Star Trek

Season 3 Episode 19

Requiem for Methuselah

Aired Unknown Feb 14, 1969 on NBC

Episode Fan Reviews (10)

out of 10
148 votes
  • Love this Episode

    This is a very interesting Episode. It sort of tackle the age old question of "If you could Live forever what would it feel like" There are some interesting story elements here and by the end you actually feel very sorry for Flint and what he has experienced and witnessed.
  • There can be only one!

    Presumably Flint/Brahms/Akharin/Brack is an Immortal, and can be killed if decapitated. One figures the Highlander folks saw this episode, at any rate, and got some inspiration from it.

    Probably the worst case of a decreasing end-of-season (and end-of-series) budget, recycled sets and a minimal Enterprise presence keeps the costs low.

    What's disappointing is that Jerome Bixby, who displayed his writing talents for Trek in the second season "Mirror Mirror" seems to have tossed it all away for an exploration of immortality, which he would return to later anyway in "The Man From Earth." It's a well-written exploration as far as it goes, but it fits awkwardly in the Trek universe. It takes a bogus plague (we never see anyone with the disease the entire episode) to create a false sense of drama. It also requires Kirk and McCoy to act wildly out of character: Kirk falling in love instantly and McCoy pouring himself booze when the ship's crew have four hours to live. Even Spock somehow recognizes Brahms' handwriting, and then tampers with Kirk's memories.

    There's also just general silliness like the Incredible Shrinking Enterprise.

    Only McCoy's speech at the end, and the power of the concept, really pull it out from a 1-2 rating. Daly and Sorrel give good performances and this would have been interesting as a Twilight Zone episode (it doesn't have the "bear" for an Outer Limits story). But here there are just too many contrivances to fit the square peg in the round hole.
  • As an outbreak of Rigelian fever spreads through the Enterprise, Kirk, Spock, and McCoy beam down to a planet in search of the disease's only known cure, and discover a mysterious, reclusive man named Flint.

    This is one of the few true science fiction episodes of the third season. It explores the idea of immortality and its consequences, and the writer does a clever job of threading the premise through human history. The bulk of the episode takes place on a planet with Kirk, Spock, and McCoy interacting with the mysterious Flint and his young ward Rayna, well played by James Daly and Louise Sorel respectively. Credit must also be given to Ivan Ditmars, composer of the "Brahmsian" composition that's not only beautiful, but a rare musical plot point. Unfortunately, budget cuts hurt the episode, turning it into almost a radio show; but it would have made a nice filler episode in the first or second season of the series.
  • One of those third season episodes that wants to examine the human condition and the meaning of emotion, I think somewhat under-rated as an episode.

    The Enterprise is drawn to a planet in order to synthesize a cure for a plague on another world and encounters a mysterious man and his winsome ward.

    I really like this episode, despite some drawbacks. Flint is a sympathetic if misguided man who has suffered the curse of never being able to die. His solution, to create an android companion, is no where near as repellent as Kirk tends to believe. The mystery of Flint's identity is well-played, the scenes of Spock putting the story together are interesting. The secondary plot of working to distill a fever plague cure is workman-like but only meant to keep the main players on the planet. Of all the sturm and drang of this episode, WAY over-played by Shatner (though I like the ending scene of Spock helping him to forget), are Rayna's repeating of Flint's lines on loneliness, - "it's a hunger, a flower dying in the desert" - heartfelt and genuine. At the same time, it's probably best to just accept that Kirk could fall in love with a naive young android in 20 minutes time given that he's done something similar many times before. A ton of believability would be added by having the action take place over a few weeks rather than a couple of hours. Amazingly, Kirk is at least scripted as saying that he "put on a pretty poor show."

    There are some real turkeys in Season 3, but I like this one, "The Empath", and "All Our Yesterdays" in going to the very heart of emotion and sacrifice and how they strike a universal chord about what it means to be alive. Since "Star Trek" was never really going to explore the idea of radically different life forms, at least these episodes scraped beneath the superficial aspects of our own species' behaviors.
  • When Kirk, Spock and McCoy beam down the only planet that has the cure to an epidemic raging on the Enterprise, they encounter a mysterious man and his beautiful young ward. Not a classic, but one of the third season's better examples...

    This episode is far from a series classic, but at the same time, it plays out as one of the shaky third season's better offerings, which a decent story and reasonable performances. Indeed, it deserves to be, as it is written by Jerome Bixby, who was behind favourites such as the second season's classic "Mirror, Mirror".
    In the US, the episode was originally broadcast on St. Valentine's Day 1969, and I wonder if it was deliberately picked for such, as it is a very romance based story.

    This episode is one of just a couple that barely features the Enterprise at all (the other example I can think of being the first season's "The Devil in the Dark"). Instead, the episode plays out on the planet below.
    I do agree with some other reviewers that with such a deadly plague raging on the Enterprise, more crewmen would have beamed down to look for the cure, but that is a minor plot point to be overlooked for sake of the story. Flint's floating robot reminded me of the one from the second season episode "The Changeling", but thankfully the story went in a different direction.
    In one of the most notable instances of a matte painting being recycled, the exterior shot of Flint's caste is reused from one of the fantasy sequences in "The Cage" (note that I am reviewing the original version; I understand that it has been changed in the remastered version).

    Also as has been commented, despite the fact that his crew are about to die a terrible death from disease, Kirk spends no time falling in love with Rayna. We've seen similar in previous episodes of the similar, and again, is just one of those plot points we have to accept.

    The story moves along well (I, like others, enjoyed Spock playing the waltz on the piano, for example), and has an unexpected twist about Flint.
    The final scene on board the Enterprise, with Spock, McCoy and the sleeping Kirk, is one of the best moments of the third season, ending with Spock's almost haunting "forget".

    This is by no means one of the best episodes of the Original Series when compared to some of the other greats, but it probably is one of the best of the weak third season. I cam easily imagine it being part of the (superior) first or second season, where it would no doubt have fared even better.
  • Kirk and company go to a planet to get something called Ritalin to cure Regelian fever.They meet some guy named Flint with a robot girlfriend.(sounds like a sitcom alreadyHilarity ensues.

    To say that this is the dumbest,most ridiculous episode of Classic Trek doesn't go quite far enough.This is the worst episode in the history of the Trek franchise!First off I never heard,not even in sci-fi,of anybody buying a planet. Imagine the classified ad "Planet for Sale. Even climate.One privous owner.Fixer-upper. Price negociable." Then it turns out he has this robot girlfriend that he somehow gets Kirk (Who main focus at this point should be that fact that his entire crew is DYING!)to fall inlove with her(in a matter of hours.Yeah,right) Of course Kirk doesn't know she's a robot at first, but even after he finds out he still wants to be with her! I mean lonely is one thing but to fall in love with something that's not much more than an animated sex doll is ridiculous.How this episode got a 7 rating is beyond me.
  • Kirk's android fetish strikes again

    This episode seems a little undeserving of some of the poor ratings it has received, if only because of a couple of featured "treats" (such as Spock playing a waltz on the piano) and the unforgettable scene at the end. Granted, it has a few holes in it (see trivia above), which it seems the producers did not properly address in their attempts to focus the story on the Flint/Rayna/Kirk triangle.

    The scene at the end, however, in which McCoy gives Spock a somewhat lengthy discourse on "love," is particularly touching. McCoy's thoughts are noteworthy in themselves, but what strikes me is Spock's reaction. He does not say anything – simply listens without comment or expression – and it is one of the few times when there is no rebuttal from Spock nor argument between the two. After McCoy leaves, assuming that once again his remarks on a topic Spock couldn't possibly care about nor understand have fallen on deaf ears, Spock hesitates, goes over to the sleeping Kirk, and touches his temple in the mind meld, saying simply "forget." It is a very simple scene, and one of the most profound in the series. This small, unperceived gesture by Spock is so infused with compassion. He truly absorbed, at least partially, what McCoy was trying to impress upon him about the noblest action/emotion known to mankind.

    The worst I could fault this episode for was Rayna's hairpiece. It needed some help, as it was distractingly obvious that it was a bad wig.
  • Not the worst episode but nowhere near the best either.

    When i first watched this ep years and years ago it was one of my faves. However a recent re-watch has changed my mind.

    Getting the cure for the disease is of the utmost importance yet only 3 crewmen beam down. True the ship is running on minimal crew but i'm sure they could manage more than just 3.

    Once again Tubby Kirk falls in love in under 13.6 seconds and proceeds to forget about his dying crew and trya nd get his end away. The character of Kirk is way off in this episode.

    McCoy, however, shines in this episode with his speech at the end being quite moving........until he ends it with "Good night Spock" i think an uncomfortable silence would have been better.

    The mind meld at the end was way off as well. No Way would Spock just take it on himself to fiddle with Kirks mind and memories. Also what about Kirk saying in the 5th film that "i need my pain"

    Like i said, not one of the best
  • Kirk is faced with a two-cushioned bank shot, eight ball corner pocket

    Once again, I see this episode in a different light. Love means so much more to me now than it did in the 70s. In fact, I didn't know what it was. So I really felt for Rayna this time around. I totally agree with the trivia note that it was absolutely ridiculous that Kirk let Rayna stand in between him and the survival of his crew. What happened to the Kirk who overpowered the influence of the spores in "This side of Paradise"? On a side note, I just adored that unknown melody that Spock played on the piano. Is that really unknown? The ending speech McCoy made to Spock about love in Kirk's quarters was pure poetry. And how touching it was for Spock to mindmeld with Kirk and whisper "...........forget".
  • Kirk and company meet Flint who might help him with the fever ailing the crew.

    Decent episode brings into focus the theme of "immortality",
    "ownership", and "love".

    Enjoyed the episode, disagree about the continuity because Kirk has always acted like a lovesick teenager. This wouldn't change even going into the Star Trek movies (he'd had a son named David yet still be a bachelor.)

    No lack of continuity there. So Kirk and company meet Flint, a very peculiar man with a flying robot acting as security.

    The twists are very well hidden and I thought it brought well together the themes about immortality, love, aownsership, being cilivized and being animals (recurrent

    Great acting all around and it's amazing to see Days of Our Lives star Louise Sorrel here (better known as Vivian).

    Great episode.
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