Thursday, September 15, 2016

Star Trek: The Original Series (TOS) - Episode 11. Dagger of the Mind


Star Trek: The Original Series (TOS)

Episode 11. Dagger of the Mind

Story, Script & Trivia


Episode 11. Dagger of the Mind

Season:    1
Air Date:    1966-11-03
Stardate:    2715.1
Writer:    Shimon S. Bar-David Wincelberg
Director:    Vincent McEveety
Guests:    James Gregory (Van Gelder), Morgan Woodward, Marianna Hill, Suzanne Wasson

As the Enterprise makes a routine visit to the Tantalus penal colony, transporter technician Mr. Berkeley tries to beam supplies down, only to discover that he is prevented from doing some by a security force shield. After the colony drops the shield, it beams a box of research material aboard the Enterprise. However, the box actually contains Simon van Gelder, former assistant to penal colony director Doctor Tristan Adams. van Gelder karate chops the transporter technician, then makes his way to the bridge of the Enterprise with a phaser has has taken from a security guard. He demands asylum, but Kirk and Spock overpower him. Bones suspects something amiss, and wishes to keep van Gelder on board for examination. Kirk and Dr. Helen Noel, an acquaintance from a Christmas party of years past, beam down to investigate.

After Kirk and Helen beam down, van Gelder tells Spock about Adams' use of a neuroneutralizer to empty the minds of his inmates. He warns that Kirk is in danger, and consents to have Spock mind meld with him to discover the truth. Kirk and Helen observe the neutralizer being applied to a patient by Adams' assistant Eli, and becomes suspicious. When Kirk and Helen secretly examine the neuroneutralizer by having Helen use it on Kirk at minimum intensity, Helen suggests that they renew their Christmas party encounter. Adams wrenches controls from her, turns the neutralizer to high intensity, and forces Kirk to drop his phaser and communicator. The two are then taken prisoner.

Helen escapes through a ventilation duct (her escape is reported by Lethay, a "cured patient"), and Kirk is saved from having his mind seriously harmed during a second neuroneutralizer session when Helen turns off all power to the colony, including the energy shield. Helen is waylaid in the shield room, but pushes her attacker int a high voltage transformer. Kirk then knocks out Adams and his assistant, and goes in search of Helen. Spock, noticing that the shield is off, beams down and restores power to the colony. Adams, still unconscious in the treatment room, is subjected to the neuroneutralizer and is killed of loneliness when the machine empties his mind, despite having only been left at low intensity. Van Gelder is left behind to destroy the treatment room and reconstitute the colony.


BERKELEY: Ready to beam down.
BERKELEY: Energize.
Having trouble, gentlemen?
I just don't understand the problem, sir.
You're beaming cargo down to a penal colony, Mr. Berkeley.
Their security force field, sir.
U.S.S. Enterprise to Tantalus colony.
WOMAN: Rehab colony. Come in.
Request opening in your force field for beaming down of cargo.
Enterprise, affirmative.
Our security cover is now open.
Any incoming cargo?
Just one item, sir. Some research material
bound for the Central Bureau of Penology at Stockholm.
WOMAN: Tantalus cargo ready to beam up.
Oh, Mr. Berkeley...
you might refamiliarize yourself
with the manual on penal colony procedures.
Immediately, sir.
I think you can take the time to lock this up first.
I'll get a vault assignment.
KIRK: Space...
the final frontier.
These are the voyages of the starship Enterprise.
Its five-year mission:
to explore strange new worlds...
to seek out new life and new civilizations...
to boldly go where no man has gone before.
KIRK: Captain's log, stardate 2715.1.
Exchanged cargo with penal colony on Tantalus 5.
I've departed without going ashore.
I would like to have met Dr. Adams.
Have you ever been to a penal colony
since they started following his theories?
A cage is a cage, Jim.
You're behind the times, Bones.
They're more like resort colonies now.
UHURA: Message, Captain.
Switching to speaker.
WOMAN: Tantalus colony to Enterprise.
We are unable to locate one of our inmates.
This is a potentially violent case.
WOMAN: Possibly hidden in the box we beamed up to you.
Repeat, unable to locate one of our inmates.
This is a potentially violent case.
Enterprise acknowledging. Stand by.
Security alert 3.
Security alert, condition 3.
All sections go to alert condition 3.
We may have an intruder aboard.
Repeat, all sections to alert condition 3.
Intruder aboard.
Hey. You're from engineering!
Bridge--section C, deck 14.
Captain, section C, deck 14, reporting trouble.
Someone in engineering uniform.
Security control, this is the bridge. Come in.
I have them, Captain. Closing off deck 14. Search in progress.
[Klaxon wails]
UHURA: Security alert, condition 3.
Approximately 6' 4" male, early 40s.
Approach with caution.
This man's extremely dangerous.
Repeat, approach with extreme caution.
Bridge out.
Negative in the deck area, Captain.
He may have gotten out.
Expanding search to adjoining sections.
Enterprise to Tantalus colony.
MAN: Tantalus colony. Adams here.
Dr. Adams? This is Captain Kirk.
It appears we may have an inmate of yours aboard the ship.
Transporter crewman found unconscious, Captain.
Cargo case open and empty.
Make that definite, Doctor. He's aboard.
ADAMS: Terribly sorry, Captain.
I take all the blame. Let me repeat,
he's clever as well as extremely violent.
Take all possible precautions.
We'll keep you posted, Doctor. Kirk out.
MAN: All sections, security check in progress. Report.
MAN: Forward phaser, affirmative.
MAN: Phasers are in good condition.
This section's operational ready.
Your Earth people glorify organized violence
for 40 centuries,
but you imprison those who employ it privately.
And, of course, your people found an answer.
We disposed of emotion, Doctor.
Where there is no emotion...
there is no motive for violence.
[Bridge doors open]
Where's the captain?
Which one of you is the captain?
I'm Captain Kirk.
My name is...
Van Gelder.
I want asylum.
At gunpoint?
I want your promise first,
your word that you won't take me back there--
to Tantalus.
No promises. Give me the weapon.
No, I'm not going back!
I'll disable your vessel first.
You choose, Captain.
I'll destroy your control panel.
Take him to sick bay.
Reverse course.
Head back for Tantalus colony.
McCOY: Abnormal, of course.
But it's not schizophrenia,
tissue damage,
or any condition I'm acquainted with, Jim.
And you know, after getting him here, it took
almost a triple dose of sedative to put him under.
The report said he was quite talkative.
But not very informative.
He claimed one thing, then he seemed to forget,
and then he'd start to claim something else.
But always with just the ring of truth in it.
I'd sure like to study this one, Jim.
Not our problem, Bones.
You smart, button-pushing brass hat.
Wash your hands of it. Is that your system?
You're both quite sure of yourselves, aren't you?
Quite expert.
Take him back.
Let someone else worry about him.
What did you say your name was?
My name?
My name is--aah!
Van Gelder.
I was the director of--
at the Tantalus colony.
You see what I mean?
I was a graduate of...
I was assistant to...
I knew... I knew.
But they've erased it.
subverted me.
But I won't forget!
I won't forget!
you're so blind ignorant.
You believe I belong back there, don't you?
Dead or alive.
Well, I won't let you take me back.
I'm not going!
I'll die first! Do you hear?
I'm not going!
Estimated arrival at Tantalus?
57 minutes, 30 seconds, Captain.
What's so fascinating?
An identification tape from our ship's library
on Dr. Simon Van Gelder.
Dr. Van Gelder?
Dr. Van Gelder, Captain.
No mistake.
There's a full l.D. tape on him.
Committed to Tantalus colony when?
Assigned there six months ago
as Dr. Adams' associate.
Ship to surface, Tantalus colony.
UHURA: Hailing frequency's open, sir.
U.S.S. Enterprise to Tantalus colony.
- WOMAN: Tantalus. - This is Captain Kirk.
- I'd like to speak to Dr. Adams. - Stand by, Enterprise.
Captain Kirk, Dr. Adams here.
Dr. Adams, regarding your escaped man--
Is Dr. Van Gelder all right?
And your people, no injuries?
No casualties, sir.
This man is...
Dr. Simon Van Gelder?
Yes, of course.
You're certain he's all right? We've been very concerned.
In the violent state he's in--
No harm to him, sir.
We thought you might enlighten us as to his condition.
He'd been doing some experimental work, Captain,
an experimental beam we'd hoped
might rehabilitate incorrigibles.
Van Gelder felt he hadn't the moral right
to expose another man to something
he hadn't tried on his own person.
Tragedy, Doctor.
that doesn't quite ring true.
Uh, Dr. Adams...
please stand by.
I don't believe him.
I can't explain it, but the more I study that patient--
You don't believe him, and you can't explain it.
Bones, are you aware that in the last 20 years,
Dr. Adams has done more
to revolutionize, to humanize prisons and the treatment of prisoners...
than all the rest of humanity had done in 40 centuries?
I've been to those penal colonies
since they've begun following his methods,
and they're not cages anymore.
McCOY: Jim--
They're clean, decent hospitals for sick minds.
Jim, listen!
I suggest you ask Dr. Adams
if he wants Van Gelder returned.
Dr. Adams...
regarding Van Gelder...
ADAMS: Yes, Captain.
May I inquire about your patrol destinations?
Are you passing near any hospital facilities
superior to ours?
I'd like Van Gelder to have
the best possible treatment, of course.
Thank you, Doctor.
I'll take it up with the ship's surgeon. Stand by.
Well, Bones, you've got the ball.
You care to recommend a better place?
There are no superior facilities. He knows that.
But that's not the question.
If something unusual is going on down there--
An assumption, Doctor.
I'm required to enter any reasonable doubts
into my medical log.
That requires you to answer in your log.
Sorry, Jim.
Dr. Adams...
this is rather embarrassing.
By strict interpretation of our starship regulation,
I'm required to initiate an investigation of this
so that a proper report--
ADAMS: No need to apologize, Captain Kirk.
In fact, I'd take it as a personal favor
if you'd beam down and look into it yourself.
I'm sure you realize we don't get
too many visitors here.
Oh, l, uh...
Captain, I would appreciate it
if you could come down with a minimum staff.
We're forced to limit outside contact
as much as possible.
Affirmative, Doctor.
I've visited rehab colonies before.
Enterprise out.
Find me someone in your department
with psychiatric and penology experience,
if possible.
Yes, sir.
KIRK: Captain's log, stardate 2715.2.
Standard orbit,
planet Tantalus 5.
Mission: routine investigation and report
as per ship surgeon's medical log.
As for my last entry,
it seems I will get to meet Dr. Adams at last.
However, I would have preferred other circumstances.
Sick bay.
Report, Doctor.
Van Gelder's still violently agitated, Captain.
And you'd prefer to keep him here
until I complete my investigation anyway.
I believe we should, Jim.
Oh, I'm assigning your technical aide, Captain.
One of our psychiatrists does have a background
in rehabilitative therapy--Dr. Noel,
standing by in the transporter room now.
Thank you, Doctor. Bridge out.
Mr. Spock.
Locked in, sir. Ready to beam down.
Dr. Helen Noel, Captain. We've met.
Don't you remember--
the science lab Christmas party?
Yes, I remember.
You dropped in--
Yes, yes, I remember.
Problem, Captain?
Mr. Spock,
you tell McCoy that she had better check out
as the best assistant I ever had.
In here, I presume, Doctor.
Perhaps it would be simpler
if you called me Helen, Captain, since--
This is another time, another place,
and another situation.
Of course, Captain.
and going down quite a ways.
I wouldn't recommend it for weak hearts.
Hello, Captain Kirk...
and, uh...
Dr. Helen Noel.
It's a pleasure to finally meet you, sir.
Thank you. Thank you, Captain.
Welcome to Devil's lsland, Doctor.
Perhaps you'll call me Helen, Doctor.
With so many titles around,
we're not going to be sure who's talking to who.
I shall indeed. Won't you?
Thank you.
I believe regulations call for me to check my weapon.
No, no. That won't be necessary in your case, Captain.
Just keep it out of sight, hmm?
I know you people feel as naked without a weapon
as we do without a medikit.
A small toast. Do you mind?
It's such a great day for us here on Tantalus when we have visitors,
no matter what the excuse.
Now, Captain, you made your apology from upstairs.
Now forget it.
I don't think you'll be able
to get through the security screen, Captain.
Just a second, hmm?
There. Now try it.
Kirk to Enterprise. Come in.
Enterprise. Spock here.
Your landing coordinates
were right on the nose, Mr. Spock.
We arrived safely,
and we're here with Dr. Adams right now.
Kirk out.
Affirmative, Captain. Enterprise out.
Ah, Lethe...
come in.
Lethe, this is Captain Kirk
and Dr. Helen Noel.
Lethe came to us for rehabilitation
and stayed on as a therapist,
and a very good one, too, I might add.
I love my work.
Go right ahead, Captain.
Before you came here...
I was another person,
malignant, hateful.
May I ask what crime you committed?
Does it matter?
That person no longer exists.
Uh, part of our cure, if you will, Captain,
is to bury the past.
Why should a person go on living with unbearable memories
if there's no necess--
I feel quite sure
that you'd concur with me in that, Doctor--Helen.
A shifting of memory patterns
is basic to psychotherapy.
Yes. And now to the toast, hmm?
You'll forgive us, Lethe.
There you are, Captain.
To all mankind...
may we never find space so vast,
planets so cold,
heart and mind so empty
that we cannot fill them
with love and warmth.
Quite a tour, Doctor. Very impressive.
Thank you.
Hi, Carl.
I was afraid you would ask about this, Captain.
One doesn't like to talk about
their personal failures, you know?
It was just an experiment
that went wrong, I'm afraid.
May I see it?
Captain, if something hasn't worked out
and therefore has no scientific fact--
Shall we leave it up to the doctor?
Since you brought me down here for advice, Captain--
One of the advantages of being a captain, Doctor,
is being able to ask for advice
without necessarily having to take it.
I think I'll have to award that round to the captain, Helen.
You're fighting over your weight.
All right, let's take a look.
SIMON: I'm not a criminal!
I do not require...
neural neutralizer.
Neural neutralizer.
Can you explain that, Dr. Van Gelder?
A room.
A device.
Control panel.
I see it.
A device.
A light! The light!
This room--
what happens there?
A neural neutralizer--
Actually, we don't expect
to get much use out of it at all.
That beam from above neutralizes brain waves.
It relaxes the patient's mind.
Does them no harm, of course,
and the effects are only temporary.
One question, Doctor. If it doesn't do any good--
Why do we go on using it? Hmm, Captain?
Yes, there's always that slight chance
that it might do some good
in the more violent cases.
Tranquillizers are fine, Captain,
but to continually pump chemicals
into a person's bloodstream--
Exactly my point, Helen. Yes.
Shall we?
How does it work?
Quite simple.
Off/on switches,
and the large control here changes the strength
of the brain neutralizing beam.
you remind me of the ancient skeptic
who demanded of the wise old sage
to be taught all the world's wisdom
while standing on one foot.
HELEN: Beam neutralizing has been experimented with
on Earth, Captain.
I'm not acquainted with this particular style of equipment,
but I can assure you that Dr. Adams
has not created a chamber of horrors here.
I didn't mean to suggest that he had.
The reason I asked, sir, was you haven't mentioned
where Dr. Van Gelder's injury occurred.
Right here, Captain.
Simon was a very stubborn man.
He could've sat in that room for years
with the beam at that volume or even higher.
Or if he simply had someone standing by
to snap it off in case he got into trouble, but...
but no.
He tried it alone and on full volume.
It's a pity.
Thank you.
You will forget all you have heard.
To remember any portion of it,
any word,
will cause you pain,
terrible pain,
growing more terrible
as you fight to remember.
Can you give us your present location, Captain?
KIRK: ln Dr. Adams' study, Mr. Spock. Why?
Then you're with Dr. Adams now.
Van Gelder has made reference
to a particular treatment room.
The term was neural neutralizer.
Yes. He was injured there. I've seen the room.
Dr. Adams explained the mistake Van Gelder made.
Go ahead, Mr. Spock. Anything further?
Your Mr. Spock sounds like
a very excellent second in command, Captain Kirk.
Please tell him to go ahead and speak freely.
I have to check in with a member of my staff anyway.
- Thank you, Dr. Adams. - Excuse me.
Stand by, Mr. Spock.
Dr. Adams has left with some things to attend to.
What is it, Mr. Spock?
Van Gelder is extremely agitated, Captain,
and warns that you are in danger.
Well, that's foolish!
SPOCK: Uh, please repeat, Captain.
I didn't receive that.
Tell McCoy the technical expert he sent along with me
insists that any concern is...
According to Adams, Van Gelder created his own problem.
He's suffering from neuro-synapse damage,
as if his brain were short-circuited.
It's no wonder he's having delusions.
McCoy here. Received and understood.
But we still have some doubts up here, Captain.
Can you tell us any more?
Not really.
SPOCK: When do you plan to beam back up, Captain?
I...think we'll spend the night here, Mr. Spock.
No! No.
No, no.
And you will continue to check in every four hours?
Affirmative. Kirk out.
No! No.
No, don't let them!
You must warn your captain. No! No!
Don't let him stay! Don't let him stay!
No. No.
Don't hypo me. Please don't hypo me.
I'll try not to fight.
I'll try.
But you must listen.
Warn your captain. Dr. Adams...
Dr. Adams...
will destroy.
Destroy how?
SPOCK: Enterprise log.
First officer Spock, acting captain.
I must now use an ancient Vulcan technique
to probe into Van Gelder's tortured mind.
Spock, if there's the slightest possibility
it might help--
I've never used it on a human, Doctor.
If there's any way we can look into this man's mind
to see if what he's seeing is real or delusion--
It's a hidden, personal thing to the Vulcan people,
part of our private lives.
Now look, Spock,
Jim Kirk could be in real trouble.
Will it work or not?
It could be dangerous.
Do you understand?
It requires I make pressure changes...
in your nerves,
your blood vessels.
You must open my mind.
Let me warn you and explain to you.
This will not affect you, Dr. McCoy,
only the person I touch.
It is not hypnosis.
I understand.
McCOY: Good.
The reading's levelling.
You'll begin to feel a strange euphoria.
Your body...
Yes. I begin to feel it.
Open your mind.
We move together.
Our minds sharing
the same thoughts.
[Door buzzes]
Good evening.
Good evening.
What did you think of the inmates
we saw here this afternoon?
You could've waited until tomorrow morning to ask me that, Captain.
I didn't.
I thought they were happy, well-adjusted.
But a bit blank.
Captain, if you're questioning the methods of a man like Tristan Adams--
I'd like to see that treatment room again.
You say you're somewhat familiar with the theory behind it?
Yes, somewhat. But if you'd simply state any doubts you have to Dr. Adams--
And if he's lying, he'll continue to lie, and I won't find out a thing.
The only way I can be sure is to see that machine at work.
Or is that too impractical
and unscientific of me, Doctor?
What is our name?
Who are we?
We are Simon Van Gelder.
Dr. Adams...
the neural neutralizer.
What did he do to us?
He can reshape any mind he chooses.
He used it to erase our memories,
put his own thoughts there.
He was surprised it took so much power.
We fought him, remember?
But we grew so tired.
Our minds so blank...
so open...
SIMON: that any thought he placed there
became our thoughts.
Our minds so empty...
Iike a sponge,
needing thoughts,
So lonely to be sitting there empty...
wanting any word from him.
Such agony to be empty.
So empty.
So empty.
KIRK: I have no desire to damage my brain.
Can this be handled with reasonable safety? Yes or no?
And will you be able to determine
if that beam is harming me in the slightest?
Yes, Captain.
I know my profession.
- Ready? - Mm-hmm.
We'll try minimum intensity--
a second or two.
Anytime you're ready, Doctor, just for a second or two.
We already tried it for that long, Captain.
- Nothing happened. - Something happened.
Your face went completely blank.
Try a...
harmless suggestion.
You're hungry.
You know, when we finally get through this,
I'd like to locate and raid a kitchen somewhere.
I put that suggestion in your mind, Captain.
I said simply that you were hungry.
Remarkably effective for a device
that Dr. Adams was going to abandon.
I think we should try this again.
Yes. Pick something unusual, an unusual suggestion,
something we can both be sure of.
At the Christmas party...
we met.
We danced.
You talked about the stars.
I suggest now that it happened in a different way.
You swept me off my feet
and carried me to your cabin.
Merry Christmas.
Captain, if your crew saw you carry me here...
My crew...
is sworn to secrecy.
But my reputation...
I mean, just having met like this.
Of course...
it would be different if you cared for me.
You want me to manufacture a lie,
wrap it up as a...
Christmas present for you?
I'd prefer honesty.
Now Captain Kirk is going to have
a complete demonstration.
I want there to be no doubts whatsoever in his mind.
You're madly in love with Helen, Captain.
You'd lie, cheat, steal for her,
sacrifice your career, your reputation.
No, Doctor! No!
The pain--do you feel it, Captain?
You must have her, or the pain grows worse,
the pain, the longing for her.
For years, you've loved her, Captain,
for years.
For years, I've loved you.
You must continue to remember that, Captain.
And now...she's gone.
Helen, don't go!
I need you, Helen!
Now, Captain...
you must take your phaser weapon
and drop it on the floor.
Captain, the pain increases unless you obey me.
drop it.
Very good, Captain.
Very good indeed.
And now your communicator.
Drop it on the floor.
Kirk to Enterprise.
KIRK: Uhh!
to Enterprise.
They've taken you from the room, Captain.
You're in your own quarters now.
Helen, for years, I've loved you.
- Helen... - Try to remember.
I've loved you.
- He placed all that in your mind. - For years.
Dr. Adams took the controls
away from me.
Do you remember the pain
and then his voice? Remember?
The duct.
The duct.
Give me a hand here.
KIRK: Air conditioning.
It has to connect
with other ducts and tunnels.
You can get through this.
It might lead to the power supply.
it would cut off the security force field.
Have you had any training in hyper-power circuits?
Touch the wrong line, and you're dead.
Anything's better than Adams' treatment room.
Time for another treatment?
ADAMS: Please don't fight me, Captain.
The pain only gets worse when you doubt me.
You believe in me completely.
I believe in you.
You trust me completely.
trust you.
Excellent, Captain.
I compliment you.
Do you know Dr. Van Gelder
was down on his hands and knees sobbing at this point?
It was so gratifying.
I'm so fortunate to have had a couple of excellent specimens
to--to work with.
I've learned a great deal.
The woman doctor--
she's gone, Dr. Adams.
Notify security at once, Lethe.
Where is she, Captain?
I don't know.
Where is Helen?
And with what instructions?
Emergency channel D.
It's no good, Mr. Spock. I can't break through their force field.
Keep trying.
Put him back in the chair, Eli, and find that girl.
Mr. Spock, the force field is gone.
I can send you right to the source of the interruption.
Get some security people and follow me down.
Enterprise, this is Spock.
Force field has been eliminated.
Helen, are you all right?
This isn't right, Captain.
Dr. Adams did this to you.
KIRK: Dr. Adams?
Dr. Ad...
The treatment room. Follow me.
The power came on.
He's dead, Captain.
The machine wasn't on high enough to kill him.
But he was alone.
Can you imagine the mind...
emptied by that thing?
Without even a tormentor for company.
I understand.
MAN: All sections, security check.
Oh, Captain,
there was a message from Tantalus colony, sir.
It was from Van Gelder.
He thought you'd like to know the treatment room had been dismantled
and the equipment destroyed.
Thank you.
It's hard to believe that a man could die of loneliness.
Not when you've sat in that room.
Take us out of orbit, Mr. Spock.
Ahead warp factor 1.
Acknowledged, Captain.
Warp factor 1.

Episode Trailer

Episode Trailer


Episode 11. Dagger of the Mind

The transporter operator (Berkley) is credited as an ensign, but the uniform is clearly that of a Lieutenant.
When Kirk escapes the Tantalus field, he knocks out Dr. Adams and punches out another person before leaving. When he comes back only a few moments later, only Dr. Adams is on the floor.
Considering the known consequences of unsupervised exposure to the beam, one might expect the device to be equipped with a deadman switch: it can't operate without an individual at the controls, as it does. There is no reason for Dr. Adams to have disengaged or left out such a device.
The neural neutralizer is likely an enormously complex device -- and yet, it has only one switch, a combination on/off and power level setting. It seems highly likely that such a device would require either a programming input, or a series of configuration switches. Even now, we know that brain activity and structure differs between individuals.
It looks like the wardrobe department gave Marianna Hill (Dr. Helen Noel) a Starfleet mini-dress uniform that is way too short for her. The skirts are supposed to be short, but Helen's skirt is so short in the back that it does not even completely cover her matching bloomers.
The space sensor array wasn't spinning at the beginning of this episode.
In the transporter room at the beginning, they contacted Tantalus V even though they had their shields up, when Kirk beams down, he attempts to use his communicator but he gets static, the shield is turned off and he can communicate with the Enterprise, later when the shield is up, he gets through just fine.
For a penal colony, Tantalus V has really poor security. Van Gelder manages to escape with ease, by hiding a box - the only box - beamed up to the Enterprise.

The "Vulcan mind meld", introduced in this episode, was originally a way of working around a warning from NBC's "Standards and Practices" department. In an earlier draft of the script, the plan had been to have Spock hypnotize Van Gelder, but writers were told they must have hypnotism performed "by DOCTOR McCoy rather than MISTER Spock," unless they could establish Spock had been specially trained to do perform it.

When Captain Kirk and Doctor Helen Noel are beamed down to the Tantalus Penal Colony, the planet's terrain/background is the lithium cracking station on Delta Vega from Star Trek: Where No Man Has Gone Before (1966). This was changed in the remastered version.
10 of 10 (Trivia Rating)

The part of Helen Noel was originally written for Janice Rand. However, the producers wanted to avoid showing Kirk becoming involved with her, and Grace Lee Whitney was already on the verge of leaving the show due to personal problems on the set. In any event, from a dramatic point of view, it made more sense for a trained psychotherapist, rather than a yeoman, to accompany Kirk to the Tantalus rehabilitation colony.
10 of 10 (Trivia Rating)

James Doohan and George Takei do not appear in this episode. Scotty appeared in the original script, operating the transporter in the first scene, when Van Gelder is beamed aboard. His appearance was nixed by Bob Justman, who saw this as a way of saving costs by eliminating Doohan, who would have been paid $890 for the episode, and replacing him with a random performer (Larry Anthony, playing Lieutenant Berkeley), hired for a much lower salary.
8 of 8 (Trivia Rating)

Lethe (Susanne Wasson) was named after the river in Hades in Greek myth. Those condemned souls who drank from it, forgot their past lives. Explaining her blank, vegetative stare from neutralizer "treatment".
10 of 11 (Trivia Rating)

Doctor Helen Noel, a former Christmas affair of Captain Kirk, was named after the most beautiful woman in Greek mythology, Helen, and the French word for Christmas, Noël.
9 of 10 (Trivia Rating)

The title is a line from William Shakespeare's Macbeth. It is in the title character's soliloquy in Act 2 Scene 1.
9 of 10 (Trivia Rating)

In several interviews, Morgan Woodward noted his work on the episode greatly effected him on both a personal and professional level. Woodward felt the part of Van Gelder was perhaps the most physically and emotionally exhausting role he played. He also stated his experience in playing the part resulted in his being in a largely anti-social state of mind for a few weeks following. However Woodward, who would later play Captain Tracey in The Omega Glory, credits his work on Star Trek in helping him to finally break away from his being typecast in Western roles.
4 of 4 (Trivia Rating)

This takes place in 2266.
3 of 3 (Trivia Rating)

This was the final episode (except for Star Trek: Assignment: Earth (1968)) solely produced by Gene Roddenberry.
3 of 3 (Trivia Rating)

A shipping label produced for Star Trek: Deep Space Nine (1993) shows that a (now elderly) Dr. Van Gelder is still in charge of the Tantalus Penal Colony in the 2370s.
3 of 3 (Trivia Rating)

In Greek mythology, Lethe is the river of forgetfulness or oblivion.
2 of 2 (Trivia Rating)

After finishing this episode, Morgan Woodward reportedly went home and took a rest for four days.
2 of 2 (Trivia Rating)

The shot of the Enterprise miniature heading back to Tantalus at the beginning of Act Two does not appear in any other episode. The ship shifts slightly before veering out of frame; when this shot is used in other episodes, model merely veers off.
2 of 2 (Trivia Rating)

The title of this episode is taken from a line of Shakespeare's play, Macbeth. Macbeth is preparing to murder Duncan, the King of Scotland, and sees a dagger that he attempts to grasp, only to discover it is a figment of his imagination. The relevant passage from the soliloquy reads: Is this a dagger which I see before me The handle toward my hand? Come, let me clutch thee. I have thee not, and yet I see thee still Art thou not, fatal vision, sensible To feeling as to sight? Or art thou but A dagger of the mind, a false creation Proceeding from the heat-oppressed brain?
1 of 1 (Trivia Rating)

The wall behind the transporter console has been replaced with a panel from engineering in this episode. This is so the transporter operator can be distracted by checking the instruments as Van Gelder emerges from the box that's on the pad.
1 of 1 (Trivia Rating)

Some of the colony interiors are reused (and redressed) sets left over from the previous episode, Star Trek: What Are Little Girls Made Of? (1966).
1 of 1 (Trivia Rating)

This episode is mentioned as taking place after a Christmas party in the science labs. This is one of the few times a religious holiday is mentioned in the Star Trek future, and Christmas in particular was never mentioned again until Star Trek: Generations (1994). Additionally, the surname of the character who mentions this Christmas party to Kirk is (Helen) "Noel," which means "Christmas" in French.
1 of 1 (Trivia Rating)

This episode marks the first appearance of the Vulcan mind meld. The final shooting draft of this script had Spock placing his hands on Van Gelder's abdomen while performing the mind meld. According to The Making of Star Trek, the mind meld was developed as an alternative to the scripts use of hypnosis to stabilize Van Gelder. They did not want to inaccurately depict hypnosis as a medical technique. Nor did they want to shoehorn into the script a pretext that Spock was qualified to act as a hypnotist in a medical capacity. Lastly, they did not want to risk accidentally hypnotizing viewers at home.
1 of 1 (Trivia Rating)

The box beamed up from Tantalus in which Van Gelder is hiding is labelled "Bureau of Penology, Stockholm, Eurasia-NE." This may indicate that in the 23rd century, independent nations will no longer exist on Earth.
1 of 1 (Trivia Rating)

The flashback scenes of "last year's Christmas party" indicate that the mid-2260s Starfleet uniforms were issued by the end of 2265.
1 of 1 (Trivia Rating)

The producers still hadn't settled on background sound effects for the bridge when this episode was produced. Both the older bridge sound effect (first heard in Star Trek: The Cage (1986)) and the familiar whirring sound that eventually would became standard were used in this episode.

When Fields calls the bridge to report sighting Van Gelder in the corridor, the sign on the wall next to him says "Personnel Director." Another sign in the corridor can be seen to say "Science Library" while one with an arrow points to "Briefing Room."

The chair used in the neural neutralizer room was later re-used by Garth in Star Trek: Whom Gods Destroy (1969).

Albert Whitlock's matte painting for Star Trek: Where No Man Has Gone Before (1966) is recycled here, with the towers on the fuel bins painted out and a different doorway added to match with the live-action footage filmed of Kirk and Noel entering the surface shaft. This was made as a compromise between Gene Roddenberry and Robert H. Justman. Roddenberry wanted Kirk and Noel to arrive on the surface, then go underground via the elevator, while Justman urged him to eliminate this scene, and let them beam down directly into Dr. Adams' office (thus saving the costs of creating a matte painting and some extra sets). Roddenberry kept the surface scene in, but reused the old matte painting created for the second pilot.

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