Star Trek

Season 2 Episode 9

Metamorphosis

5
Aired Unknown Nov 10, 1967 on NBC
7.8
out of 10
User Rating
158 votes
5

EPISODE REVIEWS
By TV.com Users

Episode Summary

EDIT
When their shuttle is diverted to a planetoid, Kirk, Spock, and McCoy encounter Earth's Warp Drive pioneer, Zefram Cochrane, who appears to have survived there alone for 150 years.

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SUBMIT REVIEW
  • Guy who invented warp drive tries to take a bath with some brainy commissioner lady

    3.0
    Well I don't understand why this episode has a rating as high as it does. It looks like I will bring it down a wee bit. I would have rated this a 1.0 if it were the 1970s. Now that I have grown up and now in the 2000s I nudge it to 3.0 only for the reason I am more sentimental. And the story of love I am always a sucker for. But it has always been my least favorte episode of all time. At least back then. It might edge out "The way To Eden" these days.moreless
  • Interesting, but not TREK's finest hour ...

    7.0
    This episode is pivotal in that it's the first time we get to see Zephram Cochrane, inventor of the Warp drive, who's been missing in the ST universe for about 150 years. The thrust of the plot is that Kirk, Spock, McCoy and an irritable, critically ill diplomat called Nancy Hedford are drawn to a remote planet by an ethereal life form as company for another human, who turns out to be Cochrane.



    It turns out that the life form, "the Companion", cares deeply for Cochrane and wants him to be happy in his benign imprisonment. Kirk convinces the creature that in confinement humans will wither and die, so the Companion takes over the body of the dying Nancy. Kirk and the others are allowed to leave, but Cochrane elects to remain with the Companion.



    This is not a great episode, but it contains aspects that will become important later on in ST mythology.moreless
  • It has some flaws, it's a little dated, but I find this installment under-rated.

    7.1
    The shuttle crew and an important commissioner are stranded on a planet by a cloud-like alien intellect.



    I'd actually ignore the continuity of this episode with the tortuous use of Zephram Cochrane in the movie "First Contact", I frankly like the tragedy of the character as explained here much better. This episode is one of the first I remember backward and forward from the reruns of the early 70s, and it has some memorable aspects.



    The idea of a completely "alien" alien in love with a human is intriguing and fairly remarkable for the series (and the late 60s) and its decently played here. It comes off as novel and sweet in most aspects. It is also interesting to see Spock, McCoy, and Kirk gradually discover the intent of "The Companion". The progressive ideas begin to falter when Kirk begins to stupidly spout how an alien can't love a human because sex ("joining") is impossible, but that's typical "Kirk-speak" - too bad it destroys the idea that by joining thoughts, the man and alien have already had more intimate relations than people are ever able to have. Those kind of ideas would have to wait for more sophisticated sci-fi. What many fans never realize, though, is that Kirk's stupidest dialog can often highlight an issue extremely well.



    I actually like the staging of Hedford as changing in personality after joining with "The Companion" and in one clever scene, she uses the gueze of her costume to simulate glancing at Cochrane in a the same way as when she was a shimmering energy entity. The violin score introduced here works well, and becomes standard for some later episodes that introduce love.



    I find this episode more interesting than many people give it credit for.moreless
  • The shuttlecraft Galileo, with Kirk and three others aboard, is drawn to a planet where they meet the creator of warp drive.

    7.0
    This is an okay episode written by Gene Coon. The central storyline about a different sort of creature in love with a human being was ahead of its time and the ensuing love triangle that happens plays out rather well. George Duning's sensitive score is one of the best in the original series, and Elinor Donahue is great as the stuck up Federation Commissioner. I'm not crazy about Glenn Corbett's performance of Zefram Cochrane, and the idea of meeting the guy who invented warp drive is somewhat wasted as a way to simply explain why Kirk and company are familiar with this guy, but overall "Metamorphosis" is a solid but forgettable offering.moreless
  • The shuttlecraft carrying Kirk, Spock, McCoy and a ill diplomat is pulled off-course to a planetoid, where they meet the castaway creator of Warp Drive, who has been cared for over 150 years by a mysterious alien. Unexpectedly good (and very underrated)..moreless

    10
    After a run of more so-so episodes, things bounce back with this enchanting story.



    I went in to this episode knowing little about it, with it seeming to be one of the very few 'Star Trek' episodes that I had not seen (at least, not recent enough for me to remember; I am currently in the process of putting that right, watching right from the Original Series through to 'Enterprise'). To my pleasant surprise, I personally found it to be an unexpected favourite. It is, in my opinion, a much underrated episode. I was very surprised to find it didn't have a higher rating on this site. It did seem a bit convenient that the shuttlecraft was carrying the three main characters – Kirk, Spock and McCoy – but I'll let that one pass.



    There are some continuity problems regarding Zefram Cochrane, being somewhat different here to his later (or should that be earlier!) appearance in the movie 'Star Trek: First Contact'. In that movie, set before this episode, he appears to be a somewhat different character, but I don't think there's much that couldn't be explained away with some creative reasoning. After all, he's been living alone on the planetoid for 150 years in this episode, that's bound to change a man!

    There are also other little niggles, such as Cochrane being said to come from Alpha Centauri, but what's to say that didn't become his home after the events of 'First Contact'? (And if anything, surely it is the movie that breaks the continuity, not this episode?)



    But anyway, this episode boasts some great performances, and a story that unfolds really well. There are no enemies to battle with or anything like that, no 'monster of the week', but a quite different story, and kudos to 'Trek' for brining to life such a different tale.



    The only character I didn't warm to was the ill (and very miserable) Commissioner Nancy Hedford. Okay dear, we know you're dying, but even so...!



    One thing that must be mentioned is the music. Most of it was recorded for this episode (unlike some others, which consist of standard, pre-recorded 'Trek' scores), and was wonderful. It really brought the episode to life.



    I love the way that the story unfolds, and we find out more about "The Companion", and her love for "The Man". Some episodes in the second (and third!) season are ones I only really care to watch once before moving on, but this episode really has a re-watchable appeal.



    I'm surprised this episode isn't held in higher regard. Personally I love it. But as I've said before, that's one of the appeals about 'Star Trek', there is something for everybody. If you don't like one episode, odds on there will be something for you in the next one. Personally, this one might even make my Top 10 favourite episodes. I know others with disagree.moreless
Leonard Nimoy

Leonard Nimoy

Mr. Spock

William Shatner

William Shatner

Captain James Tiberius Kirk

DeForest Kelley

DeForest Kelley

Dr. Leonard Horatio "Bones" McCoy

Elizabeth Rogers

Elizabeth Rogers

voice of The Companion (uncredited)

Guest Star

Glenn Corbett

Glenn Corbett

Zefram Cochrane

Guest Star

Elinor Donahue

Elinor Donahue

Commissioner Nancy Hedford

Guest Star

James Doohan

James Doohan

Lt. Cmdr. Montgomery "Scotty" Scott

Recurring Role

George Takei

George Takei

Lt. Hikaru Sulu

Recurring Role

Nichelle Nichols

Nichelle Nichols

Lt. Nyota Uhura

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions

FILTER BY TYPE

  • TRIVIA (9)

    • Kirk should have offered supplies and equipment to Cochrane before leaving the planet, but didn't. It's not clear how he and the Companion are going to survive based on Cochrane's ability to grow fig trees now that the Companion can't provide for him.

    • Trivia: Cochrane was 87 years old when he "disappeared."

    • Technically Goofs, there are several points of this episode that are ignored in the movie First Contact: 1) Glenn Corbett looks nothing like a young James Cromwell; 2) Cochrane here appears to have no first-hand knowledge of Vulcans even though in First Contact he makes...well, first contact with them; and 3) here Cochrane is from Alpha Centauri but in the movie he is an Earth Native (there have been various non-canon and fan explanations for why he would no longer consider Earth his "home").

    • At the start of the episode, Kirk states that they will meet the Enterprise in 4 hours, 21 minutes. Assuming they've been in flight for a short while already, that would probably mean about a five-hour trip to meet the Enterprise. Coupled with a 5-hour trip to pick up the commissioner, that would be a 10-hour shuttle ride. That's an awfully long trip for a shuttle to make. Considering the Miss Hedford's sickly condition, it would be a lot quicker to use the Enterprise to pick her up. Arguably the Enterprise was busy doing something else, but then why does Scotty spend all the episode looking for Kirk? Also, in "The Menagerie", Kirk indicates that the shuttle does not have more than a few hours of oxygen in it, so it seems that a five-hour shuttle ride would be pushing it, and that's assuming that they were able to refuel before they headed back.

    • Toward the end of the episode, Capt. Kirk calls the ship with his communicator. Since they are 57 minutes away from the ship at the time they make contact, that would be an awfully long range for a personal communicator to have.

    • The shuttlecraft that Kirk and company are in is called the Galileo. However, the Galileo was destroyed in the first season episode "The Galileo 7". Later episodes correct for this by showing the shuttle as Galileo II, but they seemed to have forgotten it for this episode.

    • When Kirk and McCoy first see Cochrane communicating with the Companion, they comment about how it looks like love. There is no obvious indication of love whatsoever. All they are seeing is the Companion hovering over Cochrane, but for some reason they just start rambling about it being love.

    • The Companion says it will let the shuttlecraft operate normally so they can leave. Originally it brought them down with an energy dampening field. However, later it shorted out all the circuits when it attacked Spock - how did it fix those?

    • Kirk, Spock, and McCoy agree to not tell anyone in Starfleet of Cochrane's existence on the planet. Then how do they intend to explain the disappearance of the Commissioner. Also, since the Companion was essentially responsible for the Commissioner's death and then stole her body afterward, is it not guilty of a crime? However, Kirk, Spock, and McCoy seem pretty content with letting this all go.

  • QUOTES (22)

    • Kirk: Commissioner, stay inside.
      Hedford: Just how long do I stay inside, Captain?
      Kirk: That's a very good question. I wish I could answer it.

    • Cochrane: I have a small place, all the comforts of home. I can even offer you a hot bath.
      Hedford: How perceptive of you to notice I needed one.

    • Kirk: Perhaps you can find out what we're doing here.
      Cochrane: I already know.
      Kirk: You wouldn't mind telling us?
      Cochrane: You won't like it.
      Kirk: I already don't like it.

    • McCoy: Spock! Are you all right?
      Spock: Yes. Quite all right, Doctor. A most fascinating thing happened. Apparently, the Companion imparted to me a rather quaint, old-fashioned electric shock of respectable voltage.

    • Kirk: How do you fight a thing like that?
      McCoy: Maybe you're a soldier so often that you forget you're also trained to be a diplomat. Why not try a carrot instead of a stick?

    • Spock: The translator's for use with more congruent life forms.
      Kirk: Adjust it. Immortality is boring. Adjusting the translator will give you something to do.

    • Spock: Companion, you do not have the power to create life.
      The Companion: That is for the Maker of all things.

    • The Companion: You said we would not know love because we were not human. Now we are human. We'll know the change of days. We will know death. But to touch the hand of man, nothing is as important.

    • (as the Enterprise is searching for the missing shuttlecraft)
      Scott: It didn't wreck. There's no debris. There's no trace of expelled internal atmosphere. No residual radioactivity. Ah, it's... something took over. Tractor beams maybe... something. They dragged it away on the heading we're now on.
      Uhura: If there are no further traces, how are we going to follow them?
      Scott: We stay on this course. See what comes up.
      Uhura: It's a big galaxy, Mr. Scott.
      Scott: Aye!

    • Spock: There will be no immortality. You'll both grow old here and finally die.
      Cochrane: That's been happening to men and women for a long time. I feel it's one of the pleasanter things about being human, as long as you grow old together.

    • Nancy: What kind of love is that? Not to be loved; never to have shown love.

    • Cochrane: Believe me, Captain, immortality consists largely of boredom.

    • Kirk: It is the nature of our species to be free.

    • McCoy: There's nothing disgusting about it. It's just another life form, that's all. You get used to those things.

    • Kirk: Our species can only survive if we have obstacles to overcome. You remove those obstacles. Without them to strengthen us, we will weaken and die.

    • The Companion: This is loneliness? What a bitter thing ... it's so sad. How do you bear it, this loneliness?

    • Kirk: Not one hundred percent efficient, of course ... but nothing ever is.

    • Cochrane: I can't leave her. I love her. Is that surprising?
      Spock: Not coming from a human being. You are, after all, essentially irrational.

    • Kirk: The idea of male and female are universal constants.

    • Kirk: Love sometimes expresses itself in sacrifice.

    • Spock: Your highly emotional reaction is most illogical. Your relationship with the Companion has for 150 years been emotionally satisfying, eminently practical, and totally harmless. It may indeed have been quite beneficial.
      Cochrane: Is this what the future holds, men who have no notion of decency or morality? Maybe I'm 150 years out of style, but I'm not going to be fodder for any inhuman monster.
      Spock: Fascinating--a totally parochial attitude.

    • Cochrane: What's it like out there, in the galaxy?
      Kirk: We're on a thousand planets and spreading out. We cross fantastic distances, and everything's alive, Cochrane. Life everywhere. We estimate there are millions of planets with intelligent life. We haven't begun to map them. Interesting?
      Cochrane: How would you like to sleep for 150 years and wake up in a new world?
      Kirk: It's all out there waiting for you.

  • NOTES (3)

  • ALLUSIONS (0)