The Rewatch 58: For The World Is Hollow (..)

Series: Star Trek (The Original Series)
Episode: 3.08 For The World Is Hollow and I have Touched the Sky (10-18-68)
Rating: 4/5
Redshirt Status: 0/2/46

Notable Guest Stars:
Kate Woodville – Natira.  She was a member of the Actor’s studio and appeared in several television shows in the sixties and seventies.

Review:

This is probably the first episode since season 1 where McCoy gets a love interest.

The episode opens up with not only do they have an asteroid with shooting capabilities, they have found out that Dr. McCoy has a terminal illness. It’s called Xenopolycythemia.  I actually decided to look up polycythemia because it sounded like something real and turns out it is.  Polycythemia is the overproduction of red blood cells. It is caused by many things, but one of them can be myeloid leukemia or other blood cancers. I am guessing that this must be what he is suffering from, as it seems it would be the only thing that might be untreatable. Of course, what I know about it is from Wikipedia and science pages in 2020.  1968 might have had a completely different knowledge of the disease.

Only Kirk knows about it outside McCoy himself and Christine Chapel.  She forced him to tell Kirk, feeling it was the right thing to do for McCoy himself.  I am liking that Christine has appeared more in season 3, and she genuinely cares for everyone.

On the other plot side, they travel to the asteroid (which is a ship) and find that it is inhabited by a group of people who call it Yolanda. Which is such an odd name for a planet, but then again, its easy to remember. 

We don’t get to see much of the people of Yolanda, just Natira.  Part of this I imagine is budget issues with having to hire extras to play the people.  Star Trek at this point was getting their budget slashed each year, so it made it difficult to do some of the things they had done in earlier episodes.

McCoy decides, as he only has a year to live, to marry Natira who has shown a mutual interest in him.  To marry her, he has to become a Yolandian, which requires quite a list.  This includes an ‘obedience device.

And that is the part where I’d nope out.  McCoy however believes its worth it.  Till he gets a migraine calling to his friends.

The one major issue with this episode is that they have a few plotlines left hanging at the end of it.  Do they remove the obedience device from the rest of the people, or just Natira?  Do they help them set up on the new planet?  Did Starfleet get irritated that heir orders were ignored?

I think this episode would have been an interesting two parter, giving us a chance to see the Yolandians settle down on an actual planet. Seeing Natira and McCoy have more time together to determine if they were meant to be or not.  McCoy could have asked for reassignment to the colony.  Starfleet would no doubt be interested in long term ships like that asteroid and its health effects.

It would also be nice to see some of the technological advances and if they would affect future Starfleet ships.  Obviously medical advances already have, as McCoy’s xenopolycythemia is cured with an injection.

Interesting Notes:

  • Directed by Tony Leader
  • Written by Hendrik Vollaerts
  • This just may be the longest episode title in Star Trek.

Pros:

  • Christine/Bones Friendship. She’s not above going to the higher ups (ie Kirk) if she thinks its necessary for his health. 
  • Natira actually listens and makes up her own mind on the subject.

Cons:

  • Nothing much stands out

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