Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
The Way to Eden
The Way to Eden is a third season episode of Star Trek: The Original Series, first broadcast February 21, 1969. It is episode #75, written by Arthur Heinemann , based on a story by Arthur Heinemann and Michael Richards , and directed by David Alexander .
Quick Overview: The Enterprise is hijacked by a criminal doctor and his loyal followers in an attempt to find paradise.
On stardate 5832.3, the USS Enterprise is in hot pursuit of the stolen spacecraft Aurora, which is on an unauthorized heading into the dangerous Romulan Neutral Zone. The Enterprise locks onto the ship with a tractor beam, but the Aurora tries to flee. With the craft already straining with pushed engines, the vessel begins to break up.
Captain Kirk orders the transporter room to lock on the passengers and beam them aboard immediately. As the Aurora explodes, the six humanoid passengers are safely brought aboard the Enterprise. Kirk heads down to meet with them and is shocked by their "far-out" gypsy appearance. The six beings are barefoot, dressed in lavish robes and colorful tunics. Despite their narrow demise, they appear completely calm and relaxed as if nothing has happened.
The group identifies themselves, starting with Tongo Rad; the son of a Katulan ambassador, (whose presence must be handled carefully, due to the delicate relationship between the Federation and the people of Katula), Irina; (a Starfleet Academy dropout and Mr. Chekov's former girlfriend), Dr. Sevrin; (a noted communications and electronics researcher from Tiburon, specialized in the theories of sonic manipulation), Adam; (a popular musician), and two unidentified girls.
The group quickly shows a disrespect for authority and demands to be taken to a planet they call "Eden", which is somewhere in the Neutral Zone. They refuse to cooperate with Kirk, calling him "Herbert"; an insulting comparison to Herbert Hoover, in reference to his criticized rigid and limited ideals.
The group is impressed by Mr. Spock however, who gestures to a triangular "symbol of peace" the party makes with raised hands, and speaks of "The One". Believing Spock is on "the level", the group gives Spock more respect and agrees to go with him to sickbay for a medical examination. Medical scans reveal the party to be in good health, all except for Dr. Sevrin, who is shown to have the synthecoccus novae virus; which is believed to be a by-product from exposure to certain alien technology. Dr. McCoy also believes Sevrin to be on the verge of insanity and mental breakdown.
Kirk orders Sevrin to be taken to isolation in case the virus spreads, however his group loudly protests the decision, insulting Kirk further with a song. Spock attempts to reason with Sevrin, and offers to help him find Eden in exchange for his cooperation.
Sevrin is taken to a holding cell while his group is allowed to freely walk the ship. The group however, secretly plans to take over. Adam distracts the crew with a music concert, where even Mr. Spock joins in. Meanwhile, Chekov is alone with Irina, and the two revive their old feelings for each other. While Chekov is distracted, Irina manages to gain access to the ship navigation computer.
Tongo manages to distract Mr. Sulu with interest in Sulu's botany project, then slips away to free Sevrin. Tongo disables a guard and lets Sevrin out of his cell. The group heads down to auxiliary control and changes the Enterprise's course for Eden. Once the crew realize what is happening, Sevrin manages to paralyse them ship-wide with an ultra-sonic frequency broadcast through the ship.
Once the Enterprise arrives at Eden, Sevrin and his followers steal the Galileo 2 shuttlecraft and head down to the planet. Kirk manages to reach auxiliary control and deactivates Sevrin's sonic device. Kirk, along with Chekov, Spock, and McCoy, beam down to Eden to fetch the group.
They find the shuttlecraft abandoned in the middle of a lush and beautiful garden, a real "Eden" by all outward appearance. Suddenly, Chekov severely burns his hand when he touches a flower, and McCoy scans his wound. It is discovered the plant life secretes a deadly acid. The team then finds Adam lying dead on the ground, his death caused by his eating of a fruit.
Sevrin is then located, and Kirk tries to convince him that his "paradise" is completely uninhabitable. Sevrin refuses to listen and bites into one of the fruits. He quickly falls victim to the poisonous bounty as Adam did. The rest of Sevrin's group is found and rounded up. They all suffer from the painful burns caused by the plants. Using the shuttle, they all return to the Enterprise and quickly head back to Federation space.
Fans sometimes refer to this episode as the space-hippies episode.
Often unintentionally hilarious, particularly when music is being performed, this episode competes closely with "Spock's Brain" as the nadir of the original series, the episode when the show jumped the shark. The hippies' songs are campy even by late 1960s standards, and their connection to Spock is a far too transparent attempt to pander to the youth audience. It makes one very worried about the Enterprise crew that they are nonetheless able to hijack the ship. The only effective scene is the cell conversation between Spock and Sevrin.
Originally, the episode was titled "Joanna," the title character being Dr. McCoy's daughter. Later, she was changed to Irina and Chekov, instead, was made her foil.
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