Star Trek: The Original Series
"The Paradise Syndrome"
Air date: 10/4/1968
Written by Margaret Armen
Directed by Jud Taylor
Review by Jamahl Epsicokhan
An attempt to divert an asteroid from crashing into a populated planet brings Kirk and the landing party to investigate a planet of paradise where the planet's American Indian-like tribes live in simplistic peace. But when Kirk goes missing after falling into the trap door of a mysterious obelisk, Spock and the Enterprise are forced to leave him behind in order to divert the asteroid before it's too late. Kirk wakes up with amnesia, and upon climbing from the obelisk is taken in by the nearby tribe, where he falls in love with the beautiful Miramanee (Sabrina Scharf). Meanwhile, the story's subplot follows Spock's failed attempt to deflect the asteroid.
Both stories, which take place over a period of several months, are fairly palatable, but neither turns out to be captivating. Kirk's story benefits from the enlightening idea that, although he can't remember who he is, he realizes that being in love and living a simple life has made him "truly happy" for the first time in his life. Not of much interest, however, are Kirk's confrontations with a rival tribe member who, unlike the rest of the tribe, doubts Kirk is a god. Just why does Kirk subtly allow the others to think he is a god in the first place? Is he taking advantage of a situation? The story, unfortunately, never stops to ask what Kirk thinks about this aspect of his problem.
Meanwhile, the romance angle is sweet at first, but goes overboard into tiring sappiness. Miramanee's subsequent injury results in a melodramatic deathbed scene that I couldn't help but resist. Tragedies work better when they have a greater purpose for existing other than for the sake of closing lamentable dialog.