Jammer's Review

Star Trek: The Original Series

"For the World Is Hollow and I Have Touched the Sky"


Air date: 11/8/1968
Written by Rik Vollaerts
Directed by Tony Leader

Review by Jamahl Epsicokhan

The Enterprise encounters an asteroid that actually turns out to be a huge alien bio-dome-like spaceship—carrying passengers who think they're living on an actual world. This spaceship, navigation having malfunctioned, is on a collision course with another populated world.

Meanwhile, McCoy learns that he has a terminal illness that leaves him with a maximum of one year to live. Upon beaming to the spaceship to investigate, Kirk, Spock, and Bones find that the inhabitants are at the mercy of an apparently computerized oracle that dictates thought and speech—speak the forbidden words and it kills you. Bones is elected to keep Natira (Kate Woodville), the landing party's host who finds herself enamored with McCoy, busy while Kirk and Spock try to figure out how to gain navigational control of the planet-ship.

The "spaceship planet" idea and some of the social implications are genuinely intriguing. There's an implicit analysis of a society built on censored thought, but the story doesn't dig as deep as it could've. Also unfortunate is that Bones' romance with Natira—a key emotional focus point in the story and a good idea—is a major letdown, severely lacking punch and devoid of passion or sweetness, thereby reduced to a plot element. It's a real shame, because I like Bones and would've liked to see this side of him more believably brought to the surface.

Previous episode: Day of the Dove
Next episode: The Tholian Web

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3 comments on this review

Paul - Sun, Dec 2, 2012 - 4:47pm (USA Central)
The remastered version of this aired last night -- and it's a big improvement, as far as the shots with the Enterprise and the asteroid.

The real problem with the episode is that Shatner and Kelley seem really off. Shatner's reactions to learning that one of his closest friends is dying is far too muted. And the good bye scene was weird, too.

Shatner's performance could be overlooked, but Kelley really drops the ball. For somebody who was willing to leave the Enterprise to be with a woman he just met, he sure doesn't seem very happy to be with Natira. He hardly smiles!

I wonder if Kelley tried to play Bones in a weakened state? If so, it was a bad call.
Adara - Tue, Oct 29, 2013 - 2:55pm (USA Central)
I'm so happy to see Bones finally get some action that I'm willing to overlook all the problems with this episode. Well, almost all of them. The high priestess's acting is terrible!
Jo Jo Meastro - Mon, Feb 17, 2014 - 8:56am (USA Central)
It probably sounded a lot better on paper than how it actually turned out.

I think the main pitfall is the unfortunate lack of an emotional punch. Wether it was the actors or the director or simply an uninvolving script, it leaves you strangely unmoved at times when you should be completely hooked and in the heart of the moment.

Coupled with a very slow pace and a failure to actually do anything interesting or original with its good concepts; it wasn't one of my favourites despite me being a big McCoy fan.

I would rate it a 2/4. I didn't hate it but I was left feeling very indifferent to it which isn't much better. As a side note, I love the episode title and I noticed TOS has a tendency for really cool sounding titles (excluding Spocks' Brain of course)!

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