That Which Survives

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"That Which Survives"
Episode no. Season 3
Episode 17
Directed by Herb Wallerstein
Story by Michael Richards
Teleplay by John Meredyth Lucas
Featured music Fred Steiner
Cinematography by Al Francis
Production code 069
Original air date January 24, 1969 (1969-01-24)
Guest appearance(s)
Episode chronology
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"The Mark of Gideon"
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List of Star Trek: The Original Series episodes

"That Which Survives" is the seventeenth episode of the third season of the American science fiction television series Star Trek, first broadcast January 24, 1969, and repeated July 29, 1969. It was written by John Meredyth Lucas, based on a story by D.C. Fontana under the pseudonym Michael Richards[1] with direction by Herb Wallerstein.

In the episode, the crew of the Enterprise visit an abandoned outpost guarded by a mysterious computer.


The Enterprise discovers a planet whose young age is inconsistent with its atmosphere and biology. As Captain Kirk, Dr. McCoy, Lt. Sulu and geologist D'Amato begin to beam down, a beautiful woman appears in the transporter room, who touches the transporter technician, killing him instantly. As the landing party materializes, the surface of the planet is rocked by a violent tremor. Communication with the Enterprise is lost and they realize they are stranded.

At the same time, the Enterprise finds itself 990.7 light years from the planet. First Officer Spock orders the Enterprise back to the planet, and Dr. M'Benga determines the cause of the transporter officer's death to be "cellular disruption".

The landing party split up and explore their surroundings. As D'Amato surveys a rocky area, he comes face-to-face with the woman who appeared in the transporter room. Addressing him by name and saying, "I am for you," she touches D'Amato, and he too falls dead.

Chief Engineer Scott, sensing something "wrong", orders Engineer Watkins to check equipment in a secluded area. The mysterious woman appears, kills Watkins, and disappears again. The ship begins to accelerate uncontrollably, and Scott discovers damage to the "emergency overload bypass".

Back on the planet, a failed attempt to cut a grave for D'Amato proves that the planet is artificial. Sulu then takes the first night watch. The woman appears to Sulu, who attempts to touch him but only brushes his shoulder with her fingertips. Sulu's screams of pain bring Kirk and McCoy, who find him injured but alive. The woman touches Kirk's shoulder without effect, and they conclude that she can only kill one person during each appearance.

Scott estimates that the ship will explode in 15 minutes if not brought back under control. Spock suggests a dangerous plan to manually cut the matter-antimatter fuel flow to the warp engines. Scott begins the procedure as the Enterprise passes warp 13.2.

On the planet, the woman appears again, announcing she is "for Kirk", but Sulu and McCoy block her path. Questioned by Kirk, the woman says she is Losira, the station commander. She is alone, and her only purpose is to defend the planet from intruders. Kirk's questions unsettle her and she vanishes without killing him. Strong power emanations then lead the landing party to a hidden entrance in a rock face.

The Enterprise has reached warp 14.1, threatening to tear her apart. Scott manages to stop the matter–antimatter flow at the last second, and the ship continues its course to the planet.

Passing into the hidden chamber, the landing party find a glowing cube, apparently a computer. Three copies of Losira enter, one each for Kirk, Sulu, and McCoy. As they approach, Spock and a security officer materialize, and, at Kirk's command, destroy the computer. The three Losiras vanish.

A projected image of Losira then appears on a wall, informing her "fellow Kalandans" that a disease has killed the station's personnel, and that the computer has been defending the station against intruders. McCoy surmises that the disease eventually wiped out the entire Kalandan species, and Spock suggests that the computer used images of Losira to do the job of defense. Kirk concludes that the landing party had survived because the reproductions were so perfect that they experienced regret about killing.


The original story outline was written by D.C. Fontana under the pseudonym Michael Richards. In this outline called "Survival", Losira is more brutal, encouraging the crew to turn on each other and fight.[1]


  1. ^ a b Allan Asherman (1989). The Star Trek Compendium. Titan Books. p. 122. ISBN 1-85286-221-1.

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