"Savage Syndrome" was the seventh 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.
- Story Introduction
- Though turning the Enterprise into a battleground for its crew may seem similar to the Original Series episode "The Day of the Dove", here the cause is not a malevolent alien that feeds on negative emotions, but a technology that unleashes the dark urges repressed in humans and, it would seem, in Vulcans.
The Enterprise discovered a derelict orbiting a dead class M planet. Willard Decker, Leonard McCoy and Ilia took a shuttlecraft to investigate the vessel, finding a uniformed humanoid crewman stabbed by an improvised spear. Computer records showed the ship was hit by a radiation burst from a spheroid mine orbiting the planet, which appeared to have degraded their minds to a pre-civilized state. Realizing that there could be dozens of other mines still in operation and that their ship was at risk, they hailed the Enterprise, but only got static in response.
On the bridge of the Enterprise, the bridge crew revived from radiation exposure, crouching like feral cavemen. James T. Kirk and Montgomery Scott fought for supremacy, with Xon, Uhura and Rand joining Kirk's "tribe".
Decker, McCoy and Ilia landed in the hangar bay as various crew fought. The trio headed for sickbay, having to stun some personnel along the way. Christine Chapel stabbed Decker with scissors before she could be knocked out. They strapped Chapel to a biobed so McCoy could assess her condition and hopefully develop an antidote, but it would take time. To prevent the crew from murdering each other in the mean time, Ilia suggested they gas all decks with anesthesia, but when she made it to the bridge, she saw that Pavel Chekov's security station had been dismantled for maintenance. An antidote was needed, fast.
Meanwhile, Kirk was knocked into a food synthesizer in the mess hall, which delivered him a steaming hot dinner. He kept pushing buttons, eager to provide food for his followers. The scent of food drew Scott and his assistant engineer, leading to a fight near engineering. Scott roused the engineers to his side, giving him more equal numbers. During the battle, controls were damaged, triggering an antimatter overload. The main computer announced that the ship would explode in an hour.
Hearing the announcement over the bridge intercom, Ilia attempted to fix the overload from the engineering station. Suddenly Kirk and some of his followers emerged from the emergency access stairwell. Ilia evaded them by dashing into the turbolift, but Kirk slipped inside before the doors closed. He enticed her with food to join her side. Ilia called McCoy for assistance, then maneuvered the turbolift so as to disorient Kirk. When the doors opened, McCoy quickly stunned Kirk with a phaser.
Back in sickbay with Ilia, McCoy explained that there was no antidote, but Decker suggested capturing one of the mines and reversing the frequency of its radiation. He used a tractor beam from the shuttlecraft to secure a mine, then worked quickly to reprogram it, but lost consciousness before he could finish. With only minutes before detonation, Decker awoke to the voice of McCoy over his communicator. He completed the final circuit adjustments and activated the mine.
Radiation enveloped the Enterprise and Scott slowly awoke, his engineering knowledge restored. Overhearing the computer countdown, he and his team quickly stopped the overload with one second to spare.
- Christine Chapel • Pavel Chekov • Willard Decker • Ilia • James T. Kirk • Leonard McCoy • Janice Rand • Montgomery Scott • Hikaru Sulu • Nyota Uhura • Xon • unnamed USS Enterprise personnel (2270s and 2280s)
Starships and vehiclesEdit
- USS Enterprise (refit Constitution-class heavy cruiser) • shuttlecraft • unnamed Alpha and Beta Quadrant starship
Races and culturesEdit
Science and technologyEdit
- airlock • anesthesia gas • bomb • communicator • computer • diagnostic bed • food dispenser • humanoid • hypo-gun • intercom • main computer • mine • phaser • pipe • spear • stimulant • tractor beam • tranquilizer • tricorder • turbolift • viewscreen • weapon • wrench
Ranks and titlesEdit
- captain • chief engineer • commander • copilot • doctor • engineer • Federation Starfleet ranks (2270s) • lieutenant • pilot • rank • Starfleet ranks
- animal • antimatter • bridge • commissary • gas • hangar deck • hour • lifeform • log • magic • metal • meteor • minute • orbit • radiation • recreation room • second • sickbay • skeleton • stun • uniform • weapons control station
- Out of three Phase II story ideas Margaret Armen pitched to Gene Roddenberry, this was the one he preferred, seeking "stories that were really different". It was evisioned as a bottle show (requiring no new sets or actors) to reduce production expenses. (ST reference: Captains' Logs: The Unauthorized Complete Trek Voyages)
- Gray, green and purple uniform shirt colors were referenced, with engineers said to wear green shirts, as they did in Gold Key Comics. Yeoman Pandora Trask wore a purple uniform in TOS comic: "The Brain Shockers".
- Sickbay was cited as being not on deck five, but on the "16th level".
- The Space:1999 episode "The Full Circle" explored the same premise, with exposure to an alien mist devolving a landing party into cavemen. The show featured gray and purple uniform shirts. (The Full Circle article at Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.)
- TNG episode: "Genesis" – In 2370, a synthetic T-cell devolved the crew of the USS Enterprise-D.
- VOY episode: "Threshold" – In 2372, hyper-evolution of the crew of USS Voyager was triggered by traveling at warp ten.
- TOS episode: "Day of the Dove" – In 2268, the (*) entity manipulated feral emotions to force continuous fighting between humans and Klingons.
- TOS episode: "The Enemy Within" – In 2266, a transporter malfunction produced a second James T. Kirk with a feral mind.
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