Star Trek

Season 3 Episode 21

The Cloud Minders

Aired Unknown Feb 28, 1969 on NBC

Episode Fan Reviews (6)

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out of 10
146 votes
  • When Kirk and Spock visit planet Ardana to try and acquire a vital mineral needed to stop a plague, they become embroiled in the dispute between the cloud dwellers of Stratos and the miners on the planet below. A watchable if rather camp episode...

    (Note: As with all of my Original Series reviews, I am reviewing the original version as opposed to the remasters, which I not seen yet).

    After the terrible "The Way to Eden" in the episode previously, anything was a step up, and "The Cloud Minders" is at least watchable. It's a strange sort of episode to try and sum up – far from one of the series' best moments, but it does at least hold the interest for the most part.

    The episode gets off to a dodgy start, as, after the opening credits, Kirk speaks a line of dialogue but his mouth does not move!

    The cloud city of Stratos is an interesting concept. But I do feel that the effects – which achieved wonders despite the limited technology and budget of the time in other episodes, were very shaky, and one of the Original Series' poorer examples. The cloud effect is passable, but the city itself looks very flat and unconvincing.

    Jeff Corey puts in a reasonable performance as High Advisor Plasus, in one of the better guest spots this late in the series. I couldn't decide about Diana Ewing as Droxine, who much of the time comes off as little more than a well-spoken bimbo. Saying that, she does have a very notable costume (or what there is of it!) which compliments her figure.

    The story does have the feel of much of the later third season that the series is definitely on its last legs, but that said, it does come off as one of the slightly better episodes from the late period. But far from the classy, thoughtful stories from earlier in the series, this one has a more 'camp', kitsch sort of feel.

    All-in-all, for a late Original Series, it does at least hold the interest more than most of those around it.