> TOS > EPISODES
> PLATO'S STEPCHILDREN
When the U.S.S. Enterprise receives a distress call from the planet
Platonius, Kirk, Spock and McCoy beam down to the planet's surface.
There they find the planet's leader, Parmen, with a badly infected
leg. The Platonians, while powerful psycho kinetics, have no
resistance against physical injury. As Parmen's wife tells them, a
cut or break in the skin can literally cause death. The only
resident of Platonius that doesn't have "the power" is Alexander, a
dwarf, who is everyone's jester and slave.
When Parmen's wound has healed and the landing party prepares to
leave, they find the U.S.S. Enterprise's controls are frozen. Parmen
has decided that it would be beneficial for them to have a resident
doctor and tries to convince McCoy to remain. When he refuses,
Parmen and the others try to convince him by subjecting Kirk and
Spock to several humiliating scenarios. Still the doctor refuses and
the three officers are locked away to ponder their plight.
After questioning Alexander, McCoy determines that the Platonians
probably got their mental powers from eating the local foods.
Something about Alexander's metabolism has kept him from acquiring
those powers as well. McCoy prepares concentrated doses of kironide,
the substance in the local food, and injects it into Kirk and Spock.
Alexander, given the chance, refuses an injection. He doesn't want
the same powers that his masters have.
As they discuss their next move, the shimmering of a transporter
beam appear in the room and Lieutenant Uhura and Nurse Chapel
appear. Without a word, they are jerked out of the room, as if
controlled with invisible strings, and disappear. Kirk comments
grimly that the men were apparently not entertaining enough for the
Later, Uhura and Christine join the other officers, dressed in
sparkling gowns and lavish makeup. Christine's is even vaguely
Vulcan with slanted eyebrows and partially covered ears. What
follows is a series of "games" designed to humiliate the U.S.S.
Enterprise crew members and entertain the Platonians. McCoy, seated
in a place of honor beside Parmen, is expected to accept the leaders
offer to stay and serve as their physician.
Kirk and Spock are forced to fight each other and Spock is made to
sing "Maiden Wine" to the two women. Finally, Spock is paired on a
loveseat with Christine, while Kirk shares one with Uhura. They are
forced to make advances on the women. The play gets nasty then, as
Kirk and Spock take up whips, which they snap at their respective
partners. By now, however, the doses of kironide are beginning to
take effect and both officers now resist the Platonians powers and
throw down their weapons.
Kirk tells Parmen that they can recreate this power whenever they
want and if the Federation finds that Parmen and his people have
fallen back to their old ways, there will be trouble. With this,
Kirk calls for the U.S.S. Enterprise to beam them aboard ... along
with Alexander, who will be coming with them to start a new life.