For the World Is Hollow and I Have Touched the Sky (1968) Star Trek episode - My Rating: {>>>-} (Dammit Jim, I'm a doctor not a bricklayer!!!!) {{ Previous - Next}}

Please note that this review is laden with spoilers.

This Star Trek episode is one tailor made for those who enjoy the Leonard McCoy character, because this is his episode all the way. Usually Kirk gets all the hot alien women. But in this episode the good doctor gets the girl. It was rare for anyone other than Kirk to get the romantic interest, but it seems the writers liked to occasionally focus on someone else instead.

Body count: One. One of the Fabrini men is killed during the episode. The Fabrini are one of those hundreds of alien species that are exactly identical to humans. These races seem to be more common during the original series days, but they infest all the series to some extent.

Plot Outline: Doctor McCoy learns that he has contracted an incurable ailment known as Xenopolycythemia and that he has about a year to live. Nurse Chapel forces him to reveal this to Captain Kirk.

The Enterprise encounters an asteroid (Yonada) under artificial propulsion. They soon discover that it is a world ship and it is inhabited with a race of people (Fabrini) who no longer know they are on a ship. The ship was launched thousands of years ago by a pre-warp civilization in an effort to escape their dying solar system But since that time it has veered off course and is headed on a collision course with a highly populated Federation world.

Inside the ship is a world where the onboard computer is worshipped as a god, and it is able to enforce this worship via a surgically implanted device known as the Instrument of Obedience. With the instrument the computer can punish incorrect actions and thoughts.

The good Doctor McCoy falls in love with "Natira" the high priestess. He marries her (accepting the Instrument of Obedience) and stays behind on the world ship. McCoy might have a year left to live, but the people of Yonada have even less time because the Enterprise crew was unable to correct the course of the asteroid.

Eventually McCoy locates the ship controls and calls the Enterprise back. Captain Kirk and Mr. Spock free McCoy from the Instrument of Obedience, defeat the world computer and set the asteroid back on course. In the process of doing so they discover the ancient medical library of the Yonada people. The library contains the information needed to cure McCoy. McCoy is cured, he and his wife separate, and she is never mentioned again.

My Opinion: I really like this episode. The older I got the closer I was able to identify with the McCoy character. McCoy gets to deal with his mortality and find happiness for a good length of time, and I really like this episode for those reasons. Plus any episode that stars someone other than William Shatner is going to be awesome. It isn't that I don't like Shatner, it is just that we didn't get to see enough of the other characters during the original series.


Cast and Guest Stars

Directed by: Tony Leader

Writing credits: Rik Vollaerts was responsible for this script. It was the only Star Trek episode he ever wrote.

Sources: Star, my head, and watching the sucker multiple times. A big thanks to weasello for the format used.

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