According to Memory Alpha's original in Universe Timeline, the story sequence is:
Let That Be Your Last Battlefield : Plato's Stepchildren : The Lights of Zetar.
In the Remastered Episodes Chronology, the release sequence is
Spock's Brain : Plato's Stepchildren : The Omega Glory.


The Enterprise receives a distress call from a planet that was so far believed to be uninhabited. On the surface they are greeted by the short-statured slave Alexander. After McCoy has cured Parmen, the leader of the utopian society of Platonius, Parmen does not allow him to leave again.

Using his enormous telekinetic powers he plays cruel games with Kirk and Spock and forces McCoy to watch everything. Kirk and Spock, however, find out that the telekinesis is not inherent to Parmen's race, but is caused by kironide, a substance found on the planet. As everyone can obtain these powers, the crew members eventually defeat Parmen with his own methods and leave together with Alexander.

Errors and Explanations

The Nitpicker's Guide for Classic Trekkers

Plot Oversights

  1. In his second log, Kirk Claims that the Platonians moved to Earth when their planet “novaed.” Then, when the Greek civilization died, they moved to their current planet. Planets do not go nova, stars go nova (picky, picky, picky). The mantle of the planet could have exploded in sympathy with the star.
  2. The Platonians seem to have an amazing knowledge of Earth, given their departure several millennia ago. Parmen has Spock perform what looks like a Mexican hat dance around Kirk’s head. And later in the show, Parmen refers to the piece de resistance. Bear in mind that Parmen’s power are telekinetic, not telepathic. He cannot read the minds of the crew members of the Enterprise, nor is there any indication that he can access their library files. The Platonians would have to know about 23rd century society, Earth history, and the Federation, in order to send the distress call.
  3. Strangely enough, Kirk and company instantly forget they have the ability to create telekinesis after this episode. Think of the difference telekinesis would make in a show like The Empath. Kirk could easily turn the tables on the Vians. Conveniently forgetting new capabilities is standard fare tor the crew of the Enterprise, however. They forget the amazing healing powers of the spores on Omicron Ceti lll after This Side of Paradise. They forget that the Romulan cloaking device worked at the end of The Enterprise Incident. And they forget that Scalosian water can accelerate a humanoid after Wink of an Eye. (Of course, if they remembered, most episodes would end very quickly.) According to the official Chronology, the events in this episode take place after the incident in The Empath, the Omicron Ceti III spores could be misused,[N 1] the Romulan Cloaking device was most likely passed to Starfleet Corps of Engineering for further study, and prolonged exposure to Scalosian water would result in impaired fertility and death due to cell damage.
  4. To supply the Platonians with entertainment, Kirk dons a toga. (Actually, it's a miniskirt. Let’s just see how he likes wearing one! But I digress . . .) Presumably, our dear captain didn't jump into this outfit by himself. A Platonian “helped” him. (l'll let you decide if it was Parmen or his beloved wife, Philana.) Yet at the end of the show, Kirk reaches in back of the toga and pulls out a communicator. It was very thoughtful of the Platonian to allow Kirk to carry it along. I'm sure he or she realized that Starfleet officers just feel naked without them. Either this was a concession to help put Kirk at ease, an attempt to keep track of him while he was out of their line of sight, or both.

Equipment Oddities

  1. This little medical kit that McCoy carries is truly amazing. It doesn't look very big, but he manages to manufacture all sorts of chemical substances with it. At the beginning of the episode, Kirk says that Platonius has rich deposits of Kironide—a substance the captain identifies as rare. When McCoy discovers that kironide has given the Platonians their powers, Kirk asks the doctor to inject him and Spock with the substance. McCoy rummages around in his kit for a few seconds and concocts the liquid. Just where did he get distilled Kironide? Granted, it is supposedly in all the food and water on the planet, but when did McCoy have time to extract it’? Or does he somehow magically carry around every chemical substance known to the Federation in that little medical kit? Either that or a portable distillation kit.
  2. At the end of the episode, Parmen turns to sadism, attempting to convince McCoy to stay behind. A table rolls out with a red-hot poker, a whip, a knife, and other implements of torture. Oddly enough, the knife is Rigelian in design! [N 2] The Platonians may have visited Rigel IV on their travels in the ancient past, and stole the knife as a souvenir!

Continuity And Production Problems

  1. When Kirk, Spock, and McCoy materialize on Platonius, the wall behind them is identical to the wall behind the trio when they materialize at Starbase 11 in The Menagerie Part 1.Perhaps they came across the design, while gathering the information necessary to send the distress call, and decided to copy it.
  2. The actress who plays Philana, Barbara Babcock, also starred as Mea 3 in A Taste of Armageddon. It has been said many times that everyone has a double.

Internet Movie Database


  1. The Platonians repeatedly mention Utopia. It is impossible for them to know the term coined by Thomas More in 1518, as they left Greece centuries before he was born.Not impossible – see my explanation for Plot Oversight number 2 in the Nitpicker's Guide section of this entry.[N 3]

Factual errors

  1. During the performance by Uhura, Nurse Chapel, Kirk and Spock one of the Platonians refers to "Cupid" a Roman deity. That is incorrect because in Greek mythology, the name of the deity is "Eros". Possibly a deliberate mistake, made to see if any member of the landing party would notice.[N 4]


  1. See entry for This Side of Paradise.
  2. In fact—from the designs on the handle and given my vast knowledge on the subject—I'd say it was manufactured by the hill people of the Argus River Region on Rigel IV! (Are you impressed? Actually, it's the knife that was used in the episode Wolf in the Fold.) - Phil Farrand
  3. Alternatively, they could have overheard Kirk using the term, and instantly realised it's meaning.
  4. Assuming, of course, the landing party were allowed to notice!

The Original Series Season 3
Spectre of the Gun I Elaan of Troyius I The Paradise Syndrome I The Enterprise Incident I And the Children Shall Lead I Spock's Brain I Is There in Truth No Beauty? I The Empath I The Tholian Web I For the World Is Hollow and I Have Touched the Sky I Day of the Dove I Plato's Stepchildren I Wink of an Eye I That Which Survives I Let That Be Your Last Battlefield I Whom Gods Destroy I The Mark of Gideon I The Lights of Zetar I The Cloud Minders I The Way to Eden I Requiem for Methuselah I The Savage Curtain I All Our Yesterdays I Turnabout Intruder
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