Star Trek

Season 3 Episode 9

The Tholian Web

Aired Unknown Nov 15, 1968 on NBC

Episode Fan Reviews (8)

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out of 10
168 votes
  • When the Enterprise discovers the USS Defiant which is literally 'fading away', Kirk is lost during the beam back. As they try to recover him, the Enterprise is caught in an energy-draining web spun by alien beings. One of the third season's best episodes

    I've already gone over in my previous third season reviews about generally how weak the season is compared to the first two. So I was delighted when this excellent episode came along, marking a definite rise in quality.

    As with the USS Exeter in the second season's "The Omega Glory", it is an obvious re-use of the Enterprise sets. There are no subtle tweaks in colour scheme or design, a result of budget and time limitations, which became even more of an issue in the third season. That said, it didn't bother me as much here as it did in that other example.

    Probably the weakest point of this plot is yet another 'space disease' to cure. We've seen them several times before in the series, and here we get yet another. It doesn't really add much to the story, although doesn't completely spoil it either.

    The loss of Kirk is excellently played out, and the seeming death of the Captain is much better than in the disappointing big-screen 'Star Trek: Generations' (1994).

    I also like the Tholians as an alien race, and love the 'web' that their ships weave around the Enterprise.
    (They also played a part in the Game Boy 'Star Trek' game, where you had to manoeuvre around their 'threads'. I also agree with another reviewer that I would like a Tholian screen saver).

    The episode also contains some of the best moments between Spock, who is now in command, and McCoy. Although their confrontation wasn't clear at first, it played out really well, and I like how Kirk had the foresight to leave them a message to basically 'stop arguing and work with each other'.
    (However, to nitpick, the end, when McCoy and Spock deny ever viewing the message, although it has been established (in "The Enterprise Incident" and others) that Spock cannot lie. That's only a small thing, though.)

    All-in-all, this episode is terrific; I really like it. It rivals "The Enterprise Incident" as one of the best of season three thus far.