Is There in Truth No Beauty?

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"Is There in Truth No Beauty?"
Star Trek: The Original Series episode
Episode no. Season 3
Episode 5
Directed by Ralph Senensky
Written by Jean Lisette Aroeste
Featured music George Duning
Cinematography by Jerry Finnerman
Production code 062
Original air date October 18, 1968 (1968-10-18)
Guest actors
Episode chronology
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List of Star Trek: The Original Series episodes

"Is There in Truth No Beauty?" is a third season episode of the original science fiction television series Star Trek, first broadcast October 18, 1968. It is episode #60, production #62, written by Jean Lisette Aroeste, and directed by Ralph Senensky.

The title of the episode is taken from the poem Jordan by George Herbert:

Who sayes that fictions onely and false hair

Become a verse? Is there in truth no beauty?

Is all good structure in a winding stair?

May no lines passe, except they do their dutie

Not to a true, but painted chair?"

In this episode, the Enterprise travels with an alien ambassador whose appearance induces madness.

Plot[edit]

On stardate 5630.7, the Federation starship USS Enterprise picks up a Medusan ambassador named Kollos. The ambassador belongs to a race of energy-based creatures, emotionally beautiful on the inside, yet with an outward appearance so hideous it drives humanoids insane. The Federation seeks a council with the Medusans for a technology trade, especially in the area of improved navigation equipment for all starships.

To be transported, the Medusan must remain concealed inside a container. Lawrence Marvick, one of the principal designers of the Enterprise is beamed aboard first, then the transporter room is cleared, all except for First Officer Spock, who dons the special visor, since Vulcans can better tolerate the appearance of a Medusan while wearing it, and operates the controls to beam the ambassador and his passenger aboard. Kollos' container materializes along with Dr. Miranda Jones, who is Kollos' beautiful assistant and a gifted young telepath.[note 1]

The ambassador's party are assigned quarters, and Spock offers Miranda help in carrying the Medusan container to her room. It is already clear, even in Mr. Spock, that he and the young doctor find each other very intriguing. Spock invites her and Marvick to a dinner with Captain Kirk later that evening. Spock leaves and Miranda opens the container to look upon her Medusan companion. The being appears as a wildly strobing array of light and color. Oddly enough, she seems immune to its appearance.

During the dinner, Miranda notices Spock's "Vulcan IDIC" ceremonial badge and questions him about it. She concludes that Spock is far more powerful with his telepathic abilities than she could ever be, including being able to better communicate with her Medusan companion. After bringing the Medusan up in conversation, Miranda feels faint, sensing murderous intentions from someone in the room. She asks if she can be excused and quickly leaves. She later senses that the murderous desires emanate from Marvick, but she still doesn't know his intended target.

Marvick is obsessively in love with Miranda, who rebuffs his advances. He is extremely jealous of her close relationship with the Medusan, to the point where he plots to kill it. Later that evening, Marvick enters Kollos' room with a phaser, but Kollos senses the intrusion and emerges from his box. Marvick then sees the Medusan and goes insane.

Marvick runs down to engineering, fights with and knocks out Chief Engineer Scott and the other engineering crew members, and begins to reset the controls of the ship. Suddenly the Enterprise lurches forward to Warp Factor 9, and is sent on an unstable course that takes the ship outside of the galaxy. Marvick is finally apprehended and after pointing at Miranda and shouting the warning "Don't love her! She'll kill you if you love her!", he dies instantly. Chief Medical Officer Dr. McCoy cannot find any cause. Without any navigational references of where they are the Enterprise is lost in space.

Being naturally gifted navigators, the Medusan agrees to mind meld with either Mr. Spock or Miranda and use their humanoid body to operate the ship's controls to return it to known space. Miranda, who is extremely jealous of Spock's ability to join with the Medusan, strongly objects when Kirk chooses him over her. She debates the decision but realizes there is no alternative, since she has no idea how to pilot the ship, but Spock does.

When questioned about her strong attachment toward the alien, she claims it is because Kollos' mind is the most beautiful thing she has ever seen, so serene and pure. At this time, it is also revealed that Miranda is completely blind. This is the true reason that she is immune to the presence of the Medusan when out of his container. The special netting over her dress is actually a sophisticated sensor net which allows her to "see".

Kollos is brought to the bridge, where a special partition is set up to keep him hidden from the bridge crew. Mr. Spock dons the special visor and opens Kollos' container. He mind-melds with the creature as everyone curiously watches. Soon, Spock emerges from the partition with a happy smile and warmly greets the crew as Kollos. Miranda's jealousy seems to remain as she impatiently watches Kollos use Spock's body to pilot the Enterprise back into known space.

With the ship safely returned and Kollos indulging in a few observations about life in a solid body, it is time for Kollos to go back to his box. Spock moves behind the partition, but then Lt. Sulu notices Spock's protective goggles are still sitting on the helm console. Kirk tries to stop him, but it is too late. Spock emerges from the partition and madly attacks the crew.

Kirk uses a phaser to stun Spock and he is rushed to sickbay, while Kirk, knowing Miranda was jealous of Spock, accuses her of telepathically suggesting that Spock forget his visor. McCoy reports Spock is dying, but as an act of goodwill, Miranda goes to join minds with him, restoring his sanity and saving his life.

Later, Miranda and Kollos arrive at their destination, by which time Miranda has made the mind link with Kollos. She is no longer jealous, and now understands what Spock experienced. She has also forgiven Captain Kirk, but before she and Kollos depart, Kirk offers Miranda a rose. Miranda asks, "I suppose it has thorns", whereupon Kirk replies, "I never met a rose that didn't".

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Played by Diana Muldaur, who 20 years later would play Chief Medical Officer Dr. Katherine Pulaski in the second season of Star Trek: The Next Generation.

External links[edit]