Star Trek

Season 1 Episode 24

This Side of Paradise

Aired Unknown Mar 02, 1967 on NBC

Episode Fan Reviews (13)

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out of 10
192 votes
  • Kirk must deal a mutiny due to a planet's strange spores infecting his crew.

    Like "The Return of Archons", this episode presents a false paradise for Kirk to battle, this time by himself. With spores infecting the crew, "Paradise" is really a not-so-subtle metaphor for drugs, a bold statement for a show that in its original day had a large hippie fanbase. In its stucture, the episode is simliar to "Shore Leave", taking place largely outside and placing the emphasis on the regulars over the guest stars (with the exception, in this case, of Jill Ireland playing a love interest for Spock).

    With the crewmembers literally abandoning ship to live in peace on the planet, Kirk is forced to ask himself if a captain without a crew is still a captain. Even his reliable righthand man, Spock, no longer listens to him, giving the episode a substory more fans remember than the main one, despite it largely happening offscreen. (That's because it hits all right notes, allowing Nimoy to be himself, giving a great visual of him swinging from a tree, and feeding into the dreams of fangirls who have always wished to melt Mr. Spock's cold It also marks the transition of Spock's people being known as "Vulcanians" (mentioned quite a few times in the first season, including early in this episode) to Vulcans (with Kirk calling him such later in the episode). The transition continues in "Errand of Mercy", with both terms being used again.

    As an outdoor adventure with the crew cutting loose and having fun, "Paradise" is one of Star Trek's more memorable adventures; but the truth is it's slow moving with little action and probably more of a middle of the pack offering for the original series.

    Remastered: With the original version putting its money into location shooting as opposed to effects (reusing shots of the Enterprise in orbit from "The Man Trap", with the planet tinted green), there's not much for CBS Digital to do here. They do, however, create a beautiful Earth-like planet, complete with visible radiation, and show off some beautiful establishing shots of the ship.

  • Soap opera in space!

    Excellent acting by Nimoy. Great acidity story as well! I wonder where the idea came from.
  • Excuse me, but I don't see the problem.

    Great acting. Leonard Nimoy at his best. However, I truly do not see where living on the planet was a bad thing. Love, peace, having just what you need and nothing more, and excellant health. There is no satisfactory answer given on why should the colonists, Spock, the crew leave their paradise. Yes, the ship would be abandoned. But it would seem to be that the good outweighs the bad.
  • Free love and flower power!

    Star Trek episodes are clever in that they show thoughts and concepts on current news and media stories through their episodes. I think this one was stating that it was all well having free love and a "brotherhood of man" in the 1960's but if we need drugs(the flowers in this case) to "dig it" then we will get nothing done well apart from creating some musical master pieces maybe!

    On a darker note I'd like to have seen the flowers more developed such as their need to reproduce. What if the spores after a certain period of time started to grow and take over the hosts body and because of their state of mind they wouldn't have cared!
  • Flower Power!

    this epiisode of "Star trek" has the crew visiting a planet to save some colonists, only to be told that the rather be here than on the ship. the find out why, a flower made most of the crew turn against Kirk and stay on the planet. It would have gotton to Kirk, except that Kirk is smarter than most of the people on the enterprise and used ager to get rid of the effect of the planet. the crew under the plant's spell rebelled against the plant and in the end, everybody is back on the enterprise. We see spook falling in love. Yeah, I like to put that thing in.
  • The Enterprise visits a planet where the colonists are presumed to have died from radiation, only to find them alive and well and apparently living an idyllic life after being subjected to the effects of some spores. A pretty average episode in my view...

    This episode is another case of not being bottom-of-the-barrel, and is quite watchable, but for whatever reason does not really stand out as one of my particular favourites either.

    We have already seen the effects of crewmembers acting out of character earlier in the season in "The Naked Time". Both episodes are watchable, but for whatever reason I'm not usually a fan of whole episodes revolving around cast members acting 'strangely out of character'.

    Leonard Nimoy puts in a reasonable performance as Mr. Spock getting in touch with his human side. Other than one scene in "The Naked Time", this is the first time in the series that we see Spock's human half coming to the fore, but is far from the last time.
    Then there is the classic parting line as Leila asks about Spock's second name, to which he replies "You couldn't pronounce it".

    Much of this episode is unintentionally funny, nothing more so than the scene on the otherwise deserted bridge, where Kirk is suddenly sprayed by one of the spore plants... where the heck did that come from?!

    There are nice little touches of the crew being under the offending spore's influence, such as Doctor McCoy's southern drawl, but for the most part, I only find this episode average, with nothing to overly grab me about it. There is worse in the 'Star Trek' barrel, but it's not one of my particular favourites either.
  • It has a very beautiful plot, and also because Spock reveals he can love! EEE!

    If the 100 words min didn't exist, I'd probably be keeping this short. Oh well. Here goes.

    My, oh, my, Spock actually can feel love and happiness! I thought he was just a stoic old half-human half-Vulcan, but boy, I was wrong! If I ever find myself in Star Trek, I'd be carrying blackmail with me (hee, hee)!

    The development of each character is important and pivotal to the plotline of each episode. So there I was, sniffling away at the final kiss between Leila and Spock. I hear Cousin Diana wishes she were in Leila's shoes, then she'd be able to plant one on Spock!

    Casey likey:

    * How the flowers were important to the plot. I wanted to pick out one of them and cast a spell over others.

    * Two Casey-likeys now. Well, for the final one...THE KISSES! WHEEEEEE! I loved how Nimoy played Spock's ability to love well. Wonder if the K/S shippers will try to make a fanfic out of it.
  • The original "paradise" episode and by far the best, even Shatner's acting is good on this one and the story is surprisingly balanced.

    Seti Omicron hides a secret, humans can only survive there if they are host to spores that heal all illnesses and give an addictive peace of mind.

    DC Fontana turns in a very good script on this one, the episode is fairly free from scientific mumbo jumbo and huge plot holes and, at the same time, the story is actually quite powerful and sad.

    Some of the highlights are the fact that Kirk is well-written, not over-the-top with dramatic lines, and he's fairly rational in the face of mutiny. At the same time, he's plenty pointed when he baits Spock in order to free him from the spore's presence. McCoy is also fun, slipping into the southern drawl that never really is talked about again. The story can't avoid a too preachy epilogue uttered by Kirk but Spock's simple utterance that "for the first time in my life, I was happy" is one of his best in the series (many good Spock lines in this one). As usual for series television, the musical score is on the cheap, but works, mixing elements of the music of "The Naked Time" and "Shore Leave", the flute theme of "love" (originally used for Ruth in "Shore Leave") works better here.

    What I rarely hear mentioned is that unlike other episodes where the humanoids need to be "disabused" of their concept of happiness - this entry is remarkably unjudgemental about the spores. There are no scenes where they are rooted out and destroyed and there is the unmistakable fact that while people without their influence wish to keep it that way, the people who ARE under their influence are just as fullfilled the way they are.
  • "Your father was a computer! and your mother, an Encyclopedia" what a great insult from an otherwise mind-numbing Kirk

    Listed as one of my favorites, not because of any dynamic plot or acting, but because to my knowledge it is the only Star Trek episode over which I actually remember having CRIED. In the scene between Leila and Spock, when he "comes to" and he says the line about self-made purgatories, (gasp gasp) that's where I lost it. Then, when she asks about his real name, there is such tenderness in him when he touches her cheek and replies with his half-smile, "You couldn't pronounce it." Only thing I didn't like: couldn't a planet deemed paradise find a more exciting dress code? Come to think of it, wouldn't paradise mandate an absence of clothing?
  • Spock beats up Kirk because he told him he belonged in a circus next to a dog faced boy

    I wrote "tearjerker" because I have sort of been through what Leila went though with Mr. Spock. When I watched it in the 70's as a young lad, I believe I just went on feeding speghettios into my mouth during that scene when Leila hugs Spock in the transporter room and realizes she has lost him. As an adult in the 2000s I couldn't stop balling like a blubbering seal. I love McCoy's reaction when Sandivol suggests to him what kind of work he'd be doing. "Would you like to see how fast I can put you in a hospital?"
  • Great episode. You really get a different side of Spock.

    This episode is one of my favorites. I love how they Show Spock in love. The girl was annoying though espicialy at the end when they are both on the ship. When she relizes that Spock will never love her willingly she is heart broken but it seemed to me she was equally disapointed that she lost the spurs! The one man she was in love with rejected her yet she is sad that she doesn't have spurs!! Weird. oh well. The captian insulting Spock was hott. It was enjoyable made the episode that much more entertaining. One of my favorite parts of the episode is when Dr. Macoy had his southern acent!! OMG that was so funny! All in all the episode is one of the best.
  • Guilty pleasure!

    This episode is indeed a guilty pleasure. Once Spock's character as a man of logic was established, it seemed to be a series in-joke to somehow provoke emotional displays from him. "This Side of Paradise" is a great example. In it, Spock is part of a landing party to Omicron Ceti III, and when he is exposed to the health-restoring spores that end up affecting the entire Enterprise crew, he becomes love-struck with Jill Ireland and spends the episode behaving like a besotted pup. It's surreal and amusing, and Nimoy is clearly enjoying himself. By the end, he conveys a sadness that evokes the human half of his character evident throughout the series.

    This episode is also memorable for some great Kirk moments. Who can forget the scene in which he beams up Spock and proceeds to bait him? His dialogue is priceless:

    "Alright, you mutinous, disloyal, computerised half-breed! We'll see about you deserting my ship. What makes you think you're a man? You're an overgrown jack-rabbit - an elf with a hyper-active thyroid. Of course you don't understand; you don't have the brains to understand. All you have is printed circuits. What did you expect from a simpering devil-eared freak, whose father was a computer and his mother an encyclopaedia? Your father was a computer, like his son; an ambassador from a planet of traitors. The Vulcan never lived who had an ounce of integrity. You're a traitor from a race of traitors! Disloyal to the core! Rotten, like the rest of your sub-human race; and you've got the gall to make love to that girl! Does she know what she's getting Spock? A carcass full of memory banks who should be squatting on a mushroom, instead of passing himself off as a man. You belong in the circus, Spock. Not a starship. Right next to the dog-faced boy!"

    This is joyous stuff, and amongst the best of Star Trek's writing. The end of this scene is similarly wonderful:

    Spock: Captain. Striking a fellow officer is a court-martial offence.

    Kirk: (Pause). Well, if we're both in the brig, who's going to build the sub-sonic transmitter?

    Spock: That is quite logical captain.

    The episode packs an emotional punch and is very well acted by all concerned. It's one of my favourite stories from the original series' first season - very 1967 - and it's for all these reasons that I've given it such a high score.
  • Have you ever had a feeling of deja vue … of deja vue … of deja vue …

    Wait a minute … didn’t they just do this story? Isn’t this almost exactly the same plot as “Return of the Archons? It is, isn’t it?

    The Enterprise shows up at a planet where everyone is happy under the influence of an external force. Kirk objects to this because the development of society is stagnating. However, things are complicated when some of the landing party come under the outside influence and join the planet’s society. So, in order to let the inhabitants progress, and to save his affected shipmates, Kirk negates the external influence, over the objections of the influenced, and sets the locals back to squabbling with each other as this is more “healthy”.

    “This Side of Paradise” is only really worthy of note because this is the first time we see Spock acting is a human-like manner – smiling, kissing the girl, hanging upside down in a tree (no, really!) … they’d do this over and over again, too.

    Anyone think of other episodes this plot fits?