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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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 No. 60, production No. 62, written by Jean Lisette Aroeste, and directed by Ralph Senensky. In this 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 their 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 help as necessary using a special visor that allows his Vulcan psychology to withstand Kollos' appearance. Kollos is joined by Lawrence Marvick, one of the designers of the Enterprise, and Dr. Miranda Jones, Kollos' beautiful assistant and a telepath. Spock is taken by Jones' beauty and her ability to observe Kollos without its maddening effects, and in private conversation with her, she is impressed by Spock's own telepathic abilities, far stronger than her own.

At a private dinner with Captain James T. 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 Marvick intends to kill Kollos as he is madly in love with Jones, but when he attempts to kill Kollos, he looks directly upon his true form. Driven insane, Marvick rushes to Engineering, knocks out Chief Engineer Scott and other crew members, and programs the engines. The Enterprise jumps to Warp Factor 9, taking it far outside of the galaxy before the other crew members can regain control and secure Marvick. Marvick wildly screams accusations at Jones before he dies.

With no navigational references, the Enterprise crew cannot return home, but Kollos offers assistance (the Medusans have superior navigational ability), though he 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. Too late, Spock, now in control of his own body, sees Kollos' form without the visor's protection, and goes mad and attacks the crew. He is subdued and rushed to Sickbay, where he is stated to be dying. Kirk accuses Jones of telepathically suggesting Spock forget the visor, knowing she was jealous of his telepathic abilities. Jones explains that she is actually blind, her clothing providing sensory data for her, and is how she is able to look upon Kollos directly without going mad. She was jealous 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 prepares 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.


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