Star Trek: Metamorphosis   Rewatch 
April 11, 2015 10:18 AM - Season 2, Episode 9 - Subscribe

When their shuttle is diverted to Gamma Canaris N by an amorphous entity known as the "companion", Kirk, Spock, and McCoy encounter Earth's Warp Drive pioneer, Zefram Cochrane, who appears to have survived there alone for 150 years.

"Metamorphosis" was first broadcast November 10, 1967 and repeated July 19, 1968. It is episode #38, production #31, written by Gene L. Coon, and directed by Ralph Senensky.

AV Club Review.

Memory Alpha Link

The episode can be viewed on Netflix and Youtube.
posted by Benway (4 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Ow, the gender essentialism! But I was interested to see that Zephram Cochrane showed up in Star Trek before the First Contact movie - though I admit I like surly old man Cochrane better.

Actually, that's true of a lot of the Star Trek features that get reintroduced in the later movies and TNG: Khan, the Klingons, the Romulans, etc. all get a lot more depth rather than just being one or two off foes of the day (well, more, for the Klingons).
posted by Zalzidrax at 5:52 PM on April 13, 2015

1960s episodic television was a very different place, my friend.
posted by briank at 11:59 AM on April 14, 2015

The sexism hurt my brain.

1) How can a cloud of ionized hydrogen move at warp speed? Answer: it can't.
2) Why were they in the shuttlecraft at all? Why not go wherever the diplomat was and beam her up? Why does anyone EVER get into the Galileo? Nothing good is going to happen.
3) This was the first soundstage with good alien plants! Thank you!
4) The Universal Translator assigns gender? Not where I come from, Mister!
5) I was never prouder of Spock than when he reacts to Cochrane's sexism with "How parochial".
6) String Art! I'm so happy that a) Cochrane possessed an Old Master priceless piece of String Art from 1967 to cheer him up as he drove his ship into uncharted space; or b) Cochrane spent his over-hundred years of solitude learning to create masterful pieces of String Art; or c) String Art is so universally treasured that the Companion supplied Cochrane with one so he'd feel at home on the asteroid.
7) It seems like the only reason the diplomat had a rare fatal disease was so we wouldn't feel outraged when her body is used as a host for the Companion. And yet if the Companion hadn't been so selfish, the diplomat could have gotten cured and gone back to her useful life saving MILLIONS OF PEOPLE and Cochrane could have gone back to civilization and pan-galactic fame for his String Art. The episode seems to think tru luv is worth the trade. This makes me sad, since "Star Trek" inspired me to become a scientist and in order to do that, I had to sacrifice a great deal. And yet according to this self-same "Star Trek", I should have gotten married to some string art salesman, huffed hydrogen, and gone on long walks through smoky soundstages instead. Huh.
posted by acrasis at 1:53 PM on February 7, 2021

I was never prouder of Spock than when he reacts to Cochrane's sexism with "How parochial".

My read on that was that Cochrane wouldn't fuck aliens, and considered it miscegenation. Spock is a walking result of exactly that "moral depravity," though Cochrane wouldn't know that from just looking. ("You're a vulcan, aren't you?")

On the one hand, it's a refreshing counterpoint to Kirk's constant adventures with alien women, but as a metaphor he's clearly in the wrong.

Also: this feels like the tenth time the main threat to then away team is being trapped in Eden by a benevolent force. Apollo, Eden, Vaal, mind spores, android armies, and now a sentient ion cloud.
posted by pwnguin at 12:19 AM on December 5, 2023

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