“The Mark of Gideon” Remastered Review + Screenshots & Video | TrekMovie.com
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“The Mark of Gideon” Remastered Review + Screenshots & Video June 1, 2008

by TrekMovie.com Staff , Filed under: Review,TOS-R Screenshots/Video , trackback

by Jeff Bond

An earnest but unexciting parable about overpopulation, “Mark of Gideon” is one of those third season episodes that doesn’t linger in the memory—it’s neither bad enough to match the depths of the third year’s legendary worsts or good enough to rank anywhere near the top of the season’s output.

“Gideon” is built on one of those gimmicks that got a workout during the run of Irwin Allen’s Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea: having everyone on the ship seemingly disappear to leave the series star free to wander the empty sets by himself for an hour. The benefits for the show’s budget are obvious: fewer faces on the screen means hours less makeup and costume work and you can send your extras home without pay. While Star Trek’s limited use of the device was for the most part justified by dramatic purpose, it’s still a gimmick and “Gideon” is the most egregious example of its use.

The plot (one of the scripters was no less than Stanley Adams, Cyrano Jones himself from “Trouble With Tribbles”) is almost an exercise in suspending disbelief. For the first time in the run of the series we see a very big deal made out of stating transporter coordinates (although this is covered by the idea that the planet Gideon is shielded from sensors and thus cannot be scanned for coordinates by the Enterprise, necessitating Gideon officials to feed the Enterprise crew coordinates directly); in spite of, or perhaps because of, this unusual arrangement, Spock is the only one in the transporter room to beam down Kirk when Scotty’s presence, or anyone around to notice the discrepancy in coordinates, would have been helpful. The biggest plot hole of all is the story’s conceit of the inhabitants of Gideon not only having the knowledge but the sheer room necessary to construct a fully functioning recreation of the Enterprise’s internal arrangement—one authentic enough to fool Kirk. The idea butts up against the entire concept of the story, and the logic of its utility never quite registers. There has been no disease or death on Gideon for centuries, and a dormant disease Kirk carries is to be used to infect the planet: but if Kirk and Onada (Sharon Acker of John Boorman’s great movie Point Blank and wearing a rare unflattering costume from Bill Theiss), the planetary leader’s daughter, really need to be isolated together for the disease to catch hold of her, wouldn’t there have been a number of far less elaborate and costly methods to achieve that goal? Another point: true the planet is shielded from sensors, but it is visible after all, and couldn’t visual scanners note the discrepancy between the planet’s reputation as a paradise and the physical evidence of a world clogged with people and running out of resources.

Nevertheless, the episode isn’t entirely without merits, even though they’re of a cheap variety. David Hurst does a highly efficient job of being unctuous, huffy and annoying, driving Spock, McCoy and Scotty crazy on the bridge of the real Enterprise as they try to negotiate an answer to the mystery. And for the first few scenes at least there is an admitted curiousity value to Kirk’s predicament. Acker wrestles with another one of Trek’s fawn-like alien female roles, dispensing information about her planet and dancing around the empty Enterprise corridors in delight. The mystery of the planet also creates some effectively creepy moments of horror that are unusual for the series, like the pulsing sounds of heartbeats of thousands of people pressed up against the false Enterprise’s walls, and the fleeting image of Gideon inhabitants pressed up against a window of the ship (a moment oddly similar to another famous Shatner career highlight, his sighting of a gremlin pressing its face up against the window of an airliner just outside his seat in the Twilight Zone episode “Nightmare at 20,000 Feet”).

Ultimately “Gideon” is undone by a denouement that struggles for tragic resonance but can’t make up its mind about the Gideon people—if they worship life to the extent stated in the episode, how can they truly reconcile initiating a plague on the scale that’s discussed here? The idea almost seems more like the rulers of Gideon are looking for a scapegoat for what will surely be a politically risky solution to their problems.


While there’s not a lot for CBS-D to do here, they do provide what could best be described as an “ambivalent” planet Gideon, clouded and grayish and looking neither paradise-like nor uninhabitable. There’s at least one new orbital angle of the Enterprise late in the game as well as the “rear departure angle” of the receding planet that one could argue at this point is becoming rather overused. CBS did update the chronometer which is a standard they set early on with "The Naked Time", but this time they had the added challenge of doing it while the camera panned up. Plus they added some stars moving past Kirk’s head through a window, which was a nice touch.



(higher quality version at YouTube)


Remastered vs. Original


Mr Spock, we are being hailed by the Hair Club for Men

All I ask is a tall blonde and a star to steer her by

excuse me, pardon me, excuse me, hey anyone wonder why we all look like sperm from a Woody Allen movie?

Seasons One and Two discounted at Amazon
The Season Two box set is now available at Amazon for pre-order, discounted to $63.99 (Amazon has a low price guarantee that if they drop the price before ship date of August 5th you will get that lower price). The Season One DVD / HD DVD combo disk is available now for $132.95 (retail is $194.99).

Seasons One and Two of TOS-R ($132.95 and $63.99 respectively)



1. Terpor - June 1, 2008

Its looking good

2. Negotiator - June 1, 2008

I couldn’t find this on channel 5 in LA. Did the series get dropped from its line up?

3. Windsor Bear - June 1, 2008

You know… orange and purple and blue and pink planets made for a colorful galaxy. While maybe not scientifically true, it made for a more entertaining show. All the remastered planets seem to be either dull grey or earthlike blue and green. The galaxy has become a lot more dull; more realistic I guess… but very dull.

4. thebiggfrogg - June 1, 2008

Why isn’t Season One drastically discounted? HD DVD is dead, so I would think lots of the premium value is gone. Should just be considered a DVD set now. Paramount needs to take a loss on that one.

5. SilverExpress57 - June 1, 2008

This is another example of some of the ‘not-so-good’ Star Trek still being a meaningful at its core. It is still tackling a bigger topic, overpopulation.

6. Andy Patterson - June 1, 2008

I know Jeff Bond has been a little gun shy about criticizing an episode lately for fear that it’s someone’s favorite but surely no one thinks of this one as their favorite. I always thought this was weak. There are so many people on the planet they can’t walk alone….yet they have enough space to build an exact duplicate of the Enterprise. Cost effective plot device or not…..weak.

7. jimj - June 1, 2008

Looking good, especially liked that orbital shot of the ship kind of on top of the planet. Nice angle!

8. SPOCKBOY - June 1, 2008

My GOD who is watching the store at CBS D?
The shot at 00:36 has the blue border digitally added( to make the matte look better I’m assuming) then at 00:38 the digital border is gone.
At 00:15 there’s weird white scrape at the bottom right hand corner of the screen as well. I also hate how they make the back wall where the view screen is pale blue. Clearly it’s gray like the rest of the bridge. Coupled with the already blue border around the screen, it’s completely oBLUEgatory.

The planet looks pretty good and the orbiting shots at 00:09 and 00:57are an interesting angle for a change. The chronometer looked good.


Odonna was hot!


9. OR Coast Trekkie - June 1, 2008

No kidding. Whatever happened to “strange new worlds?”

10. Sean4000 - June 1, 2008

Not half bad, actually. Decent angles.

I’m SHOCKED they actually changed the stardate calculator given that they missed the rotation of the Earth a few episodes back, but this was a nice touch.

The stars above Kirk was also nicely done. Kind of like what they did in “The Menagerie” with Pike’s window.

11. Ensign Ro- (Short for Roland) - June 1, 2008

LMAO…sorry, can’t get past the caption on the last photo, “excuse me, pardon me, excuse me, hey anyone wonder why we all look like sperm from a Woody Allen movie?”

Too funny!

12. 7 of 5 - June 1, 2008

6th shot from the top, wasn’t that actually the Moron Pumpernickle Choir?

Just wondering….

13. Janice - June 1, 2008

Spot on review and I enjoy the humorous comments (the review was more entertaining than this episode). Keep up the good work.

14. Matt P (Australia) - June 2, 2008

Some of the old shots look crisper than the remastered ones.

15. Duane - June 2, 2008

Really enjoyed this review. While it’s not a great episode it probably goes down as the creepiest TOS episode ever, so at least it’s got something going for it.

16. James Heaney - Wowbagger - June 2, 2008

I disagree with Mr. Bond about some of the plot holes he sees–several of them, I think, are well-justified–but, really, excellent review all around, even where I don’t entirely agree.

I do, in fact, always forget this episode. I hear “Mark of Gideon” and instantly my brain skips over to the mildly less forgettable “Lights of Zetar.”

17. Jeffrey S. Nelson - June 2, 2008

Screeen shot of Kirk in the original looks much better in terms of contrast and brightness than the remastered shot. How can the two samples be so different? Huhhhhh? How can the latter be possibly construed as being better? Borgus frat!
Odana’s litte piroutette down the ship’s corrdor is the obvious source of inspiration for Sulu’s daughter doing the same thing in the New Voyages webisode “World Enough and Time.”

18. utterlee - June 2, 2008

How comes they changed the time on the chronometer by an hour? Had someone forgot to set the clock to Summer Time?

19. Anthony Thompson - June 2, 2008


Agreed. Paramount needs to bring the cost of the 1st season down to the price of the 2nd. Or I ain’t buying it.

Those folks wearing the green makeup and black robes must have wondered WTF they were doing! : )

20. Engon - June 2, 2008


Which raises the question: Why are they green at all? There’s no other indication that the people of Gideon are green.

Perhaps Gideon’s technology has not progressed beyond the monochrome green/amber monitors of the 1980’s

I suspect the effect was achieved via color timing. That would have been a lot easier than putting makeup on all those guys.

21. Paulaner - June 2, 2008

Now it’s all dull, flat grey. Kind of boring.

22. captain_neill - June 2, 2008

An ok episode but still enjoyable. It always struck me as odd about a planet so over populated had the room to build a replica of the Enterprise. I liked the idea of this story. Cant wait to see the new shots

An excellent review of a so so episode. I agree as we remember Spock’s Brain as it was so terrible.

I liked the theme of over population and the sets were cool, I loved seeing the gideons in the background bumping into each other and unable to move

23. Randall - June 2, 2008

A mediocre episode full of holes (the biggest being the one pointed out by captain_neill: where did they get the room to build a replica of the Enterprise?) this one nevertheless creeped me out when I first saw it as a kid way back in… oh, about 1970 or so, in syndication. Doubtless kids today would yawn at it, but up until the point that the deception is fully revealed, there’s an atmosphere of real weirdness on the deserted Enterprise, between the mysterious Odonna dancing in the corridor, and the sound of the heartbeats, and the faces peering in through the viewport…

One of those seminal (if minor) creepy moments from my television childhood–the 60s were replete with them. (70s TV, unfortunately, was all too lacking in them).

Sadly the episode goes down hill from there. *Could* have been an excellent one (maybe) with more fleshing out and more logic in the plot. Oh well.

24. Dom - June 2, 2008

Yeah Kirk wandering the empty sets and the faces appearing tin the darkness remaina among my earliest memories of Trek, going back to when I was about 4! Maybe not the greatest episode, but I’ll aways remember the imagery!

25. Frank - June 2, 2008

Geez, this is one bad episode. Even when I saw it for the first time waaaay back in the 60’s when I was 11 years old I thought it was terrible. Building a life-sized, mutil-decked replica of the interior of the Enterprise on a planets surface? I know we are suppose to suspend disbelieve here, but this concept was ridiculous from the start. Wasn’t there another way for these folks to infect themselves with Kirks diseases? How about just placing him in an empty room with a woman? Give it 5 minutes – that would work I’m sure.

26. The Underpants Monster - June 2, 2008

Plotholes aside, this episode created one heck of an Twilight Zone atmosphere. Kirk’s birth control speech seems a bit ironic in retrospect – does this mean David was planned? ;-)

27. Duane - June 2, 2008

16. I agree with you — the plot holes are not nearly as bad as the review indicates. It surprises me that people think that it would be difficult to build a replica of the Enterprise on a seriously over-crowded planet. You would just need to get the people to stand 1/2 and inch closer and that would free up an enormous amount of space. The Big E is not that big, after all.

28. CmdrR - June 2, 2008

OK — everybody talks about their “worst” episode. This is mine. Even the space hippies were more interesting to watch. The ditzy blonde is soooo dumb it’s off-putting. Plus, there’s a huge sense of cheapness about the premise of dulpicating the Enterprise. The Gideons even know how Kirk decorates his own ship??? Or does Starfleet not only keep records in that detail, but let them be stolen by Gideon spies?

29. SteveinSF - June 2, 2008

This episode always bugged me –mainly the whole Enterprise double thing. Really, Why? They already got his blood, she was infected, why smoosh the people aside while building this duplicate Enterprise–what were they trying to achieve? 45 minutes or so of weak plot I suspect. I did like the exchange between Spock and the Gideon leader, and the crowded people. Someone mentioned the “green people” I think that’s to give the impression that they are
truly outside with the difference in lighting.

30. Badboy 1230 - June 2, 2008

Maybe the duplicate Enterprise is a holographic projection similar to what Riker experienced in “Future Imperfect.”

31. Bilar - June 2, 2008

I could never see this episode again…and it would be just fine.

Not as creepy and distributing as ‘And The Children Shall Lead’
Not as idiotic as ‘Whom Gods Destroy’ – at least we have Lord Garth and his rants.
Not as ridiculous as ‘Let That Be Your Last Battlefield’ – at least we have Frank Gorshin and his fantastic lines & delivery
Not as melodramatic and pedestrian as ‘The Deadly Years – at least we have a Romulan attack at the end.
Not as pitiful as ‘The Way To Eden’ – at least we have Spock playing a Jam session.
Certainly in the bottom 6 of the original series, probably # 2. Dull, illogical, pointless – it really has no redeeming qualities at all.

32. MrRegular - June 2, 2008

Brilliant Idea!!
The shots of the green people still creep me out. Very effective.
The episode otherwise is another artifact from the Freiberger era-but not as bad some of the others.

33. Daoud - June 2, 2008

#30 That would be the perfect retcon: if the Remastered team had just put a flicker here and there with a hologrid background, that would have served as an excellent wink.

The other old retcon I recall was this: Gideon is important enough to the Federation to send the Enterprise.. perhaps Gideon is a shipyard, and builds Connies. That explains the structure, but not the exact duplication of Kirk’s knickknacks…

If they just needed his blood though…. call in the Sigma Draconis gang. If they can steal Spock’s Brain… they could steal Kirk’s Blood: which is how I always titled this episode.

34. neonknights - June 2, 2008

In “Relics” a shot of the Enterprise’s viewscreen with empty chairs in the foregroup was used from this episode with the original 1960s planet shot. This short stock shot made the original TOS effect canon in later incarnations of Star Trek. CBS-D have to “remaster” that TNG episode too if they want the new effects to be “canon”.

35. Cervantes - June 2, 2008

The ‘close-up’ angle shot of the Enterprise passing is good to see, but the insistance on giving the ‘viewscreen’ wall shots a blue ‘hue’ coloration is not. I want the bright red railings and panels back!

36. bdrcarter - June 2, 2008

One thing that I don’t understand about the remastered project is the clean up of the prints. In one of the behind-the-scenes segments on the DVDs (and at The Menagerie theater screening), they showed clips of the team literally removing/erasing scratches and other imperfections from individual frames of the film transfers. Why the ding-dong heck didn’t the clean the glaring spots/scratches/smudges from the static scenes of key static images? The on-going culprits are shots of the main viewscreen and the transporter room beam down/ups. I realize there are live action shots going on in the scene but the imperfections are usually around the fringe of the frame…in a fairly static environment. Why not just “photoshop” them out. I’m sure it’s harder than it seems to a layman, but boy, are they irritating distractions. And there seemed to be an abundance in this episode…thanks to all the viewscreen-related dialog.

Oh well, too late now I guess.

37. bob - June 2, 2008

Why was the planet as seen from the viewscreen not rotating?

38. Mr. Bob Dobalina - June 2, 2008

This is the fIrst remastered episode I’ve chosen not to watch. A stinker through and through.

39. CmdrR - June 2, 2008

37 — Too much weigh from all those people.

So, btw, what are all those people eating? I mean, if there are so many, they’d be steppin’ on the turnips before they matured. The drive-thru at Mickey-D’s must take forever.

40. jimj - June 2, 2008

To #34 (in my best Scooby Doo voice): HUH?????

41. FredCFO - June 2, 2008

37. bob–

I thought the same thing you did, but then Kirk specifically said the Enterprise was in synchronous orbit over Gideon’s capital city. Therefore; the planet should not rotate on the main viewer.

CBS-D, you magnificent bastards ! You read the script !

42. Tony Whitehead - June 2, 2008

38. I believe there was a line in Kirk or Spock’s log entry about being in synchronous orbit at the time…

43. Tony Whitehead - June 2, 2008

sorry. I meant 37

44. Frank - June 2, 2008

What are they eating? Nothing that a little “Solent Green” can’t fix..

45. COMMANDER KEEN - June 2, 2008

A couple of issues I had deal with cleaning up some scratches and other contamination in the film. There were a few during the Admiral’s scene where they did nothing to fix. There were others as well. It is as though CBS has kind of given up on the latter episodes or something.

On thing I noticed, and maybe it was just me, is the first scene where Kirk looks at the view screen on the bridge and notices the planet is gone. The very first scene of the viewer I seemed to me they star field was the original field and not redone. When they show it again a few seconds later it looks altered, ie remastered. I wonder if it was an accidental oversight. Did anyone else noticed this besides me?

46. dep1701 - June 2, 2008

HODIN: Do you feel great pain, daughter?

ODONA: Yes, father…in my limbs.

HODIN: What is it like to feel pain?

ODONA: It’s like…like watching this episode of Star Trek, and knowing that there’s no hope of it getting any better. Pain is like that

47. Buckaroohawk - June 2, 2008

Commender Keen (#45),

I noticed the change in the starfield, too. Looks like CBS-D missed that shot, since the stars in the original FX are very much larger than the remastered FX.

One more “oopsie” to add to the list.

48. Lord Garth, Formerly of Izar - June 2, 2008

Good episode, Uber Hot chick!!!!! More socially relevant than ever Kirk offers to bring them a shipment of rubbers!!! They actually talk about abortion in this episode. It might be a bit bland with respect to action but with overpopulation out of control, dwindling recources, pro life V. Pro Choice, ect ect this episode speaks to all of it. I’d love to have a pack of Kirk Condoms. Tell Starfleet command to drop me of a batch.

49. OM - June 2, 2008

…Two points:

1) The missed opportunity for a proper tweak by See-BS-D here was to have rendered Gideon with massive cities peeking out from beneath the clouds. Granted, a standard “Death Star” texture might have sufficed, but the clouds would have given it a more planetary look, and given the audience a visual subtle clue as to the secret of Gideon.

2) The original script was significantly different in how the entire Gideon plot was orchestrated. Orion Press has dug up one of the early drafts, and a synopsis is online now. Those with the old James Blish adaptations will already know some of this, as his adaptation was based on one of these earlier drafts.

…Which brings up a side note: Blish has, for over four decades now, been flamed for “taking liberties” with about half of the episodes he adapted for the 12 books he did. What many fans were unaware of then – and even newer ones are unaware of today – is that Blish started the first 3-4 books before those episodes had actually *aired*. He was given draft scripts to work from, and as we all know scripts can change drastically from purchase to final editing. Considering the lead time for a book – even a paperback of this nature – working from an early draft script would have been the only way Blish could have accomplished what he did. Which, when viewed in the proper perspective, means that his adaptations are actually more a historical artifact of those early days of Star Trek, especially with regards to the script refining process.

Orion Press article on “Mark of Gideon”:


50. Izbot - June 2, 2008

I noticed this as well — it was a jarring change even on my non-HD TV. Didn’t make any sense.

I always have to do a lot of rationizing to make this episode work. Oh, maybe Kirk is on a holodeck. But still, why don’t the Gideonites just colonize other planets? Is Odana ‘normally’ that air-headed or is she acting for Kirk’s benefit a la Vina in “The Cage”? Hoping a shared experience will create a bond between them both (she didn’t know Kirk needs no pretext for making the moves on her!)? Hoden spends more time than is usually spent explaining the ways and philosophy of his people. It helps a little at fleshing out the planet’s populace but unfortunatly makes for one of the most boring scenes in the episode.

I kinda thought CBS-D would make Gideon appear overpopulated the way the did in “Wolf in the Fold” — make the orbital shot a nighttime shot so you could see the lights of cities dotted accross the continents. Maybe Gideon has more water than land like earth? Populations compressed onto small continents and islands. But I guess what CBS-D went with works anyway.

Anyone notice in the ‘window’ scene that at one point Kirk leans up near the window and it is clearly back down in the closed position? The angle is kind of extreme but it is noticable — and odd. How hard could it’ve been to film the shot with the window open instead of hoping that at that angle no one would notice? Same with the bridge shots seen from Hoden’s viewscreen. Spock is not facing the viewer but is looking off to the side — the exact angle the camera is positioned in for close-ups in the same scene but shot from on the bridge. Amatuerish or lazy I’ve always noticed.

51. Commodore Lurker - June 2, 2008

Decloaking . . .
A redeeming quality? Let’s try that this ep. is one of the few attempts to seriously drive home the horrors of over-population. The first time I saw this (about age 12), when all the faces appeared on the viewscreen I jumped back in my seat. The crush of people outside the (Prime Minister’s?) office (the Woody Allen’s Sperm People shot), is one of the most lingering and disturbing images in the history of Trek, at least to me.

The rest of the ep. is written around these two shots. Therein, all the plot holes detailed above in Jeff Bond’s excellent review and in my fellow poster’s comments.

The only other piece of Science Fiction to deal with over-population as dramatically was Charlton Heston’s “Soilent Green”, which is of course the answer to my friend CmdrR’s question in post #39.

52. dep1701 - June 2, 2008

37. bob – June 2, 2008
Why was the planet as seen from the viewscreen not rotating?

Because the Enterprise is shown as being in a synchronous orbit over that point on the planet in the exterior shots

53. Izbot - June 2, 2008

48. Contraception is not neccessarily abortion.

…nevermind, let’s not even go off on that tangent!

54. Trekboi - June 2, 2008

why did they remove the old star field from the view screen and make the green faced giddion people’s black hoods more visible?
the floating transparent faces are now just a bunch of people standing around? not as creepy & it must have taker some work to remove the stars rather than cover the costumes with a new starfield?
They could have spent the time on a new angle for the enterprise for example.
time & money that could have been better spent on other effects.

55. CmdrR - June 2, 2008

Commodore… yes of course. And here I am munching merrily away on my solient chips at lunch.
Actually, Logan’s Run is about overpopulation and lunchables, too. Box gleefully calls out, “Protien from the sea!” while they’re walking by the row of nekked frozen runners. (brrr. shrinkage!) Box obviously would have appreciated Solient Green.

56. dep1701 - June 2, 2008

“Screeen shot of Kirk in the original looks much better in terms of contrast and brightness than the remastered shot. How can the two samples be so different? Huhhhhh? How can the latter be possibly construed as being better? Borgus frat!”

I keep reading comments similar to this when comparison shots are posted here. The answer is simple: The original screen shots are from the DVDs, and the remastered shots are taken from the aired broadcast. Of course they don’t look as good.

Individual stations have different settings on their equipment and there will always be a degradation in a signal that is broadcast ( unless you are watching an HD transmission, but most of these CW stations are not yet HD ). Believe me, when you watch the remastered eps on the DVD set, the contrast is much sharper and crisper than you will ever get from a screen shot of a televised episode, so of course, right now the DVD shot looks better, side by side.

57. Thomas Jensen - June 2, 2008

I like that close-up shot of the saucer section passing by, but I don’t understand why those two ‘cone shaped’ lights just below the bridge aren’t colored red. They seem to be yellow or white. That’s another change I don’t appreciate. They can certainly change which porthole and retctangular lights are lit, but sometimes they should have lit the darn ship as it was done originally.

It wouldn’t have hurt to see the Enterprise’s windows the same as original AND with the new lighting scheme. Why couldn’t they have done it both ways???

58. eagle219406 - June 2, 2008

I don’t know if anybody noticed this, at least I haven’t seen anybody bring it up. But when they show a wide shot of the Enterprise orbiting Gideon, the planet is rotating AGAINST the Enterprise orbit. But when they show it close up, The planet is rotating WITH the Enterprise orbit.

59. Garovorkin - June 2, 2008

This spisdoe was written with the theme of over population. Wah I find interesting is that the Enterprise with all of its technology was not aware of the the over population problem on Giddeon? The notion that a planet could evolve a germ free environment like that is not a t all possible. In fact i would put that under the heading of Pseudo science. If humanoid lif evolved on a planet then so microbe to keep them in check. In fact another problem with the germ free concept is that without bacteria then people of Giddeon would not be able to metabolize food, because that require bacteria and germs which ffom the planetary leaders statement there isn’t any. Also nature woould have found a solution to Giddeon’s problem long before the Enterprise arrived. Think about it does the whole concept of this episode make any sense to anyone? Also how is it that the poople of giddeon were able to build an exact replica of the enterprise down on the planet, how could they possibly have manged that feat when they have never even had contact with the Federation, this is ridiculous and improbable. they can’t even leave their own planet because of Germ vulnerability.= that they have. The problem is that the replica was far to exact, not even remotely possible give Giddeon’s desire to isolate itself from the rest of the Galaxy

60. Robert Bernardo - June 2, 2008

CmdrR wrote:

> The ditzy blonde is soooo dumb it’s off-putting.

Ditzy? I find Sharon Acker’s portrayal of Odona to be sensitive and ultimately serious and tragic. At a Creation Star Trek Convention, Sharon said that Odona cared for her people so much that she was willing to give up her life for them. In my book, that makes Odona a heroine.

61. Garovorkin - June 2, 2008

Yes here charter was likable but the episode was not liable. Giddeopn was a very advanced culture, and the solution was to send out one of their own to get infected from a stranger? what a pathetic way to solve their problem,As kirk pointed out to the idiot leader of Giddeon there are ways other then this. His retort was Giddeon relish life yest hae had no problem having his daughter be the poor sacrifical lamb, because he and his people did not believe in practical solutions like family planning. Please thats very short sighted thinking of then given their circumstances.

62. Commodore Lurker - June 2, 2008

Decloaking . . .
CmdrR # 55, ah “Logan’s Run”, I knew I was forgetting something. Farah Fawcett in a flighty mini dress, shrinkage was not an issue in that regard. Over-expandage at random moments was a greater concern at that time.
No wonder over-population was such a concern.

I wonder if Vulcans experience shrinkage? Once every seven years, it is a muscle afterall. No shrinkage, perhapes that’s why girls like Vulcans so much? I always thought it was the pointy ears and distant stare.

63. CmdrR - June 2, 2008

Thank you, Garovorkin. Yes, I was trying to say by “ditzy” I meant unrealistic and, well, dumb. It’s one thing to be so idealistic that Odona would lay down her life. It’s another to see her getting all happy about dying. The theme of the episode represents Trek at it’s best: a reconsideration of the ban on contraception. The execution of the idea leaves lots to be desired. Odona’s character, IMHO, is just not believable. Plus, this is just a dull episode, visually and in pacing.

64. Garovorkin - June 2, 2008

That begs another question how is it that Gideon did not experinece famine, how could their food supply keep up with that population?

65. Commodore Lurker - June 2, 2008

Decloaking . . .
#64 Garovorkin: Soilent Green. See #’s51&55. Yummy.

66. Garovorkin - June 2, 2008

#65 Commodore somehow I would be surprised if that were the case on Gideon. But Biologically the people pf Gideon should not even exist because Bacteria Is part of the life cycle of humanoid forms Humanoids forms cannot live completely and viably without some kind of Bacteria in thie sytems and please no one bring up the Boy in the Plastic bubble, that does not apply in this instance. This episode just doe not work. by the way the leader of Gideon should have figured that the enterprise would have noticed that they were given two different landing coordinances. How could they not think of that?

67. US Taxpayer Dude - June 2, 2008

I often wonder what many posters here would make of “Henry V” performed at their local thespian troupe’s headquarters:

“Why, everyone knows that a general never walks around in peasant garb!” “He’s too young to be general and I don’t care who his father is!” “Tha’ts not an cannonical canon! No – the muzzle breach hadn’t been invented yet!” “Look at that silly costume! It’s Elizabethan, not medieaval!” “Everyone knows Harry’s beard was dirty blond but here it’s light brown!” “Why didn’t the French practice family planning? Then there would be enough room for French and English on the same plot of land”

Heavy sigh…

I’m glad the script was respectful to the traditional Christian sensibilities ante sangerian-eugenics. Actually, I suppose it was more Malthusian which was a more-or-less discredited theory since people rather enjoy life once they have it.

68. Plum - June 2, 2008

Well, the Gideon’s “love of life” was definitely a religious reference – they were a people who didn’t belief in birth-control. This and a disease free world led to over-population. Their solution is backward, but they can accept disease more readily than changing their “beliefs”.

That’s fundamentalism, not traditional Christian beliefs. There’s a difference.

69. Gary the Gorn - June 2, 2008

This could have been a great spinoff of series like the “Love Boat”.

Very cheap to produce. Each week have guest stars appear on the bridge and wonder around the Enterprise and try to figure out who the creepy faces were. They could have replaced the girl with various hotties from the day. Like Elizabeth Montgomery and those girls from the Big Valley.

Guest stars could’ve been Charles Nelson Riley, Nipsey Russel, etc. It could have been a cross between “Love American Style” and “The Twilight Zone”.

Tune in to “Star Trek: Gideon” in living color. Comng this fall on NBC.

70. Duane - June 2, 2008


It’s been a long time since I have laughed that hard. I need to read these boards more often.

71. Engon - June 2, 2008

55. 62.

I’m not so sure that “Logan’s Run” deals with overpopulation as much as it deals with a controlled population level. Like Lucas’ 1971 “THX-1138,” and the nearly forgotten Spielberg film also from 1971, “LA 2017″, “Logan’s Run” has a post-apocalyptic society living in a confined space. IMHO, “Logan’s Run” more closely resembles the Star Trek episode “A Taste of Armageddon” in which a computer selects individuals to die to preserve the way of life for the society at large.


I can think of a couple of sci-fi flicks that are directly about overpopulation: 1972’s “Z.P.G.” (for Zero Population Growth) and the fairly similar in plot, 1971, made-for-TV flick” The Last Child.”


It’s interesting how these all cluster around 1971. Oddly enough, the current vogue seems to be for “under-population films” such as “Children of Men” and “I Am Legend.”

It’s also interesting to note that “The Mark of Gideon” bears some thematic resemblance to John Borman’s 1974 “Zardoz” in which a an outsider is brought into a small community of immortals to bring them “the gift of death.”

72. max - June 2, 2008

I was stunned that the episode was as badly butchered as it was. The entire final scene was omitted!

73. eagle219406 - June 2, 2008

#26 “Plotholes aside, this episode created one heck of an Twilight Zone atmosphere. Kirk’s birth control speech seems a bit ironic in retrospect – does this mean David was planned? ;-)”

Not necesarily. Remember that Contraceptions don’t always work. There are many forms of birth control but through them all, there is only one that guarantees no pregnancy, and that is NOT HAVING SEX.

74. Orb of the Emissary - June 2, 2008

You bring up an actual good point, I think. Should they re-master “Relics”? I never thought of that!!

75. The Underpants Monster - June 2, 2008

#73 – hence the winky smiley.

76. Al Yankovic in Lynwood - June 2, 2008

RE # 2. Negotiator

KTLA 5 in LA changed the time to 4 AM Sunday mornings instead of 12 AM Sunday. I had the same problem until I looked on the TV guide webpage.

” I couldn’t find this on channel 5 in LA. Did the series get dropped from its line up?”

77. Rumpleforeskin - June 2, 2008

This episode is not good.
Boring as hell. Confusing as hell.
The updated chronometer was one of the highlights.
What a wasted story.
Worse than “Spock’s Brain” by far.
At least that was entertaining.

78. eagle219406 - June 2, 2008

#34 In “Relics” a shot of the Enterprise’s viewscreen with empty chairs in the foregroup was used from this episode with the original 1960s planet shot. This short stock shot made the original TOS effect canon in later incarnations of Star Trek. CBS-D have to “remaster” that TNG episode too if they want the new effects to be “canon”.

Could have been any planet.

79. Magic_Al - June 2, 2008

^34 since I can’t resist a canon nitpick now and then: the TNG holodeck recreation of the bridge is already inconsistent with “reality” because of little errors in the partial set Stewart and Doohan did the scene on. The carpet is the wrong color, among other things. Chalk it up to the holodeck being glitchy or historical recreations always being a little inaccurate. I see no need alter the reused footage unless they’re going to magically fix all the other details. (Maybe they should rotoscope Stewart and Doohan over new background plates shot on James Cawley’s bridge. Don’t hold your breath.)

80. Billy Bobby - June 2, 2008

This is one of my favorite episodes of all of Star Trek.

81. Billy Bobby - June 2, 2008

I can’t get over how brilliant this episode is. This episode effectively shows what a planet would be like if all the inhabitants did not believe in contraception. And I see no major plot holes in this episode.
Kirk beamed down into a Holedeck. The Enterprise was an exact duplicate because the Gideons scanned Kirk’s mind to fill in every little detail. Remember the episode from TNG called Future Imperfect?
And I see no faults with the idea of using disease as an effective way of reducing population. People who are opposed to contraception suggest that population should be controlled only naturally (i.e., war, disease, and famine). Therefore, it is extremely plausible that the Gideons would want to reintroduce disease as oppose to putting on an “evil” condom. Look at the writings of Thomas Malthus.
And the people can’t be seen on the planet because the Gideons are projecting a false image. If people from Gary Seven’s planet can hide a whole planet, I think the Gideons can change the appearance of theirs and block out sensor scans.
And Spock was not tricked by the transport coordinates. He told the Admiral that the Captain was not being held in the Gideon Council Chamber. After his conversation, he said that Command knew that the Gideons were not totally honest. He then made Uhura and Scotty repeat the transport coordinates. Therefore, Spock knew there was a discrepancy the entire time. I’m sure that if he can calculate huge odds in his Vulcan head that he can remember a nine digit number.
I’m writing this because I don’t want people to keep on bashing this amazing episode. This is such a brilliant episode because it deals with a highly controversial issue in an effective way. I find this episode to be intellectually stimulating because it shows the opinions of both sides of this controversy and it practically references writings of Thomas Malthus. If you are going to bash an episode, pick another because this episode is one of the best.

82. Billy Bobby - June 2, 2008

The episode also shows why it is bad to be isolationists. This is evident in this superbly written dialog between Hodin and Spock:
Hodin: Your Federation must be aware of our jealous tradition of isolation from all contaminating contacts with a violent nature of planets of other star systems.
Spock: Your Excellency, the wars between opposing star systems no longer prevail in our galaxy.
Therefore, it comes as no surprise that these people do not expand into space.

83. Magic_Al - June 2, 2008

^81. Indeed the episode is a satire of what today we’d call “pro-life” views, but it’s a very ham-fisted satire and depicts overpopulation in a completely abstract way that couldn’t even exist — with all land on the planet occupied by people, where does food come from? The environment must be completely destroyed and life would not even be possible, despite their supposed healing ability. You can review the Gideon leader’s speech against contraception and abortion in the linked transcript (search the text for “conception” to find it):
It’s interesting the Gideon leader refers to abortion (not using that word but clearly enough) even though Kirk had only suggested sterilization and contraception. It’s noteworthy that at the time the episode was made, the U.S. Supreme Court had only ruled four years earlier that people have a right to use contraceptives and Roe v. Wade was still four years in the future. Star Trek was dealing with an important issue, but in such a cartoonish way it probably didn’t influence the debate at all.

84. Viking - June 2, 2008

That ‘sperm from a Woody Allen movie’ crack just squelched any passing desire I had to see this episode of TOS-R……….

85. Odkin - June 2, 2008

It’s a FIRST! Every single still from the original show looks crisper, more colorful, and more interesting than the remaster!

86. T Negative - June 2, 2008

I’ve always liked this episode for it’s Twilight Zone feel. The story concept is a very good one. They simply did not have enough money to pull it off effectively.

87. Captain Robert April - June 2, 2008

I think Spock’s presence might through a spanner in the works of explaining away the replica Enterprise as a hologram.

On the other hand, Gideon having that level of sophistication in holographic recreation might go a long ways towards explaining why the Federation was so interested in these nitwits.

88. Plum - June 2, 2008

Why is it so hard to imagine the Gidion’s recreating the enterprise?

They could have built “up”, on great scaffolds, or even in the sea! As much as people say it’s a plot hole I say it’s merely a lack of imagination!

89. Engon - June 2, 2008

In the Bible, Gideon has a kind of overpopulation problem. God commands Gideon to raise an army to defeat the Midianites and Amalekites, but God then tells him his army is too large. With such a large army, victory will be too easy and no one will give God credit for it. So Gideon sends 2/3 of his men home, leaving only 10,000. God again tells Gideon that he has too many men and eventually the force is whittled down to a mere 300 who go on to victory.

90. Steve S - June 2, 2008


No, KTLA did not drop Star Trek, they traded time slots with “American Idol: Regurgitated” or whatever they call it. Curse you Simon! In LA, TOS is now on at 4 AM Sunday morning.

91. Badboy 1230 - June 3, 2008

#87 Not neccesarily.

If someone was to beam from another ship into the Enterprise D’s holodeck while a program was running, where would he find himself? In whatever the setting of the program was.

92. jimj - June 3, 2008

#85-Said in my best Scooby Doo voice: HUH???

93. Billy Bobby - June 3, 2008

I bet these people had lots of food synthesizers.

94. Blimpboy - June 3, 2008

Why doesn’t Kirk have his communicator in this show? It would have made it a 5 min. show. How was he going to beam up without calling the ship?

95. Spocko - June 3, 2008

I like the original shot with Kirk on the fake bridge looking out at Gideon. The original showed the front top of the planet, but of course, the new remastered one had to fix this by moving it to the side. It was disappointing and a bit enraging.

Obviously CBS-D does not believe in a creative new type of orbit.

96. Commodore Z - June 4, 2008


I can see (even if I don’t personally share) your sense of being disappointed, but “enraging”? You must have a disturbingly low threshold of rage.

97. planettom - June 5, 2008

The Gideons can make an exact replica of the Enterprise, but they can’t tape some black plastic garbage bags over the windows.

Seriously, I realize the creepy effectiveness of the reveals, but you wonder why the “viewscreen” and the “window” have any possibility at looking out on the real planet Gideon.

Also, for people who can’t feel pain, the one guy really lets out an “ooomph!” when Kirk punches him.

98. Billy Bobby - June 8, 2008

I just saw The Lights of Zetar and it was the worst special effects job I have ever seen.

99. Decepticreep - June 15, 2008

To me the biggest plot hole here is that the Gideons don’t try to colonise other worlds to fix their overpopulation woes. Surely they must be a warp capable society to be in negotiations to join the Federation? So they (who cherish life so much they refuse to use birth control) are more willing to infect themselves with a plague to cure their problems instead of simply moving a big chunk of the population offworld?

100. Roy F. Moore - July 9, 2008

It would be interesting if some fanfiction were written, in which the Gideonites fought each other over the Hodin Infection Plan, for lack of a better term. Hodinites and Anti-Hodinites struggling for control, along with the aftermath of such a struggle.

I would think that, like government today, the idea of colonizing other worlds – even within their own solar system – never really occurred to the Gideon Council in the first place. The bureaucratic mindset and all.

And if word about this ever got out to the Klingons or the Orions or the Romulans, how would they react? Would they take advantage of the situation or leave it be?

Would some on Gideon vow to take revenge on Kirk and the Federation for bringing this plague to them? How would that work out?

Or would some Gideonites find a way to buy a freighter or colony ship and colonize some world out of Federation control? Perhaps try to bring new life to Cheron, where Lokai and Bele still fight each other over their long-dead planet. What would be the fallout from that, the last men of Cheron facing colonists from Gideon?

Even a ham-fisted, plot hole laden script promoting the genuine evil of contraception can still yield good fanfiction possibilities. They deserve to be explored, IMHO.

Thank you all for your time and attention.

101. Geoff Capp - July 20, 2008

I would have liked to see some subtle touches behind Kirk’s head to suggest the “scenery” is changing because he’s on a holodeck. A century before this, Trip Tucker was introduced to it on the alien ship where he got pregnant. The Gideonites acquiring a holodeck technology is so much more believable than them recreating a 23-storey starship on their crowded planet. Besides, wouldn’t it show up easily on visual scanning of the planet? 079 and 709 might be vertical coordinates, so I suppose the fake ship could have been built in an abandoned mine cavern or a limestone cave.

One example: when Kirk and Odona leave the bridge together, there’s a fast and lousy pan to the main viewscreen. I would have changed it to pan as far as Spock’s station and show it slightly shimmering as the wall shows, like it did in “Encounter at Farpoint” and “Ship In A Bottle”.

Another example, when Hodin finally appears and comes to take Odona. The jig is up – Kirk knows he’s been “marked” – so the wall behind Hodin is seen “closing up” from an opening that has a Gideonite control room.

102. Perryb - March 8, 2010

My Favortite, hey, Kirk’s makes it with everything, why not expose someone to him, He’s bound to have caught something to infect everyone.

103. Bobby in Montreal - May 17, 2011

dont know which episode u guys were watching but Scotty called H.F. Mudd a borgus frat

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