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|Season 2, Episode 5|
|Air date||October 13, 1967|
|Written by||Max Ehrlich|
|Directed by||Joseph Pevney|
|Mirror, Mirror||The Doomsday Machine|
|Star Trek episodes|
The Enterprise crew encounters a society living in a computer controlled paradise.
Stardate: 3715.3 Gamma Trianguli Gamma Trianguli
The Enterprise crew investigate the Gamma Trianguli, which seems to be contain a planetwide tropical paradise with stable climate, abundant resources, and a small population of humanoids. Captain James Kirk leads an away team comprised of Dr. McCoy, Yeoman Martha Landon, Ensign Pavel Chekov, Chief Science Officer Spock, and a small security detail. They discover that the planet is not without its dangers, though. Poisonous flora, explosive rocks, and freak lightning strikes. After the loss of three men, and the incapacitation of Spock, Kirk orders the crew back to the ship. Unfortunately, the transporters seem to be inhibited by an energy force emanating from deep within Gamma Trianguli, which is also drawing the Enterprise toward it like a tractor beam. Meeting Akuta Meeting Akuta
The away team is shadowed by a native of the planet. Kirk orders the team to provide a distraction while he steals around to get the drop on him. Kirk assults the frightened, passive native, Akuta, who claims to be one of the people known as the "Feeders of Vaal". Small antennae on Akuta's head were placed there long ago, he says, to allow him to communicate with "Vaal", making him the eyes and ears of Vaal. Kirk harboring suspicions, asks Akuta to take them to Vaal. Akuta informs them that he can take them to Vaal, but Vaal will only communicate through him. He then leads them to a cave with an entrance resembling a dragon's mouth. On approach, Spock is rebuffed by a force field. He tells Kirk his readings indicate that it leads to an underground complex with a computer system, perhaps constructed by a long-dead civilization, which he believes is the source of the tractor beam affecting the Enterprise. Entering the village Entering the village
Unable to make contact as Vaal is 'sleeping', Akuta takes the team to his village to eat and rest. They find the villagers to be young and healthy, like Akuta, but primitive and naive. They soon learn that the villagers neither age, nor procreate. They feed Vaal the explosive rocks from the planets surface, and Vaal provides them with all other needs. This leads to a philosophical debate between Spock and McCoy over the nature of security and freedom, but Kirk orders them to table the discussion until they find a way to free the Enterprise. Chekov and Landon Chekov and Landon
Meanwhile, Chekov and Landon sneak off to a secluded area to make out. A couple of natives oversee this and emulate it, much to the chagrin of Vaal, who orders Akuta to instruct the tribe in how to kill the visitors. In the skirmish that follows, another of the security men is killed, and all the tribesmen are incapacitated. Yeoman Landon takes out two hostile villagers Yeoman Landon takes out two hostile villagers
With a mere fifteen minutes of emergency power remaining to the Enterprise, Kirk orders his crew to prevent the villagers from feeding Vaal any more, and instructs Scott to fire the ship's phasers at the rock formation to expend Vaal's power faster than the Enterprise's. Vaal's power supply exhausts, dropping both the force field and the tractor beam. Kirk assures Akuta that while his people will no longer be cared for by Vaal, they can learn to care for themselves, and experience what it's like to know freedom and love.
Back aboard the ship, Dr. McCoy and Mr. Spock resume their debate over whether their intervention in a stable society was justified.
Neither Sulu nor Uhura appear in this episode.