is lost in thought

Is There in Truth No Beauty?

"Is There in Truth No Beauty?" is a third season episode of Star Trek: The Original Series, first broadcast October 18, 1968. It is episode #60, production #62, written by Jean Lisette Aroeste, and directed by Ralph Senensky.

Overview: The Enterprise travels with an alien ambassador, whose appearance causes insanity.


On stardate 5630.7, the USS Enterprise picks up a Medusan ambassador named Kollos. The ambassador belongs to race of energy-based creatures, emotionally beautiful on the inside, yet with an outward appearance so hideous it drives humanoids insane. The Federation seeks a council with the Medusans for a technology trade, especially in the area of improved navigation equipment for all starships.

To be transported, the Medusan must remain concealed inside a container. Lawrence Marvick, one of the principal designers of the Enterprise is beamed aboard first, then the transporter room is cleared, all except for Mr. Spock, who dons the special visor, since Vulcans can better tolerate the appearance of a Medusan while wearing it, and operates the controls to beam the ambassador and his passenger aboard. Kollos's container materializes along with Dr. Miranda Jones, who is Kollos's beautiful assistant and a gifted young telepath.

The ambassador's party are assigned quarters, and Spock offers Miranda help in carrying the Medusan container to her room. It is already clear, even in Mr. Spock, that he and the young doctor find each other very intriguing. Spock invites her and Marvick to a dinner with Captain Kirk later that evening. Spock leaves and Miranda opens the container to look upon her Medusan companion. The being appears as a wildly strobing array of light and color. Oddly enough, she seems immune to its appearance.

During the dinner, Miranda notices Spock's "Vulcan IDIC" ceremonial badge and questions him about it. She concludes that Spock is far more powerful with his telepathic abilities than she could ever be, including being able to better communicate with her Medusan companion. After bringing the Medusan up in conversation, Miranda feels faint, sensing murderous intentions from someone in the room. She asks if she can be excused and quickly leaves. She later senses that the murderous desires emanate from Marvick, but she still doesn't know his intended target.

Marvick is obsessively in love with Miranda, who rebuffs his advances. He is extremely jealous of her close relationship with the Medusan, to the point where he plots to kill it. Later that evening, Marvick enters Kollos's room with a phaser, but Kollos senses the intrusion and emerges from his box. Marvick then sees the Medusan and goes insane.

Marvick runs down to engineering and begins to reset the controls of the ship. Suddenly the Enterprise lurches forward to Warp Factor 9, and is sent on an unstable course that takes the ship outside of the galaxy. Marvick is finally apprehended and after pointing at Miranda and shouting the warning "Don't love her! She'll kill you if you love her!", he dies instantly. McCoy cannot find any cause. Without any navigational references of where they are the Enterprise is lost in space.

Being naturally gifted navigators, the Medusan agrees to mind meld with either Mr. Spock or Miranda and use their humanoid body to operate the ship's controls to return it to known space. Miranda, who is extremely jealous of Spock's ability to join with the Medusan, strongly objects when Kirk chooses him over her. She debates the decision but realizes there is no alternative, since she has no idea how to pilot the ship, but Spock does.

When questioned about her strong attachment toward the alien, she claims it is because Kollos's mind is the most beautiful thing she has ever seen, so serene and pure. At this time, it is also revealed that Miranda is completely blind. The special netting over her dress is actually a sophisticated sensor net which allows her to "see", and remain immune to the presence of the Medusan when out of his container.

Kollos is brought to the bridge, where a special partition is set up to keep him hidden from the bridge crew. Mr. Spock dons the special visor and opens Kollos's container. He mind-melds with the creature as everyone curiously watches. Soon, Spock emerges from the partition with a happy smile and warmly greets the crew as Kollos. Miranda's jealousy seems to remain as she impatiently watches Kollos use Spock's body to pilot the Enterprise back into known space.

With the ship safely returned and Kollos indulging in a few observations about life in a solid body, it is time for Kollos to go back to his box. Spock moves behind the partition, but then Sulu notices Spock's protective goggles are still sitting on the helm console. Kirk tries to stop him, but it is too late. Spock emerges from the partition and madly attacks the crew.

Kirk uses a phaser to stun Spock and he is rushed to sickbay, while Kirk, knowing Miranda was jealous of Spock, accuses her of telepathically suggesting that Spock forget his visor. McCoy reports Spock is dying, but as an act of goodwill, Miranda goes to join minds with him, restoring his sanity and saving his life.

Later, Miranda and Kollos arrive at their destination, by which time Miranda has made the mind link with Kollos. She is no longer jealous, and now understands what Spock experienced. She has also forgiven Captain Kirk, but before she and Kollos depart, Kirk offers Miranda a rose. Miranda asks, "I suppose it has thorns.", whereupon Kirk replies, "I never met a rose that didn't."

40th Anniversary remastering

This episode was remastered in 2006 and aired March 22, 2008 as part of the remastered Original Series. It was preceded a week earlier by the remastered "That Which Survives" and followed a week later by the remastered "Elaan of Troyius". Aside from remastered video and audio, and the all-CGI animation of the USS Enterprise that is standard among the revisions, specific changes to this episode also include:

  • The planet at the beginning of the episode has been given a more realistic appearance.
  • The flight through the Galactic Barrier has been changed. A bluish energy pattern has replaced the original kaleidoscope of colors.
  • When the Enterprise reaches the destination, now waiting for them is a small spaceship.


  • The name for the Medusans come from the mythological Greek monster Medusa. In legend, whoever looked at her would turn to stone. Here, the sight of the Medusan causes insanity.
  • The title of the episode is taken from the second line of the poem Jordan by the English poet and clergyman George Herbert (1593-1633).
  • Miranda and the Medusan (in Spock's body) briefly quote Shakespeare's The Tempest.
  • During the filming of the dinner scene with the Vulcan IDIC medallion, new pages of script were suddenly sent down from Gene Roddenberry, who had made good on his threat to the network to no longer personally produce the series over a timeslot dispute. According to William Shatner in his book about TOS, the new dialog had Spock going on a longwinded dissertation about the IDIC philosophy, and the actors recognized it as little more than a sales pitch for merchandising the new medallion. They rebelled and refused to film it until Roddenberry intervened in person and trimmed it down.
  • This episode marks the second appearance of Diana Muldaur in a Star Trek series. She had previously appeared in the episode "Return to Tomorrow", and would later appear as Doctor Katherine Pulaski in the second season of Star Trek: The Next Generation.
  • This episode marks the first appearance of Mr. Scott in his dress uniform - a Starfleet shirt and kilt'.

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