At face value, the storyline is rather simple, and nothing entirely new - the landing party is forced to the planet's surface by the quintessentially naughty alien, solely for the amusement of this dubious lifeform. In this case, the alien is the apparently very-much-alive Greek god Apollo. However, what makes this so much more tolerable than some other troublemaker like Trelane is that Apollo is played by the exquisitely beautiful Michael Forest, who has a physique deserving of the revealing gold lamee costume chosen for him (he does discreetly keep his knees together when sitting on his throne).
Beyond the arch-villain, you gotta love the "treats" in this episode - the men all gossiping in the beginning about the latest hottie on board (Lt. Palamas), speculating a few feet away from her whether she really is career material or doesn't just want to find a man; Uhura getting all mechanical underneath her communications board with what appears to be one of those giant, clear pens that they give away at carnivals; Lt. Palamas' radiant afterglow after her tryst in the glen with Apollo; the crew hurling themselves across the bridge when the ship feels the turbulence of Apollo's hand; the perpetual soft lens and back lighting used every time Palamas is given a close-up; Chekov's ultra-conditioned 'do, the body of his mop which would have been the envy of Paul, George, John, and Ringo.
Among other treats are the zinging one-liners:
Apollo saying about Spock, "He is much like Pan, and Pan always bored me." Lt. Palamas to Apollo, "Why, I could no more love you than a new species of bacteria!" Kirk to Lt. Palamas, squeezing her hand passionately, "Human flesh against human flesh!" with the implication being, "Apollo's not the only one around here who can make a woman out of you!" and finally, after totally demolishing Apollo's surrounds and making him into a constellation, Kirk woefully muses to McCoy, "Would it have hurt us to gather a few laurels?" Um...maybe should have thought of that about five seconds before giving the order to Spock to pulverize his temple?
Exactly why I watch this series and for several reasons: I can never entirely judge Star Trek on factors such as plotlines and dialogue. For me, episodes that contain these special tidbits always boost their value.