Star Trek 3.18: The Lights of Zetar

The Lights of ZetarThe Lights of Zetar” is an episode I remember primarily from the Star Trek bubble gum collector cards I had when I was a kid (card #82 in the linked set). I remember it has a bunch of flashing coloured lights, and not much else.

The story revolves around Scotty’s girl of the week, Lieutenant Mira Romaine, who is being taken to the library planetoid of Memory Alpha. On the way they experience a space storm (the aforesaid flashing coloured lights) which affects the nervous systems of many of the crew with minor symptoms. Romaine suffers the worst, fainting. The storm moves on to Memory Alpha, and when the Enterprise arrives they discover everyone on the planetoid dead.

They return to the ship, but a transporter glitch suspends Romaine in transit for a few seconds. She reappears, with the lights flashing in her eyes. The storm chases the Enterprise around a bit, and it becomes clear the lights have possessed Mira, giving her precognitive abilities to predict how it will move. Scotty plays it down, claiming it to be some sort of space sickness. The storm enters the ship and the lights swarm Romaine, entering her body. McCoy says he has no idea how to remove them. Spock merely says that Romaine has a high level of empathy, which is probably why the lights picked her. They speak with her voice and explain they are the last survivors of the planet Zetar,and want Romaine’s body so they can continue to live.

Scotty objects and Kirk decides to drive the Zetarians from Romaine. Since none of his scientific officers have any idea how to do this, Kirk unilaterally decides to stick Romaine in a pressure chamber and jack up the air pressure. Oddly enough, this works, apparently killing the Zetarians without anyone showing a shred of regret at having wiped out the last of a sentient species. The ending is happy, except Romaine needs to leave the Enterprise to rebuild Memory Alpha, so poor Scotty will probably never see her again.

A rather blah episode. The story seems like trotting out the same old recycled plot elements again, solved by Kirk pulling a completely unheralded miracle solution out of a hat. Except for that gaping plot problem, it’s all fairly predictable and uninspiring. Poor Scotty.

Tropes: Girl Of The Week, Fainting, Spooky Silent Library, Teleporter Accident, Powers Via Possession, Space Madness, Puppeteer Parasite, Dying Race, Only You Can Repopulate My Race (kind of), Guilt-Free Extermination War, Final Solution, Ass Pull.
Body count: Everyone on Memory Alpha (killed by Zetarians), 10 Zetarians (killed by pressure).

2 Responses to “Star Trek 3.18: The Lights of Zetar”

  1. NotTheBuddha says:

    IIRC, this episode was written by Shari Lewis and husband. This puts a mildly sister spin on Lamb Chop, who survived the death of his original host.

    Also, your LJ entry has comments disabled.

  2. Hmm, glitch in the auto-crossposter. I’ve enabled the comments there.

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