"Star Trek: The Original Series" Shore Leave (TV Episode 1966) - Plot Summary Poster


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  • The past three months has left the crew of the Enterprise exhausted and in desperate need of a break, but does this explain McCoy's encounter with a human-sized white rabbit or Kirk crossing paths with the prankster who plagued his days at Starfleet Academy?

  • Kirk authorizes shore leave for his very weary crew. The unnamed Earth-like planet is supposedly uninhabited but all crew members start seeing strange apparitions. McCoy sees a large rabbit, right out of Alice in Wonderland. Kirk runs into Finnegan, his old nemesis from academy days, and Ruth, a long lost love. Yeoman Barrows is attacked by a Don Juan-like figure and Sulu encounters a samurai warrior. Things take a more serious turn however when the Enterprise suffers from a power drain and McCoy is run through by a medieval knight.


The synopsis below may give away important plot points.


  • It has been long few months of missions for the Enterprise, and they are now scouting out possible sites for a general shore leave for the crew.

    Sulu and McCoy are down on the surface of a planet along with Lt. Angela Martine and her boyfriend Mr Esteban, and all are taking normal readings, until they stumble upon WHAT?? Rabbit tracks, but human sized! Kirk on the ship, is asking McCoy WHAT THE HELL, then McCoy sees 'Alice in Wonderland' and the 'White Rabbit', right out of the Lewis Carroll story. Harmless? We shall see.

    Up on the ship, Spock is insisting that Kirk report for Shore Leave, so he beams down with Yeoman Tonia Barrows a very pretty Yeoman with brunette hair. When they arrive Sulu is running down the hill like a madman, claiming that he is being chased by a Samurai. Suddenly Yeoman Barrows screams from the bushes and runs out with her uniform half ripped down the shoulder, saying it seemed like her attacker was 'Don Juan'.

    Spock sends an emergency call and beams himself down. He tells them that they are temporarily trapped on the planet due to a huge 'damping field' of electricity, and they are stranded.

    Kirk meanwhile has spotted an old enemy from school named Finnegan, who punches the guts out of Kirk.

    Then, Kirk smells a nice flower, and suddenly, there is Ruth.

    "Ruth", he says "How can you possibly be here"? (Ruth is a very favorite love of Kirk's from his school days). She has golden hair tied in a circle of rings above her head, and a chubby face and smile.

    McCoy and Barrows find a princess gown like those worn by medieval ladies, and McCoy suggests she try it on.

    He is trying to answer a staticky security call from Sulu but is distracted by the sight of Yeoman Barrows changing her clothes. Suddenly there is the sound of a horse charging toward them with a black knight.

    McCoy refuses to believe that it is real. "It simply cannot be real" he says, but LOOK OUT the black knight kills McCoy with his lance, and Sulu, who found an old Colt 45 gun, shoots the knight. McCoy is dead.

    They examine the knight, but he is made of cellulose like a plant, and McCoy's body is gone!!

    On the hillside, Esteban is pointing out to Angela a Japanese ZERO fighter plane, of the type which attacked Pearl Harbor, thereby forcing the U.S.A. into the Pacific Theatre of World War II in the sky. LOOK OUT!

    He tells her not to worry unless it begins a 'strafing' run, then IT DOES!! and Angela is killed by the machine guns.

    Kirk sees Finnegan again, and beats the brains out of him. Spock finds him and says "Are you happy?" Kirk smiles and says yes. Spock has an idea. He tells them all of these illusions are things that the crewmen desired to see, or enemies from the past that they wanted to beat up.

    In order to protect themselves, they must stop imagining and thinking. They gather in the field at attention. Suddenly McCoy walks up to them (what the hell?) with an old man and a two lovely feathered dancers The old man explains to them that this is a 'pleasure planet' and he is the caretaker, a Robot.

    As long as they guard their imaginings it is perfectly safe to have shore leave on the planet. Yeoman Tonia jealously grabs McCoy away from the feathered dancers, and Angela, who is also still alive, grabs Esteban away too. Kirk is about to go go back to the ship when suddenly he sees Ruth, and decides to stay.

    Spock is left to mind the ship and the entire crew is allowed to take shifts of shore leave. At the end, everyone is very happy, and Spock says "illogical". Everyone laughs and all is resolved.

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