Star Trek

Season 3 Episode 9

The Tholian Web

Aired Unknown Nov 15, 1968 on NBC



  • Trivia

    • Just before Commander Loskene first appears on the viewscreen, Chekov is seen at his station although he was removed from the bridge a couple of minutes earlier.

    • At the end of the episode, Kirk states that he had an entire universe to himself once the Defiant was thrown out. There seems no way that he could determine this unless he explored the entire universe in the few hours he was there, limited to where he could float.

    • When they are getting ready for Kirk's memorial service, Spock tells McCoy that he should be in the lab trying to find a remedy and not wasting time at the memorial. After the service, Spock doesn't want to view the captain's last orders because he doesn't have time and he needs to be on a bridge. Well then why did he waste so much time having the memorial service? Come to think of it, the entire crew stops what they're doing in the middle of a life and death situation to have a memorial service. Shouldn't the memorial services wait until after the crisis passes?

    • When Spock grabs Chekov and says his name the first time, the camera cuts to Chekov and the sound of his scream is on the soundtrack, but his mouth does not move.

    • Originally Spock claims that any ship movement or energy usage will disrupt local space, and the Tholians' arrival is why they can't beam Kirk on board the first time. But...doesn't all of the Tholian movement, the spinning of their Web, etc., disturb space and mess up Enterprise's beaming in Kirk the second time as well? Instead, all of the activity doesn't mess up the second "window of opportunity" at all.

    • Again, by indications here there is only one person-transporter on the ship - Scotty says he can only get three frequencies working.

    • Although the guy beaming Kirk in at the end is a lieutenant, the close-up shot is the standard shot of Scotty's hands with the lt. commander braid.

    • When the Tholians attack and McCoy and Chapel throw themselves around to simulate the impact, the bottles in the background stay perfectly still.

    • When the orderly attacks McCoy he throws him across the sickbay bed but in the next close-up shot McCoy is stretched out length-wise on the bed.

    • McCoy gives Kirk an injection through the sleeve of his spacesuit - this seems a little odd. How porous are those things?

    • Spock tells the transporter officer "Ready to transport on my order" but he never gives the order. He states, "Now, Doctor" and then the redshirt operating the transporter does the deed.

    • The mirror in Spock's cabin is at knee level - even lower then the captain's!

    • You can see the stars through the back end of the Tholian ship after the Enterprise hits it with phasers. (This is fixed in the remastered edition.)

    • In the initial Tholian volley the Enterprise takes minor damage. Then Spock orders an increase to the shields and in the next volley they take substantially more damage from the same weapon - shouldn't it be the other way around?

    • Although he hedges the truth several times throughout the series, in this episode Spock quite blatantly lies to Kirk, despite the "Vulcans never lie" thing.

    • As in "Spectre of the Gun," we get the idea that Scotty is going to take a bottle of alcohol and start drinking heavily in the middle of a life-or-death crisis.

    • When Scotty calls the crew to attention at the end of Kirk's funeral, almost nobody does.

    • Although the Defiant and its crew are supposedly fading out of reality (McCoy passes his hand through a table and a crewman), the landing party has no problem walking on the floor.

  • Quotes

    • Spock: We exist in a universe which co-exists with a multitude of others in the same physical space. For certain brief periods of time, an area of their space overlaps an area of ours.

    • Spock: In critical moments men sometimes see exactly what they wish to see.

    • McCoy: You must know that if you get us out of this situation, they'll pin a medal on your chest and give you command of the Enterprise.
      Spock: Doctor, I am in command of the Enterprise.
      McCoy: I would like to remedy that situation.

    • Spock: The renowned Tholian punctuality.

    • McCoy: You should've known what could've happened and done everything in your power to safeguard your crew. That is the mark of a starship captain, like Jim.
      Spock: Doctor, I hardly believe this is the time for comparisons.

    • Spock: (speaking at Kirk's memorial service) A few hours ago, the Captain elected to remain on board the Defiant so that three members of his crew would have the best chance of returning safely to the Enterprise. His concern was not only for them, but for all the members of the crew of this ship. You all know the sequence of events: We were fired upon by the Tholian ship. At that time, Captain Kirk may have been alive. I deemed it necessary to return the Tholian fire for the safety of the Enterprise. The Tholian ship has been disabled. But, as a result of the battle, we must accept the fact that Captain Kirk is no longer alive...I shall not attempt to voice the quality of respect and admiration which Captain Kirk commanded. Each of you must evaluate the loss in the privacy of your own thoughts.

    • McCoy: (to Spock) The captain's last order is top priority, and you will honor that order before you take over. He was a hero in every sense of the word yet his life was sacrificed for nothing. The one thing that would have given his death meaning is the safety of the Enterprise. Now you've made that impossible.

    • Kirk: Bones, Spock... since you are playing this tape, we will assume that I am dead, that the tactical situation is critical, and both of you are locked in mortal combat. It means, Spock, that you have control of the ship and are probably making the most difficult decisions of your career. I can offer only one small piece of advice, for whatever it's worth--use every scrap of knowledge and logic you have to save the ship. But temper your judgment with intuitive insight. I believe you have those qualities, but if you can't find them in yourself, seek out McCoy. Ask his advice. And if you find it sound, take it. Bones, you've heard what I've just told Spock. Help him if you can, but remember, he is the captain. His decisions must be followed without question. You might find that he is capable of human insight and... human error. They are most difficult to defend, but you will find that he is deserving of the same loyalty and confidence each of you have given me. Take care.

    • McCoy: I... I'm sorry.
      Spock: I understand, Doctor. I'm sure the captain would simply have said, "Forget it, Bones."

    • Scotty: You're trying to kill us all?
      Spock: If I remember correctly, it only causes fatality only when used in pure form.
      McCoy: That's right. And in this derivative mixed with alcohol, it merely deadens certain nerve inputs to the brain.
      Scotty: Ah, well, any decent brand of Scotch will do that.
      McCoy: Umm, well, one good slug of this, and you can hit a man with phaser stun and he'd never feel it or even know it.
      Scotty: Does it make a good mix with Scotch?
      McCoy: It should.
      Scotty: (grabbing a bottle) I'll let you know.

    • Kirk: I had a whole universe to myself after the Defiant was thrown out. There was absolutely no one else in it. I must say I prefer a crowded universe much better.

    • Kirk: How'd you two get along without me?
      McCoy: Oh, we managed. Mr. Spock gave the orders, and I found the answers.
      Kirk: Good. No problems between you?
      Spock: None worth reporting, Captain.
      Kirk: Try me.
      Spock: Ummm, only such minor disturbances, as are inevitable when humans are involved.
      Kirk: Which humans, Mr. Spock?
      McCoy: What he means that when humans become involved with Vulcans, Jim.
      Kirk: Ah, yes. I understand. Well, I hope my last orders were helpful in solving any problems that you don't feel worth reporting.
      Spock: Orders, Captain?
      McCoy: What orders are you referring to, Jim?
      Kirk: My last orders. The last orders that I left for both... for both of you. The last taped orders.
      McCoy: Oh, those orders. Well, there wasn't time. We never had a chance to listen to them.
      Spock: No. You see, the crisis was upon us, and then passed so quickly, Captain, that we...
      Kirk: Good. Good. Well, I hope we won't have similar opportunities to test those orders... which you never heard.

  • Notes

    • This episode won the original series its first Emmy award for "Best Special Effects".

    • Although he is only paraphrasing Captain Kirk, this is the only episode in which Spock (or anyone besides Kirk) refers to Dr. McCoy as "Bones."

    • The ultimate fate of the U.S.S Defiant will eventually be revealed decades later, in the Star Trek: Enterprise episode "In a Mirror, Darkly."

    • The U.S.S. Defiant bridge is a redressed version of the regular Enterprise bridge.

    • Ralph Senensky is uncredited for his work in directing this episode.

  • Allusions

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