Friday, October 14, 2016

Defending “The Lights of Zetar”

Let me begin by saying that I have read many, many, many reviews over the years of "The Lights of Zetar”, and I am heartsick at seeing this episode ripped to shreds by practically everyone.  I was barely five years old in January of 1969 when “The Lights of Zetar” (TLOZ) first aired, and I never got to see it or the original series until it was being rerun in syndication in the early 70s.  Scotty was always my favorite character, and I fell in love with TLOZ the first time I saw it.  Now that Star Trek is celebrating its 50th anniversary, I feel it is time for me to stand up for this episode at last.

I think the love story of Scotty and Mira is one of the sweetest, most beautiful ones in all of science fiction, and for some reason the story of these two characters has stayed with me since the first time I saw it.  I’ve always seen such a perfect, beautiful and self-sacrificing love between these two in a way that I have rarely come across elsewhere in fiction.  I feel like they were literally made for one another.  You will find my observations filled with a great deal of emotion and appreciation of the story in a way that I hope will bring about some level of increased understanding of the story line and of the characters.   While I don’t believe my views on this episode will change any minds, I feel the need to defend it from its many detractors.  Word of caution here: if you hate TLOZ, then it follows that you’re not going to like this lengthy review (and I do mean lengthy).  I’m perfectly okay with that, however, because I’ve suffered through innumerable disagreeable comments and reviews on the subject over the years. Now you get to read a different perspective from someone who appreciates the story! 

Season three episodes in particular have received criticism as evidence of the declining level of story writing in the show’s final season, but I disagree that they are all bad.  The worst of season three that I would name are “Spock’s Brain”, “Plato’s Stepchildren”, “And the Children Shall Lead”, “Whom Gods Destroy”, and “Turnabout Intruder”, but there are also some very good episodes:  “The Enterprise Incident”, “The Paradise Syndrome”,”The Tholian Web”, “That Which Survives” and of course, “The Lights of Zetar”. What is interesting to note about the final season of ST:TOS is the number of love stories.  In two of the episodes Kirk and McCoy each get married  (“The Paradise Syndrome” and “For the World is Hollow and I Have Touched the Sky”), and finally Scotty gets a love story of his own with a woman worthy of him in “The Lights of Zetar”.  Kirk has another ill-fated romance in "Requiem for Methuselah".  Even Spock and Checkov have some romantic interests this season (“The Enterprise Incident”, “The Cloud Minders” and “The Way to Eden”).

No, perhaps the plot of TLOZ isn’t the most exciting or well-written one in all of the Star Trek universe, but it’s not the worst one either by a long shot.  Not every Star Trek episode is on a par with “The Doomsday Machine”, “Mirror, Mirror”, or “The Trouble with Tribbles”.   As ST love stories go, we see Kirk in and out of female arms more times than we can count throughout the series’ three-year run (and even genuine love on a couple of occasions (“City of the Edge of Forever”, “The Paradise Syndrome”).  McCoy had a couple or romances (“The Man Trap”, “For the World is Hollow and I Have Touched the Sky”).  Spock had a few interests (“Amok Time”, “The Enterprise Incident”, “The Cloud Minders”, and even Checkov had a couple (“The Apple” and “The Way to Eden”).  Scotty also had a couple of brief interests (“Who Mourns for Adonais?” and “Wolf in the Fold”), but it is not until season three’s “The Lights of Zetar” that he finally meets the one. 

We learn from Kirk in the opening sequence:  “With us is specialist Lt. Mira Romaine….When a man of Scotty’s years’ falls in love, the loneliness of his life is suddenly revealed to him.  His whole heart once throbbed only to the ship’s engines.  He could talk only to the ship. Now, he sees nothing but the woman”.  It is obvious to Kirk and to everyone else that Scotty is in love.  His shipmates are bemused at the notion of their Chief Engineer being in love, but hey, Scotty has saved the ship’s (and Kirk’s) bacon on more than one occasion, so he is more than entitled to find some happiness at last.  Are we all agreed on that?  Okay, let’s cut the man some slack then.

Mira Romaine is a Starfleet lieutenant on her first assignment for the federation.  She is a beautiful young woman in her 30s, very intelligent, kind, loving and she is also just starting a new phase of her Starfleet career.  Falling in love on her first assignment was not something she planned on or could possibly have foreseen.  She meets Lt. Commander Montgomery Scott, and they are drawn to one another from the start.  It isn’t long before their mutual attraction has become something more.

We are never told in the series exactly how old Scotty is other than the assumption he is middle-aged.  According to the James Blish story in Star Trek 6, Mira is about 30.¹  But if we go by the birthdates of James Doohan and Jan Shutan at the airing of this episode in January of 1969, Scotty would have been a month away from turning 49, and Mira 36.  Scotty then is nearly 13 years her senior (closer to 20 by the Blish story), and he is also her superior officer.  

There is an old observation that women often marry someone who reminds them of their father.  Scotty is a Chief Engineer, as Mira’s father was.  I read online that Scotty knew Mira’s father from working with him at one time on the Deneb Queen Since we are dealing with one writer’s treatment of fictional characters, anything is possible, but that is sheer speculation.  Scotty might have heard of Jacques Romaine in professional circles, but that doesn’t necessarily mean the two men had ever met, especially if Mira’s father had already retired by the time of this story.  Both men being Chief Engineers for Starfleet would naturally have been an initial bonding point between Scotty and Mira, but by no means does their attraction for one another end there.  Yes, the age difference between them could lead some to think that she might be seeing Scotty as more of a kindly older man or father-type figure than a love interest, but hey, older men and younger women have been falling in love all throughout history.  Why should Scotty and Mira be any different?   Hey, let’s let them enjoy it, okay?  Live and let love. 

One should take into consideration the point at which we, the viewers, are introduced to the story of Scotty and Mira. They have known one another only a few days, perhaps a week, but they have already fallen in love.  They are at that sweet, tender, heart palpitating and yet frightening point where they know they are in love, but perhaps each is hoping the other will be the first to say it.  It can be a scary and vulnerable thing to admit to yourself that you are in love, let alone admit that to the object of your feelings.  If both people feel the same, nothing is more wonderful.  If not, one person is going to get hurt, and the relationship falls apart quickly.

The conversation we hear between Scotty and Mira in the Emergency Manual Monitor at the beginning of the episode isn’t exactly the sexiest one ever uttered between and man and a woman: “You are sanest, the smartest, the nicest woman who has ever come aboard this ship.”  “Anything else?” she asks quietly with a shy but warm smile.  “Anything else, I’ll keep to myself for the moment”, he grins in return; hinting strongly there is a whole lot more he would like to say.  If you watch carefully, he glances down very briefly (presumably at her chest--see above photo) with the most beautiful and loving of smiles (the HD screencaps on the Trekcore website immediately before and after this shot clearly show he is looking directly into her eyes).  

In the James Blish story we read “You are the sanest, the smartest, the nicest, and the most beautiful woman who has ever come aboard this ship. ” ³ Yowzah!  He is trying to tell her at last, albeit in an awkward way, of his feelings for her.  I saw a video clip on YouTube where someone accused Scotty of being a dirty old man in saying this to her.  Give me a break.  Men have been known to say a lot worse.  Personally, I think what he says and implies to her is both very sweet and appropriately sexy!  In other words, he says just enough without saying too much.  Here’s another point:  Mira would not have asked, “Anything else?” unless 1) she wanted to know and 2) she damn well knew there was something else!  Otherwise, what is point of her asking that if she has no interest in him, right? 

If we need further confirmation of their mutual attraction, in this same scene in the Blish story Mira says she has been too much trouble to him.  Scotty tells her “Trouble? What trouble? Of course you could drive a man daft, but that’s not what I call trouble.”  Mira asks, “Do I drive you daft, Scotty?”  “Well now, if was me, you might have to work at it” to which Mira replies “I’d be willing”.  Then, as if embarrassed, she turned away and resumed being busy.’   Again, why would Mira ask Scotty if she drove him daft if she weren’t interested in him and in finding out his response, even if it’s just in fun?  Further, she tells him she would be willing to work at making him daft.  Scotty then says, “The Enterprise has been my life.  I love this ship, and I love every day I’ve spent on it.  But, until you came aboard, I didn’t know how lonely it is to be free in the galaxy.  So don’t you talk about trouble.”  He then takes her in his arms and says, “Now I want to forget about Memory Alpha.”⁴

Yes, folks, both Mira and Scotty are very much attracted to one another and also very much in love.  It’s not a he is, but she isn’t, or a she is, but he isn’t situation.  The James Blish story gives a few more details of their mutual attraction that we might not otherwise pick up on in the televised episode alone, but even without that viewers can surely be left in no doubt.   That doesn’t mean, however, that both Scotty and Mira might not have had some trepidation in verbally admitting their feelings of love to one another.  It’s scary to be the one to open up first.   And let’s not forget Scotty and Mira are not kids.  She is in her 30s, and Scotty is approaching 49.  They are mature adults who illustrate a May-December romance in its most beautiful form, and if they get married and want to have children, doesn’t it make sense for her to still be within childbearing age rather than Mira being a woman closer to Scotty’s own age?

Mira knows she is in love with Scotty and feels in her heart that he loves her, too.  She, however, might not want to assume this without direct confirmation from him, and she probably wouldn’t risk telling him of her love for him otherwise.  After all, if there is even a possibility that she could be reading more into his feelings than what he is willing to admit to her, she would risk looking like a fool for saying anything to him and embarrassing herself badly to a senior Starfleet commanding officer.  Not a great start to one’s career.   A lot of professional and emotional risk there.

And at long last Scotty has found a woman worthy of his heart.  She is younger, beautiful, achingly sexy, intelligent, strong, but also sweet, sensitive and kindhearted.  He feels his heart beating inside his chest for the first time in as long as he can remember.  She is everything he could ever want in a woman, in a lover, in a wife.  But does she feel the same way about him?  He feels in his heart that she does, but he would be risking everything to find out for certain.  After all, she is considerably younger than he is.  If there was even a chance that she might be looking at him as just more of a mature, older man who had befriended her and he told her that he loved her, it would be incredibly awkward for them both.  He would then be heartbroken to learn her feelings weren’t the same as his and would then have to let the woman he loves with everything in him walk out of his life, never to return.  On the other hand, suppose she does love him just as much, but she might also want to pursue her career…a career that could take her away from him for long periods of time unless she were permanently assigned to the Enterprise.  How is he supposed to handle this situation wisely?

As we can see, Scotty and Mira may have been in something of an emotional dilemma at the time we see them on TLOZ.  Not only are they are in love, but now, suddenly a strange, alien life force appears out of nowhere and tries to take possession of Mira and destroy their lives.  Talk about a tough situation!  Mira naturally wants to make a good impression as a newly ranked Starfleet officer, but having to deal with an alien life force attempting to take over her mind and body during her very first assignment AND falling very much in love proves exceptionally distracting to her emotionally, as it would for anyone.  She gets a bit snappy at Dr. McCoy, though more out of embarrassment than anything else, at being the only crew member affected enough by the aliens to pass out and be ordered to Sickbay.  She simply wanted the ordeal to be over with so she could return to work.  I read on Wikia that she refused to say anything more to McCoy for fear of what it might do to her assignment, which seems a logical assumption.⁵ 

She deeply appreciates and needs Scotty’s love and protectiveness towards her during this frightening time, and yet she might appear to be somewhat hesitant to embrace their love in its totality just yet.  This doesn’t imply, though, that she is just using him to get through this ordeal, as might be suggested.  She has no idea what is going to happen to her, to him or to any of them.  She could die.  They all could die.  Who knows?   It’s hard to think about sharing your life with someone when you may not live past today.  Let’s give her a break, okay?

Yes, there are valid criticisms of this episode, and I will now try to address many of the ones I’ve read as well as some other observations on this episode and of our beloved Chief Engineer and the new love of his life.

Kirk’s log entry:  Kirk’s comments about Scotty in the opening log entry, for example, would indeed have been considered rather inappropriate for his superiors in Starfleet to listen to, as I’m sure Starfleet brass couldn’t care less about the love lives of their officers; however, this information is intended for our benefit, the viewers, to give us an idea of the feelings that have been steadily growing between Scotty and Mira.  We would be wondering who Mira Romaine is otherwise, and why Scotty has fallen in love with her.

Speaking of our beloved captain, I think it’s interesting to note Kirk’s own interactions with Mira, specifically him touching her several times throughout the episode, and that in spite of the fact she and Scotty are the ones in love!  When she first passes out on the bridge, he and Scotty both help her up, and while it would be understandable for Scotty to continue holding her arm (which he does only briefly), it is less understandable why Kirk continues to do so.  Probably it is just out of concern for her, since she passed out on his bridge.  On Memory Alpha, Kirk takes hold of her elbow when she senses the Zetars are returning.  Later, at the conclusion of the briefing when they are about to head to the medical lab, Scotty, of course, takes her hand in his while Kirk takes hold of her other arm, and the two quick march her hurriedly through the ship’s corridors.  He continues his hold on her arm until they are standing in front of the anti-grav test chamber.  Very strange.  It makes one think our good captain might just have his own secret case of the hots for Scotty’s woman!  If we need another example, when it is time to place Mira in the pressure chamber, it is Kirk who first makes a move toward her, but Scotty stops him cold.  Kirk may have been thinking to protect him, since Mira foresaw him dying, but Scotty won’t have it.  If Mira is going to die, then he makes damned good and sure that he, the man who loves her, is the last one to ever touch her.

McCoy’s tricorder analysis on Memory Alpha:   I’m not a doctor, but even I know that severe brain hemorrhaging due to the distortion of all neural circuits and the dissolution of the autonomic nervous system have nothing whatsoever to do with basic personality factors.  Personality is a complex mixture of brain anatomy (normally more frontal lobe), neurotransmitters, chemistry, etc.  One has to blame the technical writing for this one, although I’m sure if one’s brain is in the process of being fried by an alien, it is bound to affect the personality, especially while the attack is ongoing!

Appearance and effects of Zetars:  I can live with the faces of victims changing color to match the alien’s energy patterns.  Some think this effect as well as the appearance of the Zetarians themselves laughable, but remember that ST:TOS was on a very limited budget at the time of production, and special effects weren’t exactly its forte.  If you want to talk about ridiculous-looking aliens of the series, does anyone remember the shaggy, pepperoni pizza-looking Horta in “The Devil in the Dark”?  Wonder how low the props / special effects budget was that week?  Or how about the famous Gorn, the reptilian commander of “Arena” with all his ridiculous sounds and freakazoid eyes?  Where is a fully loaded phaser bank when you need one? And remember Yarnek, the weird rock creature from “The Savage Curtain”?  My favorite scary creature is the mugato (or mugatu) of "A Private Little War".  Now those are some truly bizarre-looking aliens!  As for aliens coming closer to resembling the Zetarians, in “Obsession” the alien is a cloud that feeds on blood, and in “Metamorphosis” the Companion takes the form of a hazy, moving electrical mass.  In “Day of the Dove” the alien is a round, spinning ball of multicolor energy.  So is a community of sparkling, flashing lights really that bad in comparison to all the other aliens we have seen in the series?

One thing I hate, however, are the deep, guttural, garbled sounds made by victims Mira and the female technician on Memory Alpha when they were being attacked.  Going way too far with that effect. Watching the victims’ faces contort while emitting those incredibly ugly sounds was not at all attractive or pleasant to watch or listen to.  To me it is the one thing that really mars this episode.  The close-ups of Jan Shutan’s beautiful eyes showing scenes of death at Memory Alpha as well as the alien life entity itself were a bit strange.  Why did the scenes have to be restricted to the shape of her eye?  Odd, considering there are other cinematic ways of conveying her thoughts to viewers.

Zetarians’ Goal:  The Zetarians had been searching for a millennium to find one person through whom they could live out their lives.  Okay, to do what exactly?  What did they hope to accomplish once they had Mira?  We never learn what their true goals were, but considering that everyone on Memory Alpha was killed in trying to resist them, it’s a little hard to imagine them having benign intentions.   And it seems strange this thing had been wandering around the galaxy for over a thousand years, presumably killing everyone in its path in its quest to find a host body (or perhaps yet another host body—who knows how many individuals they might have possessed over the centuries?), and yet word had never gotten around about it to Starfleet?  (It’s a big galaxy, so maybe I expect too much?).  Another thing to ponder: even if the Zetarians had been successful in taking complete possession of Mira, did they really think Starfleet would simply allow one of their officers under alien possession to go around killing everyone (or whatever they wanted to do through her) and not be forced to kill her in an attempt to save themselves? A tough thing to think about, especially for Scotty, but let’s not forget she very nearly did kill him in the anti-grav test chamber.  The only reason he survived was Mira mustering every ounce of personal strength of will in preventing them from doing so.

Other alien oddities:  How did the Zetarians go from being a group of one hundred corporeal beings on their dying planet to a community of ten super powerful life units traveling through space?  The Zetarians were accustomed to the weightlessness and vacuum of space and yet were also powerful enough to travel at warp speeds.  I have read criticisms of this, but these same critics seem to forget two other similar occurrences in the world of ST:TOS  1) the Companion of “Metamorphosis” was traveling at warp speed when it hijacked the shuttlecraft, and 2) the cloud creature of “Obsession” also traveled at incredible warp speeds.  Okay, so why then pick on the Zetarians for the having the same ability?

I’ve also read criticism of the amount of atmospheric pressure needed to rid Mira’s body of the aliens.  After neutralizing gravity in the test chamber, Kirk orders Spock to bring pressure to two atmospheres then increase one atmosphere per second, which, as someone pointed out, would have flattened her body like a pancake.  In the James Blish story, Kirk orders the increase at one atmosphere per minute. ⁶  The bourdon gauge on the test chamber wall ranges from 0 to a maximum of 5.0, and it stops about 3.30 at the point when the Zetarians are finally driven out which would have more closely matched the Blish story.  Kirk ordering the pressure increase at one atmosphere per second on the televised episode had to have been a technical flaw in the writing of the drafts for this episode, including the final draft (a copy of which I own, by the way, dated October 28, 1968), that Blish later corrected in his story.

Kirk took a chance on trying to save Lt. Romaine by subjecting her body to massive amounts of pressure; something she would not be able to withstand for very long, and this is what finally drove them out.  What is less comprehensible is why, in being driven out, didn’t the Zetarians kill everyone on the ship as planned, and continue moving on through space in their quest to find another host body instead of allowing themselves to die in the pressure chamber?  If they can pass through the ship’s shields and physical structure, why couldn’t they simply pass through the walls of the pressure chamber? Maybe they figured if they couldn’t have Mira, there was no point in living any longer.  Am I right?  Hey, Scotty would probably back me up on that!

Mira’s pliancy:  If Mira was considered psychologically “pliable”, I don’t believe it’s in the same sense that we normally think of the word.  In the James Blish story Kirk asks McCoy if there is any evidence of Lt. Romaine having involuntary or unconscious telepathic abilities or any pathological or unusual empathic responses.  McCoy says “No, Captain.  Not empathic.  However, an exceptionally flexible and pliant response to new learning situations.”  Later, ….“Lt. Romaine has developed strong defenses to guard against her extreme competitiveness.  Marked scientific and mathematical abilities set up an early competition with her distinguished father.”⁷  Her openness to new learning situations could simply have been a strategy she developed over time to help her adapt to, and overcome, academic challenges.  Let me interject here that “pliable”, in Mira’s case, does not mean stupid.  Mira Romaine was by no means stupid.  Inexperienced, yes; trying to grow in self confidence in her career, yes; uncertain of the frightening new Zetar presence in her life, definitely.  But not stupid.  ST:TOS has more than its share of ditzy females, but thankfully Mira Romaine is not one of them!

Mira being a “librarian”:  I read long ago somewhere in 70s Trek literature that Scotty “would not go for a librarian who had nothing more going for her than a short skirt and good bust measurement”.  I’ll ignore most of that comment.  I’ve also read of her profession being stated as a librarian elsewhere in Trek literature.    

We read in Marc Cushman’s book These Are the Voyages: TOS Season Three:  “Lieutenant Romaine, a specialist in computer mechanics (emphasis mine) is on board to familiarize Engineer Scott with new equipment for transferring information directly from the computer banks of the Enterprise to the Federation’s central library at Memory Alpha…” ⁸ Mira is a technical specialist (basically an I.T. person) who just happened to be on this particular assignment.  Okay, nowhere in either the televised episode or the James Blish story does it say that she is a librarian.  But what if she were?  Is that so terrible?  Scotty wants her so badly it hurts, so if she is good enough for our beloved engineer, she ought to be good enough for fans of the series who love him.    

Mira being “psychic”:  Starfleet records indicated she had no unusual abilities at all outside of a flexible and pliant response to new learning situations.  The one and only reason Mira was able to foresee the events on Memory Alpha and the Enterprise was due solely to the influence of the Zetarians on her mind.

Mira’s dislike of space travel:  Have seen this a time or two in trek stories.  Mira never had a problem with space travel.  She was doing fine until the first attack on the Enterprise by the Zetars when she passed out.  But she passed out and continued to have horrifying images flooding her mind due to the aliens….not due to the fact that she was traveling through space.  Scotty is the one who thought she was suffering from space sickness when all the strange occurrences began, but even he learned later this was not the case...finally. 

Romaine:  I read a criticism online that paraphrased said Jan Shutan’s acting in this episode is about as uninteresting as the type of lettuce her character is named after—a statement I totally disagree with, by the way.  Yes, we all realize Romaine is a type of lettuce, but it’s also a female French name meaning “Woman of Rome” as well as a rather uncommon French surname (feminine form of Romanus).  There is even a Romaine Coat of Arms.  I think Mira’s name, both first and last, is beautiful, and I see nothing wrong in the way Jan portrays Mira at all.

Blistex anyone?  Poor Jan was sporting a massive cold sore at the time of filming that can be seen through half of the episode.  As many times as I’ve seen this episode over the years in the original filmed version I had never noticed this, but the re-mastered version really brings it out.  Maybe that’s why we never get to see a steamy kiss between her and Scotty—tragic if true!

The newspaper:   Did you see it?  I never noticed this until I read about it on Wikia.⁹  When I went back and watched the episode again, I was stunned.  At the end when Kirk, McCoy and Spock are all talking together in Sickbay about Lt. Romaine, the camera clearly shows a discarded newspaper lying in plain sight on the floor in the room behind and to the left of where McCoy is seated.  Simply unbelievable that was never discovered at the time of filming.  How careless can someone be?  

Scotty’s insignia:  It has also been pointed out several times that Scotty is wearing the science division insignia on his red uniform tunic instead of the engineering insignia--no doubt a mistake made by someone in the costume department.  Amazing viewers would notice such a small thing!

Sexism:  Now let’s talk about everyone’s favorite topic:  sexism.  The most notable example is Mira being referred to as “the girl”.  Actually, Kirk does refer to her as “the woman” in his log entry at the beginning of the story, once as “the lieutenant” in speaking to McCoy via the intercom and once by her first name when speaking to Scotty in the medical lab test chamber.  He does address her directly as “Lieutenant” and refers to her as Lt. Romaine several times throughout the episode, but it’s his use of “the girl” that draws valid criticism.  McCoy and Spock also refer to her once as “the girl” as do even the Zetarians! (They probably figured why not?  Everyone else is doing it, right?)  Okay, guys (Kirk, McCoy and Spock, are you listening?), Mira is a lieutenant in her 30s; she is not a 10 year-old girl.  Let’s give her a bit more respect, huh?  Referring to her as “the girl” is the most obvious example (though likely not the only example) of patronizing behavior (if you want to call it that) toward her that I see, although it is not ill intentioned.  

Patronizing isn’t the right word to describe Scotty’s behavior because he is in love with her.  He does, however, come across as almost fatherly-sounding toward her in the sickbay after she was first attacked by the aliens and later in Engineering when she tried to explain to him what had been happening to her.  But let’s give him some credit here.  He never refers to her as “the girl”, but only affectionately as “the lass”.  Yes, he is very protective of her, perhaps overly much so to some viewers, but 1) he is considerably older and more experienced in Starfleet service and in space travel than Mira is, and 2) he is also very much in love with her.  At least his heart was in the right place when he tried to explain to her what he thought was the cause of her feelings, even if his common sense was out to lunch. 

It seems like we see Mira passing out a number of times throughout the story like a stereotypical damsel in distress, though in reality it is only twice.  Scotty is always right there by her side to come to the rescue like the true hero of the story.  The transporter scene where she raises her hand to her forehead and we hear the dramatic music was just a bit overdone, to be sure, but, oh well.  At least we get to see them share a beautiful smile together.

Everyone, we are talking about the late 1960s here.  Of course there was sexism.  Yes, I am dismayed to see women in this series occasionally bringing coffee or refilling drinks for men at Enterprise functions or at some alien bar, like good little dutiful females, and crew women being forced to wear super short uniform skirts, but let’s get over it, okay?  It was the 1960s.  I don’t think the story of a man and woman falling deeply in love, true love, ever goes out of style whether it’s 1969 or today.  It has been 47 years at the time of this writing since TLOZ aired (hard to believe that!), and I love that story just as much today as the first time I saw it.

Mira as a “Mary Sue” character:  I have read/heard the occasional criticism of Mira Romaine as a Mary Sue character.  Wikipedia defines this term as follows:  “A Mary Sue is an idealized and seemingly perfect fictional character, a young or low-rank person who saves the day through unrealistic abilities.  Often this character is recognized as an author insert or wish-fulfillment”.  Based on this definition, a careful examination of the facts reveals that Mira Romaine does not qualify as a Mary Sue character for the following reasons: 

1)    She is not “perfect” any more than is any other Starfleet officer or female character in the world of Star Trek.

2)    At 30 (Mira’s age in Star Trek 6) or 36 years of age (based on Jan Shutan’s age at the time of filming) she isn’t that young.  Chekov in “Who Mourns for Adonais?” was 22 by comparison.  Mira is closer to Kirk’s age.

3)    She is not a person of low rank; she is a lieutenant and therefore a commissioned officer.  We see several yeomen in the series, and even Chekov is still an ensign at the time of TLOZ while Uhura and Sulu are both lieutenants.

4)    She does not “save the day” through any extraordinary abilities.  As stated before, Starfleet records indicate she has no unusual abilities outside of a flexible and pliant response to new learning situations.  She is not “psychic” as has been suggested numerous times.  The only reason she was foreseeing events at all was due strictly to the influence of the Zetarians on her mind.  And she does not “save the day”.  It is Kirk, in fact, who saves the day with his idea of putting her in the hyperbaric chamber.  Mira should be credited with 1) having the good sense to truly love and appreciate Montgomery Scott (the only female in the series to do so!) 2) having the courage to agree to go through with Kirk’s plan (although what choice did she have, really?) 3) doing everything in her power to resist the Zetarians once they invaded her body and 4) mustering every ounce of personal strength of will in preventing the Zetarians from killing Scotty when they attacked him.

Scotty in love:  And now we come to poor Scotty who seems to take the brunt of criticism in this episode.  Scotty is a strong, disciplined, fearless, highly intelligent, proud and loyal man who is not afraid of the challenges of command or of engaging in physical combat when the situation warrants.   I especially liked when he risked his career by openly defying Ambassador Robert Fox in “A Taste of Armageddon”.   And who didn’t love it when he punched the Klingon’s lights out in the bar room brawl in “The Trouble with Tribbles”?  [Interesting note: actor Michael Pataki who plays Korax (the Klingon with whom Scotty fights) played Jan Shutan’s husband in the 1978 movie “Dracula’s Dog” aka “Zoltan: Hound of Dracula”.] 

Montgomery Scott is no coward.  Paired with this, he is also more given to emotion than any of the other major characters, although McCoy comes a very close second with his own share of strong emotional reactions throughout the series!  It’s just in Scotty’s nature, and there is nothing wrong with that.   It’s part of what makes Montgomery Scott who he is and why we love him.  As an example, listen carefully to his voice as he is being interrogated on the planet Argelius II after the murder of several women in “Wolf in the Fold”.  At one point he sounds as if he is about to cry, and who can blame him with what had happened?  And although he was being influenced by the alien in “Day of the Dove”, he really goes off the deep end in his verbal attack on poor Mr. Spock!  He gets very defensive in “The Mark of Gideon” when a planetary diplomat questions the operational state of the Enterprise’s transporter, and Spock has to reign him in a time or two on “That Which Survives” when his excitable nature shows itself.  Yes, his emotional nature does, on occasion, get the better of him, but in a crisis situation who wouldn’t want Lt. Commander Montgomery Scott right there? 

The first time we see him showing an active interest in a woman is with Lt. Carolyn Palamas in “Who Mourns for Adonais?” She is a lovely woman, so one cannot blame him for being attracted to her.   She is polite to him, but that is all.  His infatuation with her leads him to exercise very poor judgment in dealing with Apollo--to the point he is attacked three times and nearly killed the last time.  Kirk has to get very tough with him to make Scotty realize he needs to concentrate his efforts on helping them find a way to defeat Apollo instead of worrying about Carolyn.  And it certainly didn’t take long for Scotty to see that he could not hold Carolyn’s interest…if he ever had her interest in the first place, which is doubtful.  The first time Apollo attacks him our lady lieutenant doesn't offer a single word of protest or lift a finger to help him.  Enough said.  Moving on.

Next Kirk has Mr. Scott fixed up for the evening with the belly dancer Kara in “Wolf in the Fold”.  She is an attractive woman, but a belly dancer as a serious love interest?  Two words: puh leez.  A belly dancer could hardly be considered suitable as a serious love interest for a man as intelligent, accomplished and talented as our Chief Engineer.  She is one-night stand material only except, of course, to another Argelian man.  In fact, the man sitting at the table next to Kirk, McCoy and Scotty was/is Kara’s fiancé.

It is not until Lt. Mira Romaine comes aboard the Enterprise in “The Lights of Zetar” that we finally see a woman who is completely worthy of Montgomery Scott’s heart at last.  Many have criticized Scotty for his insipid, schoolboy, head-over-heels feelings of love for Mira, but in my opinion he acts far less foolishly in this episode than he did in “Who Mourns for Adonais?”  At least in TLOZ, Mira actually returns his affections!  There are a number of humorous scenes involving our beloved engineer throughout the series, and I’m especially pleased there are two classic Scotty moments in my favorite episode!  The first is when he and Mira are deep in conversation on the bridge, and Kirk is trying to get his attention.  Who didn’t laugh when he finally looks over and says, “Hmm?”  Even Kirk managed a smile there. The second is when Kirk finally locates him in Sickbay checking on Mira and admonishes him for being there, giving his prognosis of Lt. Romaine, when he should be tending to business in Engineering.  Funny!  

I think it’s safe to assume that a man of Montgomery Scott’s age has been around the block a time or two…or three.  He has had a lifetime to evaluate any number of women who have come along over the years, and it is not until he meets beautiful Mira Romaine that he has found a woman of substance at last.  And it is fitting that she is a woman of substance since our engineer is most definitely a man of substance.  If Mira wasn’t beautiful, both inside and out, as well as intelligent, it is doubtful she would have held Scotty’s interest for long.  Scotty would have done anything in his power for the woman he loved, and it was gut-wrenching for him to realize he could lose Mira so soon after finding her.  

I think James Doohan showed really incredible talent as an actor in portraying such deep and tender love for the character of Mira.  There is not a single moment where he does not show his love and protectiveness for her, and this is maintained throughout the story on his face, in his voice, throughout his every move and interaction with Mira.  There is a very sweet scene at the beginning of the story when the Zetarians first appear on the main viewing screen.  Smiling, Mira slowly steps away from Scotty’s side to look in curiosity at the entity which is fast approaching the ship.  We see Scotty lovingly turning his head to watch her a couple of times, dividing his attention between the engineering station monitor and the woman who occupies his every thought.  And he jumps into action the instant he realizes Mira is suspended in transit in the transporter.  Once she materializes, he is immediately there by her side, taking her hands in his and looking at her lovingly.  Later in the briefing room, he walks in with her, one arm gently around her waist and his other hand gently holding her wrist.  When the full gravity of the Zetarian threat is revealed to all of them, Scotty could not be more loving toward her as he kneels by her side and tenderly offers her all the comfort and encouragement he can give.  Then toward the end of the story, we see such agony and sorrow on his countenance as he places Mira in the pressure chamber, not knowing if the woman he loves will live or die.  Very, very moving to watch.  It may seem overacted and ridiculous to others, but to romantics like me, it is the very essence of a man who is deeply in love.  Very well done, indeed. 

I have studied the HD still frames of TLOZ many, many times on the Trekcore website, enlarging them to study the facial expressions/characteristics of Scotty and Mira, and they reveal clearly the two are very much in love which is a credit to the level of acting of both James and Jan.  In fact, I think the still frames show this even better than the televised episode because viewers must watch continuous motion on TV.  I feel certain it is James Doohan’s performance that captured my heart in TLOZ, and Jan Shutan could not have been more beautiful or perfect as Mira.

The story, as we know, was co-written by the late couple, puppeteer Shari Lewis and her husband, publisher Jeremy Tarcher, and that Shari very much wanted to play the part of Mira.  I am forever grateful to this husband and wife team for helping to create such a beautiful love story for those of us who can appreciate it.  That being said, however, I don’t believe Shari would have been right for the part of Mira.  I cannot imagine anyone other than Jan Shutan in that role, but that, of course, is because she is the only actress to ever portray her.  Jan Shutan is such a beautiful woman, and I think she played the part of Mira exquisitely.  Marc Cushman writes in These Are the Voyages: TOS Season Three…..”Jan Shutan, who won the lead, told Starlog in 1994, “Shari Lewis was supposed to get the part; she wrote it for herself.  When I went in to interview, Shari was there.  I didn’t know she had written it or was up for it, and I got it right away.  Freddie Freiberger brought me in because he thought I was perfect for the role….Freiberger was struck by Shutan’s piercing blue eyes and a face that could so easily drain itself of emotion.”¹⁰ Jan Shutan is indeed the perfect embodiment of Mira Romaine. 

I purchased a copy of the 1994 Starlog magazine with Jan’s interview.  I absolutely loved the article as it seems to be one of the rare interviews with her and one in which she talks at length about her interesting life and her role in Star Trek.  I do, however, have to disagree with one thing she said: 

’One aspect of the series bothered her.  “I remember being embarrassed about wearing that short costume because I had chubby thighs,” she laughs.  “That’s why my family and I laugh so hard every time we see the show—we get hysterical at what I look like in that stupid costume.  Everyone on that show had long, gorgeous legs and I only had these cute little thighs.  I didn’t think they belonged on television.”¹¹

Sorry, Jan, but you have incredible legs!  They are tanned, shapely and gorgeous, and you look very womanly, not girlish.  In fact, I have read various comments on Jan’s looks in this episode that prove this—phrases like “beautiful eyes”, “eyes and thighs”, “nice rack”, “nice gams” (had to look that one up—referring to her thighs) and comments on how beautiful she is.  Jan may well have been uncomfortable wearing that short dress (as I’m sure practically every other actress was, too), but if she thinks she didn’t look incredible, I invite her to go back and watch the scenes in Sickbay--again.  When Scotty first walks in and Mira is lying on the examination table, she props herself up on her elbows, and one can suddenly understand the “nice rack” comment.  She looks slender and tall lying there in this scene as she questions Nurse Chapel.  Later, when Kirk finally locates Scotty via intercom in Sickbay, the camera is positioned in front of Jan and to the side so that viewers get a long, incredible look at her fantastic legs, which I’m sure was done intentionally.  How in the world can Jan Shutan think she didn’t look totally hot?  Work those legs, girl!!  The legs of Majel Barrett, Nichelle Nichols and Sabrina Scharf (Miramanee from "The Paradise Syndrome") aren’t drastically different than Jan’s, and they are all beautiful women.   

I met James Doohan briefly at a couple of ST conventions in years past.  I am thankful the last time I saw him (in the mid 1990s) that I had an opportunity to tell him that I really enjoyed this particular episode and that Jan Shutan seemed like such a nice person.  One thing on my bucket list is that I wish somehow I could meet, or at least tell, Jan Shutan while she is still with us how wonderful she was in this role.  If anyone reading this knows how to get in touch with either Jan or her husband, producer David Levinson, or her son or daughter, please let me know on the comment section following the citations list at the end of this article.

There are Trek fans out there who don’t think any of the characters should ever have a serious love interest.  It would make sense for Kirk not to get too serious, for example, due to his career as a Starfleet captain.  It would also make sense for Spock not get involved due to with his Vulcan nature.  But why can’t Scotty be in love?  

In These Are the Voyages: TOS Season Three we read:  “James Doohan, in his book Beam Me Up, Scotty, said “It was nice to have an episode that focused on Scotty, although his fixation on Mira Romaine certainly seems to come out of nowhere.  This fixation was more of matter of plot convenience, to give the episode more emotional depth, rather than something that flowed naturally out of Scotty’s personality.”

“But why is Scotty out of character?” argued Freiberger.  “Can’t a guy be in love and still love his machines? Can’t he be with a woman who’s so attractive, he’s gonna fall in love?  We wanted to do a love story and we said, ‘Hey, let’s give Scotty a break.’”


Sadly, a key passage of dialogue which would have supported Freiberger’s argument was lost during the editing stage when the filmed episode timed out long.  Scotty had said to Mira, “The Enterprise has been my life.  I love this ship, and I love ever day that I’ve spent on it.  But, until you came aboard, I didn’t know how lonely it is to be free in the galaxy.”¹²

I have to disagree with James Doohan’s comment because, like Fred Freiberger, I don’t think Scotty being in love is out of character for him at all.  (The only unusual thing is that Scotty actually finds a woman worthy of him!)  Yes, he is a Chief Engineer serving aboard the finest starship in the fleet.  But he is also a man with the same emotional and physical needs of anyone else.  Yes, without a doubt he loves his career and the Enterprise dearly, but Scotty’s character is open to emotion.  How one-dimensional he would be if we arbitrarily decide he never needs or deserves to have love in his life.  As a man approaching fifty, Scotty has lived enough of life to realize what has been missing from his.  And that something became clear the moment Lt. Mira Romaine came on board.  She is the perfect woman to complement to his life.      

One note about James Doohan’s reference to “The Lights of Zetar” in Beam Me Up, Scotty.  I’m disappointed that he made no mention of Jan herself in the paragraph pertaining to this episode, because Jan said of him, “I enjoyed doing the whole show, every second of it.  James Doohan was an awfully nice guy, very sweet…”¹³   It may have been just an oversight on his part, but I have to wonder about something.  In his book, James talks about Leslie Parrish (“Who Mourns for Adonais?”) and Tanya Lamani (the belly dancer Kara from “Wolf in the Fold”)—both of whom he dated a few times.  Jan Shutan was married to her first husband when “The Lights of Zetar” was filmed.   In Starlog she relates “I have two children, a boy and a girl.  One is a sculptress and the other, an attorney.  When I did Star Trek, they were little kids.  Someone brought them to the set and William Shatner was great—he was so wonderful to them; he threw them around, played with them, he was just terrific! They adored him.  It was fun; they loved being on the set.  Shatner really knew how important the set visit was to my kids, so he paid special attention to them and teased me a lot, in order to make them feel I was important on the show! That was very nice.” ¹⁴ 

Now it is well known that James Doohan didn’t care for William Shatner, although I think a lot of that developed after Star Trek.  I hope his not mentioning Jan wasn’t because he was put off by Shatner’s attention to both her and her children.  I think it’s more likely that Jan being married with two kids and therefore off limits from a dating perspective may be why he doesn’t say anything, but who knows?  Now if she had been single at the time…….hmm.

Many think Mira is yet another ill-fated romance for Scotty and that they part ways for good after she returns to Memory Alpha.  We don’t know that, and in fact, I think it is highly unlikely, given how much in love they are.  Had the Zetar threat never occurred, one can safely assume her stay on Memory Alpha would have been relatively brief.  Once the computer banks were destroyed, however, she likely would have needed to stay there for an extended time to complete her work.   Mira does state early in the Blish story, “When I get my permanent assignment, I hope it will be the Enterprise.”  Scotty replies, “You just better make sure of it.”¹⁵ This tells us that Memory Alpha was only a temporary assignment, not a permanent one.   I, for one, can’t believe for a minute that Scotty and Mira would not have gotten married at some point (and probably sooner rather than later), and with some of Kirk’s influence in Starfleet, Mira would have been permanently assigned to the Enterprise. 

Scotty and Mira elsewhere in ST movies and fiction:

ST:TOS episodes weren’t designed to bring in a new guest character and keep him/her coming back for further story development. The only exception to that would be the character of Harry Mudd (“Mudd’s Women”, “I, Mudd”).  In every other storyline characters come and characters go. That, however, is not to say that Mira might not have been there with Scotty all along, behind the scenes of whatever the current storyline was, even in the ST movies. Mira’s presence in Scotty’s life simply isn’t addressed except in novels such as Memory Prime and some other works.  And just because someone writes a novel or a movie script for Star Trek a certain way, we need to remember this is science fiction.

It’s a shame that she isn’t mentioned once in any of the movies.  To my shocked surprise I read online there is a deleted scene in Star Trek Beyond where Scotty (Simon Pegg) turns down having a drink with Kirk at Starbase Yorktown because he has a dinner date with Lt. Romaine!   Okay, who-the-hell decided that scene should be cut out? Simon Pegg, if you ever get the chance to read this, I truly hope you can bring Lt. Romaine to the big screen in an upcoming movie.  A steamy love scene between the two of you would be perfect!  (And Keenser…that's one scene you need to sit out, dude.)   Deleted scene from Star Trek Beyond  And Chris Doohan, I wish that I could have seen you with Lt. Romaine in Star Trek Continues!
To my delight I’ve read several fan fiction stories over the years where Mira and Scotty are married (or at least together) and are very much in love.  I read somewhere in Trek literature long ago that they married but also continued on with their individual careers, seeing one another as often as possible. 

Probably the most disturbing story I’ve come across in Trek literature regarding Scotty and Mira is the story, “Ancient History” by Robert J. Mendenhall. ¹⁶ After the events of the ST:TNG episode “Relics” where Scotty is rescued from a transporter beam in which he has been trapped for 75 years,  he runs into a man in an alien bar that he has come to hate, a former friend, Capt. Morgan Bateson (who, like Scotty, has also been thrust in the future).  We learn that after many years of being out of Mira’s life, Scotty comes to visit her on Memory Alpha to set things straight between them (i.e., to let them both move on with their lives) and learns that Mira is now married to Capt. Bateson, someone he considered a good friend.  Knowing that she has moved on from him (due to him letting the relationship go) causes Scotty to act like a petulant twit toward Bateson.  If Scotty wanted to clear the air between Mira and himself so that they could move on (i.e., not be together), he shouldn’t have been so surprised or hurt that she already had.   If he didn’t want her, he should have been happy that she had at last found someone who did.  Instead, he reacts like a jealous jilted lover.  He didn’t want her but didn’t want anyone else to have her either, apparently.   (Men often want to be the ones doing the dumping and not the other way around).  In fact, Scotty states that Mira stayed on Memory Alpha for many years after Bateson was presumed dead before returning to Earth.  She then took a teaching position at the academy and eventually married again, never regaining her interest in him.  Funny how he would know all of that if he supposedly had no interest in her.  Also incredibly sad, considering she is long deceased by the time of this story.


While I do understand and appreciate that all Trek writers and fans have their own ideas of how characters should act and how story lines should go, let me say this:  Mira Romaine was a once-in-a-lifetime woman for Montgomery Scott, and he damn well knew it.  He would have to have been t-h-e stupidest man ever born to have loved Mira as dearly as he did only to let her drift away for good, preferring to be alone for the remainder of his life with his engines.  In my Star Trek universe, there is no earthly way Lt. Commander Montgomery Scott could be that stupid.  No possible way.  This story line, in my opinion, committed nothing short of sacrilege to the deep and tender love Mira and Scotty had for one another.  It is not a bad story in terms of writing, but the way it deals with Scotty and Mira drifting apart over time and her eventually marrying another man (two in fact) is tragic beyond description.  As a lover of TLOZ, I could never think of desecrating the love between Mira and Scotty in that way.   I never really got in to ST:TNG or any of the other numerous Trek spinoffs, so I really have no idea who this Capt. Bateson is (other than he was played by Kelsey Grammer) or why on earth someone would have him married to Mira Romaine of all people.  Sorry, but in my Star Trek universe, Mira Romaine and Montgomery Scott were destined for one another and only one another. 

I also don’t especially care for one of the fan fiction series that has Scotty involved with Lt. Charlene Masters in numerous stories.  These stories are interesting reads, certainly, and the writer does do a good job with them.  If Scotty had never met Mira Romaine, well okay I could see him eventually finding someone.  Out of curiosity I looked up the character of Charlene Masters and learned she was actually a very brief character on the ST:TOS episode “The Alternative Factor”.  I remember the episode but had never paid much attention to her character.  When I actually went back and saw what she looked like I thought WTH??  I mean, are you kidding me?  (It’s mostly her hair style).  No offense to the late actress who portrayed Charlene, but if Scotty is going to go non-Caucasian, he wouldn’t find a more beautiful or more worthy choice aboard the Enterprise than Lt. Uhura.  (And yes, there are fan fiction stories that have Scotty romantically involved with Uhura and some in which he is involved with other fictional female crewmembers).

Here is one problem with the Scotty-Charlene romance angle.  We read in These are the Voyages: TOS Season Three:  “One of the changes (Fred) Freiberger wanted concerned the story element that Mira Romaine worked in engineering and reported to Scotty.  To Frieberger, Mira working in engineering made Scotty’s infatuation with the pretty mechanic seem like sexual harassment to an underling.  Instead, Mira would be a specialist temporarily sent to the Enterprise, assigned to work with Scotty, not under his command…”¹⁷ Okay, if Charlene is Scotty’s engineering assistant, doesn’t this create the same professional conflict of interest, as it would have if Mira had been his assistant?  I think in one of these stories it is stated that such a relationship is allowed, but Scotty was hesitant to go beyond the bounds of friendship with Charlene, at least initially. Even in today’s world romances between supervisors and subordinates, instructors and students, etc. almost always go directly against policy and for good reason:  sooner or later it usually leads to trouble. 

I also don’t care for Scotty using sexually explicit words like “f**k” and “c**t” directly to a woman as he does in one of these stories.  Montgomery Scott is nothing if not a gentleman, and even if he was with someone he considered to be a prostitute, I still think it would be completely out of character for him to use such vulgar terms to or about any woman.  I mean really….can you imagine James Doohan as Scotty saying those words to any woman?  Or Chris Doohan? Or Simon Pegg? Really?

Mira appears in one of these Charlene stories and is portrayed as being completely out of character to what we see in TLOZ (obviously because the writer does not like the character of Mira Romaine.  To be fair, the writer also stated a disdain for the character of Carolyn Palamas in another story).  Mira is written to act immaturely in this story and is treated poorly as a result, although she and Charlene eventually come to tolerate and even have some respect and a modest liking for one another in the end.  Mira Romaine never acted unprofessionally towards others like this in TLOZ (although she did get just a bit huffy at Dr. McCoy once), and it is unthinkable to me to have her doing so in someone’s work of fiction.  Again, these are not bad stories, but Scotty “doing” Charlene Masters --and yes I mean “doing” as we understand that phrase nowadays—at all, let alone after he had fallen in love with Mira is unthinkable, but again this is just my opinion.  I believe there is good reason that Charlene Masters is shown so briefly in one episode while Mira Romaine and Scotty have an entire episode devoted to themselves.

In conclusion:  It’s regrettable that so many people think TLOZ is such a stupid story because it’s not.  Aside from flaws in the technical writing of this episode, I think most of the critics are people who simply 1) don’t like love stories in general, 2) especially don’t like love stories in the world of Star Trek, and 3) don’t think Scotty should ever have a love story.  As stated previously, several season three episodes are lacking in the same appeal as a number of first and second season episodes, but let’s take TLOZ for what it is.  We have yet another alien entity (in this case totally alien) that the Enterprise crew must deal with, but also a last, fitting love story for one of the series most beloved characters.  Why does it have to be more than that? Please, just let it be.  Stop ripping this episode apart, for heaven’s sake!  It isn’t intended to be Shakespearean drama or some highly complex technical plot worthy of a Pulitzer Prize.  It’s a love story, and a story of alien possession and exorcism set within the world of Star Trek, so let’s just accept that for what it is, okay?  As Marc Cushman notes in These Are the Voyages; TOS Season Three: “…The theme, which is both subtle and only somewhat realized, is the power of love and the importance of free will”. ¹⁸

Yes, you may find my critique of this episode hopelessly sappy and overly romanticized, but that is my privilege as a lover of the original series and of this episode in particular to interpret the story as I see it.  If it is viewed first and foremost as a love story, it needs little other analysis.  As to how all the technicalities of the aliens and their attempted possession of Mira line up with the accepted laws of the Star Trek universe, sorry, but one would have to have consulted writers Shari Lewis and Jeremy Tarcher on that aspect. Perhaps if the couple had had more time to work with other technical writers for the series, some of the nitpicking scientific details could have been dealt with better, which would have been time well spent on this episode.  But that is water under the bridge.   I’m only appreciating a very beautiful Star Trek love story!  Live long and prosper, Scotty and Mira and the fans out there who love them!!


James Blish.  “Star Trek 6”.  New York, New York: Bantam Books, Inc., 1972. ¹ p. 26, ³ˉ⁴ p. 34, ⁶ p. 45, ⁷ p. 39, ¹⁵ p. 35.

Marc Cushman with Susan Osborn.  “These Are The Voyages – TOS:  Season Three.” San Diego, California: Jacobs/Brown Press, 2015.  ⁸ p. 492, ¹⁰ p. 495, ¹² p. 497, ¹⁷ p. 498, ¹⁸ p. 492.

Pat Jankiewicz.  “Star of Zetar”.  Starlog magazine Feb. 1994 #199. ¹¹ p. 59, ¹³ˉ¹⁴ p. 58.

Alva Underwood. “Star Trek Reader’s Guide to the Novels:  1994 – 1996 (Volume 8).  AuthorHouse, 2012. ² p. 199.  ⁵ Act One, ⁹ Sets and Props

Robert J. Mendenhall. “Ancient History” (TOS Short Story, Strange New Worlds VI, 2003). ¹⁶

Photo Sources:, Pinterest, Trent Klein (Twitter), personal.