The Survivor (Star Trek: The Animated Series)
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|Star Trek: The Animated Series episode|
|Episode no.||Season 1
|Directed by||Hal Sutherland|
|Written by||James Schmerer|
|Original air date||October 13, 1973|
|List of Star Trek: The Animated Series episodes|
"The Survivor" is the sixth episode of the first season of the animated science fiction television series Star Trek. It first aired in the NBC Saturday morning lineup on October 13, 1973, and was written by James Schmerer.[note 1]
In this episode, a survivor rescued from a damaged spacecraft raises questions about his identity, while the Romulans make trouble for the Enterprise.
On stardate 5143.3, while patrolling near the Romulan Neutral Zone, the Federation starship Enterprise finds a small private ship manned by Carter Winston, a Federation citizen and philanthropist who has been missing for five years.
Winston turns out really to be a Vendorian, an alien species that can transform its shape at will and dupes the crew to board the Enterprise. Once aboard, Winston renders Captain Kirk unconscious, takes his form and orders the helmsman, Lt. Sulu to steer the Enterprise into the Neutral Zone, where Romulan warbirds lie in wait. When the real Kirk eventually regains consciousness, he orders the Enterprise to get out of the Neutral Zone at Warp 8. The Vendorian who has been shapeshifting himself into other members of the Enterprise's crew eventually reveals himself to Lieutenant Anne Nored, Carter Winston's fiancee who happens to serve as a security officer aboard the Enterprise, that the real Winston is dead but that since he has absorbed Carter's feelings for her, he can love her.
Around this time, the Romulans attack the Enterprise and the Vendorian—realizing that his actions have placed the ship in danger—decides to betray his Romulan masters for love. He takes the form of the Enterprise's main deflector shield and the Romulans retreat. The Vendorian is arrested and would face trial but Kirk informs him that his actions to protect the Enterprise would be taken into consideration. Nored informs the Vendorian that he is very much similar to Winston and would like to have a life on Earth—possibly together with her. When Chief Medical Officer Dr. McCoy jokes that if the Vendorian had turned himself into a second Spock "it would have been too much to take", Spock quickly replies that "two Dr. McCoys just might bring the level of medical efficiency on this ship to acceptable levels."
Although its use of a shape-changing alien and a lost love had already been explored in the original series episode "The Man Trap", "The Survivor" is regarded by some entertainment critics to be an intriguing Trek animated episode; while "the shape-changing alien is a familiar genre (and Trekkian trope), the romantic twist in which the Vendorian spy betrays his Romulan masters for love is a nice surprise." Edward Gross, the senior editor of Cinescape Magazine, rates "The Survivor" as "an above-average episode" that "definitely has the feeling of a live-action [Star Trek] show."
Ted Knight, who was best known for playing the iconic "Ted Baxter" character on The Mary Tyler Moore Show, performed the voice of Carter Winston. Knight had done considerable voice work for Filmation on other shows; for instance, he was the narrator on Filmation's "Aquaman" show.
- Mark A. Altman & Ed Gross, TrekNavigator: The Ultimate review guide to the entire Trek saga", BackBay Books, 1998. p.230
- Altman & Gross, p.231
- "The Survivor" at the Internet Movie Database
- "The Survivor" at TV.com
- "The Survivor" at Memory Alpha (a Star Trek wiki)
- "The Survivor" at StarTrek.com
- "The Survivor" at Curt Danhauser's Guide to the Animated Star Trek
- "The Survivor" Full episode for viewing at StarTrek.com