Star Trek Episode 72: That Which Survives

Technical Specs

Director: Herb Wallerstein

Writer: John Meredyth Lucas

Cast: William Shatner, Leonard Nimoy, DeForest Kelley, Lee Meriwether, James Doohan, Arthur Batanides, George Takei, Nichelle Nichols, Naomi Pollack, Booker Bradshaw, Brad Forrest, and Kenneth Washington

Composer: Fred Steiner

Air Date: 1/24/1969

Stardate: Unknown

Production #: 60043-69



Captain Kirk travels with McCoy, Sulu, and Lieutenant D’Amato (Arthur Batanides) to a planet of geological interest. Upon arrival, the landing party is confronted by a mysterious womanstar-trek-that-which-survives (Lee Meriwether) whose very touch can destroy every cell in the human body. Meanwhile, Spock and Scotty are forced to implement a dangerous maneuver after the Enterprise is sabotaged by an alien intruder.

“That Which Survives” should be commended for maintaining an eerie atmosphere throughout. That being said, Star Trek fans who prefer compelling character development over monster-of-the-week antics may wish to avoid this offering.



star-trek-that-which-survivesThough employed more effectively in “The Man Trap,” the premise of a female predator stalking and later killing crew members through physical contact alone is made credible once again, this time due to the haunting manner that Lee Meriwether exemplified while portraying Losira. Meriwether’s mesmerizing but deadly feminine allure is never more chilling than when Losira approaches the Enterprise helmsman, who, when isolated from the landing party, panics in such a fashion as to fool casual fans into believing Sulu’s death may be imminent.



Whereas a dry sense of humor often provided Leonard Nimoy’s character with a subtle charm, Spock’s snippy attitude in “That Which Survives” only serves to irritate rather than In addition to giving Spock a condescending demeanor, the Vulcan’s pithy retorts tend to contradict his previously established personality (e.g. Spock scolds Uhura for inquiring about the captain’s chances, even though he himself had, on many occasions, predicted the odds of success/failure for missions past).

Also “illogical” is the fact that Enterprise is hurled 990.7 light years from its prior position, yet the following narrative offers no reason for why such a remarkable displacement occurs. One could argue that the above effect is caused by another facet of the planet’s defense mechanism; however, the concluding sequence never confirms or even implies this to be the case.



star-trek-that-which-survivesThe concept of a person “surviving” for thousands of years by imprinting on an artificial lifeform is an intriguing one, though little time is allotted to exploring this notion to its full potential.


Concluding Comments

A mediocre effort, “That Which Survives” benefits from a suspenseful sequence involving Scotty’s aforementioned maneuver. Unfortunately, the momentary tension outlined earlier fails to redeem this episode from its obnoxious and downright bizarre depiction of Spock, whose interactions with fellow officers border on the absurd.


Overall Quality: 6/10


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