According to Memory Alpha's original in Universe Timeline, the story sequence is:
Is There in Truth No Beauty? : The Tholian Web : Wink of an Eye.
In the USS Defiant (NCC-1764) story arc, the story sequence is
The Tholian Web : In a Mirror, Darkly Part 1.
In the Remastered Episodes Chronology, the release sequence is
Wolf in the Fold : The Tholian Web : The Immunity Syndrome.


The Enterprise finds the missing USS Defiant in an interphase corridor to another universe. Kirk, Spock, McCoy and Chekov beam over, only to find that the crew have killed each other. As the interphase is interfering with the transporter, Kirk has to stay behind and vanishes together with the Defiant. Briefly later Chekov and other crew members exhibit signs of the same insanity that killed the crew of the Defiant. Moreover, a Tholian ship appears.

Commander Loskene claims this region of space for the Tholians and gives the Enterprise just enough time until the next interphase to rescue the captain. But the interphase does not occur as calculated, the Tholians attack the Enterprise and Spock returns the fire. The Tholians come back with a second ship and begin to weave an energy field in the form of a "web" around the Enterprise. As there is no chance any longer to rescue Kirk, Spock declares the captain dead.

When Kirk's image appears to Uhura, McCoy confines her to sickbay just like the crew members that have gone mad. McCoy successfully develops an antidote to the effects of the space on the crew. In the meantime, however, more of the crew have seen Kirk, who is obviously still alive. Spock devises a plan to break free from the just completed Tholian web by entering the interphase corridor, and the transporter beam on Kirk drags him out of the area as well. The Enterprise successfully re-enters normal space outside the web, and Kirk is beamed aboard alive.

Errors and Explanations

The Nitpicker's Guide for Classic Trekkers

Plot Oversights

  1. During the mission to the Defiant, McCoy passes his hand through a dead crew member and a table in sick bay. He reports these actions, and Kirk orders everyone to reassemble for transport. if the crew member is fading from reality as is the table, shouldn't the floors be fading from reality as well? (A similar problem occurs in the Star Trek: The Next Generation episode The Next Phase.) The floor must have a lower phase variance than the table and the crewman.
  2. With the captain presumed dead, Spock holds a wake for Kirk. At the end of it, Scott calls, “Attention!” Everyone stands. Some put their hands behind their backs, some in front/some at their side. Some slouch. Some stand up straight. l wonder what “at ease" looks like? It probably involves at least some crewmembers leaning against the walls.
  3. Eventually McCoy discovers a substance to protect the crew from the effects of the unstable space. He mixes alcohol with a Klingon nerve gas called theragen. When administering the antidote to Spock and Scott, the Vulcan expresses surprise at the doctor's solution. Evidently Spock wasn't listening when McCoy told the Vulcan earlier in the episode that he was pursuing a cure based on theragen. Spock's surprise is more likely due to McCoy having significant quantities of a Klingon nerve agent available.
  4. With twenty minutes to go before the Tholians close their web and Kirk's last possible opportunity for rescue, Scott hoists a bottle lull of the theragen-alcohol mix and strolls out the door. On the way, he tells McCoy that he will let the doctor know if it makes a good mixer with scotch. Supposedly it is a cute moment. Do the creators really expect us to believe that Scott is going off to get drunk at a time like this’? He probably wants to privately test the effect the scotch would have when combined with the theragen-alcohol mix.
  5. Although not absolutely verifiable, it appears that Chekov is "in" on the playful banter at the end of the show concerning whether Spock and McCoy listened to Kirk's final instructions. He shouldn't be. He was in sick bay the entire time. He's attempting an educated guess, based on what he knows about his shipmates.

Equipment Oddities

  1. After the Tholians launch their first salvo, Uhura reports minor structural damage to the ship. In response, Spock increases power to the shields. Then the Tholians attack again. This time the weapon that caused only minor damage when the shields were set at a lower intensity suddenly shorts out some really important power thingamajigs. Does this seem right? Perhaps the Tholian weapon is designed to draw power from the shield of it's target, just as the Vian shield in The Empath draws energy from the body of the test subject.
  2. Spock does repay the Tholians for their attack. He hits them with the phasers, a good, clean hit—a hit so good you can actually see stars shining through the back end of the Tholian ship. Spock's shot probably blew a hole in that section of the Tholian ship.
  3. Alter Chekov wigs out, McCoy tells the security guards to take him to sick bay and put him in restraints. The next time we see Chekov he has the upper calf and biceps straps, but he also has a strap across his waist. lt wraps around each wrist. This will not work. If Chekov twists his hands, the strap will pop right off. Tightening the strap will only make it easier to remove, because the action will force his wrists in the direction they need to move to break tree. There may be additional straps, plus reinforcements, that are not visible.
  4. In Journey to Babel, it is mentioned that Kirk has to squat down to see himself in his mirror. In this episode it appears that the mirror in Spock's quarters is even lower, with respect to his person.As stated before, this mirror is probably made to a standard design.
  5. Just as the Tholians close their web, Kirk appears and Spock says, “Ready to transport on my order.” Then the Vulcan brings the ship to full power and the discharge throws the Enterprise clear of the tractor field. Moments later, Spock claims that the transporter beams had locked on to the captain and pulled him with them. Note that Spock never said, “Energize.” In other words, the transporter chief locked a beam on the captain with only Spock's instruction to get ready to transport. (I suppose this isn't really impossible, but I always had the impression that locking a beam on someone came during the actual transportation process.) The transporter chief probably realised there was no time to wait for the order, due to the sudden departure of Enterprise, and acted instinctively to retrieve Kirk.
  6. After Kirk beams aboard, McCoy gives him a hypo right through the spacesuit. Isn't the suit designed to be impervious to air and liquid? A porous spacesuit is as effective as the old screen door on a submarine. The suit may still be partially phased at this point.[N 1]

Continuity And Production Problems

  1. One last thing before l move on. During the fight, the bottles on the table fly everywhere. They don't look very heavy, and they certainly aren't bolted down. Yet when the Tholians attack and the impact of their weapon tosses McCoy and Chapel around in sick bay, the bottles stay perfectly still. (ls that amazing, or what?) The sickbay bottles were probably better secured.

Internet Movie Database

Revealing mistakes

  1. The first shot of Chekov in the Defiant's engineering room shows him bobbing back and forth unnaturally, because the film was rolled backward and forward a few times as filler. This could be a possible side effect of the interphase.


  1. Listed in the IMDB entry as a Character Error

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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