The Lights of Zetar

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"The Lights of Zetar"
Star Trek: The Original Series episode
Episode no. Season 3
Episode 18
Directed by Herb Kenwith
Written by Jeremy Tarcher
Shari Lewis
Featured music Alexander Courage
Cinematography by Al Francis
Production code 073
Original air date January 31, 1969 (1969-01-31)
Guest appearance(s)
Episode chronology
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"That Which Survives"
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"Requiem for Methuselah"
List of Star Trek: The Original Series episodes

"The Lights of Zetar" is a third season episode of the American science fiction television series Star Trek, first broadcast on January 31, 1969, and repeated on August 26, 1969. It is episode #73, production #73, written by Jeremy Tarcher and his wife Shari Lewis (who was best known as a children's entertainer), and directed by Herb Kenwith.

In the episode, strange incorporeal aliens threaten the Memory Alpha station and the Enterprise.


On stardate 5725.3, the Federation starship Enterprise is en route to Memory Alpha, a planetoid that is home to the Federation's central library. A storm-like phenomenon moving at warp speed is also on course to the planetoid. The Enterprise intercepts the storm, which bypasses the ship's shields and penetrates the hull. The exposure to the storm affects crew members' nervous systems, each in a different way. Lieutenant Mira Romaine, who has been assigned to Memory Alpha, faints from the effects of the storm. Chief Medical Officer Dr. McCoy examines Romaine, who seems unresponsive apart from strange grunting sounds.

The storm proceeds to Memory Alpha, with the Enterprise in pursuit, and destroys the stations's computer core. Captain Kirk, along with Science Officer Spock, Dr. McCoy, and Mr. Scott beam to the station to inspect the damage. Meanwhile, Mira has visions of corpses at Memory Alpha. The landing party finds the Memory Alpha staff dead, save one who makes the same guttural noises as Romaine, and dies from what McCoy determines to be a brain hemorrhage. Kirk then has Mira beamed to the station. She is terrified to see the exact scene from her vision, and then warns that the storm is returning.

Scans of the storm determine that it actually a group of life forms, and Kirk tries to communicate with them through the universal translator, but gets no response. After firing phaser warning shots, Kirk resorts to a full attack, and as the beams strike the storm, Romaine seems to react in pain. Scotty, noticing this, begs Kirk to stop the attack.

During a discussion in the briefing room, McCoy reports that Romaine's brain wave pattern has been altered, and Spock reveals that the new pattern matches sensor data from the storm. They conclude that the alien life forms are attempting to take control of Romaine's body. To prevent this, they devise a plan to allow the aliens to take partial control and then subject Romaine to high atmospheric pressure. Before they can place her into the pressure chamber, the aliens finally enter Romaine's body, and begin to speak through her, identifying themselves as survivors from the long-dead planet of Zetar. They intend to live out their remaining existence using Romaine's body. With some difficulty, Scott succeeds in getting Romaine into the pressure chamber, and the aliens are eventually driven out and apparently destroyed.

With the conclusion of the crisis, Spock, McCoy, and Scott all agree that Romaine is fit to return to duty. Kirk laughingly remarks that this is first time he has ever seen the three of them in agreement.

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