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 appearance(s)
Episode chronology
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"And the Children Shall Lead"
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"Spectre of the Gun"
List of Star Trek: The Original Series episodes

"Is There in Truth No Beauty?" is a third season episode of the American science fiction television series, Star Trek, first broadcast October 18, 1968. It is episode No. 60, production No. 62, written by Jean Lisette Aroeste, and directed by Ralph Senensky. In the episode, the Enterprise travels with an alien ambassador whose appearance induces madness.


The starship USS Enterprise is assigned to escort a Medusan ambassador named Kollos to the Federation to engage in trade route discussions. Medusans are energy-based creatures that are emotionally beautiful inside but whose outward appearance causes humanoids to go insane. For the transit, Kollos offers to stay in a special vessel to protect the crew of the ship; First Officer Spock has offered to assist as necessary using a specially designed visor which allows his Vulcan psychology to withstand Kollos' appearance. Kollos is accompanied by Lawrence Marvick, one of the designers of the Enterprise, and Dr. Miranda Jones, Kollos' beautiful assistant who is also a telepath. Spock is taken by Jones' beauty and her ability to observe Kollos without its maddening effects. During early conversations, she is impressed by Spock's own telepathic abilities, as they are far stronger than her own.

At a private dinner with Captain Kirk, Jones falls ill, sensing someone aboard with murderous intentions, but does not know the target. Jones returns to her quarters, where she is later visited by Marvick. It is revealed that Marvick intends to kill Kollos as he is madly in love with Jones, a feeling which she does not reciprocate. Shunned and vengeful, Marvick makes his way to Kollos with a phaser to follow through with the murder attempt, but before he can pull the trigger, he looks directly upon Kollos' true form. Now in the clutches of insanity, Marvick rushes to Engineering, knocks out Chief Engineer Scott and other crew members, and reprograms the engines. The Enterprise quickly accelerates to Warp Factor 9, which soon takes it far outside of the galaxy before the other crew members can regain control and restrain Marvick. Marvick wildly screams accusations at Jones before he dies.

With no navigational references, the Enterprise crew cannot return home. Confirming Dr. McCoy's suspicion, it is revealed that Jones is actually blind, her web-like clothing collecting sensory data for her. This is how she is able to be in direct visual contact with Kollos without going mad. Kollos offers assistance (the Medusans have superior navigational ability), though the being would need to be able to access the controls. Spock volunteers to mind meld with Kollos, letting it use his body without affecting the rest of the crew. A special partition is set up on the bridge, and Spock, wearing the visor for protection, completes the mind meld. Kollos in Spock's body successfully returns the Enterprise to known space, and then returns behind the partition to return to its form. As the mind meld ends, Lt. Sulu sees that Spock's visor is left at his station, and Kirk tries to warn Spock to stop. Spock, now in control of his own body but unable to look away in time, sees Kollos' form without the visor's protection, goes mad and attacks the crew. He is subdued by a phaser blast from Kirk and rushed to Sickbay, where he is slowly dying. Kirk accuses Jones of telepathically influencing Spock to forget the visor, stating that she was jealous of his telepathic abilities as she wanted to witness Kollos' inner beauty herself. As a show of good faith, she helps by telepathically joining with Spock and alleviating the madness he experienced, and he recovers.

The Enterprise arrives at their destination, and Kollos and Jones prepare to depart. Kollos has allowed Jones to join her mind to his, and she has experienced the beauty of Kollos' inner being as Spock has done. Kirk gives Jones a rose as they leave, reminding her that every rose has its thorn.


This was the final episode filmed in the series' production that featured Eddie Paskey as Lt. Leslie. As the episodes were however shown out of production order, the final episode to feature the character was Elaan of Troyius.


The title is taken from a line in the poem "Jordan" by George Herbert.

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