John Meredyth Lucas had the destintion of being the only person to write and direct an episode of Star Trek. Elaan Of Troyius is the 68th show aired and that was on December 20 1968. The Enterprise in on a secret mission. The planets Troyius and Elas are fighting. They are on the edge of Klingon space and the Klingon's have an interest in them too. The rulers of the two planets hope to get peace by marrying a Princess from Elas to a Prince from Troyius. The Federation hopes that by helping in the process they can get the planets to lean toward them and not the Klingons. Kirk's job is to ferry the Princess Elaan, played by France Nuyen, to Troyius. They stop there first and pick up the Troyius Ambassador. He's a rather foppish gent with green skin and white hair. Zipping over to Elas they pick up the Princess and she's pretty much a nasty selfish bitch who's filled with anger, ignorance and entitlement.
After some screaming and yelling the Princess stabs the Ambassador and it falls to Kirk to try to get her ready to deal with her new life. The women of Elas have a special power. The Ambassador, stuck in sickbay, explains to Nurse Chappel and Doctor McCoy that tears of Elasian women can make men fall in love with them. Of course Elaan uses those tears to capture the heart of the Captain. One of her bodyguards sabotages the ship, destroying the dilithium crystals, then kills himself. Oh, oh, some Klingon's just showed up. They fix the ships power supply with the Troyian Royal Jewels just in time to kick the Klingon's ass. The Captain's power and honor have impressed Elaan and she winds up falling for the him. Sadly for the Princess, the Captain turns her down. It turns out Kirk loves his ship, and being the Kirk Unit, more than a spoilt Princess. Defeated Elaan give the Captain her special stabbin' knife and leaves for her life on Troyius. Not a great episode but still entertaining. The producer said they failed at trying to attact a female audience they wouldn't normally be getting.
The first episode of 1969 premiered on January 3 and was called Whom Gods Destroy. The 69th episode was written by Lee Erwin from a story by Irwin and Jerry Sohl. The Enterprise stops at Elba II to drop off some new medicine. The planet is covered with poisonous gas that can kill you slowly and awfully. The only inhabitants are the guards and 15 criminally insane psychos. Keye Luke in charge of the place. He welcomes the Captain and Mr Spock to his underground prison. On a tour of the cells we see first a green Orion woman played by Yvonne Craig. She was Batgirl on that other show. In a second cell we see Keye Luke suspended in the air and looking pretty beat up. Turns out the Keye talking to Kirk and Spock is Fleet Commander Garth who's played by Steve Ihnat. He'd been a respected ship captain but had gone insane, had his crew mutiny, and been tossed into prison. He'd learned sharp shifting and can appear as anyone. That's helped him put the drop on the Captain and the Science Officer. Damn, huh.
You can see how surprised and disappointed Kirk is. Scotty is left holding the bag. Lucky for him he's got Doctor McCoy barking in his ear. That William Blackburn, as Lt. Hadley, sitting between McCoy and Scotty on the bridge. He would take home movies on the set and decades later they would appear on the dvd Extras. There's a lot of blather from some dumb ass psycho who thinks he's the king of the universe. He's not. The Enterprise is blocked from getting in by a force field and they can't attack wtihout hurting someone. Eventually Kirk has to fight himself and Spock has to shoot the right one. The real Kirk tells him to stun both men and Spock knows that it's the Captain. He blasts the other Kirk who turns back into Garth. The medicine is finally administered and Fleet Commander Garth is made into a docile prisoner. A good story for the most part.
Let That Be Your Last Battlefield was broadcast January 10 1969. The Enterprise spots a stolen shuttle craft and brings it aboard. It's got Lou Antonio on board, who's half black and half white, and after he recovers in sickbay he tells his story. Soon after the Enterprise encounters another spaceship and Frank Gorshin beams aboard. He's colored just like Lou but reversed.
The two men hate each other, and want to kill each other, because of their skin coloring. Each believes they are the superior race because of their particular color combination. They have been chasing each other all over the galaxy for 50,000 years. Frank wants the Captain to take them to their planet Cheron. Kirk refuses but Frank has some magical powers that take over the ship. I guess that shows they are superior dicks. When they finally get to Cheron it's a burned out husk that's been dead for a long time. The Cheron's hatred did a nice job destroying their civilization. The two men are blinded to the meaning and beam down to the planet to fight their final fight. A bit of a message show, huh. A little heavy handed but that's tv for ya.
The Enterprise visits the planet Gideon as a representative of the Federation whcih he hopes to get the planet to join. The Mark Of Gideon was the 71st episode broadcast and that was on January 17 1969. The Gideon's won't let anyone but Captain Kirk beam down. He arrives in an empty Enterprise and while wondering the corridors he runs into Sharon Acker. Spock is told by the Gdieon Ambassador that Kirk never go there and no one else can beam down. Kirk and Sharon spend some time together while Spock tries to figure out what's going on. The Federation are no help. They are afraid of upsetting the negotations.
Turns out that Gideon is filled with people and it's so crowed that it's become a living hell. The people have long lifespans, are immune to disease, and have self regenerating bodies. They hold life sacred and don't want to use contraceptives. So they choose to introduce death to their society via disease. The Captain has one that they aren't immune to so they trick him into infecting Sharon. She almost dies from the encounter but she's saved by McCoy after Spock beams down and gains the upper hand. At one point the Ambassador tells them that Sharon was to be a role model for the youth of his world. Her death would be inspire them to step forward and give their lives for the good of the society. I like that he wants the youth to step foward to get snuffed, rather than say encouraging a condom, or offering up his old sorry old ass. Same all over the Galaxy, toss your children to the flames. If I was the Federation I wouldn't let these scumbags join. A little bit of something to think about when all said and done. No matter where the Enterprise goes, there will be some assholes to encounter.