Star Trek: The Animated Series

Season 1 Episode 13

The Ambergris Element

Aired Saturday 10:30 AM Dec 01, 1973 on NBC
out of 10
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Episode Summary


While exploring the planet Argo, Kirk and Spock are turned into water breathers.

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  • Kirk and Spock become water breathers, thanks to an underwater society.

    This is another installment of the cartoon series that explores an idea the live action series (and even films) would not have been able to do: an underwater episode. And the animation here is quite nice for Filmation. The story itself is a bit cliché and predictable, but that's mostly because the animated show isn't really the right place to reinvent the wheel; viewers would have to wait until the films and Star Trek: The Next Generation for more ambitious stories. This one, in the meantime, is a solid animated offering with Majel Barrett and James Doohan nicely giving voice the aliens.moreless
  • On a visit to the planet Argo, the crew is attacked by a giant sea creature. When Spock and Kirk wake up from the attack, they discover that they are no longer able to breathe air, but now have gills and webbed fingers.moreless

    This is another average episode as Kirk and Spock try to discover a cure for their problems and are routinely mistaken as enemies with harmful intentions just like on almost every episode of Star Trek. As stated, this episode pretty much goes by the book when it comes to Trek episode. You already know how it will end before this episode really does start to begin. It is still a pretty good story that isn't boring, but it isn't a shocking episode that will leave you on the edge of your seat. Overall, pretty good, but could have been better.moreless
James Doohan

James Doohan

Domar/Lt. Clayton/Cadmar/Lemus/Aquan

Guest Star

Majel Barrett

Majel Barrett


Guest Star

David Gerrold

David Gerrold


Guest Star

James Doohan

James Doohan

Lt. Cmdr. Montgomery "Scotty" Scott / Lt. Arex

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (2)

  • QUOTES (3)

    • McCoy: What about you, Spock? What does your logic tell you?
      Spock: The captain states the case emotionally, of course, but correctly. I would be of little value to this ship if I am confined to a tank in Sickbay.

    • Rila: The light is warm and the air is soft. I shall be glad when the surface places can be inhabited.
      Domar: The young Aquans have decided to rebuild the great shelters of the air-breathers.
      Kirk: Only the young Aquans?
      Domar: Senior Aquans cannot adjust to the thought of becoming air-breathers. We will remain at the Aqua city.
      Kirk: Don't lose contact with each other. Like your ancestors.
      Domar: We will pass ordainments to forbid it.
      Rila: And we this time will not ignore them.

    • Kirk: Look at this place - a tank! I can't command a ship from inside an aquarium!

  • NOTES (3)