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Enterprise is exploring the apparently lifeless planet Pyris VII. Chief Engineer Scott, Lt. Hikaru Sulu, and crew member Jackson are sent down to explore the surface. The ship soon loses contact with Scott and Sulu; Jackson is transported back to the ship, but falls from the platform dead. His lifeless body emits an eerie voice, telling Captain Kirk that the Enterprise is cursed and must leave the planet immediately, or everyone will die.

Kirk beams down with First Officer Spock and Chief Medical Officer Dr. McCoy to search for the missing crewmen. The landing party comes upon three apparitions that appear as witches, who warn the landing team not to proceed any further. The team ignores the warnings and discovers what appears to be a medieval castle.

Upon entering the castle, the landing party comes across a black cat that wears a sparkling diamond pendant. As they follow the cat, the floor collapses, and the fall knocks them out. When they come to, they find themselves held in irons in a dungeon. Scott and Sulu soon appear as Cat's paws, controlled by an unknown force. Kirk and the others attempt to overcome them but find themselves teleported to another part of the castle, where they encounter a robed man, Korob, and the black cat, whom he appears to consult for advice. Spock questions Korob about why previous surveys of Pyris VII indicated no life.

The cat leaves the room, and Korob's beautiful colleague Sylvia soon appears. She wears a diamond pendant, identical to the cat's, around her neck. When Kirk demands that Scott and Sulu be released. Sylvia dangles a miniature model of the Enterprise over a lit candle, and the crew of the real Enterprise reports a rapid rise in hull temperature. Kirk reluctantly surrenders and offers to cooperate

Korob places the "voodoo model" of the ship in a crystal cube, where the sensors aboard the real Enterprise show the ship to be encased in an impenetrable force field. Kirk and Spock are led back to the dungeon, and McCoy is zombified like Scotty and Sulu. Sylvia takes an interest in Kirk and changes into different attractive forms to test his emotions. Sylvia tells Kirk that she and Korob are explorers from another galaxy. They wield their power through a device called a transmuter, which gives them control over matter. Sylvia decides Kirk is using her and becomes angry, sending him back to the dungeon.

Korob comes to free Kirk and Spock, tells them that he has released their ship, and urges them to leave immediately, as he can no longer keep Sylvia under control. Sylvia discovers Korob's realignment, changes herself into a giant cat, and attacks him. Korob releases his scepter and Kirk picks it up, guessing it to be the transmuter. Kirk tells Sylvia that he has the transmuter, and he destroys it when Sylvia threatens him with a phaser.

The castle disappears, and Sulu, Scotty, and McCoy return to normal. Looking down at a nearby rock, Kirk spots two tiny blue and yellow creatures, which are Korob's and Sylvia's true forms. Unable to survive without their transmuter, the two creatures die and disintegrate.[1]

Errors and ExplanationsEdit

The Nitpicker's Guide for Classic TrekkersEdit

Plot OversightsEdit

  1. Just after beaming down, Spock reports a life form reading in a certain direction at 137.16 meters. Moments later, he indicates another direction. For the distance, Spock offers, “just over 100 meters." Just over’? What happened to the two decimal points of precision? There could be something in the environment which intermittently causes inaccuracies in tricorder function.

Changed PremesisEdit

  1. This DeSalle guy gets around! In “This Side of Paradise“ he was a gold-shined biologist. In this episode he's a red~shirted assistant chief engineer. His encounter with the spores could have prompted him to concentrate on working with machines.

Continuity and Production ProblemsEdit

  1. The witch apparitions that quote their bad poetry at the beginning of this episode seem to be wearing black turtlenecks. I'm assuming the creators meant them to lock like body less heads, but there's a bit too much light to accomplish that effect. Even witches feel the cold!
  2. After the incident with the Enterprise pendant, Korob relaxes and begins talking about their power. Sylvia soon snaps at him, and a cIose-up shows his reaction. The table and chairs that stood in front of him in the wide shot are suddenly behind him! Sylvia could have moved either Korab or the furniture in a fit of anger.

Nit CentralEdit

  1. Keith Alan Morgan on Saturday, April 17, 1999 - 5:03 am: Spock doesn't know about Trick or Treat, but he does know about Familiars? The practice of Trick or Treat could have died out by this time.
  2. If they can create baubles such as gems as Kirk claims, does this mean that the miners on Janus VI are now out of jobs, because if you can create valuable gems, why not valuable minerals. (Why does everyone assume this create gems at will statement is a fact? Do viewers want Kirk to accept the bribe and leave without his men?) Kirk could be lying, to get a reaction from Korab.
  3. Spock says, "Saber-tooth tiger." There is no such thing as a Saber-tooth tiger, the correct name is Saber-tooth cat. All of the sources Spock read on the subject could contain the more familiar, albeit incorrect, description.
  4. If Spock is so interested in preserving and studying Korob and Sylvia, then why isn't he taking readings with his tricorder? Since no readings were taken with Spock's tricorder and their bodies dissolved, then how can a picture of Korob and Sylvia's anatomy be on display in Keiko's classroom on several episodes of Deep Space Nine? Spock may have taken covert recordings.

Internet Movie DatabaseEdit

Character errorEdit

  1. When Kirk, Spock, and McCoy beam down and see the Castle for the first time, McCoy is holding the phaser the wrong way. He holds it this way until they actually enter the Castle. As a Doctor, McCoy would not be expected to have much experience with phasers.


  1. When Kirk first sees Sulu and Scott in the dungeon, Sulu walks ahead of Scott. Camera cuts to Kirk but when it cuts back a moment later, Sulu is behind Scott. Scott could have overtaken Sulu during the camera cut.

Incorrectly regarded as goofsEdit

  1. The black cat is a short hair in some shots and a long hair in others. This is part of the shape shifter's abilities.

Plot holesEdit

  1. While in the dungeon, Spock mentions something about Jackson just before he collapsed. Spock was not present when Jackson collapsed.McCoy could have discussed the incident with Spock off camera before beam down.

Revealing mistakesEdit

  1. When Kirk fights McCoy, McCoy's weapon falls to the ground and bounces showing itself to be made of rubber. More likely cased in rubber to prevent damage.


  1. Catspaw at Wikipedia

The Original Series Season 2
Catspaw I Metamorphosis I Friday's Child I Who Mourns for Adonais?I Amok Time I The Doomsday Machine I Wolf in the Fold I The Changeling I The Apple I Mirror, Mirror I The Deadly Years I I, Mudd I The Trouble with Tribbles I Bread and Circuses I Journey to Babel I A Private Little War I The Gamesters of Triskelion I Obsession I The Immunity Syndrome I A Piece of the Action I By Any Other Name I Return to Tomorrow I Patterns of Force I The Ultimate Computer I The Omega Glory I Assignment: Earth