Star Trek

Season 3 Episode 16

The Mark of Gideon

Aired Unknown Jan 17, 1969 on NBC

Episode Fan Reviews (5)

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out of 10
152 votes
  • Interesting concept, but too many glitches to suspend disbelief

    Like many third season episodes, the writers try to go for an "alien" culture. While the people are humanoid, the fact that they are essentially immortal, and that their own love of life has driven them to become immortal, is... well, unique. It's not necessarily understandable from a human viewpoint.

    On the other hand, it's not clear where you go for there. So they value life... but they use Kirk's blood as a virus. Again, this might be some alien-type rationale ("Hey, we're not killing her: we're just injecting Odona with a deadly virus from someone else.") but it strains credulity just a bit too much.

    Then there's the fake Enterprise, which makes no sense in this or any other context. Besides the improbability of being able to make such an exact duplicate... why do they care if Kirk is happy? Knock him over the head, put him in a cell, take blood as needed. The Gideonites also seem awfully confident that the Enterprise will just fly away and figure the captain is lost in a transporter accident.

    Like other third-season episodes, the director tries to get alternately spooky and artsy. Granted, there are a few creepy moments, but those don't make sense either. Why is the ship silent, and then they hear the heartbeats, and then they stop? Did a circuit blow out? And why are people standing around peering through the viewports.

    The writers get in a few stabs at diplomacy and bureaucracy, but Spock disposes of two guards and rescues the captain. For a planet filled to overcrowding, it's amusing he only has to deal with two people.

    I'll give it a B for effort, and a C- minus for coherency.