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Carolyn Palamas

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Carolyn Palamas

Carolyn Palamas
Gender: Female
Species: Human
Affiliation: Starfleet
Rank: Lieutenant
Occupation: Archaeology and anthropology officer aboard the USS Enterprise
Status: Alive (2267)
Played by: Leslie Parrish
Lieutenant Carolyn Palamas endowed with new garments by Apollo.jpg

Lieutenant Palamas receiving her regalia from Apollo

Lieutenant Palamas receiving her regalia from Apollo

Lieutenant Carolyn Palamas was the archaeology and anthropology officer on the USS Enterprise when it visited Pollux IV in 2267. Her expertise in archaeology, anthropology and ancient civilizations made her a useful part of the landing party -- the crew was confronted by an alien of unknown name and purpose, but who seemed familiar with the Earth of 5,000 years ago. This alien soon identified himself as Apollo, and claimed to be the being ancient Greeks believed was a god.

Apollo meets Carolyn

Apollo meets Carolyn

Apollo was moved by Palamas' beauty, and quickly became infatuated with her. He transformed her standard uniform into a long peplos, which he felt was more appropriate attire for his future queen. On several occasions, he left the remainder of the landing party alone, taking the young lady elsewhere to entertain her. This created tension between the alien and Scotty, who was also interested in Palamas; on two occasions, this drove Scotty to attack Apollo, with unfortunate results for the ship's chief engineer. And, she began to develop feelings for Apollo, in return.

Finally, out of options, Kirk confronted Palamas, and demanded that she reject Apollo. Kirk knew Apollo was desperately lonely, and knew also that Apollo thrived on attention and worship -- especially Carolyn Palamas' attention. At first, she refused, claiming she loved the alien. Kirk forced her to confront an ugly truth: although Kirk was fine with Apollo being Carolyn's love interest the lives of everyone, on the planet and on the ship, depended on her remembering her duty. She became uncertain; struggling to balance her view of Apollo as a kind and paternal benefactor with Kirk's view of Apollo as slave-master. Ultimately, Kirk reminded her that she was human, and renewed her connection -- and duty -- to the rest of humanity, in the form of her shipmates and friends aboard the Enterprise. Additionally, the Captain implied that once Apollo achieved his ends (making her the mother of the thousands of gods he wanted), he would have no more need of her and kill her.

Heavy-hearted, Palamas left to meet with Apollo at his call, and on her captain's orders she rejected him, pretending that her entire association with him was part of her study of alien civilizations. Apollo was first confused, hurt, and then enraged. He expended a great deal of power to impress her, summoning a storm and crafting a gigantic image of himself in the sky. Kirk's implications for Carolyn's life and safety prove to be right, as Apollo uses the storm he summons to scar Carolyn's face and dishevel her hair.

About this time, Spock and the Enterprise crew managed to pierce Apollo's hand in places, and they attacked his power source through these holes. Apollo, having expended much of his energy in his rage, was unable to prevent the destruction of his temple. Without it, he was powerless, and he "spread himself on the winds", joining his old companions in oblivion, an event that left Palamas in tears. (TOS: "Who Mourns for Adonais?")

Background Edit

Palamas was played by actress Leslie Parrish.

The original teleplay, and James Blish's adaptation, contained an additional event that did not make the filmed episode: at the end of the story, Carolyn Palamas is revealed to be pregnant with Apollo's child. In the novelization the child is a daughter, Carolyn would name Athena. Also, in the original script the character is named Carolyn Bassett. [1]

Peter David's New Frontier character Mark McHenry was a descendant of this child, and possessed at least some of these beings' powers. Palamas also has a major role in the Judith and Garfield Reeves-Stevens novel Prime Directive.

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