This Side of Paradise (Star Trek: The Original Series)


"This Side of Paradise"
Star Trek: The Original Series episode
Smiling Spock and Leila Kalomi.png
Episode no.Season 1
Episode 24
Directed byRalph Senensky
Story byD. C. Fontana
Nathan Butler
Teleplay byD. C. Fontana
Featured musicAlexander Courage
Cinematography byGerald Finnerman
Production code025
Original air dateMarch 2, 1967 (1967-03-02)
Guest appearances
Episode chronology
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"This Side of Paradise" is the twenty-fourth episode of the first season of the American science fiction television series Star Trek. Written by D. C. Fontana and Jerry Sohl (using the pseudonym Nathan Butler) and directed by Ralph Senensky, it was first broadcast on March 2, 1967.

In the episode, the USS Enterprise visits a planet where the inhabitants are under the influence of strange plant life.

The title is taken from the poem "Tiare Tahiti" by Rupert Brooke and the 1920 novel This Side of Paradise by F. Scott Fitzgerald.


The USS Enterprise is ordered to a Federation colony on Omicron Ceti III. Captain Kirk, First Officer Spock, Chief Medical Officer Leonard McCoy, and others beam down to the colony, and discover the colonists all alive and well, a surprise since the planet is bathed in Berthold rays, a form of radiation which humans cannot survive for longer than a week. Their leader, Elias Sandoval, welcomes them and explains they only lost communications due to equipment failure. Also present is Leila Kalomi, a botanist Spock met on Earth six years before; she loved him, but he was unable to return her love. The landing party notices a lack of animal life, including livestock brought to the colony. During medical exams, McCoy finds no sign of disease or injury in any of them: even Sandoval, who has had an appendectomy, now has a healthy appendix. Kirk nonetheless insists that the colonists be evacuated due to the Berthold rays, against Sandoval's objection.

Kalomi offers to show Spock how the colonists have survived, and takes him to a field of strange flowers. The flowers expel spores that cover Spock, after which he professes his love for Kalomi, and blithely disregards orders to begin the evacuation of the colony. The rest of the landing party are also exposed to the spores and, with the exception of Kirk, exhibit the same sort of behavior. As part of a symbiotic relationship with their human hosts, the spores provide perfect health, including protection from Berthold rays.

Kirk returns to the ship while the rest of its crew, under the influence of spore plants that have been brought on board, beam down to the planet. Lt. Uhura has sabotaged the communication system to prevent contact with Starfleet. After exposure to the spores, Kirk too prepares to leave, but as he is about to beam down, he is seized by frustration at his own abandonment of the ship. The effect of the spores disappears, and Kirk surmises that violent emotions destroy them. Kirk lures Spock back aboard Enterprise and uses derogatory racial remarks to goad him into attacking. As Spock is about to bludgeon Kirk with a stool, he notices that the spores' influence on him is gone.

Kalomi beams aboard to find Spock no longer affected by the spores, and her heartbroken reaction frees her also. Kirk and Spock induce a similar effect on the planet below by broadcasting an irritating subsonic frequency to the crew's communicators, provoking fights among the colonists and crew. Once everyone is cleansed of the spores, Sandoval agrees to the evacuation.

As they leave orbit with the colonists aboard, Kirk asks Spock about his experiences on the planet. Spock replies, "I have little to say about it, Captain, except that for the first time in my life ... I was happy."[1]


  • Writer Jerry Sohl had his name replaced by the pseudonym "Nathan Butler", after D. C. Fontana rewrote the original draft (entitled "The Way of the Spores").[2]
  • This was actor Frank Overton's last performance before his death on April 24, 1967, less than two months after the episode first aired.
  • When Michael Barrier and Grant Woods were cast to play the characters Lieutenant Timothy Fletcher and Crewman Dimont, the names were changed to DeSalle and Kelowitz, whom the two actors played in previous episodes.[3]
  • The shot of the empty Enterprise bridge was reused in the Star Trek: The Next Generation episode "Relics", to depict Scotty's holodeck re-creation of his old ship.[4]


Zack Handlen of The A.V. Club gave this episode an "A" rating, describing it as "an intriguingly ambiguous episode", and he praised its sense of humor.[5]

In 2015, SyFy ranked this episode as one of the top ten essential Star Trek original series Spock episodes.[6]

In 2016, SyFy ranked guest star Jill Ireland's performance as Leila, as the 15th best guest star on the original series.[7]

In 2016, Empire ranked this the 24th best out of the top 50 episodes of all the 700 plus Star Trek television episodes.[8]

In 2016, IGN ranked "This Side of Paradise" the 24th best episode of all Star Trek including later series.[9] They note this episode for featuring a romance of sorts between Spock and an inhabitant of the planet Omicron Ceti III.[9]

In 2018, PopMatters ranked this the 18th best episode of the original series.[10]

A 2018 Star Trek binge-watching guide by Den of Geek recommended this episode for featuring the trio of characters Kirk, Spock, and Bones of the original series.[11]

In 2019, Nerdist included this episode on their "Best of Spock" binge-watching guide.[12]


  1. ^ Script transcription, "This Side of Paradise." Original Airdate: March 2, 1967. Retrieved August 2, 2021.
  2. ^ Benjamin Szumskyj, Robert Hood (2009). The man who collected psychos: critical essays on Robert Bloch. McFarland. p. 213. ISBN 9780786442089.
  3. ^ Eversole, David. "This Side of Paradise". Orion Press Fanzines. Retrieved March 31, 2021.
  4. ^ DeCandido, Keith (September 1, 2015). "Star Trek The Original Series Rewatch: "This Side of Paradise"". Retrieved March 15, 2021.
  5. ^ Handlen, Zack (April 10, 2009). "'This Side of Paradise'/'The Devil in the Dark'". The A.V. Club. Retrieved March 2, 2010.
  6. ^ Kaye, Don (2015-02-27). "Long Live Spock: 10 essential Star Trek: The Original Series episodes". SYFY WIRE. Retrieved 2019-07-09.
  7. ^ Kaye, Don (2016-09-16). "The 17 best Star Trek: The Original Series guest stars (hero or villain)". SYFY WIRE. Retrieved 2019-06-26.
  8. ^ "The 50 best Star Trek episodes ever". Empire. 2016-07-27. Retrieved 2019-06-29.
  9. ^ a b Star Trek: The Top 25 Episodes - IGN, retrieved 2019-08-02
  10. ^ "The 20 Best Episodes of 'Star Trek: The Original Series'". PopMatters. 2018-07-16. Retrieved 2019-07-08.
  11. ^ "Star Trek: An Episode Roadmap for Beginners". Den of Geek. Retrieved 2020-07-03.
  12. ^ "A Guide to Binge Watching 7 Great STAR TREK Arcs". Nerdist. Retrieved 2019-07-15.

External links

  • "This Side of Paradise" at
  • "This Side of Paradise" at IMDb
  • "This Side of Paradise" at Memory Alpha (a Star Trek wiki)
  • "This Side of Paradise"—Screenshots before and after remastering at
  • "This Side of Paradise"—Final draft with revisions December 28, 1966; report and analysis by Dave Eversole