to write for Star Trek, but as he started his career in 1966, he felt he was too unseasoned to write for The Original Series. (ST reference: Captains' Logs: The Unauthorized Complete Trek Voyages)
- The story melded situations from two previous episodes, TOS episode: "The Cage" and TAS episode: "The Lorelei Signal". Forced illusionary episodes were similar to those created by the Talosians as well as the Irapina in TOS novel: Planet of Judgment.
- Janice Rand went on a landing party mission and was addressed both as ensign and chief.
- Matthew Decker's nickname was Old Hardnose.
- TAS episode: "The Lorelei Signal" – Similar premise, where a siren song lured males aboard the USS Enterprise to a group of Taurean women in order to drain their life energy.
- TOS episode: "The Cage" – This story raised similar questions regarding the value of illusion vs. reality, with its society similarly experiencing a crumbling industrial infrastructure because nobody remembered how to repair machinery.
- TOS episode: "The Man Trap" – Manipulative Ronel's fears of being arrested while aboard the Enterprise with Decker paralleled those expressed by the manipulative M-113 creature when it was aboard the ship with Leonard McCoy. Both presented illusory appearances: Ronel pretended to be "Linda", while the M-113 creature pretended to be Nancy Crater.
- TOS episode: "Elaan of Troyius" – Kirk and Scott recalled how they'd previously added unrefined crystals to the dilithium chamber during that episode.
- TOS episodes: "The Return of the Archons", "Bread and Circuses", TAS episode: "The Eye of the Beholder" – Other searches for missing Starfleet crews aboard smaller vessels who were lost on a planet's surface.
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