Who Mourns for Adonais?
Star-trek tos-season2-2
Season 2, Episode 2
General Information
Series Star Trek
Air date September 22, 1967
Written by Gene Roddenberry, Gilbert Ralston
Directed by Marc Daniels
Episode guide
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Star Trek episodes

The Enterprise is held captive by a being claiming to be the ancient Greek god Apollo.


Stardate: 3468.1 The USS Enterprise, on approach to Class M planet Pollux IV is suddenly caught and held immobile in an energy field that resembles a giant green human hand. The ship cannot break free, even at full power.

The ship is then hailed by a humanoid wearing a gold laurel wreath on its head, who refers to them as his "beloved children", and invites all or them except for Mr. Spock (who he disparages as being reminiscent of 'Pan') to meet with him on the planet below.Captain Kirk, Mr. Scott, Dr. McCoy and Lt. Palamas (an Archaeology, Anthropology and Ancient Civilizations specialist) beam down, leaving Mr. Spock in command of the Enterprise.

The away team materializes in a garden with ionic columns and marble statuary in the Ancient Greek style. They are approached by a humanoid who says he's the Ancient Greek God Apollo. He then states that they will stay with him, and he deactivates their communicators. He tells them that he wants the crew of the Enterprise to settle Pollux IV, and worship him as their god.

Kirk refuses to accept Apollo's demands So Apollo grows to an enormous height as a show of power. But he soon returns to normal when Lieutenant Carolyn Palamas catches his eye. Apollo admires her beauty, and the girl seems flattered as he takes her hand.

Angered, Mr. Scott, who has feelings for Palamas, steps forward to defend her, but Apollo destroys his phaser. Apollo then changes Carolyn's uniform into period dress, and announces he will take her as his consort and the mother of a new race of gods he wishes to sire. Again Mr. Scott protests, and Apollo repels him with a lightning bolt like discharge.

After this confrontation, Apollo seems drained, and departs, taking Carolyn along with him. Kirk theorizes that Apollo must need time to recuperate. McCoy reveals that a surreptitious medical scan of Apollo revealed that he appeared biologically similar to a human, except for the presence of an additional organ in his chest cavity, which McCoy surmises has something to do with the alien's superhuman powers.

Kirk comes up with a plan to provoke Apollo in order to test the limits of his power, and maybe weaken him enough for the away team to overpower him.

Carolyn, discovers that Apollo was part of a race of god-like, though not supernatural, beings. It's ascertained that he is in fact the Apollo of myth, and 50 centuries ago on Earth, his kind thrived on the ancient Greeks' worship. When asked about the other gods, Apollo says they spread themselves "upon the wings of the wind" and faded away.

Kirk's plan to provoke Apollo fails when Carolyn intervenes, begging Apollo not to hurt her friends. Apollo relents, but orders Kirk to arrange for the crew of the Enterprise to beam down to the planet with supplies, food, and tools. Then he'll destroy their ship and begin a new society that he may rule.

Kirk tells Carolyn that their only chance is for her to reject Apollo if he does not comply with Kirk's demands to leave or they will all be condemned to a life of servitude. She's reluctant, but Kirk reminds her that she is human and a member of Starfleet with a duty to the crew, the Federation, and liberty. She agrees but sounds uncertain.

Aboard the Enterprise, Mr. Spock has pinpointed the source of Apollo's power. Now that communications have been reestablished so that Kirk can carry out Apollo's orders, Spock tells Kirk that he believes it is in a nearby structure. Kirk says that there is only one possibility, a temple, but he tells Spock to hold fire until the landing party is safely away, and Apollo is preoccupied.

Carolyn, in a painful betrayal, lies to Apollo, stating that she was only using him to get information, that she is not a "simple shepherdess that Apollo can awe", and that she could no more love him than she could love a new species of bacteria. Enraged, Apollo calls down thunder and lightning, and prepares to vent his rage on the away team when Kirk gives Spock the order to fire on the temple. The Enterprise's phasers then destroy the temple.

Apollo is stunned and powerless. He growing to giant size again, and mourns, that there is no room left in the universe for gods. He tells the Enterprise crew that he would have cared and nurtured them, and that he truly loved Carolyn with all his heart. He then asks the other gods to take him, and he fades away.

Once everyone is back aboard the Enterprise, they admit some sympathy for Apollo. Carolyn is clearly heartbroken, and Dr. McCoy says it is unfortunate that the crew had to resort to such extreme measures. Kirk also remarks with some regret that Apollo and his fellow gods had once been a major inspiration for mankind, driving civilization to new heights in art and philosophy. With that in mind, he asks, "Would it have hurt us, I wonder, just to have gathered a few laurel leaves?"

Production Notes

The title is taken from Adonais: An Elegy on the Death of John Keats by Percy Bysshe Shelley. Line 415 reads "Who mourns for Adonais?". Shelley's Adonais is derived from Adonis, a male figure of Greek mythology associated with fertility. Also, "Adonais" would be the English plural of the Hebrew Spoken Name of God, thus it would roughly translate to: "Who Mourns for Gods?"

'Who Mourns for Adonais?' was the first episode to feature all seven members of the original cast ( Doohan, Kelley, Koenig, Nichols, Nimoy, Shatner and Takei) together in one episode.

The 40th Anniversary remastered version includes cleaned up audio and video, and a CGI version of USS Enterprise like all the other remastered episodes. Specific changes to this episode include:

  • Pollux IV has been made to look more Earthlike in appearance.
  • The glowing hand of Apollo has been replaced with a more menacing, shimmering version.
  • The shot of Apollo in giant form was enhanced to remove a prominent matte line.
  • The phaser beams fired from the Enterprise have been replaced, and their color has been changed from red to blue to maintain consistency with the rest of the series.
  • The attack on Apollo's temple has been enhanced with the addition of light flares as the phasers destroy the structure.