Star Trek: The Tholian Web   Rewatch 
October 17, 2015 11:37 AM - Season 3, Episode 9 - Subscribe

While trying to rescue the Starfleet ship USS Defiant, Captain Kirk disappears when the dead ship is pulled into interspace. The Enterprise is then attacked by a mysterious local race, the Tholians.

"The Tholian Web" is episode #64, production #64, first broadcast on November 15, 1968, and repeated August 19, 1969. It was written by Judy Burns and Chet Richards and directed by Herb Wallerstein.


Memory Alpha Link


AVClub Review

The episode can be viewed on Netflix and Amazon Prime.
posted by Benway (7 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
 
I'll post something more about this later, but this was the first Star Trek of any series I ever saw (.. and I've since gone through every series, plus a good 250+ books or so).
Got a VHS from a pawn shop, and was hooked.

For my money (and some of this is nostalgia), this easily the best episode of the original series. While the premise was sci-fi'y, the entire episode was an exploration of the foil between Spock and McCoy, and not another Planet of Hats.

Come to think of it, I haven't watched it in a while, so will go back and do that. I'm curious to see if the effects hold up (not that they need to, just an idle comment).
posted by Seeba at 2:24 PM on October 17, 2015 [1 favorite]


I LOVED the image of the Tholian in this episode, and the cool way they did the voice. I can hear it in my head as I am writing this.
posted by wittgenstein at 5:21 PM on October 17, 2015


This one always make me nostalgic...

For my Tholian Recluse in Star Trek: Online. Stupid PWE ruining my game.

But seriously, this episode was awesome. I also liked that it served as a springboard for one of the few episodes of ST: Enterprise that I well and truly loved.
posted by mordax at 6:32 PM on October 17, 2015


I loved this episode. The effects of the Tholians hold up, and the story worked.

I am glad I am doing this being a ST:TNG fan. I might start that next.
posted by Benway at 7:00 PM on October 17, 2015


Definitely the best of the third season, and one of the best TOS episodes overall. The Tholians are inscrutable and the threat is real, but the episode is all about Spock and McCoy ad shows just how well Nimoy and Kelley understood the characters and their relarionship. 1960s television drama being what it was, this is about as good as any other show you might have watched in 1969.
posted by briank at 7:00 PM on October 17, 2015 [2 favorites]


The Tholian Web Poetry Slam!

Spock
The renowned Tholian punctuality --
There is no analogy
To this structure in Federation technology
It is, however, an energy
Field, and if the Tholians are successful
In completing this structure before
We have completed our repairs
We shall not see home again

Uhura
Captain, Captain, we thought you were --
Oh, Doctor I've just seen the Captain
He's alive He's alive, Doctor
I did see him, I did
Spock! Mister Spock!
Doctor, Doctor, I'm not going mad
I did see Captain Kirk
Mister Spock didn't believe me either
Did he, Doctor?
        Well, nobody saw him but you

Bridge Tag-team
I don't believe it --
Mister Scott? Mister Scott?
Mister Spock, I've just seen the Captain
He was standing there as plain as we
Are and then he just disappeared
Report to the bridge immediately
Sounds like a horror story
We sometimes see
Exactly what we wish to see
Mister Spock, look!
Captain? Captain?
Captain?

Sickbay Tag-team
Am I all right, Doctor?
Yes, Uhura, you're fine
Then what I saw --
It was real
Captain Kirk's alive?
We all saw him
The Captain's
Still alive

Bridge Tag-team
I see him!
There he is!
It's the Captain!
Have we lost the Captain?
We shall soon see
Mister Spock, it's him!
It's the Captain!
I see him, Ensign
I see him
Now, Doctor
Welcome home
Jim

Kirk's Rejoinder
I hope my last orders
Were helpful in solving
Any problems you don't
Feel worth reporting
Orders? What orders?
My 'last orders' to you
My Last. Taped. Orders.
Oh, those orders! Well
There wasn't time
We never heard them
Good. Good. Well, I hope that we
Won't have an opportunity
To test those orders
Which you never heard
Warp factor two,
Mister Sulu
Warp factor two,
Captain



The Tholian web -- like "The Tholian Web" -- makes very little sense, but it is a beautiful and dramatic concept. I really loved the design for Loskene, too, mood-lighting, wavey distortion and all. It was a shame that they couldn't have had the puppet move just a little.

BTW, I've had a look at some clips of the 'remastered' release, and it adds nothing of value. I wish they'd just leave the model shots as they were originally broadcast.

Finally, this is one where I can clearly remember the promo for "Next Week's Exciting Episode" from the original broadcast:
What the devil? [musical stinger] . . . Jim, this ship is dissolving. My hand just passed through a man and a table!
posted by Herodios at 9:30 PM on October 20, 2015 [1 favorite]


This one has the briefest, most intimate moment at 10:40 between Kirk and Spock, when they're on the Defiant bridge:

SCOTT [OC]: It's jamming our transporter frequencies. I've only got three of them working, and I'm not sure of those. One of you has got to wait.
KIRK: Chekov, McCoy, prepare for transportation. You too, Spock.
SPOCK: Request permission to remain, Captain. I could be completing the data.
KIRK: Request denied.
SPOCK: Captain, there is a chance –
KIRK: I know what the chances are. Mister Spock, don't argue. Get back with the information. (Softly and more personally): I'll be right there.
posted by zadcat at 9:15 PM on October 22, 2015


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