Metamorphosis (Star Trek: The Original Series)

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"Metamorphosis"
Star Trek: The Original Series episode
Episode no.Season 2
Episode 9
Directed byRalph Senensky
Written byGene L. Coon
Featured musicGeorge Duning
Cinematography byJerry Finnerman
Production code031
Original air dateNovember 10, 1967 (1967-11-10)
Guest actors
Episode chronology
← Previous
"I, Mudd"
Next →
"Journey to Babel"
List of Star Trek: The Original Series episodes
 
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"Metamorphosis"
Star Trek: The Original Series episode
Episode no.Season 2
Episode 9
Directed byRalph Senensky
Written byGene L. Coon
Featured musicGeorge Duning
Cinematography byJerry Finnerman
Production code031
Original air dateNovember 10, 1967 (1967-11-10)
Guest actors
Episode chronology
← Previous
"I, Mudd"
Next →
"Journey to Babel"
List of Star Trek: The Original Series episodes

"Metamorphosis" is a second season episode of the original science fiction television series Star Trek first broadcast November 10, 1967 and repeated July 19, 1968. It is episode #38, production #31, written by Gene L. Coon, and directed by Ralph Senensky.

In this episode, a shuttle crew from the USS Enterprise encounters a man out of history and his mysterious alien companion.

Plot[edit]

Federation Commissioner Nancy Hedford is being ferried to the starship USS Enterprise aboard the shuttlecraft Galileo. Hedford, a tough career diplomat, has Sakuro's disease and is in need of immediate treatment aboard the "Enterprise". The ship will then transport her to Epsilon Canaris III, where she will conduct vital peace talks between the planet's warring factions.

Without warning, a strange glob of energy appears and disables the craft's systems. The energy pulls them down to the nearby planet. Once there, the party disembarks and finds a rocky planet with suitable atmospheric conditions to support humanoid life. Kirk tries to contact the "Enterprise" for assistance, but his signals are blocked by some unknown phenomenon. With no time to waste exploring, Kirk and Spock try to figure out a way to repair the shuttle.

Suddenly a friendly young man named Cochrane appears from nowhere. He tells the party he has been marooned on the planet for quite some time; evidently there is a dampening field in effect and they are stranded just as he is. Cochrane leads his new guests to his home, a small but cozy little shelter.

The crew find Cochrane's face familiar. When questioned, he admits that he is in fact Zefram Cochrane, the discoverer of the 'space warp'. He also tells how, when he was 87 years old (150 years prior to the events of the episode), he took to space to die alone. When he came to this system he would have surely been killed if he had not been saved, grabbed at the last minute, by the same energy force which brought Kirk's shuttle down. He calls the being who saved him "The Companion", a shimmering blob of sparking energy, and says the entity brought the others here to keep him company. Despite being so old, Cochrane appears young, claiming The Companion rejuvenated him.

Nancy soon develops a fever, the first sign her illness is getting worse. McCoy informs the others that without proper medical treatment aboard the "Enterprise" she may die. Not willing to stay any longer, Kirk orders Spock to try to repair the shuttle, while Dr. McCoy makes Nancy as comfortable as possible.

As Spock performs repairs on the shuttle, the Companion appears, and observes what Spock is doing. Spock tries to touch the entity, but is given an electrical jolt that knocks him back. The Companion then fries the "Galileo's" electrical systems, rendering any hope of further repair useless. Spock returns to Cochrane's shelter and informs Captain Kirk of the encounter. Spock believes the creature's electrical attack may give a clue to how to disable it. He then sets to work constructing a device that may "short circuit" the entity.

Once Spock's device is complete, Kirk convinces Cochrane to call the Companion. Cochrane becomes uneasy about having to harm the being, but calls it anyway, thinking of himself as a "Judas goat". When The Companion appears, Spock activates his device. The effect seems to cause Cochrane more harm, as he stiffens in pain while the Companion lashes out at its attackers. Cochrane regains his composure and draws the Companion from the attack.

Based on a suggestion by McCoy, Kirk decides to communicate directly with the entity and Spock modifies their universal translator (which translates brainwave emissions into spoken language) after fetching it from the shuttle. Hoping it will work on the incorporeal creature, Kirk begins to talk to it, asking why it is keeping everyone prisoner.

The device works, and the Companion responds – in a female voice. She explains she is keeping Cochrane on the planet, not as a prisoner or pet, but because she is in love and wants only to care for him. Cochrane, repulsed by the entity's words, barges off, saying he will not be "fodder for any inhuman monster". Commissioner Hedford, in a feverish daze and near death, overhears the whole thing. She observes that while she's proud of her work, she would give anything to experience another's love, and wonders how Cochrane could run from it.

Kirk tries to convince the Companion that she is not capable of loving a human the way another human can and that if she truly loves Cochrane, she would let him go. The Companion however seems to disagree, then suddenly disappears. To everyone's amazement, Commissioner Hedford rises, fully recovered. The Companion, speaking from within Hedford, says the two have merged and are now one. This is now the only thing keeping her alive: if the Companion leaves her body, she will die. She also states that before losing her abilities, she restored the shuttle-craft, permitting the crew's departure.

Companion-Nancy asks for a walk together with Cochrane. When she explains that her essence will cease to exist if removed from the planet, Cochrane hugs her, and decides to remain behind for a normal human lifespan with her. Meanwhile, the "Enterprise" arrives and Scotty orders a search for loxygen in an asteroid field. Kirk contacts the ship and he, Spock, and McCoy agree to keep Cochrane's presence secret.

External links[edit]