Obsession (Star Trek: The Original Series)

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Star Trek: The Original Series episode
Episode no.Season 2
Episode 13
Directed byRalph Senensky
Written byArt Wallace
Featured musicSol Kaplan
Cinematography byJerry Finnerman
Production code047
Original air dateDecember 15, 1967 (1967-12-15)
Guest appearance(s)
Episode chronology
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"The Deadly Years"
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"Wolf in the Fold"
Star Trek: The Original Series (season 2)
List of Star Trek: The Original Series episodes

"Obsession" is the thirteenth episode of the second season of the American science fiction television series Star Trek, broadcast on December 15, 1967. It is episode No. 42, production No. 47, written by Art Wallace, and directed by Ralph Senensky.

In the episode, Captain James T. Kirk becomes obsessed with destroying a deadly entity he once encountered in his youth.


During a survey for tritanium deposits, three members of a landing party from the Federation starship USS Enterprise are attacked, their blood drained of hemoglobin. Fearing the killer to be a gaseous entity he had encountered eleven years before while serving aboard the USS Farragut, Kirk neglects an urgent rendezvous with the Yorktown for perishable medical supplies to instead hunt for the creature. While the Enterprise crew fails to find the creature using shipboard sensors, the creature attacks a second landing party, draining hemoglobin out of two more crew members. Back on the ship, when Kirk learns that security officer Garrovick hesitated to fire his phaser upon the creature, he relieves the ensign of his duties.

Chief Medical Officer Dr. McCoy, having reviewed the records of Kirk's previous encounter, confronts the captain over his obsession with the creature; as a young lieutenant, Kirk had hesitated in firing phasers at the creature, which subsequently killed half the Farragut crew. Though given a commendation for bravery, Kirk continues to blame himself for the deaths. Kirk maintains that the creature poses an urgent threat. Ensign Chekov interrupts to report that the cloud creature is moving away from the planet.

The Enterprise chases the creature until it turns around and advances on the ship. Kirk orders weapons fire, which has no effect. The creature then passes through the shields and into the ventilation system. Spock, now convinced that the creature is intelligent, points out to Kirk that, since the creature cannot be harmed with conventional weapons, the captain has nothing to regret about his earlier encounter. Realizing that neither he nor Garrovick could have harmed the creature, Kirk orders the ensign to return to duty.

The creature finally leaves the ship. Believing it to be heading to the Tycho system to spawn, Kirk and Garrovick beam down to the fourth planet with an antigrav case holding an antimatter bomb. With the creature about to envelop them, Kirk and Garrovick beam away and the bomb explodes, annihilating the entity.

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