According to Memory Alpha's original in Universe Timeline, the story sequence is:
Requiem for Methuselah : The Savage Curtain : Turnabout Intruder.
In the Remastered Episodes Chronology, the release sequence is
Requiem for Methuselah : The Savage Curtain : The Cloud Minders.


Just as the Enterprise is going to leave the orbit of a seemingly uninhabited planet with a surface of molten lava, "President Lincoln" requests to be beamed aboard. An area with breathable atmosphere forms on the planet, and Kirk and Spock beam down with Lincoln.

On the planet, an indigenous Excalbian stone creature declares that Kirk and Spock, together with the "good" Lincoln and Vulcan philosopher Surak, have to fight against the "evil", namely Genghis Khan, 21st century warlord Col. Green, the ruthless scientist Zora from Tiburon and the Klingon villain Kahless.

Surak and Lincoln are killed, but Kirk and Spock manage to defeat the villains. The fight served the sole purpose to explain the concepts of good and evil that the Excalbians do not know, but they are disappointed that they saw no difference under the given circumstances.

Errors and Explanations

The Nitpicker's Guide for Classic Trekkers

Plot Oversights

  1. After beaming aboard the ship, Lincoln seems genuinely surprised by technological advances such as the transporter and taped music, but when he leaves the room he walks right out into the hall, as if he knew the doors would open automatically. A man from Lincoln's time would stop, look for a doorknob, reach out, and jump back as the doors opened by themselves. Lincoln is intelligent enough to reason that a culture capable of producing a transporter would have no trouble producing a self opening door, especially as he can see from the pad that it is set within a groove in the floor and lacks a doorknob.
  2. In a stunning display of Earthcentric attitudes, Kirk actually has to ask Spock to identify Surak. Spock claims that he is the father of all that the Vulcans hold dear. lIn other words, he is the greatest of the greatest heroes of the first officer’s race. No one expects Kirk to know the intricacies of Vulcan existence, but a recognition of Surak's name seems pretty basic. Perhaps this version of Surak looks similar to a number of Vulcan males.
  3. Speaking of Surak, this guy is really tough on showing emotion. it appears that Spock reacts rather stoically to his hero’s arrival, but later he apologizes for the emotional outburst. instead of saying, What emotional outburst?” Surak simply agrees that the circumstances were unusual.Spock admitted to showing emotion when he first spotted Surak, albeit limited emotion that we humans may only be noticed by a Vulcan - even an illusionary one.
  4. At one point Kirk marches up to the rock creature and tries to hit it. Ever tried to hit a rock? Especially a rock that has smoke rising from it? What is he thinking? Maybe he is just trying to get the alien's attention.

Changed Premises

  1. This episode contains a Klingon warrior named Kahless. He is said to be the forerunner of all things Klingon. The Star Trek: The Next Generation episode Rightful Heir also speaks of Kahless, and a clone of the great warrior actually makes an appearance. Interestingly enough, Kahless doesn't have the ribbed forehead here, but somehow acquires it in Rightful Heir. The version of Kahless in this episode was created from the minds of Kirk and Spock, who were unaware of the true appearance of Klingons at this point.

Equipment Oddities

  1. Kirk and Spock try to beam down to the surface of the planet with the standard complement of equipment, but the inhabitants of the planet tamper with the transporter so that the phasers - and Spock's tricorder - remain behind. It takes several moments tor Spock to discover this. A phaser I can understand - it sits on the hip, out of the way. But a tricorder? it normally hangs from Spock's shoulder. Doesn't it seem likely that Spock would instantaneously notice that this piece of equipment was missing? They may have subtly altered Spock's perception as part of the experiment.

Continuity and Production Problems

  1. Oh, embarrassment of all embarrassments for our beloved Captain Kirk! Here he is engaged in an epic struggle of good versus evil, uncertain of his surroundings and all but one of his fighting compatriots. What could possibly make this situation worse? Well . . . he could split open his pants! In the first wrestling match between the good guys and the bad guys‘. Kirk struggles with Colonel Green. At one point Kirk lands on his back and uses his legs to give Green a shove. As Kirk draws his knees to his chest, you can see a white line appear on his posterior. (Not that I’m an expert or anything but it appears that the Starfleet uniform has lost its integrity.) The seam could have failed due to contact with something on the ground.
  2. Before leaving to speak with the enemy, Surak gives Kirk and Spock the Vulcan hand sign. Watch closely just before he does so and you’ll see the actor drop his hand slightly behind his outfit. It looks like he’s trying to get his hand into position to make the sign. Even so, he doesn’t quite get it right, because when Surak lifts his hand to Kirk, his thumb is pressed against his index finger. Most likely done by the aliens, to see if Kirk and Spock would notice.

Nit Central

  1. Hans Thielman on Tuesday, December 22, 1998 - 10:25 am: It was rude and unnecessarily provocative for security to be aiming their phasers at the Abraham Lincoln looking lifeform. This is one time when it is better to be safe than sorry!

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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