Star Trek: The Animated Series

Season 1 Episode 6

The Survivor

Aired Saturday 10:30 AM Oct 13, 1973 on NBC
out of 10
User Rating
55 votes

By Users

Episode Summary

The Survivor
The Enterprise finds missing trader and philanthropist Carter Winston, but he may not be what he appears to be.

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  • A shape shifter dupes the Enterprise crew into believing he's philanthropist Carter Winston.

    This episode is loaded with backstory and is a bit boring (and predictable), especially in the early going. In some ways it's similar to "The Man Trap" from the original series, but it has a better ending and better fits the overall values of Roddenberry's Star Trek. William Shatner does a good job of voicing Winston as well as Kirk as Winston. I can't help but wonder if the episode would have been better had it had a B story - a comedic runner. But I suppose that would have been a lot to ask for from an animated series.moreless
  • Carter Winston, a man missing for five years, is discovered in a lone ship. He is beamed aboard, and his soon to be wife couldn't be happier. All seems fine until...moreless

    This is another episode that had the real feel of the original series. Not only was the story compelling, but the alien of the episode was really something to see and definitely something that they probably couldn't have made on the show. It looks kind of like an octopus and it has the power to become anyone that it chooses to be, much like the salt creature from the TOS episode "The Man Trap". This alien, however, doesn't only take their appearance, but shares the feelings of the person it is trying to be. Overall, a very interesting episode that you should really like.moreless
James Doohan

James Doohan

Romulan Commander/Gabler

Guest Star

Majel Barrett

Majel Barrett


Guest Star

Ted Knight

Ted Knight

Carter Winston

Guest Star

George Takei

George Takei

Lt. Hikaru Sulu

Recurring Role

James Doohan

James Doohan

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

Recurring Role

Majel Barrett

Majel Barrett

Nurse Christine Chapel / Lt. M'Ress

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (8)

    • M'Ress has been manning the communication station throughout the episode. However in the stock overhead bridge shots, Uhura is at Communications.

    • Both times, Nored is alone when she confronts the Vendorian. Standard protocol (as noted in the novelization) and common sense when dealing with a shapeshifter would be to have teams of at least two security officers at all times, to prevent a substitution.

    • When "McCoy" responds to Spock's question about the possibility of him making an error, Spock briefly turns a much brighter shade of orange/yellow. Later on the bridge when Spock advises surrender, the same basic shot is used and the same coloring error repeats.

    • When the alien renders McCoy unconscious and returns to talk to Nored, "McCoy"'s hair is briefly a much lighter shade of brown, matching Lt. Nored's.

    • Granted, McCoy has just been nerve-pinched and rendered unconscious, but it seems impossible that he wouldn't realize there was a third bed in sickbay. He's overhauled the equipment there, treated patients, run diagnoses on the beds... but he doesn't notice there's an extra one?

    • The Vendorian is capable of taking on physical forms, but there's no explanation for how it can convert itself into energy to make a deflector shield. (Alan Dean Foster attempts to explain in the novelization by saying it took on the form of replacement parts, but no such explanation is presented on-screen.)

    • Kirk says that there used to be only two beds in sickbay, but surely there would be more. At least there were more in the live-action series. Also, how would he know the exact layout of sickbay. For example: McCoy wouldn't know the exact layout of Main Engeneering now, would he? On the other hand Scotty would!

    • The insignia on Lt. Nored's uniform jumps to the opposite side in one shot as she holds a phaser on "Winston" and Kirk comes into the room.

  • QUOTES (3)

    • McCoy: I must have taken a little nap.
      Spock: Doctor, you are a man of curious habits, but I have never known you to nap on the laboratory floor.

    • Romulan Commander: You appear to have a propensity for trespassing in Neutral Zone, Captain Kirk.
      Kirk: It was not deliberate, I assure you.
      Romulan Commander: It never is.

    • McCoy: You caught him.
      Spock: Acute observation, Doctor.
      McCoy: I'm glad to see him under guard, Jim. If he'd turned into a second Spock, it would've been too much to take.
      Spock: Perhaps. But then two Dr. McCoys just might bring the level of medical efficiency on this ship up to acceptable levels.

  • NOTES (6)

    • This episode along with "The Lorelei Signal" was released on The Animated Adventures of Gene Roddenberry's Star Trek: Volume 3 for VHS.

    • Nichelle Nichols doesn't appear as Uhura.

    • McCoy mentions his daughter Joanna: the first on-screen mention of such a thing although his daughter was referenced in the original Trek script bible.

    • This is the third time that we saw a race of alien shapeshifters (the first being the Salt Monster in the Original Series episode "The Man Trap", and the second being Garth of Izar in "Whom Gods Destroy," who was taught how to shapeshift by the Izarites). This makes later references about the Federation's unfamiliarity with shapeshifters (Odo is described as unique, and shapeshifters are described as "legendary" in Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country.) Banishing this episode from canon doesn't explain the Garth of Izar thing.

    • Surprisingly adult episode, this is the only episode of the animated series that really presented an actual romance.

    • The character of Carter Winston, created here, was later used by author John L. Ford in his novel The Final Reflection, which was a early-Federation era novel about the Klingons.