One of Our Planets Is Missing
|"One of Our Planets Is Missing"|
|Star Trek: The Animated Series episode|
|Episode no.||Season 1
|Directed by||Hal Sutherland|
|Written by||Marc Daniels|
|Original air date||September 22, 1973|
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"One of Our Planets Is Missing" is the third episode of the first season of the animated American science fiction television series Star Trek. It first aired in the NBC Saturday morning lineup on September 22, 1973, and was written by veteran Star Trek director Marc Daniels.[note 1]
In this episode, the Enterprise must contend with a massive space cloud that eats planets, now targeting a Federation colony of over 82 million.
On stardate 5371.3, the Enterprise encounters a giant cloud that consumes planets that lie in its path. They determine it is heading for Mantilles, home to a Federation colony governed by retired Starfleet officer Robert Wesley.[note 2]
The Enterprise must discover a way to head off this threat before Mantilles is destroyed. Captain Kirk takes the Enterprise inside the cloud in an attempt to stop it. Avoiding obstacles and proceeding from one chamber to another, the ship begins to lose power. One chamber apparently contains protrusions consisting of pure anti-matter which Chief Engineer Scott can beam aboard in a special container and use to replenish the Warp drive engines. Science Officer Spock realizes that the cloud is an intelligent being which can be reasoned with. As an act of last resort, Kirk orders preparations be made for self-destructing the Enterprise in the creature's brain in an attempt to stop it before Mantilles if necessary. Spock uses a Vulcan mind meld to link with the entity and tells it that it is killing life by allowing it to perceive them through Spock's own eyes and attempts to persuade it to return to its place of origin. The creature then comprehends that its source of food—planets—are populated by many small living beings. Not wanting to kill other life forms, it agrees to leave the Enterprise alone and to depart from this galaxy.
"One of Our Planets Is Missing" is regarded by some entertainment critics to be "one of the best [shows] that animated [Trek] spin-off has to offer" and "a highly satisfying episode that nicely encapsulates the Star Trek philosophy. The show's "animation competently conveys the size and scope of the marauding cloud" which threatens the Federation world of Mantilles. Spock's "mind-meld with the cloud is both logical and satisfying, and Kirk and Spock's wrestling with the need to protect [all] life-forms is intelligent and provocative." Kirk even discusses the rationalisation for his decision "not to kill today" by referencing a line from the live action Trek episode "A Taste of Armageddon".
- This story was expanded into a novelette by science-fiction author Alan Dean Foster as part of the collection, Star Trek Log One (1974) (ISBN 0-345-24014-6).
- Commodore Robert Wesley commanded a wargames battlegroup of starships from the USS Lexington in the Original Series episode "The Ultimate Computer".
- "One of Our Planets Is Missing" on Internet Movie Database
- "One of Our Planets Is Missing" at TV.com
- "One of Our Planets Is Missing" at Memory Alpha (a Star Trek wiki)
- "One of Our Planets Is Missing" at StarTrek.com
- "One of Our Planets Is Missing" at Curt Danhauser's Guide to the Animated Star Trek
- "One of Our Planets Is Missing" Full episode for viewing at StarTrek.com