Captain's Blog pt. 73: By Any Other Name

February 23rd, 1968
Title: (2) Another from Shakespeare, this time Romeo and Juliet. The thinking being, I guess, that a Kelvan is still a Kelvan even while in human form? Human emotion in a Kelvan is just as powerful? Something like that.

Script / Theme: (8.25 / 7.5) Always liked this episode. As with "Gamesters," there's really not much in the way of things I normally discuss in this section. I'd love to tell you it's all a giant metaphor for the American Civil War and Reconstruction era, but unless I'm seriously off my game, I can't.

Orbiting the unnamed planet near the edge of the Milky Way.
Boo!! I started this series off tolerant of the remastered changes, but I've grown to hate these M-class doppelgangers.
Nice job on prettying up the surface, though.
Zack Handlen notes: "the Kelvans have sacrificed everything that would get in the way of their superior intellect. Emotions and everything else that could distract is gone. Sounds like the Vulcans' end game, but the Vulcans aren't multi-tentacled, which, in their natural form, the Kelvans apparently are."

"The only reason we're not babbling like one of Lovecraft's scholars at the sight of them is that they've taken on human form to conquer the hell out of us."'

This one has some great lines, clearly-delineated acts, and a logical enough throughline. There's the genuinely unsettling death of Yeoman Thompson near the beginning:

Breaking through the Great Barrier (again):

All in all, some well-scripted moments between the main cast as well as the guest stars,  some genuinely funny bits in the third act as everyone puts their overload-the-Kelvans-with-human-sensations plan into action:

tap-tap. "Stokaline."
"We RULE."
"What do you want from me now?"
A lot of great lines, throughout. Some don't sound so striking out of context or when you can't hear the way they're delivered. (Kirk's nonchalance about having already been to the galactic barrier, the above caption followed by a forceful "My mission. Is to stop you whatever way I can." and his "Immense beings with a hundred tentacles would have difficulty with a turbolift," etc.) A strong script all around.

Visual Design: (1.75) They get a lot of mileage out of these cubactahedrons:

The Kelvan uniforms (with the exception of Kelinda's, naturally) are somewhat generic but certainly not terrible. Ditto for lighting and color design.

All in all, not the most visually remarkable episode of the series, but everything is perfectly serviceable.

Guest: (4.25) Although this isn't one that's often talked about for strong guest performances, the truth is not only does everyone do a good job, but there's an awful lot for everyone to do. The Kelvans get the majority of dialogue, actually.

Sci-fi veteran Warren Stevens is Rojan.

Forbidden Planet
"Keeper of the Purple Twilight," The Outer Limits
Former Bond Girl and future giallo star Barbara Bouchet is Kelinda.

Her head shot from Casino Royale.

Bouchet was, as Ron Burgundy would say, "kind of a big deal." She was bigger in Europe, I think, but she accumulated quite the portfolio of work. (Some of those are NSFW.)

I own this one, and yes, it's exactly as great as you think it might be. Actually, as giallos go, it's okay, probably a middle of the road affair. Bond fans take note on the line-up, though: quite the murderer's row.
Julie Cobb is Yeoman Leslie Thompson.

Here's a fun connection. She is ex-wife to James Cromwell aka Zefram Cochrane, who also played Father Callahan in the remake of Salem's Lot. The original Salem's Lot starred Julie Cobb as Bonnie Sawyer:

Small world.
Carl Byrd as Lt. Shea:

The rest of Rojan's gang: Lezlie Dalton as Drea, Robert Fortier as Tomar, and Stewart Moss (the guy who carelessly removes his glove in "The Naked Time") as Hanar.

Kirk and the Gang: (33 pts.) I'm giving some extra points this time around for Shatner. Who always deserves them, sure, but he actually goes through quite the range of emotions, some silly, some serious, some just fun or interesting.

"They've! Transformed The whole crew!"
"If you can't keep her, that's not my problem."
He also goes a little overboard with grabbing people's shoulders.



Uhura and Chekov get turned into cubes:

Everyone who isn't a cube does great work in the third act, as they individually go about their plan to agitate the Kelvans. Whether it's Scotty getting Tomar drunk (by the way, the Memory-Alpha plot recount for this part of the episode has some odd italicized paragraphs that punctuate the summary like a Greek chorus. Have a look for yourself. Are these quotations from the original script?) McCoy getting Hanar cranked, or Kirk's and Spock's working on Kelinda and Rojan, it all comes across pretty amusingly.

"Your game is off."
Kind of funny that not one Kelvan is suspicious about what they're getting injected with.
What about Drea, though? No one bothers with her. (Of course, there is one more Kelvan than un-cubed cast members. Maybe they should've kept Uhura around, and she could have driven her past the point of emotional control with aggressive fan-dancing.)

Interior Logistics: (2) In a nice recall to "A Taste of Armageddon," Spock establishes a mind meld through solid matter:


This ability seems to come and go depending on whether the writers remember he has it or not.

Perhaps it was his failure to do so in this story that makes Kirk so quick to blow up the Enterprise in "Let That Be Your Last Battlefield." I mean, those guys just wanted to borrow it for a few days or so; the Kelvans want to take it for hundreds of years as a prelude to galactic invasion.
I realize Rojan wouldn't listen until he learned how uncontrollable human sensations could be, but it's kind of odd that he suddenly sees the light at episode's end. Kirk made the same offer of Federation assistance/ a planet of their own several times prior to this.
I wonder whatever happened to the Kelvans?

Memorability: (2.5) It's probably a little higher for yours truly, but I'd say it's a 2-and-a-half out of 5 for the world at large.

Total Points Awarded: 61.25


  1. I'm with you on the subject of those Remastered planetary "upgrades." They look good; but they also look like some other show, which seems counterproductive.

    I'm also with you on how unsettling the Yeoman's death is. That scene creeped me out big-time when I was a kid.

    I don't even have the words for how hot I find Barbara Bouchet to be in this episode. (In general, too, but specifically in this episode. Yowzer! Moving on...

    The last time I watched "Salem's Lot," I got curious about Julie Cobb, and was delighted when I found that she was in this episode of "Star Trek." It had stuck in my memory, and I'd always felt in the back of my mind when watching "Salem's Lot" that I knew Boom-Boom Bonnie from SOMEWHERE... I did not know the James Cromwell connection, though. That's awesome!

    "Maybe they should've kept Uhura around, and she could have driven her past the point of emotional control with aggressive fan-dancing." I believe you win the Internet for the day, sir.

    I love the episode, personally. Top ten original-series for me, maybe. And I think it's the idea of sailing toward a new galaxy that is a big part of the reason why. For whatever reason, that's something I've always wanted Trek to actually DO.

    1. I'm with you on all counts, here. Just spent five pre-Dome minutes trying out different ways of saying that to make it more exciting/ interesting, but nothing doing. Sometimes, "ditto" takes the baton and runs.

      Glad to hear, tho, that you love this one, as well. I more or less had my 50 TOS eps picked before starting them, but it's surprising me to run them through the numbers and see which ones score more than others. My reaction here was "Oh, so THAT'S how much I love this one. Good to know."

    2. Other TOS/"Salem's Lot" (the original, never saw the 2004 remake)connections: David Soul (The Apple), Reggie Nalder (Journey to Babel), Elisha Cook Jr. (Court-Martial), and Barbara Babcock (A Taste of Armageddon, Plato's Stepchildren). Wonder if "Lot" is the record-holder for the most TOS actors in a King adaption?

    3. You make me want to do a King's Highway/ Captain's Blog cross-over blog.


      There are so many King adaptations, though. It'd be a lot of work to cross-reference. I'll put this in the maybe-one-day-down-the-road pile, for my own OCD safety.

      We'll see more of David Soul, tho, in tomorrow's post.

    4. A King's Highway/Captain's Blog crossover entry would be awesome. If you ever do it, let me know if I can lend a hand with the research. You're right, there's soooo many King adaptions, especially with all the remakes. (Do we need "Carrie" remade for a third time? Really??)