“Jim, if I’m ever in jail again, don’t send that Vulcan to release me. Just let me rot!”

I love how the inhabitants of Dramia wait for the Enterprise to finish delivering necessary medical supplies before they put McCoy under arrest for charges equivalent to genocide. Pretty sneaky, Sis! This brings out the anger in Kirk, who claims Dramian courts are deliberate and unfair. It’s up to Kirk and Spock to clear McCoy’s good name. Reliable records of the planet go back only 19 years, but Spock does find some information on the plague McCoy was alleged to have caused. McCoy was working on some kind of vaccine for Saurian virus on Dramia II, which the Dramians claim mutated and became a deadly virus and wiped out the entire population.

The Enterprise heads for Dramia II, but Commander Demos, who brought the charges, follows in his shuttlecraft. Kirk captures the shuttlecraft and takes Demos with them to the plague-ravaged planet. The landing party is attacked by a local; one of the few who were not on Dramia II during the time of the plague but came back to see their world destroyed. Demos claims there were no survivors, but he is interrupted, in dramatic fashion by an old Dramian named Kol-Tai who claims McCoy saved his life. They beam aboard, but on their way back to Dramia, Kol-Tai begins to manifest symptoms of the disease, as is Kirk.

One of the first signs of infection is a change in pigmentation. Kirk and the rest of the crew, with the exception of Spock, turn blue! The ship is placed under quarantine. Spock orders the implementation of General Order 6, which means if measures are not taken to stop the spread of the plague, the ship will be destroyed. Spock asks the Dramians to release McCoy so that he can find a cure. They refuse. Spock beams down and effects a rescue of McCoy. They return to the ship and McCoy gets to work.

In the Original Series, there were only two episodes specifically about Dr. McCoy and both had very little to do with his capacity as ship’s surgeon. On more than a few occasions, he would save the day with some last-minute House M.D.-style brilliant diagnoses, but he was given very little characterization. In fact, I suspect De Forest Kelley is responsible for not only inhabiting the character but creating him as well. “Albatross” manages to make McCoy a hero in his own episode.

Twice a week, Star Trek Rewind explores the Star Trek universe. From Archer to Janeway, Kirk to Picard, and Georgiou to Sisko — boldly read what no one has read before!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: