Star Trek (1966–1969)
19 user 5 critic

Plato's Stepchildren 

1:34 | Trailer
After Dr. McCoy helps the leader of a planet populated by people with powerful psionic abilities, they decide to force him to stay by torturing his comrades until he submits.


David Alexander


Gene Roddenberry (created by), Meyer Dolinsky | 1 more credit »





Episode complete credited cast:
William Shatner ... Capt. Kirk
Leonard Nimoy ... Mr. Spock
DeForest Kelley ... Dr. McCoy
Michael Dunn ... Alexander
Liam Sullivan ... Parmen
Barbara Babcock ... Philana
James Doohan ... Scott
Nichelle Nichols ... Uhura
Majel Barrett ... Nurse Chapel
Ted Scott Ted Scott ... Eraclitus
Derek Partridge ... Dionyd


On an urgent medical emergency, Kirk, Spock and McCoy encounter an alien society that had once flourished on earth during the time of Plato. Since reaching their current planet, they've developed psychokinetic powers while also losing their bodies' ability to combat even the simplest infection, making the need for a physician newly apparent. When Dr. McCoy declines their invitation to stay, they begin to make sport with Kirk, Spock, Nurse Chapel and Lieutenant Uhura using their psychokinetic powers. Written by laird-3

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TV-PG | See all certifications »


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Release Date:

22 November 1968 (USA) See more »

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Did You Know?


The musical number that Kirk and Spock are forced to perform consists of lines from different parts of Through the Looking Glass (sequel to Alice's Adventures in Wonderland) by Lewis Carroll. See more »


When Spock sits next to Alexander and begins laughing, actor Michael Dunn breaks character and begins laughing with him (you can see he's trying unsuccessfully to restrain himself.) See more »


Spock: [as furnishings about the room begin flying about dangerously] Fascinating. I believe we're experiencing the psychokinetic manifestations of Parmen's delirium.
See more »

Alternate Versions

Special Enhanced version Digitally Remastered with new exterior shots and remade opening theme song See more »


Referenced in Experimenter (2015) See more »

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User Reviews

Psionic Abilities, McCoy, Torturing The Crew
13 January 2017 | by Rainey-DawnSee all my reviews

Season 3, episode 10. The Enterprise receives a call for a medical emergency on a planet where the alien people once flourished on Earth during the time of Plato, then they left after the time of Plato and kept the Platonian society. The Platonians have selective breeding and a type of eugenics that left their number paired down to 38. The planet is rich in "kironide" mineral deposits which gives them their psionic abilities, all except for a friendly dwarf named Alexander. Alexander is their court jester and a slave to the Platonians - he is forced by the psionic abilities to do their bidding. McCoy, Kirk and Spock all beam down. McCoy gives Parmen the medical treatment he needs and decides to keep McCoy. They have not needed the medical arts before the time that Parmen became ill. When Kirk refuses Parmen makes all of them do things for his entertainment - even bringing down Nurse Chapel and Uhura for more entertainment. Now Kirk & crew must find a way out of there with the help of Alexander.

What an episode. I actually like this one - it's not the greatest of episodes but it does bring out emotions in me which has me really enjoying it... even though Mr. Spock might find that illogical. LOL. ;) The famous kiss - erroneously called the first scripted interracial kiss on television. Forcing Kirk to the ground, having Spock to dance and almost crush Kirk's face with his foot, forcing Spock to laugh and then to cry (McCoy saying it will destroy Spock - meaning killing Spock to me). Kirk being forced to be a horse for Alexander the forced rider. On and on.... humiliating the crew in order to keep McCoy as their doctor. And what they have done to Alexander - very emotional.


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