"The Alternative Factor" was the 20th episode of Star Trek: The Original Series, in the show's first season, first aired on 30 March 1967. The episode was written by Don Ingalls, directed by Gerd Oswald and novelized in Star Trek 10 by James Blish.
Investigating a "winking out" of the universe, the Enterprise finds a time traveler named Lazarus who has counterparts in both the positive and antimatter universes. If both versions of Lazarus meet at the same time—outside of a magnetic corridor between universes—it will mean the end of everything!
- 1 Summary
- 2 References
- 2.1 Characters
- 2.2 Starships and vehicles
- 2.3 Locations
- 2.4 Races and cultures
- 2.5 Technology and weapons
- 2.6 States and organizations
- 2.7 Technology and weapons
- 2.8 Materials and substances
- 2.9 Ranks and titles
- 2.10 Other references
- 3 Chronology
- 4 Appendices
The USS Enterprise is preparing to get underway, finishing a planetary survey in standard orbit around an iron-silica-type uncharted planet. Suddenly, the starship is struck by a strange effect, being buffeted by a strange magnetic "blinking" effect where the surrounding universe, to the edge of sensor range, seems to partially fade out of existence. After the effect ceases, scanners show a humanoid lifeform on the planet surface.
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- Captain's log, stardate 3087.6
- While investigating an uncharted planet, the Enterprise, and at least this entire quadrant of space, has been subjected to violent, unexplained stress and force. Sensors have reported the presence of a Human being on the planet below who might be connected with the phenomenon. With my first officer and a security team, I have set out in search of him.
- Captain's log, stardate 3088.3
- We continue to orbit the dead planet, which seems to be the source of the phenomenon which has struck the Enterprise, and all sections of the galaxy, once again. As for Lazarus, the story he tells me about the humanoid continues to trouble me.
- Captain's log, stardate 3088.7
- We are no closer to finding an answer to the strange phenomenon than we were at the beginning. Not only have two of my crewmen been attacked, two of our dilithium crystals are missing, and without them, the Enterprise cannot operate at full power. They must be found.
- Barstow • Clifford Brent • Bill Hadley • Harrison (Lieutenant) • James T. Kirk • Lazarus • Ryan Leslie • Charlene Masters • Leonard McCoy • Spock • Nyota Uhura • unnamed 2260s USS Enterprise personnel (USS Enterprise personnel)
- Barstow • James T. Kirk • Lazarus • Ryan Leslie • Charlene Masters • Leonard McCoy • Spock • Nyota Uhura
Starships and vehicles
- USS Enterprise
- bridge • briefing room • cartographic section (referenced) • dilithium reamplification • corridor • engineering • main engineering • quarters • sickbay
Races and cultures
Technology and weapons
States and organizations
- Federation • Starfleet (Starfleet Command • command division • operations division • sciences division)
Technology and weapons
- computer bank • experimentation chamber • explosives • magnetic communication satellite • phaser • phaser bank • safety valve • sensors • spaceship • starship • viewscreen
Materials and substances
- antimatter • atmosphere • coffee • blood • crystal • dilithium • dilithium crystal • hydrogen • iron • gas • oxygen • silicon
Ranks and titles
- captain • commander • commodore • commanding officer • communications officer • crewman • doctor • engineer • Federation Starfleet ranks • Federation Starfleet ranks (2260s) • first officer • lieutenant • lieutenant commander • medic • officer • physician • scientist • security • security team • science officer
- abrasion • alternative warp • anatomy • antimatter universe • arm • bandage • battle stations • beam • blindness • "Bones" • boot • bruise • bull • captain's log • clothing • Code Factor 1 • deaf • devil • dilithium reamplification • dimension • dimensional door • dinosaur • dizziness • electromagnetism • energizer/energizing circuits • energy • Fahrenheit • Federation members • five-year mission • footprint • forehead • galaxy • general alert • government • gravimetric field • heaven • Hell • homeworld • humanoid • landing party • language • life survey • lifeform • log entry • logic • magnetic corridor • magnetic effect • magnetic field • magnetism • matter • medicine • memory • multiverse • muscleman • nation-state • negative magnetic corridor • orbit • ounce • pants • parallel universe • paranoia • parsec • photographic section • planet • poetry • powder keg • positive universe • priority one • prison • pulsation phenomenon • quadrant • races and cultures • radiation • rank • recuperative powers • red 2 message • rip in the universe • science • space • standard orbit • star • star chart • stardate • Starfleet General Orders and Regulations • Starfleet uniform • Starfleet uniform (2260s) • technology • time • time chamber • time ship • time travel • title • tunic • uniform • universe • water • weapon • zero gravity
- prior to the discovery of Lazarus
- Lazarus crosses over and encounters his double. (prior to episode/novelization)
- stardate 3087.6, 2267 (2260s chronology, 2264–2270 Enterprise voyages)
- Enterprise travels to Lazarus's planet.
- TOS - Strange New Worlds 10 short story: "Reborn"
- ST reference: The Star Trek Encyclopedia
- Information about this episode is presented consistently in all volumes.
- CCG set: Basic, card: "Lazarus"
- CCG set: Basic, card: "The Alternative Factor"
- CCG set: Necessary Evil, card: "Short circuit"
Because of hardships during filming, this episode ended up being heavily re-written from its original concept to accommodate changes in the production schedule. Several perceptible continuity issues ended up in the final cut due to this.
|TOS episode produced||Next episode:|
Tomorrow is Yesterday
Errand of Mercy
|TOS episode aired||Next episode:|
The City on the Edge of Forever
|Star Trek 10
A Vulcan, A Klingon, and an Angel (backstory)
Tomorrow is Yesterday
|Voyages of the
USS Enterprise (NCC-1701)
(2264 to 2270)
Tomorrow is Yesterday
- The Alternative Factor article at Memory Alpha, the wiki for canon Star Trek.
- The Alternative Factor article at Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.