Star Trek

Season 3 Episode 8

For the World is Hollow and I Have Touched the Sky

Aired Unknown Nov 08, 1968 on NBC

Episode Fan Reviews (7)

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out of 10
143 votes
  • I just can't get beyond it

    The biggest problem with this episode is the ease of which McCoy announces his terminal illness and how amazingly everyone takes it like it's no big deal. Kirk, who we've seen many times deeply affected by the potential loss of his crew and friends, just shrugs off this news. Spock, well, that's realistic to his character but it's like no one cares or they all know they'll find a cure for the incurable by episode's end, which they do. I just can't get past how goofy they all are about Bones' sickness.
  • The Thought Police sound a lot like Scotty

    The shame of this episode is that it has great potential, but fizzles into mediocrity. There are half a dozen story lines - McCoy's illness, McCoy's romance, Soviet-style mind control and micro-chipping, the spaceship/planet's population and their culture and goals- that could all be fleshed out in so much more detail. Platonic dialogue and unresolved questions make for a two-dimensional episode.
  • The Enterprise discovers an asteroid is a spaceship with a population unaware of the outside world. Meanwhile, Dr. McCoy discovers he's terminally ill.

    Star Trek's longest title has a double meaning, referring literally to a "strange new world" the Enterprise encounters and figuratively to Dr. McCoy's endangered life. The idea of marrying a science fiction concept to a more personal story is a tried and true formula, but unfortunately here they get in each other's way.... which is a shame, because there's so much potential in both stories.

    For obvious reasons, the show has never had one of its characters terminally ill, and the idea of Kirk and Spock coming to terms with having to say goodbye to McCoy is rife with drama. But, the whole situation is rushed, with McCoy declaring his illness offhand in the first few minutes of the show, and the resolution coming equally offhand in the last few minutes.

    Most of the episode, however, takes place on an intergenerational spaceship, which is an idea Star Trek previously touches on in "By Any Other Name". Here, writer Rik Vollaerts digs a little deeper, with the episode even including a cute cameo by Jon Lormer, whose character talks about discovering the truth of his world and "touching the sky". (As he tells his tale, the episode slyly includes the same music that plays in the background of his appearance in the show's original pilot, where he plays the fictitious colony leader who introduces Vina). Unfortunately, Vollaerts throws in the old "malfunctioning supercomputer" to serve as the antagonist, which takes some of the emphasis off of the spaceship-world's people and gives Kirk a simple task to solve everyone's problems. ("What's that Spock? There's a computer controlling its people, and we have to take it down? I'm on my way!") In the end, the episode ends up less about the intergenerational ship or even the developing romance between McCoy and the its leader, Natira, instead being more about "Kirk and Spock versus the machine". (Truth be told, McCoy and Natira have little chemistry anyway, with DeForest Kelley, for some reason, not even smiling in his scenes with guest star Katherine Woodville. He probably knows, however, that the writers have shortchanged the scenes between the two, providing no foundation for their relationship and making it difficult to for any audience to buy that McCoy wants to stay with her whatever he does with the character).

    All the same, at least the episode has some bold ideas... and good ones at that, making it watchable and somewhat memorable. (It's sort of like "The Paradise Syndrome" from the asteroid's point of view). And heck, it's good to see McCoy finally get the girl!

    Curiously, the episode even leaves open the possibility for a sequel, with "Ex Machina", a Star Trek novel by Christopher Bennett published in 2005, unofficially tying up the loose thread.

  • Dr. McCoy confides to Captain Kirk that he is terminally ill and has a year to live. At the same time, the Enterprise crew try to stop an asteroid from colliding with an inhabited planet, only to find the asteroid is actually a spaceship. A so-so episode.

    My review for this episode will be a bit shorter than most of my reviews, as I just don't have much to say about this instalment.

    The story definitely belongs to Dr. McCoy, and after playing second (or should that be third?) fiddle to Kirk and Spock in so many episodes, it is good to see him get a plot based more around him for a change.

    The story also has more depth to it than many of the shallow third season offerings, with McCoy's illness, and his decision whether to stay on the asteroid-come-spaceship as Yonada's mate.
    However, I just couldn't really get into this one. I don't know if I just wasn't in the mood for it (and the fact that my DVD was damaged, causing the episode to keep jumping, didn't help (I'm trying to get a replacement)), but I just couldn't get fully immersed in it as much as I could with episodes from the first two seasons.

    Probably one of the third season's slightly better efforts, but not one of my favourites.
  • An alien priestess takes ten minutes to fall in love with and wants to marry one of the Enterprise landing crew. And get this, it’s not Kirk but... are you ready? Dr. McCoy! Didja ever?

    If there was a fourth season, it would have made a great "part two" of this when McCoy visited the Fabrini when it landed. I feel sorry for that guy who keeps dying in an unjust way. Didn't the old man who spoke the episode's title also die innocently in "The return of the Archons"? The poor guy was just trying to obey the will of Landru and in this one he was just trying to see what was going on with his planet... er, spaceship.
  • This might not be one of my favourite episodes yet it is entertaining all the same. Worth a watch(or re-watch!)

    Dr McCoy finds out he is dying with only a year to live, no wonder his head is turned by a beautiful high preastess who seems to fall in love with him at first sight. This a rare episode to centre around the doctor, I particularly enjoyed Nurse Chappels emotional reaction to McCoy's illness. Another highlight must be the performance of the "old man" who delivered the "for the world is hollow" line. Luckily Spock finds a cure and the Doctor is saved at the end of the episode. (phew!)
  • A good one for Dr. McCoy. Kate Woodville is lovely. A haunting episode.

    This probably isn\'t the best Trek episode Ever, but it\'s my personal favorite. When I first saw this episode as a child, the concept was intriguing -- a city inside of a spaceship disguised as an asteroid, whose inhabitants believed they were were living on ( or in ) a planet. Dr. McCoy gets a lot of air-time in this episode, and there weren\'t many which revolved around him, sadly, as he is my favorite ST character. He has a beautiful romance in this episode, and Patrick McNee\'s ex-wife Kate Woodville is lovely. Her gown and hair are inspired. The plot is fairly basic and some of the elements had been seen in previous episodes, but the old man\'s recount of his experience in the mountains when he utters the title phrase is haunting. This is an eerie and sensitive episode.