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.

Plot[edit]

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 the Elasian royal family. Though she is politically powerful herself, it is unclear who the "real" power is on Elas. What is clear is that the rulers of Elas and Troyius have made the decision to marry Elaan to a royal from Troyius, either the King or the Crown Prince (this point was not clarified), to secure peace between the two warring planets.

Both planets are in a border area between the Federation and the Klingon Empire. 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 rather than the 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 leadership. Ambassador Petri's mission is to make Elaan, who is spoiled and arrogant, acquainted with the manners and customs of the Troyians whose Queen she will be.

Not long after Elaan's arrival and the Enterprise beginning her passage to Troyius at 3% of lightspeed, a Klingon warship is detected in the Tellun system. It ignores 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 Dohlman and threatens to advise his leader not to marry her. The job of teaching her what she needs to learn falls to Kirk.

While in sickbay, Nurse Chapel asks the ambassador 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 and enslaved to her forever. Elaan does not take kindly to being "civilized" and attempts to stab Kirk. He overpowers her and chews her out, telling her that she will learn what she has been ordered to learn. She begins to cry, saying she is worried by the fact that nobody likes her and she does not know how to get people to like her. Kirk tries to comfort her, but makes the mistake of wiping a tear from her cheek and is overcome by the chemical in female Elasian tears. Elaan and Kirk begin a passionate love affair.

Meanwhile, one of the engineering crew is killed by Kryton, chief of Elann's bodyguards, who is secretly working for the Klingons. Kryton sabotages the Enterprise '​s dilithium crystals that control the warp engines 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 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 biochemical 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 makes it clear to him that she had deliberately chosen him as her mate. She treats him as a loving equal, obeying him when he asks her to go to sickbay (the safest part of the ship) when the Klingon battle cruiser attacks the Enterprise.

Meanwhile, Chief Engineer Scott discovers Kryton's sabotage. He reports Kryton had damaged the dilithium crystals in the antimatter reactor control system, making it impossible to go to warp or use the phasers. Without the antimatter reactor, the Enterprise is a sitting duck. 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, Ambassador Petri again approaches Elaan with the royal gifts — a wedding dress and a necklace of large, roughly cut gemstones, saying that they symbolize the hope for peace between their two worlds. Elaan accepts the gifts and subsequently appears on the bridge wearing them, saying that if they are all going to die, she wants to die at Kirk's side. Spock detects strange energy readings from her necklace. Elaan is puzzled because to her the raydan jewels are common stones — the necklace has little monetary value on her world. Spock discovers the "common stones" are crude dilithium crystals, which explains the Klingons' keen interest in controlling the system.

The raydans are quickly delivered to Scott in Engineering; there, he uses the crystals in the ship's antimatter reactor. Scott and Science Officer Spock work feverishly to replace the damaged crystals with the crude dilithium crystals from Elaan's necklace as the Klingon cruiser moves in for the kill. Power is restored to the Enterprise just before the Klingon's final attack and the enemy ship is successfully driven off, severely damaged. Elaan is again puzzled by Kirk's decision to cripple the enemy ship rather than destroy it. She asks, "Aren't you going to finish them off?" To that, he replies, "No." He knows destroying the Klingon battle cruiser will cause a diplomatic crisis that could result in the Federation losing the Tellun system.

A much changed Elaan is delivered safely to Troyius. Before she departs, Elaan gives Kirk her dagger as a memento of their encounter, explaining that she has learned "Troyian women do not wear such things." She and Kirk say their farewells in the transporter room, Elaan's heart obviously breaking. Later, McCoy appears on the bridge to report that he has found the antidote, but it seems not to be needed after all. As Mr. Spock observes, "The antidote for Elasian tears, Doctor, is a starship. The Enterprise infected Captain Kirk long before the Dohlman did."

Production[edit]

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]

Reception[edit]

  • 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]

References[edit]

  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. 

External links[edit]