That Which Survives is the 72th episode broadcast and that aired on January 24 1969. Mr Spock notices some thing odd in his scan of a planet. Kirk takes McCoy, geologist D'Amato and Sulu beam down to investigate. As they start to transport a woman appears and tries to stop them. Her touch kills the transporter operator but the landing party can't do anything. When they arrive on the planet there's an earthquake and the rocks they stand on bounce around a bit. The stage crew did a fair job creating a shaking platform that only looks a bit fakey. On board the Enterprise the crew finds themselves tossed nearly a 1000 light years away. Everyone falls down. Spock, in charge of the bridge, gets up and gets the ship headed back to the planet. On the way the strange woman appears and kills an engineer. She sabotages the ship and it goes really fast before Mr Scott can fix it at the very last second. Whew! Yay, Scotty!
Back on the planet D'Amato is killed by the same woman. He wasn't in a red shirt, so I didn't see that coming. The landing party learns that her deadly touch can only kill one person at a time so with a bit of human juggling they are fairly safe. The landing party finds a facility in a rock that houses a defence mechanism run by a big glowing box. It's been creating the deadly woman. It's a smart computer and it learns that to kill off the landing party it needs to create three of the murderous gals, at the same time. Good thing that computer didn't have some sort of ray gun, huh.That would have been a short episode. Also lucky for the landing party, Mr Spock arriving just in the nick of time to rescue them. It's not a terrible episode but it sure seems like I've seen it the powerful computer plot used on the show before. Lucky for me I like the characters and want to see what they're up to. The Wikipedia tells me that Robert Justman left the series after this episode. He had been the assistant director on The Cage and Where No Man Has Gone Before and then worked as a producer on the original series and ST:TNG. He had become dissatisfied with the script and production quality. Much as I like the monster of the week, it's still nice to get a thinking episode now and again. I do understand that much of the general public is not in that same mind set.
InThe Lights Of Zetar the Enterprise is heading for Memory Alpha. It's the planet where the Federation is storing all the knowledge it's collected. The Enterprise detects a strange energy storm heading right for MA. They intercept and the energy storm passes right through the ship. Everyone is disturbed but only Lt Romaine passes out. Scotty is highly worried. He's totally smitten by the young woman. That's her up there talking to Scotty.
The energy storm continues on and the ship follows. On Memory Alpha the landing party beams down to find that the energy storm has wiped out some of the info and all the staff. You'd hope they have a Memory Beta somewhere. Back on the Enterprise they find that Lt Romaine has some of the alien presence from the energy storm in her brain. It's the last consciousness of the race that lived on the now dead planet Zetar ages ago and they're going to take her mind and body over so they can live again. Using atmospheric pressure Spock and McCoy squeeze the alien presence out of her and kill it. Romaine stays on MA to salvage the info that was left. Poor Scotty is left all alone. At least he has his ship. Again another plot where some powerful alien tires to take over someone else's body. It ends with a nice bit where Spock, McCoy and Scotty all agree on the same thing, much to Kirk's delight.
The 74th episode broadcast was Requiem For Methuselah and it aired on February 14 1969. The Enterprise is looking for the mineral Ryetalyn so they can manufacture a cure for the virus that is infecting the ship's crew. An uninhabited planet has some. When they get to the planet Mr Spock's scanners detect lifeforms. The landing party beams down and is attacked by a floating device with a ray gun. They are rescued by a man called Flint who orders them to leave. They explain there reason for being there and he gives them two hours to collect their minerals before they have to blow. He does invite Kirk, McCopy and Spock into his home. It's filled with paintings that Spock identifies as being painted by Leonard Da Vinci but with recent materials. Later Spock plays a Brahms waltz that is unknown to the universe. The men are joined by a beautiful young woman named Rayna Kapec who talks physics with Spock and dances with Kirk. Spock scans Flint and finds he's 6000 years old. The story comes out and Flint tells them he was born in Mesopotamia in 3824 BC. He's been a number of famous people through time. He's tired of people and his immortality and he's hiding here. He shows them that Rayna is an android that he's built so he can have an immortal companion. The landing party plans to leave but Flint won't let them. He's afraid they will tell others. He pulls the Enterprise out of the sky, makes it tiny, and holds it hostage in his hand. Don't I remember seeing that a time or two in past episodes? They get away after some sad shit happens. Flint is played by James Daly and Louise Sorel plays Rayna Kapec. Her last name is an anagram of Capek. If you don't know, that's a reference to Karl Capek. If you don't know who that is, go look him up, you're already on the internet, so you have no excuse.
A week later episode 75 showed off some space hippies in The Way To Eden. The Enterprise spots a stolen space cruiser and gives chase. They beam aboard the crew before the cruiser blows up. It turns out they are some counterculture folks that have a dream to find a planet called Eden. Charles Napier plays the son of an ambassador and that's him in the blue shorts with the guitar like thing. He sings too but you shouldn't have to hear that sort of thing. Some reviews of the show harsh on the crappy music but I thought that it was the sort of thing you might actually hear if you encounter space hippies. I've been around real hippies before and I've been in science fiction fandom for decades so I've certainly heard my share of crappy singers and songs. The space hippies frollic amongst the crew. One gal had been in Star Fleet Academy with Chekov and they renew their friendship. The space hippies hatch a plan so they can finish their trip to Eden. They paralize the crew with subsonic sound, take over the ship, and using the auxiliary control room, head for Eden.
They arrive at a planet they believe to be Eden. Looks nice, huh. Unfortunately the planet they think is Eden is in the Romulan sector of space. The space hippies steal a shuttle and land. Kirk gets to the auxiliary control to late to stop them. He turns off the subsonic sound and gathers a landing party to beam down to the planet. They find Charles dead and the rest of the space hippies in the shuttle with burned feet. Turns out Eden will kill you. Ain't that a bitch. The plant life is all covered with an acid. The leader of the space hippies still won't believe, even after burning his feet so badly he can hardly walk, so he runs away, climbs a tree, plucks a fuit from it, takes a bite and drops dead. Is that some moronic shit or what. There's a bit of a wrap up and they head for Federation space. I vaguely remember that there was an episode with space hippies. I didn't realize it was Charles Napier's first role on a tv show.
Only 4 more episodes to go. That's good. It's not like I'm getting tired of the show, but some of the episodes have not been as interesting as those on season 1 & 2 had been. The plots seem repetitive and the dialog is not as entertaining. I'm sure there's been plenty of stuff written about the drop in quality of the show during this period. I read a bit on the Wikipedia and it said that Gene Roddenberry had stopped being as involved with the day to day running of the series and the budget was cut by 10% which meant less big name guest stars and less production value on screen. It's too bad they couldn't have had a longer run but they way they were going you might as well watch the first two seasons over instead.