That somebody is Colonel Jeff Barton (William Shatner), a brave astronaut working for Project Vulcan, a space exploration project whose ultimate goal is the colonization of Mars. After receiving a hero's welcome, Jeff returns to his devoted wife Ann (Geraldine Brooks) while preparing to help NASA with the next phase of the project, but their domestic bliss is shattered when Jeff suddenly collapses one night.
Cold Hands, Warm Tropes:
- Bit-by-Bit Transformation: Happens to Jeff throughout the episode.
- Body Horror: Downplayed Trope. Aside from webbed hands and feet, Jeff's outward changes aren't notably horrific, but it's clearly not pleasant for him to lack white blood cells.
- Everyone Calls Him "Barkeep": Four of the Project Vulcan personnel are only referred to by their specialties: Botany, Medicine, Construction and Electronics.
- First Contact: The cause of Jeff's transformation. While he and the Venusian never meet face to face, their encounter affects him both physically and mentally.
- Only One Name: Dr. Mike, and we can't even be sure if it's his first or last name.
- The Power of Love: Jeff muscles through the treatment for his mutation by seeing Ann through a small window port and hearing her talk about how much she missed him during his space expedition.
- Third-Person Person: During Jeff's "You married a man, not a headline" speech to Ann, he talks about his lifelong fascination with flight and exploration while continually referring to himself in the third person.
- Ticker Tape Parade: Jeff receives one as part of the celebration welcoming him back home.