Elaan of Troyius

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"Elaan of Troyius"
Star Trek: The Original Series episode
Episode no. Season 3
Episode 13
Directed by John Meredyth Lucas
Written by John Meredyth Lucas
Featured music Fred Steiner
Cinematography by Jerry Finnerman
Production code 057
Original air date December 20, 1968 (1968-12-20)
Guest actors
Episode chronology
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List of Star Trek: The Original Series episodes

"Elaan of Troyius" is a third-season episode of the original science fiction television series Star Trek, and was broadcast December 20, 1968. It is episode #68, production #57, and was written and directed by John Meredyth Lucas, the only person ever in Star Trek production history to both write and direct a filmed Star Trek television episode, whether animated or live-action.

In this episode, the USS Enterprise ferries a spoiled princess whose betrothal to a royal Troyian is hoped will bring peace to a star system at war.


On stardate 4372.5, the Federation starship USS Enterprise arrives at the planet Troyius, the outermost world in the Tellun System, to pick up Petri, a green-skinned, white-haired Troyian ambassador. He is then taken to Elas, the innermost planet to pick up the Dohlman, Elaan – a beautiful but very demanding young woman who is a member of a royal family. Though she is politically powerful herself, it is unclear who the "real" power is on Elas. What is clear is that the ruler or rulers of Elas have made the decision to marry Elaan to a royal family member from Troyius to secure peace between the warring planets.

Both planets are in a border area between the Federation and the Klingon Empire and are at war with each other. It is hoped that the marriage of the Troyian and Elasian leaders will bring peace to the system and sway their leanings toward the Federation, over the Klingon Empire. It is obvious that Elaan is reluctant to be her enemy's bride, cursing that the arrangement was decided on by the Council of Elas in cooperation with the Troyian leader. Petri's job is to try to civilize Elaan, who is spoiled and arrogant, to the posh and noble ways of the Troyians.

Not long after Elaan's arrival, a Klingon vessel is detected entering the Tellun system and avoids all communication hails from the Enterprise. Captain Kirk is then summoned to Elaan's quarters where he finds Ambassador Petri has been stabbed by Elaan. The ambassador is rushed to sickbay where he refuses to have any more dealings with the girl and threatens to advise his leader not to marry her. The job of straightening her out now falls to Kirk.

While in sickbay, Nurse Chapel asks why Elasian women are so prized in spite of their savagery. Petri explains that if the tears of an Elasian female touch a man's skin, he will be enraptured to her forever. Elaan does not take kindly to being "civilized" and tries to stab Kirk. He manages to overpower her and she begins to cry saying she is worried by the fact that nobody likes her. Kirk embraces her and tries to comfort her, but then he is overcome by the biochemistry of her tears.

Meanwhile, one of the engineering crew is killed by Kryton, an Elasian bodyguard, who is secretly working for the Klingons. Kryton sabotages some of the Enterprise '​s systems and tries to contact the Klingon ship. He is captured, but commits suicide before he can be interrogated. Elaan explains that Kryton was from a noble family and had loved her. The arranged marriage had infuriated him and he sold out to the Klingons, probably hoping to disrupt the alliance so that he could marry Elaan.

Elaan tries to use her new power over Kirk to do her bidding. She suggests that he destroy the Troyian planet, but his ethics and willpower are still stronger than her influence. He orders Chief Medical Officer Dr. McCoy to work on an antidote to counteract the power of her tears. Elaan is impressed by Kirk's resolve and begins to treat him as a loving equal, obeying him when he asks her to go to sickbay (the safest part of the ship). Meanwhile, Chief Engineer Scott discovers Kryton's sabotage and takes the ship off main power. He reports Kryton had damaged the dilithium crystals making it impossible to go to warp or use weapons.

Scott and Science Officer Spock work feverishly to repair the damage as the Klingon ship takes up an attack position. There is little they can do about the threat without dilithium crystals. Kirk, still under the influence of Elaan's tears, manages to pull himself together and bluff the Klingons into thinking the Enterprise is fully operational.

In Sickbay, the Troyian ambassador again approaches Elaan with the royal gifts — a wedding dress and a necklace of large, roughly cut gemstones, saying that they symbolize hope for peace. Elaan accepts and subsequently appears on the bridge wearing the gifts. Spock detects strange energy readings from her necklace. Elaan is puzzled because to her the jewels are common stones — the necklace is of little monetary value on her world. Spock discovers the "common stones" are crude dilithium crystals, which explains the Klingons's keen interest in controlling the system. The stones are quickly delivered to Scott in Engineering; there, he uses the crystals in the ship's antimatter reactor. Power returns to the Enterprise just before the Klingons attack and the enemy ship is successfully driven off. Elaan is again puzzled by Kirk's decision to just cripple the enemy ship and not destroy it. She asks, "Aren't you going to finish them off?" To that, he replies, "No."

A much changed Elaan is delivered safely to Troyius. Before she departs, Elaan gives Kirk her knife as a memento of their encounter, explaining Troyian women do not wear such things. Later, McCoy appears on the bridge to report that he has found the antidote, but it seems not to have been needed after all, because Kirk was apparently even more strongly in love with commanding the Enterprise.


Cut from the episode was a scene in the ship's recreation room, where Kirk, McCoy, Uhura and Spock meet and discuss how to calm Elaan. Uhura suggests using the sound of Spock's Vulcan harp to calm her; the music is later heard piped into Elaan's cabin.[1]


  • The A.V. Club's Zack Handlen rates "Elaan of Troyius" as a B, making note of character development and the unexpected ending: "If you'd asked me to predict the rest of the episode after Elaan and Kirk hooked up, I would've guessed it would have something to do with Kirk interfering with the wedding...[i]nstead, we get a nifty space battle against the Klingons, a traitor in the Elasians, an unexpected source of dilithium crystals, and a curiously muted performance from Shatner that does a good job at conveying his internal struggle between feeling and duty without overselling it."[2]
  • Samuel Walters of [dauntlessmedia.net] rates the episode as a C-, citing a "scattershot approach to the plot" which "leaves too many possibilities unexplored and underdeveloped," and calling the entire episode "flat."[3]


  1. ^ Asherman, Allan (1989). The Star Trek Compendium. Titan Books. p. 106. ISBN 1-85286-221-1. 
  2. ^ Handlen, Zack (January 29, 2010). "Elaan of Troyius"/"Whom Gods Destroy". The A.V. Club. Retrieved June 17, 2011. 
  3. ^ Walters, Samuel. "313-Elaan of Troyius". dauntlessmedia.net. Retrieved June 17, 2011. 

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