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Encyclopedia > Turnabout Intruder (TOS episode)
Star Trek: TOS episode
"Turnabout Intruder"
Kirk has an out-of-body-experience,
"Turnabout Intruder".
Episode no. 79
Prod. code 079
Airdate June 3, 1969
Writer(s) Arthur H. Singer
story by
Gene Roddenberry
Director Herb Wallerstein
Guest star(s) Majel Barrett
Sandra Smith
Harry Landers
Barbara Baldavin
David L. Ross
John Boyer
Roger Holloway
Year 2269
Stardate 5928.5
Episode chronology
Previous "All Our Yesterdays"
Next "n/a - series finale."

"Turnabout Intruder" is a third season, as well as the final first-run episode of Star Trek: The Original Series. It is episode #79, production #79, written by Arthur H. Singer, based on a story by Gene Roddenberry, and directed by Herb Wallerstein. Image File history File links Image from Star Trek: The Original Series episode Turnabout Intruder ©1969 Paramount Pictures, produced by Gene Roddenberry. ... June 3 is the 154th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar (155th in leap years), with 211 days remaining. ... 1969 (MCMLXIX) was a common year starting on Wednesday (the link is to a full 1969 calendar). ... Screenwriters, scenarists or script writers, are authors who write the screenplays from which movies and television programs are made. ... Gene Roddenberry, the creator of Star Trek Eugene Wesley Roddenberry (August 19, 1921 – October 24, 1991) was an American scriptwriter and producer. ... A television director is usually responsible for directing the actors and other taped aspects of a television production. ... Majel Barret Majel Barrett-Roddenberry (born Majel Lee Hudec on February 23, 1932 in Columbus, Ohio) is an American actress and widow of television director/producer/writer Gene Roddenberry. ... Roger Holloway is an American television actor who portrayed the recurring character Lt. ... A year is the time between two recurrences of an event related to the orbit of the Earth around the Sun. ... Stardate is one of the dating conventions used in the fictional Star Trek universe. ... All Our Yesterdays is a third season episode of Star Trek: The Original Series, first broadcast March 14, 1969 and repeated on August 5, 1969. ... The starship Enterprise as it appeared on Star Trek Star Trek is a culturally significant science fiction television series created by Gene Roddenberry in the 1960s. ... Gene Roddenberry, the creator of Star Trek Eugene Wesley Roddenberry (August 19, 1921 – October 24, 1991) was an American scriptwriter and producer. ...

Overview: Kirk becomes trapped in the body of a woman bent on killing him and taking over his command under his guise. Captain James T. Kirk James Tiberius Kirk, a fictional character in the Star Trek television series, was the captain of the starship Enterprise (NCC-1701 and NCC-1701-A). ...


On stardate 5928.5, the USS Enterprise rushes to answer a distress call from the planet Camus II, the site of an archaeological expedition that is exploring ancient ruins of a long vanished culture. Upon arrival, the landing party finds three survivors; among them are Dr. Janice Lester and Dr. Arthur Coleman. It is revealed that during their academy days, Dr. Lester and Captain Kirk were intimately involved; however, Lester's inability to achieve command of a starship, which she believes had to do with her gender, caused the two to drift apart. Stardate is one of the dating conventions used in the fictional Star Trek universe. ... USS Enterprise (XCV 330) Enterprise (NX-01) (from United Earth’s Starfleet) USS Enterprise (NCC-1701) (the Federations first so named) USS Enterprise (NCC-1701-A) (the Federations second so named) USS Enterprise (NCC-1701-B) (the Federations third so named) USS Enterprise (NCC-1701-C) (the... The eight planets and three dwarf planets of the Solar System. ... Star Trek planet classifications Categories: | | | ... The fictional starship Enterprise (NCC-1701-D) from Star Trek: The Next Generation. ...

Medical scans reveal that the survivors are suffering from radiation exposure which threatens their lives. Dr. Coleman, Mr. Spock and Dr. McCoy go off to tend to the other survivors leaving Lester and Kirk alone for a moment to talk. Kirk finds Lester has been driven to the point of madness by her personality complex and complains about the agony of being a woman in a male-dominated existence. She traps Kirk in an alien device which can swap the personalities between two individuals. Joining Kirk in the machine, Lester's essence is transferred into Kirk's body while Kirk's mind enters hers. Now as Kirk, K-Lester tries to strangle her former body which Kirk is trapped inside. Spock, commonly called Mr. ... Dr. Leonard H. McCoy Leonard Horatio McCoy, M.D., nicknamed Bones, is a fictional character in the fictional Star Trek universe, played by the late DeForest Kelley (January 20, 1920 - June 11, 1999). ...

Spock and McCoy return before K-Lester can finish her evil deed and she (as Kirk) orders the landing party and the remaining survivors back to the Enterprise. Once there, K-Lester excuses McCoy as chief medical officer and replaces him with her partner, Dr. Coleman. McCoy protests the decision, saying that Coleman is known to have been ruled as incompetent to serve aboard a starship by the Starfleet surgeon general, but the "captain" doesn't listen and dismisses him. Starfleet Command In the fictional universe of Star Trek, Starfleet is the paramilitary defense, research, diplomacy, and exploration force of the United Federation of Planets (UFP) with – as of the late 24th century – hundreds of starships and starbases at its disposal. ...

Alone, Coleman and K-Lester privately converse about their sinister plans. It is revealed that the two are in love with each other and had planned to have their personnel killed in order to lure the Enterprise to Camus II. K-Lester has now achieved her lifelong goal of commanding a starship. Likewise, Coleman has now been given a chance to become a starship's chief medical officer.

K-Lester charges Coleman to make sure that L-Kirk, who is still trapped inside Lester's female body, stays out of the way by sedating him, but L-Kirk manages to escape and goes to McCoy and Mr. Spock for help. He finds K-Lester there however, as McCoy has decided to invoke his authority to override his "captain"'s orders and perform a full medical examination. L-Kirk tries to expose K-Lester as a fraud but K-Lester orders the "hysterical woman" to be taken into custody and put into isolation. Spock, commonly called Mr. ...

L-Kirk is taken away, and Spock becomes suspicious when K-Lester orders a course change to the Benecia Colony to drop off Dr. Lester for medical attention, ignoring their previous mission; to rendezvous with the USS Potemkin at Beta Aurigae. While the fake Kirk is preoccupied with McCoy's ordered examination, Spock sneaks away to see Lester where he mind melds with her, and discovers the truth that Captain Kirk's mind is indeed present. Beta Aurigae (β Aur / β Aurigae) is the second brightest star in the constellation Auriga. ... This article or section may need to be cleaned up and rewritten because it describes a work of fiction in a primarily in-universe style. ...

Spock tries to free L-Kirk but is stopped by a security team led by the impostor Kirk. K-Lester accuses Spock of mutiny and immediately orders a court martial. Once on trial, Spock tries to make a convincing case that Captain Kirk is really in the body of Dr. Lester, and that the physical Kirk is an impostor. However, his evidence was obtained by telepathy, still considered a form of hearsay in the 23rd century, and is inadmissible. Mutiny is the act of conspiring to disobey an order that a group of similarly-situated individuals (typically members of the military; or the crew of any ship, even if they are civilians) is legally obliged to obey. ... A court-martial (plural courts-martial) is a military court that determines punishments for members of the military subject to military law. ... // Telepathy (from the Greek τηλε, tele, distant; and πάθεια, patheia, feeling) is the communication of information from one mind to another by means other than the known perceptual senses. ... Hearsay in its most general and oldest meaning is a term used in the law of evidence to describe an out of court statement offered to establish the facts asserted in that statement. ...

Shocked by the incredible story, McCoy and Mr. Scott converse secretly in the corridor about their Captain's true identity and having witnessed Kirk's irrational behavior and hostility toward Dr. Lester, they decide to agree with Spock. The conversation is eavesdropped by K-Lester however, who then orders McCoy, Scotty, Spock and L-Kirk (still in her former body) arrested for treason. Their punishment will be death, even though Starfleet expressly forbids such a thing. Montgomery Scott, usually known as Scotty, is a character in Star Trek: The Original Series, played by James Doohan. ... Traitor redirects here. ...

The remaining crew quickly turn against their "captain" when they realize that he isn't himself and refuse to obey his orders. Eventually, Kirk and Lester have a temporary reversion of minds. Witnessing this, Coleman tells K-Lester that to make the transfer permanent, she must kill her former self while Kirk still occupies the body.

The two head to Lester's holding cell, but are unable to carry out the task as Kirk and Lester revert again. This time Lester is too late, and the reversion is permanent. Captain Kirk is finally himself again. The hysterical Lester makes one last attempt to kill Kirk but fails, and Lester and Coleman are taken into custody. Coleman then pleads with Kirk to allow him to care for his mentally deranged love, and Kirk decides that they will be dropped off at Starbase 2 to face charges. In the meantime the Enterprise resumes its current mission with the Potemkin. The final episode of Star Trek fades out on Kirk musing "Her life could have been as rich as any woman's. If only... if only..."


  • The title for this episode aludes to the novel Turnabout written by Thorne Smith, about a husband and wife who swap bodies.
  • William Shatner is often said to have had a serious case of Hong Kong flu during the filming of this episode. Joan Winston in her book Star Trek Lives! gives a detailed account of her visit to the set during the filming of this episode in January 1969, and describes Shatner as very sick indeed. However he refutes this in his book Star Trek Memories, saying that his illness was likely the result of stress and worry over the cancellation of the show, which was announced during the filming.
  • A possible script blooper has Sulu reminding Lester/Kirk that there is no death penalty with the exception of violation of General Order #4. This contradicts what was stated in The Menagerie in which it is General Order #7, which forbids any and all contact with Talos IV. It is never stated, however what General Order #4 is so the Talos IV restriction may have either been simply redesignated under a new number or the death penalty may have been switched to a far worse violation.
  • This was the last original episode of Star Trek to air on NBC. Originally scheduled to air at 10pm on Friday, March 28, 1969, the network pre-empted it at the last minute with a special report on former president Dwight Eisenhower, who had died earlier that day. On June 3, 1969, after an absence of several months, Star Trek was brought back on a new night and time: Tuesdays at 7:30pm EST. "Turnabout Intruder" was the first episode to be shown in this new time slot.
  • "Legacy", the 80th episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation had a reference to "passing Camus II" at the beginning of the episode. This was intended to signify that that series had passed the original in number of episodes produced.
  • Lester's statements about women being unable to command starships has been the source of considerable controversy over the years, given that by the 23rd century humanity was supposed to have moved beyond chauvinism. Gene Roddenberry was later reported to have regretted the inclusion of that line in the episode, though other sources have him placing the blame on teleplay writer Arthur Singer for the line's inclusion. Some fans took Lester's emotional state into consideration when she made the statement. A retcon later revealed that Columbia - a 22nd century starship - had a female Captain (Star Trek: Enterprise).

Wikisource has original works written by or about: Thorne Smith Thorne Smith (1892–1934) was an American writer of fantasy fiction. ... William Bill Shatner (born March 22, 1931) is an Emmy and Golden Globe-winning Canadian actor, who gained fame for his starring role as Captain James T. Kirk of the USS Enterprise in the television show Star Trek from 1966 to 1969 and in seven of the subsequent movies. ... The Hong Kong Flu was a pandemic outbreak of influenza that began in Hong Kong in 1968 and spread to the United States of America that year. ... 1969 (MCMLXIX) was a common year starting on Wednesday (the link is to a full 1969 calendar). ... The Menagerie is the first and only two-part episode of the Star Trek: The Original Series. ... March 28 is the 87th day of the year in the Gregorian Calendar (88th in leap years). ... 1969 (MCMLXIX) was a common year starting on Wednesday (the link is to a full 1969 calendar). ... Dwight David Ike Eisenhower (October 14, 1890–March 28, 1969), American soldier and politician, was the 34th President of the United States (1953–1961) and supreme commander of the Allied forces in Europe during World War II, with the rank of General of the Army. ... June 3 is the 154th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar (155th in leap years), with 211 days remaining. ... 1969 (MCMLXIX) was a common year starting on Wednesday (the link is to a full 1969 calendar). ... The Enterprise meets Ishara, Tasha Yars sister. ... The title as it appeared in most episodes opening credits. ... Gene Roddenberry, the creator of Star Trek Eugene Wesley Roddenberry (August 19, 1921 – October 24, 1991) was an American scriptwriter and producer. ... This article or section does not cite its references or sources. ... The starship Enterprise (NX-01) Star Trek: Enterprise is a science fiction television series set in the Star Trek universe. ...

External links

Wikiquote has a collection of quotations related to:
Last produced:
"All Our Yesterdays"
Star Trek: TOS episodes
Season 3
Next produced:
None (last episode made)
Last transmitted:
"All Our Yesterdays"
Next transmitted:
"The Cage"



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