Memory Alpha

Requiem for Methuselah (episode)

  • 1.2 Act One
  • 1.3 Act Two
  • 1.4 Act Three
  • 1.5 Act Four
  • 2 Log entries
  • 3 Memorable quotes
  • 4.1 Production timeline
  • 4.3 Production
  • 4.5 Sets and props
  • 4.6 Continuity
  • 4.7 Video and DVD releases
  • 5.1 Starring
  • 5.2 Also starring
  • 5.3 Guest stars
  • 5.4 Uncredited co-stars
  • 5.5 Stunt doubles
  • 5.6.1 Unreferenced material
  • 5.7 External links

Summary [ ]

Kirk, McCoy, and Spock meet Flint and M-4

" Do not kill. "

Its crew suffering from the deadly Rigelian fever , the USS Enterprise pays an emergency call on a supposedly barren planet , Holberg 917G , to gather ryetalyn , a rare element that is the key ingredient of the antidote. Beaming down to the planet, Kirk , McCoy , and Spock are attacked by a hovering robot called M-4 . The landing party draw their phasers to fire back, but find M-4 has somehow neutralized the weapons. An old man arrives to halt the robot's attack, and introduces himself as Flint . However, he insists to Kirk that the landing party leave at once or die.

Act One [ ]

Holberg 917G fortress, remastered

Flint's impressive home

Kirk asks Flint to reconsider but Flint still refuses. As a result, Kirk flips open his communicator orders that Scott have the Enterprise lock phasers onto their coordinates. When the situation seems completely hopeless, Flint relents and gives Kirk two hours to obtain the ryetalyn. Flint orders M-4 to gather the ryetalyn. In the meantime, Flint invites the landing party to his impressive home.

When they arrive, Kirk, Spock and McCoy find in the living room what appears to be authentic but undiscovered specimens of Earth art, such as a score by Brahms and paintings by Leonardo da Vinci . They also come across a Gutenberg Bible and several works of Reginald Pollack . The men are unaware that a beautiful young woman wearing a long, elegant silver dress is watching them on a video screen in what appears to be the drawing room. When M-4 returns with the ryetalyn, Kirk prepares to beam back up to the ship but ultimately accepts Flint's offer to process the rare element. It is at this moment that Flint introduces the young woman from the drawing room: his beautiful, highly intelligent, but ultimately enigmatic ward named Rayna , whose beauty immediately attracts Kirk's attention.

Act Two [ ]

Flint introduces Rayna to McCoy and Spock. Her first time encountering a Vulcan , she wishes to discuss field density with him at a later time. Flint explains that Rayna's parents were in his employ and died in an accident. They placed her in his custody and she has been with him ever since. Rayna explains that the landing party are the only other men she has ever seen, which McCoy replies, " the misfortune of men everywhere and our privilege. " Flint seems to encourage encounters between Kirk and Rayna, such as having them play billiards or having them dance while Spock plays the piano .

Kirk recalls to Flint that he had said something earlier about savagery and wonders when was the last time Flint had visited Earth. Flint tells him that Kirk will probably say that it is no longer cruel but he notes that the Enterprise itself is " bristling " with weapons and its mission is to colonize, exploit, and destroy if necessary. Kirk replies that their missions are peaceful and their weapons are used strictly for defense. He notes that if they were truly barbarians, they would not have asked for the ryetalyn, they would have simply taken it. He recalls that Flint's own introduction to the landing party lacked a certain benevolence when they arrived.

Kirk is becoming closer to Rayna while they play a game of billiards, and while she teaches him some pointers on the game, Kirk tells Flint that to be Human is to be complex, the species cannot avoid ugliness from within or without. Meanwhile, McCoy returns with the report while Kirk and Rayna are dancing. He reports that the ryetalyn contains irillium in quantities sufficient enough to render the antidote useless. Flint offers to go with M-4 and collect more samples and to screen them himself. He offers to let McCoy join him.

Later, Kirk enters Flint's laboratory. He is looking around when Rayna enters. He walks over to her and notes that the room became lonely without her. She tells him that loneliness is " a thirst. A flower dying in the desert, " something Flint had said to her earlier. Kirk does not understand what she is talking about and asks what is in the room behind a closed door in the lab. Rayna does not know, as Flint has told her she must never enter that room. Kirk asks why she is here then, and she tells him she often comes to this place when she is troubled. Kirk asks why she is troubled and also if she is happy here with Flint. She says Flint is the kindest man in the galaxy, but if so, Kirk wonders, why is she troubled? As Kirk leans in to give her a kiss , M-4 arrives and prepares to attack him.

Act Three [ ]

Rayna orders the robot to stop, but it does not respond to her command. Just as M-4 prepares to fire on Kirk, Spock enters and vaporizes it with a blast from his phaser . Later, Flint tells Kirk that the robot was programmed to defend the house and its occupants; it did not anticipate Kirk looking around in the lab. However, another M-4 unit arrives in Flint's living room. He states that it is too useful a device to be without. Flint notes that Kirk should be thankful that he did not attack him, as he has twice the captain's strength, but Kirk remarks that, as Flint had said earlier, it would be an interesting test of power. Rayna is pleased that Kirk did not die in the incident and Flint states that death, when unnecessary, is tragic. He orders that Kirk wait in his study, " patiently, safely, " while McCoy analyzes the quality of the ryetalyn in the lab. He reminds Kirk that his defense systems operate automatically and not always in accordance with his wishes.

As Flint and Rayna leave, Kirk and Spock realize Flint loves Rayna and is exhibiting jealousy towards Kirk. However, Kirk points out that Flint seemed to want Rayna and Kirk to participate in activities together, which Spock notes seems to defy male logic as he understands it. Kirk contacts the Enterprise and asks for a status on the progression of the Rigelian fever. Scott tells him that the disease has infected nearly everyone on board and they are now operating with a skeleton crew . Kirk also asks for the report on a computer search on both Flint and Rayna. Uhura informs him that there are absolutely no past records of Flint and, later, of Rayna.

Kirk and Spock realize that Flint wishes for them to linger for reasons unknown. In the drawing room, Rayna and Flint are watching Kirk and Spock on the video screen. Rayna tells him that she could not have summoned M-4, as she was not frightened. She believes Flint had sent the robot there to kill Kirk, which he vehemently denies. He asks her to say her farewells before Kirk leaves. Rayna sees Kirk again, and the captain tells Spock he will see him in the lab later. She tells Kirk that she has come to say goodbye, but he does not want to. He kisses her, asks her to leave with him and leave Flint. Shortly after, Rayna runs away when Kirk tells her she loves him, not Flint.

Later, in Flint's lab, Kirk meets up with McCoy and Spock. They enter the room that is off-limits to Rayna, where they discover this is Flint has been hiding the processed ryetalyn. Searching for the antidote, the men discover three earlier versions of Rayna: one bald, one brunette, and another unseen under a sheet — indicated by signs reading RAYNA 16 , RAYNA 15 and RAYNA 14 respectively. They realize the woman Kirk loves is not Human; she is an android .

Act Four [ ]

Flint then arrives and reveals his other secret; he is an ancient immortal, born almost four millennia before Christ , in 3834 BC. Over the course of his long lifetime, Flint has taken on many names, such as Brahms and da Vinci. Eventually, he acquired enough wealth to purchase Holberg 917G and work on a perfect, ultimate – and equally immortal – woman. Kirk had provided the final step in her creation, stirring her emotions to life. Flint presses a button on a small remote control device, and the Enterprise vanishes from the planet's orbit — reappearing the size of a model on a table. An astounded Kirk looks inside the three-foot 'model' starship (his face appearing on the bridge's viewscreen as he does so) and sees the crew members on the bridge going about their duties but frozen like statues. Flint says he has put the Enterprise and its crew into suspension and will do the same to Kirk, Spock and McCoy, keeping them and the Enterprise in that state for a thousand years or more, as Rayna's emotions turn to him. Despite Flint's intent to keep her creation a secret, Rayna enters the room and learns the truth — forcing Flint to use his remote control to release the ship. The 'model' Enterprise vanishes from the table, and the full-sized starship reappears in orbit.

Kirk forget

" Forget. "

Flint and Kirk fight over Rayna, stopped only by the emergence of Rayna's emotions. However, her new feelings and suddenly having to choose between Flint and Kirk overwhelms her, and she shuts down — collapsing to the floor.

Back aboard ship, the plague is stopped and Kirk finally falls asleep at the desk in his quarters after ruefully reflecting on what had happened. McCoy enters and informs Spock that the full tricorder readings on Flint indicate he is aging and will eventually die of natural causes. By leaving Earth, he had sacrificed his immortality. After commenting about love and Spock's eschewing of that emotion, the doctor looks at Kirk and wishes the captain could forget Rayna. As McCoy leaves, Spock moves over to his sleeping captain, and places one hand on Kirk's temple. Spock then proceeds to grant McCoy's wish by whispering " Forget " and using a Vulcan mind meld to erase Kirk's memory of Rayna — therefore easing his captain's pain.

With the Enterprise 's crew now cured of the plague, the starship flies on through space toward new adventures.

Log entries [ ]

  • Captain's log, USS Enterprise (NCC-1701), 2269

Memorable quotes [ ]

" If you do not leave voluntarily, I have the power to force you to leave – or kill you where you stand. "

" Are you a student of history, sir? " " I am. "

" What is loneliness? " " It is thirst. It is a flower dying in the desert. "

" Do you think the two of us can handle a drunk Vulcan? "

" Flint is my teacher. You are the only other men I've ever seen. " " The misfortune of men everywhere. And our privilege. "

" To be Human is to be complex. You can't avoid a little ugliness from within and from without. "

" I have married a hundred times, Captain. Selected, loved, cherished. Caressed a smoothness, inhaled a brief fragrance. Then age, death, the taste of dust. "

" At her age, I rather enjoyed errors with no noticeable damage. "

" I know death better than any man. I have tossed enemies into his grasp. And I know mercy. Your crew is not dead, but suspended. "

" Stay out of this! We're fighting over a woman!" " No, you're not. For she is not. "

" She's Human. Down to the last blood cell, she's Human. Down to the last thought, hope, aspiration, emotion, she's Human. The Human spirit is free. "

" I was not Human. Now I love. I love. "

" The joys of love made her Human. And the agonies of love destroyed her. "

" A very old and lonely man. And a young and lonely man. We put on a pretty poor show, didn't we? "

" You see, I feel sorrier for you than I do for him because you'll never know the things that love can drive a man to. The ecstasies, the miseries, the broken rules, the desperate chances, the glorious failures, the glorious victories. All of these things you'll never know simply because the word love isn't written into your book. "

Background information [ ]

Production timeline [ ].

  • Story outline by Jerome Bixby , 6 September 1968
  • Revised story outline, 24 September 1968
  • Second revised story outline, 2 October 1968
  • First draft teleplay, 4 November 1968
  • Second draft teleplay, 18 November 1968
  • Final draft teleplay by Arthur Singer , late- November 1968
  • Revised final draft teleplay by Fred Freiberger , 26 November 1968
  • Additional page revisions by Freiberger, 29 November 1968 , 2 December 1968 , 6 December 1968
  • Day 1 – 2 December 1968 , Monday – Paramount Stage 5 : Int. Central room
  • Day 2 – 3 December 1968 , Tuesday – Paramount Stage 5 : Int. Central room
  • Day 3 – 4 December 1968 , Wednesday – Paramount Stage 5 : Int. Central room , Rayna's quarters
  • Day 4 – 5 December 1968 , Thursday – Desilu Stage 10 : Ext. Planet surface , Int. Flint's lab
  • Day 5 – 6 December 1968 , Friday – Desilu Stage 10 : Int. Flint's lab ; Desilu Stage 9 : Int. Life lab
  • Day 6 – 9 December 1968 , Monday – Desilu Stage 9 : Int. Life lab
  • Day 7 – 10 December 1968 , Tuesday – Desilu Stage 9 : Int. Life lab , Bridge , Kirk's quarters
  • Original airdate: 14 February 1969
  • Rerun airdate: 2 September 1969
  • First UK airdate (on BBC1 ): 30 December 1970
  • First UK airdate (on ITV ): 29 July 1984
  • Remastered episode airdate: 21 June 2008
  • This episode's title is a dual allusion: first to a ritualistic liturgy of Roman Catholicism (and other related religions), the "Requiem" being a Mass for the dead, and second to Methuselah , son of the Biblical prophet Enoch and paternal grandfather to Noah , who was the longest-lived Human being in the Bible (in Genesis 5:21-27) having lived 969 years; existing for nearly a millennium, Methuselah's lifespan has historically become a proverbial reference for longevity.
  • In a story outline (dated 2 October 1968 ) the 8,000-year-old Flint was also Ludwig van Beethoven . Spock enabled Kirk to forget Rayna by using mental suggestion from a distance, while Kirk was in his cabin and Spock was on the bridge. In the final scene in the episode, Spock causes Kirk to forget but not from a distance, but by touching his head and telling him to forget.
  • Bixby wanted Flint (originally depicted by him as a Neanderthal ) to have been Beethoven, because, according to him, " Beethoven had a kind of Neanderthal cast to his face ". However, in staff rewrites, it was changed to Johannes Brahms . ( These Are the Voyages: TOS Season Three , p. 572)
  • In Bixby's first-draft script, Flint is revealed to have been Jesus , Moses and Pablo Picasso as well. The former two aliases were nixed due to a request by NBC 's Broadcast Standards, who were concerned this would "bring repercussions" from viewers with orthodox religious views. Picasso was eliminated as well, because the artist was still alive at the time, and researcher Joan Pearce warned that "attributing fictitious work of art to a living artist can bring legal repercussions". ( These Are the Voyages: TOS Season Three , p. 575). In addition, it would be contradictory if Flint had been said to be both Lazarus and Jesus, the latter of which had resurrected the former.
  • An element from Bixby's story – that of an immortal man who became several of Earth's historical figures – was mirrored in his final screenplay, which became the film The Man from Earth [1] which featured Trek alumni John Billingsley, Tony Todd, Richard Riehle, and David Lee Smith.
  • According to the Star Trek Encyclopedia , 4th ed., vol. 1, p. 402, " Rayna Kapec was named for Czechoslovakian writer Karel Čapek , who first coined the term " robot " in the classic science-fiction play entitled R.U.R. . "
  • Kirk's second log entry has a stardate with two decimal numbers. This is the only episode in The Original Series that used this stardate format.

Production [ ]

  • The Brahms paraphrase that Spock plays was written especially for this episode by Ivan Ditmars . The sheet music shown is from Brahms, his 16 Walzes, Op. 39.
  • The TOS Season 3 DVD release incorrectly spells Rayna's name "Reena" in the end credits. Her name is shown in the episode very clearly as RAYNA during the reveal of the multiple versions of the android. The correct spelling could be seen in the end credits on the earlier LaserDisc and VHS releases, and was later restored for the TOS-R Season 3 DVD collection. Each version of the caption used a different shot of Spock playing 3D chess : the correct spelling shows Spock apparently contemplating his next move, while the incorrect spelling shows Spock moving a black chess piece.
  • In the third season blooper reel, there is a shot of the M-4 on its dolly mount, being wheeled toward William Shatner by its operator. There is also a clip of Leonard Nimoy rocking his head sarcastically while "fill-in" elevator music plays during the scene where Spock plays Brahm's waltz for Kirk and Rayna. Ivan Ditmars' performance was dubbed in later.
  • This episode apparently had a scene deleted which contained an appearance by John Buonomo as an orderly .
  • Cinematographer Al Francis was absent for the first three days of production due to illness. He was replaced by John Finger (working on Gomer Pyle, USMC at Desilu at the time) for the first two days, then by veteran cameraman Ernest Haller (who also shot the second pilot, " Where No Man Has Gone Before ") for the third. Francis is solely credited as director of photography for the episode. ( These Are the Voyages: TOS Season Three )
  • When cast for this episode, Louise Sorel , a theater actress, did not take Star Trek all that seriously. " They put me in this funny costume – I stood still and they just wrapped fabric around me – and I had an Annette Funicello bouffant and Dusty Springfield eye make-up. James Daly and I thought of ourselves as these two very serious theater actors and we kept looking at each other, 'Why on Earth are we doing this?' Eventually, we just started saying, 'Christmas money, Christmas money, Christmas money.' " Overall, however, Sorel remembered the episode as " really very sweet. I loved working with Shatner . We had played lovers once before. In the story, Flint forgot to give Rayna the tools to survive emotionally, and – when he and Kirk started fighting over her – she couldn't bear the pain. It was really very touching. " ( Star Trek 30 Years , p. 77)
  • Louise Sorel and William Shatner appeared together on an episode of Route 66, " Build Your Houses With Their Backs to the Sea " that aired in 1963. Curiously, also starring in this show was Glenn Corbett, who played Zefram Cochrane in TOS : " Metamorphosis ".

Sets and props [ ]

  • Flint's castle is a reused matte painting of the Rigel VII fortress from " The Cage ". The Rigel VII fortress image was replaced in the remastered version by a Hans Gabl digital model and matte painting of a completely different, Italianate -style "fortress."
  • Flint's viewscreen appears to be the Beta III lighting panel seen in " The Return of the Archons ". It is also similar to the one seen in " Where No Man Has Gone Before ".

USS Enterprise model

The Enterprise three-foot model

  • This episode includes the newest footage of the Enterprise seen since " Mirror, Mirror ", utilizing the three-foot model built to demonstrate the Enterprise shape in 1964.
  • Captain Kirk peers into the bridge of the Enterprise through the viewscreen, much like Q does when Quinn shrinks the USS Voyager to the size of a Christmas ornament in VOY : " Death Wish ".
  • Some of the furnishings in Flint's castle are recognizably recycled from previous episodes. Spock sits in the ornate chair used by Korob and Sylvia in " Catspaw ". In the outer room of Flint's laboratory, just in front of the vertical grill, is the female Romulan commander's "communications box" from " The Enterprise Incident ". In the same room, the back walls are lined with the consoles from the Elba II control room in " Whom Gods Destroy ". One of the wall ornaments in the game room was previously used in " The Cloud Minders " in the Stratos reception room (although "The Cloud Minders" was filmed prior to "Requiem for Methuselah," it wasn't broadcast until after it).
  • The undercarriage of Flint's robot, M-4, is a reused portion from the upper carriage of Nomad from " The Changeling ".

Continuity [ ]

  • This episode is referenced in the Star Trek: Voyager fourth season episode " Concerning Flight ", in which Captain Kathryn Janeway mentions that Captain Kirk claimed to have met Leonardo da Vinci. This would leave one to conclude that Spock's mind touch at the end of the episode only erased Kirk's memory of Rayna, and not necessarily the whole encounter.
  • Whereas Spock uses the mind meld at the end of the episode and tells Kirk, " Forget ", in Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan he uses the technique on McCoy and tells him, " Remember ".
  • Doctor McCoy states that alcohol easily makes Vulcans drunken. This is contradictory to his reply to Kirk's question about how well Spock would handle whiskey in Star Trek V: The Final Frontier , in that instance he predicts alcohol would have little effects on Spock, due to his Vulcan metabolism . It seems yet possible McCoy was merely teasing Spock in this episode, as Spock himself was in the film more concerned about his Human half.
  • In TNG : " The Offspring " Lal , the android created by Lt. Cmr. Data , also died after experiencing and being overwhelmed by love.

Video and DVD releases [ ]

  • Original US Betamax release: 1988
  • UK VHS release (two-episode tapes, CIC Video ): Volume 39 , catalog number VHR 2435, 18 March 1991
  • US VHS release: 15 April 1994
  • UK re-release (three-episode tapes, CIC Video): Volume 3.7, 2 February 1998
  • Original US DVD release (single-disc): Volume 38, 27 November 2001
  • As part of the TOS Season 3 DVD collection
  • As part of the TOS-R Season 3 DVD collection

Links and references [ ]

Starring [ ].

  • William Shatner as Capt. Kirk

Also starring [ ]

  • Leonard Nimoy as Mr. Spock
  • DeForest Kelley as Dr. McCoy

Guest stars [ ]

  • James Daly as Flint
  • Louise Sorel as Rayna Kapec
  • James Doohan as Scott
  • Nichelle Nichols as Uhura

Uncredited co-stars [ ]

  • William Blackburn as Hadley
  • Roger Holloway as Roger Lemli
  • Sally Yarnell as command lieutenant
  • Unknown actress as sciences crew woman

Stunt doubles [ ]

  • Paul Baxley as stunt double for William Shatner
  • David Sharpe as stunt double for James Daly

References [ ]

3834 BC ; 1st millennium BC ; 1334 ; 20th century ; 2169 ; 2239 ; ability ; Abramson ; accident ; aging ; agony ; Alpha Centauri system ; Akharin ; alcohol ; Alexander the Great ; analysis ; android ; Angel Playing the Violin ; Angel with Lute ; antidote ; antitoxin ; area ; arts ; attention ; barbarian ; barbarism ; battle ; BC ; bearing ; betrayal ; beauty ; benefactor ; benevolence ; billiards (aka billiard game ); billion ; biological renewal ; blood ; blood cell ; body function ; " Bones "; bookworm ; Brack ; Brahms, Johannes ; brain wave ; brush ; bubonic plague ; bully ; butler ; canvas ; Centauri VII ; century ; chance ; chess ; chess master ; childhood ; choice ; community ; computer banks ; computer search (aka computer check ); Constantinople ; contact ; conversation (aka talk ); coordinates ; course ; Creation Lithographs, The ; cruelty ; dance ( dancer ); Dance in Tehuantepec ; danger ; da Vinci, Leonardo ; day ; death ; deposit ; desert ; dinner ; disaster ; door ; dust ; Earth ; ecstasy ; emotion ; enemy ; envy ; epidemic ; error ; eternal triangle ; Europe ; experiment ; failure ; fake ; family ; father ; Federation ; Federation legal banks ; feeling ; field density ; financier ; First Folio ; Flint ; Flint's house ; Flint's shuttle ; Flint's wives ; flower ; fool ; " for one thing "; " for the moment "; fragrance ; Galilei, Galileo ; gardener ; gratitude ; gravity phenomena ; green ; greeting ; guardian ; Gutenberg Bible ; guest ; hand ; happiness ; hawk ; head ; heart ; " heaven forbid "; history ; Holberg 917G ( moons ); home ; hope ; host ; hour ; household ; housekeeper ; Human ; Human condition ; illness ; illusion ; immortality ; individual ; infant ; ink ; inoculation ; instruction ; invasion ; " in order to "; instant tissue regeneration ; intellect ; irillium ; jealousy ; Kapec's parents ; kilometer ; knowledge ; laboratory ; laugh ; Lazarus ; legal ward ; lifeform ; lifelessness ; life span ; logic ; loneliness ; longevity ; love ; love triangle ; M-4 ; manuscript ; Marcus II ; marriage ; masterpiece ; medical computer ; Melozzo da Forlí ; mentor ; mercy ; Merlin ; Mesopotamia ; Methuselah ; Milky Way Galaxy ; mind meld ; misery ; mission ; Moses ; name ; nettle ; night ; " no doubt "; " of course "; Omega system ; opportunity ; ownership ; oxcart ; painting ; parts per thousand ; phaser ; physical strength ; piano ; pigment ; plague ship ; pleasure ; Pollack, Reginald ; privacy ; product ; property ; prospecting ; protection ; quality ; quantity ; rat ; Rayna 14 ; Rayna 15 ; Rayna 16 ; recluse ; record ; region ; Renaissance ; result ; retreat (location) ; Rigelian fever ; Rigelian fever victims ; Rivera, Diego ; robot ; room ; rule ; ryetalyn ; Saurian brandy ; savagery ; sea ; sciences ; screens ; search ; secret ; sensor ; sewer ; Shakespeare, William ; skeleton crew ; sleeping ; Socrates ; soldier ; Solomon ; speed ; spirit ; " stand by "; Starfleet Command ; stasis ; Sten ; street ; student ; sub-dimensional physics ; summer ; Taranullus ; taste ; teacher ; test of power ; thing ; thirst ; thought ; thousand ; threat ; time factor ; toast ; trespassing ; trick ; tricorder ; " under the wire "; ugliness ; universe ; university degree ; vice ; victim ; victory ; Vulcan ; waltz ; wealth ; weapon ; wish ; work ; year

Unreferenced material [ ]

External links [ ].

  • " Requiem for Methuselah " at Memory Beta , the wiki for licensed Star Trek works
  • " Requiem for Methuselah " at Wikipedia
  • " Requiem for Methuselah " at , a Roddenberry Star Trek podcast
  • " Requiem for Methuselah " at the Internet Movie Database
  • 1 Daniels (Crewman)
  • 2 Jamaharon

Requiem For Methuselah Stardate: 5843.7 Original Airdate: 14 Feb, 1969

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Star Trek: The Original Series

“Requiem for Methuselah”

3 stars.

Air date: 2/14/1969 Written by Jerome Bixby Directed by Murray Golden

Review by Jamahl Epsicokhan

Review Text

While scouting a planet's surface for the necessary medicine to combat a plague, Kirk, Spock, and McCoy encounter a social recluse named Flint (James Daly) who had long ago abandoned Earth and now lives alone with his enigmatic pupil and companion, an apparently young woman named Rayna Kapec (Louise Sorel). Flint subtly manufactures a series of situations that brings Kirk and Rayna together until a mutual attraction develops. Unfortunately for Kirk, Rayna's attraction to a third party was intended by Flint to awaken her senses beyond the intellectual patterns of thought—so that she and Flint could be united.

The implications of the episode are interesting: Flint isn't seeking merely a lover for companionship; he's searching for one who is also intellectual equal. He has literally built Rayna—an android—using the sum of his experiences. The story asks how useful a person is once he has outlived his own sense of purpose—and for Flint, a life of hundreds of years has produced everything from music apparently written by Brahms to artwork apparently created by da Vinci.

Admittedly, I couldn't quite understand how Kirk was so taken with Rayna so quickly (perhaps I should remind myself that this is Kirk we're talking about), but the triangular relationship that develops and ends in a tragedy (Rayna's inability to cope with her feelings causes a fatal shutdown) is best utilized in the show's final scene, where Spock uses a mind meld to relieve Kirk of his burden of grief. These are characters who feel for one another more than the plots often let on.

Previous episode: The Lights of Zetar Next episode: The Way to Eden

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Comment Section

84 comments on this post.

To me, this is one of the most disappointing -- though not among the worst -- episodes of TOS. It's an amazing premise, but the love story derails it. It would have worked a little better if Kirk hadn't fallen head over heels with Rayna in like 90 minutes. At least with Edith Keeler, he spent a couple days around her. Beyond that, the TOS cliche of Spock explaining why Rayna died at the end was really annoying. How did he know she didn't die because of an unrelated mechanical problem? How did Spock figure out what happened while Flint (who built Rayna) seemed clueless? And, really, why was the explanation necessary? Also, Kirk's line to Spock about how they "were fighting over a woman" seemed really out of character for the supposed advanced sensibilities of 23rd century humans. This could have been a really great episode if it stretched out over a couple days, if the guy playing Flint was a better actor and if less time was spent on Kirk falling in love and more time spent on the idea that one man had been such an important part of human history.

I agree with Paul, above, about the "fighting over a woman" comment, and would add that Kirk seemed to run Amok way too easily.

This is disappointing. It's one of the worst episodes of Trek. It's just so utterly appalling how Kirk "fell in love" with someone, especially since she's supposed to be the companion for someone who can't die. Oh wait, Flint doesn't need a woman anymore because he's going to die. Problem solved!

I just have to point out one thing... Flint was watching them on a flatscreen TV with a soundbar. Straight out of 2013. Hell, maybe even 2014 or 2015. It was a little bit flatter than the ones around today. It never fails to amaze me how well Star Trek predicts technological advances.

Good idea but poorly executed. How many episodes are based on transporting medicine for some planetary outbreak? Kirk falling in live with an android was totally absurd as was Spock doing the mind meld at the end to make him forget.

Alternative episode title: Kirk's Got The Feevah! Who wouldn't..? Louise Sorel as Rayna, is absolutely stunning in her, snug, aluminous dress. But how out of character does Kirk seem, here? Quite clearly, and for less than noble reasons, our virile captain wants to be, ahem, in like Flint. Of the many times I saw this episode years and years ago (edited 70's era butchered airings) - though I understood she was an android I have no memory of the scene where Kirk reveals that unfortunate reality... Rayna is just one of many copies. By the way... Data (whose Lal and pre-Lal units had nothing on Rayna) wouldn't even need an emotion chip to experience some serious human envy - Flint's version is THAT impressive. The episode expects us to believe that in the short time between cold sonic showers, Kirk has fallen so deeply in love that he's willing to beat up a creepy, one thousand year old man - who once could have been Hercules. Did not Kirk witness Hercules' power to shrink a thirty foot film production Enterprise into a twelve inch AMT model?? - and freezing Scotty solid in the process? Ultimately, the landing party's visit to Holberg 917-G (weird name if you ask me) in search of an antidote results in the death of everyone on the planet (Da Vinci, Brahms, Alexander, et al) - probably a TOS "first." Not a first is James T. Kirk's innate ability of forcing a robot into suicide. Spock's use, at the end, of a sort of katra reset button was sweet... he probably thought it was only appropriate what with all the suffering Kirk went through after he murdered Edith Keeler with a Packard.

Strangely I liked this one a lot better than All our yesterdays even though it included yet another instant love story.

The episode owes a lot to the movie "Forbidden Planet," which in general TOS owes a lot to, which also means this owes a lot to "The Tempest." By having Rayna literally be both Flint's creation and the woman he loves, the creepy possessiveness of Prospero/Morpheus over his daughter is explored a little more directly. There is definitely something poignant about this story: Flint has lived so many lifetimes that his only equal is someone he can program himself, but his ability to create her as life basically means that it's impossible for a romantic relationship to blossom. Whether or not the weird father/daughter stuff surrounding Flint and Rayna was intended (I think so), it's still difficult for Rayna to shift from Flint-as-creator/mentor to Flint-as-lover. And so Kirk is brought in as a ringer. Flint starts off absolutely denying contact of Kirk etc. to his planet, before suddenly insisting that Kirk and Rayna spend time together in the hopes that this dashing captain will find the right combination to let her tumblers fall and her lock open. I'm not sure whether Flint changes his mind because he is mercurial (or the episode is poorly plotted), or if something Kirk does demonstrates his superior studliness, or if Flint had been faking his reticence all along and had always been planning to bring Kirk in. Kirk has a certain vitality that Flint has lost over the years (a common theme in depictions of extreme longevity) and maybe he can awaken something in Rayna, after which Flint can have that awakened, vital Rayna be his "life line" to give his own life meaning again. The tragedy around Rayna is that Flint and Kirk both want something from her, and while they do both care for her to an extent, neither sees her fully. Kirk wants to "free" her to "love," and Flint wants to give her everything he has to offer, which is quite a bit, on his terms. It's appropriate that one of Flint's past identities is Solomon, because I'm reminded a little of the story of Solomon suggesting splitting a baby in two to give to warring mothers, and the "true" mother being the one willing to let the baby survive with the other. Neither Kirk nor Flint pay enough attention to how badly this situation is tearing Rayna apart to stop their warring, and she dies. It's a decently effective strategy. I think that too much time was spent on the "mystery" of Flint's ancient origins, of his being Leonardo and Brahms, but given that Flint doesn't come across very well in the episode it's worth establishing why Rayna might think well of him -- his genius stretches back human centuries. The big weak link in this episode is the Kirk/Rayna "romance," which is unconvincing. It might have worked had Kirk just gotten passionate about Rayna's need for freedom, but he's in love with her as a person, which given Kirk's character needs a fair bit more setup than is given here. Contrasting this with, say, Edith Keeler, that episode spent a great deal of time setting up the nature of Kirk's feelings for her and why she was special to him; and it also came at a point in the series in which Kirk's womanizing had not gone into overdrive. It's hard to say what Kirk likes about Rayna; Spock admires her intellect, but does Kirk? Does he think she's a good dancer? Is hot? The last scene is interesting in its implications. McCoy suggests Spock is incapable of love, and then Spock administers the "forget" to Kirk, which is framed by the episode as an act of love. It is also nonconsensual, and even if it had been consensual it is an odd choice, one that goes counter to a lot of Kirk's usual gusto. I hate to bring up Star Trek V, but "I need my pain!" seems to define Kirk much more than an overwhelming desire to forget; for an in-series example, see "This Side of Paradise" for a quick demonstration of Kirk's absolute preference of messy reality over fantasy. Spock is somewhat defying Kirk's moral stance and violating his will because he doesn't want to see his friend in pain, which is also (possibly) a purely logical decision that whether Kirk would ascribe meaning to his suffering or not in the long term (he certainly doesn't seem to at this very moment), it probably is not worth the pain that he is going through right now. That the episode ends with something of a criticism of Kirk -- for throwing himself into "save the girl" to the point where the woman in question gets killed, and his bravado leading to heartbreak he couldn't recover from himself -- and Spock having to violate personal boundaries to save him suggests something a bit like the direction the movies will go in, in examining these characters' flaws and questioning the assumptions of their virtues. The episode's very slow first half and the extent to which Kirk/Rayna was unconvincing means I can't really recommend this episode, but it has its moments. 2.5 stars, I suppose.


The thing that gets me about this episode is that the Enterprise crew are supposed to be dying of plague from which only Flint's antidote can save them. You'd think that saving the lives of his entire crew would be a higher priority to Kirk than getting to shtoink Flint's android girlfriend. But apparently not. I didn't get the impression that Flint died due to the landing party's actions, though. IIRC, the dialog stated that the reason he was dying was because the unique conditions that kept him immortal were only found on Earth, and he had left it.

I found this episode interesting because in retrospect it functions very much as a precursor to themes that TNG would explore with Data. The most directly related TNG episode is "The Offspring", but there are also links to "The Measure of a Man" (Kirk showing that Rayna can be human and should be allowed to make her own decisions), as well as "The Most Toys" (an android dealing with being considered property). Having watched most of TOS now, I can say it's surprising how much material was borrowed from it for later use in the feature films and episodes of TNG.

After viewing this episode for only the second time in 20 years, I can only assume that Kirk's judgement was impaired by early symptoms of the onslaught of Rigelian fever. That's the only way to explain his totally out of character actions in this episode, since it had already been well established on multiple occasions that his first love is his ship. Perhaps Flint was even aware of this early symptom of the disease and decided to exploit it in his effort to unlock his android's emotions. If that was, indeed, the rationale driving this story, I sure would have appreciated a few lines of exposition by McCoy or Spock confirming it.

Star Trek fan

I think this episode is hysterically awful. The episode's premise is "we must stop the virus before it kills all the crew" and yet the story turns into a totally non-credible love story. Kirk acts like some possessed school boy having his first crush on a girl. The pace is slow, no sense of urgency. The Enterprise turned into a model was Irwin Allen type gimmickry. KIrk is more concerned with loving a robot woman than saving his crew. Totally out-of-character. It was fun to watch, all episodes of Star Trek have fun moments but I'd have to rate this episode zero out of four. Meh.

In this rare instance, I must disagree with one portion of what William B. posted about Spock in his last paragraph. The fact is both Kirk, then confirmed by McCoy, say out loud (perhaps as musing, but in a way that conveys a deep wish on both their parts), the need for Kirk to forget Rayna. Kirk says it, then McCoy, after his habit-driven and equally flawed excoriation of Spock's emotional character. My take on the scene is that Spock, and yes, in an "act of love," then grants what both patient and doctor could not do. For that reason, I think the ending was outstanding.

I noticed that toward the end of TOS there was a lot of characters somehow knowing why things happened and just explaining it to each other and, really, to the audience. Very lazy stuff.

It was rather one of these dreams where someone tries to leave or go somewhere but sits in a jam an cannot leave. For havens sake McCoy, why did you not bream up as soon as you had the medicine!!! But the story was not about saving Enterprise again, and I liked it. The two alfa men fighting over a female. Both actually just wants to posses, even if Kirk says something else. This fight though is the catalyst for Raynas development to become a human being as well as it crushes her realising its consequence. Spock realises how senseless this is, tries to warn bit his boss does not want to listen. An excellent example on both modern and old management. Yes this episode had potential to be something more, but I still enjoyed it as it was.

A couple things I didn't like...McCoy insulting Spick at the end for not being human seems out of character, and Spock mind raping Kirk also seems out of character. Maybe Spock could do that to me and I'd forget the last two movies.

I would like to point out the writer of this episode, Jerome Bixby further explored the concept of a immortal caveman who survived into modern times in the film: 'The Man from Earth'. It is basically a play and filmed in 2007 starring none other then Tony Todd and John Billingsley.

This episode starts out telling us that the Enterprise is infected with the plague and everyone will die if they aren't treated within four hours. Okay, but where did they pick up this plague, and how? Surely there are decontamination and quarantine procedures which would essentially eliminate plagues, and certainly prevent them from happening on a starship, but the crew are frequently careless, so I'll buy this. Kirk demands the cure from the guy who owns the planet, after trespassing, and then later claims he didn't "demand", just "ask". His behavior throughout this whole episode is kind of off. Everyone of the ground team is acting odd, in fact. It's probably bad writing, but I'm going to say it could be that they were all suffering from early stages of the plague. I wish that had been established as the case, it would have made this episode easier to swallow. The hostile planet owner changes his mind and invites them in, offering them a drink. Because the most appropriate time to have a drink and chill is when your crew is dying of plague. Even Spock has a drink. Wtf. There's some joking around about him not wanting his brainwaves messed with by alcohol and drunk Vulcans which doesn't make any sense. A previous episode established Spock saying that alcohol has no effects on Vulcans. So one of these episodes is lying. Or it's a retcon, or Spock was lying, or McCoy and Kirk were mistaken or joking. I'm not deep enough in this to know what's right, but I still had to point that out. Spock says he's never felt envy before. I'd have assumed that since the pure Vulcans were cruel to him about his mixed race when he was a child and still seem to hold prejudices against him, he'd have at some point felt envious of them and their inclusion in society. I guess I can sort of hand wave that, he could be unaware of his own feelings, or lying about them, or maybe actually telling the truth. It just doesn't seem to go with what we've been told about the character so far. Again, the crew are dying and Kirk and Co. are happy to goof off and let this guy bring the vital McGuffin instead of insisting on getting it themselves. Why did they even have the subplot about everyone dying if they were going to treat it like it wasn't a big deal? Kirk plays pool and dances with some chick, Spock wanders around saying contradictory things about how things are authentic but brand new despite the fact that age is the test for authenticity for all the things he's saying that about. Also, playing the piano seems like too unnecessary a skill for a logical being who values useful things and hates emotions to have bothered cultivating, especially when he already has that harp-thing, but that's just a nitpick. It's all pretty out of character. Kirk values his crew and duties above all else, and Spock his duties and captain, and while I would buy Kirk et al playing along to keep on their host's good side, that's obviously not the case here. It's played as them actually just screwing around. The medicine comes back tainted and Kirk and Spock are content to let McCoy go alone with the robot that almost killed them earlier to acquisition more? These three men are always jumping all over each other to be the first to make a heroic sacrifice for the team, but they don't care enough about their dying crew to make sure nothing goes wrong this time? They're content to sit there and do nothing of value and just let McCoy do it? Really? Even if Kirk was distracted, surely Spock would say something and snap him out of it, remind him of his duties, or find out his real plan? Or McCoy would? Where are the checks and balances these three are supposed to impose on each other? The woman acts like she's still a child emotionally, but Kirk finds her so irresistible that he just walks up and starts smooching on her with no provocation? Their only interaction was dancing and her showing him some pool moves. Those must have been some damn good moves. Kirk has romanced plenty of women, but his ship always comes first. Now he's forgetting about his dying crew to make out with his grouchy host's daughter? And Spock just watches? Really? Even though this could piss off their host, and screw them all over? And then the robot conveniently doesn't see Spock standing in the doorway watching when it comes in to kill Kirk. Mmmmmkay. Kirk's known this girl for less than four hours, and doesn't even know anything about her other than she's magically good at everything but stupidly naive. And now he's forgetting about his duties and loyalties and risking everyone's lives to try to win her, even though he knows his host could easily kill them all. Wtf. Kirk's number one trait has always been loyalty to his ship, his crew. Even when he truly loves a woman, he'll leave her, because the Enterprise is his #1, it's even been explicitly stated that he's pretty much married to the Enterprise. But now this girl who's good at pool is making him throw it all away? No way I'd buy that. The host is a lonely immortal, and the girl is just a robot he made for himself as a companion, and Kirk still keeps stupidly fighting to have her? People are dying upstairs and he's fighting for possession of a glorified sexbot? Against a being who could easily overpower him if it so chose? Really? When would he ever, ever do that? He insists she's real, and that she come with him? She's not a person, she's this man's property. Wtf Kirk. The robot breaks and Spock somehow is the one who knows why, and not the 6,000 year old genius who made her? No. And he makes a big speech about love and how it killed her? No. Sorry, no. Spock being moved by the fate of a robot is stupid and out of character. Him making a speech about love is stupid and out of character. And the speech was contrived and boring, to top it off. Back on ship, of course they got there just in time to cure everyone, even though so must time was wasted planetside. Instead of talking about what a horrible captain Kirk was this episode, Bones and Spock talk about how they feel sorry for him because the feelings he had for a robot he knew for three hours tops must have caused irreparable heartache to our womanizing hoebag captain who sleeps with a different girl every week. And for some reason Kirk is sadder here than he was for longer, more fulfilling romances (Edith, Miramanee) he had with real women that ended worse. (I guess I could hand wave this by saying it's the combined forces of all these heartaches weighing on him, but that's a bit of a stretch.) Then Bones goes to town on Spock for being incapable of love? Wtf? Again, that's totally out of character. Bones explicitly stated in a previous episode that he sees right through Spock's facade. Spock engages in some non-consensual mind melding and memory erasing after Bones leaves. Again, this is pretty out of character. Kirk always says people need struggle and adversity to truly live, and always refused any other way. Now Spock is going against the captain's own wishes because he feels bad for him? It's his fault in the first place for hiding the fact that the captain's weekly conquest was a robot until the last minute. Then he makes it worse by screwing with Kirk's memories and feelings without permission or even Kirk's knowledge of the fact. Maybe it's a Vulcan lullaby. Maybe it's mindrape. Maybe this episode is really stupid.


@Outsider65 Nice thoughts on this episode. The more I read your commentary, the more I thought of some of the earlier TOS novels, where the author had just the basic idea of what Star Trek was about, and wrote a novel that was totally out of character. And Roddenberry wasn't there during the third season, if I recall correctly, to keep things from running off the rails... Have a great day... RT

I've followed Jammer's reviews for YEARS, and I mean years - since he first started reviewing Trek. And on the whole I agree with a lot of his opinions. But man..... I think some of his TOS reviews are wildly off the mark - especially with Season 3. Many of his low scoring episodes I've really enjoyed and several of his higher scored episodes I've thought were awful..... including this one. The premise of Flint was a fascinating concept, this lonely man who had been so many pivotal figures in human history..... but it was totally undone by the incredibly out-of-character behaviour of Kirk. I do not buy for one second that our heroic captain, with the lives of all his crew on the line, would suddenly risk everything because he's decided he's in love with a woman he's met for an hour..... It is so wildly out of character it completely ruins the episode. Spock is chastising him throughout the entire episode - I expected him at one point to yell "Jim, you are acting incredibly unprofessionally - unbecoming of a starship captain". And the less said about "Stay out of it Spock, we're fighting over a woman" the better. Can you imagine any military, political or civil leader uttering those words ever. And then at the end, Spock removes Kirk's memories without permission!!!!!!! That is a serious violation or assualt, and again completely out of character for Spock. What had the potential to be a 3 or 4 star episode is reduced down to a 1 star for the awful, awful characterisation.

JJ not Abrams 8-)

If nobody else has pointed out ... the obvious source of the infection is Kirk fooling around on some lovely planet LOL

I think "Requiem for Methuselah" is a good but not great TOS episode. Of the four solid TOS shows (the others are "Mirror Mirror," "By Any Other Name," and "Day of the Dove") written by the great Sci-Fi author Jerome Bixby, it's undoubtedly the weakest and most cerebral, but there's some intriguing and moving stuff here. Jammer's 3-star rating and review seem like a fair assessment to me, even though I agree that he underrates some other very entertaining episodes compared to this one. This show did remind me of the Lal episode from TNG, but I think the notion of an android shorting out when it achieves human emotion is done better here. In particular, I like how Rayna's character is treated with intelligence and dignity here rather than some of the slapstick humor that Lal provides, and I'm sorry that some viewers seemed to miss that the "two men fighting over a woman" thing at the end is actually presented in a self-critical light as the woman in question firmly declares her freedom to make her own choices in life -- a scenario quite different from most shows of the 1960s where the woman would have declared herself the prize of the victor. If one watches this episode and genuinely thinks it's misogynistic, one is missing the point that the episode presents the misogynist attitude of Kirk and Flint simply to discredit it: In the end, Rayna belongs to neither of them, and her choice not to choose one of them defies the programming of her "owner." I likewise appreciate that "Requiem" foreshadows Data's striving to be more human on TNG and recalls "Measure of a Man" in some of the polemics at the end. And I love Spock's quiet expression of care for Kirk with the mind meld at the end, which didn't feel out of character at all to me, as we don't even know what "forget" meant exactly. I interpreted it as Spock alleviating Kirk's pain more than removing it entirely or wiping his memory. It's a sweet and gentle moment that Nimoy wisely underplays as a quiet rebuttal of McCoy's condescending harangue. Of course, the show drags in the middle, and some of the romance sequences do feel perfunctory. But the mystery of the reclusive man who simultaneously sets up Kirk with his female companion and feels jealous about it is generally enough to hold one's attention until the big revelations at the end. For what is essentially a high-concept story ("immortal man builds the perfect woman and strives to make her love him") that recalls Brannan Braga's work from later Trek series, Bixby brings a remarkable sensitivity and balance to the character dilemmas in this story, and his dialogue makes you think in places where it could have been so much more superficial. This one is a bit of an underrated gem for me. By the way, check out the little callback to this episode by Captain Janeway in Voyager's "Concerning Flight," where she says James T. Kirk claimed to have met Leonardo Da Vinci, whom Janeway has befriended on the holodeck. Apparently, Kirk's memory of these events remained intact after Spock's mind meld, or else he wouldn't have been claiming such things in his official report.


Good catch Trek Fan. I like to think that Spock removed only Kirk's love for Rayna, not the entire experience of meeting Flint. Maybe since she was an android and he may have felt embarrassed at not having detected her non-humanity, Spock though it prudent to remove his unrequited love so he wouldn't angst over it needlessly.

This is a weird episode -- a very interesting premise of a near-immortal man who has been all these great historical figures trying to create a woman of his equal manipulating Kirk to get her to have emotions. But there are some things I didn't like -- how Kirk quickly falls in love with Reyna. That was very unnatural and then he's willing to fight over her. Another thing I didn't like is how Spock somehow knows what "kills" her -- that she can't tolerate the emotions of her love for Kirk or whatever she felt for Flint. How does he surmise all this?? This can only be speculation -- which is out of character for Spock. The episode meanders a fair bit but the concept of a man like Flint is an pretty amazing. He certainly pulls off some remarkable tricks like immobilizing the Enterprise. He was Brahms and da Vinci but yet he throws the first punch at Kirk. Kirk's acting in this episode is really out of character - at the end being so lost because of losing Reyna, knowing full well she was an android. And then Spock cures it with a mind-meld... Bit of a reset button here, which I'm never a fan of, but also out of character for him. "Requiem for Methusalah" was definitely not done on the cheap, seems to me with the elaborate sets and backdrops. It is inspiring given how so many episodes come across as low budget. I'd give this episode 2.5 stars -- interesting premise and plot but again, poorly executed with Kirk and Spock really acting out of character to varying extents. A missed opportunity here.

A pretty daring feminist message, and a lot of good ideas, get wasted in this episode. Did Kirk have to be that unhinged? Did the villain have to be that powerful? Did the Enterprise have to be shrunk yet again? In hindsight, Season 3 of TOS had the most highbrow, SF ideas, but motched most of them.

These are the voyages of captain Kirk. His five-year mission: to explore strange new worlds, to seek out new life ... and pork it, wheter it's human or alien, organic, robot or android.

This episode also reminded me of TNG's The Survivors", as Flint has a very Kevin Uxbroge vibe about him, both in his crankiness and his immense power, what with the planet consisting of just his house. Heck, there's even a scene where they dance a waltz! I almost wish Flint had revealed himself to be a Douwd...though he's not immortal and clearly can't perish a civilization with a thought...

I found this to be a tragic love story, Shakespearean in scope, about two men---one an immortal who had lived thousands of lives and the other a very human 23rd-century man, both in love with a woman whose one flaw, a major one, was that she was not human. Following this tale I was sharply reminded of Offenbach's opera "Tales of Hoffman", in which Act One finds the poor goof falling for a woman who turns out to be a robot. I sensed that Flint had bitten off more than he could chew, and he made a costly error in throwing Captain Kirk and Rayna together, because she (it?) not only learned human emotions but also human desires such as freedom of choice, and it was her inability to choose that ultimately destroyed her: her last words were "" Of course, Kirk was really hit hard by the whole thing and when he returned to the Enterprise he disconsolately shut himself up in his room. The ending is one in which I had to choke up because it was so beautiful; Spock and Dr. McCoy had been discussing the situation, and just before Bones left the room he said sadly "I do wish he could forget her"---and I caught an undertone in his voice which told me that he was giving Spock the green light to do what he could to help. And Spock did; he performed not only an act of compassion but also a powerful psychological save---a quiet mind-meld, a whispered suggestion, and a telepathic block to give Kirk the time he needed to recover his emotional equilibrium. And I thought, "If that isn't love, what is?"---I witnessed a demonstration of just how deeply Spock cared for his commanding officer.

I regret my earlier comments; watching this a second time, about a year after first seeing it, I now find it a powerful and affecting episode. It also has one of Trek's great villains in Flint, and a nicely tragic ending (the death of the android, and Spock's gesture of compassion/love). I think most TOS episodes benefit from rewatches. You need to get an initial feel for what the episode is attempting, you need time to get over your assumptions, and you need time to assimilate some of the hokiness. In "Requiem for Methuselah", this entails accepting that Kirk's going to fall madly in love within the space of ten minutes, a floating robot and a shrunk Enterprise. You accept these minor "problems", and this plays like an excellent, soulful tragedy in the vein of season 1's underrated "Conscience of the King". What I also like is how subtly hilarious this episode is. You have a guy, Flint, who basically literally was Da Vinci, Moses, Brahms, maybe even Beethoeven, Ghandi, Jesus and Mother Teresa. He's an immortal creature trying to live the best possible life and so teach humans how not to be giant jerks. But of course he gives up - you stupid humans! - and exiles himself on another planet, where he lives in a mansion and bitterly fumes about the stupidity of man whilst building himself a hot robot chick to live with. A hundred years later Kirk comes along and steals his robot babe. Even a hundred years in the future, humans are ruining poor Flint's day!

@Trent, I think you missed the point of the episode. Flint is not a villain. Yes, he uses Kirk and causes him to have his heart broken, but he's not evil and deliberately trying to inflict harm or achieve some other nefarious goal. I think @Philadlj's comment re. the similarities between Flint and Kevin Uxbridge from "The Survivors" is helpful, although the 2 had different purposes. Uxbridge wanted to be left alone and Flint did too, until Kirk fell into his lap and so he tried to use him to give Rayna the ability to love like a real human. Also I don't see how you can characterize an episode can be "subtly hilarious" but predominantly a "soulful tragedy". This episode is meant to be, as @ZITO CARNO says, "a tragic love story".

It seems to me this is basically the typical Pygmalion story, where the newly created person exceeds what the creator wanted and surpasses him. In this case she doesn't surpass him intellectually but rather emotionally, needing something other than him to love. In that sense I'd say it's definitely not a comedy, since Pygmalion is in its essence not funny at all (and actually I don't think the play is funny despite Shaw's attemps to make it so). And while I wouldn't call Flint a villain, exactly, he does have the trait Pygmalion does of esteeming himself so highly that other people are like gnats before him. This results in his concept that only "his equal" could satisfy him, and that he must create that equal. They gave Flint the 'superior case' of that, being absolutely speaking a superior individual to Pygmalion, who only had his vanity to brag about. Flint has something real to brag about, if we want to put it that way, but I think the point is that these accomplishments are nothing at all to brag about when it makes you belittle all life besides yourself. He's 'missed the point', if you will, and if anything his intellectual powers made it harder for him than for anyone else to recognize his own weakness. From that perspective it's more the story of a fool than a villain, although we might call him a villain insofar as he's an example of what attitude not to have. And I suppose I agree with Rahul that Kirk stealing 'his babe' isn't funny or meant to be funny, but is a reflection of how sad a person Flint is. I also don't even think it needs explaining why Kirk falls for her so quickly; she's described as being the height of intellectual powers, equal to Flint, and is lovely and wanting to learn how to love. We don't even have to see Kirk as a horndog to explain this attraction; there is ample reason to actually admire her and also feel for her difficulties. She's literally the perfect, yet lonely, woman, looking for someone who loves life and loves women. Well hello, I don't know how Kirk could even resist this. I'd have to watch this one again to see if I can detect some subtle humor in it such as Trent describes, but offhand I don't recollect anything like that.

I have to disagree with most of the comments, and say this is one of my favorite episodes, James Daly is perfect as flint.My only nitpick is the piece that spock plays would never be written by brahms,who was a classical composer,the piece that spock plays is a simple baroque dance number,something a court composer would have thrown together for some get together the king was throwing.

Other Chris

I know it was impossible as I hoped for it, but I still really wish Rayna would have rejected both men, hopped on a starship and took off to do her own thing. Instead they killed her. Oh well. Let's get back to lovesick Kirk, before he's off to his next lady conquest of the week.

Awful. The concept was great, but again, the execution was an utter failure. So much stupid it's impossible to list it all, though the worst part was the "romance." Ugh. Well below average.

The overall premise was great, but certain story elements were off. I really liked the Flint character, who is revealed to have been Brahms, DaVinci, Alexander, Lazarus, and others. The Lazarus reference was particularly interesting from a theological perspective: that would the best friend of a young (pre-ministry) Jesus who died and was resurrected didn’t actually benefit from a miracle, but from his own power of regeneration. I guess most of the audience back then missed the implications, or it certainly would have created some controversy back then. The fascinating concept of a super-long-lived genius plagued by loneliness and needing to manipulate Kirk and company into staying a bit longer to spur the emotions of his android creation was so inventive—yet Kirk’s character was so off that it marred the episode. Sure, he’s always been one to fawn over any new young woman with an elaborate hairdo and shimmering outfit, but he also is always first and foremost cognizant of his duty to his ship and crew. How many times have we seen him deliberately lead a woman on to save his ship? In one notable episode, he completely played on the emotions of a Romulan captain to steal her cloaking device technology. Kirk is a ladies man, yes, but he also always puts duty first. In this episode, we have Spock continually reminding him that there is a plague raging and the entire crew will die, and at best this distracts him only momentarily? I don’t buy it. It’s poor writing. Equally poor writing was seen in McCoy’s cruel digs at Spock near the end. Usually, the banter is good natured and only highlights the respective strengths of these two. This time, however, McCoy’s pity that Spock can never love, nor even understand the term, when even an android can, was unnecessary and completely unwarranted. I was expecting Spock to point out that at least not being foolishly blinded by such an emotion meant saving the crew from death, but he made no response. It’s especially odd given the obvious refined sensibilities and appreciation for art that Spock had just shown. Here is a person who knows the work of Brahms intimately (even down is to the composer’s handwriting) and who knows the brush stroke style of DaVinci, but is still emotionally stunted according to McCoy? Where did the doctor get that idea?

Neo the Beagle

As I write this (8/6/20) today is the 80th birthday of Louise Sorel, who played Rayna. Since Shatner is still alive (89yrs old), it's not too late for Kirk and Rayna to get together after all!

Thanks @Outsider65 for pointing out all the bullshit in this episode. @Jammer really dropped the ball on this review. As lots of folks (@SteveRage, @Rahul, @Paul, @SPOCKED, @Joseph B, @Sean) have pointed out, our heroes were acting ridiculously out of character in this episode. Not sure why @Jammer didn’t catch that - very, um, out of character ;) @Peter G. has a good point, this episode could have been a good take on Pygmalion. But sadly the execution fell apart, not the least because of Spock's ridiculous explanatory exposition (she died of love) and Spock's decision to mind-rape Kirk (wtf!). I hate to say this, but ENT actually did a much better job in “Exile,” Since, there were many copies of Rayna, maybe they could have just given each person their own copy? Unless, that is, Flint had something like this in mind, @Paul, I couldn’t agree with you more: "this is one of the most disappointing -- though not among the worst -- episodes of TOS. It's an amazing premise.” 2 stars. Barely.

@ Mal, I think this was actually a superior *premise* to that of Pygmalion, insofar as we get a sci-fi setting with the potential for life-forms to become superior in a technical sense. In the Shaw play (and My Fair Lady) what we're really dealing with is bourgeois or upper class values and gloating about having them while the masses are 'uneducated', valuing fine diction as some sort of moral virtue, and parading it around like a fancy cloak. To the extent that Pygmalion succeeds, I'm not even certain what to say about it being a material improvement in a timeless sense; certainly within that society she has been moved upwards. But in Requiem we are given the idea that an actually superior person with heightened intelligence and artistic sense tries to create an equal. And this is not even pygheaded like in the Shaw play and the musical, because I can completely understand someone with an IQ of 300 feeling like he has nothing in common with normal people. As an analogy, I remember some depictions of Quicksilver in Marvel material (cartoons/comics, not the films) where he describes how SLOW everyone else is and how aggravating it is to interact with them in any way. When put in a situation like that I could imagine Quicksilver wanting to meet someone as quick as him so they could play tennis at real speed, and likewise for Flint wanting someone he could actually spend time with and not keep thinking about what a moron they are. So this premise is quite nice, even sad. How could such a man, immortal and brilliant, ever find a way out of feeling totally alone? As you say, the execution is not great, but I don't think it's as bad as you say, either. The ending is really clunky and this harms our feeling of the episode coming out of it. It's like in music - mess up the beginning and the end and people will have a tough time remembering that the middle was good. And I think the middle of this one was good. I especially like the quiet tone and simple conversational scenes where they meet Flint and are being shown around. Sure, there is some 'action' just for the sake of action, with a deadline just for the sake of a deadline. It would have probably worked better if there was no ulterior motive for being here and we got to spend all the time meeting Flint and Rayna. So I'd say I like half of the episode quite a bit, and the other half is Frankenstein's monstered onto it which drags it down.

Oh @Peter G., I see what you’re saying. I was actually going off a much older version of Pygmalion (maybe two thousand years older!). As depicted in one of my favorite paintings, There, Pygmalion is a sculptor, and it is the sculpture he creates that comes to life, and he falls in love with that sculpture. For obvious reasons, this ancient greek myth fits the robot Rayna a little better than Shaw’s play. By the way, Shaw’s twisted (and equally famous) version is also a very old arch-type, which you see in other classics, like The Tale of Genji (only a thousand years older than Shaw’s play ;) In any case, yes, to the extent that I love Ovid’s version of the story as depicted in the painting, I agree, “Requiem” is an even better set up than the Shaw play. Shaw’s play (and Genji, for that matter) strike me as very creepy (just my personal opinion). Whereas “Requiem” and Ovid’s version is a little like Pinocchio; the sculpture turns into a real woman. With the twist that then the creator falls for his own creation. Not at all “pygheaded”. And of course the theme of a robot turning into a real person with feelings takes us straight to Data. I am harsh on this episode not at all because of the set up. And I agree with you 100% that the measured tone is a pleasure to watch. I love your analogy to Quicksilver. It reminds me of one of my favorite DS9 episodes, Statistical Probabilities. There, Julian is so excited the first time he gets to interact with people who are his intellectual equals, BASHIR: They really are quite brilliant, though. I mean, once we actually started working, it was incredible. We were all on the same wavelength, talking in shorthand, finishing each other's sentences. I've never had that with anyone else. O'BRIEN: After being with them, I can see how the rest of us must seem a little uncomplicated. BASHIR: I wouldn't say that, exactly. More like slow. O'BRIEN: Ha, ha. Must very be frustrating for you. BASHIR: I don't mind. Makes me feel superior. O'BRIEN: Glad to be of service. BASHIR: I appreciate it. It's not always easy walking amongst the common people. I can appreciate how Julian and Flint felt, which is why "Statistical Probabilities” is so dear to me. Perhaps that is yet another reason why I’m so harsh on “Requiem”. Instead of actually exploring what Kirk, Bones and Spock would be like around someone as incredible as Flint, they each act so out of character, that it defeats the entire purpose of the episode. Depicting Kirk and Spock the way they did would be as if Data were plonked in front of his own intellectual peers, only to get drunk and babble on about his ex-girlfriend from In Theory. It would have been a ridiculous waste.

Interesting to see how Enterprise handles Space-Covid. Kirk doesn’t give a rats about social distancing and gets right up in Flint’s grill. I guess that what you get for sicking a vicious spaghetti colander laser blaster bot on a feller with no warning. Kirk always negotiates from a position of strength. Gun boat diplomacy. He going to take Methuselah’s hydroxyl chloroquine no matter what. So human. Watching TOS and wondering what kind of weapons and technology will exist on the Starships of the nations in the future after all of us here are gone, is very worrisome. Obviously this exact scenario in a deadly future pandemic is going to happen. I don’t think our germ fears and future super-dooper weapons are going to mix well... Did Rayna own a flat screen TV? And man is she hot. And of course, Kirk totally violates her bubble. And snoop dawgs her house. Manners Kirk. Manners. Should have guessed that Spock is an art and classical music snob...Fascinating. A Highlander, Androids, shrink rays, sentient A.I., a love triangle, Spock showing tenderness and best of all, old guy whoops Kirk’s ass. This episode was awesome.

Wow this was bad. Falling hopelessly in love with a robot in the space of two hours. Iknow Kirk is a hound dog but his behavior here was just wrong. He says tha Flint used him but he was a willing patsy. And then Spock just mind wipes him while he's sleeping. Lol I guess you can make this stuff up.

While watching this episode I was suffering ADHD quite badly. I needed a dose of Ritalin but selfishly Kirk had taken all the supplies to use it on a contagion that it couldn’t possibly have any effect on. Sigh. I agree with all the comments that said this was an episode with great potential but sadly wasted. I half remembered that Rayna was an android (long time no see!) and I thought she acted the part very well- non-comprehending reactions to Kirk’s first kiss, for example. The idea that she would self-destruct when faced with an impossible choice was more convincing than Data’s absurd artificial consciousness and “needs” in TNG. But the notion that a few-thousand-year-old genius who had created many of humanity’s greatest achievements would stoop to a fist fight over a woman (who wasn’t) is plainly ridiculous. And McCoy’s cruelty to Spock at the end was too much. The biggest laugh out loud moment? When Kirk stared through the view screen of the miniaturised Enterprise and saw the crew in suspension.. it’s not a window for heaven’s sake! Jammer was way too generous. 2 stars at best.

One more criticism - Kirk more head over heels in love than at any time in TOS , WITH AN ANDROID??? So he really is that superficial then, putting looks over personality every time?

This seemed like “Highlander”, where a character was going through time and loving as different men and pretending to die. You’d think if he wanted to remain secluded that he would not have had his works as DaVinci and Brahms in plain sight for travelers to see. They’d then want to make the place a tourist attraction. Yet another lovely lady to grace the show. It had potential but seemed slow. The show appeared on it’s last legs, I can see why there was no season 4. The miniature Enterprise was really cool, no doubt they used it in filming. I give it a C.

Jeffery's Tube

This only makes any sense if Kirk is suffering from the fever. Jeez. So many good ideas in this episode. Such a poor execution. If this had been done in the first or second season, with more production time, budget, and better story editors, I can only imagine what it might have been.

My favorite personal episode. Only for the concept of a being like Flint who has lived through so much history. Being immortal is the human dream and nightmare. James Daly was great casting.

Captain Kirk’s opening line last week in Lights of Zetar: “When a man of Scotty’s years falls in love, the loneliness of his life is suddenly revealed to him.” Captain Kirk’s closing line the next week in Methuselah: “A lonely old man, and a lonely young man. We put on a pretty poor show, didn’t we?” The common theme is striking. Going where no man has gone before, and serving in a mission where “risk, gentlemen, is our business!”, despite the thrills is not adequate compensation for giving up love and the permanence of family. Our beloved crew of the Enterprise are living lonely lives. The humility and genuineness of this admission, at this late stage of the series, is astounding and shows once again why TOS is distinguished from all the other Trek series.

@Lmo "The common theme is striking. Going where no man has gone before, and serving in a mission where “risk, gentlemen, is our business!”, despite the thrills is not adequate compensation for giving up love and the permanence of family. Our beloved crew of the Enterprise are living lonely lives." Sure but would they be happier with family and a desk job? For those guys it would probably be a very boring life. Furthermore, only because you choose "permanent family" doesn't mean that it will be a happy family. So what is better, an exiting but lonely life or a permanent but also boring family life?

@Booming: I do not disagree with you. All of life choices involve trade offs. I was just noting that these two successive episodes of TOS reveals that one of the trade offs for our main characters is loneliness. Or at least yearning for romantic attachment. That revelation might explain why Captain Kirk was acting so ridiculously in Methuselah. He was clearly embarrassed by his own behavior at the end of the episode. I wondered if what he wanted to forget was not Rayna, but the memory of his own desperation in the way he had behaved. It was touching that his suffering was ultimately relieved by his close friend Spock, who truly cares for him. In fact, Spock tried several times throughout the story to spare Kirk the emotional pain he saw developing.

Entertaining but too many leaps of logic for me to buy. A guy is just born immortal? He has been several historical figures? He just shows up as da Vinci one day and starts painting without anyone questioning his background, and then becomes Brahms? And Kirk needs to visit one of Quark's holosuites or take a cold sonic shower before away missions. Getting emotionally attached to every piece of tail that crosses his path does not befit a starship captain.

The last scene is interesting in its implications. McCoy suggests Spock is incapable of love, and then Spock administers the "forget" to Kirk, which is framed by the episode as an act of love. It is also nonconsensual, and even if it had been consensual it is an odd choice, one that goes counter to a lot of Kirk's usual gusto. I hate to bring up Star Trek V, but "I need my pain!" seems to define Kirk much more than an overwhelming desire to forget; for an in-series example, see "This Side of Paradise" for a quick demonstration of Kirk's absolute preference of messy reality over fantasy. This exactly.

This was my favorite episode, maybe because the idea of such intellect acquired over Melenia overshadowed the aforementioned flaws in the script, and the cherry on the top clearly was Spock's act of compassion at the end, "Forget" I will never forget this splendid episode. God Bless Gene Roddenberry, and He did. Ken

Always have to laugh when the doctor gets down to feel for the robots pulse HAHA

@William B, why and how do you mean TOS owes a lot to one movie Forbidden Planet?? It's not derivative of it I hope?

Heather Winter

I was looking for a comment about the very beginning of this episode but no one has pointed this out so I will. Out of all the uncharacteristic behavior of Kirk, the part I find most jarring is him demanding the Ritalen or be destroyed. That sounds like a mirror universe Kirk. He never displayed this demanding arrogance before or later. It’s just such a jarring beginning.

I have been reading excerpts from this and it's a great forum. I do want to bring up something because my biggest issue with this episode is Captain Kirk. The series makes a big production out of the Prime Directive, how important it is, almost to the point of being sacred. What I wonder, is why then, is the Prime Directive not important when it comes to dealing with people whose intelligence rivals or even exceeds that of the Federation? Shouldn't Flint and Rayna be protected by the same Prime Directive that protects beings who are not so advanced? The episode really raises the question of just how far Kirk would have gone had Flint not given him ryetalyn from the planet.

As mentioned above, watch Jerome Bixby's remake film of this "The Man From Earth". It's far superior and has several Trek regulars and guests. But this was ridiculous. Only McCoy is bothering to try to get the urgently needed antidote while Spock spends the whole episode looking at Flint's artworks and Kirk just tries to get in bed with robo girl. At least Kirk was in character-- until he later suffers crippling sadness over the girl he knew for two hours.

"I would like to point out the writer of this episode, Jerome Bixby further explored the concept of a immortal caveman who survived into modern times in the film: 'The Man from Earth'. It is basically a play and filmed in 2007 starring none other then Tony Todd and John Billingsley." Don't forget Ethan Phillips! I had no idea the writer was the same as this episode, neat. Funny enough I never even connected the two until just now even though I of course knew the subject matter of Requiem for Methusalah. Somehow the TOS episode just to convey its central concept (of an immortal human existing through the ages). I think the issue is: 1) The immortal is living on some alien world and not Earth; and 2) The focus on the android woman. The problem is you just forget who and what Flint is because he comes across as another weird alien like Apollo or something. There is scarcely anything human about him. Apart from the initial setup the implications of his existence scarcely matter. I think part of the problem is that Star Trek is just a terrible vehicle to convey the awe and wonder inherent in such an idea. Meanwhile the central concept (an immortal human living through the ages of man) is sidelined by the android plot. Anyway I loved The Man from Earth and am glad Bixby was able to explore this very cool scifi concept in a far more appropriate venue.

SOme parallels with the Companion (title forgotten) episode: a- a self exiled historic human leaves earth , disappears from history, and ends up on an isolated planet with an inhuman female with whom he has an ambiguous relationship ("I am Johannes Brahms. . . and da VInci . . . and Zefrem Cochrane...." "NIce try, we just met him a few planets ago")) b-- a disease's progress is pressuring their time c -- the first guy's immortality comes after leaving earth; hte second guy's comes from being on Earth d-- The female dies to become fully human

I've always had problems with this episode. The instalove of Kirk for Rayna - unlike his feelings for Edith Keeler (the implication is that he and Spock are there for a couple of weeks before McCoy arrives, she is a visionary and inspirational person, she has a warm, humorous manner) it doesn't seem credible that he goes head over heels with someone he knows for a few hours. She is so gauche and childlike it isn't a proper relationship even on his side. Despite the idea that the robot can produce the cure much more quickly than they could do it on the ship, they seem far too casual when they hang around waiting. And the episode veers off into pure fantasy with the idea of Flint being reborn and being able to shrink the Enterprise. Also, if he was a simple Mesopotamian soldier - a bully he says - how does he later develop the genius to become Leonardo Da Vinci? That I find totally incredible. I like the idea that Spock's action is an 'act of love' which repudiates McCoy's lecturing him just beforehand, although it does come across also as dodgy and non consensual. I always thought though that it wasn't a total mindwipe as it would cause practical problems if Kirk has amnesia about the whole time period. It's just the 'love' and I assume his guilt for her death that Spock is able to alleviate. But the three characters are quite out of character in this episode and it is also a bit odd that Spock suddenly turns out to be an accomplished pianist and also able to recognise the brush strokes of famous painters. So I find too many flaws in this to be able to really enjoy it. One odd thing near the end is when Kirk refers to Rayna being human down to her red blood cells... so is she really what was called in Blade Runner a replicant? Because of course Philip K Dick's novel, on which that film was based, is called 'Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?' - for the film they were changed to artificially created humans with enhancements but radically reduced lifespans. If Rayna were like this (only immortal of course) some of the story would make a bit more sense because she would be physically human, albeit very improved, but because she has been created as an adult (as seen from the failed earlier versions) hasn't had the experience of growing up and maturing and has inadequate emotional and social development. In which case the conflict of getting those emotions perhaps gave her a brain aneuryism. Just a thought!

I rather liked this particular episode. I found the Flint characters history to be fascinating. I also liked how Spock wiped the captain in the end. Now as for Rayna, I can't believe that there wasn't a Jetsons cartoon show where Kirk was caught making out with Rosie the robot. Limitless power!! Limitless!!

I'm rather with those who think that this episode has many problems. Usually I like episodes like this one which are driven by interaction and dialogue rather than action, but this doesn’t work well here. In addition to the logical leaps (I was quite impressed by the long list made by Outsider65 years ago), there’s too much out-of-character acting, and the love story is a particularly uninspired one. So, in the absence of simple and plain action (which isn’t necessarily a bad thing), there’s nothing that could carry the plot, and it quickly falls apart. However, there’s one saving grace, and that’s the writing style of the dialogue which in some moments has an almost lyrical quality. It starts with a description of the plague that sounds more like poetry than facts: “Constantinople, summer 1334. It marched through the streets, the sewers. It left the city by ox cart, by sea, to kill half of Europe. The rats, rustling and squealing in the night as they, too, died. The rats.” I can’t remember having heard anything like it in any other episode, so this kind of sets this one apart. To be fair, it even backs Flint’s motives to have Rayna’s emotions stirred up by Kirk. When she asks Flint what loneliness is, he says: “It is thirst. It is a flower dying in the desert.” – and it clearly shows that her android mind can’t understand the metaphor. The world of poetry which means so much to Flint will never be accessible to her; while intellectually she clearly is his equal, spiritually they are living in different worlds, and this is the one thing Flint desperately wants to change. And speaking of poetry, I also like McCoy’s description of “the things that love can drive a man to. The ecstasies, the miseries, the broken rules, the desperate chances, the glorious failures, the glorious victories.” Sounds like he knows what he’s talking about…

I've always liked this one, but apparently my wife loves it. I'm happy to hear that, because it's a more thoughtful one than I think people give it credit for. There is honestly far too much good material crammed into here to fit in the time allotted, so it can be forgiven for skipping over certain details. For instance we could complain that Kirk falls in love too easily and without any explanation. But we are meant to understand that Flint has created a delay precisely in order to give Kirk time to develop feelings for Rayna, and vice versa, so this complaint is actually asserted as a premise: they *do* have enough time. If this had been a feature-length film it could have been drawn out into weeks instead of hours, so I think this complaint is really just a result of them not having any other way to do it in a TV episode. Another complain is how little interest Kirk and McCoy seem to have that they are literally talking to Da Vinci, Brahms, Alexander the Great, etc. Only Spock is afforded the chance to marvel at it, but again, if this was given its proper treatment we'd have scene after scene of them grilling him, explaining how it's hard to believe, and if they believed him, asking to know about his life. All of that is realistic, but wouldn't fit into a TV episode, especially since the episode is really about Rayna rather than Flint. That fact is itself a marvel: can you imagine writing in a character like this and *not* having it be about how amazing it is that this guy exists? But no, it's about how even someone like that can no more control someone else's feelings than we can. For a story that really is about the immortal man, there's a film called The Man from Earth, which is basically this story but feature-length and all about the immortality of the man. Incidentally, that film somewhat lacks imagination. We might also connect Methuselah with Pygmalion, which I have to expect they were deliberately channeling: great man wants to create a woman equal to himself, but she surpasses him and leaves him behind. In this case, Rayna does surpass Flint in 'humanity', but since it focuses on her weakness rather than her strength it doesn't go the route that Pygmalion does in its final moral. Also, I don't think that Spock's remark about how the pains of love were too much for her connects with any theme Pygmalion is about, so if there's a similarity between these stories it's mostly to be found in the megalomaia of Flint. More than those stories, though, I was reminded of TNG's the Offspring when watching this. They are both about immortal beings creating an android, yes, but the crux of each is the same: the sheer brilliance of the new being is overshadowed by her lack of feeling the fulness of being alive, and at the critical juncture the overwhelming flood of emotion was too much for their neural nets. In Methuselah they frame as the pains of love being too great, and in Lal's case it's the tech side, but in both cases we are primarily see that situation through the eyes of those who love them: Kirk and Data, each in their own way. The grief of Kirk is highlighted through his pain, and Data's through his lack of pain. I'll mention one observation I have about the final scene, that has been cast so often as Spock violating Kirk's mind without his permission. Right before that Kirk says he wishes he could forget. McCoy then berates Spock for not knowing love and not understanding its positive and negative aspects. McCoy leaves, satisfied that Spock is left out of the matter, unable to understand what love is and what the Captain is going through. He then also remarks that he wishes Kirk could forget. Spock's next action is to go help Kirk forget. That this immediately follows having been told that he knows nothing of love cannot be an accident: it's a mercy, and one born of the same kindness that caused him to risk his career to offer Captain Pike a respite from his suffering. One can argue that it's not actually a kindness to forget something painful, but that's really a separate argument. Assuming that Kirk truly did wish he could forget, Spock was granting that wish. Doing so without asking permission is one way to frame it; doing so without being asked to do the good deed is another. I think the writing expects us to understand it in the latter way, that a good deed done without solicitation or recognition is the purist kind. That you may disagree that this is a good deed at all is understandable, but essentially rejects a premise the episode is asserting as a given. I will also note that the grief Kirk is being relieved of is the same as that which killed Rayna just beforehand, so the episode is likewise inviting us to this as not only being a kindness, but perhaps something that could save the Captain from destroying himself mentally.

The world of poetry which means so much to Flint will never be accessible to her; while intellectually she clearly is his equal, spiritually they are living in different worlds, and this is the one thing Flint desperately wants to change. Despite what Flint wants, even what Kirk wants out of this android, the fact remains. She will always be an android to both of them, and eventually both men will come to the conclusion that she cannot be their equal.

In the final scene, Spock steals the one thing from Kirk that might have let him learn from the experience and grow as a person. What a letdown.

Far better than reviews above would have you believe. I have always liked this one.

I think this is a 4 star episode. Yes, it has some problems, as people pointed above. But, can we really complaint about things like the "instant love" plots? C'mom, we are at episode 19 of season 3; if a hot girl appears, kirk will try to bang it — this is not "problems" this is just what trek IS, in it's core hahaha, and by now no one can be expecting anything diferent. And I think this episode has a interesting theme in his intro: can a man claim property of an entire planet, and refuses others to access ressources to save their lives? There is a really interesting debate in there — and I liked a lot the way Kirk just bypassed that with mutual destruction terms haha

@F ""And I think this episode has a interesting theme in his intro: can a man claim property of an entire planet, and refuses others to access ressources to save their lives? """ There is also another interesting theme in this episode. Can a man make a claim on property that is clearly owned by another? This is not the Next Generation, where an android is legally declared an entity with rights. This is an android constructed by Methuselah, and clearly she belongs to Methusaleh. Kirk's feelings are no matter in this episode.

@ Winnie, "There is also another interesting theme in this episode. Can a man make a claim on property that is clearly owned by another?" In context of it being an android like Data or Lore I think you'd need a strong case for their sentience to tell Dr. Soong he isn't allowed to keep them at his compound but has to let them do as they please. Then again another case could be made that a 'new' android is like a child and is under the guardianship of the creator/parent until they're passed a certain maturity level. In context of this episode I don't believe Rayna is an android in the sense of being filled nothing but processors and microchips. From the details given she is artificial but human, with human parts. Flint essentially constructed a human from scratch: MCCOY: Physically human but not human. These are earlier versions of Rayna, Jim. She's an android. And later: KIRK: She's human. Down to the last blood cell, she's human. Down to the last thought, hope, aspiration, emotion, she's human. The human spirit is free. You have no power of ownership. She's free to do as she wishes. Maybe Kirk is just speaking poetically, but it seems to me Kirk wouldn't have kept on fighting for her if she was literally just a robot. The situation seems to be that she may have been built by Flint but she's for all purposes a human now and therefore cannot be his property.

@Peter G ""In context of this episode I don't believe Rayna is an android in the sense of being filled nothing but processors and microchips. From the details given she is artificial but human, with human parts. Flint essentially constructed a human from scratch: MCCOY: Physically human but not human. These are earlier versions of Rayna, Jim. She's an android. And later: KIRK: She's human. Down to the last blood cell, she's human. Down to the last thought, hope, aspiration, emotion, she's human. The human spirit is free. You have no power of ownership. She's free to do as she wishes. Maybe Kirk is just speaking poetically, but it seems to me Kirk wouldn't have kept on fighting for her if she was literally just a robot. The situation seems to be that she may have been built by Flint but she's for all purposes a human now and therefore cannot be his property."" Flint could not have created a human from scratch because any human parts would have decayed on the models that didn't make the cut. As we saw, they were in the room on gurneys, much like mannequins. I see Rayna as an android with a human like exterior. Even Star Fleet in TNG took the view that Data was property and not a sentient being. In reality, if Star Fleet was going to take Data on as a crew member, that should have been well documented before he ever stepped aboard a starship. Kirk was speaking poetically, and one has to wonder: Just what would he have done if Rayna had agreed to come with him? First and foremost, she belonged to Flint. It's his planet and his android. Would Kirk have murdered Flint if he refused to let Rayna go? I do believe he would have murdered Flint to get the ryetalin.

@ Winnie, "Flint could not have created a human from scratch because any human parts would have decayed on the models that didn't make the cut. As we saw, they were in the room on gurneys, much like mannequins. I see Rayna as an android with a human like exterior." I can see that interpretation. What I was saying is that there's a decent reason to believe it's not a given but has been left open. In other words I'm not so much arguing that Rayna is definitely a flesh and blood human as there is some evidence to suggest it. I would argue that the existence of the other prototypes on the table (a) doesn't necessarily imply that the current Rayne is just like them, and (b) should maybe not be taken that literally. I doubt the writers were interested in inspecting what would happen to biotech that sits on a table for a while, would it rot, etc. That's just not the point the episode is trying to make. Since I take this to be a Pygmalion-inspired story, I think the main thrust of the plot is that that which is created may reject the creator, and that just because you 'made' someone doesn't mean you own them. That fact that he literally made Rayna in this case is a sci-fi element, but thematically I think it's less relevant than the fact that she's the way Flint wanted her and therefore she is made for him. Flint seems certain she should be with him not because he was the owner of the parts used to assemble her, but because they are both immortal and she has been designed to be a match for him. In other words he sees her as the ideal wife according to his desire, and that is why she should rightfully be with him. Any force he's willing to exert to defend that desire could be justified as 'ownership' but really I think it's about him believing his desires are the ultimate artiber of what should happen. It's a power thing. He wasn't Alexander the Great for no reason, after all.

@ Peter G. ""I would argue that the existence of the other prototypes on the table (a) doesn't necessarily imply that the current Rayne is just like them, and (b) should maybe not be taken that literally. I doubt the writers were interested in inspecting what would happen to biotech that sits on a table for a while, would it rot, etc. That's just not the point the episode is trying to make."" I don't think the creators were trying to show the merits of a plastic Rayna versus one made of organic materials either. In my opinion, the scene of the various Raynas in the mysterious room was a shock value scene: Rayna's an android who's come from a rather long line of androids. ""Since I take this to be a Pygmalion-inspired story, I think the main thrust of the plot is that that which is created may reject the creator, and that just because you 'made' someone doesn't mean you own them. That fact that he literally made Rayna in this case is a sci-fi element, but thematically I think it's less relevant than the fact that she's the way Flint wanted her and therefore she is made for him.""" You know, I truly wish this had been a Pygmalion based story, without the Flint-Kirk hormones thrown in for good measure. That would have raised it as among the best of the Star Trek episodes in my opinion. ""Flint seems certain she should be with him not because he was the owner of the parts used to assemble her, but because they are both immortal and she has been designed to be a match for him. In other words he sees her as the ideal wife according to his desire, and that is why she should rightfully be with him.""" Very well put. TOS has dealt with the android issue, and in my opinion, handled it rather poorly. Androids, if they're female, are put in TOS realm as mechanisms of servitude. They're also beautiful and sexy, and they're on some dark and dreary planet that no one else cares to populate. They're also easy to replace, which makes them dispensable. While we don't know if the previous "Raynas" were organic or not, there is something else we don't know about them. Any one of them may have been strolling around Flint's mansion, just like the current model.

I believe Rayna is supposed to be organic, and human, but "soulless", or "emotionless" — and that's why Flint took the crew arrival to try to "wake" her by contact with them. (Yes, there is some "preservation issue" with organic copies, as winnie pointed out, but I think that is wanting a little too much for a 70's show with serious budget constraints. We can just picture Rayna being in some cryopreservation capsules and that would not have being a stretch). Now, she being organic or not, we indeed have a interesting debate, because Flint, either way, made (or "produced") her. Is that enough to claim property? I don't think so, and to think about that would take us on what makes beings have rights, self ownership and all of that. And that's why I like Star Trek: even if the episode doesn't go deep into these questions, they are always there as food for thought.

F wrote: ""Now, she being organic or not, we indeed have a interesting debate, because Flint, either way, made (or "produced") her. Is that enough to claim property? I don't think so, and to think about that would take us on what makes beings have rights, self ownership and all of that."" Interesting thoughts which raise a question in my mind. Did Rayna "die" or did she "malfunction"?

Wednesday night is TOS night. And it's starting to be a real chore. I'm going to put off the rest of the episodes for a while. I agree entirely with the first comment above, by Paul, from ten years ago. This wasn't so much a bad episode so much as a disappointing one. Downright frustrating and tiresome in the final act. 2/4

I have two basic problems with this episode: 1)Kirk falling in actual love. Not “I’m pretending to be in love in order to escape” kind of love, but actual cuckoo for cocoa puffs “let’s run away together” love. 2)Flint being all these famous dudes from history. Both these elements of the story are distracting and, more importantly, unnecessary. For the first point, the time scale is far too short for Kirk to tumble head over heels for Rayna. Particularly when the ship is in imminent danger and racing against the clock. This whole scenario defies everything we know about Kirk’s character. It would be perfectly fine for Rayna to become enamored with Kirk, he’s an extreme novelty for her, and her interest in him would still drive the drama, making Flint jealous and creating conflict. But to have Kirk turn into such a weirdo in the course of 2 hours is ridiculous and makes it tough to take the larger ideas in play seriously. The second point is one of those quirky ideas that, in my opinion, is too big to simply sit in the background. Flint as a sort of “highlander meets forest gump” persona, guiding humanity throughout its history would immediately become the main focus of attention in the room, easily surpassing some child-like hot lady wanting to talk about astrophysics or whatever. By having flint actually having been all these famous people and then not focusing more attention on it kind of buried the lead in my view. And once again, it’s not necessary. He could have simply been Methuselah of old, and maybe Lazarus(just for the sacrilegious implications), after which he might have sought anonymity but still witnessed all these great minds and even interacted with them. An unseen influence, imparting wisdom and ideas, but remaining in the shadows. I’d find that far more interesting and less distracting. Outside of those scripting missteps, there’s some cool ideas here. The true impact that immortality would have on a person, how lonely and cynical it could make someone. Definitely some food for thought. Then there’s the ending. What to make of Spock “forgetting” Kirk’s mind? On the one hand I’ve always taken that moment to be a quiet and unseen act of love for his friend, a repudiation of McCoy’s rather mean insistence that Spock can’t feel the more profound emotions of life. I was left with the impression that Spock basically wiped Rayna from Kirk’s mind. However, I think it’s fair to ask what exactly it was that Spock was causing Kirk to forget. And I think that it might be more specific than the memory of Rayna, but rather it might be targeted at Kirk’s shame and guilt over how he acted. Kirk’s guilt is his real suffering, he tried to possess rayna when he should have protected her. She was after all essentially a child in need of guidance and care, not a fully mature woman to chase after. I think that’s what he meant with his line “we put on a pretty poor show”. Overall, a bit clunky. However I do appreciate some of the more cerebral elements at work. 2/4 love induced android brain aneurysms.

Question: Do you think Flint was sterile? He talks about this long life and apparently was married or involved. However, he never talks about any children.

Neither Leonardo da Vinci nor Johannes Brahms had children, though Solomon is supposed to have several. I suppose this would be easy enough to fake, however.

The Flint character is very intriguing, but his rapid name dropping of his past selves feels a bit off. I can imagine him at the side of all those people (like Asimov's R Daneel Olivaw in the later Foundation books) but I find it hard to take that he's personally Alexander the Great, da Vinci and Brahms and many others... that's a lot for a guy that probably has to play things low key to not get noticed, and that's very eclectic even for an immortal genius.

@ Pete, From your post in VOY's Concerning Flight: "Isn't Flint the immortal also Leonardo? (Flint is a cool idea, but IMO they went overboard with the historical figures, and Jerome Bixby wanted to go ever further and make him Jesus himself)" Funny you should mention it, he went ahead and did that story anyhow: Wiki: "The Man from Earth is a 2007 American science fiction drama film directed by Richard Schenkman. It was written by Jerome Bixby, who conceived the screenplay in the early 1960s and completed it on his deathbed in April 1998.[2] It stars David Lee Smith as John Oldman, a departing university professor, who puts forth the notion that he is more than 14,000 years old. The entire film is set in and around Oldman's house during his farewell party and consists almost entirely of dialogue. The plot advances through intellectual arguments between Oldman and his fellow faculty members. The screenplay mirrors similar concepts of longevity which Bixby had introduced in "Requiem for Methuselah", a Star Trek episode he wrote which originally aired in 1969. The Man from Earth gained recognition in part for being widely distributed through Internet peer-to-peer networks, which raised its profile. The film was later adapted by Schenkman into a stage play."

@Peter G Yeah, I am a big fan of TMFE but left it out of my post. Apparently it was Bixby's Magnum Opus in his own estimation, the story he absolutely had to tell (he basically finished the script on his deathbed) Gene R has also always wanted the crew to literally meet God, but the producers would never allow it, so we got Apollo, Flint, Kukulkan, Lucien, and whatever that stupid thing in ST V was.

What did Kirk need to forget? That he fell in love with a blow up doll, or what he did to the doll? Throw a bunch of old episodes into a blender, press quick liquify for one second, and edit the pieces together. We get the omnipotent alternatingly benevolent then threatening humanoid being. We get a half Nomad and half ice cream maker malevolent spying levitating robot. We get more invisible medical pathogens and the urgency with which its antidote is imperative yet inconvenient. We get the same castle interior with previously seen props chairs and decorations placed in new positions. And the Captain has to jump start the female lead with his positive probe to get her horned up to the satisfaction of the boss. And as if they thought this was bad, the next eposide has Chekhov meeting his old flame who even talks with his outrageous accent...... because the audience at 10pm friday night only watched star trek and the monkees.

@Top Hat-"Neither Leonardo da Vinci nor Johannes Brahms had children, though Solomon is supposed to have several. I suppose this would be easy enough to fake, however". Methuselah had a son, at least from what I could find. The other few names he mentions did not reveal much. However, according to Flint, he married a hundred times. He goes on to say that he stayed with these various women through age and death. It seems impossible that there wouldn't be other children during his marriages. I can't imagine many children who also wouldn't be by his side at their mother's death.

The third season was obvious that this show was written by writers in the sixties. Kirk bosses around Flint an individual becuase Kirk's needs are greater than Flints McCoy steals Flints brandy without asking. In the third season no one seems like 23rd century starfleet officers to me but then I'm kinda nitpicking this has got to be like the twelfth time I've watched the series. The only episode this season I couldn't re watch is And the Children shall lead.

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Requiem For Methuselah

They...learned to trust each other with an absolute, bedrock certainty based on each one's knowledge of the other's integrity and profound feeling. They called that feeling friendship - even Spock did. They called it being brothers. Kirk would have been willing to call it a very special kind of love. But it was Spock who did, however silently, actually call it love. One of the most moving scenes in all of Star Trek is the final one from 'Requiem for Methuselah'...McCoy, for once genuinely and totally failing to understand Spock, lectures him on the meaning of love, which he says that Spock will never know...and leaves. Silently Spock crosses to bend over the sleeping Kirk, touching him to establish the Vulcan mind-meld. Aloud he says only, 'Forget. Forget.' But the word is love.

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Requiem for Methuselah

Requiem for Methuselah

  • On a planet, looking for an urgent medicinal cure, Kirk, Spock and McCoy come across a dignified recluse living privately but in splendor with his sheltered ward and a very protective robot servant.
  • When Kirk, Spock and McCoy beam down to a supposed uninhabited planet to gather the mineral ryetalyn to fight a plague of Rigelian fever on-board the Enterprise, they find a fellow Earth-man called Flint and his extremely intelligent female ward Rayna with whom Kirk begins to fall in love. Flint then proceeds to trap them and the Enterprise on his planet. — laird-3
  • Kirk, McCoy and Spock beam down to what is supposed to be an uninhabited planet to collect a supply of ryetalin, an essential element to treat a serious virus that is afflicting the Enterprise crew. On the planet they meet a human named Flint who is not very pleased to see them. He agrees to help them locate the supply of ryetalin but insists that they leave as soon as possible. His home fascinates Spock who notes that the art works comprise unknown DaVinci paintings, unknown Brahms music and other works all apparently original except for the fact that contemporary materials were used in their creation. Kirk is attracted to Flint's ward, the beautiful Rayna, but she too has a secret - one that is unknown even to her. — garykmcd
  • Kirk, McCoy and Spock beam down to planet Holberg 917-G to gather ryetalyn, a crucial element in treating a lethal outbreak of Rigelian fever aboard the Enterprise. There they intrude upon Flint, a recluse who lives quietly but well-off with his ward Rayna and a very capable security robot. Flint wants them gone immediately but then has them linger, leading Kirk to spent time with his charming but inexperienced ward while his robot processes ryetalyn for McCoy. Spock meanwhile notes Flint's possessions, which include original yet unknown works by DaVinci and Brahms - works definitely crafted of these masters yet made in contemporary materials. Before long, perhaps too late, the away team learns just how far Flint will/can go to maintain his privacy, and why the interest in having Kirk spend time with is ward. — statmanjeff
  • The Enterprise suffers a lethal epidemic of Rigelian fever. Luckily the crucial mineral ingredient for the cure, ryetalyn, can be collected from a supposedly uninhabited planet, but the landing party finds it controlled, with incredible technical superiority, by an Earth-man called Flint who wants their ship gone. Flint relents and instructs his robot M4 to help McCoy gather and process the ryetalyn. In the meantime, Kirk and Spock are entertained in his fabulous palace, where the captain is increasingly enchanted by his naive, beautiful young female ward Rayna, and where Spock finds Flint's collected treasures include authentic, yet recently produced works of art by long dead artists Leonardo da Vinci and Johannes Brahms. — KGF Vissers
  • Kirk, McCoy and Spock beam down to planet Holberg 917-G to gather Ryetalyn, a crucial element in treating a lethal outbreak of Rigelian fever aboard the Enterprise (3 dead, 23 infected). There they intrude upon Flint (James Daly), a recluse who lives quietly but well-off with his ward Rayna (Louise Sorel) and a very capable security robot. Flint wants them gone immediately but then has them linger (Kirk announces that he would have the Enterprise attack the planet and take the Ryetalyn by force, if required). Flint takes them to his palace, which has the rarest collection of old books in the galaxy. Flint has a memory of the oldest events in the Earth history, including the plague, as if he was there himself. This leads Kirk to spent time with his charming but inexperienced ward Rayna while his robot processes Ryetalyn for McCoy. McCoy reckons they have 4 hrs before the effects of the fever are irreversible. Flint offers that his robot can synthesize the anti-toxic in his lab on the planet, rather than McCOy going back to the Enterprise for the same. Spock meanwhile notes Flint's possessions, which include original yet unknown works by DaVinci and Brahms - works definitely crafted of these masters yet made in contemporary materials. Rayna's parents died in an accident and placed her in Flint's custody before dying. Flint had taught Rayna personally and she has an equivalent of 17 university degrees. Kirk likes Rayna and spends time with her. When the antitoxin is ready, McCoy informs Kirk that it is no good as it contains 1 ppm of Irillium which will render it useless. Kirk goes to the lab to investigate while he sends McCoy to gather new Ryetalin. The robot attacks Kirk in the lab, as he kisses Rayna, but Spock destroys it with his phaser (the robot did not detect Spock and thus did not disable his phaser). But turns out Flint has many such robots. Kirk doesn't like how Flint orders Rayna around. Meanwhile Uhura informs Kirk that there are no records of Mr Flint or Rayna and the planet was purchased 30 yrs ago by Mr Brack. Spock tells Kirk that Flint is over 6000 yrs old. Spock theorizes that they are being deliberately delayed on the planet by Flint and that they are being monitored every step of the way. Flint monitors Kirk kissing Rayna. He gets Kirk, Spock and McCoy into a room, where he reveals that Rayna is an android. He further reveals that he was born in 3824 BC in Mesopotamia. He discovered he was immortal and gradually learns to hide it. He took many names through the centuries, including Da Vinci and Brahms. He knew the greatest minds of each era. He married 100 times and buried a 100 wives. He wanted to create the perfect woman, who could be her partner forever, like him. Flint forbids Kirk from returning to the Enterprise and in-fact imprisons the enterprise by miniaturizing it and transporting it to his room. He say he will release Kirk in 2000 yrs. But Rayna intervenes and forces Flint to restore the Enterprise. Flint and Kirk start fighting over Rayna. Flint claims Rayna as his property, while Kirk wants her to be free. Rayna is upset and kills herself when she learns she is an android. Back on the Enterprise McCoy figures that 30 yrs ago when Flint left Earth, he also sacrificed his immortality. Now he is aging like a normal human and will eventually die. Kirk is besides himself with grief and wishes he could forget Rayna. So, Spock mind melds with Kirk to make him forget, as per his wish.

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Recap / Star Trek S3 E19 "Requiem for Methuselah"

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Original air date: February 14, 1969

Our usual Power Trio beams down to Holberg 917-G in search for ryetalyn, the antidote for the disease ravaging the Enterprise crew. It seems now everyone has trouble sitting still and focusing, wait, that's what they'd need Ritalin for. Sorry. Actually, the disease is Rigellian fever and has already killed three crewmen off screen. (We are to assume they all wore Red Shirts .) It was assumed from previous scans that the planet was uninhabited. However, not only is Spock's tricorder picking up life signs, but they are greeted by a flying robot that resembles a two foot tall metallic Mayor McCheese . They are soon introduced to a man ( James Daly ) who only gives the name Flint. He brings Kirk and company to his well appointed home and tells them to help themselves to brandy. No, Brandy is not the name of the blonde bombshell watching them on closed circuit TV (on a very snazzy flatscreen, no less). Her name is Rayna Kapec ( Louise Sorel ), however, Kirk will indeed help himself to her.

While Bones inspects the promised ryetalyn , finding it to look remarkably like sno cone syrup, Spock inspects the paintings, writings and sheet music in Flint's home. He concludes that these paintings don't just look like the work of Leonardo Da Vinci, they are the work of Leonardo, even though they were made recently. Same with the sheet music: it doesn't just sound like Brahms, it is Brahms. Kirk, meanwhile, inspects Rayna, a young lady that Flint has introduced him to.

Requiem for Tropes:

  • Androids Are People, Too : At least Flint and Kirk think so, in this case.
  • Beethoven Was an Alien Spy : Leonardo da Vinci, Brahms, Alexander the Great and many other historical artists and leaders were actually the same person, a human gifted with immortality.
  • Bittersweet Ending : The Power Trio got the cure they came for, but Rayna is dead and Kirk and Flint get their hearts thoroughly broken. Also, Flint is finally dying due to being outside Earth's "fields" so long , implying he won't have time to try and create another Rayna even should he have the heart to do so. He will, at least, get to finish living out his life and plans to use his remaining time researching and giving back to the universe.
  • Can't Hold His Liquor : Bones jokingly accuses Spock of being like this.
  • Characterization Marches On : Rayna is the last Girl of the Week for Captain Kirk in the series proper and even for the rest of his tenure in the animated series . In the movie era, there is Dr. Gillian Taylor . note  Kirk turns on the charm, they go for a meal, and there is a hug and hints. She fills the role. Given the ending and his reflection on his behavior, it might be somewhat appropriate.
  • Conveniently Timed Attack from Behind : Flint's guardian robot catches Kirk and Rayna together and prepares to fire. Kirk moves Rayna away and prepares for the attack. Then, pow! The robot explodes with sparks, and we see Spock standing in the doorway, phaser in hand.
  • Dance of Romance : Kirk and Rayna waltz while Spock plays the piano .
  • Dumb Blonde : Subverted, then played with. Flint boasts that Rayna is the smartest woman in the universe, having enough intelligence to hold seventeen different degrees. She is, however, lacking in even the basest practical experience due to being cut off from the universe. Of course, her high IQ is due to being an android. She's not even a real blonde! All of the Rayna series are bald and wear wigs.
  • Spock identifies the artworks in Flints' collection as "the works of Leonardo da Vinci, Renaissance period, some of the works of Reginald Pollack, 20th century, and even a Stenn from Marcus Two."
  • Five of the names Flint credits to himself are historical or mythological; the sixth is "Abramson."
  • Fate Worse than Death : How Kirk views suspended animation.
  • Fictional Painting : While in Flint's mansion Spock discovers a number of da Vinci paintings that have never been cataloged, as well as an unknown waltz by Johannes Brahms. It later turns out that Flint is an immortal who was da Vinci, Brahms, and other famous men. He created the new works after leaving Earth. Flint also has fictional antiques like "The Creation lithographs by Taranullus of Centauri Seven" and "a Stenn from Marcus Two".
  • She tells Kirk she comes to the room just outside that one whenever she is troubled or needs to think things over. This is the first room she would have seen after she was activated, so it makes sense she uses it kind of as a secular chapel.
  • Foreshadowing : Near the beginning, McCoy compares Rigellian fever to bubonic plague, and Flint describes how the plague swept through Constantinople in 1334, devastating the city on its way to kill a third of Europe. The team assume he's just a very learned student of history, but the way he describes it sounds more like someone recalling the trauma of events he witnessed first-hand. Because that's exactly what's happening .
  • Hands-On Approach : How Rayna shows Kirk how to play billiards.
  • Heroic BSoD : Kirk's breakdown seems to be as much finding out that yet another person used him as it is falling for Rayna so fast. When he yells at Flint "you used me!" he's trembling, shaking and seconds away from crying.

star trek tos requiem methuselah

  • The Ingenue : Rayna.
  • I Have Many Names : Flint lists many of the people he has been over the years.
  • Incest Subtext : Flint can't seem to decide whether he loves Rayna as a daughter, a romantic partner, or just a good piece of engineering. Total isolation may be screwing with his head a bit.
  • Inconspicuous Immortal : Flint was born 6,000 years ago and played the part of numerous famous historical figures. However, in Captain Kirk's time, he's long since left the spotlight: essentially, he's an interstellar Hikikomori who bought a remote uninhabited world to live on, and he's remained there ever since - right up until Kirk and company show up looking for a cure for Rigellian Fever.
  • Incredible Shrinking Starship : Flint shrinks the Enterprise to model size, placed on a tabletop. Kirk lurks through the main viewscreen.
  • I Need a Freaking Drink : Bones needs one when Spock says he believes he is experiencing an emotion. The ultra rare Saurian brandy will do.
  • Julius Beethoven da Vinci : Flint claims to have been, among others, Johannes Brahms , William Shakespeare , Leonardo da Vinci , Merlin , Lazarus , Alexander the Great , King Solomon , and Methuselah . His birth name was Akharin, a Sumerian soldier.
  • Laser-Guided Amnesia : Kirk is so upset over what happened, Spock Mind Melds with him and says "Forget." Let's hope Kirk doesn't say "Oh, crap, we forgot the ryetalin!" and turn back to start things all over again.
  • Little "No" : Rayna gives one in protest to Flint harming Kirk or his crew.
  • For a change, Kirk didn't mean to drop one and in fact dropped one on himself. When he realized the truth about Rayna, he told himself he couldn't love her, and yet he did.
  • As for Rayna, the strain of having to decide between two men she loved caused a mental breakdown. More of an emotion bomb than a logic one.
  • Magical Security Cam : When Rayna and later Flint are watching the away team on the security monitor, it zooms, pans, and changes angle just the same as the bits where the camera is showing the audience the away team directly.
  • May–December Romance : The romance between Flint and Rayna would be an extreme version of this. He is over 6000 years old. She's maybe not even a year old.
  • Mayfly–December Romance : Avoiding this is what drives Flint to create a Robot Girl as a lover.
  • Metaphorically True : Flint said at first he lived alone. Of course, he meant alone except for his family.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Rivals! : Flint created the Robot Girl Rayna Kapec to be a companion for himself. He guided her and James T. Kirk into falling in love with each other to awaken her emotions, then planned to take over. He and Kirk end up in a fight over her, and during the fight she is so stressed out over having to choose between them that she malfunctions and dies.
  • No, Mr. Bond, I Expect You to Dine : Flint invites Kirk and co. in for brandy and later, dinner.
  • Pygmalion Plot : Rare example where both the literal (Flint made Rayna, the last of a line of android models) and figurative (he used Kirk to try to spark her further emotional development) variations of the trope are used for the same character.
  • Reality-Changing Miniature : Flint reduces the Enterprise to a tiny model, which puts the crew into suspended animation. Did he get the idea from the aliens in "Catspaw"?
  • Recycled In Space : It's The Tempest in space — except when it's Bluebeard in space.
  • Robotic Reveal : Spock tries to prevent Kirk from finding out the truth, knowing what it will do to his fragile human mind. Kirk soon finds the Rayna duplicates, revealing the truth.
  • Shout-Out : Rayna's last name Kapec is a reference to Karel Capek, the sci-fi writer who coined the term "robot" with his play R.U.R. .
  • Stock Footage : Flint's castle is a reuse of the matte painting depicting Rigel VII in the first pilot, " The Cage ".
  • Stumbling Upon the Lost Wizard : Mr. Flint owns a planet in the Omega system. He has a number of robots as servants and a beautiful female ward named Rayna Kapec. He has tremendous technological power, enough to destroy the Enterprise. He has two dark secrets. The first is that he is an immortal man from Earth and is thousands of years old. The second is that his ward is not human, but actually an android robot in female form, and he needs to have her emotions wakened so she will love him. Her name may be a reference to Karel Čapek , who coined the word "robot".
  • Title: Requiem : The episode is called "Requiem for Methuselah", an allusion to the Biblical Methuselah, who was reported to have lived for 969 years (and who, according to Flint, was another of his past identities).
  • Virus and Cure Names : The episode introduces the Rigellian Fever, a bacterium-caused disease similar to Earth's bubonic plage. It's cured by Ryetalyn.
  • Warts and All : Not only was Flint once Solomon, Alexander, Merlin, Leonardo, Lazarus, and several other beloved historical figures, he also rubbed elbows with Socrates , Moses, Jesus , Galileo and William Shakespeare . It's somewhat heartbreaking to see this same man shun humankind as well as threaten the Enterprise crew, exploit Kirk's attraction to Rayna, intentionally withhold the antidote that Kirk needs to save his crew, all for some manipulative game he was playing, and then resort to a fistfight with Kirk. But in the end, Kirk ended up pitying him far more than hating him: "an old and lonely man..."
  • What Is This Thing You Call "Love"? : Rayna does not understand love. All she knows about loneliness is that Flint tells her it is "Thirst, a flower dying in the desert." Spock feels a pang of envy for the first time in his life.
  • What Measure Is a Human? : Kirk admits that Rayna's only flaw is that she's not human. Seconds later, he is defending her right to individuality and free will as he would any sentient being.
  • Who Wants to Live Forever? : Flint has gathered the experience and knowledge of the finest minds in history. He has read every available book, studied every art and science until he mastered them. And yet, he must deal with unbearable loneliness.
  • Wife Husbandry : Appears this way at first. Flint claims to have raised Rayna. In reality, he built and programmed her.
  • You Have Outlived Your Usefulness : Flint says as much when Kirk finally gets Rayna in touch with her emotions. Imagine The Tempest if Prospero were an incestuous bastard.
  • Star Trek S3 E18 "The Lights of Zetar"
  • Recap/Star Trek: The Original Series
  • Star Trek S3 E20 "The Way to Eden"

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star trek tos requiem methuselah

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Star Trek TOS: Requiem for Methuselah

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Star Trek - The Original Series, Vol. 38 - Episodes 75 &amp; 76: The Way to Eden / Requiem for Methuselah [DVD]

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star trek tos requiem methuselah

Star Trek - The Original Series, Vol. 38 - Episodes 75 & 76: The Way to Eden / Requiem for Methuselah [DVD]

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Star Trek - The Original Series, Vol. 37 - Episodes 73 & 74: The Lights of Zetar / The Cloud Minders [DVD]

Product Description

"The Way to Eden," Ep. 75 - Kirk and crew must deal with the insane leader of a band of rebellious idealists who are searching for the fabled planet Eden. " Requiem for Methuselah," Ep. 76 - An outbreak of Rigellian fever aboard the U.S.S. Enterprise forces Kirk to find an antidote on Holberg 917-G, where he meets the mysterious genius Flint.

Product details

  • Is Discontinued By Manufacturer ‏ : ‎ No
  • MPAA rating ‏ : ‎ PG (Parental Guidance Suggested)
  • Product Dimensions ‏ : ‎ 7.75 x 5.5 x 0.5 inches; 2.88 ounces
  • Media Format ‏ : ‎ NTSC, Closed-captioned, Dolby, DVD, Color, Full Screen
  • Run time ‏ : ‎ 1 hour and 41 minutes
  • Release date ‏ : ‎ November 27, 2001
  • Actors ‏ : ‎ William Shatner, Leonard Nimoy, DeForest Kelley, Nichelle Nichols, James Doohan
  • Subtitles: ‏ : ‎ English
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English (Dolby Digital 5.1)
  • Studio ‏ : ‎ CBS Paramount International Television
  • ASIN ‏ : ‎ B00005QAPY
  • Writers ‏ : ‎ Gene Roddenberry
  • Number of discs ‏ : ‎ 1
  • #104,294 in DVD

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Cygnus-X1.Net: A Tribute to Star Trek


star trek tos requiem methuselah


  1. Requiem For Methuselah

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  1. "Star Trek" Requiem for Methuselah (TV Episode 1969)

    Requiem for Methuselah: Directed by Murray Golden. With William Shatner, Leonard Nimoy, DeForest Kelley, James Daly. On a planet, looking for an urgent medicinal cure, Kirk, Spock and McCoy come across a dignified recluse living privately but in splendor with his sheltered ward and a very protective robot servant.

  2. Requiem for Methuselah (episode)

    While the Enterprise searches for the rare cure to a deadly disease, the landing party is confronted by a reclusive man who is willing to kill to preserve his privacy. Its crew suffering from the deadly Rigelian fever, the USS Enterprise pays an emergency call on a supposedly barren planet, Holberg 917G, to gather ryetalyn, a rare element that is the key ingredient of the antidote. Beaming ...

  3. Requiem for Methuselah

    Star Trek: The Original Series season 3. List of episodes. " Requiem for Methuselah " is the nineteenth episode of the third season of the American science fiction television series Star Trek. Written by Jerome Bixby and directed by Murray Golden, it was first broadcast on February 14, 1969. In the episode, the crew of the Enterprise encounters ...

  4. "Star Trek" Requiem for Methuselah (TV Episode 1969)

    "Star Trek" Requiem for Methuselah (TV Episode 1969) cast and crew credits, including actors, actresses, directors, writers and more. Menu. ... STAR TREK THE ORIGINAL SERIES SEASON 3 (1968) (7.9/10) a list of 24 titles created 19 Aug 2012 See all related lists » Share this ...

  5. The Star Trek Transcripts

    Requiem For Methuselah Stardate: 5843.7 Original Airdate: 14 Feb, 1969. Captain's log, stardate 5843.7. The Enterprise is in the grip of a raging epidemic. Three crewmen have died and twenty three others have been struck down by Rigelian fever. In order to combat the illness, Doctor McCoy needs large quantities of ryetalyn, which is the only ...

  6. "Requiem for Methuselah"

    In "Requiem for Methuselah", this entails accepting that Kirk's going to fall madly in love within the space of ten minutes, a floating robot and a shrunk Enterprise. You accept these minor "problems", and this plays like an excellent, soulful tragedy in the vein of season 1's underrated "Conscience of the King".

  7. The Trek Nation

    Wishing to make the Enterprise leave as quickly as possible, Flint has M-4 gather and process the ryetalin while he introduces the crewmen to his ward, Rayna. Kirk begins to fall in love with the ...

  8. Requiem for Methuselah

    Kirk falls for the ward (Louise Sorel) of a man (James Daly) who holds a cure for the ailing Enterprise crew.

  9. "Star Trek" Requiem for Methuselah (TV Episode 1969)

    Synopsis. Kirk, McCoy and Spock beam down to planet Holberg 917-G to gather Ryetalyn, a crucial element in treating a lethal outbreak of Rigelian fever aboard the Enterprise (3 dead, 23 infected). There they intrude upon Flint (James Daly), a recluse who lives quietly but well-off with his ward Rayna (Louise Sorel) and a very capable security ...

  10. Requiem for Methuselah

    Star Trek: The Original Series Requiem for Methuselah Sci-Fi Feb 14, 1969 48 min Paramount+ Available on Paramount+, Prime Video, iTunes S3 E19: Kirk and crew meet an immortal human named Flint. Sci-Fi Feb 14, 1969 48 min Paramount+ ...

  11. Requiem for Methuselah

    Star Trek: The Original Series Requiem for Methuselah Sci-Fi 14 Feb 1969 48 min Paramount+ Available on Prime Video, iTunes, Paramount+ S3 E19: A fatal disease is certain to decimate the crew of the Enterprise unless an antidote can be collected from Planet Halbrecht 917G. A landing party discover that the alien world is not uninhabited, as ...

  12. Star Trek TOS (Preview S3-E19)

    On a planet, looking for an urgent medicinal cure, Kirk, Spock and McCoy come across a dignified recluse living privately but in splendor with his sheltered ...

  13. Requiem for Methuselah

    Requiem for Methuselah: Season 3, Episode 19Be sure to check out "30+ Rare Finds From Star Trek Previews All in 1 Video!", my video covering all the rare an...

  14. Requiem for Methuselah

    Star Trek: The Original Series Requiem for Methuselah Sci-Fi 14 Feb 1969 48 min SkyShowtime Available on SkyShowtime S3 E19: While seeking a cure for a fever ravaging the ...

  15. Star Trek S3 E19 "Requiem for Methuselah" / Recap

    Recap / Star Trek S3 E19 "Requiem for Methuselah". Recap /. Star Trek S3 E19 "Requiem for Methuselah". A romance for the ages. Or four hours, anyway. Original air date: February 14, 1969. Our usual Power Trio beams down to Holberg 917-G in search for ryetalyn, the antidote for the disease ravaging the Enterprise crew.

  16. Episode Preview: Requiem for Methuselah

    © 2024 CBS Studios Inc., Paramount Pictures Corporation, and CBS Interactive Inc., Paramount companies. STAR TREK and related marks are trademarks of CBS Studios Inc.

  17. Star Trek TOS: Requiem for Methuselah : Gene Roddenberry : Free

    Star Trek TOS: Requiem for Methuselah by Gene Roddenberry. Publication date 1968-01-01 Topics star trek, kirk, spock, requiem for methuselah Language English. Capt. Kirk suddenly becomes a scientist: Bones, the chief medical officer can't do it. Spock, the first officer and chief science officer can't do it.

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    In this video I review episode 21 of Season 3 of Star Trek: The Original Series "Requiem for Methuselah"Support Enchantment of Eternity on Patreon: https://w...

  19. Star Trek Star Trek - The Original Series, Vol. 38 - Episodes 75 & 76: The Way to Eden / Requiem for Methuselah [DVD] : William Shatner, Leonard Nimoy, DeForest Kelley, Nichelle Nichols, James Doohan, Eddie Paskey, Bill Blackburn, George Takei, Frank da Vinci, Walter Koenig, Majel Barrett, Roger Holloway, Gene Roddenberry: Movies & TV

  20.'s true... : r/tos

    Requiem for Methuselah thoughts upvotes · comments. r/tos. r/tos /r/TOS is for all topics relating to Star Trek: The Original Series (plus TAS and the original films). Members Online. Rewatch time, everyone in TOS is so damn beautiful. Men and women both, everyone is stunning.

  21. What is the waltz in TOS: "Requiem for Methuselah"

    Sort by: akbar56. • 6 yr. ago. From memory alpha (does no one know how to google anymore?) The Brahms paraphrase that Spock plays was written especially for this episode by Ivan Ditmars. The sheet music shown is from Brahms, his 16 Walzes, Op. 39. 4. Award. What is the waltz that Spock plays in that episode?

  22. A Closer Look at Star Trek's Requiem for Methuselah: Our ...

    The Target Audience are watching Star Trek The Original Series for the first time, but just this once they are watching an episode for a second time! Join th...

  23. "Requiem for Methuselah" (S3:E19) Star Trek: The Original Series Screencaps

    Requiem for Methuselah. Season 3, Episode 19. 171 SCREENCAPS ONLINE. [ Episode Details ]

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    Ever wondered how would this scene have looked like if Mr. Spock had played a previously published waltz by Johannes Brahms instead of an "unknown" one? So t...