The Apple (1967) Star Trek episode - My Rating: {>>--} (Youth Culture Killed My Dog) {{ Previous - Next}}

Please note that this review is laden with spoilers.

The crew of the USS Enterprise discovers a planet that is sort of like Eden, but with unexplained deadly rocks and vegetation.

Body count: Two. One red shirted ensign is killed by poison flower darts only moments after beaming down, while the other red shirt is killed by an exploding rock.

Plot Outline: A USS Enterprise landing party beams down to the previously unexplored world of Gamma Trianguli VI. The world is incredibly dangerous; it features thorn throwing plants, exploding rocks and lightning bolts that aim right for people. Obviously the red shirts didn't last very long on this world.

The away party eventually encounters the inhabitants of the planet. They are a red skinned peaceful humanoid race known as the "Feeders of Vaal". Vaal himself is a giant computer complex who has a face in the form of a dragon headed doorway.

The Feeders of Vaal do not age, grow ill, reproduce or die. They are eternally young and attractive and they live for nothing other than to serve Vaal. They know nothing of reproduction, and "the touching" is actually forbidden by Vaal. Vaal himself takes a disliking to the crew of the Enterprise and begins attempting to pull the ship out of orbit.

Vaal operates by converting food into reaction mass, thus he requires the humanoids on the planet to feed him. Captain Kirk uses this to his advantage and starves Vaal and then destroys him with the ship's phaser banks. This of course leaves the natives behind without direction, religion or leadership.

My Opinion: The Apple is firmly what I would call a "middle of the road" Star Trek episode. Nothing makes it stick out as being particularly good or bad; it is simply classic Star Trek. It does have a few funny lines, particularly when the pretty female Yeoman is speculating about their lack of sexual activity.

  • Early on this episode establishes that the rocks on this planet are explosive. Yet in one scene "Akuta" places a piece of fruit on a rock and smashes it with a weapon with no ill effects. Every place else in the episode merely tripping over a rock causes it to blow up.
  • This episode is one of the many times that Captain Kirk blatantly violates the Prime Directive because he does not personally like how a civilization operates.
  • This is one of several Eden episodes, and one of several episodes where the Kirk destroys or alters a computer that is running a civilization. Star Trek may have only run for three years, but they recycled a surprising amount of plot material in those three years.

Cast and Guest Stars

Directed by: Joseph Pevney directed this episode along with fourteen other original Star Trek episodes.

Writing credits: Max Ehrlich was responsible for this script. This was the only Star Trek episode he ever wrote.

Sources: Star, my head, and watching the sucker multiple times. A big thanks to weasello for the format used.

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