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"The Terratin Incident" was the 11th episode of Star Trek: The Animated Series in the show's first season, aired during the week of 17 November 1973. The episode was written by Paul Schneider, directed by Hal Sutherland and novelized in Log Four by Alan Dean Foster.


VHS teaser
Investigating a mysterious radio transmission, the USS Enterprise is bathed in a strange light and all organic matter (including the crew) begins to shrink.


Episode log entries

Captain's log, stardate 5577.3.
We are approaching the remains of the burnt out supernova Arachna. Requested update survey will begin with measurements of its radiation and volume expansion.
Captain's log, stardate 5577.5.
Our limited power attempt to escape the planet's gravity has failed. Undefined wave bombardment continues, resulting in a contraction of our bodies, or an expansion of the ship, by a factor of point three.
Captain's log, stardate 5577.7.
We will lose effective control of this vessel at the point when we've become approximately one centimeter tall. At the present rate, we will reach this less-than-fingernail length in 32 minutes.
Captain's log, supplemental.
There is one last measure we can take to try and stop the bombardment of the lethal spiroid wave. There must be some intelligence behind it. I'm going to attempt direct communication by beaming down to the planet's surface. We have no reason to expect success, but our height is little more than 2" and even this action will be beyond us in 15 minutes time.
Captain's log, supplemental.
The Lilliputian city is to be taken to Verdanis and relocated on a fertile and well-watered plain. Then we'll be able to call the Terratin incident closed.

Novelization log entries

Captain's log, stardate 5525.3.
We are approaching the remains of the supernova Arachna. Initial close-in visual observation correlates with advance telescopic probe-pictures. We are moving deeper into the nebular region at standard observation speed. Location survey will commence, as requested, with extensive measurements of expansion rate and radiation levels. Certain new types of radiation have already been detected. At present they existed in minute amounts and constitute no danger to either ship or mission. Engineer Scott is taking precautions.
Captain's log, stardate 5525.4.
Our attempt to escape this world's gravity on limited power has failed after the ship's dilithium supplies have been wiped out. We are currently in a low but stable elliptical orbit. Main engines and circuitry are one hundred percent incapacitated. Unidentified radiation bombardment continues, resulting in either a contraction of our bodies or an expansion of the ship by a factor of three.



Episode characters

Arex Na EthBrielChristine ChapelFrank GablerRoss JohnsonJames T. KirkJohn KyleMassachiLeonard McCoyNikkatsuMontgomery ScottSpockHikaru SuluNyota UhuraMendant of the Terratins

Novelization characters

Arex Na EthBrielChristine ChapelDavisFrank GablerRoss JohnsonJames T. KirkJohn KyleLefebreMassachiLeonard McCoyM'turrNikkatsuMontgomery ScottAnn SepopoaSolinskiSpockStewartHikaru SuluNyota UhuraYangMendant of the Terratins
Referenced only
Lemuel Gulliver

Starships and vehicles

Episode starships and vehicles

USS Enterprise (Constitution-class heavy cruiser)

Novelization starships and vehicles

USS Enterprise (Constitution-class heavy cruiser)
Referenced only
Federation cruiserKlingon starshipcolony ship


Episode locations

ArachnaCephenes system (TerratinTerra 10)
Referenced only
LibraStarbase 23Verdanis

Novelization locations

ArachnaTerratin (Terra 10)
Referenced only
Crab NebulaFederation-Klingon Neutral ZoneLibra IVSol system (CeresEarth (Loch LomondZion Canyon) • Mars (Nix Olympia)) • Starbase 23Triangulum ClusterVerdanis system (Verdanis)

Races and cultures

HumanTerratinEdosian or TriexianVulcan
Referenced only

States and organizations

FederationHigh CouncilKnight Smiths of Libra IVStarfleet (Starfleet AcademyStarfleet Medical)

Science and classification

astrophysicsbiologycoordinatesdilithium recrystalizationeconomicshydroponicsimpulseIntersat codemaydayradio mirage

Technology and weapons

aquariumauralitebone-knitting lasercameracargo transporterchronometercommunicationscommunicatorcompaction beamcomputercrowbardeflector shielddilithium reaction chamberelectrical cableintercomlasermicroscopelibrary computerlife supportmedscannermicroscopemicrotapenacellephaserphaser bankplierspower cellradio telescopesensor droneshieldsplintstarshipstylussubspace radiotransporterturboliftviewscreenwarp drivewelderwrench


algaeangelfishanimalcoralelephanthumanoidfleafungigossamer mousehalo fishhorserodentsequoiatadpole

Materials and substances

coffeecreamdarjeeling teaDNAduralloygasglassloganberry jammagmametalmuffinnutmegopalquartzstyrenesugarsurgical threadxenylon

Ranks and titles

captainchief engineercommandercommunications officerdoctorensignFederation Starfleet ranks (2260s)first officergeologisthelmsmanhistorianlieutenantmandantnavigatornursephysicistpolicemanrankscience officerStarfleet rankssub-lieutenantsurgeonteachertechniciantheologianyeoman

Other references

alert status (red alert) • amphitheaterantimatterassignment patchasteroidatmospherebootbridgecabincaptain's log, USS Enterprise, 2269cargo holdcavecitycivilizationclothingcolonycosmoscreditdilithium crystalelectromagnetismengineeringEnglish languagefactoryfarmFederation protectorategalactic barriergalaxygovernmentheadachehourkilometerlaboratorylavalibrarylight yearlog entrymedical schoolmess hallminingminutemountain climbingnation-statenebulanovaoceanorbitorepantsparkplantquartermasterquartersraces and culturesradiationrankrecreation roomsandsciencesecondsessicashuttle baysickbayspacespiroid epsilon radiationstadiumstandard orbitStarfleet Citation for Conspicuous ValorStarfleet uniformStarfleet uniform (2265-2270)sunsupernovaswimmingsynaptic study centertimetitletransporter padtransporter roomtunicuniformuniversevolcanoweaponyear


Related media



  • Kirk drank his coffee with cream and sugar.
  • Terra 10 was described as being the size of an average room aboard the Enterprise, with the tallest spires being about three feet tall. John Kyle beamed the city aboard using a cargo transporter near the shuttle bay, along with 1.5 meters worth of the planet's bedrock, so as to include the city's gimbal-support structure. In the episode, however, the city was depicted as small enough to fit on a transporter pad in the main transporter room.
  • Regular-sized dilithium was said to exist on the surface due to the planet's natural radiation not being strong enough to trigger shrinkage. Terra 10's crystals were said to be only large enough to power the transporters. After the crew returned to the ship, Kirk sent down a mining team to get normal-sized crystals.
  • The novelization clarified that, while trapped on the bridge, Kirk opened the turbolift using one of Nyota Uhura's hairpins, while Hikaru Sulu's splint was fashioned out of several belts and two small metal strips.
  • It also explained why the Enterprise transporter was able to return Kirk to normal height, whereas the Terratin transporter did not do the same for the bridge crew. The ship's transporter referenced Kirk's stored bio-patterns.
  • McCoy lamented not having had time to spend with Terra 10 surgeons and speculated on the benefits of conducting surgery from within the patient's body while wearing a diving suit. That was likely a reference to the science fiction film Fantastic Voyage, which was based on a story co-written by Jerome Bixby about a team miniaturized to do brain surgery. The film was novelized by Isaac Asimov for Bantam Books in 1966. (Fantastic Voyage article at Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.)




published order
Previous episode:
The Jihad
TAS episode produced Next episode:
The Eye of the Beholder
Previous episode:
The Time Trap
TAS episode aired Next episode:
The Ambergris Element
Previous story:
first story
Log Four
Log four.jpg
Next story:
The Time Trap
chronological order
Previous Adventure:
The Magicks of Megas-Tu
Memory Beta Chronology Next Adventure:
The Time Trap
Previous Adventure:
The Magicks of Megas-Tu
Pocket Next Adventure:
The Time Trap

External links