Star Trek: The Original Series

“By Any Other Name”

3 stars.

Air date: 2/23/1968
Teleplay by D.C. Fontana and Jerome Bixby
Story by Jerome Bixby
Directed by Marc Daniels

Review Text

"By Any Other Name" has a similar theme as "Return to Tomorrow," and is probably more campy throughout. However, it's also more effective overall, because it picks a tone and sticks with it, rather than throwing the book out the window when the end rolls around.

The theme is "alien lifeform takes human form and is intrigued by human sensation." Once all but four Enterprise crew members (Kirk, Spock, Bones, Scotty) are temporarily disabled, this leaves our four heroes with the task of undermining the Kelvans, each with a special trick suited to their personality. Kirk distracts the female Kelvan with the wonders of love. Bones injects his subject with a drug that makes him irritable. Scotty gets his subject drunk through a sequence of amusing drinking scenes. Meanwhile, the leader of the Kelvans watches all his people fall apart while Kirk wooing the female sends him into a rage of jealousy.

This is all fairly silly, but the episode knows it's silly. Marc Daniels applies a deft light touch to the material that balances the threat with a keen sense of humor that constantly reminds us not to take any of it too seriously. The end result is surprisingly likable and entertaining—probably better than it has any right to be.

Previous episode: Patterns of Force
Next episode: The Omega Glory

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Comment Section

51 comments on this post

    I really hated BY ANY OTHER NAME and I swear...... Roddenberry doesn't care about justice when he sees a future world, he cares only about "letting things go" to the point where murder, rape, torture are forgotten within seconds all because the other person is SORRY. But in BAON we don't get that. The Kelvans are not sorry, and they do NOT GET ANY PUNISHMENT FOR THEIR CRIME. Someday, I WILL make them pay for not making them pay in the series. I will make the CREATORS PAY......... WOMEN-KILLERS!!!!!!!

    I find it amusing how the "morality police" censors allowed the scenes where Kirk was pulling on his boots and the girl was brushing her hair back into place, and where Scotty gets so drunk that he can't stand up.

    Continuity bonus: This episode re-visits the "galactic barrier" at the rim of the Milky Way. Recall the enterprise encountered it in "Where no man has gone before" (the gary mitchell episode).

    In "By Any Other Name", Kirk references it, saying something like "yes we've seen it" when the lead Kelvan mentions the barrier.

    I still remember my shock and horror when they turned the disposable crew people into cubes and crushed the scared girl. I was sure the guy was going to be the one crushed.

    That struck me as the most horrible death on any Trek.

    Wait a minute these people execute and murder crew members and it is just brushed away because they're sorry? Wow. A brutal episode.

    A reference to this episode in TNG Relics.... "What is it"...... "It is green"!

    This is basically just an "aliens take over the Enterprise" for their own purposes episode. However, for such an episode it is quite well done. My main problem with this episode is the same as mentioned above. These aliens murder the young woman, hijack the Enterprise, turn the crew into little cubes, and at the episode everything is hunky-dory? Also, Kirk and Spock say they will send a robot ship to Kelva with a proposition to these aliens to come to our galaxy. Remember Rojan's statement at the beginning of the episode "We do not colonize, we conquer" (or words to that affect). Does the Federation really want to send an invitation to these people? Don't they have enough enemies to fight already?

    So two episodes ago we had trapped aliens take over the Enterprise in order to fulfill their mission, and now this episode we have trapped aliens take over the Enterprise in order to fulfill their mission. TOS isn't exactly known for the diversity of their plots, huh?

    I agree with Jammer that this is the better of the two episodes, although perhaps not for the same reason. Basically, I like the thematic resolution to the episode. It doesn't revolve around Kirk outsmarting the villains (although there is some of that) or Kirk beating up the villain (although there is some of that too). Instead, we have a nice sci-fi resolution to the conflict, that the bad guys simply cannot escape the entire meaning of what it is to convert themselves into being human.

    What would it be like to completely change one's body? How much are we the product of our independent mind vs how much a function of our bodies? This episode implies that it's a bit of both, that while these aliens still thought and acted like their old selves, the feelings were overwhelming. That much is simple enough, something we might be able to expect. But then they imply that, as time goes by, those feelings will take over its thoughts. They won't be able to keep from thinking like a human, simply because they will be so used to feeling like a human. It is a unique approach, and even though we don't see if this is true or not, it feels like the right approach. And obviously the aliens agreed, and stood down on their original plan.

    As for the fact that they weren't punished for their transgressions, I can see how that could be annoying. And really, they could have easily rewritten the episode slightly to make them less of karma whodinis. There was no reason to kill the Redshirt; turning them into cubes and turning one back would have had the same impact. And at least then the aliens wouldn't have been murderers. Of course, there's still the bigger problem of how to deal with the aliens stuck in Andromeda that haven't turned into humans yet, but presumably the Federation will work that out before inviting them over. At the very least, though, it is a rather positive and uplifting ending, and kinda makes the case that humans are awesome. After all, even a race of close-minded conquerors can be redeemed simply by themselves turning into humans. Sometimes Trek optimism can be a bit silly, but other than a few logical quibbles I think it works well here.

    This is a decent episode I have to agree with the other commenters saying these Kelvans get off without any punishment. So the ending of just allowing them to colonize the planet they were on doesn't sit well with me. But then again, Kirk & Co. were in no position to mete out punishment.
    It also seems a bit convenient for these Kelvans to succumb to the human emotions - although that does bring up the idea of what it means to be human etc.
    Couldn't the Kelvans find a space on the ship where they could periodically turn back into their original forms? If they had to travel by spaceship - presumably they could turn the Enterprise into more suitable accommodations for them.
    It's also interesting the comparisons with "Return to Tomorrow" - that didn't occur to me until reading the comments but I have to say RtT is slightly superior than BAON. Both endings are a bit convenient but RtT is a more compelling story that seems truer to what Star Trek TOS is all about (Kirk's speech).
    I'd rate "By Any Other Name" 2.5 stars out of 4. The Kelvans story is an interesting one with their inter-galaxy travel, conquering etc. but ultimately this episode has its plot holes and is only satisfying to a certain degree.

    This is a four-star episode for me. What makes it different from so many other TOS "all-powerful aliens take over the ship" episodes is how the crew solves an impossible situation here in a way that features great character interaction: Once the threat is established and we're reduced to a few members of the main cast outnumbered by the aliens in an impossible situation, the story is actually *really* clever in how Kirk and company undermine the Kelvans through their inexperience with human bodies. Rather than resolving the ship hijacking plot with tech solutions or a fight scene, as many TOS episodes do, this episode shows how the humanity of the crew enables them to triumph against impossibly powerful aliens. Each TOS main character gets a little moment playing to his or her strengths -- not simply the Kirk seduction game, but also Bones giving the guy shots and the priceless "it's green" scene with Scotty drinking the guy under the table, the latter being an all-time favorite Trek moment of mine -- as they undo the Kelvans in a series of delightful role-reversal scenes. It's a highly entertaining show after a first act that is actually kind of heavy and foreboding, setting up a delightful contrast. If you want fun in TOS, this is one of the better stories for it, and the fun arises organically from a clever set-up in which all of the usual escape methods we've seen on past shows (including Spock using mental powers to escape imprisonment, Scotty designing a solution, and Kirk shooting/punching his way out) fail surprisingly.

    I don't understand this. They want to conquer our galaxy but are headed back home ? to Star Trek Original series

    In response to Jim: the Kelvans were sent as a multi-generational scouting expedition, with the intention of discovering a suitable galaxy to relocate to due to the impending demise of their own Andromeda galaxy. Therefore, once they had assessed our galaxy, they were to return with their report which would instigate the relocation of their people and our subjugation/destruction.

    In general, I enjoyed the episode. The fast opening was somewhat jarring but also refreshing, with the premise of the episode snappily established. The characterization of the Kelvans was minimal, yet it worked in terms of presenting these "perfect" human forms as totally alien.

    There are of course logical inconsistencies within the episode. The Kelvans state that they need a starship to pierce the galactic barrier because communication signals will not penetrate it. Why not then immediately signal once through the barrier? We'd already seen the Enterprise attempt to travel through the barrier once before. Why was this time so different? Because aliens? Aliens who had destroyed their own ship going through the barrier? It seemed as if the writers had forgotten their own rules for the sake of expediency.

    A huge downside of the episode was the utter predictability of it. As soon as I saw Kelinda appear, it was completely obvious that Kirk would attempt to seduce her in some kind of scheme to confuse her with human "love." Many users have commented on the similarity of the plot line to other episodes, and for me, "By Any Other Name" suffers because of it. It's like listening to a band coming out with slightly improved versions of the same album over and over. Sure, objectively the newest version is better than the others, but it's not as entertaining as it should be when you can see every beat coming.

    The excellent first act and decent enough if rushed ending are sufficient to carry the tedious interim. Overall 2.5/4 stars

    When the Kelvan sat down to eat Spock should have neck pinched him. Could the 4 Kelvan really find and disable all the hand phasers on the Enterprise?

    A few thoughts....

    * Always loved Scotty drinking Tomar under the table and his line, "It'''s green". When Data paid it homage in "Relics," I cheered.

    * It's a pity that the remastered TOS episodes couldn't ret-con in subsequent technological developments into the dialog. The Kelvans upgrading the Enterprise's engines could have been mentioned as adding a quantum slipstream drive (which, per the dialogue in Voyager's "Hope & Fear," would have made the trip to M31 - Andromeda - take a little over ten years, not three hundred). Ditto that no subsequent Trek series ever revisited the Kelvan story.

    * Given what a horndog Kirk was, it would have brought the house down if in the final scene where Rojan walks in on Kirk and Kelinda necking, Rojan had instead found them, shall we say, fully involved. The sight of Jim Kirk engaging in a fistfight stark naked and still, shall we say, "at attention" would have been hilarious, particularly since we all know it wouldn't have been the first time.

    I thought the beginning was interesting but it got hokey when they went back to the Enterprise.
    It wasn't a very well thought out episode.

    If ever there was one, this is really a seriocomic story. The Kelvans seize the Enterprise in an effort to get out of the galaxy and home to Andromeda, but they run into trouble---and hilarious trouble it is too. Scotty drinks one of them under the table and then passes out himself (albeit with a little sense of satisfaction). Bones shoots another one with repeated injections of what amounts to formic acid, which has that Kelvan climbing the walls. And there's Kirk---and the "apology", which has Kelinda first puzzled and then wildly enthusiastic, and when she asks Rojan if she could apologize to him he too is at first puzzled and then wildly enthusiastic. All of which drives those aliens to realize that they have become human so they might as well get used to it! (Not to mention that the little planet is kind of nice to settle on and colonize.) Good fun.

    This is a non-issue today, but when this first came out, it was a MAJOR annoyance to some people that the "token black guy" lived and the white girl was killed. Times change!

    Anyway, this is one of my favourite episodes. I like the way the Enterprise crew outsmart the Kelvans. I always thought Drea was prettier than the other Kelvan woman though.

    I do like to go back to "campy" 60s sci-fi from time to time though

    Another boring and laughable TOS episode. With the usual bits of sexism of course. I found it really stupid when Kirk got in his hands the alien device and everybody run out of their rocky prison rather casually and smiling, just to be caught 3 seconds later... meh...

    Good episode but why not just inject them with something that would just knock them out???Its hard to believe only 4 kelvans could take out a crew of over 400.

    Some fun, humorous moments, but the plot and happenings made very little sense, especially the end decision to happily welcome the Kelvans to the Milky Way.

    The horror of death-by-cube-crushing was good, but then totally undercut by the light and funny tone of the rest of the show.

    So, Sexy Lady needs to be introduced to her humanity. Hmm. Will Scotty bring her to tears with a haunting tune on the bagpipes? Will Spock stimulate her intellect with a discussion of Vulcan philosophies? Will McCoy make her angry with his biting sarcasm? Or will the completely irresistible Kirk seduce her with his legendary kissing technique? It was a tough call.

    Average in every way.

    Honestly, when I saw the cube-crushing scene, I was sure that the guy would die and girl would live. It honestly might be the first time in all of Trek that the unimportant girl character dies.

    -No one likes a predictable story; I therefore salute the death-by-cube-crushing scene. Even today that would be unpredictable, not to mention the late 60's (!).

    -Scotty drinking the alien under the table has to be one of the best Trek-moments in history.

    -I like the idea of Bones injecting the alien with crystal meth, but it isn't very exciting TV. Perhaps it could've been.

    -Flirtatious Kirk makes my skin crawl.

    -To those of you who are upset the aliens got away without being punished: do you really think the circumstances permitted that?

    II of IV

    @Springy - Great comment! =]

    For me the most interesting part of this episode was Spock’s description of what the aliens really look like. Just imagining these gargantuan creatures compressing their many limbs into a human shell is fun mental imagery. Too bad the limitations of technology prevented viewers from seeing their true form.

    Another Spock tries out his mental powers episode, but this time to no avail. Usually in TOS, the Federation is in a superior or equal position handing out charity, so it was nice to see a reversal of the paradigm with Kirk's mercy becoming his captor. The Kelvans maintained their dominance over the Enterprise throughout most of the hour and it wasn't and a casual conversation about food that Kirk, Spock, Bones, and Scotty were able to figure out how to beat their captors. Scotty's method for enticing the senses is a golden moment for TOS so it's no wonder "Relics" ends up referencing it.

    I kind of wish they had tried harder to squeeze a message out of this episode, but the Romeo and Juliet title was referenced often. I suppose the lesson is if you try to imitate something too closely you may just end up enamored with it?

    3.5 stars.

    @ Chrome,

    I suspect the title implies that you can call a thing anything you like, but it is what it is. When taking the human form, you could call them Kelvins but they *were* humans, and this was their weakness.

    "A rose by any other name would smell as sweet" essentially says that Romeo would be just as good as he is if he were called something else, i.e. not called Montague. Changing his name would not alter any of his essential qualities, but would remove the need to call him enemy.

    I suppose we could look even deeper into this meaning and infer that perhaps the Kelvins could have come to see humans as allies or friends if they had ceased to differentiate based on "your race" and "our race". The focus on the name of the species (i.e. their differing origins) would seem to be the only reason to alienate the alien. I'm not really sure if the episode puts any focus on that, although it is a Trek message.

    @Peter G.

    I knew what the phrase meant in its original context but I was struggling trying to fit it into this episode. But I think you're reading is correct; that Kirk and the others needed to treat the Kelvans as humans in order to form a bond with them. Treating them like alien invaders only increased the antagonism between the two peoples. Funny, I was just criticizing Space Force for antagonizing the Chinese in the same manner.

    @ ChomeO,

    "I knew what the phrase meant in its original context but I was struggling trying to fit it into this episode."

    Fair enough, I just wanted to make sure.

    By any other Name

    Star Trek season 2 episode 22

    "Yes, I know. We've been there.”

    - Kirk discovers continuity

    2 1/2 stars (out of 4)

    There are actually a couple explicit nods to continuity in this episode, the quote above regarding the Galactic Barrier, and the other one is where Kirk recalls the events of “A Taste of Armageddon” when he asks Spock "On Eminiar VII, you were able to trick the guard by a Vulcan mind probe.” Interesting that here, almost at the end of season 2, Star Trek finally decides to embrace continuity.

    This episode stands out for two key scenes, the first, with Scotty and his “green” booze; and the second, the very disturbing murder of the red-SKIRT of the week. As @William says, we are convinced it will be the black man who will die, and it is a shock that they actually killed the pretty white girl. Does that ever happen on TV, @Sean Hagins?

    I think @Peter G. gets right to the nub of this episode. You can call a human anything you like, even call him a Kelvan. But a human is a human. And these aliens are human now.

    Where this episode stands one inch taller than “Return to Tomorrow” (with all due respect to @Rahul), is what the episode says about Kirk and what the episode says about the crew of the Enterprise. While Return to Tomorrow is rightly lauded for its grand “risk is our business” ethos, what “By any other Name” tries to say is maybe a little more subtle, and not exactly obvious at first.

    If you treat someone with humanity, then no matter how alien they might be, there is a possibility of peace.

    The episode brings to mind an otherwise horrendous episode of Voyager called “Demon”. The details don’t matter, but in my review of VOY’s “Demon," I discuss a landmark 1944 scifi story by Clifford D. Simak called “Desertion” ( In that story, explorers on Jupiter transform themselves into beings suited to that harsh planet (like in the movie Avatar). After transformation, they find life so pleasurable on Jupiter that, one by one, they desert their old lives. Thus the story’s title, “Desertion.”

    "By any other Name" is like “Desertion” in reverse. The aliens - the Kelvans - find value in human existence, in human experience. Whether it is through male bonding over a long night of drinking, or culinary sensations, or fondling and foreplay, they get a taste of what being human has to offer. It is actually quite nice to be a human. It can be annoying too. The episode explores Rojan’s jealously, and poor Hanar grows irritated under Bones’ ministrations. But all in all, these experiences allow Kirk’s crew and Rojan’s crew to understand one another.

    Understanding is the first step in peace.

    Lastly, one point about auto-destruct sequences in later Trek. It is almost a cliche on TNG. When things start to go wrong, Picard reaches for the self-destruct button.

    Now I know that the writers will eventually give Kirk the self-destruct option on TOS as well. But what Kirk says here, to Spock’s "logical option," is telling:

    SCOTT: I have opened the control valves to the matter-anti-matter nacelles. On your signal, I will flood them with positive energy.

    KIRK: What?

    SPOCK: When we engage the barrier, the ship will explode. The Kelvans will be stopped here.

    SCOTT: And so will we.

    KIRK: Are you mad? I can't just -

    Are you mad?! For it is madness of a sort to kill oneself. And while warriors in all ages have understood the need for self-sacrifice (harakiri being only the most extreme example), it is a form of madness nonetheless.

    That Kirk decides not to blow up the ship, that he decides to take his chances - that is the life-affirming message of “By any other Name.”

    As Shakespeare himself might have said, life as a human is sometimes "wonderful, wonderful, and most wonderful wonderful! And yet again wonderful, and after that, out of all hooping.”

    Weaker Trek episodes usually begin with an interesting idea, that then goes to pot in the name of “good TV”. This one starts stupid then gets better halfway through, when the Kelvins start to experience the upside of human senses. It has one of the funniest moments in all TOS:

    Scott: I picked this up on Gany... Gary... Ganymede.
    Kelvinite: What is it?
    Scott: It... It’s.. it’s... GREEN!

    The whole notion of radiation threatening an entire galaxy is a “cannae break the laws of physics “ moment. And the redshirt surviving while an attractive yeoman dies, was something of a shock. But as I said, if you start to take the story seriously from halfway through, it’s a rewarding experience.

    2.5 stars, or a bit more.

    I always wondered what the Kelvins would have done if Uhura had reported, “several decks reporting crewmen with radiant eyes and an attitude” after the Enterprise came through the barrier.

    I feel like echoing the very first comment here. The uncaring way this episode treats women is a new low for the series imo. 'Space Seed', as uncomfortable as it was, remains infinitely better than 'By Any Other Name'. Even though I'm unsure how involved he was, this one smelled of Roddenberry in all the wrong ways.

    What I found odd was Kirk didn't bother to tell the Kelvans about the non corporeal life forms who might not want to be conquered, like the Metrons or the Organians. And how would so few take out entire worlds of those willing to fight, Klingons, Romulans, Cardassians, etc..... Conquering the galaxy would be difficult, more so than taking over one starship.

    Meh. TOS seems to only have 3 types of stories: aliens capture landing party, aliens capture Enterprise, and aliens take over crew's bodies.

    This one spent too much time showing us how evil the aliens were, and just ended abruptly without any justice for the murdered officer.

    TOS had way too many crew deaths. Many crew died in the first episode and it seems that 1-5 crew die in each episode. A Navy captain would have been relieved of duty long ago.

    This is one of the episodes where I really liked the acting. Shatner’s look when the first yeoman is disintegrated is wonderful; later, when the others are all disintegrated after they pass the galactic barrier, you can see his guilt and self-doubt in his face. And of course, there's the Scotty drinking scene.

    My lads, this is a fantastic episode, and I wont have it any less than 4 stars, and here is why:

    To not repeat the good things already said by other colleagues here about this episode, let me say just one thing: What a brilliant mechanism the aliens have, being able to paralyse anyone. So overpowering -- dispite of being well delimited. And, most importantly, can you imagine some show today doing that? Impossible. Today the only option to problem solving on TV seems to be action scenes. And so, it is very refreshing to see a show that is boldly enough to say "yeah, stay tuned, because our heroes will ACTUALY HAVE TO OUTSMART the bad guys this time". And that's exactly what they manage to deliver. (You may say it was a bit silly, but you can't say it doesn't made perfect sense!).

    And in the way I most love about TOS: we face a new and overwhelming challenge, and we can see as they actualy find the solution, step by step, in real time -- instead of the modern tendency of having characters that apparently just know everything from nowhere (in the name of fast pace, I guess).

    2 main problems with this episode:

    1. The Kelvins claim to have made "modifications" to the warp drive allowing for increased warp speeds, but that completely side steps the utter stupidity of the Enterprise being able to run continuously for 300 YEARS, at MAXIMUM WARP, in the intergalactic void with NOWHERE to refuel/re-energize. In so many episodes Scotty is always complaining that Warp 8 is straining the engines after a few hours, but Warp 11 for 300 years with no resupplies of energy or dilithium crystals LMAO

    2. The 300 year figure to reach the Andromeda galaxy is absurd by itself. Just by the way the stars are whipping by even at low warp speed, you can easily tell they are going dozens of light years per second. The closest stars are 5-10 light years to each other on average, so even if 2 stars were going by per second, that's at least 5 light years per second. Now the Andromeda Galaxy is only 2,500,000 Light Years Away. Even at only 1 Light Year per second, that would only take about a month, not centuries. But at Warp 11, they are obviously going hundreds of light years per second, so it wouldn't take anywhere near 300 years. Even if the visual effects are just for our benefit, they left the galaxy within hours, which would imply they went at least 500 light years vertically or over 25,000 horizontally (assuming that energy barrier is only around the edge and not the entire surface area). There is no question that they are going a minimum of 1 light year per second at any high warp speed, so it would never take 300 years.

    If this were an episode of The Orville, I could picture Gordon extending his middle finger towards the Kelvans a second before getting paralyzed 😂

    This an absolutely perfect review, Jammer. Couldn't have said it better myself.

    The episode is exactly as you describe it, and a true fan favorite for just those very reasons.

    I sense I'm rambling.

    That is all. Carry on...

    I just saw this for the first time on syndication rerun... OMG, the number of times Kirk saved the galaxy by bedding the females of alien races boggles the mind. I also actually give this one a point because the tag scene doesn't even bother with the throwaway line "stardate whatever point whatever, the doctor has restored everyone to perfect condition" like we saw time and again in TNG and VOY.

    I always enjoy rewatching this episode. It's much better than the episode before it and infinitely better than the one that follows it. Outsmarting the Kelvans is clever and funny at the same time. Spocks conversation with Rojan about him not having much control over Kelinda,or perhaps, Captain Kirk has more is epic. I try not to punch to many holes in 55 year old Sci fi TV shows anymore than I would nitpick any other TV show from that era. I just enjoy the old shows,whether it's Beaver, Munsters, Gilligan, Genie,Bewitched, and many more for their simplicity and just plain escapism fun.

    This is an interesting episode. The surprising execution of that poor redskirt set such a serious and dangerous tone for the story that when the episode shifted to a more lighthearted vibe with a fair amount of comedy moments it left me feeling like By Any Other Name has a bit of an identity crisis, stuck between these two differing approaches. But I’d say it’s more fun than anything else, so it’s not too big a deal.

    The idea of aliens from another galaxy forced to assume human form in order to utilize the Enterprise to get home, only to be overwhelmed by the experience of their new humanity is a pretty cool setup. And the crew outsmarting the kelvans had some priceless moments, Scotty’s drinking strategy in particular is a high point. I also liked Spock’s understated psyche-out of rojan, and then there’s always the power of Kirk’s manliness.

    I can understand why the ending might rankle a few people. Rojan straight up murders a crew member right in front of Kirk, it’s the sort of thing that usually would establish him as an unquestionable villain, and would normally lead to him getting some measure of justice. But the ending had our crew being surprisingly forgiving, even magnanimous. I guess Kirk wasn’t really in a position to hold the kelvans responsible and dole out punishment, but still the resolution felt rushed. In Return to Tomorrow henoch is presumably killed for his body-snatching transgressions, but here murder is shrugged off, I’m wondering if there was intended to be some sort of message of forgiveness or affirmation of federation ideals conveyed by Kirk’s rather generous attitude.

    One thing that does bug me about this episode is that the kelvans upgrade the ship to be able to go, what, warp 11 or something? So shouldn’t that now be the Enterprise’s top speed going forward, not to mention the rest of starfleet’s ships? There’s a hint of reset buttoning here. Anyway, not a true classic, but a fairly memorable and entertaining episode.

    3/4 heavily implied sex scenes.

    I rewatched this episode and realized the warp speed thing is even more ridiculous. They state it would take them under an HOUR to reach the edge of the galaxy from where they are. Even if we assume this is the top/bottom of the central bulge and not the perimeter, and they were already within 1,000 light years of the barrier, that's still a light year every few seconds. It should barely take them 6-8 months to get to the Andromeda Galaxy at that speed. Simple math.

    Think of it this way, the distance between the 2 galaxies is only 27 times the diameter of the Milky way galaxy itself. So these exponential increases in time that star trek claims are needed for intergalactic travel compared to cruising across the galaxy don't make any sense.

    Another major flaw in this episode, the Kelvin said that no transmission would penetrate the barrier, so that's why they needed a ship..

    Why didn't they just ask the enterprise to take them through the barrier and send the message once on the other side, and then come back into the galaxy? Instead of taking the ship the whole way?? The amount of false dilemma star trek writers concoct are unreal.

    First I have to give praise to Warren Stevens, who in playing Rojan creates one of the best villains on this show since John Colicos’ Kor and Ricardo Montalban’s Khan. Rojan does not suffer fools. He’s a tomcat, in full control of the situation, and he knows it. He deploys force simply and calmly, without histrionics or scenery chewing. At first this sounds like a boring bad guy, but Stevens’ demeanor is mesmerizing. His scowl is priceless, never wavering until the last act (when Rojan finally gets pretty damn angry). When the landing party first encounters him on the planet, Rojan simply tells it like it is, knowing he’s the top dog and there’s nothing that silly Kirk can do about it. If nothing else, this guy’s got gravitas.

    Barbara Bouchet’s Kelinda is smoke-smoke-smoking hot, and easily matches Stevens and William Shatner on the performance front. Although I was impatiently waiting for Kirk to bed her already, the journey getting there was always fascinating and entertaining. And when it finally happens, Kirk’s banter with Kelinda had me laughing heartily (Kelinda -- “Do you really regard this touching of the lips as pleasurable?” Kirk -- “I did.”)

    D.C. Fontana and Jerome Bixby kept the dialogue sharp and focused, and kept things moving along nicely. I don’t think I zoned out once, which admittedly is usually common when I watch Star Trek. Yes, it’s a bog-standard hostage drama in many ways, with powerful aliens calling the shots and the crew (at least until the final act) powerless to stop them.

    The meat of “By Any Other Name” is in how they stop them. I like the message about humans being particularly vulnerable to the seven deadly sins -- gluttony (Scott and his strategy to get his captor drunk), jealousy (Rojan and his lieutenant), pride (McCoy is able to inject his mark because, let’s face it, the arrogant alien lets his guard and suspicion down too easily), and, of course, lust (Kirk and Kelinda). These are what spell the downfall of the aliens because of the fact that they’re apparently unaccustomed to using human bodies as meatsuits (did you catch that line? They’re possessing some poor fools), and while the message is trite, it’s well utilized and dare I say “logical” here.

    William Shatner plays Kirk interestingly in this episode. At first, he’s resigned and devastated after seeing the true power that Rojan has, but he never once wavers in his steely determination to save his crew. And naturally, he's never above using a little seduction to achieve his ends. It’s a nice showcase of the man Kirk is. Although, let’s face it, as someone points out above, Starfleet would have roasted Kirk over the coals long ago over how many redshirts seem to meet their unseemly ends under his watch (John Locke in LOST jokes that this makes Kirk “a piss-poor Captain.”) I loved Rojan's crack by the way: "These two are expendable." Touche.

    “By Any Other Name” has a by-the-numbers plot but it progresses with a healthy entertainment value--Scott with his new drinking buddy is the most hilarious appearance of him since “I, Mudd.” And although the episode isn’t particularly thought-provoking, there’s intelligence and vitality here. Well done.

    Speak Freely:

    Kelinda -- “This business of love. You have devoted much literature to it. Why do you build such a mystique around a simple biological function?”

    Kirk -- “We enjoy it.”

    My Grade: B+

    The big four apply a strategy of pressuring the Kelvins according to their own stereotypical proclivities. Scott drinks one under the table, McCoy over medicates one to the point of irritation, Spock psyches one out into jealous rage, and Kirk does what he always does. Then puts his boots back on.
    Like most episodes the loose ends must be tied down in the last two minutes, and the fact the Kelvins have murdered crew members seems to be lost in the final "Can't we all just get along?" reckoning. It's not uncommon to see Rojan in other productions, and I say, Look, there's Rojan! Barbara Bouchet, smoked up a bunch of Italian clunkers and has some nudeography that's worth looking up.

    On second thought, some things don't gel in this episode. The Kelvins had only just landed on the planet in survival pods after their own ship disintegrated. It would seem unlikely that survival pods contained manufacturing and tooling factories to construct retractable metal bar escape barriers in the cave where the Enterprise crew was held captive. Or to constuct the indestructible machinery on the Enterprise to modify the ship to intergalactic travel. The Kelvins act like they only just recently or within a matter of minutes or hours ago assumed human form, and are getting used to the odd sensations and limitations of being human. They said they took human form because the Enterprise ship they intended to commandeer is designed to be run by humans, so that would have been between the time the Enterprise responded to their fake S.O.S. beacon and the time they met the landing party on the planet. Once on the ship the Kelvins are naive to the concepts of eating drinking and screwing, i'm sure they must have been shocked at having to take a dump. Finally they could not have had access to Playboy magazines to create Kelinda, unless someone on the landing party had one and that part was not filmed or edited out. I'm left scratching my head over these apparent discrepancies.

    A somewhat skillful and straightforward episode that was well-paced and didn't have me looking for the fast-forward button unlike many of these TOS episodes. The choice of and staging of the execution of the red skirt at the beginning of the episode was delivered to the audience in a casual but ominous way,and successfully filled the rest of the story with dread. Once back on the Enterprise the powerlessness and inevitability of the Kelvins gaining complete control was well handled, and revealed in a clever way, the observations of the human weakness of the Kelvins inside their human bodies and the exploitation of human emotions, weaknesses and sins was a clever piece of work (although I think the drinking scenes with Scotty might have just overstayed their welcome a little). The only place where the episode fell was the rather truncated and perfunctory ending, but not a bad effort overall compared to many of these TOS episodes.

    "No form of transmission can penetrate the barrier"

    So then just ask Kirk to let you BORROW his ship for a few hours to get to the other side of the barrier and send the message from there. There was absolutely no reason to physically go back to Andromeda and waste 200+ years doing so. What a ridiculous false dilemma..

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