U.S.S. Enterprise answers a distress call from a small planet, the
landing party is captured by a group of agents from the Kelvan empire,
located in the distant Andromeda galaxy. The Kelvans' purpose is to
find planets suitable for colonization. However, their own ship was
destroyed and now they need the Enterprise to make the 300-year journey
home. To utilize the starship, the Kelvans - huge, tentacled creatures
- take on human form. After several attempts at escape, Kirk accepts
his fate and agrees to let the aliens take over his ship. The Kelvans
use their technology to transform all but essential Enterprise
personnel into small "cubes" which, unless broken or damaged, can be
restored to human beings.
that the Kelvans, in their new human bodies, are discovering human
sensation and emotion, the remaining crew attempts to foster dissent
amongst the aliens: Scotty succeeds in gettting one of them drunk,
McCoy injects an irritant into another, and Kirk makes romantic
overtures to the Kelvan leader's woman. With the Kelvans thus
distracted, Kirk and the crew are able to regain control of the ship.
out to Rojan, the Kelvan leader, that the Kelvans are already becoming
less like they were before by encountering the humans. In 300 years,
their descendants will be so human-like that they won't be able to live
among their people on Kelva. Rojan sees the logic in his argument and
sends a robot probe to Kelva, reporting what has happened. Pledging to
restore the Enterprise crew, Rojan accepts Kirk's offer that the
Enterprise find the Kelvans a Class-M planet to colonize.