Star Trek: “The Tholian Web”

Air Date: 11.15.1968
Stardate: 5693.2


Although relatively overrated in a lot of circles, “The Tholian Web” is a pretty good episode. What kills this episode is a lot of phony baloney BS pseudo-science and magic, but it’s made as believable as something like that can be.

The true strength of the episode is the character work. The reactions and dialogue of Spock and McCoy when faced with the death of their best friend and commander really make a great episode out of what would have been an okay one.

And the web itself is pretty kickass even if, as a weapon, it makes little sense.


Interesting Fact: This is the first and only time in the movies or series that anyone besides Kirk calls McCoy, “Bones.”

“Bones, Spock… since you are playing this tape, we will assume that I am dead, that the tactical situation is critical, and both of you are locked in mortal combat. It means, Spock, that you have control of the ship and are probably making the most difficult decisions of your career. I can offer only one small piece of advice, for whatever it’s worth–use every scrap of knowledge and logic you have to save the ship. But temper your judgment with intuitive insight. I believe you have those qualities, but if you can’t find them in yourself, seek out McCoy. Ask his advice. And if you find it sound, take it. Bones, you’ve heard what I’ve just told Spock. Help him if you can, but remember, he is the captain. His decisions must be followed without question. You might find that he is capable of human insight and… human error. They are most difficult to defend, but you will find that he is deserving of the same loyalty and confidence each of you have given me. Take care.”
– Kirk’s last orders.

Donner bestows a rating of four tribbles on “The Tholian Web.”

About the author

Jason Donner

Jason Donner devoured the universe and you are all living inside him.