Star Trek: Return to Tomorrow   Rewatch 
June 27, 2015 1:24 PM - Season 2, Episode 20 - Subscribe

The Enterprise is guided by distress signal to a distant, long-dead world where survivors of an extremely ancient race that exist as disembodied energy take over the bodies of Kirk, Spock and astro-biologist Ann Mulhall.

"Return to Tomorrow" was first broadcast February 9, 1968 and repeated August 2, 1968. It is episode #49, production #51, written by John T. Dugan, under the pen-name "John Kingsbridge", and directed by Ralph Senensky.

In this episode, telepathic aliens take control of Captain Kirk's and First Officer Spock's bodies.

Memory Alpha Link

The episode can be viewed on Netflix and YouTube.
posted by Benway (4 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Blooper reel alert: "Have no fear, Sargon is here."
posted by wittgenstein at 2:44 PM on June 27, 2015

Was recently talking with my housemates about our respective first exposures to Trek, and this is the first episode I can remember myself watching.

Didn't the glowy spheres go back into the prop department closet only to show up again in a later episode as part of a larger prop?
posted by radwolf76 at 10:30 PM on June 29, 2015

Is this the first time there was a lag when contacting Starfleet? I'm glad to see a scientific fact sneak in, but if they are a few hundred light years from the nearest colony and the message will take three weeks to get there, how does that work? Do they have a warp-speed pneumatic tube or something?

Also happy to see Panspermia! Sargonians dropping off colonists throughout the galaxy would explain why so many space races look alike and can interbreed. ST should have stuck with this instead of forgetting about it.

My main complaint is that we needed some idea of what these great Sargonian powers were. If these beings are telepathic, how could they trick each other? And why didn't they build the androids IN THE FIRST PLACE?

This episode was so star-trekky. Sentient energy? CHECK. Shatner overacting? DOUBLE CHECK. Spock temporarily evil? YES. Hitherto unseen female crew member destined to kiss Kirk? HI, Diana Muldaur! SEE YA IN THE FUTURE! War bad? God-like powers risky? YOU BETCHA.

The greatest gift this re-watch has given me is William Blackburn. In this episode, he played the rubbery android!
posted by acrasis at 4:24 PM on March 29, 2021

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