The Power Trio
beams down to the planet Sarpeidon, intent on evacuating the denizens before the sun goes supernova. The only person they find is a librarian called Mr. Atoz and his clone army.
Guess the library just wasn't getting any volunteer workers. Mr. Atoz tells Kirk and co. that everyone has gone already. Gone where? "Wherever they wanted to go." Mr. Atoz invites Kirk and co. to peruse his library, containing images of Sarpeidon's history. Because even if the sun's going supernova, there's still time to read!
Or at least look at moving pictures. Kirk looks at images from a pre-industrial age. Bones and Spock look at images from the planet's ice age. Kirk hears a woman's scream and jumps to investigate. "No, wait!" shouts Mr. Atoz. "You haven't been prepared!" After a psychedelic light show, Kirk disappears and reappears in something right out of The Three Musketeers
. Spock and Bones ignore Mr. Atoz's warnings and jump in after Kirk, only to find themselves on the cliff of an icy mountain.
Now, all they have to do is open the portal, jump in!
Yeah, not as easy as all that....
Tropes for this episode include:
- Ancient Keeper: The librarian Mr. Atoz. He offered to help the Enterprise landing party go back in time the way the rest of the planetary population had.
- Badass Grandpa: The librarian manages to fight off captain Kirk quite handily.
- Burn the Witch!: Kirk gets accused of witchcraft when the voices of Bones and Spock are taken to be that of spirits he's conjuring. Fortunately, the judge is someone who was sent back in time to this era.
- Cool Gate: The Atavachron, a gate to the past.
- Did Not Get the Girl: Spock has to leave Zarabeth because it's the only way for Bones to return and she can't follow.
- Exact Time to Failure: The Enterprise can calculate the supernova explosion to the second.
- Jail Break: Kirk wrestles the keys away from the water boy.
- Hilarious in Hindsight: The library is using silvery hand-sized discs as data storage devices. Very sci-fi, back in The Sixties! And now consider that today you can buy TOS (and thus this episode!) on blu-ray and DVD...
- I Will Only Slow You Down: Bones collapses from exhaustion after wandering the frozen wasteland with Spock and tells Spock to leave him. Spock throws logic to the wind and picks Bones up and helps him walk. Perhaps this is the first sign that Spock is losing his grip on his repressed emotions.
- Literary Allusion Title: From Shakespeare's Macbeth: "And all our yesterdays have lighted fools the way of dusty death...."
- Meaningful Name: What better name for a librarian than "A to Z"?
- No One Gets Left Behind: Spock, of all people, does this when McCoy collapses from exposure to the elements and tells the Vulcan to go on without him.
- Nubile Savage: Spock and Bones meet one of these. It turns out she's from the planet's future, and was exiled to the distant past via a time machine by a dictator.
- Oh, Crap: Bones realizes Spock isn't putting up with his shit.
- OOC Is Serious Business: Spock starts out getting visibly frustrated, escalating into murderous rage. He kisses a girl passionately. And he eats meat. It seams that a psychic link with other Vulcans is what keeps Spock's emotions in check. Since they are thousands of years in the past and all Vulcans are in a savage state....
- Portal Door: the Atavachron, a machine that creates a portal door/wall to a time in that planet's past.
- Redhead In Green: The woman Kirk saves from a Musketeer. She even has hints of an Oirish accent.
- Samus is a Girl: The Jawa with gigantism that saves Spock and Bones from freezing to death pulls back the hood to reveal a young Mariette Hartley!
- Stock Footage: The imagery our heroes watch include stock footage of a horse drawn carriage and a frozen wasteland.
- Sword Fight: Kirk gets in one with a Musketeer. He wins! He can sword fight with Musketeers, he can hold his own against the Gorn, but he can't take on an 80 year old librarian?
- Temporal Sickness: The inhabitants of the planet are sent back to their past to escape their star going nova. Kirk, Spock and Bones travel without being given the treatment, and will die unless they can get back in time.
- Theiss Titillation Theory: Zarabeth is wearing some rather scanty animal skins under her fur. But Will was careful to cover that bellybutton!
- Ungrateful Bitch: The redhead that Kirk saves from a Musketeer (seems he was going to arrest her for pickpocketing) is quick to order a burnt stake for him.
- Twirl of Love: Spock's kiss with Zarabeth turns into this.
- Visual Effects of Awesome: The supernova at the end of the episode, with the planet being wiped out by the shockwave.
- You Can't Go Home Again: Zarabeth tries to convince Spock and Bones this. The judge tries to convince Kirk this. Operative word: "tries".
- For Zarabeth and the judge, at least, it is entirely true.