Star Trek: Season 3 (1968 - 1969)


Season 3
Star Trek

Critics Consensus

Budget cuts leave the stars of Star Trek stranded among shoddy set pieces and clunky writing -- though even at its worst fans may still enjoy its campy delights.



Critic Ratings: 10


Audience Score

User Ratings: 191

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Air date: Sep 20, 1968

A mysterious alien kidnaps Mr. Spock's brain in this appropriately titled episode of the original Star Trek television series. The theft occurs soon after the Enterprise encounters an unknown starship, which beams a female crew member on board the Enterprise. Before the enigmatic woman can be captured, she somehow knocks the entire crew unconscious. When they awaken, a medical exam shows that Spock's brain has been removed. While Dr. McCoy does his best to keep the stricken Vulcan's body alive, Captain Kirk embarks on a quest to, against all odds, recover his friend's brain in enough time for a successful transplant.

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Air date: Sep 27, 1968

The Enterprise becomes involved in a secret espionage mission to steal technology from the evil Romulans in this installment of the enduringly popular science fiction series. The covert nature of the mission forces Captain Kirk to act in a manner that to the crew appears unprofessional and downright bizarre, ordering the Enterprise to cross the border of the Neutral Zone, violating the Federation's treaty with the Romulans. The ship is soon captured by a Romulan fleet, and Captain Kirk and Mr. Spock are taken aboard the head vessel, where Kirk's irrational behavior continues. During their meeting with the Romulans, Kirk and Spock get into a violent confrontation, which appears to conclude with Spock's killing the captain in self-defense. Spock apparently assumes command, but this proves to be a ruse allowing Kirk -- who was in fact merely paralyzed -- to begin his real mission. With the help of several other high-ranking officers, Kirk attempts to investigate and hijack the Romulan ship's "cloaking device," a piece of technology that allows the Romulan ships to become invisible.

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Air date: Oct 4, 1968

The Enterprise's attempt to evacuate a planet threatened with oncoming destruction backfires when Captain Kirk is left behind. This installment of the well-known science fiction series begins when Kirk, Mr. Spock, and Dr. McCoy arrive upon the planet, planning to warn the native tribal culture about a rapidly approaching asteroid. The trio are diverted from their mission, however, by the need to investigate an odd, monolith-like device that appears to be far beyond the native's technological ability. While exploring, Kirk enters the device and disappears; unable to find their captain, Spock and McCoy return to the Enterprise. Having given up on evacuating the planet, they now hope to redirect the asteroid away from the planet. Meanwhile, Kirk emerges from the device, having lost his memory. Unaware of his identity, Kirk joins the planet's native culture, and is welcomed as a new tribal leader. Meanwhile, however, Spock and McCoy are racing against time to save his life -- and that of everyone else on the planet.

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Air date: Oct 11, 1968

Captain Kirk faces one of his more unexpected challenges in this third-season episode of the enduringly popular science-fiction series: saving the Enterprise from the malicious influence of a group of children. While visiting a distant research outpost, the starship finds the aftermath of a bloody massacre, which only the colony's children survived. These children, oddly unaffected by the violence around them, are brought aboard the Enterprise, where they proceed to win over the hearts of the ship's crew. Captain Kirk, however, soon realizes that these children are in fact controlling the crew's minds. Kirk discovers that the children are being used by an alien being known as Gorgon, who intends to take over the Enterprise. He naturally attempts to stop the impending takeover but finds himself opposed by his own crew, who have fallen victim to the children's control.

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Air date: Oct 18, 1968

Spock is among those afflicted when madness grips the crew of the Enterprise after the arrival onboard of the Medusan Ambassador, whose terrible appearance, if gazed upon, drives the beholder insane.

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Air date: Oct 25, 1968

In this episode of the famed science fiction television series, thanks to the interference of a powerful alien species, the crew of the starship Enterprise is forced to test their mettle as Old West-style gunfighters. In response to the Enterprise's unintentional destruction of one of their warning devices, the aliens choose to answer violence with violence and subject the Enterprise's command crew to a punishment drawn from their own minds. The image they choose is that of Tombstone, Arizona, and Kirk, McCoy, and the others find themselves cast as the Clanton Gang on the eve of the famed O.K. Corral conflict. The Enterprise officers must find a way to escape from their designated roles and free themselves from the illusion before they find themselves at the losing end of a gunfight.

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Air date: Nov 1, 1968

The crews of the Enterprise and an enemy Klingon vessel find themselves in uncomfortably close quarters during this episode of the 1960s science fiction series. When both the Enterprise and a Klingon warship claim to be responding to a distress call from a disputed planet, Captain Kirk attempts to settle the matter diplomatically, agreeing to beam a number of the Klingons aboard his ship. However, almost immediately after the Klingons are aboard, the Enterprise is hit with turbulence; the resulting damage traps the Klingons and a number of Enterprise crew members together in the same part of the ship. Old hatreds soon rise to the surface, and the tension brings the groups to the brink of a private war -- but the situation soon changes when they realize that a mysterious third party may have had a hand in orchestrating the conflict for purposes of its own.

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Air date: Nov 8, 1968

Dr. McCoy considers leaving the Enterprise behind in favor of life on a strange planet in this episode from the third season of the popular science fiction series. McCoy's actions are in part motivated by the discovery that he has contracted a rare illness and will soon die. This diagnosis comes immediately before he is called upon to explore, along with Captain Kirk and Mr. Spock, a planet called Yonada. Yonada is in fact not a planet, but a hollowed-out asteroid ruled by the Oracle, a computer who the Yonada residents consider a deity. During their exploration, McCoy strikes up a romantic rapport with one of the civilization's priestesses, who asks the doctor to stay. In light of his impending death, McCoy believes this may be the best way to go, while Spock and Kirk attempt to convince him otherwise.

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Air date: Nov 15, 1968

Investigating the disappearance of the starship Defiant, the Enterprise finds the vessel drifting with a dead crew, who apparently killed each other in a fit of communal madness. Captain Kirk beams aboard the Defiant to investigate but becomes stranded due to a transporter malfunction; indeed, he is still on board when the ship vanishes into another dimension. In Kirk's absence, the Enterprise is attacked by a ship of Tholians, who create an energy-based "web" to trap the ship. Meanwhile, the crew of the Enterprise appears to be falling victim to the same madness that destroyed the Defiant. This episode of the popular science fiction series centers on the attempts of Mr. Spock -- left in command of the Enterprise -- to rescue Kirk and free the ship from the Tholian web, while dealing with an increasingly insane crew.

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Air date: Nov 22, 1968

Captain Kirk and several other Enterprise crew members are captured by a race of aliens with immense mental powers in this episode of the original Star Trek television series. The trouble begins soon after the Enterprise's arrival on the planet of Platonious, so that Dr. McCoy can provide medical attention to the Platonian leader. After McCoy's healing mission is accomplished, the Platonians demonstrate their ingratitude by capturing the doctor, Captain Kirk, and several other Enterprise crew members. Using their advanced powers of telekinesis, the aliens transform the Enterprise crew members into marionettes, performing humiliating acts against their will for the Platonians' amusement. Kirk and his crew plot an escape from the aliens' control, finding an ally in Alexander, a sympathetic Platonian born without the power of telekinesis.

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Star Trek: Season 3 Photos

Tv Season Info

Captain Kirk, Mr Spock, Dr McCoy and the USS Enterprise crew seek out new civilisations in this seminal sci-fi series.


William Shatner
as Captain James T. Kirk
Leonard Nimoy
as Mr. Spock
DeForest Kelley
as Dr. Leonard McCoy
James Doohan
as Engineer Montgomery Scott
Majel Barrett
as Nurse Chapel
Nathan Jung
as Genghis Khan
Barbara Babcock
as Tholian Voice
Sandra Smith
as Dr. Janice Lester
Lee Bergere
as Lincoln
Ron Soble
as Wyatt Earp
Harry Landers
as Dr. Arthur Coleman
Sabrina Scharf
as Miramanee
Rex Holman
as Morgan
Ian Wolfe
as Mr. Atoz
James Wellman
as Prof. Starnes
Libby Irwin
as Rindonian
Diana Ewing
as Droxine
Jay Robinson
as Lord Petri
John Winston
as Lt. Kyle
Naomi Pollack
as Lt. Rahda
Jason Wingreen
as Dr. Linke
Richard Geary
as Andorian
Davis Roberts
as Dr. Ozaba
Gary Downey
as Tellarite
Charles Maxwell
as Virgil Earp
Phillip Pine
as Col. Green
Bill Zuckert
as Johnny Behan
Ted Scott
as Eraclitus
Elizabeth Rogers
as Lieutenant Palmer
Gregg Palmer
as Rancher
James Doohan
as Melkotian Buoy
Show More Cast

News & Interviews for Star Trek: Season 3

Critic Reviews for Star Trek Season 3

All Critics (10) | Top Critics (3)

And perhaps Star Trek's most enduring achievement was to change the way we think about TV. Before Kirk went into space, shows were loved but disposable.

Oct 13, 2017 | Full Review…

And most significant of all, he wrote complex, multilayered morality tales: stories set in the 23rd century, but with striking parallels for those in the 20th. His achievements can hardly be overstated.

Oct 13, 2017 | Full Review…

Talk about going out on a sour note.

Oct 12, 2017 | Full Review…
Top Critic

The less said about the reduced-budget third season the better.

Oct 30, 2017 | Full Review…

It's just an unlikely space opera, overlong, clunkily put together and not the slightest bit amusing.

Oct 13, 2017 | Rating: 5/10 | Full Review…

The point that I may be beating into the ground is that if you are willing to accept that the story is more important than the props, then you may find something to appreciate in the original "Star Trek."

Jun 14, 2018 | Full Review…

Without recourse to expensive effects or sets, episodes like The Empath are essentially theatrical, and some scenes are surprisingly intense.

Oct 13, 2017 | Rating: 3.5/5 | Full Review…

The actors seem tired, bored in most scenes. Even [William] Shatner, which is saying something.

Oct 13, 2017 | Rating: 4/10 | Full Review…

The most convincing argument one can give in favour of Season 3 is that even a bad season of Star Trek is worth watching.

Oct 3, 2017 | Rating: 3/5 | Full Review…

Season one changed the genre as we know it, and the second season equally so; it's just a crying shame that the third couldn't have made it a hat trick.

Oct 14, 2017 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Star Trek: Season 3

  • Jul 19, 2020
    they had big budget cuts in this season and it shows, even tho compared to the other two seasons its not great, it was still worth watching!
  • Feb 10, 2020
    Unfortunately, this was a weak season, Winning the title for so long, but Jar Jar Abrams came and this season rules when comparing to Jar Jar
  • Aug 07, 2019
    Oh, I remember this was cringe worthy. How they ended the last half of season two with such great shows only to follow them up with this awful last season. Still, they had some good shows in it. The whole feel of the show changed this season and we all felt it. It was common discussion at the time. The worst one was The Way to Eden. This last year they tried to cater to the hippies and lost it all to be cancelled that year. Luckily, the hard core Trekkies kept it going in syndication.
  • Jul 13, 2018
    Freak of the week with some good episodes mixed in.
  • Jan 15, 2018
    Thank god they finally canned this travesty of a Star Trek show to make way for bigger and better things.
  • Oct 28, 2017
    the original nuf said lol
  • Sep 16, 2017
    7/10 With the third season and a limited budget, Star Trek takes a turn for the... weird. Season 3 is extremely hit-and-miss (i.e. hits like “The Tholian Web” and misses like “Spock’s Brain”). But thanks to its still lovable characters and campy charm, Star Trek: Season 3 still pulls through.
  • Jun 04, 2017
    i like all of the seasons.
  • Feb 28, 2017
    After the first two seasons of Star Trek: The Original Series, the show was set to be cancelled by its network. However, after receiving a flood of letters from devoted fans that wanted to keep the show on the air, the network renewed it for one more season. As much as I hate to say it, those fans weren't rewarded with material nearly up to the par of those first two seasons. Since the show was not the culutural phenomena that it has now become, the network buried it in a late-night time slot and forced creator Gene Roddenberry to operate on a shoe-string budget. As a result, the special effects or sets that are needed in a show which regularly shows viewers spectacular events are severely hampered in this season. One episode takes place in an empty Enterprise, one is set in a pitch-black room much of the time, and another takes place in a deserted old West town (as no money existed to pay extras). It seemed like even the quality of the writing went downhill as well. The characters seem a little "off" at times, and the plots aren't quite as inventive as they were previously. Everything was just out of whack. Really, the only highlight from this Third Season is the episode "All Our Yesterdays", which is classic Trek. Other than that, though, there were just a whole lot of episodes that were subpar or average-at-best. So, while I consider "Star Trek" to be one of the classic shows of all-time, I really don't have too many good things to say about this final season. It's sad, considering that the show had so much potential and was essentially abandoned by its network. Die-hard fans can still watch this season knowing that their time with the iconic characters is running short, but compared to the first two seasons the overall quality is significantly diminished.
  • Nov 14, 2016
    I remember watching the first episode of Star Trek when it originally aired in 1966 as a young 6 year old. It quickly became one of my "must watch" shows.

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