Catspaw (Star Trek: The Original Series)

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"Catspaw"
Star Trek: The Original Series episode
Episode no.Season 2
Episode 7
Directed byJoseph Pevney
Written byRobert Bloch
Featured musicGerald Fried
Cinematography byJerry Finnerman
Production code030
Original air dateOctober 27, 1967 (1967-10-27)
Guest appearance(s)
Episode chronology
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"The Doomsday Machine"
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"I, Mudd"
Star Trek: The Original Series (season 2)
List of Star Trek: The Original Series episodes

"Catspaw" is an episode of the second season of the American science fiction television series Star Trek. It is episode #36, production #30, and was first broadcast October 27, 1967, and repeated on May 24, 1968.

It was written by Robert Bloch, and directed by Joseph Pevney. This episode was the first filmed including series regular Pavel Chekov, as depicted by Walter Koenig, although its airing was delayed to coincide with Halloween, by which time several other episodes featuring the character had been broadcast. The theme of three warning witches borrows from Shakespeare's Macbeth.

Plot[edit]

On stardate 3018.2, the Federation starship USS Enterprise, under the command of Captain James T. Kirk, orbits the apparently lifeless planet Pyris VII. Contact has been lost with the landing party, consisting of Chief Engineer Scott, Lt. Sulu, and Crewman Jackson. Jackson calls for transport back to the ship, but falls from the platform dead. His open mouth emits an eerie voice, telling Captain Kirk that the Enterprise is cursed and must leave the planet immediately, or death will follow.

Kirk beams down with First Officer Spock and Chief Medical Officer Dr. McCoy to search for the missing crewmen. The landing party comes upon three apparitions that appear as witches, who warn the landing team not to proceed any further. The team ignores the warnings and discovers what appears to be a medieval castle.

Entering the castle, the landing party comes upon a black cat that wearing a diamond pendant. As they follow the cat, the floor collapses, and the fall knocks them out. When they come to, they find themselves held in irons in a dungeon. Scott and Sulu soon appear, walking as if in a trance, and unlock their restraints.

Kirk and the others attempt to overpower them but suddenly find themselves in another part of the castle, with a robed man, Korob, and the black cat, whom he appears to consult for advice. Spock remarks that no life is known to exist on the planet, and Korob admits that he is not a native.

The cat leaves the room, and Korob's beautiful colleague Sylvia enters, wearing a pendant identical to the cat's. As a demonstration of her power, by which she claims to have killed Jackson, Sylvia dangles a miniature model of the Enterprise over a lit candle, after which the crew of the real Enterprise reports a rapid rise in hull temperature.

Kirk reluctantly surrenders and offers to cooperate. Korob then surrounds the model of the ship with a crystal prism, informing them that the Enterprise has been encased in an impenetrable force field. Kirk and Spock are then led back to the dungeon.

After a while McCoy appears, in a trance, and leads Kirk back to Sylvia. Sylvia wants to experience human sensations, and appears in various feminine forms to stimulate Kirk's interest. Kirk plays along as he tries to get information.

Sylvia tells Kirk that she and Korob are explorers from another galaxy, who wield their power through a device called a transmuter, which gives them control over matter. Sylvia then realizes Kirk is using her, and angrily sends him back to the dungeon.

Korob comes to free Kirk and Spock, telling them that he has released their ship, and urges them to leave immediately, as he can no longer keep Sylvia under control. Sylvia, in the form of a giant cat, attacks him. Korob releases his scepter and Kirk picks it up, guessing it to be the transmuter.

Kirk tells Sylvia that he has the transmuter, and then destroys it when Sylvia threatens him with a phaser. The castle disappears, and Sulu, Scotty, and McCoy return to normal. Looking down, Kirk sees two tiny blue and yellow creatures, apparently Korob's and Sylvia's true forms. Unable to survive without the transmuter, the two creatures die and disintegrate.

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