Star Trek (1966–1969): Season 1, Episode 27 - The Alternative Factor - full transcript

Existence itself comes under threat from a man's power-struggle with his alternate self, with the Enterprise's strained dilithium crystals presenting his key to a final solution.

Well, Mr Spock?

Very typical, Captain. lron-silicon
base, oxygen-hydrogen atmosphere.

Largely arid, no discernible life,
no surprises.

Photographic section, begin scanning.
Tie in to visual section 988-TG.

About four more orbits ought to do it,
Mr Lesley. That'll wrap it up.

- Lay in a course for Starbase 200.
- Aye, Captain.


- Mr Spock!
- lncredible, Captain.

- What was that?
- My readings are unbelievable.

Twice, for a split second,

everything around us seemed
on the verge of winking-out.

- l want facts, not poetry.
- l have given the facts.

The entire magnetic field
in this solar system blinked.

The planet below, whose mass
we're measuring, attained zero gravity.

That's impossible.

- What you're describing...
- ls non-existence.

Standard General Alert signal
from Starfleet Command, Captain.

All stations to alert status.

Scanners now report a life object
on the planet's surface.

You just did a complete survey.
Why are you only picking it up now?

lnexplicable. This reading began
as the pulsation phenomenon subsided.

What is it, this object?
lts physical make-up.

A living being,
body temperature 98.5 Fahrenheit.

Mass, electrical impulses, movement.
lt is apparently human, Captain.

And its appearance coincided
with this cosmic winking-out?

Almost to the second.

- Explanation?
- None.

Speculation? Could this being
present any danger to the ship?


Very possible.

Lieutenant Uhura,

notify Security to have an armed
detachment ready to beam down with us.

Any word from Starfleet Command,
pipe it down at once.

Communications priority 1.

Space - the final frontier.

These are the voyages
of the starship Enterprise.

lts five-year mission,
to explore strange new worlds,

to seek out new life
and new civilisations,

to boldly go
where no man has gone before.

Captain's log, stardate 3087.6.

While investigating a new planet,

the Enterprise,
and at least this entire quadrant,

has been subjected to violent,
unexplained stress and force.

Sensors detected
a human being on the planet

who might be linked to the phenomenon.

With my first officer and a security
team, l have set out in search of him.

You came!
Thank the heavens, there's still time.

lt's not too late, we can still stop him.

But l... But l...need...your help.

Nothing yet, sir.

Report on the dilithium crystals.

That phenomenon almost drained
our crystals. lt could mean trouble.

Without full crystal power,
our orbit will begin to decay in ten hours.

- Reamplify immediately.
- Aye, sir.

- Any further magnetic disturbance?
- Negative.

- Scanners indicate situation normal.
- Nothing?


lllogical. An effect of such proportions

unexplainable by any established
physical laws that l'm aware of.

l have ascertained one fact.

Though the effect
was unquestionably widespread,

it was strongest here,
on the planet below.

Keep checking.

Red 2 message in one minute,
Starfleet Command.

Code Factor 1, sir.

- Repeat.
- Code Factor 1.

lnvasion status.

All hands, battle stations. l repeat,
battle stations. This is no drill.

- McCoy, Captain.
- Kirk here.

- About our patient.
- Quickly.

He'll make it.
He'll be sore for a while.

l'll talk to him later. Kirk out.

Message ready, Captain.
Main screen, coming on.

Kirk here.
Enterprise standing by, Commodore.

- You know of the effect an hour ago?
- Yes, sir.

You may not know its scope. lt occurred
throughout the galaxy and far beyond.

Complete disruption of magnetic
and gravimetric fields,

timewarp distortion,
possible radiation variations.

And all of them centring
on the general area you are patrolling.

The question is,
are these natural phenomena,

or are they mechanically created,
and if so by whom and for what?

- Your guess, Captain.
- Thank you, sir.

l've considered all the alternatives.

My best guess is,
it could be a prelude to invasion.

Exactly our consensus.

l'm giving you the job of finding out.

Aye, sir. Can you assign me
other starships as a reserve?

No. l'm evacuating all Starfleet units
and personnel within 100 parsecs.

lt's tough on you, but that's the job
you've drawn. You're on your own.

l see.

You mean, we're the bait?

- Good luck.
- Thank you, sir.

Maintain alert status
at all battle stations.

From the top, Mr Spock.

First, the phenomenon
came from the planet.

Secondly, the danger
is apparently real and imminent.

Third, a closer examination of the
planet's surface is in order. My job?


l'll talk to our unexpected guest.

Maybe he can provide some answers.

That's how l came to be there,

pursuing the Devil's own spawn,
which l've chased across the universe.

He's humanoid outside,

but inside
he's a hideous, murdering monster.

l'll get him, Captain. l swear it.

- You say this one man...
- Not man!


Thing...destroyed your entire civilisation.

- To the last man, woman and child.
- How did you escape?

l was inspecting magnetic
communication satellites.

You believe me, don't you?

Before we found you, our ship
sustained some incredible effects.

That was he! He is death, anti-life,
he lives to destroy.

ls "he" the thing that attacked you?

Yes. l give you my word. l swear it.

We don't have any other facts,
any information.

Then you'll join me in my holy cause?
Help me visit justice upon him.

My only cause is the safety of my ship
and the mission we're on.

You'll beam down with me
and l'll check your story out.

- Spock, find anything?
- No, Captain. Anything from our guest?

- He says there's a humanoid here.
- Lieutenant Uhura communicated that.

l ordered re-confirmation. Sensors
indicate no creature on this planet.

l suggest that you've been lied to.

Captain, you yourself said
there were no other explanations.

- Why give credence to him?
- l don't comprehend your indignation.

l have simply made the logical
deduction that you are a liar.

Let's have it, the truth this time.

You've come back in, is it?
Don't stop, here l am.

Come at me again. We'll finish it!

- Can you identify that?
- l'm trying.


You stay here.
All personnel, Security Red.

Come, it'll do you no good.
l'll take you to the very fires of hell.

- Lazarus, what happened?
- l saw it again. The thing attacked me.

Let's get out of here.

Readings suggest the effect
is centred almost on this very spot.

l told you it was a thing. All white,
black, and empty. A terrible emptiness.

- Let's get back.
- He'll kill us if we don't kill him.

Kill, kill, kill, kill, kill!

Captain's log, stardate 3088.3.

We continue orbiting the planet
that seems to be the source

of the phenomenon which has struck
the Enterprise and the whole galaxy.

As for Lazarus,

the story he tells me about
the humanoid continues to trouble me.

- Any luck?
- Negative.

l can no more explain
the second phenomenon than the first.

lf there's a shred of truth
to what Lazarus said...

That a single humanoid could
be responsible for such an effect?

- Hard to believe.
- lndeed.

But the rest of his story fits.

His wounds testify
to a confrontation with something.

Assuming there is a humanoid,
how does he do it? He has no weapons.

All l know is, the occurrence
of the phenomenon coincides exactly

with the moments that Lazarus
has his alleged confrontations.

Dr McCoy asks to see you in sickbay.

l don't know, Jim. Maybe l'm imagining
things, maybe l'm not. You tell me.

You tell me, that's why l'm here.

We brought Lazarus in and l treated
a deep abrasion on his forehead, right?

Then l bandaged it,
stepped in here for just a moment...

Bones, get to the point.

Say he's got the constitution
of a dinosaur, recuperative powers ditto.

As we know, l'm a bright medic
with a miraculous touch.

Why then, when l returned,
wasn't there a trace of that wound...

...not even a bruise?
lt was like he had never been injured.

Where is he?

l don't know, this is a big ship.
l'm just a country doctor.

- Hi.
- Hi. Coffee?

- ls that an order?
- l know what you mean.

- Are the dilithium crystals finished?
- Yeah, ready and waiting.

Lazarus, are you all right?


But impatient.

Have you decided to help me yet?

- ls something wrong?
- No.

My doctor has
a strange sense of humour.

This is no joke, Jim.
l know what l saw.

Bridge calling the captain.

- Come to the bridge.
- Find something?

- Something extraordinary.
- On my way. Lazarus, you're with me.

Bones, if l had time, l'd laugh.

- Main screen on, Lieutenant.
- Screen on, sir.

Source of radiation, Captain.

- Why didn't the scanners pick it up?
- Because it is not there.

Another riddle?
First Dr McCoy, then you?

According to
our usual scanning procedures,

there is nothing to cause that effect.

- But it is there.
- Affirmative.

l am somewhat at a loss for words.

lt may be described,
though loosely and inaccurately,

as a rip in our universe.

- What?
- A kind of physical warp,

in which none of
our established physical laws apply.

However, with the dilithium crystals,
l was able to localise it.

Yes, that's it!

The dilithium crystals.
With their power we could do it.

- You refer to the humanoid?
- Yes, we've got him, Captain!

All the crystals show
is a point of radiation.

That's just it, that's the key.

That's the way to trap him.
That's the solution.

Captain...l beg of you.

l plead, l demand. Give me the crystals.

Out of the question. They are the
very heart of the power of my ship.

You fool! There won't be any ship
if we don't kill him.

- He'll destroy all of you.
- How? You tell me how.

All l've heard from you
is double-talk, lies, threats.

Now you tell me, how does it
present a danger to my ship?

l warn you, Captain.
You'll give me the crystals.

- Don't threaten me, Lazarus.
- No threat intended.


l'll have my vengeance.

Lieutenant Masters,
the captain is calling.

Masters here.

Can you prepare an experimentation
chamber in ten minutes?

l'll check, sir.

The chamber will be ready in
ten minutes. My assistant and l will...

- Captain! Captain!
- Lieutenant, what is it? Lieutenant!

Security reports Lazarus missing.

Captain's log, stardate 3088.7.

We are no closer to finding an answer
to the strange phenomenon.

Two crewmen have been attacked,
two dilithium crystals are missing.

Without them, the Enterprise
cannot operate at full power.

They must be found.

You said you needed the crystals.
An hour later, they were missing.

- Two of my crew were attacked.
- l didn't take the crystals.

l'm not the one.

Find my enemy, find the beast,
and you'll find the crystals.

- How did this beast get aboard?
- He did. lsn't that enough?

No! He didn't transport up.

This is a creature
capable of destroying worlds.

Why does he need the crystals?
For what reason?

For the same reason l do.
Listen to me, he's humanoid.

He can pilot a spaceship. He can
compute formulas to destroy races.

He can steal an energy source for
his vehicle, so he can escape from me.

- Are you deaf as well as blind?
- Sit down.

The crystals aren't here.
There's a radiation source on the planet.

Obviously some connection. We'll
check it out. Organise a search party.

- Mr Lazarus will beam down with us.
- Thank you, Captain.

You may not have reason to thank me.

Depending on what we find.

- What do you believe now?
- That the crystals aren't on your ship.

- Mr Spock?
- Unable to locate the radiation.

Why not?
You spotted it from the Enterprise.

lt has simply disappeared, Captain.

l want every inch of this terrain checked.
Look for anything.

Call out if you spot anything.
Don't be afraid to use your weapons.

Captain, look out!

- He's coming out of it now.
- The thing, the thing...

lt's all right, you're on the Enterprise.

- The rock, l...
- How's your head?


You saved my life down there.
l want to thank you.

Why shouldn't l?

- l have some questions for you.
- Not now, Jim.

lt's necessary.

Go ahead. lt's all right.

This is a computer report

of the evidence you gave
at your first screening.

lt calls you a liar, Lazarus.

There's no planet at the location you
said you came from. There never was.

lf you want our help, tell the truth.

- You wouldn't believe me.
- Try us.

All right.

l distorted a fact in the interest
of self-preservation, for my holy cause.

l needed help, not censure.

Freedom, not captivity
for being a madman.

l was afraid that's what you'd call me
if l told you the truth.

- l'll have the truth now.
- My planet, my Earth...

...or what's left of it,
is down there beneath us.

What are you saying?

That my spaceship
is more than just that.

lt's a time chamber, a timeship.

And l... l am a time traveller.

And this "thing" you search for
is a time traveller too?

Oh, yes.
He's fled me across all the years,

all the empty years to a dead future,
on a murdered planet he destroyed.

Help me! Give me what l need
to kill him. The crystals!

Don't let him get away!

Lazarus, you're hurt. l sympathise.

But l have 430 other men to worry
about. Now where are the crystals?

l told you, he's got them. He took them.

- The thing!
- He's got to get some rest.

And would you get that muscleman
out of my sickbay?

- Dismissed.
- He's in a lot of pain.

Sometimes pain can drive a man
harder than pleasure.

Well, don't worry, he's not going
anywhere. Not this time.

What have we got, Mr Spock?

A magnetic effect which causes
a winking-out phenomenon.

A mysterious, unidentified
source of radiation.

Lazarus, a walking powder keg.
Your "rip" in the universe.

- A so-called murdering humanoid.
- True.

But more significantly,
our instruments are designed

to locate and identify any object
in our universe, be it energy or matter.

But those instruments could not
identify the source of the radiation.

Correct. Which would seem
to be impossible.

- Are the instruments in order?
- Perfectly.

Then what you say
leads obviously to one alternative.

The radiation is not from our universe.

Nor in our universe, Captain.
lt came from outside.



That would explain a lot.

Another universe,
perhaps in another dimension,

occupying the same space
at the same time.

The possibility of a parallel universe
has been scientifically conceded.

All right.

What would happen if another universe,
say a minus universe,

came into contact with
a positive universe like ours?

Unquestionably a warp. A distortion
of physical laws on an immense scale.

Which is what we've experienced.

The point where they touch,

couldn't that be described as a hole?

lndeed. l'd point out that a hole
in the universe or in a simple container

can allow the contents to escape...

Or what is outside to enter.

The invasion that
Commodore Barstow suspected.

There is no evidence
of a large-scale invasion.

But a small-scale invasion, Mr Spock.

What is your analysis
of the mental state of Lazarus?

Difficult. One moment paranoid,
the next calm, mild, rational.

Almost as if he were...two men.

Yes, two men, different but identical.

And a hole in the universe.
No, not a hole, a door.

Through which these two beings
are somehow enabled to pass.

Take a look at Lazarus.
One minute he's at the point of death,

the next he's alive, well, strong as a bull.

The cut on his forehead -
it goes away, then he has it again.

Which is physically impossible
for one man.

Quite right. Unquestionably,
there are two of him.

What's going on?

This leaping
from universe to universe.

This talk of a creature who destroys
civilisations. What's the purpose?

Jim, madness has no purpose or reason.

But it may have a goal.

He must be stopped, held.

- Destroyed if necessary.
- l don't follow.

Two parallel universes.
One positive, the other negative.

Or, more specifically,
one matter, the other, antimatter.

Do you know what you're saying?

Matter and antimatter have a tendency
to cancel each other out. Violently.

Precisely. Under certain conditions...

when two identical particles
of matter and antimatter meet.

Like Lazarus. ldentical.

Like both Lazarus'. Only one is matter
and the other antimatter.

lf they meet...

Annihilation, Jim.

Total, complete, absolute annihilation.

Of everything that exists, everywhere.

The energiser has shorted.

- Get out. Sound the alarm.
- You too.

- l've got to stay.
- The whole thing might blow.

Engineering calling bridge.

Fire! Fire in the energising circuit.

Fire. Situation critical.

All available personnel on the double.
Spock, with me.

- Under control. But someone started it.
- Lazarus. A trick to get the crystals.

- Sir, you shouldn't be in here.
- Oh, l didn't know.

He's probably beaming down.
l'll go after him.

Organise a security detail.
Follow me as soon as you can.

Spock to bridge.

l'll get you now. l have a threshold.

Run, run. l'll get you now.


lt's done, it's done!
Finished! lt's done.

lt's done! lt's done!

- Lazarus...
- Done... No, don't. Not you!


Welcome, Captain.

- l wasn't expecting you.
- No, him.

- Yes, him. You understand.
- Not completely.

- This is a parallel universe?
- Of course.

- Antimatter?
- Here. Yes.

And if identical particles meet...

The end of everything.
Civilisation, existence, all gone.

l tried to stop him, Captain. That's
why l took your dilithium crystals.

- He has two more.
- That's very bad, Captain.

lf he comes through
at a time of his own choosing...

But l think if we hurry
and you will help me,

he can yet still be stopped.
There's little time left.

He meant to come through.

You passing through
drained his crystals.

lt'll take him about ten minutes
to re-energise.

- That should give us enough time.
- What did l pass through?

That's hard to explain, Captain.

l call it an alternative warp.

lt's sort of a negative magnetic corridor
where the two universes meet.

lt's sort of a safety valve
that keeps eternity from blowing up.

This corridor...

did it cause the magnetic effect,
the winking-out phenomenon?

Precisely, Captain.
But not because of its existence.


because my foe entered.

The corridor is like a prison,
with explosives at the door.

Open the door
and the explosives might go off.

- Stay inside...
- And the universe is safe.

Both universes, Captain.
Yours and mine.

Surely Lazarus must realise
what would happen

if you met outside the corridor.

Of course he knows, Captain,
but he's mad.

You heard him, he's lost his mind.

When our people found a way
to slip through the warp

and prove another,
identical universe existed,

it was too much for him.

He could not live knowing that l lived.

He was obsessed
with the idea of destroying me.

The fact that it meant his own
destruction, and everything else,

meant nothing to him.

So you're the terrible thing,
the murdering monster.

- The creature.
- Yes, Captain.

Or he is. lt depends
on your point of view, doesn't it?

lt's ready, Captain.

lf we can force him into the corridor
while l'm waiting, we can end this.

But if he comes through and breaks
into this universe to find me...

l understand.

- What do you want me to do?
- Find him.

Force him through his threshold,

while l'm waiting for him,
into the corridor. l'll hold him there.

- You can't hold him forever.
- Can't l, Captain?

You destroy his ship.

- lf l do, won't l destroy yours too?
- Yes.

- And your door will be closed.
- Yes, and so will his.

You'll be trapped inside that corridor
with him forever.

At each other's throats
throughout time.

ls it such a large price to pay
for the safety of two universes?

l'm ready.

Send him to me. l'll be waiting.


Stand back.

No, no! l'm not ready! l'm not ready!

- Take the crystals to the Enterprise.
- l must destroy that ship.

- What of Lazarus?
- And what of Lazarus.

- Activate phaser banks.
- Phaser banks activated.

Stand by to fire.

Phasers standing by, sir.

Fire phasers.

All right, Mr Lesley,
let's get out of here.

- Ahead, warp factor 1.
- Warp 1, sir.

Everything's all right, for us.

There is, of course, no escape for them.

There is, of course, no escape.

How would it be?

Trapped forever with
a raging madman at your throat,

until time itself came to a stop.
For eternity.

- How would it be?
- Captain, the universe is safe.

For you and me.

But what of Lazarus? What of Lazarus?