- For other uses, see Eye of the Beholder.
The Eye of the Beholder was the 15th episode of Star Trek: The Animated Series, aired on 5 January, 1974. The episode was later novelized in Log Eight, the eighth installment of Alan Dean Foster's Star Trek Logs, in July 1976.
- 1 Description
- 2 Summary
- 3 References
- 3.1 Characters
- 3.2 Starships and vehicles
- 3.3 Locations
- 3.4 Races and cultures
- 3.5 States and organizations
- 3.6 Science and technology
- 3.7 Ranks and titles
- 3.8 Lifeforms
- 3.9 Other references
- 4 Chronology
- 5 Appendices
- Complete in this volume:
- The Eye of the Beholder
- A routine follow-up mission to investigate an overdue survey ship leads the crew of the Enterprise to a world where visitors are always welcome… very welcome indeed.
- Kirk, Spock and McCoy are suddenly captured by strangely intelligent aliens… telepathic Lactrans who look upon the Enterprise crew as no more than interesting specimens for their already well-stocked zoo.
- It was not a happy situation for Captain Kirk and his crew. And there seemed to be no way out...
- Captain's log, stardate 5537.1 (novelization). The Enterprise is embarked, for a change, on a routine follow-up mission—to search for a survey ship overdue for report-in in the vicinity of Epsilon Scorpii, last known to be investigating the system of a G4 sun designated Lactra on Federation starcharts.
- Captain's log, supplemental (novelization). We have encountered and visually observed the missing survey ship. It continues to maintain communications silence. There is no evidence of violent damage or sentient attack. Mr. Spock will lead a security team in boarding the ship.
- Captain's log, stardate 5501.2 (episode). We are orbiting the planet Lactra VII. Our mission is to discover the whereabouts or fate of a six-member science crew. Voice contact having yielded nothing, a landing party beamed aboard to see if the deserted ship's log and computers could give us any information.
- Ariel ship's log (novelization). It is now 32 minutes since our last contact with the three members of our crew who beamed down to the planetary surface. Each member of that crew was instructed to report in at ten-minute intervals. As this deadline has long since passed, and subsequent to our repeated failure to contact any member of the landing party, I have decided to take the following action. As senior officer aboard, I, Lieutenant Commander Louis Markel, take full responsibility for this action and any consequences thereof. All three remaining members of the survey team, myself included, will beam down in an attempt to discover the whereabouts of our comrades and, if necessary, to effect a rescue. If for any reason we should fail to return, I, Lieutenant Commander Louis Markel, do hereby accept and acknowledge that I...
- Ariel ship's log (episode). It is now 32 minutes since our last contact with the three members of our crew on the planet surface. As the senior officer aboard, I, Lieutenant Commander Markel, have made the following decision. The three remaining crew members, myself included, will beam down to effect a rescue. If, for any reason, we do not return, be it known that...
Kirk, Spock and McCoy beam down to search for the missing crew, avoiding unusual creatures in oddly distinct environments, first in areas of boiling water, then a desert, then a rainforest, revealing highly sophisticated terraforming on the planet, but with no apparent rhyme or reason. The trio are suddenly ensnared by the tentacles of 30-meter-long slug-like Lactrans. The lifeforms carry the officers to the Lactran city, where they are deposited in a habitat comfortable for Humans secured with a force field — they are Human zoo specimens.
Missing Ariel officers Randi Bryce and Tom Markel greet them; a third officer has also survived but is sick. Through experimentation, the officers learn what they can of their captors, who are highly intelligent, advanced and telepathic, thousands of years more advanced than Starfleet. Spock is unable to reach them telepathically. McCoy conveys with conviction that a medkit is necessary to help Nancy Randolph, and his kit is brought to him. Spock realizes that if the Lactrans were to go to the trouble, they would be capable of understanding specific thoughts from the landing party. Kirk feigns illness and the group concentrates on the need for a communicator. A six-year-old Lactran picks up a communicator from the exhibit table and brings it into the habitat to Kirk. When Kirk reaches out and signals the ship, the child swiftly retrieves the device, just in time for it to be caught in the transporter beam, confounding Montgomery Scott when it rematerializes in the transporter room.
The child's parents panic, having been unaware that Humans might be deadly. They probe Kirk's mind to find out what had happened to their baby. Scott is able to convince it that the ship isn't a toy and that Scott isn't a pet. They beam back together, saving Kirk from a mental attack by five concerned adults.
After the parents "dumb down" their thoughts to a level comparable to baby talk, the infant is able to relay those messages to Spock, and communication is established. After some deliberation, the Lactrans agree to free the officers, on condition that they retrieve a final exhibit for their Lactra VII zoo: a jawanda, a nearly mythical non-sentient creature of which they know little except for where to begin their quest. Although initially hesitant to bring their child along, the Lactran parents are set up in a cargo bay near the hangar bay where the ship's corridors are widest.
The Enterprise proceeds to the Boquin system near the edge of the Milky Way Galaxy. A landing party travels through the hostile atmosphere of Boqu II in a shuttlecrawler and meets Hivar the Toq. The treelike Boqus are suffering from an epidemic, and are willing to help with the jawanda if McCoy can cure them. Eventually, McCoy and K'ang Te identify the cause of the affliction and develop a viable treatment.
Jawanda are massive cosmozoans that feed off interstellar radiation away from gravity wells. Boqu II radiates more energy than it absorbs and has a weak gravity, which made the planet a delicacy for the jawanda, but their presence cooled the surface and made life harder for Boqus. They eventually drove the jawandas away by using massive gravitic engines installed on six of the planet's moons which could herd and repel the huge creatures. Hivar renovates an ancient control mechanism which will allow the moons to follow the Enterprise during a trip into intergalactic space in search of a specimen.
Six days later, heading at a maximum speed of warp three, they detect the transmissions of a jawanda, but have to jettison the moons in order to travel at warp five to intercept it. The millimeter-thick animal is the size of North America and wraps itself around the ship to absorb radiation from the warp drive. With the ship powered down, Kirk, Spock and McCoy examine the creature in spacesuits, then are stuck on it when it unwraps and departs at warp speed like a huge flying carpet. The Enterprise catches up with it and retrieves the officers, only to become enveloped again. They use the opposite tactic this time, engorging the animal with maximum warp power for several minutes. As it moves off, bloated, Hikaru Sulu and Hivar are able to entrap the creature. It then changes its radio transmission patterns into a wail, essentially a distress signal to others of its kind.
During the return trip, sensors pick up three or four significantly larger jawanda in pursuit. A shuttlecraft is rigged as a diversion to transmit louder distress signals, but their captive simply amplifies its own calls in response. As the Enterprise nears the gravity well of a star, the red giant NGC 7332, they detect a jawanda approaching at close to warp 10 with a diameter of more than 100 Earths, large enough to engulf Sol. It nearly catches them, but the Enterprise reaches the gravity well first and it is forced to turn away at the last moment.
Resigned to its fate, the captured jawanda ceases its distress calls during the trip to Lactra, and it is placed in a polar orbit around Lactra VII. The Enterprise then returns with Hivar and returns the six Boqu moons around Boqu II.
- Arex Na Eth • Randi Bryce • James T. Kirk • John Kyle • Shiboline M'Ress • Tom Markel • Leonard McCoy • Nancy Randolph • Montgomery Scott • Spock • Hikaru Sulu • unnamed Lactrans • Canopus III dinosaur • Maravel dragon • USS Enterprise (NCC-1701) personnel • unnamed USS Enterprise (NCC-1701) personnel
- Arex Na Eth • Randy Bryce • Hivar the Toq • John Kyle • James T. Kirk • Shiboline M'Ress • Louis Markel • Leonard McCoy • Meyers • Nancy Randolph • Montgomery Scott • Spock • Hikaru Sulu • Nyota Uhura • unnamed Lactrans • Canopus III dinosaur • Maraville dargoneer • jawanda
- Referenced only
- Alan Dean Foster • Azathoth • Christine Chapel • K'ang Te • M'baww • Old One • Prox • Seelens
Starships and vehicles
Episode starships and vehicles
Novelization starships and vehicles
- SS Ariel (survey ship/scout) • USS Enterprise (Constitution-class heavy cruiser) • hovercraft • mapping drone • shuttlecraft • shuttlecrawler
- Boquian system (Boqu II • Drasid • Lethiq • Lathoq • Mett One • Mett Two • Oj) • Epsilon Scorpii • Lactra (Lactra VII • Lactra VII zoo • Lactran city) • Milky Way Galaxy • NGC 7332
- Referenced only
- Canopus III • Earth • Galactic Historical Archives • Galaxy M33 • Maraville • Nubecula Major • S. Monicus I • Sol • Waimangu Valley
Races and cultures
States and organizations
Science and technology
- airlock • antenna • aurora • biology • bridge • briefing room • communicator • computer • coordinate • dilithium crystal • ecology • geology • gravity • greenhouse effect • IQ • laboratory • USS Enterprise (NCC-1701) library computer • force field • hand-held weapon • impulse power • library computer • life-support belt • light year • mathematics • medical kit • medikit • phaser • photon torpedo • radio telescope • radio wave • science • scope • sensor • ship-mounted weapon • shuttle bay • soloid • starship • sun lamp • technology • transporter • transporter room • tricorder • viewscreen • visual pickup • xenobiology • xenology
Ranks and titles
- admiral • chief engineer • chief medical officer • commander • commanding officer • communications officer • doctor • first officer • helmsman • lieutenant • lieutenant commander • medical lab • mister • navigator • officer • physician • science officer • security • senior officer • transporter chief • xenologist
- amoeba • ant • animal • bacteria • cetacean • dinosaur • dolphin • grass • humanoid • insect • jawanda • Maraville dragon • plant • silicon-based lifeform • six-legged canine • slug • tribble • two-headed python • unicorn • waul
- alien • anatomy • Animax • atmosphere • boarding party • brain • captain's log • cargo hold • city • civilization • class M planet • colony • comet • communication • Dark Ages • day • desert • disease • emergency rations • eye • epidemic • fever • first contact • flying carpet • G class star • galaxy • ghid • government • hour • kilometer • landing party • lifeform • log entry • malaria • medicine • meteorite • minaghid • minute • multinevar • nation-state • nevar • orbit • piñata • planet • primate • pulsar • quasar • races and cultures • radio nebula • rain forest • rank • seafood • sentient life • ship's log • sign language • silicon • space • star • star chart • star system • starbase • Starfleet regulations • Starfleet uniform • Starfleet uniform (2265-2270) • steak • stellar classification • suicide • telepathy • temperature • terraforming • title • uniform • universe • water • weapon • week • yellow star • zoo
- Six weeks prior to stardate 5537.1
- Ariel officers abandon ship to search for their missing comrades on Lactra VII
- 2269 (stardate 5537.1)
- Enterprise locates Ariel in orbit of Lactra VII and rescues survivors
- Enterprise traveled for two weeks between Lactra VII and Boqu II
- Enterprise officers spent three weeks researching the Animax epidemic
- Enterprise traveled for six days in the direction of Galaxy M-33 in search of a cosmozoan jawanda
- Enterprise spent one day approaching and trapping a jawanda
- Enterprise traveled for a "considerably longer" period than two weeks returning to Lactra VII at warp three
- 2269 (stardate 5537.2)
- Enterprise completed its return trip to Boqu II traveling at warp six.
- stardate 6111.3
- Log entry recordings of this mission are transcribed by Alan Dean Foster at the Galactic Historical Archives on S. Monicus I.
- This is the eighth of Alan Dean Foster's TAS adaptation collections which have been reprinted a number of times, often in omnibuses with other Star Trek Log books. Most recently in 2006 by Del Rey Books, an imprint of the original Ballantine Books publishers, as part of Star Trek's 40th Anniversary celebrations.
- While the episode itself mentions stardate 5501.2, the novelization states a date range of 5537.1 to 5537.2, and the dates mentioned in log entry occurrences are altered accordingly.
- The episode ends with the crew leaving the Lactran zoo and with Markel aboard the Enterprise. The novelization continues the story, however, with the Enterprise helping the Lactrans capture the cosmozoan.
- An image of the Lactran city was printed on the first edition cover to Log Six.
- Ariel was given the SS prefix at StarTrek.com.
- The novelization incorporated many elements that were not seen in the aired episode, but rather which originated in David P. Harmon's final draft script dated 21 September, 1973:
- Spock led a boarding party to the survey ship and found Markel's log tape. In the episode those events were summarized in the briefing room. In the script, Kirk, Spock and McCoy boarded the ship and listened to the log there.
- Prior to being captured, Kirk, Spock and McCoy fled towards a cave to avoid a pack of wild six-legged canines with razor-sharp fangs. The dogs ended up attacking an enormous two-headed python which came out of the cave.
- En route to the Lactra VII zoo, the three Lactrans traveled a fair distance with the landing party within a cylindrical-shaped subway hovercraft (described as a type of bullet train in the script) and then sterilized their specimens.
- A herd of unicorns were seen in one habitat.
- In an attempt to convince the Lactrans that the landing party was intelligent, Spock wrote a complex mathematical formula on the ground with a twig, which prompted quivering motions which Spock translated as laughter. Spock concluded that Lactrans were so advanced that his actions were regarded as playing with a child's building blocks.
- Security officers fired at the Lactran child with phasers, but it was impervious to the stun setting.
- The Human habitat drew larger crowds on rest days.
Details unique to the novelization
- Lactrans were gray and eyeless. Writer Alan Dean Foster worked from scripts and apparently had not seen character designs depicting the episode's more colorful Lactrans with large eyes.
- Force fields separating various habitats had been turned off but were reactivated shortly before the landing party was captured.
- Bryce clarified that other Ariel crew died in habitats before Lactrans could get to them. Randolph, Bryce and Markel were captured at night.
- When talking failed, Montgomery Scott tried to communicate with the Lactran child using sign language.
- One reason the Lactrans gave for freeing the Starfleet officers was that Humans maintained their own zoos.
- Freedom came upon the condition that the Enterprise retrieve a cosmozoan jawanda for the zoo. The story was expanded to cover the events of the next two to three months.
- When first encountering the Boqus, Spock and McCoy remarked that silicon-based lifeforms had not previously been encountered. However, prior to 2269 they had previously encountered the crystalline Alpha 23-C natives (TOS comic: "The PsychoCrystals") and the Janus VI Horta (TOS episode: "The Devil in the Dark"). They were also familiar with Professor Patrick Moore's studies of silicon-based life (TOS comic: "Murder on the Enterprise").
- Similarly, Kirk was amazed that a lifeform could travel at warp speed, despite having seen the warp-traveling Dikironium cloud creature firsthand in 2268 in TOS episode: "Obsession".
Details unique to the script
- Randi Bryce was written as Leonard McCoy's daughter. The elder McCoy had recommended her for the survey assignment. When introduced to Spock, she said she'd heard a lot about him from her father. She was on the bridge along with Markel when Spock received the Lactrans' final message.
- Lactra VII was the size of Jupiter with an ammonia atmosphere, lakes of molten lava, and a gravity of 11.1 G. The transporter altered the survey team's biological structure so they could explore the surface. Kirk, Spock and McCoy were similarly altered.
- The aquatic creature was conceived as a lava-dwelling "octopotamus," a hippopotamus/octopus-like animal.
- The survey crew consisted of Engineer Markel, First Officer James, Nurse Randolph, Randi, and two others. The vessel's captain appeared to be one of the casualties.
- Lactran city was 5,000 square miles in size. While Lactrans considered humans ugly, Spock said they regarded his ears as "almost bearable."
- Pavel Chekov was present when the Lactran child carried Scott onto the bridge.
- The Lactran parents "spanked" their child telepathically after it beamed down with Scott.
|Star Trek Logs||Next novelization:|
The Terratin Incident
|TAS episode produced||Next episode:|
Once Upon a Planet
The Slaver Weapon
|TAS episode aired||Next episode:|
The Counter-Clock Incident
- The Eye of the Beholder article at Memory Alpha, the wiki for canon Star Trek.
- The Eye of the Beholder article at Memory Alpha, the wiki for canon Star Trek.
- The Eye of the Beholder article at Curt Danhauser's Guide to Animated Star Trek website.
- The Eye of the Beholder review at TrekToday.
- The Eye of the Beholder discussion at the Mission Log podcast.
- The Eye of the Beholder discussion at the Saturday Morning Trek podcast.