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Albatross (episode)

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"Albatross"
TAS, Episode 2x04
Production number: 22019
First aired: 28 September 1974
18th of 22 produced in TAS
20th of 22 released in TAS
  {{{nNthReleasedInSeries_Remastered}}}th of 22 released in TAS Remastered  
99th of 728 released in all
Dramians
Written By
Dario Finelli

Directed By
Bill Reed
5275.6 - 5276.8 (2270)
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Following a mission to the planet Dramia, Dr. McCoy is held prisoner, accused of mass genocide caused by a deadly plague committed nineteen years earlier during a previous expedition. When the Enterprise attempts to investigate, it too becomes infected.

Summary Edit

"Captain's log: Stardate 5275.6. Preparing to beam aboard the Enterprise following the successful completion of delivery of medical supplies to the planet Dramia in the remote Dramian star system."

The Supreme Prefect thanks Captain Kirk and the Federation for their assistance. Kirk signals for a beam out when Commander Demos, the Dramian head of security, informs the landing party that he has a warrant in order for the arrest and trial of Dr. Leonard McCoy, chief medical officer of the Enterprise. Demos claims that nineteen years earlier, McCoy headed a mass inoculation program for a Saurian virus on Dramia II, but after he departed a massive plague ravaged the planet virtually wiping out the entire population. Kirk argues for McCoy but Demos says, "The trial will tell, captain."

Kirk, aware of the swift Dramian justice system, worries about McCoy's future in the hands of the "kangaroo court." Kirk is adamant that McCoy would not harm other beings but the doctor thinks that the plague may have been his fault. Kirk doesn't buy it so he and Spock begin an investigation into the plague. Spock finds some records of the plague that states it is of unknown origin and characterized by a change in the coloring of skin pigmentation, debilitation and death. Certain species have a natural immunity, most notably Vulcans. They realize they must go to Dramia II to draw some conclusions.

"Captain's log: Stardate 5275.8. Underway for planet Dramia II for investigation of McCoy case. We are beyond subspace communications with Starfleet and proceeding under my own authority."

ETA at the planet is four hours, however, en route they are pursued by Demos. Kirk asks Sulu to "inadvertently" leave the hangar doors open so Demos can "sneak" aboard. The Enterprise entraps the Dramian ship and Demos orders Kirk to report his actions to the Federation. Kirk says he can't because they're out of communication range. Demos tells Kirk he will contact the Federation himself but Kirk tells him that he can't because his ship is impounded. He is a stowaway, after all. So Demos must accompany them.

"Captain's log: Stardate 5275.9. We are approaching the planet Dramia II where we hope to find the answers to the questions of Dr. McCoy's guilt or innocence. Situation normal. Aurora reported in the sector, however."

When the ship passes through the orbiting aurora, radiation levels are intense but non-lethal. Kirk figures that is good because it is now safe to beam down to the planet.

On the planet, Kirk, Spock and Demos find a man living among the ruins, who attacks Kirk and then breaks down crying. He was away from the planet when the plague struck and returned home to find his homeworld ravaged by the virus. In his grief, he and others like him chose to stay. There were no actual survivors of the plague. Another Dramian, named Kol-Tai, appears and claims that he is a survivor - McCoy saved his life when he treated him for the Saurian virus. He adds that a man who saves lives does not also kill. Kol-Tai agrees to testify of McCoy's behalf, but the crew must return to Dramia I quickly or it will be too late. Kirk orders warp six and Scotty replies, "I'll pour on the coals, captain."

En route, Kol-Tai turns blue, signaling he has the plague and has brought it on board the Enterprise. Kirk insists that he be saved, not because he can exonerate McCoy, but because they place a value on all life. Noting Demos' startled reaction, Kirk asks, "Does that shock you, commander?" Demos is shocked, but it is at Kirk's color - he is also turning blue. The entire crew is infected, except an immune Spock, so Kirk turns command over to him.

"Captain's log: Stardate 5276.4. We are in orbit around the planet Dramia under the conditions of general quarantine. As commanding officer I have ordered the activation of General Order Six."

That order is to self-destruct the ship if everyone on board has perished, in order to protect others from contracting the virus. Kirk insists they must get McCoy to find an antidote, but the Supreme Prefect thinks Spock is pulling an elaborate trick. Spock's only option is to illegally break McCoy out of prison. On the ship, McCoy discovers he is innocent and the aurora is the cause of the plague. By using blood samples from the infected, McCoy cures the plague and shares the information with the Dramians.

"Captain's log: Stardate 5276.8. Preparing to beam aboard the Enterprise following the Dramian ceremonies honoring Dr. Leonard McCoy for his significant achievements in the field of interstellar medicine."

The Dramians agree to forget about the unorthodox manner of McCoy's "release", and Kirk will forget about their "stowaway". When Spock scolds McCoy for forgetting to dispense vitamins to the Enterprise crew, McCoy points out what they've just been through. Spock tells him "Hippocrates would not approved of such lame excuses," and Bones begs Kirk, "Jim, if I'm ever in jail again don't send that Vulcan to release me. Just let me rot!"

Memorable quotes Edit

"Spock, have you and Jim gone out of your minds? Why, this is a jailbreak."
"Doctor... just come with me please."
"No, Spock. It's illegal, that's what it is. Besides, I must stand trial, I have to find out!"
"Doctor, you WILL stand trial. You WILL find out. After you find an antidote for the plague which is about to kill everyone aboard the Enterprise."
"Plague, why didn't you tell me?"
"You wouldn't give me a chance. You realize doctor, if you go, and fail to find an antidote, you too will die."
"I'm a doctor, Spock... a doctor. Get us beamed aboard!"

- McCoy and Spock


"Blast it Spock, work harder. They're in the terminal stage!"

- McCoy


"Bones... that's it. Aurora... changing... color."
"Jim! Aurora, what... Spock, feed in the data without mentioning the color change symptoms."
"That's it doctor. The color change symptoms were misleading the computer."
"Because they were caused by an aurora!"

- Kirk, McCoy, Spock and, McCoy again


"... and I'm ready to get back to some of that monotonous, ol' routine sickbay work"
"Including, I would hope some of that "monotonous, ol'" dispensing of the regular vitamin rations to the crew."
"What is that supposed to mean?"
"Well, you have been derelict in your duties, of late, doctor."
"Spock, you know as well as I do what we've all just been through."
"Hippocrates would not have approved of lame excuses, doctor."

- McCoy and Spock

Background Information Edit

McCoy command uniform
A production inconsistency in this episode

Video and DVD releases Edit

Links and references Edit

Starring Edit

And

Also starring Edit

Guest star Edit

Background characters Edit

References Edit

2251; antibody; aurora; auroral plague; coal; Dramian system; Dramia; Dramia II; Dramian; Dramian Hall of Justice; Dramian patrol ship; Earth; Earthling; General Order 6; Hippocrates; kangaroo court; meteor shower; quarantine; radiation; Saurian virus; shuttlebay; skin; Starfleet; General Order #6; subspace communication; Supreme Prefect; vitamin ration; Vulcan; warrant


Previous episode:
"The Practical Joker"
Star Trek: The Animated Series
Season 2
Next episode:
"How Sharper Than a Serpent's Tooth"

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