Recap / Star Trek S3 E20 "The Way to Eden"
Dr. Sevrin (the bald man in front) and his followers.

Kirk and the Enterprise are in hot pursuit of the stolen spaceship Aurora. The Aurora isn't giving up easily and leads them on a high speed chase. (As in warp speed, high speed.) The cruiser's engines become strained from the chase and the whole thing goes ka-blooey! Fortunately (or not), Scotty manages to beam aboard the six miscreants before the cruiser explodes.

The six spaceship jackers are a group of young idealists in search of the mythical planet Eden and led by the brilliant if insane engineer Dr. Sevrin. Among them are Tongo Rad, the son of a Catullan ambassador (which prevents Kirk from simply throwing them all in the brig) and Irini Galliuin, a New Old Flame of Chekov's.

Kirk wants to bring this group to the nearest starbase, but of course they have other ideas. They've come up with a Zany Scheme involving pressure points, ultrasonic sound waves, the ''Galileo'' and a musical hubcap.

The Fan Nickname for this episode is "The One with... The Space Hippies".

Tropes for this episode include:

  • Absentee Actor: Uhura is not in this episode.
  • All Planets Are Earthlike: A planet that was technically habitable (right sunlight and air quality), but all the flora excreted a deadly acid, and the fruit was lethal.
  • Bald of Evil: Dr. Sevrin.
  • Bare Your Midriff: Dr. Sevrin (a rare male example) and Irini.
    • As you can see from the page image, Irini's navel is visible, despite the oft-referenced rules against this on TV at the time.
  • Culture Clash: Starfleet may only be Mildly Military, but still military enough to seriously clash with the way of life and the attitudes of the space hippies. Ironically, Spock of all people is the crew member who has the least problems dealing with them.
  • Deconstruction: A rather anvilicious one, of idealistic societies framed outside accepted social norms. A blatant Take That! at hippies.
  • Does Not Like Shoes: Dr. Sevrin and the space hippies. At one point, Scotty even disses them as "barefooted watchacallens."
    • Agony of the Feet: The grass of Eden is so badly saturated with acid that it inflicts horrific burns on the feet of every member of the hippie cult except Adam, the only one who has any kind of footwear at all- leggings.
  • Does This Remind You of Anything?: The space hippies' dreams come crashing down as a result of too much acid. On top of the common theory that Dr. Sevrin is based on Timothy Leary, it starts to seem like the writer is trying to tell us something.
  • Driven to Suicide: Dr. Sevrin had to have known the fruit was poisonous, but he just didn't care.
  • Evil Luddite: Dr. Sevrin. And wouldn't you know it? He has a condition that makes it dangerous for him to visit any world that isn't sufficiently scientifically advanced.
  • False Utopia: Eden, as the plants turn out to be acidic, and the fruit is poisonous.
  • Flower in Her Hair: You can't have hippies without them! Irini wears violets in her hair. Not sure if it counts, but Sevrin has a daisy painted on his bald head.
  • Future Slang: A hippy-like cult uses "reach" as a synonym to "understand in an age-of-Aquarius way." I reach you, man! And if you don't like it, you're a total Herbert!
  • Good Is Old-Fashioned: Sevrin believes this.
  • Gotta Get Your Head Together: Dr. Sevrin uses ultrasonics to stun the Enterprise crew. Even The Spock can't bear the pain and Kirk mimes turning his head into a Large Ham sandwich.
  • Literary Allusion Title: Roddenberry may have been an atheist, but he was fond of alluding to themes from The Bible.
  • Meaningful Name: The Space Hippie who ate the deadly fruit was named Adam. Also, the name "Irina" means "Peaceful". Good name for a hippie chick.
  • Names to Run Away from Really Fast: Herbert! Herbert! Herbert! Herbert! Herbert!
  • New-Age Retro Hippie: Well, hippies weren't retro when the episode first aired!
  • New Old Flame: Irina, one of the hippies, is an old girlfriend of Chekov's, whom he's never mentioned before and will never mention again.
  • No Celebrities Were Harmed: Dr. Sevrin is an Expy of Timothy Leary.
  • Pressure Point: Spock isn't the only one who can neck pinch! Tongo Rad used his knowledge of human anatomy to knock out an Enterprise crewman by squeezing the nerve pressure point at the back of the jaw, just under the earlobe (Truth in Television, though it causes great pain and delayed unconsciousness rather than instant).
  • Ragtag Bunch of Misfits: The Space Hippies see themselves as this. Spock sympathizes with their feeling of not being able to fit in, and is much more tolerant of them than Kirk is, which is why they take an immediate shine to Spock and immediately distrust and dislike Kirk.
    Spock. Miss Galliulin... it is my sincere wish that you do not give up your search for Eden. I have no doubt but that you will find it, or make it yourselves.
  • Reality Ensues: Picking the first vaguely Earthlike planet you stumble across to settle and going down with no supplies or equipment whatsoever, then going barefoot and eating random plants? Bad idea, it turns out.
  • Russian Naming Convention: Pavel Andreyevitch Chekov
  • Some Kind of Force Field: Protects the door to the isolation cell Dr. Sevrin is held in.
  • Strange Salute: The Space Hippies greet people by making a triangle with their fingers.
  • Subculture of the Week: Hippies IN SPACE!.
  • Take That!:
    • Want to live in an ideal society outside the established norm, hippies? Too bad, it will turn out to be a dystopia all along.
    • The insult "Herbert" was apparently aimed at a real-life person, but it's still unknown exactly who. The most common theory is that the show's former production executive, Herbert F. Solow was the target, though others have suggested it was Herbert Hoover.
  • Too Dumb to Live: "Well, here I am on an unexplored planet! What will I do first? I know! I'll nom down this fruit that I know absolutely bupkis about!"
  • Tractor Beam: The Enterprise tries to take the stolen ship in tow with a tractor beam.
  • Typhoid Mary: Dr. Sevrin, carrier of the Synthecoccus Novae virus who was crazier in the coconut than malicious. While the episode didn't have any reported infections, having to isolate him to ensure that did cause his followers to get very angry.
  • Utopia Justifies the Means: Reaching Eden justifies killing the entire Enterprise.
  • You Fool!: Kirk shouts this as Sevrin takes a bite out of the poisoned fruit. (Incidentally, the image of him yelling this is obviously flipped. His insignia is on his right instead of his left.)
  • You Gotta Have Purple Hair: Tongo Rad has long, purple hair and thick, matching eyebrows. It's unknown if this is a natural hair color among Catullans, but at least it matches the bunch of grapes he has painted on his forehead for some reason.