The Way to Eden (1969) Star Trek episode - My Rating: {>---} (Worst Episode Ever!!!) {{ Previous - Next}}

Please note that this review is laden with spoilers.

Star Trek was beginning to flounder, and some of the suits thought they should try to attract more "young" viewers. So they tailor made an episode aimed at the counterculture and the result is a steaming pile of poo that looked dated before it even hit the airwaves.

Body count: Two. A space hippy is killed when he eats an acidic piece of fruit on the surface of Eden. The space hippy leader also dies eating poison fruit as well.

Plot Outline: This episode begins with the crew of the USS Enterprise as they are using a tractor beam to grab a stolen space cruiser. The space cruiser is full of idiotic space hippies who believe their own personal goals gives them a free pass to steal whatever they want. They are stupid enough to overload the engines trying to escape and Scotty has to beam them aboard as their stolen ship blows up.

The space hippies consist of five annoying space hippies and one annoying space hippy who used to be Pavel Chekov's girlfriend. They are dressed like total idiots and they immediately stage a protest in the transporter room. They take an instant dislike to Captain Kirk and refer to him by the insult of "Herbert" throughout the entire episode. We do find out that their goal is to find the mythological "Eden"

Mr. Spock seems to have a working knowledge of the space hippy philosophy and he is able to get them to at least move to sick bay. In sick bay they perform the first of many terrible 1960s hippy rock protest songs. In the sick bay Chekov has the first of many encounters with his ex-girlfriend (basically they disagree with each other's lifestyles). Doctor McCoy quickly discovers that their leader has a highly contagious disease. The disease is of no consequence in a high tech society, but he would completely wipe out any primitives he came in contact with. The leader (Sevrin), doesn't seem to care or believe that he would wipe out "Eden" if he actually found it.

The space hippies begin secretly learning the ship's systems as they plan a "non-violent" hostile takeover of the Enterprise. Meanwhile Mr. Spock uses the Enterprise computer to search for Eden. Sometime during all of this the hippies have a concert in the recreation room. Mr. Spock plays with them and some of the crew members become somewhat sympathetic to the hippy cause.

Now anyone versed in Star Trek knows that all it takes to commandeer a Federation starship is to get onboard and try. So the hippies take over the ship and rocket off across the Romulan Neutral Zone in search of Eden. The hippies escape to the planet before crew of the Enterprise were able to regain control.

Once on the planet the dumb hippies learn that everything on the planet is acidic and poisonous to humans. One of them eats a poison apple and dies, while all of them are having instant negative side effects from walking around barefooted on the poison ground. Four of the remaining hippies are glad to be rescued, but the stupid hippy leader still wants to stay on the planet. He runs off and grabs a piece of fruit and dies producing the only enjoyable part of the episode.

My Opinion: This is very simply the worst Star Trek episode ever filmed for any of the series. The plot is not believable. The music is terrible. You'll hate the guest stars and you won't identify with their goals. The whole thing is just ridiculously tied to 1968 era hippy protesters. Other Star Trek episodes manage to comment on current social issues without looking dated, but this one does not succeed in that.

  • This episode recycles footage from Spock's Brain in the scene when Sevrin uses the ultrasound.
  • This episode is said to be the primary reason why no one in other Star Trek series listens to anything other than Jazz, classical, and Klingon Opera.
  • The space hippies (as a group) wear the skimpiest clothing ever seen in the original series.

Cast and Guest Stars

Directed by: David Alexander

Writing credits: Michael Richards and Arthur Heinemann were responsible for the script.

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

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