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The Survivor (episode)

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"The Survivor"
TAS, Episode 1x06
Production number: 22005
First aired: 13 October 1973
5th of 22 produced in TAS
6th of 22 released in TAS
  {{{nNthReleasedInSeries_Remastered}}}th of 0 released in TAS Remastered  
85th of 728 released in all
Carter Winston
Written By
James Schmerer

Directed By
Hal Sutherland
5143.3 (2269)
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For the TNG episode with a similar title, please see "The Survivors".

The Enterprise encounters the ship of a noted Federation philanthropist, missing for nearly five years, near the Romulan Neutral Zone.


"Captain's log: Stardate 5143.3. While patrolling the edge of the Romulan Neutral Zone the USS Enterprise has changed course to assist a one-manned vessel which has fallen victim to a meteor swarm. Sensors indicate the occupant is still alive."

The vessel is registered to Carter Winston, who has been missing for more than five years. Captain Kirk, Spock and Dr. McCoy greet the long-lost philanthropist. By coincidence, his fiancée, Lieutenant Anne Nored, is aboard the Enterprise.

Spock tells Winston that they will notify her as soon as they verify his identity with his identity tapes. When McCoy protests, Spock reminds him that it is standard operating procedure, along with a medical exam McCoy must perform. Winston agrees and produces the tapes.

"The Enterprise has rescued a living legend, the foremost space trader of our time. Carter Winston has acquired a dozen fortunes, only to use his wealth, time and again, to assist Federation colonies in times of need or disaster."

Winston's readings are a little off on his medical exam. McCoy makes note of it but passes it off as equipment in need of recalibration.

When everything checks out Kirk says, "It seems we'll have a distinguished passenger for a while." Immediately following his reunion with Anne, Winston tells her that he has changed and can no longer marry her, ever.

Winston goes to see Kirk about his ship but Kirk informs him it has only scrap value. While there Winston shapeshifts and renders Kirk unconscious. Nurse Chapel can find nothing wrong with the instruments but the readings are still slightly off.

McCoy notes some of the rest of the tests are off while some are not and vows he will find the answer. Winston takes Kirk's form and orders Sulu to steer the Enterprise into the Neutral Zone. Spock says, "It does not seem prudent to take the risk of trespass into the zone." Winston/Kirk assures Spock that it is vital. Spock is still not comfortable with the order but Winston/Kirk insists.

"Ship's log: Stardate 5148.7, First Officer Spock reporting. The captain's course change has taken us deep into the Romulan Neutral Zone."

When the real Kirk recovers, he and Spock discover the ruse and Kirk orders the ship out of the Neutral Zone at warp 8. After speaking to Winston/McCoy, Kirk and Spock realize he was not McCoy at all. The real McCoy wakes up on the lab floor.

Kirk is sure Winston shapeshifted again and is still in the room. When he shapeshifts out of hiding Spock states he is a Vendorian, who escapes and eludes capture. Romulan ships, having been advised of the breach of the Neutral Zone, surround the Enterprise.

"Captain's log: Supplemental. Due to interference by the alien Vendorian aboard, the Enterprise has been detected violating the Romulan Neutral Zone. By the terms of our treaty the Romulans have a legal right to seize and impound the Enterprise. To complicate matters, we have not been able to apprehend the Vendorian responsible for putting us in this position."

The Romulans demand surrender. Kirk believes the Vendorian to be their spy, and refuses to surrender because they were lured there.

The Vendorian, disguised as a crewman, damages the deflector shield, which requires two hours to repair.

Later, the creature reveals his identity to Nored, explaining that her fiancé is dead, but since he absorbed so many emotions from him, he can indeed love her.

The Romulans attack the Enterprise. Realizing he has put his love in jeopardy, the Vendorian takes the form of key components in the main deflector shield around the ship. The Romulans retreat and Kirk informs the Vendorian he will stand trial but his efforts to save the ship will be considered.

Nored tells him he is much like her former lover and that he will enjoy life on Earth, perhaps even together with her. After Winston has been apprehended, McCoy jokes, "If he'd turned into a second Spock, it would have been too much to take." Spock quickly one-ups him with, "Perhaps, but then two Dr. McCoys just might bring the level of medical efficiency on this ship up to acceptable levels."

Memorable Quotes

"Done, tested out normal."
"Are you sure there is no possibility you made an error?"
"Well there's always that possibility. I'll go over them again if you like."

- Winston/McCoy and Spock, when Winston, in McCoy's form, is asked about Carter Winston's test.

"Doctor, you are a man of curious habits, but I have never known you to nap on the laboratory floor."

- Spock

"All right, Winston, you can come out now. I suggest you show yourself, Winston, or...whatever you are."

- Kirk

"You say I'm a man of curious habits? Jim's talking to a table!"

- McCoy

"This is a vial of Orientine acid, Winston. It can burn through almost anything but this crystal. If you've never seen it work, I'll demonstrate on you."

- Kirk

"Spock to Bridge. Put me on ship's audio. All security teams, intruder alert. Repeat, intruder alert. The intruder is a Vendorian, capable of assuming any shape or identity."

- Spock

"Lieutenant Nored, you could've stopped him. Why didn't you fire?"
"I...I couldn't! I knew he had to be the intruder, Captain, but I couldn't harm the image of the man I loved!"
"Lieutenant, he is not the man you loved; Carter Winston is dead!"
"I know that,"

- Kirk and Nored

"You appear to have a propensity for trespassing in the Neutral Zone, Captain Kirk."

- Romulan Commander

"You caught him."
"Acute observation, Doctor."
"I'm glad to see him under guard, Jim. If he'd turned into a second Spock, it would've been too much to take."
"Perhaps. But then two Doctor McCoys just might bring the level of medical efficiency on this ship up to acceptable levels."

- McCoy and Spock

Background Information

Story and Production


  • Although Uhura appears in the background throughout this entire episode, when Kirk requests a Yellow Alert, he addresses M'Ress.
  • This episode featured the first appearances of M'Ress, Gabler and the Romulans in the series. The Romulans, however, are shown as being likely to take captives, and they do not employ their cloaking technology in this installment.
  • During the battle scene between the Romulan ships and the Enterprise, Anne Nored abruptly appears on the Enterprise's bridge.
  • After TOS: "The Man Trap", this is the second time that Dr. McCoy has been incapacitated and impersonated by a shapeshifter.



  • This episode was novelized by Alan Dean Foster in Ballantine Books' Star Trek Log 2 (along with "The Lorelei Signal" and "The Infinite Vulcan"). As such, this story is described as predating both "The Lorelei Signal" and "The Infinite Vulcan", in that order, despite "The Lorelei Signal" being an earlier episode of the animated series (immediately before both "More Tribbles, More Troubles" and this episode). The novelization of this episode also depicts the story taking place against the backdrop of a Christmas celebration aboard the Enterprise. In addition, it explains Anne Nored's sudden appearance on the Enterprise's bridge, saying that she took a turbolift there with Kirk (although only Kirk is shown exiting the lift in the actual episode).

Video and DVD releases

Links and references



Also starring

Guest star

Background characters


2259; 2264; 2265; accident report; Cerberus; clay pigeon; examination table; identity tape; intruder alert; McCoy, Joanna; meteor swarm; Orientine acid; philanthropy; power supply; propulsion unit; Rator III; red alert; Neutral Zone, Romulan; Romulans; Romulan battle cruiser; skin graft; Vendor; Vendorians; Winston's trading vessel; yellow alert

Previous episode:
"More Tribbles, More Troubles"
Star Trek: The Animated Series
Season 1
Next episode:
"The Infinite Vulcan"

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