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Friday, February 1, 2019

Metamorphosis


Episode: TOS Season 2 Episode 9
Air Date: November 10th, 1967

This was an episode I was not expecting. Kirk, Spock and McCoy had taken a shuttle craft to pick up Federation Commissioner Nancy Hedford who was on a peace keeping mission until she fail deathly ill. Kirk was bringing her to the Enterprise where they have the medical facilities needed to cure her. For some reason the Enterprise was out of system, maybe this is the first indication that shuttle crafts themselves can do warp speed though it wasn't mentioned.

The shuttle craft gets pulled by some kind of electric cloud and taken off course to a planetoid. Once landed the shuttle just stops working. As they are trying to fix it, they meet a human living on the planetoid which was unexpected because they are in uncharted space. The part that surprised me is he said his name was Cochrane. Later on we find out his first name is Zeferm. He was the inventor of the warp engine and a main character in the TNG movie First Contact.

Turns out that when Cochrane turned 87 he wanted to just go into space to die, and not be on a planet. But he got rescued by this electric field which can communicate ideas telepathically. He calls the electric field the companion. The companion also has the ability to reverse aging, which is why Cochrane is still alive, and looks like he is 35 years old.

Kirk realizes that the relationship between the companion and Cochrane is one of love, even if Cochrane doesn't believe it. Spock modifies the universal translator to communicate with the companion which confirms his theory. It is amusing to watch Kirk try to explain how humanity works to the companion. It almost sounds like he is just making things up.

Moments before Hedford is to pass away from her illness, the companion possesses her so that she could even if momentarily experience love as a human would. Cochrane wants to now leave the planet with Hedford as the companion but learns that the companion cannot leave and so he decides to stay with her.

I always assumed that Zefram Cochrane was a character invented for the TNG movie. I find it interesting when shows and movies work to keep at least some form of continuity.

"Maybe you're a soldier so often that you forget you're also trained to be a diplomat. Why not try a carrot instead of a stick?" - McCoy

"Jim, what about that war on Epsilon Canaris III?" - McCoy
"Well, I'm sure the Federation can find another woman somewhere who'll stop that war..." - Kirk

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