Near the Romulan border the Enterprise discover a one-man ship containing Carter Winston, a missing philanthropist. His fiancee Anne is aboard and the couple are happy to be reunited. But ""Winston"" transforms into an alien, knocks out Kirk, and takes his place long enough to order the ship into the neutral zone. The alien then takes McCoy's place to tell Anne to forget Winston and misdirect Kirk and Spock. They see through the ruse and realize ""Carter"" is a Vendorian, from a race of deceitful shapeshifters. It agreed to help the Romulans get hold of Enterprise. An outcast from its own race, it befriended the real Carter before he died and absorbed much of his feelings and emotions. It shapeshifts into a deflector shield to save Anne and the ship. At the end Anne suggests they try and make a go of it.
- This is the only episode in which Dr. McCoy's daughter, Joanna, is mentioned. She was to be featured in Star Trek: The Original Series: The Way to Eden (1969), which was originally titled "Joanna," but this idea was dropped.
- Uhura appears but does not have any lines as Nichelle Nichols was also voicing Anne Nored. Kirk gives his orders to new character, M'Ress, instead.
- "The Survivor" features one of the first truly exotic non-humanoid aliens ever depicted in Star Trek. The shape-shifting "Vendorian" would not have been possible in the live Trek show, as the special effects technology necessary didn't yet exist. The "Organians" in Star Trek: The Original Series: Errand of Mercy (1967) and the "Medusan" in Star Trek: The Original Series: Is There in Truth No Beauty? (1968) were simply light effects.
I really liked this episode! The story was great, just terrific! An alien takes the form of a man, but not just randomly, actually taking the form of a man when he crashed on a strange planet. Loved it, loved it, loved it.
It was carefully done and while the animation from the 1970's is not great, the story is.
I give it 6 out of 10. Very good.
Run the slideshow