This is another of those third season episodes that has some very good ideas and moments, but sadly comes off as another decidedly average instalment, with little to make it really stand out.
The plot itself is one of the third season's more credible and intriguing offerings, but unfortunately it has the third season 'half hearted' feel to it.
Kirk and co., being stranded on the planet and with the Enterprise gone, has none of the bleakness or urgency to it that it should have, and is only saved of the interesting character of the mysterious women, played by the lovely Lee Meriwether (Catwoman from the 1966 big screen version of 'Batman'), who keeps appearing to kill off the landing party one by one with her touch of death.
This character, later identified as being called Losira, is fascinating and well played, and one of the most memorable beings encountered from this end of the series. But the character deserved more solid writing and a stronger story.
Meanwhile, the plot of the Enterprise being flung across the galaxy could equally have been interesting, but is handled with little care; and its return to pick up Kirk and co. is full of holes and is unbelievable.
Although Mr. Spock shines in many episodes, here I found him at times to be extremely rude and rather – dare I say – annoying.
Mr. Scott's working on the Enterprise and the countdown to their seeming doom is full of "technobabble", something would be overused in 'The Next Generation' and later spin-offs. It does, however, lead to one of my favourite 'Original Series' lines; Mr. Scott, with Spock constantly informing him of the time left to destruction, says "I know what time it is, I don't need a bloomin' cuckoo clock!".
By third season episodes, this isn't really a bad episode as such, and has some good ingredients. But as I say, sadly, the overall (lack of) quality of the season lets it down, and it ends up as another average episode.