By Any Other Name
|"By Any Other Name"|
|Star Trek: The Original Series episode|
|Episode no.||Season 2
|Directed by||Marc Daniels|
|Teleplay by||D.C. Fontana
|Story by||Jerome Bixby|
|Featured music||Fred Steiner|
|Cinematography by||Keith Smith|
|Original air date||February 23, 1968|
|List of Star Trek: The Original Series episodes|
"By Any Other Name" is a second season episode of the original science fiction television series Star Trek, first broadcast February 23, 1968 and repeated May 31, 1968. It is episode #51, production #50, with screenplay by D.C. Fontana and Jerome Bixby based on Bixby's story, and directed by Marc Daniels. The title is taken from a line spoken by Juliet in Shakespeare's play Romeo and Juliet: "that which we call a rose / By any other name would smell as sweet", a line quoted by Captain Kirk during the episode.
||This article's plot summary may be too long or excessively detailed. (July 2013)|
The Federation starship USS Enterprise responds to a distress call from an uncharted planet. A landing party beams down to locate the source, and finds a humanoid man and a woman. The man orders Captain Kirk to surrender the Enterprise to him. Kirk refuses, and then the man and woman operate strange control boxes on their belts which paralyze them.
The couple identify themselves as Rojan and Kelinda of the Kelvan Empire, located in the distant Andromeda Galaxy. Rojan tells Kirk that he is now in control and any attempts at resistance will be severely dealt with.
The landing team is released after Kelinda removes their weapons, and Rojan continues to explain that their purpose was to find planets suitable for conquest in this galaxy. However, their own ship was destroyed as it passed through the Galactic Barrier surrounding the galaxy and now they need the Enterprise to make the 300-year return journey home. They plan to modify the ship's engines to enable them to make the return trip.
While Rojan is talking, three other Kelvans transport aboard the Enterprise, and quickly gain control of the ship. One of them, Hanar, beams back down to report to Rojan, who then orders the landing party to a holding cell. Attempting to escape, First Officer Spock uses his Vulcan telepathic ability to lure Kelinda over to him, where they grab her, knock her out, and remove her control belt. The fleeing party is immobilized, and Rojan orders Hanar to activate his belt, reducing two of the landing team members (the security guards) to small cuboctahedral blocks of a chalk-like substance. The landing party gasps, and Rojan explains that the blocks are what is left over after a human is reduced to his basic elements.
Rojan picks up the blocks and crushes one to dust. Hanar then returns the other block back into human form, but the crushed block, which was Yeoman Thompson, cannot be revitalized. The landing party is returned to its cell, where Spock analyses the mental images he received while in contact with Kelinda's mind. He informs Kirk that he had seen images of a large creature, with hundreds of tentacles, and believes it to be the Kelvan's true form. He believes that they have adopted their human forms in order to make use of the Enterprise.
To create an excuse for beaming back to the ship, Spock places himself into a deep trance and Chief Medical Officer Dr. McCoy requests that the Kelvans allow him to take Spock to Sickbay for treatment. The Kelvans agree and transport the entire landing party and themselves to the ship. Kirk meets up with McCoy and Spock in sick bay, where Spock reveals he might have found a way to disrupt the Kelvan control belts.
Spock makes his way to engineering with Chief Engineer Scott, and they find that they cannot get to the Kelvans' modification equipment. Instead, Spock has Mr. Scott open the control valves to the matter/antimatter system, and they inform Kirk he can destroy the Enterprise, if needed. Kirk decides instead to wait until they penetrate the Galactic Barrier.
After the ship reaches the edge of the galaxy, the Kelvans activate their belts, reducing all non-essential personnel into chalk blocks to keep them out of the way. They keep Kirk, Scott, Spock, and McCoy to help maintain essential ship functions. One of the Kelvans, Tomar, chides the remaining crew about their use of "bulk material" instead of the nutritional supplement pills the Kelvins use. Dr. McCoy responds: "Don't knock it 'til you try it." Tomar orders the doctor to assist him in sampling human cuisine which he ends up enjoying. Spock surmises from his mental contact with Kelinda that the Kelvans, who normally sacrifice distractions such as perceptive senses and emotions to achieve their superior intelligence, are increasingly experiencing human reactions as they continue to assume their human forms. Through the Kelvans' uneasiness and verbal complaints, the Enterprise crew deduce that the Kelvans are not used to their human bodies, and decide to exploit that fact.
Scott gets friendly with Tomar, and takes him to his quarters where he gets him intoxicated with powerful Aldebraran whisky (something "green"), as well as a dusty old bottle of Scotch. McCoy prescribes a course of "vitamin" injections for Hanar after telling him that his human body looks unwell, and Kirk turns his attentions toward Kelinda. He apologizes to her for his previous behavior and demonstrates the "human" way of saying "sorry" by kissing her.
Rojan then walks in on them, and Kirk slinks out of the room. Later, Rojan plays 3D chess with Spock and loses. Spock points out Rojan's poor performance could be due to jealousy, which Rojan hotly denies. Rojan then goes to confront Kelinda, demanding that she stop fraternizing with Kirk and the other humans. He grabs her arm violently when she refuses to obey. Later, Kelinda sneaks off and finds Kirk, requesting to experience his kissing again.
Back on the bridge, Hanar becomes increasingly irritated by McCoy's injections and belligerently refuses Rojan's orders. Rojan orders Hanar to confine himself to his quarters. By this time, heavy drinking has caused Tomar to pass out, but Scotty also finds he is too drunk to leave his own quarters.
Rojan finds Kirk and Kelinda together again and angrily confronts them. Kirk goads him into starting a fight, one on one, and the two go at it. Kirk, being stronger and faster, easily pins Rojan to the floor. Kirk tells Rojan that his people are already becoming human. Soon, they will become so alien to the other Kelvans that in 300 years (when the Kelvans are due to return home) their descendants won't be able to live among their own kind.
Rojan thinks for a moment and agrees with Kirk, knowing it will be impossible to return home again. Rojan relinquishes control of the ship to Kirk and restores the crew. Kirk turns the Enterprise around and heads back through the Galactic Barrier. Rojan accepts Kirk's offer of being a liaison for the Federation if the Kelvans should ever return. A suitable home world is located (the world they were marooned on) so that Rojan and his people can live in peace. Spock suggests that an unmanned robot ship could be sent to Andromeda with this proposal.
- Mark Phillips, Frank Garcia (1996), Science Fiction Television Series, McFarland, p. 413, ISBN 9780786400416
- Sam Sloane, Michael Okuda (March 7, 2008), “By Any Other Name” Premieres This Weekend — Star Trek Remastered, Slice of SciFi
- Gene Roddenberry (1977), The Star Trek Reader III, p. 179
- Jeff Bond (1999), The Music of Star Trek, p. 26, "Steiner's final score of the season was written for "By Any Other Name""
- Romeo and Juliet, II.ii.43–44.
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- "By Any Other Name" at StarTrek.com
- "By Any Other Name" at the Internet Movie Database
- "By Any Other Name" at Memory Alpha (a Star Trek wiki)
- "By Any Other Name" at TV.com
- "By Any Other Name" Review of the remastered version of the episode at TrekMovie.com