Episode Trivia


This episode has some similarities with "Star Trek: The Motion Picture" specifically, the notion of a space probe launched from Earth having its directives and forms changed by an alien encounter and returning to Earth to carry out its directives.
The word "changeling" later became a synonym for The Founders in "Star Trek: Deep Space Nine".
After the first of Nomad's energy bolts strikes the ship, Spock comments that the shields absorbed energy equivalent to 90 of the ship's photon torpedoes. Clearly, the Enterprise survives. But a few minutes later, the Enterprise hits Nomad with a single photon torpedo -- which it absorbs. This prompts Kirk to wonder with amazement how anything "could absorb that much energy ... and survive". But his own ship did far better.
How can Spock mind-meld with Nomad? It is not a sentient being; it's a robot. Unlike Data, Nomad was created for a specific purpose, a purpose that didn't require the ability to think or learn. It retained this state when it crashed into and absorbed the alien probe, albeit its programming changed to reflect its new nature. Thus, it shouldn't be intelligent or self-aware enough to warrant a mind-meld. Besides, I don't see any 'connection points' that Spock could use to create the 'link' for the mind meld on Nomad.
It's not clear exactly what Nomad does to Uhura. Still, they're able to re-educate her in a week in this episode. When Spock has to be reeducated in the fourth Trek movie after his death and rebirth, it takes 3 months.
In a mind meld, as we see in previous and future episodes, both participants share thoughts and memories. That doesn't happen when Spock mind melds with Nomad - otherwise Nomad would know Kirk is lying.
Nomad was created from the amalgamation of two probes - one that was sent to search for alien life, and one that was designed to collect and sterilize soil sample. What gave it the power to destroy planets and fire bolts with the power of 90 photon torpedoes?
After attacking Nurse Chapel, Nomad comes out of the doors but the background is not that of sickbay but of the turbo lift of the bridge.